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Beat Farmers, Wilco, Ting Tings, Cutout Bin, Albino Croc   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 04, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE BEAT FARMERS!  Performing at the 1988 CMA Awards and introduced by no less than classic MTV VJ Martha Quinn, Part 1 includes "Ridin'" and "Riverside." Part 2 includes "There She Goes Again" (L. Reed) "Lucille" (K. Rogers)(profanity) and "Happy Boy."  Part 3 features "Bigger Stones" and "Hollywood Hills."

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED:  New tracks from Colin Meloy, DeVotchKa and Man Man are among those featured in the latest edition of the NPR staple.

WILCO:  The band's Sky Blue Sky outtake, "Glad It's Over," is on the Heroes soundtrack available only at Best Buy, but you can stream it via the ol' HM.

ELVIS COSTELLO will host a new talk/music series that will air on CTV in Canada, the Sundance Channel in the US, and Channel 4 in the UK, starting in December.

NELLIE McKAY composes a new song, "Cavendish," for NPR's Project Song feature.

THE BEATLES:  Apple Corps Limited and Fuego Entertainment, Inc. struck an agreement filed in Miami federal court that requires Fuego to halt plans to release eight song recordings featuring Ringo Starr on drums as a Beatle for the first time at a German club in 1962.

THE TING TINGS have new video for "That's Not My Name," with a bit of a "Hey, Mickey!" bump to it.

FEEDBACK:  New software for sound engineers promises to make feedback a thing of the past -- but should it?

BRYAN SCARY did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including a previously unreleased track.

EVANGELICALS, currently touring with Headlights, answer five questions for Muzzle of Bees.

NADA SURF frontman Matthew Caws talks to NewCity Chicago about carrying on after the success of "Popular" threatened to relegate the band to one-hit wonder status: "Some of it was just an ill-advised perseverance, in that I just didn't want to get another job...I'm really lucky that music worked out."  Drummer Ira Elliot talks to NOW Toronto about chilling out.

APRIL 4:  A shot rings out in the Memphis sky.

THE CUTOUT BIN: From Black Flag to the Black Hollies, from Labelle to Chris Bell, from Cheap Trick to Fairport Convention to Urge Overkill covering Neil Diamond, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

JERRY SEINFELD cheated death in the Hamptons when the brakes on his 1967 Fiat BTM failed and the car flipped over.  Miraculously, the comic walked away "without a scratch," wife Jessica told The NY Post. The accident was chalked up to mechanical failure. Seinfeld had not been drinking and no summonses were issued, Sarris said.  Newman!

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are the family adventure Nim's Island, which is currently scoring 52 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; George Clooney's screwball football comedy Leatherheads, which is also scoring 52 percent; and the unscreened horror flick The Ruins.  Shine A Light, Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones concert doc, opens on 276 screens with an 86 percent rating.

NAOMI CAMPBELL was arrested at Heathrow Airport after allegedly spitting at a police officer.  The supermodel was hauled away "ranting and screaming" from her flight at Terminal Five after a row over a lost bag.

BOBBY BROWN is suggesting that Whitney Houston drove him into a nightmare of drug addiction.  Houston's rep issued a high-road non-denial.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills is househunting in NYC's Greenwich Village, where apartments range in price from 900K for a studio apartment to 12 million four-bedroom penthouses.

BRADGELINA:  In Touch exclusively reveals photos shot by Sean McCall of a beautiful 16-year-old Angelina Jolie posing for a sensual modeling shoot.  Meanwhile, Pitt has dropped his publicist on the advice of Jolie, who has never used a publicist, preferring to manipulate the media on her own.

ANNE HATHAWAY's boyfriend Raffaelo Follieri was popped by the NYPD for bouncing a 250K check.

IRAN:  China has betrayed one its closest allies by providing the UN with intelligence on Iran's efforts to acquire nuclear technology, diplomats have revealed.  China denies the report, natch.  Diplomats say Iran has assembled hundreds of advanced machines in an attempt to speed up a process in its nuclear program that can produce both fuel for power plants and the fissile core of nuclear warheads.

IRAQ:  The NYT covers the pluses and minuses of the Iraqi gov't operation against Shiite militias in Basra.  A thousand or so desertions has to be a minus, though that was only 4 percent of the Iraqi troops in the fight.  Muqtada al-Sadr has hinted at retaliation if Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government does not immediately stop arresting his followers.  OTOH, al-Sadr has offered to help purge Iraqi security forces of militia members.  Meanwhile, the US is making progress in Diyala province.

WHITIE is one of only ten albino alligators and crocodiles in the world.  More pics at the link.

A COURAGEOUS HUSBAND jumped on a crocodile and poked it in the eyes to rescue his wife from its crushing jaws.

WOMAN BITES DOG to save her dog.  She may have rabies.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Sorry, not wearing underpants is just part of their psy-ops.

OCTOPUSES live in a kinky and violent society of jealous murders, gender subterfuge and once-in-a-lifetime sex.

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Cat Power, Elf Power, Foals, Marmosets   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 03, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

CAT POWER sings "Metal Heart" for Letterman, who does not want to let go of her hand afterward.  The man is a dawg.

JENS LEKMAN talks to The A.V. Club about songwriting and to DC's Express about romanticism and touring.

THE FOALS are advance streaming their Antidotes album via MuchMusic.

ELF POWER frontman Andrew Rieger talks to the Charleston City Paper about the band's new 13-song album In a Cave, as well as some of the band's influences: "I feel like we have our influences. We have an original sound, but I'm not going to deny that we're inspired by people like T. Rex, Robert Wyatt, Brian Eno, and others."  Free MP3s at the link, and you can stream a bunch via ElfSpace at the moment.

EMI, hit by artist defections and general industry malaise, has hired one of Google Inc.'s top engineers to help turn the label around.  "It's a bold move, very exciting," an industry veteran said. "The question is, why did he say yes?"

CAJUN DANCE PARTY has dropped the video for "The Race," the propulsive single from their debut LP, The Colourful Life, due Aprl 28th.

KRISTIN HERSH did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

EXTRA INNINGS:  Yesterday, after I linked to some baseball-related folk-rock, I find that Hidden Track has linked to Yo La Tengo's cover of "Meet The Mets" and the Hold Steady's cover of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame"

INGRID MICHAELSON, whose songs have been featured on Grey's Anatomy and Old Navy commercials, stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream via MPR.

TAPES 'N TAPES talk to Drowned In Sound about the delicate balance involved in making their sophomore LP, Walk It Off.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Normally, I would find OK! magazine's story about her slim-down secrets to be boring, but it turns out that one of those secrets is slapping a picture from 2003 on the cover of OK! magazine.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS, Britney's 16-year-old knocked-up sister, is making plans for her dream shotgun wedding.

EVA MENDES is taking some "me time" off after spending several weeks in rehab.

JANE FONDA turned up at the afterparty for "Smart People" on Monday with a new boyfriend -- Lynden Gillis, who met her when he asked her for an autograph at a book signing.

CHRISTINA RICCI wants Jessica Biel's butt, which makes it pretty much unanimous.

HEATH LEDGER:  A Perth woman said to be the mother of the late actor's love child and her current husband have given an extraordinary interview to a Western Australian newspaper, in which she declined to answer direct questions about whether Heath was the father and refused to have any part of a DNA test suggestion.

ORLANDO BLOOM was snapped cozying up to Jennifer Ansiton (again) at a star-studded party that fornd the former Pirate of the Caribbean surrounded by a bevy of beauties, including Desperate Housewives' star Eva Longoria and Aniston's best Friend Courteney Cox.

ROGER EBERT returns to the movie beat after recovering from his most recent cancer surgery.

MACHETE -- one of the faux films previewed in the trailers included with the Tarantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse double-feature -- looks set to be made into a direct-to-DVD flick directed by Robert Rodriguez.

BOTOX may move from the face to the brain, which explains a fair portion of celebrity news items.

MADONNA has given an extraordinarily candid magazine interview to Elle magazine about her "amazing" sex life with director Guy Ritchie in a bid to finally put to bed persistent rumours about the state of her marriage.  So I'm going with "methinks she doth protest too much," just to mess with ol' Madge.  She also tells the mag that she is following in the footsteps of Oprah with plans to build a girls' school in Africa.

MIDEAST MYSTERY: Israel has admitted for the first time that an air strike in Syria last year was aimed at a nuclear facility built with assistance from North Korea. The Japanese daily newspaper Asahi Shimbun cited sources at the Japanese foreign ministry for its report of a meeting between Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of Israel, and Yasuo Fukuda, his Japanese opposite number.  "While we cannot confirm the facts, the fact that such an assertion was made at an official occasion such as a summit meeting is significant, making it highly credible," said one foreign ministry official.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS remains the world's leading source of money for Al Qaeda and other extremist networks and has failed to take key steps requested by US officials to stem the flow, the Bush administration's top financial counter-terrorism official said Tuesday.

AL QAEDA No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri responded to criticism Wednesday about the organization's notoriously brutal tactics, maintaining that it does not kill innocents, in hour-and-a half-long audio response to questions submitted to the terror group on extremist websites.

IRAQ:  The Iraqi military has continued to target Mahdi Army elements in Basra, Baghdad and southern Iraq, but the government is now referring to them as "criminal elements" -- a move apparently urged by Gen. Petraeus, according to a Colonel in Baghdad, who is otherwise mostly critical of the Iraqi gov't.  Austin Bay, a retired Col. from the US Army Reserve who served in Iraq in 2004, sees the episode as a short-term triumph for Moqtada al-Sadr, but part of a war of political attrition.  Meir Javedanfar notes that al-Sadr decided to publicly condemn the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei as part of the intra-Shia conflict playing out now.  At the Counterterrorism Blog, Andrew Cochran is more pessimistic, comparing the situation to Hezbollah in its defensive standoff in Lebanon in 2006 against the Israelis.

MARMOSETS were swept up in Colarado's latest crackdown on illegal immigrants.  Apparently, they are doing the jobs American monkeys just will not do.

DOGS are doing doga at yoga studios in DC, including the "chair" pose and the "downward-facing human" stretch.

CANE TOAD UPDATE:  An Australian politician on Wednesday proposed designating a special day for residents to hunt and kill the poisonous cane toad population that has hopped amok since the 1930s.

THE PET WHISPERER: Clare Metcalf talks to the animals and says they talk to her.

PET HOARDING:  Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources seized seven rattlesnakes, a gaboon viper, a king cobra, an iguana, two monitor lizards, two alligators, a boa constrictor and a python from a Frankfort home while the owner was at a hospital having fingers amputated after a snakebite.

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More New Releases, She & Him, Baseball Season, Wild Croc   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

R.E.M. played 30 Rock on the Today Show.  Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin of the Venus 3 join Stipe, Buck and Mills.  Scott & Peter get caught bouncing during "Supernatural Superserious."

THE SPECIALS are reuniting with dignity.

MORE NEW RELEASES:  The new Apples In Stereo is streaming in full via Yep Roc.  Paste magazine is streaming the album from Color Revolt.  (Thx, LHB.)

PITCHFORK TV has revealed its first week's programming schedule, including The Pixies, Liars, Man Man, Jay Reatard, The Thermals, Robyn, and more...

SHE & HIM:  Fresh Air features an interview with Zooey Deschanel plus tracks from her album with M Ward, steaming via NPR.

THE BREEDERS:  The Deal sisters talk to MTV about their rural roots and songwriting.

THE PROCLAIMERS are turning to reality TV to find a third member.  Although the third member won't have to be Scottish, he will have to look like the near-identical twins, and must be able to pull off a passable Fife accent.  No word on whether contestants will have to walk 500 miles.

U2 inked a 12-year deal with Live Nation Artists that includes worldwide touring, merchandising, and the band's U2.com Web site. The deal, however, is not a true 360-degree pact, as there is no publishing component and the band retains its relationship with Universal Music to release music.

BASEBALL SEASON has brought much press about the Chicago Cubs' 100-year drought and a feature of the late Steve Goodman performing "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" from the Bryant Park Project.  I am still more partial to the Mountain Goats' "Cubs In Five."

LIZ PHAIR has signed a new record deal with ATO, the first fruit of which will be a reissue of her classic 1993 debut, "Exile in Guyville," with four previously unreleased audio tracks and a DVD documentary about the album's genesis.

HARP MAGAZINE gets an obituary of sorts at Idolator.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Roger Friedman writes that Cruise's public grovel to Paramount mogul Sumner Redstone would indicate that the actor knows just how bad Cruise's "Valkyrie" is and that he's trying to shore up his future before the eye patch hits the fan this fall.

JOHN CUSACK:  A woman who showed up Sunday outside the actor's Malibu home -- despite a restraining order barring her from approaching the actor -- was arrested on suspicion of stalking, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said Monday.  However, a year ago, the same woman was arrested outside the Beverly Hills home of Tom Cruise, also on suspicion of violating a restraining order.  Nothing screams "B-List" like getting a hand-me-down stalker from Tom Cruise.

BEYONCE KNOWLES & JAY-Z have taken out a marriage license in Scarsdale, NY, according to People magazine.

JAY LENO has apologized for teasing Ryan Phillippe for landing his first role as a gay teen on the soap One Life to Live. He also asked Phillippe to give the camera his "gayest look."

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY says JENNIFER GARNER is like Mary Poppins, with a magic bag that carries everything but duct tape.

KATE HUDSON & OWEN WILSON are reportedly apartment hunting in NYC and looking to move in together as soon as Owen is done filming "Marley and Me" with Jennifer Aniston.

BRITNEY SPEARS has turned to a familiar face for help -- on-again, off-again manager Larry Rudolph, at the behest of her dad-conservator Jamie, according to OK! magazine.

THE DEPARTED is being made into a TV series for HBO.  Will the mob boss be played by James Gandolfini?

JACK NICHOLSON was snapped frolicking in the surf on the Caribbean island of St Bart's, showing that the paparazzi are willing to embarrass anyone, not just young starlets with a few extra pounds.

MIKE MYERS' upcoming movie, The Love Guru, is under fire from some in the Hindu community.  Based on what I have heard, it will face much greater fire from those who pay to see it.

DITA VON TEESE, burlesque queen and ex-wife to marilyn Manson, was interviewed in Sunday's New York Times Magazine.  But it took London's Sun to reveal her hardcore past, including some corporal punishment and girl-on-girl action.  Of course, The Sun is not always accurate, but the censored (but still NSFW) and uncensored (and very, very NSFW) movie stills do seem to support the claims in the tabloid.  Call it Extremely Gratuitous Wednesday.

CARTOON JIHAD:  Dr. Wafa Sultan has been forced to go into hiding with her family following a fatwa from an Islamic scholar, according to Omedia. Sultan faces the fatwa following a recent debate on Al-Jazeera in which she challenged Egyptian Islamist Talat Rheim over Dutch cartoons of Mohammed, who Muslims revere as a prophet. Sultan argued that Denmark had the right to print the cartoons.

TERROR IN THE US:  A South Jersey man swept up in the alleged plot to attack Fort Dix was sentenced to 20 months in prison on weapons charges.  Agron Abdullahu of Buena Vista Township was the only one of the six men arrested last year not charged with conspiring to kill US soldiers.  But US District Judge Robert Kugler acknowledged that this was more than a garden-variety gun case and deserved a sentence to match. The term he imposed was twice as long as the sentence Abdullahu sought and four months longer than the maximum term recommended by federal probation officials.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS:  A young Saudi Arabian woman was murdered by her father for chatting on the social network site Facebook, it has emerged.

AFGHANISTAN:  The house of Parliament passed a resolution Monday seeking to bar TV programs from showing dancing and other practices deemed un-Islamic.  The resolution, which is not now legally binding and cannot be enforced, will go before the upper house of Parliament for consideration. It would also have to be approved by the president before becoming law.

IRAQ:  Michael J. Totten has a two-parter on the liberation of Karmah -- a small city between Fallujah and Baghdad: "So many Stateside Americans still wonder aloud why mainstream Muslims refuse to stand up to terrorists, so apparently the story in Karmah - which is hardly unique to Karmah - isn't familiar enough..."  Wired's Danger Room hypothesizes that Moqtada al-Sadr was in league with Prime Minister al-Maliki to target the "rogue" Mahdi units who are operating as renegades in Basra and elsewhere, but that does not really square with reports that Iran pressured al-Sadr into declaring a ceasefire, because that would further expose the Iranian-backed splinter groups.

A 9-FT CROCODILE was chased and collared on US 441 in Florida.  Video at the link, but my favorite part is John Law's arrival on the scene: ''This is the Broward's Sheriff's Office,'' a deputy said into a bullhorn. ``Get back into the canal!''

THE DWARF CROCODILE that was stolen from a Norwegian aquarium has been returned and is recovering from its ordeal, which included having its mouth taped shut, the aquarium director said Tuesday.

ALCOHOLIC RATS cheer scientific breakthrough.

MALE DOLPHINS flash bling to pull the chicks.

POLAR BEAR SIGHTINGS are up around Newfoundland and Labrador coastal communities in Canada.  Even stranger, the reporter managed to avoid blaming global warming.

THE FLYING PENGUINS of the BBC, from April Fool's Day, icymi.

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R.E.M., New Releases, Bjork, Headlights, Ceiling Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

R.E.M. continue their collaboration with La Blogotheque with a Take-Away Show; watch all five videos at the link.

NEW RELEASES:  Obvs, the R.E.M. album is the big release this week.  The Black Keys release Attack & release -- the duo's first album for Nonesuch.  Albums from Los Campesinos! Gnarls Barkley, Moby and a Willie Nelson compilation are streaming in full this week via Spinner.

STEREOGUM has posted a downloadable 15-year anniversary tribute compilation of Björk's Post album.

FEIST has enlisted the help of the Calgary-based The Old Trout Puppet Workshop for the video of her latest single, "Honey, Honey," off the Grammy-nominated album The Reminder.

THE HEADLIGHTS brought their light, dreamy melodies and male-female harmonies to The Current or a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD of the UNDEAD, tells The Sun: "I smoke my head off. I smoke weed all the d*mn time. There, you've got it..."  But he claims that's his strongest drug.  He also lashes out against anti-smoking laws and says he is finding writing an autobiography difficult, thus bringing us full circle.

STEPHEN MALKMUS talks about The Jicks with the Boston Globe, and more than holds his own on FNC's demented late-night gab fest Red Eye.

STEVE EARLE & ALLISON MOORER are the musical guests on this week's edition of Sound Opinions.

THE GUILLEMOTS frontman Fyfe Dangerfield shows the Independent around the synagogue turned art gallery turned Batcave that serves as the quartet's recording and rehearsal space.

DEAN WAREHAM appears on WNYC's Soundcheck to discuss his memoir, Black Postcards: A Rock & Roll Romance.  There is also an excerpt of the book, allong with tracks from Wareham's band's -- Galaxie 500, Luna, and Dean & Britta -- at the link.

MOUNTAIN GOATS mastermind John Darnielle talks to io9 about his dystopian affinity in explaining why Ozzy Osbourne is a Sci-Fi visionary.

KATHERINE HEIGL talks to the Times of London about her TV and movie career, as well as newlywed bliss with musician Josh Kelley and her newfound desire for kids: "I think we're both on such a career trajectory right now, it would be foolish to waste the opportunities. I think he'd prefer to wait a little more time, but I kind of wouldn't, so I think we'll meet somewhere in the middle."  That is generally what produces kids.

JOHNNY DEPP has been offered ten million dollars to become the "face" of American birth control giant Trojan.

PAUL McCARTNEY was caught canoodling heiress Nancy Shevell on a paradise isle.

AMY WINEHOUSE has almost become a recluse since contracting an ugly skin condition and friends are terrified about her negative state of mind.

EDDIE VAN HALEN is just fine, thank you very much, says his son, Wolfgang.

MADONNA is the cover story of this month's Vanity Fair magazine, in which she talks about her new album, her adoption from Malawi, her directorial debut, Kabbalah, etc.  Elsewhere, Madge bizzarely compares the paparazzi's treatment of Britney Spears to the cruel conditions in Africa.

JESSICA SIMPSON was sent home from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after being treated for a kidney infection.

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD returns to make television a little bit less watchable.

WOODY ALLEN is suing the skinny jeans off of American Apparel over the use of his image on billboards and on the Internet.

LARA FLYNN BOYLE:  Plastic surgery victim.

NICKELODEON'S TEEN CHOICE AWARDS winners are here.  But it's really just an excuse to see Jack Black and Orlando Bloom get slimed.

AFGHANISTAN:  NATO leaders holding a summit in Bucharest this week are unlikely to fully meet the military requirements of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan, US SecDef Gates said Monday.  This is the theater that is supposed to have multi-lateral support.  Fortunately, there has been a dramatic fall in the number of trained Afghan soldiers leaving the Afghan National Army over last couple of years.

IRAQ:  Sources in Basra tell TIME magazine that there has been a large-scale retreat of the Mahdi Army in the oil-rich Iraqi port city because of low morale and because ammunition is low due to the closure of the Iranian border. That Iraqi lawmakers traveled to the Iranian holy city of Qom over the weekend to win the support of the commander of Iran's Qods brigades in persuading Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr to order his followers to stop military operations also speaks volumes as to the real source of the fighting and thuggery in southern Iraq these past months.  Supporters of the Sadrist movement believe the failure to rout the Mahdi Army is a humiliation for Prime Minister al-Maliki.  It is certainly true that al-Maliki seems to have blundered his way into a full-scale battle without adequate preparation and loses for failing to decisively beat the Sadrists, particularly in the context of the fall provincial elections.  But al-Maliki said Monday that security operations in Basra will continue "to pursue criminals and to stop terrorist activities," and the retreat of the Mahdi Army make it a non-victory for the Sadrists also.  Either way, there seems to be unfinished business.

A STUBBORN CAT trapped in the drywall of a Gilbert, AZ, home has finally been rescued from that house.  The owner thinks the cat could have been in the walls since mid-January.

PLANE HITS DOG, skids off runway in Bangalore.  None of the passengers or crew on the Kingfisher Airlines flight IT 2427 to the neighbouring southern city of Hyderabad were hurt and they were immediately evacuated.

THE PAPILLION DOG that vanished after the manager of a doggie day care claimed a hawk carried her off was found wandering at a nearby school Thursday afternoon.

A ROGUE BULL has been jailed in a southern town in Mexico for devouring corn crops and destroying two wooden shops.

A CROCODILE THIEF walked unnoticed out of a Norwegian aquarium at the weekend and now risks losing a finger or two, the head of the aquarium said on Monday.

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Stephen Malkmus, Caribou, Raveonettes, Elephant painter   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, March 31, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

WHY? has a video of "Song of the Sad Assassin" (from the Alopecia album) that looks a bit like Beavis and Butthead on a very, very bad trip.  So it was not shocking to learn that animator Mike L Mayfield has worked on King of the Hill and American Dad.

STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS played DC's 9:30 Club Friday night, so you can stream the gig on demand via NPR.

BLACK MOUNTAIN bassist Matt Camirand talks to the Vancouver Sun about "prefer(ring) the sound and equipment that bands used in the late '60s and '70s, compared to stuff that's coming out now."

IDOLATOR asks a related question -- "Why Buy Digitally Recorded Albums On Vinyl?"  At Matador Records, Partrick suggests the answer is that there is something pleasurable about the entire package that you cannot get from a download.  He also has some interesting backstory about why Tower Records went under.

CARIBOU played DC's Rock and Roll Hotel last night, so you should be able to stream the gig on demand today via NPR.  Mastermind Dan Snaith answers six questions for the Washington Post -- including, "What's a guy with a PhD in mathematics - who studied algebraic number theory - doing in a field like this?"

PHOSPHORESCENT uses an odd winter gathering to frame "A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise."

RAY DAVIES plays mostly songs that have inspired him over the years as Guest DJ for NPR's All Songs Considered.

GUNS N' ROSES, after going years without management, will now be represented by Irving Azoff and Andy Gould, the management team that has most recently handled Guns spinoff project Velvet Revolver.  So we may be getting those cans of Dr. Pepper after all.

THE RAVEONETTES played the World Cafe Friday afternoon, so you can stream the gig now via NPR.

X frontwoman Exene Cervenka talks to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about the age barrier in rock and band's landmark "13-31 Tour," a 31st anniversary trek featuring original members Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom and D.J. Bonebrake.

THE MEKONS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream via MPR.

BRADGELINA was the subject of a new round of marriage rumors, this time coming out of N'awlins.  But it appears that the ever-reliable Star has some egg on its face.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: 21 hit a surpise jackpot of 23.7 million and the highest per-screen average of the weekend.  Horton Hears a Who drops to second with 17.4 million, but that's a mere 29 percent drop from a long Easter weekend and it has made 117.3 million to date.  Superhero Movie made 9.5 million -- about half of what the original Scary Movie made in 2000.  Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns skidded 61 percent to fourth place with 7.7 million.  Fifth goes to Drillbit Taylor, which looks to be Judd Apatow's second flop.

STOP-LOSS debuted in eighth place at the box office with 4.5 million, which makes it quite unlikely it will recoup its 25 million budget.  People at the studios -- in this case Paramount -- attribute this to people not being ready to deal with the Iraq war, as opposed to concluding that people do not want to see a movie where the US military is painted as the villain.  Again.  There has been quite a good market for movies where the US government is the heavy, pushing current hot-button issues -- the Bourne franchise being an obvious example.  There just doesn't seem to be a market for movies wherer the military or the troops are put in a bad light.

BRITNEY SPEARS is having regular colon cleansing sessions at a clinic in Beverly Hills.TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise and Paramount mogul Sumner Redstone are settling their differences and getting ready to work together again.  Katie Holmes is in final negotiations to make her professional stage debut on Broadway.

GEORGE CLOONEY galpal Sarah Larson's modeling career consisted mostly of being paid by promoters for clubs, magazines and radio stations to attend special events in sexy outfits and party with her wild girlfriends.  The ever-reliable Star magazine links to the risque pictures.

HEATH LEDGER may have fathered a secret love child with an older woman when he was 17-years-old, according to a news report in Australia.

MADONNA wants to remake Casablanca - and this time set it in Iraq. It's sure to be as big a hit as any of her recent movies.

THE FRENCH HOTEL thinks her "hard work" has been "an inspiration for a lot of girls out there."  Not even OK! magazine is buying that.

JENNIFER ANISTON  was looking cozy with Orlando Bloom at newly opened restaurant Beso in Los Angeles.

SWIMSUIT SPECTACULAR:  Moviefone has galleries of the hottest women and men ever to sport swimsuits in movies, as seected by over 12 million voters.  Call it Gratuitous Monday.

GO, SPEED, GO!  Entertainment Weekly has exclusive new pics to go with the magazine's cover story on the Wachowskis' big-screen reimagining of Speed Racer.

DITH PRAN, the photojournalist whose nightmarish experiences in Cambodia were the basis for the film The Killing Fields, has passed away in New Jersey.

AL QAEDA is training operatives who "look Western", with a view to having them enter the United States undetected to conduct terrorist attacks, according to CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden.

IRAQ:  In a possible turning point in the recent upsurge in violence, Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his Shiite militiamen off the streets Sunday but called on the government to stop its raids against his followers.  The government welcomed the move, which followed intense negotiations by Shiite officials, including two lawmakers who reportedly traveled to Iran to ask religious authorities there to intervene.  The Iraqi government is due to lift a curfew in Baghdad.  Fighting continued in the Basra area after the announcement,so Michael Yon may yet prove correct in believing it's likely to get worse before it's better.  Though reports had the Iraqi initiative stalling against Shia militia in Basra, the Mahdi Army has taken high casualties.  The renewed fighting between Shiite militias and US and Iraqi troops has forced a temporary re-evaluation of strategy in Diyala province, leading to a pause in some operations targeting al-Qaida in Iraq.  The NYT has an assessment of the internal politics of the fighting.

ELEPHANTS have been trained to paint their self-portraits.

A 6-FT, 200-LB BEAR has been perched high above a Central Florida neighborhood for hours Friday after it was chased up a tree by two 6-month-old kittens.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A two-headed calf, born in Van Alstyne, TX.  Video at the link.

OODLES OF POODLES:  A Chilliwack standard poodle has whelped a record brood: 16 puppies.  Pic at the link.

THE WORLD CAT CONGRESS is now in session in Houston, TX.  Could actually get less done than US Congress, United Nations.

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