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The Cutting Edge, Coachella, Smoosh, Cutout Bin, Six-legged Kitty   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 25, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE CUTTING EDGE!  One of the original MTV indie rock showcases, backed in part by IRS Records, airing from March 1983 to September 1987. Set the Wayback Machine to 1985 to share some BBQ in Austin, TX with Zeitgeist (later The Reviers).  Daniel Johnson has a cameo in that clip, but is featured in this one.  You'll see a young Alejandro Escovedo playing in the True Believers.  Also in a rootsy vein is a segment with Lone Justice.  The show's host, Daniel Zaremba, brings the garage with his band, The Fleshtones, in N'awlins.  Going further afield, there's a segment with Squeeze.  All those clips are on Yahoo!, but there are also clips from Flat Duo Jets and Red Hot Chili Peppers on the Tube that date back to 1984.

LOU REED & LAURIE ANDERSON: Hitched!

COACHELLA: Various acts from the big fest will be streaming at AT&T's Blueroom Fri-Sun nights, starting just before 6 ET.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS drove by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

PETER MOREN talks to The Stranger about his solo album, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the next Peter Bjorn & John album (which is finished, and instrumental). 

JANE'S ADDICTION reuinited at the first-ever NME Awards USA; winners and shaky cam video at Stereogum.

SMOOSH rocked Kids-At-Work Day at the Bryant Park Project; you can stream videos of "Great Skies" and "Dark Shine" via NPR.

DESTROYER:  Dan Bejar talks to DC's Express about playing with different drummers -- a phenomenon familiar to Pate fans.

THE CONNELLS: From the "Where are they now?" file.  Dig 'em. Stream 'em.  Pretend, for a brief moment, that you are Craig O'Neill.  Unless you are Craig O'Neill, in which case you are beyond all help.

TIFT MERRITT stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

JOAN JETT and her longtime manager, Kenny Laguna, talk to the San Joaquin Record about her longevity and the upcoming Runaways movie.

AMY WINEHOUSE was facing arrest last night after allegedly attacking two men while out on a wild drug-fuelled bender.

CUTOUT BIN: From Buzzcocks to Blues Magoos, from Game Theory to Glen Campbell, from Al Wilson to ABBA, The Replacements, The Kinks, Nilsson, Marti Jones and the Mountain Goats this Friday's fortuitous finds overfloweth and can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise is headed back to Oprah's couch for the May sweeps!

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is streaming six tracks from her debut album, Anywhere I Lay My Head.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy Baby Mama, currently scoring 57 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, currently scoring 55 percent; and the thriller Deception, scoring 10 percent.

WESLEY SNIPES was sentenced to 36 months in prison for tax evasion, the maximum sentence allowed.

CARMEN ELECTRA is engaged to her boyfriend, Rob Patterson, the former touring guitarist for Korn.

JESSICA SIMPSON & TONY ROMO seem like the picture-perfect couple, but OK! magazine reports that the pneumatic blonde's creepy dad-manager Joe is a problem-causing third wheel in the relationship.

ASHLEE SIMSPON, meanwhile, continued to dodge pregnancy rumors, even as Ellen DeGeneres rubbed her maybe bump.

ASHTON KUTCHER has webbed feet. Yes, really. Pics at the link.

JIMMY FALLON is set to take Conan O'Brien's job as host of "Late Night" in 2009. Conan will be taking over for Jay Leno, who will leave the "Tonight" show in May 2009 as part of a forced retirement.

GARY COLEMAN is splitting from his new wife Shannon Price on a special two-part session of Divorce Court.  Diff'rent Strokes, and all that.

MEGAN FOX tops FHM magazine's annual 100 Sexiest Women in the World readers' poll; you will find a pop wreck at the bottom.  But I think there may be some dudes in TV Guide's Sexiest Stars 2008, for those who go that way. Call it Gratuitous Friday.

WISH LIST: The Gryphon attack glider, designed to penetrate combat zones at 135 miles per hour, could revolutionize the art of parachuting. Video and pics at the link.

AL QAEDA increasingly faces sharp criticism from once-loyal sympathizers who openly question its ideology and tactics, including attacks that kill innocent Muslims, according to US intelligence officials, counter-terrorism experts and the group's own communications.

MIDEAST MYSTERY: North Korea helped Syria construct a nuclear reactor that was "within weeks of completion" when Israel destroyed the facility in September, the Bush admin. said on Thursday.  A CIA briefing for Congress contains a video that brings together a compilation of still images, including satellite imagery, ground imagery, and photographs taken inside the facility. One photograph shows a North Korean nuclear scientist Chon Chibu standing beside his Syrian counterpart. Mr Chon, who worked at North Korea's Yongbyon plutonium reactor, has previously dealt with US officials.

IRAN: NATO's secretary-general told Gulf Arab states on Thursday that Iran's nuclear ambitions were a major threat to regional stability.

AFGHANISTAN:  At Jane's US Defense Conference, Anthony Cordesman gave a briefing on Afghanistan and Iraq. Cordesman sees far more progress toward  "armed nation-building" in Iraq, adding that withdrawing troops there will not solve problems in Afghanistan.

IRAQ: The Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience, a massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum, is being designed by the firm that developed Disneyland. New data on Iraq oil revenues suggests that country's government will reap an even larger than expected windfall this year - as much as 70 billion - according to the special US auditor for Iraq. Moqtada al-Sadr is considering setting aside his political ambitions and restarting a full-scale fight against US-led forces.  The reconstruction of the Samarra shrine helps bridge sectarian divides.  The New York Times reports that Iraq's largest Sunni bloc has agreed to return to Prime Minister al-Maliki's cabinet -- about a week after you read it here.

DOG NURSES MOTHERLESS KITTENS in Burlington, IA. Let's go to the awww...some video.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A six-legged kitty.  Video at the link.

KILLER STUNT BEAR UPDATE: State work safety officials opened an investigation today into the death of an exotic-animal trainer who was killed by a 700-pound grizzly bear while filming a promotional video, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Industrial Relations said.  The AP has part off the 911 call.

A ZEBRA was discovered in Emory University's Seney Hall about 8 a.m. Wednesday.  Georgian Zebra trifecta now in play.

STRAY DOGS saved a baby girl who was abandoned in a mound of mud by her mother near a remote village in India. "The dogs removed the soil around and began to bark and the baby started crying which drew attention of the local villagers," Ram Narayan Sahani, a senior government official, said on Tuesday.

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She & Him & YLT, Duke Spirit, Constantines, Killer Stunt Bear   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

SHE & HIM brought YO LA TENGO as backup when they hit the Peacock to play "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?"

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD of the UNDEAD, answers reader questions for Blender magazine.  It's all embedded audio, because who would want to try to transcribe Keef to English?

THE DUKE SPIRIT guitarist Dan Higgins talks to JamBase about the band's hard-to-peg sound (mid-period VU meets early Stones, with a dash of Debbie Harry?).  If you didn't stream their Neptune album when it was on Spinner this month, you can still stream extended clips via the album's mini-site.  JamBase also has a full song.

FAKE BEATLES:  I meant to flag this for The Rutles reunion, but was reminded to link Gaylord Fields's series at WFMU when The Knickerbockers' "Lies" popped up yesterday.  Many more Faux Fours streaming at the link.

THE B-52s dummer-turned-guitarist Keuth Strickland shuffles his iPod for the "Random Rules" feature at The A.V. Club.

THE CONSTANTINES rock kinda hard in the new video for "Hard Feelings."

BIRDS OF AVALON do the four free songs thing (one nifty one unreleased) for Daytrotter, which name-drops The Raconteurs and raft of 70s bands -- none of which fully nails the band's sound.

ERYKAH BADU talks to Blender and says things like: "Time is for white people. It doesn't work with me."

SUPERGRASS drummer Danny Goffey talks to PopMatters about the band's endurance, recording in Berlin, and more... A/V linkage there also.

MUSIC BLOGS and their promo value are surveyed at the Guardian: A New York University study published in February, Does Chatter Matter?, found that the volume of blog posts about a new album can significantly affect sales.

BRITNEY SPEARS has reportedly dropped 20 pounds in new pics that somehow turn up only in Star magazine.  The Daily Mail thinks Spears is slimming down to get back on How I Met Your Mother, but I would guess it's connected to her negotiations with Bally's Fitness Clubs.

MAMA LYNNE SPEARS is disappointed that Jamie Lynn gt knocked up, and prays for Britney to be a better mother... when she isn't talking to Life & Style magazine.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sir Paul unveiled an exhibition of his late wife Linda's photographs (which was her actual talent), while Heather Mills was the subject of a TV program featuring damning revelations from former friends and estranged relatives. One of the former friends, Denise Hewitt, described the months the pair allegedly spent working as £10,000-a-night prostitutes, including acting out sizzling lesbian fantasies for their rich clients.

OJ SIMPSON has asked Donald Trump to allow him to appear on the next season of Celebrity Apprentice.

JOHN CLEESE faces a costly divorce from his third wife which could see him hand over two homes, half his earnings and maintenance of almost £1 million a year. Cleese was said to be taken aback by the scale of the divorce claim.

IRON MAN: Robert Downey, Jr. talks to the New York Times  about Tony Stark's demons and ultimately, his own.  Paramount and Marvel are trying to lower expectations for the movie, though they still think they can make 50-60 million next weekend.

HEATH LEDGER:  Actress and baby mama Michelle Williams told friends that the late actor had twice visited her as a "shadowy apparition."

PETER FALK looked dazed and confused as he walked near his Beverly Hills home on Tuesday afternoon. Sad pics at the link.

STAR JONES has filed for divorce from husband of three-and-a-half years, Al Reynolds, who is getting ready to rumble.

TINA FEY, promoting her upcoming movie Baby Mama, tells the Philly Inquirer just how busy she is: "If I get enough time in the morning to go to the bathroom and brush my teeth and put on the clothes that I wore the day before, that's it. The idea of putting lotion on my legs, that's not happening."  She tells the NYDN that she and co-star Amy Poehler reworked the script to take out some of the car jokes, to avoid having to shoot for weeks in hot cars: "But it's not like we added anything really Lifetime-y. I think by and large, there's not that big a difference between guy and girl humor. Funny is funny."  Defamer posts video of Universal's three marketing strategies for the movie.

GO SPEED GO!  There's a good review and all-new car-fu in seven clips from Speed Racer posted at Collider (mild spoilers).

TERROR in the UK: Police have foiled 15 terror plots since the turn of the century, with suspects continuing to emerge from unexpected quarters, senior officers said yesterday. The figure emerged as police backed the Government's controversial proposals to hold terrorist suspects for more than 28 days without charge. Meanwhile, a network of ex-radicals launched on Tuesday a movement to fight the same ideology that they once worked to spread.

MIDEAST MYSTERY: According to the L.A. Times, the CIA will tell Congress today in classified briefings that the North Koreans had begun to build a nuclear reactor at a site in Syria bombed by the Israelis last year.

PAKISTAN's new government has drafted a peace agreement with Taliban militants in its troubled tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, officials and a rebel spokesman said Wednesday.  The Jonestown Foundation has much more detail.

IRAQ: The Bush admin. picked Gen. Petraeus to take charge of operations across the Middle East and chose his former No. 2 to take over in Baghdad. Austin Bay argues that the battle for Basra is an integrated political-military operation and the most decisive example of a country-building measure we have seen since Saddam fell in April 2003. US and UK special forces are carrying out operations in Basra against Shia militiamen, a Western military source has told the BBC. Iraq's national security advisor has claimed Iran is hosting 100 al-Qaeda leaders and members, some of whom are under house arrest.

THERE'S A GATOR IN MY KITCHEN: Let's go to the video.

A HOLLYWOOD STUNT BEAR killed one of his handlers during a rehearsal for a film stunt.

THE FIRST WILDLIFE HIGHWAY to enable animals and plants to escape the worst effects of climate change will be announced today. A corridor 30 miles (50km) long and up to 10 miles wide is to be created in the Severn Vale in Gloucestershire to provide an escape route for wildlife.

PUPS and their pop stars; a photo gallery. (Thx, Dad.)

RAW VIDEO of the Somali wild a$$, an extremely rare horse species born at the St. Louis Zoo.

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New Grizzly Bear, Mates of State & Destroyer, 'Mats, Talking Goat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

GRIZZLY BEAR played a new song, "While You Wait For The Others," on the Peacock the other night.  It has me waiting for more...

THE REPLACEMENTS are thinking of semi-reforming after 17 years. Tommy Stinson tells Billboard that he and Westerberg were close to accepting lucrative festival offers this year.  Hold out for Chris Mars!  Meanwhile, PopMatters uses the reissues for a critical evaluation of the band's Twin/Tone output.

THE HELIO SEQUENCE stopped by KEXP for a chat and mini-set you can stream (together or just the music) via NPR.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darneille talks to PopMatters about the Mighty Riff, the uneasy relationship between indie and metal camps, and the life experiences behind his new book on Black Sabbath's Master of Reality.

HEADLIGHTS singer-keyboardist Erin Fein talks to The A.V. Club on harmonies, making a summer record and more.  Plus vidoe at the link.

MATES OF STATE release the video for "Get Better," from their upcoming release, Re-Arrange Us.

KATHLEEN EDWARDS talks songwriting, major-league exposure and human behavior of the worst kind with the Toronto Star.

DESTROYER:  So Much Silence has posted stream/download for a vinyl rip of "Madame Butterflies," a heretofore unreleased track that appears on a 7" split-single issued for Record Store Day.

FEIST tells the Dallas Morning News that the success of "1 2 3 4:' is a double-edged sword and that her backup plan is to franchise herself with Feist puppets.

THE TOP TEN ACTS going green, compiled by Reuters for Earth Day.

NATALIE PORTMAN was the unfortunate victim of a surprise soaking by a pooch who mistook her for a fire hydrant at a downtown NYC dog run.  Or the dog may have seen the Star Wars prequels.  But hanging with Devendra Banhart clearly puts Portman in a groovy mood, as he was hugging the paparazzi just moments beforehand.

LINDSAY LOHAN is denying falling off the wagon on her possibly fake Facebook page under the name "Lindsay Ronson."  And allegedly screaming at Ashley Olsen to "Get your 15-year-old 'Full House' a$$ away from my girlfriend," referring to lesbian lover Samantha Ronson.

EWAN MacGREGOR says he is "fine" after having a cancerous mole removed from just below his right eye.

RICHIE SAMBORA has been charged with two counts of DUI, but escapes child endangerment charges.

AL PACINO & ROBERT DeNIRO are ripped at length in the L.A. Times: "The two icons of '70s New Hollywood, heroes to a generation of young actors and filmmakers, have become parodies of themselves, making payday movies and turning in performances that are hollow echoes of the electrically charged work they did in such films as Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Mean Streets and Taxi Driver."

SHANNON ELIZABETH was... wait for it...  caught canoodling with her Dancing With the Stars partner Derek Hough on Thursday, while frolicking at the beach in Malibu.  Of course, it may be just for show - a cynical ploy for votes in the hoofing contest.

HEATHER MILLS gave Sir Paul McCartney an ultimatum to marry her or she would leave him, according to a friend and ex-prostitute.  I'm shocked.

DAVE NAVARRO was... wait for it... caught canoodling a dancer of indetermiate gender backstage at his Miami concert.  Pic at the link.

JULIA ROBERTS just says "no" to deodorant.  Video at the link.

PENELOPE CRUZ is setting pulses racing with her steamy new film, Elegy.  The pics at the link may well be NSFW; the video at Egotastic certainly is.  Call it Gratuitous Wednesday.

ELISHA CUTHBERT says many men blow their big chance of a romance with her by committing first-date sins.  Seriously, who goes to a movie with Cuthbert and falls asleep?  Who goes to a movie with Cuthbert and watches the movie?  Who takes Cuthbert to a movie instead of chatting her up?  ALSO: Cuthbert is on the cover of this month's Maxim magazine.  Call it Doubly Gratuitous Wednesday.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS executed a convicted murderder with the 48th beheading in the Kingdom this year.

IRAN: Seventy-five young people accused of 'immoral acts' have been arrested by police at a birthday party in the city of Shiraz. Dangerous drivers in Iran face being flogged under a tough new law that comes into effect next month.

IRAQ:  The national government  began releasing thousands of detainees accused of all but the worst of crimes during the 2003-2008 time period, most of them Sunnis -- fulfilling another demand of the US Congress and the Sunnis in Iraq towards national reconciliation.  The Iraqi army command in Basra is giving top leaders of the Mahdi Army in the city 24 hours to surrender.  Anthony H. Cordesman argues that Prime Minister al-Maliki's offensive in Basra is more of a power struggle with Sadr than an effort to deal with security, ‘militias,' and ‘criminals.'  I would argue it is both; having the Mahdi Army turn into another Iranian-backed group like Hezbollah was likely too big a risk for the Iraqi govt and for the US.  Moreover, al-Sadr may not be that popular even within his own family these days.

SAY WHAT?  The talking goat is cracking this woman up.

A PLUCKY EWE gave birth to a whopping five lambs - beating odds of one in a million.  Awww...some pic at the link.

BRITISH BEEKEEPERS beg Parliament to prevent an economic and ecological disaster, as honey bees are under threat from a mysterious disease which is spreading across the world.

A HEDGEHOG which had fallen down a hole outside a Yorkshire Dales hotel was rescued by the local fire brigade.  Much like the Jessica McClure story, but with Spiny Norman.

ITALIAN WALL LIZARDS introduced to a tiny island off the coast of Croatia are evolving in ways that would normally take millions of years to play out, new research shows.  Don't buy real estate in Tokyo.

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Kooks, New Releases, Replacements, Engineer's Guide to Cats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE KOOKS hope to crack the Star-Spangled Ceiling with their second album, Konk -- named after Ray Davies's studio, where it was recorded.  The single is "Always Where I Need To Be."

NEW RELEASES: Albums from Billy Bragg, El Perro Del Mar, A.A. Bondy, Flight of the Conchords, The Replacements reissues and Love's Forever Changes are among those streaming this week at Spinner.

THE CONSTANTINES singer/guitarist Bryan Webb tells DC's Express about how touring affects your ability to play AC/DC and your reaction to "Islands in the Stream," which they cover with Feist.

SHE & HIM talk separately to Pitchfork about the importance of musical history in their collaboration, as well as how people react to them and their material.  You can still stream the album via Merge.

DAN BEJAR talks to the Duke Chronicle via e-mail about his lengthy career with Destroyer, New Pornographers and Swan Lake, and his upcoming tour.  You can stream the new Destroyer LP via Merge.

THE REPLACEMENTS reissues make for a natural Twofer Tuesday of "Kick Your Door Down" and that version of "Bast*rds of Young" that the lawyers are usually good at keeping offline.

SANDY DENNY: Thirty years after her untimely, lonely death, the woman lauded as the British Joni Mitchell may finally get the recognition she deserves.

BIG DIPPER: Gary Waleik tells the Boston herald that the band's reunion really got rolling after reading a blog post by Merge records owner Mac McCaughan saying someone needed to put out a good Big Dipper collection.  You can still stream the collection via Merge.  Yeah, it was Merge-heavy today; no, they aren't paying me.

IT'S NOT A RECORD STORE, IT'S A HANGOUT:  To celebrate Record Store Day, singer-songwriter James McMurtry shared a few memories with All Things Considered of hanging out - and awkwardly self-promoting - in record stores.  PopMatters, Jennifer Makowsky looks back at the way High Fidelity celebrates the era of the dusty record store and the mixtape.

PETE DOHERTY denies taking heroin while incarcerated in Wormwood Scrubs.  Meanwhile, the troubled singer has been kicked out of the Wiltshire pad he hired when he last came out of rehab, after spraying blood all over the walls.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON has leaked "Falling Down" and "Anywhere I lay My Head" from her Tom Waits covers album to... mixed reactions.  She may have peaked with her rendition of Gershwin's "Summertime."

LINDSAY LOHAN was spotted off the wagon, drinking Grey Goose and Red Bull cocktails at a party deejayed by pal Samantha Ronson last Saturday.

RYAN PHILIPPE talks about the effect the paparazzi have had on his kids, which is pretty sad.

OWEN WILSON & KATE HUDSON were... wait for it... caught canoodling at her 29th birthday party last Saturday.

HARRY POTTER star Daniel Radcliffe need only mention his attraction to a mystery girl he met an Australian film function and the young lady is apparently tracked down and headed for London.

JESSICA SIMPSON & TONY ROMO got into some messy cake-play at his 28th birthday party.  Life & Style reports that the pneumatic blonde's romance with Tony Romo is responsible for Simpson dialing back the makeup and hair care -- which certainly sounds nicer than the possibility that Simpson is making much less than she once did and can't afford to have hair and makeup people on call 24/7.

SIENNA MILLER is decked out in a leather catsuit for her part in the movie adaptation of G.I Joe.  So why did you read to the end of that sentence?

BRUCE CAMPBELL, who will be starring in the upcoming 2008 film My Name is Bruce, which he directed and co-produced, answers PopMatters' infamous 20 Questions.

CAMERON DIAZ got some friendly support from her exes Justin Timberlake and John Mayer as her family held a memorial service for her late father Sunday.

DAVID HASSELHOFF is back in the hospital, but not for rehab.  Phew!

QUANTUM of SOLACE: RottenTomatoes has a bunch of behind-the-scenes promos for the next James Bond flick.  But the Daily Mail has pics of the £134,000 Aston Martin DBS that plunged into Lake Garda in Italy on the way to the set.

AFGHANISTAN: The Afghan Army and police forces should be able to secure most of Afghanistan by 2011, allowing international forces to start withdrawing, according to the US commander of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan, General Dan McNeill.

IRAN: The UN nuclear agency's deputy chief arrived in Tehran for talks with Iranian officials on allegations that Iran is testing high explosives and seeking to design a missile re-entry vehicle, two features which could have use for nuclear weapons.

IRAQ: Iraqi soldiers took control of the last bastions of the cleric Moktada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia in Basra. Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari rebuked al-Sadr for his threat of all out war.  US warplanes dropped bombs overnight in the east Baghdad district of Sadr City where Shia militiamen are battling security forces, residents said on Monday.  A US general said on Sunday that the increasingly sophisticated attacks carried out by Shiite extremists in Iraq were evidence they were getting extra aid from Iranian groups in the country.  Al Karama, a new political front, is joining together tribal sheikhs and heads of awakening councils in Baghdad, a group of technocrats and members of armed factions that have fought against AQI.  Three months after US forces dropped tons of bombs on Arab Jubur and put AQI to flight, farmers are everywhere out in their fields tending their tomatoes.

AN ENGINEER'S GUIDE TO CATS: Let's go to the video. The cat yodeling is excellent.

KAISER the BULLDOG has shocked her owner - after giving birth to a whopping 20 pups.  Awww...some pics at the link.

INCREDIBLE JOURNEY:  Moon, a Siberian husky that ran off during a road-trip rest stop apparently made her way nearly 80 miles across Nevada's high desert and two mountain ranges to return home a week later.

GEORGE the HEDGEHOG has shed nearly a quarter of its body weight after adopting a high protein diet similar to the Atkins plan.

PYTHON vs POLICEMAN in a life-or-death struggle in a Eugene, OR pet shop.

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A Fine Frenzy, Pipettes, MMJ, Danny Federici, Frankencroc   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 21, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

A FINE FRENZY: Alison Sudol confesses to the Times of London: "I'm not very rock'n'roll.. I don't drink, I don't smoke and I don't party after a gig. I prefer to read."  Indeed, Sudol has an online book club, and recently shared some of her favorites at LHB. The live video for "You Picked Me" is indirectly via Amber, who will be delighted to learn that Sudol is also vertically challenged, loves books (including The Fountainhead), cheese and swearing.

THE PIPETTES have two new members, Ani and Anna, as RiotBecki and Rosay have left to pursue other musical projects.  More details at P-Fork.  Disappointing, though I'll reserve judgment, given that the concept was always that of disposable pop band.

KATE NASH played the World Cafe on Friday; you can stream the gig on demand via NPR.

MY MORNING JACKET has released "Evil Urges" -- the title track of the upcoming album -- for downlaod; you can also stream it via the 'Gum Mix.

HOT CHIP stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set (including a cover of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2U"), streaming on demand via MPR.

DANNY FEDERICI, a keyboardist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band since it was formed in the early 1970s, died on Thursday. He was 58.  Anyone who knows me knows I love the Hammond B-3 organ, and Federici was the one serving it up on "Hungry Heart"', though he's almost as wailing in very different ways throughout songs from The River like "Jackson Cage"  and "Ramrod" without calling attention to himself.  And he is the chiming keyboard-driven glockenspiel on the Boss's signature "Born To Run." He will be missed.

BILLY BRAGG talks to the Philly Inquirer about his new album and how he was influenced by Simon & Garfunkel and The Clash.

ROBERT FORSTER:  The former Go-Between talks to The Australian about his first solo album in nearly 12 years, the first since the 2006 death of Go-Betweens co-founder Grant McLennan.  You can stream an advance track, "Pandanus," via YepRoc.

MYSPACE is set to give the major labels better terms on ad revenue than the indie bands who built the social network into a music destination.  Meet the new boss.

AMY WINEHOUSE has reportedly started making plans to end her marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil.  She was also caught toking up on video by the uber-reliable News of the World; record bosses have threatened to stop her from releasing any new material until she cleans up her act.

RICK ASTLEY:  SurveyUSA estimates that at least 18 million Americans have now been "Rickrolled," according to a national poll of 959 adults, conducted 04/08/08.

ROB LOWE:  Jessica Gibson, Lowe's former nanny who claims Robbie boy was playin' with himself and gropin' her, was secretly on the hunt for 1.5 million bucks from the actor; her boyfriend was also on the hunt for a cool mil to jump start his business, according to TMZ.  The lawyer representing the ex-nanny is demanding videotaped depositions of Lowe and his wife, according to E! News.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The first time team up of Jet Li and Jackie Chan put The Forbidden Kingdom at the top with 20.8 million, followed fairly closely by the Judd Apatow/Jason Siegel comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall with 17.3 million.  I saw the latter and enjoyed it -- not gut-bustingly funny, but Siegel captured the usual Apatow blend of raunchy and sweet.  Mila Kunis is adorable, but you knew that.  Prom Night tumbled to third, but is still way profitable.  Al Pacino's 88 Minutes managed to debut fourth, despite having been shelved for years.  Nim's Island rounds out the Top Five and comes close to breaking even.  21 drops from 3 to 6, but has made almost twice its 35 million budget.  Street Kings drops 68 percent, but almost breaks even on a skimpy 20 million budget.  Horton Hears a Who takes in another 3.5 million as it closes in on 150 million total,  The Ben Stein doc Expelled debuts in ninth, but I can't imagine there are more intelligent design fans left to go see it.  Leatherheads drops from fifth to tenth and has made less than half of its production budget.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Gossip Girls has some kinda intrusive photos accompanying their inside look at the Tom-Kitten's 2nd birthday party.

BRADGELINA are reportedly planning a secret summer wedding - and the event could lead to a reconciliation between Angelina and her estranged actor father Jon Voight, according to the Daily Mail.

SANDRA BULLOCK & JESSE JAMES were hit by a drunk driver Friday night while riding in a private car in Gloucester, MA.  They said they were fine and didn't need medical attention.

JESSICA SIMPSON's recent hospital stay was triggered by more than just an "infection," according to the ever-reliable Star magazine, which claims the pneumatic blonde was hospitalized after months of hard drinking with beau Tony Romo, and even asked for a pregnancy test.

BRITNEY SPEARS returning to How I Met Your Mother, a source tells People magazine.

GARY BUSEY has been evicted from his Malibu, California home for failing to pay his rent.

MADONNA is finalizing negotiations to play a mega-bucks 2 date tour in Dubai, reports The Sun.

CNN's RICHARD QUEST was busted in Central Park early Friday with some drugs in his pocket, a rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals, and a sex toy in his boot, law-enforcement sources said.

DON'T HASSEL THE HOFF:  The long, messy split of Hasselhoff and Pamela Bach resulted finally in a dry, civil divorce settlement filed Thursday in a Los Angeles court.  The Baywatch and Knight Rider icon keeps the rights to the Hoffworld-branded trademarks to his nickname, "Hoff," and his catchphrase, "Don't Hassel the Hoff."  He seems to bag the best of what was known as his Encino, Calif., home's African room. He gets the African pipe, the ivory tusk, assorted statues and the "elephant foot and two elephant stools."  Bach gets the photographs of Hollywood great Claudette Colbert and pop singer Michael Jackson that hung outside the couple's master suite.  She gets the 2006 Mercedes; I presume he gets KITT.

LIZ HURLEY just did a photo shoot for her new line of swimwear.  Call it Gratuitous Monday.

VLADMIR PUTIN, President of Russia, reportedly has split with Ludmilla and is preparing to marry a 24-year-old, sensationally beautiful gymnast who seems quite flexible in the photos at the link.

IRAQ: Iraqi soldiers swooped on the Basra stronghold of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Saturday, saying they had seized control of his militia bastion where they suffered an embarrassing setback in late March.  CD shops sell love songs again. Some women emerge from their homes without veils, and alcohol sellers are coming out of hiding in the southern city of Basra - where religious vigilantes have long enforced strict Islamic codes.  The changes in recent weeks mark a surprising show of government sway - at least for now.  Trying to stem the infiltration of militia fighters, American forces have begun to build a massive concrete wall that will partition Sadr City, the densely populated Shiite neighborhood in the Iraqi capital.  In contrast to the cases of desertion during the first part of the battle for Basra, during fighting in Sadr City, two Iraqi T-72s and four other Iraqi armored vehicles arrived on the scene before US tanks were needed; the Iraqi Army also rushed ammunition to Sadr City, including machine-gun rounds and rocket-propelled grenades to give its units more firepower and address complaints of shortages.  Nevertheless, al-Sadr gave a "final warning" to the government Saturday to halt a US-Iraqi crackdown against his followers or he would declare "open war until liberation."  That has some worried in Najaf, but the L.A. Times also reports that the grand ayatollahs have declined to aid al-Sadr in Basra.

MEOW, MEOW, MEOW, GOOD VIBRATIONS:  A cat with a theremin.  That cat is no Brian Wilson, but make sure to stay for the very end.

CROCODILE BRAIN STOLEN in Zimbabwe. Police in Hwange are on the look out for a suspect who killed a crocodile and removed its brains amid revelations that it could be used for poisoining unsuspecting individuals.  I would be on the look out for a giant Frankencroc made up of the parts of recently killed crocodiles.

VULTURES get no respect... no respect, I tell ya!

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Armchair Generalist and CKR both report the fratricide of an ACORN recon agent.

OH, SURE, IT STARTS SMALL: Scientists have been able to take control of flies' brains to make females behave just like males.

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