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Radiohead, New Releases, The Heavy, Monkey & Goat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

RADIOHEAD has joined with MTV to make video of "All I Need" to raise awareness of human trafficking.

NEW RELEASES: The Last Shadow Puppets, the Submarines, Matmos, Republic Tigers, Neil Freakin' Diamond and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner.  The Long Blondes release Couples.  The Morning Benders release Talking Through Tin Cans.  Elvis Costello releases Momofuku digitally, after dropping the vinyl a few weeks back. And Nine Inch Nails is giving away downloads of its album.

BECK may surprise us with a new album in the next 4-6 weeks, with help from people like Danger Mouse and Cat Power.

TIM FITE does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including two from the forthcoming Fair Ain't Fair album.

THE REPLACEMENTS:  There's a crash course in their early works at North by Northwestern, for all you youngsters out there. (Thx, LHB.)

THE HEAVY perform "Oh, No!" and "Sixteen" (which owes a bit to "I Put A Spell On You") live on The Current's stage at SxSW for your Twofer Tuesday.

ELBOW is losing money on its US tour, due to the US dollar's dropping exchange rate against the British pound.  Shoulda asked to be paid in Euros in the contracts...

LES SAVY FAV: Tim Harrington talks to Pitchfork about the new digital-only live album, After the Balls Drop, and the band's last studio effort, Let's Stay Friends.

DeVotchKa sousaphonist-bassist Jeanie Schroder talks to Straight about trying to build on the visibility of the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack with A Mad & Faithful Telling: "You don't want to get all this attention and then make something that sucks..."

BAD SONGS BY GOOD BANDS:  Count 'em down at Spinner.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON & RYAN REYNOLDS, who have been dating since Spring 2007, are engaged. She turned up at the Costume Institute Gala sans Reynolds but flashing a fabulous rock on her left hand. Congrats to them.

ANGELA KINSEY of The Office and her TV writer  husband have welcomed a baby daughter, named Isabel. Congrats to them, too.

DENNIS RODMAN entered an outpatient rehab facility Monday, just days after he was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic battery.  Good luck to him.

PEACHES GELDOF, Sir Bob's 19-year-old daughter, was caught on video buying drugs from Amy Winehouse's alleged dealer.  No congrats for her!

DINA LOHAN, Lindsay's mom, will be honored by Mingling Moms as one of Long Island's Top 20 Moms, the organization announced Monday.  Yes, really.

TOM CRUISE says his couch-jumping on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" seemed to set off a "confluence" of bad publicity for him, but he's not sure he would take it back.  Video at the link.

THE A-LIST is having trouble packing multiplexes based on star wattage alone.  It's increasingly clear that other elements, from established franchises to marketable concepts to such brand-name creators as Tyler Perry and Judd Apatow, either give actors a necessary boost or entirely replace them as the draw for moviegoers.  The Hollywood Reporter investigates, and presents nifty charts.

HARRISON FORD talks to the L.A. Times about returning to the iconic role of Indiana Jones after an 18-year hiatus.

IRON MAN 2 is set for April 2010, to be followed by Thor, Captain America and The Avengers.  BONUS:  Dvice gets you started on building your own Iron Man armor.

GO, SPEED... UH-OH: The early reviews are not good.  Ouch.

THE DARK KNIGHT: Here's a nice non-bootleg version of the third trailer currently running before Iron Man in theaters.  ALSO: Aaron Eckhart gives the L.A. Times a spoiler!

IRAN said on Monday it would not consider any incentives offered by world powers that violated its right to nuclear technology, ruling out a precondition to halt atomic work the West believes is aimed at making bombs.  Moreover, the Islamic theocracy will not submit to extensive nuclear inspections while Israel stays outside the global treaty to curb the spread of atomic weapons.

IRAN & IRAQ: Former president Mohammad Khatami has said exporting violence to other countries is "treason" against Islam and Iran's 1979 revolution, an apparent accusation that the country's hard-line rulers are engineering unrest abroad.  Hezbollah has been training Iraqi militia fighters at a camp near Tehran, according to US interrogation reports supplied to the Iraqi government. The Iraqi Minister of Defense Abdel-Qadir al-Ubaydi said a rocket exportable only by states has been found in Basra, a newspaper said Monday, while an Iraqi government spokesman sent mixed messages on Iran's role in his country.

IRAQ: The US is moving south, planning to upgrade facilities at Camp Delta and the Al Kut Air Base, which is about 140 miles southeast of Baghdad and just 35 miles from the Iranian border.  Milblogger Michael Yon writes in the NYDN that confronting the Shia militias is the storm before the calm.

A MONKEY on a GOAT on a TIGHTROPE: Let's go to the video.

FERAL PARROTS surviving in Brooklyn.

COMET the GOLDFISH has been trained to play soccer and basketball, and to dance the limbo.

A CROCODILE has been reported living in a rubbish-strewn local lake next to a supermarket in Swansea, England.

BEAR breaks its paw after dozing off and falling out of a tree in Orlando, FL.  Apparently not a Country Bear. And yes, the bear is going to be alright, Little Tommy. Pics and video at the link.

1735 Reads

We Are Scientists, Watson Twins, Isobel Campbell, Seal molests penguin   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 05, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

WE ARE SCIENTISTS stage a Western of sorts in the video for "Chick Lit," which may be the catchiest thing they've ever done.

TEGAN & SARA bring some of the banter featured here on Friday to a discussion of their current musicl faves in the New York Times.

THE WATSON TWINS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

STEPHEN MALKMUS talks to Canada's National Post about the differences between Real Emotional Trash and his previous albums.

ADELE: The 19-year-old British soul singer-songwriter has a chat and mini-set in audio or video at The Interface.

DESPERATELY SEEKING PAUL McCARTNEY: The upcoming indie mockumentary on a woman who turned down Paul's marriage proposal now has a trailer online. (Thx, Bena Warren.)

ISOBEL CAMPBELL talks to the Independent and The Scotsman about working again with Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age) on their second LP, Sunday at Devil Dirt: "He'll be jolly one day and then he'll go back to being quieter than ever and it's as if you're not even there. I try not to take it personally but it's not always easy. For me, it's actually quite masochistic. Sometimes you want to put a whoopee cushion on his chair or blow a big raspberry at him - which I actually do sometimes!"

JAMES BROWN: A DNA test reportedly confirms that the late Godfather of Soul fathered the son of a woman who claims to be the singer's widow.

EL PERRO del MAR: Sarah Assbring talks to Pitchfork about her self-recorded and self-produced new album, From the Valley.

AMY WINEHOUSE is unfit to work on any new music projects, according to her producer and friend Mark Ronson.  The pair were supposed to be recording the theme tune for the next James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.

IRON MAN RULES the weekend box office taking in about 100 million in the US and 200 million worldwide.  That is far more than the 70 million consensus prediction for the US.  Iron Man enjoyed the 10th-best three-day opening ever, the 10th movie premiere to exceed $100 mil, and the No. 2 debut of all time for a non-sequel (behind only Spider-Man's $114.8 mil). Robert Downey Jr. has never fronted a movie that grossed 100 mil during its entire run, let alone in one weekend.  It has recouped its production budget of 150 million and is well on its way to recouping estimated total costs of 225 million.  It did all this despite failing to appeal to what industry insiders call ''all four quadrants'' - that is, its audience was not evenly divided between men and women, young people and older folks (a whopping 71 percent of ticket buyers were men and 64 percent were over the age of 25). Speed Racer may face his greatest foe in the Golden Avenger when he rolls into theaters this Friday.  The weekend's other wide release, Made of Honor, made 15 million.  Iron Man's repulsor rays were felt all down the rest of the Top Ten.

R. KELLY: A woman is set to testify at the R&B superstar's upcoming child pornography trial that she had a three-way sexual encounter with Kelly and the allegedly underage girl shown in the video at the heart of the case.

COURTNEY LOVE made a 3am trip to the emergency unit of LA's Cedars Sinai hospital complaining of laryngitis.  Moments after being released, she was off to get some smokes.  Hmmm...

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS, Britney's 17-year-old knocked-up sister, was feted with an intimate baby shower in Kentwood, LA.  The pop wreck was in attendance.

ROB LOWE:  It's a small world -- Laura Boyce, the second nanny accusing Rob Lowe and his wife of sexual harassment, also babysits for reality TV star Shanna Moakler.  Lowe's wife denounces the allegations against them as "lies meant to embarrass and humiliate."

KATE HUDSON apparently has herself a stalker.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  This time, Oprah visit's Cruise's couch.  The Big O has a preview at her website.

NICOLE KIDMAN is reportedly set to play Dusty Springfield in a new biopic of the singer's life.

DREW BARRYMORE & JUSTIN LONG are secretly planning to marry in the Caribbean later this year, according to a source who overheard the couple planning the ceremony over a recent lunch date.

CSI star Gary Dourdan has issued a statement to Access Hollywood over his arrest for drug possession in Palm Springs last weekend, claiming the substances found in the car did not belong to him.

LINDSAY LOHAN began shooting her spot on ABC's Ugly Betty on Saturday.

PATRICK SWAYZE, who is battling pancreatic cancer, looked just a shadow of his former self as he went shopping this week.

ELISHA CUTHBERT has scored herself a new hockey player boyfriend, Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf.

GLOBAL WARMING is blamed for a rise in shark attacks off the East Coast.  Just another thing to add to the list.

IRAN & IRAQ: An Iraqi delegation in Iran has confronted Iranian security officials with evidence that Tehran is providing support for Shi'ite militias battling Iraqi government forces, an Iraqi official said on Friday. "They presented a list of names, training camps and cells linked to Iran," Haidar al-Ibadi, a member of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Dawa party, told Reuters.  Though they admit nothing, Iran backs efforts by the Iraqi government to disarm militiamen, an Iranian news agency said on Sunday.  Maybe it's just happy talk, or maybe Iran is concerned about US military planning for a "surgical strike" against an insurgent training camp inside Iran if Republican Guards continue with attempts to destabilize Iraq.

IRAQ: The US Army targeted and destroyed a Special Groups command and control center in a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System strike in Sadr City Saturday morning.  Bill Ardolino is back in Iraq, reporting that the fighting in Sadr City is causing the locals to turn against Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in the Rusafa neighborhood in Baghdad.

AN ANARCTIC FUR SEAL is observed trying to have sex with a king penguin.  I blame global warming.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Their rat allies shut down internet service for Qwest customers through Cochise County, AZ, while they secretly develop their own droid army.

A DOG was framed in a human castration case, but justice has prevailed in France.

A NANNY pulled a 2-year-old girl from the jaws of a coyote when the animal attacked the toddler and tried to carry her away in its mouth.

140 COWS stare unamazed as they are rescued by a military barge from flooding that has struck New Brunswick's capital region. Pic at the link.

2260 Reads

Tegan & Sara, Mystery Jets, Cutout Bin, Iron Man, Dog Slide   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 02, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:


photo by optionthis

... with TEGAN & SARA!  They have been called "indie music's answer to Laurel and Hardy," and their onstage banter is here among their performances at the Coachella festival.  The correct sequence, afaik, is: "Dark Come Soon," "The Con," "Burn Your Life Down," "Floorplan," "Speak Slow," "I Bet It Stung," "Fix You Up," "So Jealous," "Nineteen," "Back In Your Head," "Walking With A Ghost," "Hop A Plane" and "Living Room." BONUS: It turns out that there is a Tegan & Sara banter blog, with plenty of embedded video.

COACHELLA: In addition to Tegan & Sara, Largehearted Boy is collecting downloads and streams of acts that played the festival, including Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Roger Waters, DeVotchKa, MGMT, the Raconteurs and more...

OTTER, including Friend of Pate Scott Jasper, is playing the Bali Satay House in Ames, IA, tonight at 9:00 p.m. Be there or be square.  Guys wear ties, gals wear dresses. Yes, I'm kidding about the last bit.

OF MONTREAL's Kevin Barnes is doing a solo show in Toronto, so he spoke to Eye Weekly, in part about how he always identified with feminine male artists like David Bowie, Lou Reed, Marc Bolan and Prince: "I love how they transcend gender expectations without sinking too far into campiness - it's a fine line for sure..."

ELBOW stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.  Frontman Guy Garvey talks to the NYDN about the debt the band owes Radiohead and the dynamics of songwriting.  He discusses a variety of subjects -- politics, the business, self-promotion, etc. --at DCist with Kyle Gustafson, who blogs at Information Leafblower.

THE MYSTERY JETS have a new video for "Two Doors Down" that has a classic cheesy MTV feel to it.  I previously linked the video for "Young Love."

WILCO bassist John Stirratt seems to be doing the press in the current leg of their tour, praising the versatility of the current lineup and hinting about their next record in the Winnipeg Sun, while he talks about the changing nature of the biz and the band's five-night residence in Chicago with the Colorado Springs Independent. (Thx, LHB.)

THE REPLACEMENTS' widely circulated 1985 bootleg, Simply Unacceptable, is posted at PopHeadwound.  You can also stream it for now via the ol' HM.

OKKERVIL RIVER hit WOXY's lounge last week; you can watch the mini-set and download the audio via The Futurist.

CUTOUT BIN: From the Kingsmen to ELO, from Big Mama Thornton to The Babys, from the Ting Tings to the Sex Pistols, The Replcements, The Feelies, Liz Phair and Pavement, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

IRON MAN took a very long and winding road through development Hell to get to your cineplex today.  And it is almost always the better for it.  The original comic sprung from the backdrop of Vietnam; current events make this update seem as ripped from the headlines as an episode of Law & Order -- if Jerry Orbach had worn wicked cool armor.  The script -- which swifty and sharply mixes action and exposition from the outset -- attacks the arms business, though anyone familiar with the comic book's Obidiah Stane stiryline could have seen this variant coming.  The delay also put the project in the hands of director Jon Favreau (who even turns up in Vegas, baby), who does one of the smartest things a director can do -- cast his picture well.  Word is the suits would have preferred someone younger or more bankable than the rehabbed Robert Downey, Jr., but fans immediately saw him as perfect to play the excessive playboy-genius turned redemption-seeking hero Tony Stark -- and Downey does not disappoint.  Favreau lets Downey have his head, and his supporting cast -- primarily Gwyneth Paltrow, Terence Howard and Jeff Bridges -- each bring their game to meet his.  Indeed, while there is enough CGI action to keep the kids' attention, adults may find themselves wishing for more of the character-driven scenes. Downey is also able to fully exploit the comic aspects of Stark's flaws, giving the picture a lighter tone that distinguishes it from most of the recent superhero movies.  As for the music, please note that the first bedroom scene is set to an instrumental version of the theme from the old Iron Man cartoon; you have to wait for the end credits for the Black Sabbath.  BTW, you will want to stay through all of the end credits.  Really.  I cannot stress that enough.

NOW SHOWING: In addition to Iron Man,  which is currently scoring 95 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's only other wide release is the counter-programming of Patrick dempsey in Made of Honor, which is scoring 19 percent.

ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. is already looking ahead to a possible Iron Man sequel and added that he'd like to explore the burden his superhero responsibilities impose. One possible sequel storyline thread, Downey said, could be based on the "Demon in a Bottle" comic series. In it, an overwhelmed Stark becomes an alcoholic.

GWYNETH PALTROW, on the Red Carpet for Iron Man, was asked whether she had any well wishes to share with ex-bf Brad Pitt, who is rumored to be on the way to fatherhood again, didn't even play the usual "I-wish-them-the-best" lip service, curtly saying, "no," and moving on.

BRADGELINA: The potential release of a tape showing Jolie snorting and smoking heroin in the 1990s may do some serious damage to the soon-to-be mother of six's new reputation as a much hotter version of Mother Teresa.  Hey, it's in the National Enquirer, right?

BRITNEY SPEARS: Bills for lawyers, rehab and psychiatric care, combined with the pop wreck's inability to work, may have cost Spears 61 million dollars.

UMA THURMAN testified against her stalker Thursday; TMZ live-blogged it. BTW, it's not surprising that Uma didn't look at the defendant or in his lawyer's direction.  She was probably instructed by the prosecutor or her personal attorneys to speak to the jury.

BEYONCE KNOWLES is knocked up? That's what multiple sources tell the Hollyscoop blog, which is allegedly why she and Jay-Z rushed their wedding.

MARIAH CAREY & NICK CANNON married?  Carey's nephew was in the Bahamas, but his Facebook account throws doubt on the rumor.

MILEY CYRUS on top of the controversy surrounding her portrait in Vanity Fair, has also been criticized for telling the magazine that Sex and the City is her "favorite show!" - and for comparing the racy series to her Disney mega-hit Hannah Montana. She watches the edited version on TBS. Meanwhile photog Annie Leibovitz has clammed up.

JESSICA SIMPSON may be dispatched to jinx the Democratic National Convention in Denver... or so Pres. Bush joked in front of members of the Super Bowl-winning New York Giants who visited the White House Wednesday.

ANNE HATHAWAY's boyfriend Raffaelo Follieri has agreed to pay 1.3 million bucks to settle a lawsuit with billionaire Ron Burkle, who had accused Follieri of squandering the sum to support his lavish lifestyle.  Earlier this month, Follieri was arrested and charged with trying to pass a bad check, reportedly for around 250K.

THE WORLD'S 15 TOP-EARNING MODELS, according to Forbes magazine.  Giselle Bundchen towers over the rest -- even Heidi Klum -- but that is due to her savvy business sense off the catwalk.  Yes, there is a slideshow at the link, but the pics at the Daily Mail are better. Metro asks, "Is it all over for Naomi Campbell?"

THE INCREDIBLE HULK has a new trailer online. Ed Norton's hair is pre-Hulked.

GLOBAL WARMING will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said. Yet we rarely hear stories about natural variations in the climate exaggerating the warming trend.

SOMALIA: The US military killed a man believed to be the head of al-Qaeda in Somalia and 10 others in an airstrike overnight, an Islamic insurgent group said Thursday. The question now is whether his removal will take the energy out of the Islamists' Jihad or simply provoke a series of revenge attacks.

IRAQ: The apparent respite in fighting ended as US forces killed an additional 27 Mahdi Army fighters and a senior Special Groups leader during a series of engagements in the afternoon and throughout the night in Sadr City. A group of Iraqi Shiite MPs is in Iran for talks with radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in a bid to end clashes between his fighters and troops that have killed hundreds of people, a Sadr aide said on Thursday. A tip from a member of the Sons of Iraq led directly to the capture of a key AQI terrorist, reportedly known for vehicle-borne improvised-explosive device attacks, improvised-explosive device attacks, sniper attacks on Coalition Forces, the kidnapping and murder of Iraqis, and weapons trafficking.  An Iraqi govt spokesman stated that the findings of the committee looking into the recently discovered mass-graves in the "Triangle of Death" proved involvement of AQI and other organized crime rings in the massacres.  The head of the Basra operations room revealed that 324 wanted and suspects were arrested in Basra during the last three weeks.

DOG + KIDDIE SLIDE = ENTERTAINMENT.

INCREDIBLE JOURNEY: A cat returned home five days later after making a 460 mile round trip to London.

CRABS on a PLANE: The force of the crash broke off the plane's nose gear and crumpled the plane's fuselage. And while no one was hurt from the crash, one passenger aboard the plane did receive a number of crab pinches.

TWO SENTIMENTAL GEEKS have been charged with second-degree burglary after they attempted to free a dog from the city animal shelter so they could take it to its owner's funeral over the weekend.

2317 Reads

Jason Collett, Morning Benders, Mudcrutch, Duck Xing   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE LONG BLONDES have gone to the dogs in the new video for "Guilt."

JASON COLLETT the BSSer stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set of his '70s pop/rock & country-infused solo stuff, streaming on demand via NPR.

THE HOBOKEN SOUND:  Banjamen Walker posts an excerpt from a 1985 documentary at WFMU's blog.  The Bongos, The Feelies, The Cucumbers, Gut Bank and Maxwell's all get shout outs.  Joe Piscopo makes a clueless cameo.

THE MORNING BENDERS, drawing from '60s pop heavyweights like the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and the Kinks, are profiled in the SF Weekly and the San Francisco bay Guardian.  There's embedded video at the SFBG also. (Thx, LHB.)  You can stream a few more at BenderSpace.

SLY STONE actually talks to PopMatters about why, at this relatively late date, he has chosen to make one of the most unlikely comebacks in pop history: "I could sit back and get royalties like people do at my age," he says. "But then I noticed that a lot of things were not being said."

MUDCRUTCH formed in the mid '70s, but just released its debut album.  You may recognize at least one of the members in the video for "Orphan of the Storm."

THE CONSTANTINES singer Bryan Webb talks to Canada's Sun about the power of positive singing.

MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman John Darnielle, author of a book on Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, is guest-blogging at Powell's about other metal albums he might have chosen. (Thx LHB.)

NICK CAVE is featured on a segment of Fresh Air, streming on demand from NPR, along with tracks from his new LP with The Bad Seeds, Dig, Lazurus, Dig!

DO THE DOORS SUCK?  Idolator offers a point and counter-point (sorta) on this vital question.  IIRC, the Music Works position was that they could be a very passable bar band at times.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise sent Holmes to Scientology boot camp at a remote, supersecret compound in Hemet, Calif, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

JENNIFER ANISTON & JOHN MAYER were snapped looking very cozy in swimwear in Miami at InTouch Weekly.

ROB LOWE faces claims of sexual harassment and wrongful termination from a second nanny.

PAULA ABDUL seemed agitated and disoriented when asked to critique the first half of American Idol Tuesday, night, but claims it was an honest mistake that caused her to critique both of Jason Castro's songs (including one he had not performed yet).

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ:  Is creepy dad-manager Joe Simpson trying to land them a reality TV show like Newlyweds? Probably, though Ashlee and Pete's publicist tells OK! magazine they are not set to appear in Newlyweds.  Meanwhile, Wentz is being sued regarding a fight between his band, Fall Out Boy, and a "fan" at Schuba's Tavern in Chicago.

JESSICA SIMPSON is calling Dallas QB Tony Romo her "future husband" and tells the June issue of Glamour that she was in fact set up with him through creepy dad-manager Joe.

UMA THURMAN prepares to take the stand Thursday in the trial of a man accused of stalking her for two years.  Yesterday, her parents and employees testified about their encounters with the alleged stalker. In telephone calls to Thurman's mother and brother, and at least 19 emails to her father, Jack Jordan said he believed he and the Hollywood actress had met in a previous life and would never be happy unless they were together.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SNOOP DOGG?  Collaborating on Li-Lo's new album, according to Roger Friedman.

JACK NICHOLSON said Wednesday that "one last big romance" would be on his "bucket list."

CHARLIE SHEEN:  Nici, a former L.A. madam who managed a stable of prostitutes that included two Playboy Playmates, tells Rolling Stone that she booked her girls for the "Two and a Half Men" star until last year.

THE DARK KNIGHT: What do you know? A handheld bootleg of the new trailer.

KATE HUDSON is the cover of People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People list.  There is a sneak peek at the list online.

COUNTERINSURGENCY: Dr. David Kilcullen, an adviser to Gen. Petraeus, has started writing a series on Political Maneuver in Counterinsurgency at the Small Wars Journal blog.  Part 1 is a case study on Road-Building in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, 2006-08.

IRAN remained the world's "most active" state sponsor of terrorism as it tries to build regional influence and drive the US from the Middle East, a US government report said Wednesday. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday declared Iran was "not afraid" of sanctions over its contested nuclear program and would further step up its progress.

IRAQ: Sadr City is experiencing a relative lull after several days of intense battles between the Mahdi army and US and Iraqi forces. The Iraqi government reported over 900 have been killed since fighting broke out in Sadr City at the end of March.  According to US and Iraqi reports compiled by The Long War Journal, 435 Mahdi Army fighters have been killed in and around Sadr City during the fighting. Leaders representing Moqtada Sadr are expected to meet with Iraqi leaders to discuss the violence. The US sees a window of opportunity to push for services - trash pickup, medical care, water, electricity - in a southern slice of the volatile district.  Also, Iraqi leaders are hoping to pressure Iran to stop aiding militias in Iraq by presenting Tehran with the latest evidence of weapons and training crossing the border, a senior defense official said Wednesday. Good luck.  Meanwhile, the Iraqi govt plans to hand over 12 Saudi detainees to Riyadh within a security agreement between the two countries.  And Iraqi authorities welcomed back 701 ancient artifacts plundered in the chaotic aftermath of the US-led invasion, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

A MAMA DUCK and her ducklings receive a police escort across Highway 512 in Washington state.  Video at the link.

FUGITIVE MONKEYS, escaped from soon-to-be-opened Wild Safari animal park last Tuesday, remain on the lam near Lakeland, FL.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A wild and crazy pigeon.

LING LING, the only giant panda owned by Japan, died of old age Wednesday at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo, where he had been one of the most popular attractions, officials said.

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Feist, Death Cab, Foals, Shins, Knut Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

FEIST sits for an interview on The Colbert Report, then plays "I Feel It All," which is introduced in the spangly "1 2 3 4 " top he got from Ms. F.  And Kevin Drew will be in for a shock some evening.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE did six free songs for Daytrotter, some of which are to appear on the forthcoming Narrow Stairs LP.

JIMI HENDRIX may have a sex tape, but the identity of the man in the film is fiercely disputed by experts and former associates.

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

ROGER WATERS: The fmr Pink Floyd frontman's inflatable pig has gone missing: "He escaped and went floating off into the desert," according to Coachella Fest spokeswoman Marcee Rondan.  There's a 10K award out for the porker. UPDATE: The pig is dead.

THE SHINS perform an original song, "It's Okay, Try Again," for Nick Jr.'s show Yo Gabba Gabba! which will air May 23.

SMOOSH: Chloe spoke with Exclaim! about her worst tour memories and some changes in the band.

TINY MASTERS OF TODAY, another accomplished kid band, is profiled in the New York Daily News. Michael Palms, co-owner of the club Southpaw in Park Slope, gives bands like Tiny Masters a regular venue: "They write interesting songs about angst and rejecting pop culture, which is essentially what rock music is really all about."

STEVE EARLE talks to the Dallas Morning News, where he seems to view the international movement of labor as different from the the international movement of capital.

THE POSIES are getting a three-disc tribute from dozens of bands so obscure that even I haven't heard of them!

MILEY CYRUS:  Photogate, Day 3 features reax from dad Billy Ray Cyrus, Rosie O'Donnell, Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt, Bill O' Reilly and Hilary Duff.

CSI PALM SPRINGS: Gary Dourdan was busted in Palm Springs on suspicion of possessing heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and prescription drugs.

MINDY McCREADY & ROGER CLEMENS had a longterm affair; the two met in a Florida karaoke bar when McCready was a 15-year-old aspiring singer and Clemens was a 28-year-old ace for the Red Sox and a married father of two. It wasn't until later, after McCready had moved to Nashville and become a country singing star, that the relationship turned intimate.

BRADGELINA and their brood are holed up in Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen's vlla on the French Riviera, scouting locations for Jolie's next delivery.

MY NAME IS DAD: Jason Lee and his girlfriend, Ceren Alkac, are expecting a baby.

BRITNEY SPEARS gives onlookers a shock as she wanders into a hotel gym in nothing but a towel.

MADONNA is finally shocked by a sexual practice.  And she only had to go to Africa.

SCIENTOLOGY has started its own YouTube channel, but you just know they aren't going to post the really wacky stuff we want to watch.

VANILLA ICE is off the hook on domestic abuse charges, marking the first time Ice has been off the hook in decades. Wife Laura Van Winkle retracted allegations that he had hit and kicked her during a spat at home.

PAM ANDERSON has become a US citizen, further exposing systemic weaknesses at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

IRON MAN: There's an exclusive clip posted at Yahoo! Movies, plus a version with commentary from director Jon Favreau.  The Detroit Free Press calls it the buzz-magnet kiciking of this summer's movie season.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: A governor in northern Saudi Arabia has ordered authorities to punish men who flirt with women in public places by cutting their hair, local media said Tuesday.  Which I suppose is better than beheading, but still...

IRAN is demanding that Azerbaijan deliver a Russian shipment of nuclear equipment blocked at its border with Iran for the past three weeks. Meanwhile, Western scientists are intrigued by photos from Iran's nuclear site at Natanz.

IRAQ: The US ambassador to the UN on Monday slammed the alleged destabilizing role of Iran and Syria in Iraq and urged them to stop the flow of weapons and foreign fighters into the country. Heavy fighting broke out between Coalition and Mahdi Army forces in Sadr City as US troops killed 28 Mahdi Army fighters after being ambushed during a patrol. Seven more Mahdi Army fighters were killed during strikes Monday. In Basra, shops and cafes have reopened as the pious young men who for years had been shutting them down -- declaring music "haram" (forbidden) and threatening to kill women for not wearing headscarfs -- have vanished.  Finally, a look at the improbable work of the self-proclaimed "Cat Lady of Baghdad."

KNUT UPDATE: The once cuddly polar bear cub, now a grown psychopath addicted to human attention, may be gay. NTTAWWT.

A GIANT BEAVER crashed into a Russian food store, smashing a shop window and several bottles of vodka.

THE BIGGEST SQUID EVER CAUGHT, boasting a fearsome beak and razor-sharp hooks, may be small compared to others still lurking in the depths, scientists said Tuesday.

A LEGLESS LIZARD and a DWARF WOODPECKER are among 14 discovered species believed to be new to science in central Brazil, a wildlife conservation group said on Tuesday.

GATOR vs. GOLFER: A golfer used a four iron and a rake to save the life of a diver attacked by a giant 11ft alligator as he searched for lost balls in a lake at his local course in Tampa, Florida.

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