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Ting Tings, Pale Young Gentlemen, Of Montreal, Beavers   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE TING TINGS got picked up by Columbia and now have a video for "Great DJ."

PALE YOUNG GENTLEMEN:  Madison, Wisconsin's cabaret-rockin' octet are profiled by Revelille magazine, with two streaming tracks.  Recommended.

OF MONTREAL:  Matt of YANP has compiled over 50 covers from the band, from the Beatles, Prince, the Who, the Sugarhill Gang, the Kinks, the Cars, the Velvet Underground, the Buzzcocks, Neil Young, Apples in Stereo, Europe, Led Zeppelin and many more. Jukebox 'em via the ol' HM.

HOT CHIP: Synth-based indie dance music isn't really my bag, but it might be yours, in which case you can stream their upcoming album now via MuchMusic.

GNARLS BARKLEY:  The Daily Swarm wonders whether some press and the leak of "Run" marks the start of a viral marketing campaign for their upcoming The Odd Couple album.  I thought it was obvious.

CRABBY APPLETON:  From the "Where Are They Now?" file, the aptly-named "Go Back."

VAMPIRE WEEKEND:  Their debut LP has only been officially available for a few days, but New York magazine is already charting "What to Expect From the Upcoming Vampire Weekend Backlash."  Don't forget you can stream the whole album now via MuchMusic.

EARLY DAY MINERS are not easily categorized -- perhaps they sound a bit like the more ambient stuff Brian Eno produced for U2, but with a bit of rootedness one might expect from a band based in Bloomington, IN.  The did the four free unreleased songs thing for Daytrotter, so you can hear whether I got close.

NICOLE ATKINS and the SEA:  The Village Voice has an interview and a video performance for shrieking kids  from an indoor soccer field at Super Soccer Stars on the Upper West Side.

WEEZER frontman Rivers Cuomo talks to Drowned In Sound about his album of demos, a celebrity soccer match, and more, with some vintage Weezer video to boot.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Multiple sources tell TMZ that the pop wreck has seen numerous doctors, including a new psychiatrist who has come to her home every day this week, adding that she's on medication to treat a bipolar disorder.  Meanwhile, Spears reportedly taunted a gay paparazzo in her wacky British accent Monday night, and went on a profanity-laced tirade against Sam Lutfi yesterday morning.  UPDATE - BREAKING:  Although a reported suicide attempt has been denied, Spears was taken by ambulance to UCLA Medical Center early this morning and will be placed on a 5150 hold, which means she poses a danger to herself and others.  This has apparently been engineered by Britney's psychiatrist, who felt her condition had deteriorated. TMZ is all over it. 

HEATH LEDGER:  Michelle Williams reportedly tried to get the late actor to enter rehab in 2006, but he refused to get out of the car.  A rep for Williams calls the story a "lie."  Ledger's Brokeback Mountain costar, Jake Gyllenhaal, is godfather to Ledger's two-year-old daughter Matilda, and is said to have been devastated by last week's news.  Entertainment Tonight and The Insider have purchased exclusive rights to tragic video footage of Ledger allegedly snorting cocaine at a party two years ago.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes has fueled rumors she is pregnant by buying a "Big Sister" t-shirt for daughter Suri.  The uber-reliable Woman's Day mag claims Holmes is distraught over Cruise's bad career advice and Scientonlogy PR.  Meanwhile, Cruise is the first on the list to get Ducati's newest 72.5K, 200 m.p.h. motorcycle.  Cruise escaped unharmed in March 2005 when he crashed his turbo-charged Ducati in Beverly Hills after skidding on a patch of oil.

NANCY CARTWRIGHT, best known as the voice of Bart Simpson, last year gave the Church of Scientology ten million bucks -- more than twice as much as Tom Cruise and Kirstie Alley and ten times as much as John Travolta and Kelly Preston -- in support of an effort to rid mankind of psychology ills and other "aberrant" behavior.

LEAH REMINI is auditioning to be a Godparent to Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony's unborn baby.  Left unmentioned in the story is Remini's membership in the Church of Scientology and J-Lo's openness to the group because her father was a member.

BRADGELINA: Both US Weekly and OK! magazine are running with the story the Jolie is pregnant.

LINDSAY LOHAN may be calling songwriter Jeremy Greene her boyfriend, but he is denying it: "Lindsay is a good person who means well, and I love her family dearly. But sometimes she has a habit of losing touch with reality - and I'm not one of those typical guys who have tried to take advantage of her."

JESSICA ALBA and Cash Warren are buying stuff for a baby boy.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was... wait for it... caught canoodling with Elisha Cuthbert?  A rep for Cuthbert denies it, and can you blame her?

SEAN YOUNG:  The Hollywood Reporter has some video of the drunken heckling at the Directors Guild Awards that has landed her in rehab.

OPRAH WINFREY is the latest target/subject of controversial sculptor Daniel Edwards, whose other works include a life-sized statue of Britney Spears giving birth while nude on her hands and knees on a bearskin rug, and a dead French Hotel.  "The Oprah Sarcophagus" pays full-figured homage to the closest thing America has to a living deity.

HOOKERS FOR JESUS:  Giving new meaning to preaching on the street-corner.

CARTOON JIHAD:  Denmark's Royal Library is risking the wrath of Muslims with plans to display controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that sparked violent protest throughout the Islamic world two years ago.

IRAN:  Pres. Ahmadinejad renewed his verbal attack on Israel, saying its days are numbered and predicting that the "filthy Zionist entity" will fall sooner or later.  Coincidentally, he made the remarks in the southern city of Bushehr, where the theocracy's nuclear facility is getting ready to go online.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio surveys the coming offensive in Mosul.  Prime Minister al-Maliki has called the Mosul mission a "decisive" final push against AQI but Major-General Mark Hertling, commander of US troops in northern Iraq, has cautioned against describing the joint operation in such terms. The Times of London tests progress in Baghdad from its Travel section.  In order to capitalize on gains in the Iraqi capital, the incoming commander of US forces in Baghdad, General Hammond, says he plans in the short term to push the envelope further and establish more US combat outposts in Baghdad and surrounding areas, particularly in places where US troops have not had much of a presence in the past.  As the security situation has improved in the southern belts of Baghdad, coalition officials are finding themselves more involved with building local governance capacity and creating jobs.

ENDANGERED LIONS, TIGERS & ORANGUTANS are among those getting swimming lessons at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, or TIGER, in Miami, Florida,  More pics at the link.

BEAVER NEWS:  A beaver deceiver is nice, so long as it doesn't lead to beaver stroganoff.

A 3-FT, 4-IN CROCODILE is making the water hazard a wee bit more hazardous on the 14th hole at the Willows Golf Club in tropical Australia.

COWS are waterboarded for the enjoyment of young children in California.

A CURIOUS FROG survived a journey from South Florida to the Park Slope Food Coop, then another three days in her refrigerator, before escaping from a salad.

1919 Reads

Whigs, Bob Mould, Dean & Britta, New Yacht Rock, Cheeta   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WHIGS play "Right Hand On My Heart" for Mr. Letterman.  The band also got a nice little feature for their garage-y southern rock on Weekend Edition at NPR.

BOB MOULD talked to SPIN magazine about Hüsker Dü and Grant Hart, grunge music, living in DC, DJing, the fact that his most-heard music is The Daily Show theme, and more... including the Joan Rivers Show.  Mould also did a "listening session" with Harp magazine.

R.E.M. is embarking on a summer tour with The National and Modest Mouse -- quite a triple bill.

DAN WILSON, formerly of Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic, stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

MUSIC BLOG ZEITGEIST 2007:  The Hype Machine does what is does best -- music blog aggregation -- to come up with lists of the Best 50 Songs (broken up by month), Albums and Bands that had music bloggers buzzing last year.

DEAN & BRITTA:  Dean Wareham has an excerpt from his memoirs in Men's Vogue, covering the period after Britta joined Luna through the end of Dean's marriage.  Dean also shuffled his iPod for The A.V. Club, but ends up talking between songs as well.  (Thx, Chromewaves.)  And it's as good excuse as any to revist the duo's video for "Words You Used to Say."

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley have a fairly wide-ranging conference call with PopMatters about all things DBT.  Embedded video for the kicker.

DOC WATSON, one of the most influential folk artists of all time, played the Birchmere Music Hall the other night; you can stream the whole gig -- and an interview -- via NPR.

THE RAVEONETTES:  Sune Rose Wagner tells Rolling Stone that visual artists like Andy Warhol, photographer William Eggleston and filmmaker David Lynch influenced the Lust Lust Lust album.  Plus, you get a legit downoad of the band's "Dead Sound."

JOANNA NEWSOM:  The indie harpist talks to the New York Times about moving on from her breakthrough Ys album by performing it with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra on Thursday and Friday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

BRITNEY SPEARS reportedly had a huge, tear-filled bust-up with her manager-pal Sam Lutfi -- over boyfriend Adnan Ghalib --  which brought the pop wreck's parents to the scene and a measure of reconciliation with mama Lynne.  The gossip is mixed over whether her family is still pushing for an intervention or not.  Lufti says not, but may be in the dark.  Court documents reveal that Spears is allowed to speak with her kids on the telephone but still may not see them.

HEATH LEDGER:  A twisted impostor pretending to be Heath Ledger's grieving dad cruelly duped superstar Tom Cruise into consoling him over the phone - and nearly got John Travolta to buy him a plane ticket to the US.  Two superstar Scientologists almost fell for a con job?  Who'da thunkit?  Ledger's real father had the sad task of visiting his son's SoHo apartment Tuesday.  Filming of Michelle Williams's next movie, Blue Valentine, has been put on hold while the actress copes with the death of her ex-fiancee and baby daddy.

LINDSAY LOHAN gets a little snippy when the paparazzi try to snap the supposedly rehabbed actress downing vodka cocktails at the Beatrice Inn.  Li-Lo was spotted taking a swig from a bottle of Grey Goose at a different club the same evening.

GWEN STEFANI is pregnant again, as confirmed by husband Gavin Rossdale's father.

SEAN YOUNG, after getting into a drunken brawl and ejected from the Directors Guild of America Awards, has entered rehab for treatment related to alcoholism.

JESSICA SIMPSON & TONY ROMO made sure to be spotted having a PDA-filled dinner at a West Hollywood restaurant  the other night, after those break-up rumors hit the 'net.  Later, Romo reluctantly entertained at the Key Club with a kareoke rendition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'". (Video at the link.)  If the pneumatic blonde looked drunk, it was only becase she is so happy, not because she's going through a PR stunt to benefit her creepy dad-manager Joe.

ASHLEE SIMPSON:  Speaking of whom, creepy dad-manager Joe continues to push a reality dating show for Ashlee to promote her upcoming album, even though has been dating Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz for more than a year.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie pregnancy rumors fueled by water.  Dad Jon Voight hopes the rumors are true, but doesn't know, as the two remain estranged.

JENNIFER LOPEZ:  Not in labor at the moment.

GUILLERMO DEL TORO is in talks to direct back-to-back installments of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" for producer Peter Jackson.

YACHT ROCK:  The acclaimed web series returns with the story of Kenny Loggins writing "Footloose," including a cameo from Jason Lee.

SWARMS OF ROBOTS that use electromagnetic forces to cling together and assume different shapes are being developed by US researchers.  Video at the link.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  A man has pleaded guilty to a plot to kidnap and kill a Muslim soldier in the British army by cutting off his head "like a pig", a court was told on Tuesday.

THE STANS:  The Pakistani Taliban has extended its reach across all seven of Pakistan's frontier tribal regions and have infiltrated Peshawar , the provincial capital, heightening US concerns that an insurrection may be broadening in the nuclear-armed nation.  However, Afghanistan's Taliban has moved to distance itself from Pakistani leader Baitullah Mehsud saying it has no interest in joining his guerilla war against the Pakistani government.  Police on Tuesday arrested top al-Qaeda linked suspect Qasim Tori in the southern port city of Karachi after he was injured during a car chase.

IRAQ:  Attracted by news of decreased violence, thousands of displaced Iraqis returning to Baghdad's safer neighborhoods are fueling a bit of a real estate frenzy.  Iraqis are using You Tube to poke fun US soldiers, policemen, and Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.  Not all Iraqis approve of their leaders being belittled in this way, and comments posted on the site beneath the videos reflect the wide divergence of opinion that characterises the country's political landscape.  US troops still battle local fear of retribution from AQI and make intelligence inroads in Diyala province.  Pres. Bush is reportedly siding with Gen. Petraeus on keeping pre-surge troop levels in Iraq longer than advocated by George W. Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff.

CHEETA the CHIMP, now 75 and enjoying retirement in a Palm Springs sanctuary, is teaming him up with a ghostwriter for a "funny, moving and searingly honest" memoir. It will cover his experiments in modern abstract art, his battle with alcohol and cigars, his struggle with diabetes and, of course, that illustrious cinema career.

MASHOFAN the CAMEL, frequent winner of beauty pageants died last week following a disease.  The Kingdom mourns.

A RARE, THREE-FT LONG SPITTING EARTHWORM that smells like lilies is at the heart of a legal battle between conservationists and the US government.

A FUGITIVE COW escaped from a farm about 45 miles south of Brisbane, Australia on Monday and eluded police for about an hour.  The cow will not be alright.  Video at the link.

A MAKO SHARK attacks a fisherman aboard his boat.  Video at the link.  And, of course, cue Sheriff Brody (nsfw)!

3156 Reads

Joe Jackson, New Releases, Led Zep, Mt. Goats, Rare Terriers   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

JOE JACKSON has posted a live take on "Invisible Man," from his new Rain album, which you can stream below.  It's a bit jazzier, mid-period Joe than "King Pleasure Time," which recalls early Joe and is one of several tracks steaming via JoeSpace.  Add in his classic "It's Different For Girls" and you have yer Twofer Tuesday.

NEW RELEASES: Vampire Weekend gets a label release for its self-titled debut.  Joe Jackson, Hello Blue Roses, Thao Nguyen, Louis XIV, Radar Bros. and more are streaming in full via Spinner.  UPDATE:  Here's a new Vampire Weekend stream.

LED ZEPPELIN REUNION:  Jimmy Page said Monday he was ready to take the iconic band on a world tour after burning up the stage at last month's reunion concert in London. But it probably won't be before September.

WHITE RABBITS have a new, unititled track streaming via Paste magazine.

GNARLS BARKLEY:  There is what sounds like a leaked track, "Run," to stream from the duo's upcoming sophomore album.  Is it "Crazy?"  Nah, they wisely took it in a whole 'nother direction.  I think Austin Powers would find it groovy, yeah, with a smidge of the Go! Team.  UPDATE:  Hope you got there before the lawyers did!  If not...

BILLY BRAGG has a new album coming, but not until April for North America.  There will be two versions of Mr. Love & Justice -- the regular version with The Blokes and a limited edition that includes a solo version of the LP.

BON IVER:  Pre-order Justin Vernon's album and get a poster or a bonus track.  Also, Vernon has started a blog called Culture Fear.

MOUNTAIN GOATS make John Darnielle's lyrics the focus of the video for "Sax Rohmer #1," the lead single from the upcoming Heretic Pride album.

RADIOHEAD:  Thom Yorke appeared on BBC2 for an interview an two songs.  You can stream "Reckoner (acoustic)" and "Everything In Its Right Place" via the ol HM.

THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA, "the country's preeminent gospel group," played NYC's Cutting Room club last night, so you should be able to stream the gig on demand via NPR today.

MINOR THREAT drummer Jeff Nelson is selling a boatload of punk paraphenalia on eBay.

AMY WINEHOUSE:  Her jailed husband claims that he has warned the singer to "Quit smoking crack or you'll be dead in three months."

PETE DOHERTY:  Is the troubled singer on the road to becoming a pet hoarder? 

BRITNEY SPEARS was snapped in an acid green feather boa while shopping for underwear and videos at Hollywood's Hustler store.  Page Six has more on the three restraining orders taken out against Spears confidant Sam Lufti.  Meanwhile Lufti tells The View that the pop wreck was seeking help for what Walters termed "mental issues which are treatable."

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS may not have miscarried, but the ever-reliable Life & Style claims that those around Britney's 16-year-old knocked up sister still fear for her unborn child's safety: "Her mom and dad are both worried that Jamie's late-night partying isn't good for her - or her child."

GYLLENSPOON:  The Reese-Jake pairing is upsetting Jake's ex, Kirsten Dunst... and Jake's mother.

CELEB SCIENTOLOGY:  The Church of Scientology, having failed to keep wacky Tom Cruise videos off the Internet, has decided it's a good thing, raising awareness of the sect and driving tarffic to their websites.  Gawker has a Scientology indoctrination message, purportedly from TV star Leah Remini.

DEMI MOORE & ASHTON KUTCHER are slacking off on attending Kabbalah services.

HAYDEN PANETTIERRE:  The Heroes cheerleader was in DC over the weekend for some "save the whales, save the world" activism.

BRADGELINA were... wait for it... caught canoodling at their during the Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday night.  Jolie's dress for the SAG gala stirred more preganancy rumors.

THE GREG BRADY PROJECT:  Barry Williams is part of a group blog with often Brady Bunch-centric content.

HOLLYWOOD WRITERS' STRIKE:  AMC's Mad Men and Showtime's Weeds can get back to work after their production company cut a side deal with the WGA.  I hope this gives Mad Men some sort of edge, as it is among the best shows on television, not to mention the smokin-est, drinkin-est show on television.  In fact, Mad Men won a Directors Guild Award last weekend, after picking up two Golden Globes.

SEAN YOUNG leapt out of the "Where Are They Now?" file to get into a drunken brawl at the Directors Guild Awards presentation.

THE OSCARS:  Selected AMC Theatres will screen all five Best Picture nominees on Feb. 23rd -- one day before the statues are handed out.  None in Pate's home state of Iowa, but the list of theaters includes Austin, Chicago, L.A., DC, Mpls., Seattle, Kansas City KS, and many more...

ALESSANDRA AMBROSIO just did a photoshoot for the Victoria's Secret 2008 Swimsuit Catalog, though she reportedly is three months pregnant.

PAKISTAN:  The Washington Post's Jackson Diehl has a column laying out what Pres. Bush must tell Pres. Musharraf regarding the election less than a month away.  Diehl relies in part on the word of ex-cricket champ Imran Khan, whom Diehl writes "now leads his own small centrist party,"  Diehl somehow missed the WaPo's prior coverage of Khan, which noted he "has increasingly styled himself a champion of Islam," including inciting violent protests after Newsweek's bogus report that a copy of the Koran had been dropped into a toilet at Gitmo. And that in parliament, Khan often allied with a bloc of hard-line religious parties led by a pro-Taliban cleric who has called for holy war against the US.  Khan recently wrote that Pakistan should withdraw its troops from northwestern areas, negotiate with tribesmen sheltering the Taliban and al-Qaeda, while NATO should leave Afghanistan in favor of troops from the Organization of the Islamic Conference.  Diehl has been taken in by, or is advancing, a Khan.

IRAQ:  Influential members of Muqtada al-Sadr's movement have urged the anti-US Shiite cleric not to extend a cease-fire when it expires next month.  The Deputy Police Chief in Diyala has quit to join the AQI-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq.  In the L.A. Times, Bing West and Max Boot write that Pres. Bush may have to withdraw his support for Prime Minister al-Maliki if he continues to slow progress.  Michael J. Totten blogs from Fallujah about Marines and National Guard MPs  training the Iraqi police: "Training Iraqis to replace Marines is a lot less dangerous than fighting a war, but it's harder. Every single American who has an opinion one way or the other told me it's harder."

GLEN of IMAAL TERRIERS:  Rarer than giant pandas!

WHEN DOLPHINS ATTACK:  Film taken of gangs of dolphins repeatedly ramming baby porpoises, tossing them in the air and pursuing them to the death has solved a long-term mystery of what causes the death of so many of these harmless mammals - but has left animal experts baffled as to the motive.

A COLONY OF 20000 BATS living below two interstate bridges in Port St. Lucie, Fla. is expected to cause four extra months of traffic backups.  That's a long time to sit in a traffic jam.

BUNNIES!!!  Dozens of bunnies have descended on Ft. Worth, TX for this weekend's 1400-rabbit open show.

SOPHIE the CAT helps bust an Austin, TX man on kiddie pr0n charges.

CROCODILE ORGY kills a man in Papua New Guinea.  Lesson: If the mangrove's a-rockin', don't bother knockin'.

1497 Reads

Duffy, New Pornographers, MTV from '83, Chimp Memory Champ   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 28, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

DUFFY, whose video for "Rockferry" I am still digging, has a new video for more upbeat "Mercy."  The Welsh singer, who reminds folks of Dusty and Lulu, is profiled in the Times of London.  The paper is also offering an exclusive free track to anyone who will cough up an e-mail address and claim to live in the UK.  The nice part about that last bit is it suggests Universal may finally start breaking Duffy in North America.

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS:  The World Cafe has live tracks and a chat with A.C. Newman you can stream on demand on NPR.

CAT POWER and MAGNETIC FIELDS are still playing games with the singer-songwriter archetype, according to Salon.  Chan Marshall gets separate treatment in London's Sunday Times, while Stephin Merritt is featured in Sunday's L.A. Times.

IRON & WINE:  Sam Beam stopped by KUT's Sudio 1 for a chat and mini-set you can stream (or just the music) on demand via NPR. 

I WANT MY MTV to be as cheezalicious as these three hours (with ads) from 1983.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS crammed their "Neo-consumer" into two minutes for Letterman over at the 'Gum.

BLACK MOUNTAIN frontman Stephen McBean talks to the Times of London about opening for Coldplay, the Internet's demystification of music, whether rock stardom is worth it, and more...

SUB POP:  The seminal Seattle label is profiled by the Seattle Times, along with an interview of co-founder Jonathan Poneman and a list of the bands that kept the label hopping for the past 20 years.  (Thx, LHB.)

JOHN VANDERSLICE does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter -- all versions of songs from his most recent LP, Emerald City.

UB40 singer Ali Campbell will be picking up his own UB40, citing management problems.

BONO met with US SecDef Robert Gates as part of his efforts to persuade world leaders to increase aid to developing nations.  Gates was impressed by Bono's knowledge of world affairs but had no clue about his rock star status: "It's a matter of age. I thought U2 was an airplane. My daughter nearly had an aneurysm when I told her who I was meeting with."

HEATH LEDGER:  As a private memorial was held for the late 28-year-old actor in Los Angeles, sources intimately connected with the investigation of his death say Ledger may have died of natural causes.  Nevertheless, the Daily Mail quotes a member of the star's inner circle, Rebecca White, as saying Ledger believed his former fiancee Michelle Williams was about to serve legal papers demanding sole custody of their child, Matilda, due to his drug problems.  White claims Ledger's dependence on drugs only intensified.  Mary-Kate Olsen released a statement about Ledger after learning that the authorities are not planning to question her about the four frantic calls Ledger's masseuse made to her before phoning 911.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Parody movie Meet the Spartans edged out Rambo for the top slot with an estimated take of 18.7 million, which is about where movies like Epic Movie and Date Movie tend to open.  Cloverfield turned out to be even more front-loaded than expected, tumbling 68 percent to fourth place in its second weekend -- but has still made well over twice its budget already.  Untraceable debuted in fifth place.  The adorable Juno dropped to sixth, but actually made 3.5 percent more than last weekend and crossed the 100 million mark.  There Will Be Blood jumped from eleveth to eighth in expanded release.

LINDSAY LOHAN has begun penning her memoirs, perhaps due to money woes.  She was reportedly... wait for it... caught canoodling MTV reality D-lister Brody Jenner at NYC's Beatrice Inn on Friday night.

CHRISTIAN BRANDO, who had been hospitalized with double pneumonia, died Friday at 49.  The son of Marlon Brando, Christian pleaded guilty in 1990 to manslaughter for killing his sister's boyfriend and spent six years in prison.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON, returning from her USO tour of the Persian Gulf, deflected a media question about her rumored engagement to actor-beau Ryan Reynolds by joking that she is engaged to Sen. Barack Obama.

BRITNEY SPEARS visited psychiatrist Deborah Nadel's Santa Monica home for about an hour on Friday, according to the paparazzi at X17 online.  The uber-reliable News of the World claims that her married boyfriend, Andan Ghalib, has recorded six deranged video diaries of the pop wreck and is offering them for over two million dollars.  Meanwhile, Spears is trying out a new Chinese-Spanish accent.

KATE MOSS:  The uber reliable News of the World has agreed to pay the supermodel damages for an apparently false story about shenanigans at her 34th birthday party.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  The ever-reliable National Enquirer has a source this week that claims to have had a conversation with Chris Klein suggesting that his ex, Katie Holmes was pregnant when they broke up back in March of 2005.

CHARLIZE THERON will receive a Hasty Pudding pot at Harvard University on Feb. 7.

THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS was a send-off party for The Sopranos, with awards going to the ensemble cast, James Gandolfini & Edie Falco.  Javier Bardem gave a very classy and funny speech for supporting male actor in No Country For Old Men.  Tina Fey thanked Arec Bardwin, president of the Film Actors Guild, who also won, but did not attend.  But The Office beat out 30 Rock for best comedy ensemble.  Daniel Day-Lewis eulogized Heath Ledger (whom he did not know).  Julie Christie won best female actor in a movie.  No Country For Old Men won for best ensemble cast in a motion picture.  RELATED:  The Coen Bros. won the Directors Guild Award on Saturday night for helming No Country For Old Men.

JUSTICE LEAGUE:  Warner Bros. let the options lapse on the young cast that director George Miller chose to play DC superhero staples, placing the project on indefinite hold.  The studio's reasons included not getting the official response it needed on tax breaks from shooting in Australia, plus desired script polishing precluded by the writers' strike.

JESSICA BIEL, GISELE BUNDCHEN, JENNIFER LOPEZ and TINA FEY are among those featured in a new round of celebrity images promoting the Disney theme parks from famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.

ALEXANDRA HARILL has not seen Flashdance, but she is living it.  She's a maniac.

EURO-TERROR PLOT:  Islamist extremists were planning attacks across Europe, especially against public transport, before their arrests in Barcelona last weekend, a Spanish paper reported on Saturday, citing a would-be attacker's testimony.  A manhunt for the remaining suspects began in Spain and now extendesto France and other European Union countries.

IRAN:  When voters go to the polls on March 14 to select members of Parliament, the early indications are that the religiously conservative forces in control of every branch of government will try to block a comeback by the "reformists" with an unprecedented number of disqualifications from the ballot.  Pres. Ahmadinejad and his allies control the system of vetting candidates for access to the ballot.  Meanwhile, Israeli Defemse Minister Ehud Barak tells the Washington Post that Israel believes Iran has another clandestine enrichment operation beyond the one in Natanz, and is likely working on warheads for ground-to-ground missiles.

IRAQ:  Shaken by two days of deadly bombings, the government said Friday it would dispatch several thousand more security forces to Mosul in a "decisive" bid to drive AQI from its last major stronghold.  The forces arrived on Sunday and will take the lead as a test of US long-range plans to assume a support role.   A son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is behind a group of foreign and Iraqi fighters responsible for last week's devastating explosion in Mosul, a security chief for Sunni tribesmen who rose up against AQI said Saturday.  AQ is using children as suicide bombers in Iraq, with at least two attacks in the past week committed by 15-year-olds, a US military commander claimed on Sunday: "We are not sure whether one of these children even knew he was being used to deliver a bomb."   Some 9000 members of anti-AQ "Awakening" fronts in Iraq have been screened and lined up for training as regular police or soldiers.  Prime Minister al-Maliki urged ministers from the main Sunni Arab bloc to return to their vacant government posts, suggesting he would soon form a new cabinet if they refused.

AMYUMU the CHIMP trounces British memory champion Ben Pridmore, who is capable of memorising the order of a shuffled pack of cards in under 30 seconds.

PET HOARDING really does not describe the rescue of more than 200 animals, including 26 hissing cockroaches, two bearded dragons, 68 dogs, 16 rabbits, 15 guinea pigs, 13 gerbils, seven doves, two dwarf hamsters, two hedgehogs, an opossum and a pink toe tarantula.from an eastern Texas home.  Video at the link.

CAT NEWS:  A cat with five legs will have not one, but two, legs removed.  Popsicle the cat survives losing two paws, several inches of tail, both ears and part of her nose to frostbite.  Fido was rescued from a sinking ship; pics at the link.

A MOB OF WALLABIES has grounded Royal Australian Air Force fighter-bomber jets after dark at a Northern Territory airfield.  They are thinking of forming a rock band.

BUDDY the POLICE HORSE was punched outside a nightclub in Ybor City, FL.  Angelica Rene Ayala has been charged in the incident, though I was thinking it was going to be Mongo.

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Richard Thompson & David Byrne, Dramarama, Cutout Bin, Knut Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 25, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with RICHARD THOMPSON & DAVID BYRNE!  The darkly funny British songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire joins the Talking Head for renditions of "Psycho Killer" a Sir Douglas Quintet/? and the Mysterians mash-up of "Who Were You Thinking Of'/'96 Tears" and Ewan MacColl's "Dirty Old Town" at St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Brooklyn Heights NY in 1992.  The pair also team up on "The Big Country" from More Songs about Buildings and Food in a clip from the BBC.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set -- including the new song "Campus" -- which you can stream on demand via NPR.  Drummer Christopher Tomson, pre-hiatus Phish veteran, discusses the band's sudden ascent with JamBands.

EL PERRO DEL MAR, a/k/a Sarah Assbring. is streaming an advance track, "How Did We Forget" from her second full-length album, due on Feb 27, via her new label, Licking Fingers.

DENNIS WILSON:  The late Beach Boy's lone solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue, will finally be re-released and reissued as a two-disc set with bonus tracks, after more than a decade of copyright disputes.  The scarcity of the record has made it both a cult-favorite and a high-priced collector's item over the years.  At the moment, you can stream a couple of tracks from the album, plus the unreleased "Morning Christmas."

JON BRION:  The musician, producer, and occasional one-man band talks to The A.V. Club about making up with the Mellotron and finding the perfect Def Leppard song to convert into klezmer.

DRAMARAMA leaps out of the "Where Are They Now?" file to ambush Ellen DeGeneres with a rendition of "Anything, Anything" for her birthday.  It apparently is her favorite song, and she asks her DJ to play it during every commercial break.  As TV Squad so eloquently asks, "Who knew?" 

THE CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS, "on a mission to connect old style music and traditional instruments with young people and new sounds," visited The Current for a chat and twofer you can stream on demand via MPR.  The band has also appeared on A Prairie Home Companion.

NICOLE ATKINS and THE SEA stopped by the SPIN offices to churn out a blissful rendition of "War Torn," which the mag captured on video for your viewing and listening pleasure.

BONO confesses his sins to... former US Vice-President Al Gore, Jr.  Video at the link.

AMY WINEHOUSE has entered rehab, yes, yes, yes.

CUTOUT BIN:  From Archie Bell and the Drells to XTC, from Devo to Jimi Hendrix, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM

HEATH LEDGER:  The NYPost has details of his masseuse's frantic calls to Mary-Kate Olsen, whom law enforcement sources said was dating the late 28-year-old actor.  Ledger had been shooting Terry Gilliam's indie "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," where production has temporarily shut down; Ledger's role may be re-cast -- or partially re-cast -- with Johnny Depp.  Some now suggest Ledger was killed by The Joker.  Ledger recently told reporters he "slept an average of two hours a night" while playing "a psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy ... I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going."

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS got quite emotional over Heath Ledger's death on the Oprah show, despite not knowing him.  Video at the link.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases include Sly Stallone's Rambo, which is currently scoring 30 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the movie mash-up parody Meet the Spartans, which was not screened for critics; the Diane Lane cyber-thriller Untraceable, which is scoring 15 percent; and the urban music drama How She Move, scoring 69 percent.  Returning for wide Oscar promo runs are Michael Clayton (90 percent) and the Coen Bros' No Country For Old Men (95 percent).  There Will Be Blood expands near-wide with its 91 percent score.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  A man claiming to be Lindsay Lohan's former cocaine dealer let it be known to the New York Daily News, through an intermediary, that he was ready to sell his story. And he promised that he would spill on his other "big, big celebrity clients" if the price was right.  ALSO:  Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton was awarded nearly 85K to pay his legal costs in a defamation lawsuit brought by Lohan pal DJ Samantha Ronson.  The judge had removed Hilton from the lawsuit last November after the blogger's attorneys argued he was protected by free speech rights.

EDDIE MURPHY & TRACEY EDMONDS reportedly split before making their Bora Bora wedding legal because Murphy became bossy and physically intimidating, and insisted his mother accompany them on their honeymoon.

BRITNEY SPEARS was discussed at the annual winter conference of the American Psychoanalytic Association.  Psychoanalysts are concerned about the effect that armchair diagnoses of the troubled starlet's mental health, popping up in celebrity magazines and tabloids may harm the pop wreck and even deter others from seeking help.  It may be unethical for the pros, but when Spears acts like she has multiple personalities, or shows up "scantily clad" at a Beverly Hills elementary school, saying she was there to pick up someone else's kids, it is hard for the amateurs to resist.  Britney's uncle is telling London's Sun about her drink and drug-addled childhood, claiming he did cocaine with her on her 18th birthday.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS:  The knocked up 16-year-old member of the Spears clan reportedly will hand over the baby to her mama Lynne as soon as it is born so she can concentrate on her career.  That is a formula that has worked so well for the Spears family.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Adam Sandler defends Cruise to People magazine: "To see anyone's private life invaded and mocked like this is sickening. It's especially gross when it happens to a guy like Cruise, who's a great dad, a great husband, and a great friend."

BRADGELINA will be co-hosting a big pre-Oscars bash with Pitt's ex, Jennifer Aniston.  An "inside source" tells X17online  that Jolie is pregnant with twins -- a report confirmed by the ever-reliable Star magazine, so it must be true, right?

DAVID BECKHAM may be the world's biggest environmental threat.

JESSICA SIMPSON had her lawyers demand a retraction of a recent OK! magazine article claiming she was dumped by Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo.

HANNA MONTANA targeted by teen terrorist!  Yes, really.  Nashville television stations, citing unnamed sources, said the teen unsuccessfully tried to hijack a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Lafayette, LA., and crash it into a building where a Hannah Montana concert was scheduled.

GLOBAL WARMING could reduce how many hurricanes hit the US, according to a new federal study that clashes with other research.

AN AL QAEDA SPOKESMAN called for unity among this week Islamic militants worldwide in a new recorded message apparently intended to counter some Islamic scholars who are criticizing AQ's violent activities.

A US TERROR CASE provides a glimpse of the growing threat posed by radical networks that have sprung up as a result of the Internet.

IRAN:  Pres. Ahmadinejad is set to become the first Iranian leader since the revolution to visit Baghdad after the Iraqi foreign ministry announced he had accepted an invitation, at a time of high tension in the Gulf.

IRAQ and the US are working on assembling negotiating teams to shape a new long-term bilateral strategic agreement redefining the fundamental role of US troops.  The Iraqis want the US mission to shift from combat operations to logistics and support, but the Bush administration will insist on broad authority to conduct combat operations and guarantee civilian contractors specific legal protections from Iraqi law.  In the meantime, Pres. Bush is unlikely to reduce US forces in Iraq to less than levels just before the surge this year for fear of putting at risk security gains.  The NYT has noticed that US -backed Sunni militias who have fought Sunni extremists to a standstill are being hit with a wave of assassinations and bomb attacks.  Mosul's chief of police was killed in a suicide bombing; the governor has declared a curfew. Iraqi security forces arrested 22 insurgents and disabled six IEDs in Baghdad.

KNUT UPDATE:  The once-cuddly polar bear is a "psychopath" who has become addicted to human company and will never mate, experts warn.

CHINESE DUCK BENGBENG has become a celebrity for its singing, dancing and counting abilities.

CATTLE RUSTLING goes awry in Malaysia after the getaway vehicle crashed into a tree.

BURMESE PYTHONS:  Don't taze them, bro!

TARA the GERMAN SHEPHERD had a miraculous escape when she was blown off a 135ft cliff by a gust of wind. Pics at the link.

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