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New B-52s & Shearwater, Wilco & John Doe, Sea Rex   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE B-52's have a new album Funplex, -- the band's first collection of fresh material since 1992 -- coming next month.  Kate Pierson says it's influenced by New Order, but the advance download of "Hot Corner" is accurately described by guitarist Keith Strickland as "loud, sexy rock & roll with the beat pumped up to hot pink."  You can stream it via the ol' HM.  To balance it off, I went with the video for the wistful "Deadbeat Club."

SHEARWATER has a new album, Rook, coming in June on Matador, which posted "Rooks" as an advance track for download.

WILCO & JOHN DOE played DC's 9:30 Club last night, so you should be able to stream the gig on demand now via NPR.

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

THE RAVEONETTES continue their blog interview tour at Chromewaves.

BUDDY MILES, who co-founded and played drums in Band Of Gypsys with Jimi Hendrix, passed away Feb. 26 in Austin, Texas, at the age of 60. A cause of death has yet to be announced.

SUPERGRASS has a little harder edge in the new video for "Bad Blood" than I remember them having in the past... but it has been awhile, hasn't it?

JEFF MANGUM, formerly of Neutral Milk Hotel, is profiled in Slate as the J.D. Salinger of Indie Rock.

BASIA BULAT, the singer-songwriter first promoted by Arcade Fire member Howard Bilerman, gets a twofer at the World Cafe, which you can stream via NPR.

LOU REED, JOHN FOGERTY and TOM HANKS are among the presenters at this years Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

CULT of the iPod:  Apple has become the second largest music retailer in the US, only trailing Wal-Mart.

AMY WINEHOUSE is being begged by friends to return to rehab - fearing that she is "getting back to her worst," according to the ever-reliable Sun.  The troubled singer reportedly will launch a line of cosmetics and clothes for all the teenage girls who want to look like her.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Paparazzo bf Adnan Ghalib is reportedly bragging to friends that she is going to have his baby, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.  Which leads the tab to point to a current bulge which may be a bag of Chee-tohs, natch.  Meanwhile, a federal judge officially rejected a civil rights challenge to the pop wreck's conservatorship case, allowing her father to maintain his temporary control of her $100 million estate.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Intimate details of Sir Paul's divorce from Heather Mills will be made public by a High Court judge, due to the "overwhelming interest" the case has attracted.  Sources close to the case have said they expect Mills to receive between £20 million and £30 million - a huge sum, but less than some estimates.

JACKO will avoid foreclosure on his Neverland Ranch property with a new loan, a Jackson insider told CNN Wednesday.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes' rep denies OK! magazine's new cover story, which asks whether the Stepford wife of Cruise is expecting.

NICOLE KIDMAN's rep says the pregnant star didn't down wine at the Academy Awards, denying a Cindy Adams item in the New York Post.

BRADGELINA will have their next child in France to honor the actress's late French-Canadian mother, according to the ever-reliable Sun, which also reports Jolie is not pregnant with twins.  The Daily Mail, otoh, claims Pitt has confirmed to friends that they are having twins.  US Weekly speculates that Jolie's last-minute backing out from a pre-Oscars party where she and Pitt would run into Pitt's ex, Jennifer Aniston, was "either very Machiavellian or very passive-aggressive."

THE SIMPSONS:  Jessica is headed for Kuwait to do a show for the troops on March 10.  Sister Ashlee was spotted with what appears to be an enagement ring at a signing of her new CD in NYC.

ORLANDO BLOOM may need to shower more often to keep his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr -- according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

DUMBLEDORE!  Irish actor Michael Gambon, 67, who plays the Hogwarts headmaster in the Harry Potter franchise, is involved in an unusual love triangle with his wife of 45 years, Lady Anne Gambon, and movie set designer Philippa Hart, who's 25 years his junior and gave birth to his baby last May.

JENNY McCARTHY will not be be walking down the aisle with Jim Carrey: "What is it a guarantee of? I'll be yours forever? I'll be faithful? Bull!"

SUMMER GLAU talks to The A.V. Club about going from a ballerina to the human weapon River Tam in Firefly and Serenity and the "good" Terminatrix on The Sarah Connor Chronicles.  She really wants to be in a Western.

ISLAMISM at HARVARD:  Harvard University has moved to make Muslim women more comfortable in the gym by instituting women-only access times six hours a week to accommodate religious customs that make it difficult for some students to work out in the presence of men.

TURKEY is preparing to publish a document that represents a revolutionary reinterpretation of Islam - and a controversial and radical modernization of the religion.  According to Fadi Hakura, an expert on Turkey from Chatham House in London: "You can't say, for example, that the verses of violence override the verses of peace. This is used a lot in the Middle East, this kind of ideology."

IRAN:  Russia threatened to back further UN sanctions over Iran's nuclear program unless it halted uranium enrichment in the next few days.  Pres. Ahmadinejad said that Iran's recently launched research rocket was built in just nine months without using any foreign models.  A top cleric criticized Pres. Ahmadinejad for his ongoing "coarse" verbal assaults against Israel, the AFP news agency reported.

IRAQ:  The presidential council rejected the bill setting up provincial elections, sending it back to parliament for further review.  The three-member panel, however, approved the 2008 budget and another law that provides limited amnesty to detainees in Iraqi custody.  The leader of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq called for the creation of an autonomous Shia region to help quell the ethnic conflict in Iraq.  Baghdad's chief intelligence officer said Iran is working to destroy the Awakening movements, while raids against the Special Groups terror cells have not abated.

A GIANT PYTHON ate Scotty, a silky terrier-cross chihuahua.  I'm just spitballing here, but maybe the Peric family might have wanted to pick up the phone when other pythons entered their garden, near the northern Queensland city of Cairns, and swallowed the family cat and a guinea pig.

"SEA REX":  A fossilised pliosaur unearthed on an Arctic island in Norway, measures 50ft from nose to tail and is the largest marine reptile known to science, capable of crushing a car between its massive jaws... if there had been cars 150 million years ago.

MALE SPIDERS play dead to get the chicks.  Males that played dead were also allowed to copulate longer than males that did not.

CINDY the SPANIEL can balance almost anything on her tiny paws and nose.  Pics at the link.

DAISY the GOAT may be the answer for Mr Charles Tombe, the Sudanese man who was forced by village elders to marry a goat, but who was goat-widowed in 2007.

3236 Reads

New Velvets, TBLLT, Beach House, Duffy, Police Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

OVER FIVE MILLION SERVED:  Thanks for making Pate a part of your day...

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND:  A "new" live recording from the VU has surfaced, featuring a "new" song.  You should be able to stream it at the moment via the ol' HM.  The new song is "I'm Not a Young Man Anymore."  The video is a NSFW live take on the classic "Sweet Jane" from their reunion concert.

THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO have another advance track, "I Box Up All the Butterflies" streaming via Pitchfork.

THE RAVEONETTES continue their blog interview tour at The Tripwire.

LES SAVY FAV stopped by KEXP's Seattle studio for a chat or mini-set to support its new album, Let's Stay Friends, which you can stream on demand via NPR.

ERIC CLAPTON & STEVE WINWOOD:  USA Today reviews the former Blind Faith bandmates' opening night of a three-show gig at Madison Square Garden, their first full concerts together in almost 40 years.  So, would you like to see a little of "In the Presence of the Lord?"

BEACH HOUSE:  The indie duo tells the Baltimore Sun that they were inspired by the music of the Zombies, Elliott Smith and the early Brill Building pop of Dusty Springfield. I would say it's a bit more ethereal than that, but you can check out "You Came To Me," the first video from their sophomore album, and judge for yourself.  You can stream the whole album this week via Spinner.

DUFFY talks to the Irish Independent about sudden notoriety: "Lots of people want to talk to me, but I'm honestly not that interesting... People should just listen to my record - it says everything about me."  Or they can check out the live BBC session she has posted at DuffySpace (not in the regular player, just scroll down a bit).  She performs "Mercy" and Hot Chip's "Ready For the Floor."

VAN HUNT:  The neo-soul man's third album, Popular, may be "lost" in the turmoil that has enveloped EMI, but his story is told in the Philadelphia Weekly and at Obscure Sound, with streaming tracks at the latter.

NICK CAVE, at 50, tells the Guardian that in some ways, life is no longer worth living; in others, it has never been better.  He tells the Scotsman: "The more alienated an artist becomes, the more interesting they become..."

TEGAN & SARA tell Laura Barton of the Guardian that their album, The Con, refers to... life.  According to Sara: "Well, it prevents you from thinking about what the reality is, which is that we're all just shuffling towards death and we're all going to lose everything."

NATALIE PORTMAN is infatuated with SCARLETT JOHANSSON's breasts: "Seriously, I would really want to grab Scarlett's breasts. She's got beautiful ones."

THE FRENCH HOTEL is returning to reality television and dating the brother of Nicole Richie's baby daddy.

NAOMI CAMPBELL was hospitalized in Sao Paulo and treated by one of Brazil's top specialists in infectious disease, the hospital's press office said Tuesday.  The temperamental supermodel reportedly had a small cyst removed.

SEAN PENN & DENNIS KUCINICH opened for a metal band the other weekend.  Dude!  That's my skull!

MISCHA BARTON:  The former OC hottie has been charged with four criminal counts related to a DUI arrest in December of last year.

TILDA SWINTON went to the Oscars with her German artist boyfriend Sandro Kopp, but phoned her long-term partner and the father of her ten-year-old twins to tell him she won, as their Scotland home has no TV.

EVA MENDES is back from the Cirque Lodge rehab center in Utah and is looking good after having been a presenter at the Independent Spirit Awards.

PAM ANDERSON is now seeking to annul her brief marriage to Rick Salomon rather than getting a standard divorce, according to court papers.

MADONNA went to jury duty in L.A. on three hours of sleep after the Oscars.

BRITTANY MURPHY is driving the crew on her new movie crazy with her increasingly bizarre behavior.

HARRY POTTER star Daniel Radcliffe was held tightly for an embarassingly lingering kiss from a male fan at an awards show in London.  NTTAWWT.  Pics and video at the link.

DREW BARRYMORE & JUSTIN LONG make each other's cheeks hurt... from all the smiling.

ELIZABETH BANKS & SETH ROGEN complete the effing trifecta with the incredibly NSFW and unbleeped video, "I'm Effing Seth Rogen," from the set of Kevin Smith's Zack And Miri Make A Porno.  Hey, once Matt Damon and Ben Affleck had done it, you just knew Kevin Smith would want to jump on the pile.  Who else was going to out-gross Sarah Silverman?

TERROR in the UK:  A man said to be one of the most important recruiters for Islamist extremism in the UK has been convicted at the end of a major trial.  Among those to have passed through Mohammed Hamid's camps were the four failed suicide bombers of July 21, 2005.

PAKISTAN inadvertently cut-off worldwide access to YouTube on Sunday, leaving network administrators and Internet activists wondering whether such a disruption could be reproduced by someone with more malicious intent.

AFGHANISTAN:  France may send hundreds of ground troops to east Afghanistan where NATO-led forces are fighting al Qaeda-backed insurgents, Le Monde newspaper reported on Tuesday.  The US is heading a campaign for what it calls a fairer sharing of the burden in the fight against Taliban insurgents. Britain, Canada, Poland and others have backed the US demand.  Germany, Italy and Spain have troops in relatively secure areas and have refused to send troops to southern and eastern provinces where the militants are most active.  ALSO:  Al Qaeda operatives are monitoring Facebook, possibly looking for personal info to attack the friends and families of soldiers.

IRAN:  Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the handling of the nation's nuclear controversy by Pres. Ahmadinejad, who has often alarmed the West with speeches vowing no compromise.  "One example of an advance by the Islamic system has been the nuclear issue, in which the Iranian nation has honestly and seriously achieved a great victory," Khamenei was quoted by state radio as telling Iranian officials.

IRAQ:  Michael J. Totten blogs a patrol in Anbar province that shows the degree to which Iraqis are starting to run things, though this entry has an explosive ending.  The Defense Department is projecting that when the US troop buildup ends in July, there will be about 8000 more troops on the ground than when it began, a senior general said Monday.  I would think that would be the case at least through October, when Iraq has scheduled the provincial elections.

POLICE DOGS in Duesseldorf, Germany, will soon be equipped with blue plastic fiber shoes.

PET HOARDING:  Open up Shirley Neely's two fridges and you will find 75 hibernating tortoises.  Pics at the link.

IT'S ELEPHANT SEASON in South Africa, for the first time since 1994.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A militant squirrel threatens Homer Simpson's food supply.

HORSES wandering along Interstate 64 stopped eastbound traffic at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel in Virginia for about 30 minutes Tuesday morning.

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New Releases, Raveonettes, Ramones, Peg-Leg Parrot Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE HEADLIGHTS have a video for "Cherry Tulips," the frothy, ethereal single from their new Some Racing, Some Stopping album.

NEW RELEASES: Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Tift Merritt, Beach House, Cowboy Junkies and more are streaming in full this week from Spinner.  Jason and the Scorchers' Fervor EP and Lost & Found LP are being reissued on a single CD.

TIFT MERRITT talks to the NYDN about recording Another Country in Paris.

STEPHEN MALKMUS talks to Drowned In Sound about the new album, switching drummers, family commitments, and so on.

THE RAVEONETTES are doing a blog interview tour that starts at Brooklyn Vegan and MOKB.

HEY, HO, LET'S GO:  It's not the slogan for Ramones Condoms, but it could be!  Guardian blogger Nicholas Blincoe writes that he wouldn't turn to the band for help with his. love life.  But it did put me in the mood for vintage performances of "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" and "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," which is youtr Twofer Tuesday.

THE SWELL SEASON:  The Oscar-winning duo are getting a concert re-run via NPR.

ALEXANDRO ESCOVEDO has posted a new track, "Fall Apart," and a behind the scenes video at EscovedoSpace.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND is the subject of a SPIN story on the new metrics of success in the Internet Age.  That link is an excerpt, but thole thing may be online today at SpinSpace.

MOTLEY CRUE:  Please do not read about "The Spaghetti Incident" before or after a meal.

AMY WINEHOUSE trashed a room at the Riverbank Plaza Hotel before the Brit Awards, according to the ever-reliable Sun.  A Winehouse rep denies the story.

SEAN PENN & PETRA NEMCOVA were looking cozy over the weekend.  The tsunami-surviving supermodel would say only that they are "friends" who met through her charity work, but I am going to have to signal Vader.

OSCARS REDUX:  The Associated Press has backstage tales of nervousness and bodily functions.  And Jack Nicholson hitting on the reporter.  Maybe showing that stuff would help the show's sagging ratings.

JESSICA ALBA denied rumors she was pregnant with twins while on the red carpet at the Oscars.

BRITNEY SPEARS had her second visitation with her kids; the trips are reportedly going well.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS, Britney's knocked up 16-year-old sister passed her GED exam and is looking to take the ACT college entrance test.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes tells the Daily Mail that Cruise is "just amazing. He's kind, generous, smart, he's Tom Cruise - he's the most artistic man I've ever met."  That is in contrast to Raymond Shaw, who is "the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills is about to make FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World list.

JENNIFER ANISTON has put her eggs on ice until Mr. Right comes along, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.

JOE SIMPSON, dad-manager to Jessica and Ashlee, adds another item to the list of reasons why he is creepy.

MATT DAMON plans to be Bourne again.

JIMMY KIMMEL, icymi, has responded to his gf Sarah Silverman's "I'm Effing Matt Damon" video with the even more star-studded, but still likely NSFW, "I'm Effing Ben Affleck."

CLIMATE CHANGE:  Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.  Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, says the Arctic winter has been so severe the ice has not only recovered, it is actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than at this time last year.  One winter is not a trend, but if this winter had been warm, you can bet we would have heard a lot about it.

ISLAMISM DOWN UNDER:  Muslim university students want lectures to be rescheduled to fit in with prayer timetables and separate male and female eating and recreational areas established on Australian campuses.

IRAN:  Documentation presented Monday to the governors of the UN's nuclear watchdog suggests Iran continued nuclear weapons work beyond the 2003 date cited in a recent US intelligence report, diplomats said.  Oh, come on... when US intell ever wrong?  Not that IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei will care.  Meanwhile, Iran's ambassador to France says there will be consequences should Paris continue its "illogical" stance toward Tehran's nuclear program.

IRAQ:  Bill Ardolino has posted the fourth part of his look Inside Iraqi Politics, examining the Iraqi government's efforts to propose and pass legislation allocating wealth. "This includes the 2008 budget, which is immediately essential to executive functions and represents a de facto distribution of revenue among Iraq's provinces and sects, and the hydrocarbons laws, which will have long-term ramifications for the apportionment and development of the country's oil resources."

ORANGUTWINS Towan and Chinta turned 40 at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo over the weekend.  The zookeepers have a term for some of the regular human visitors - "orangutan groupies."

PET TORTOISE nearly burns down its owner's house in Bracknell, Berks.

PEG-LEG PARROT UPDATE:  George has shown more interest in eating the lining of the device, rather than fitting his leg into it to get his balance.

IS THAT A MOUSE IN YOUR POCKET?  Then I guess we'll have to quarrantine your airplane flight.

MAX the BOXER took his owner's car for a joyride in Azusa, California.  Surveillance video at the link.

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Guillemots, New Hold Steady, Wilco, Ray Davies, 400 Crocs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, February 25, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE GUILLEMOTS have a video for their new single, "Get Over It."  As good a Monday motto as any.

THE HOLD STEADY: At Pitchfork, frontman Craig Finn and guitarist Tad Kubler dish some details on the band's just-completed fourth album.  You can stream a live take on the title track, "Stay Positive," via the ol' HM.

WILCO:  Heather Browne is streaming the fifth and final show of the band's Chicago residency.  You can stream last Tuesday's show from Captain's Dead via the ol' HM.  BTW, Captain's Dead has a Husker Du gig on tap as well.

GARY LOURIS & MARK OLSON have finished a new album together, their first since the 1995 Jayhawks classic Tomorrow the Green Grass.  "Ready for the Flood" was recorded in Los Angeles in January 2007, but Louris and Olson decided to delay its release, to prevent it detracting from their respective new solo releases.

RAY DAVIES is still hoping for that Kinks reunion in an interview about his new album with the Canadian Press.

BON SCOTT, the late AC/DC singer, was immortalized in bronze in front of thousands of fans at the Aussie Rock Concert on Sunday night.  The statue will be placed permanently on Fisherman's Wharf in Fremantle, where the cheeky Scottish-born rocker grew up.  No photo with that story (yet), but you can get a pretty good idea of of it via Flickr.

MIKE DOUGHTY:  The former Soul Coughing frontman stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.  Or you might prefer to start with the video for "27 Jennifers."

DUFFY is profiled by London's Independent on Sunday.  She talks about (among other things) co-writer/producer Bernard Butler (ex-Suede) bosltering her iPod with tracks from his record collection, which she would listen to on the five-hour trip between her home in Wales and his London pad.

PRINCE is having a secret hip replacement operation, after being crippled by years of sexy dancing, according to the uber-reliable News of the World.

BRYAN FERRY has been dumped by his 27-year-old girlfriend Katie Turner, as the former Roxy Music singer was unwilling to become a father again at the age of 62.

AMY WINEHOUSE is ditching some of her best friends in a final attempt to beat her drink and drugs demons, on the order of her record label, Universal.  Together with her family they have launched an operation dubbed "Team Amy" to set up a safe house where she will live under constant surveillance, according to the Daily Mail.

THE OSCARS went to these folks.  It was no surprise that "No Country for Old Men" won for Best Picture, the Coen Bros for Direction, and Javier Berdem for Best Supporting Actor.  The adorable Juno won for Best Original Screenplay, which went to former exotic dancer Diablo Cody in her leopard print gown.  The NYT has a slideshow for more Red Carpet fashions, including Best Actress Marion Cotillard and her mermaid dress.  Daniel Day-Lewis drank everyone's milkshake as Best Actor, as expected.  Brad Bird won for Ratatouille, which was cool.  The Bourne Ultimatum won a number of the more technical awards.  Roger Deakins should have won Best Cinematography (or whatever Cameron Diaz called it) for the Jesse James movie, but had to compete against himself on No Country, so Robert Elswit wins There Will Be Blood, which looked good, but nowhere near the Jesse James movie.  During the pre-show I learned that Tom Wilkinson is fanatical about Friends TV reruns and was tongue-tied meeting Lisa Kudrow at the Independent Spirit Awards.  Anne Hathaway called her Get Smart co-star Steve Carrell a "bitter little man," though I'm pretty sure she was kidding.  Jason Bateman commented that George Clooney's hair looks so real until you see it up close (kidding again, I think).  Tilda Swinton claimed she had never seen the Oscars, and may not have been kidding.  Then she won Best Supporting Actress.  Your must-watch Oscar video however, is Gary Busey accosting Laura Linney, Jennifer Garner and Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet..

THE RAZZIES:  Lindsay Lohan swept the anti-Oscars with her twin roles in the absymal I Know Who Killed Me.

THE TOP TEN MOVIE QUOTES of 2007, as nominated by the Washington Post.  I totally agree with number one, though the linked video there is potentially a spoiler.

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON, director of There Will Be Blood, has some fun goofing on the NYT's David Carr.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The weekend's biggest release, Vantage Point, took the top slot with 24 million dollars on over 3000 screens.  Last weekend's top five all dropped down a notch.  Be Kind, Rewind debuted in seventh place, but with the second highest per-screen average, just over 5K for each of about 800 screens.  The adorable Juno dropped from seventh to eighth and has cleared 130 million to date.  Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins dropped from sixth to ninth, while There Will Be Blood rounded out the Top Ten.  No Country For Old Men benefitted from the Oscar odds, moving up from 14th to 12th place.  New releases Witless Protection and Charlie Bartlett debuted in 13th and 14th place, respectively (ouch).

THE INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS were largely swept by the adorable Juno.  The official website has plenty of pics and video to see.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie did seem to be sporting a baby bump in a curve-hugging black dress at the Independent Spirit Awards.  A female production assistant on the remake of Gone in 60 Seconds claims she was seduced by Jolie.  Pics of the pair at the link.

BRITNEY SPEARS was reunited with her sons for three hours on Saturday.  People magazine reports that dad Jamie and Britney's psychiatrist were present for the visit.

JENNIFER LOPEZ got a personal visit in the maternity ward from actress Leah Remini, which I'm sure was totally unrelated to Scientology.

KATE HUDSON has been secretly seeing Justin Timberlake for over a year?  Reps for both deny it.  But if we see JT with a black eye this week, we'll know Jessica Biel kicked his butt.

JENNA FISCHER a/k/a Pam from The Office, blogs her first stalking by a paparazzi.

DREW BARRYMORE was... wait for it... caught canoodling boyfriend Justin Long in the front seat of his car while celebrating her 33rd birthday at Mr Chows restaurant in Beverly Hills.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  Furious Muslims are now upset over Doritos Chilli Heat Wave.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS:  Prosecutors in the Kingdom have begun investigating 57 young men arrested for flirting with girls at shopping centers in Mecca.

IRAN:  The latest report from UN nuclear watchdogs makes it clear that Iran has no intention of addressing the most sensitive of the outstanding questions, namely those that are most closely associated with a nuclear weapons development program.

ANTHONY CORDESMAN has an op-ed in the WaPo: "No one can return from the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, as I recently did, without believing that these are wars that can still be won. They are also clearly wars that can still be lost, but visits to the battlefield show that these conflicts are very different from the wars being described in American political campaigns and most of the debates outside the United States."

IRAQ:  As thought, Moqtada al-Sadr renewed the Mahdi Army's cease-fire - a dramatic step likely to hold down US and Iraqi casualties while bolstering Sadr's importance as a political player in the Iraqi scramble for power.  An Iraqi intelligence official claims that the recently slain senior Hezbollah military commander Imad Mugniyah helped form the Mahdi Army, though I would take that with a grain of salt.  The Army Times reports on the difficult second phase of the "surge" that started just about a year ago.  And there are still clashes among competing militias in Basra.

HERE WE SEE THE PANTOMIME ZEBRA, engaged in a life or death struggle for a job at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.

EXOTIC PET AMNESTY DAY at Miami MetroZoo brought in over 150 pets, including a rhino iguana, a spotted African serval cat and a coatmundi -- a racoon-looking mammal found in South America.

400 CROCODILES fought over one hawt crock chick; one of the brawlers had to have radical jaw surgery.

CHEWIE the SHIH TZU saved his owner's life by inadvertently performing the Heimlich maneuver.

A SINGLE NEWT has halted work on a £15million bypass for the Leicestershire village of Earl Shilton.

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Duets, Joe Strummer, Art Brut, Cutout Bin, Godzilla Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, February 22, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE GREATEST DUETS OF ALL TIME, according to Retrocrush!  Selections from the Top 25 include "Hunger Strike" (Eddie Vedder & Chris Cornell); "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" (Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty); "Baby It's Cold Outside" (Ray Charles & Betty Carter); "Candy" (Iggy Pop & Kate Pierson); and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (Elton John & Kiki Dee).  But the link to "You're The One That I Want" (John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John) is broken there, so use the one I just provided.

THE NATIONAL frontman Matt Berninger talks to the Gothamist about favorite lyricists and concerts, the upcoming tour with REM and more...

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED:  Selections from Dengue Fever, the Cowboy Junkies, Black Mountain, the Mountain Goats, Beach House; and Otis Taylor are featured on this edition of the long-running NPR series.

BON IVER:  Justin Vernon talks to The A.V. Club about making his most buzzed-about album while thinking he might be done with his music career.  He also discusses the unusual method of songwriting he used.

JOE STRUMMER & THE MESCALEROS:  Heather Browne is streaming a 1999 set with plenty of Clash classics.

KRISTIN HERSH will make you a personalized Mix CD, recording your chosen Throwing Muses of Hersh songs, live solo, including an introduction.

ART BRUT frontman Eddie Argos is just a wee bit miffed that EMI released "Pump Up the Volume" as download single without informing either the band or Argos to coordinate the promotion.  The video is pretty fab, though.

WILCO:  The Chicago Tribune covers the fourth night of the band's career-spanning residency at Riviera, a 2 ½-hour show broadcast on local radio station WXRT and the web.

SXSW:  The official schedule is posted.  Many of the bands have submitted MP3s to download or stream for your listening pleasure.

NICK CAVE:  The Irish Independent looks at what his Grinderman project and his upcoming Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! album say about the reformed punk at 50.

CUTOUT BIN:  From Bob Dylan to the Ohio Express, from Wille Nelson to the Who, from Alex Chilton to Duffy, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

BRADGELINA have officially adopted little Pax Thien, now that it has been approved in both Vietnam and Los Angeles.  Pitt and Jolie were also spotted on a double-date with Clint Eastwood and his wife Dina Ruiz.  US magazine has the dish on what they discussed.

BRITNEY SPEARS' BFF Sam Lutfi has finally been served with a restraining order from her parents -- but it might not be valid.

JESSICA SIMPSON is the David Hasselhoff of Ukraine.

COLIN FARRELL is both honored and traumatised to be helping finish off the film Heath Ledger began before he died unexpectedly last month.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON:  Her upcoming album of Tom Waits covers -- with a cameo from David Bowie -- is reviewed by London's Telegraph: "Think Nico, backed by the Flaming Lips. On acid. Johansson has made a seriously weird record."

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases include the thriller Vantage Point, which is currently scoring 25 percent on the ol' Tomatometer (which bums me out); Witless Protection, an action comedy not screened for critics; and teen comedy Charlie Bartlett, currently scoring 59 percent.  Opening near-wide is Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind, which is also scoring 59 percent.

CHARLIE BARTLETT:  If that 59 percent rating puts you on the fence, you can watch the first five minutes on Yahoo! Movies as a tie-breaker.

MICHEL GONDRY, director of "Be Kind Rewind," talks to The A.V. Club about some of the comedy's underlying themes, from the connection people have to movies to people becoming "stockholders of their own happiness" by making their own movies.

THE OSCARS:  The Envelope has your scorecard for this Sunday's big show, along with its final Buzzmeter poll of 32 critics and a running blog of buzz and rumors.  America's best-known critic, Roger Ebert, offers his predictions and dark horses.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has 80 years of Oscar facts.  The Orlando Sentinel chats with first-time nominees Ellen Page, Ruby Dee and Marjane Satrapi.

GEORGE CLOONEY decides to have TIME magazine's Joel Stein cook him dinner and give an interview.  Embedded video at the link.

PETRA NEMCOVA shows off the latest undies from La Senza.  Egotastic has the pics, while I throw in the video for Gratutitous Friday.

PAKISTAN:  Two former US officials believe Pakistan's election results would greatly strengthen efforts to fight terrorism in the country.  Former US ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlin (2001-02) said counterterrorism efforts would now be supported by the entire population.  Former assistant secretary of state for south and central Asian affairs Karl Inderfurth (1997-2001) said a campaign of suicide bombings in recent months and the deaths of 800 people in violent incidents had created a genuine demand for democracy in the country.

IRAQ:  Radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has decided whether to extend his Mahdi Army's cease-fire, and sent the message in sealed envelopes to be opened at the beginning of Friday's sermons, one of his officials said.  Earlier in the week, a Sadr spokesman had said that if the cleric failed to issue a statement then the cease-fire would automatically be lifted, which tends to support the Reuters story that al-Sadr is expected to extend the ceasefire, sourced to two senior officials in his movement.  Hundreds of Mahdi Army members have been executed, jailed or excommunicated by the militia in a purge since the freeze was ordered by Sadr in late August.  Interviews with more than a dozen leaders of the Sadrist movement suggest that whether or not it is continued, the freeze has already transformed the militia and its place in Iraqi society.

A BLACK-FOOTED FERRET steals a microphone screen from CNN.

GODZILLA UPDATE:  Still on the loose in Findlay, Ohio.

PET HOARDING:  A Frederick, MD woman has been ordered to serve 10 days in jail for violating her probation on pet hoarding charges, after she was discovered with another dogs and seven cats.

AND THERE WERE CHICKENS all over the highway... in Brooklyn, NY, no less.  Pics at the link.

YARR, MATEY:  George the Parrot has a peg leg.  He's getting a prosthetic claw attached to his perch.

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