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White Stripes, Summer Songs, GbV, Pink Dolphin   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 05, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WHITE STRIPES rock a city bus in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with an impromptu performance of  "The Wheels of the Bus" and "Hotel Yorba."

SLY STONE says he plans to start work on a new album in the fall, and even test new material on the road.  Given his track record, I'll believe it when I see it.

THE SONGS of SUMMER:  At NPR, Christian Bordal urges folks to lighten up for the summer season with plenty of streaming tracks, including ABBA, Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta, and even the dreaded Mungo Jerry.

VAN HALEN:  The reunion tour derailed by Eddie's rehab may be resurrected as a fall arena run.

HALFTIME SHOW:  With June over, you can consider candidates for the "Best of 2007 so far" at Metacritic, CokeMachineGlow, and Pop Tarts Suck Toasted.  Regular Pate visitors will see a lot of familiar names, but there are always a few that slip by (and I will return to later).

GUIDED by VOICES had a brief reunion at a Dayton, OH, BBQ joint; "A Salty Salute" made it to the Tube.

ANDY PARTRIDGE:  The once (and future?) XTC frontman talks about Rasputin's penis, tinnitus, possibly the worst record deal in the history of the music industry, and more with JunkMedia... which still hosting Ken King's review of the Pate box set.

JELLYFISH:  The power-poppers once called "deliberately derivative" by the New York Times are essayed for the stypod feature of Stylus magazine.  You can jukebox the tracks via the ol' HM.

THE OLD '97s frontman Rhett Miller has kind words for the band's former label, Elektra Records.

DOC POMUS, who survived a childhood case of polio and went on to write hits for Ray Charles and Elvis Presley, among others, is given an audio tribute via NPR's Fresh Air.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE:  The troubled singer was more than two hours late for his latest court appearance, according to reports, and when he finally showed up, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and ketamine, as well as to two drunk driving offenses.  Still no jail time, though... he's off to rehab (again).

BRITNEY SPEARS uses an apology to the paparazzi at X17 as a passive-aggressive attack on Fed-Ex.  Her umbrella attack was previously the subject of a portrait at the Gallery of the Absurd.

THE FRENCH HOTEL assured everyone that jail left her a changed woman.  And a changed woman must need a change of clothes, as the heirhead went on a Hawaiian shopping spree last week and has rented a beachfront home in Malibu.  At least she urged folks not to drink and drive over the holiday.

NICK LACHEY & VANESSA MINNILLO may be cashing in on their hardcore sex photo scandal by granting an exclusive interview to OK! Magazine.

EDDIE MURPHY galpal Tracey Edmonds is shooting down rumors that she and Murphy have split, saying his positive DNA test for paternity of Scary Spice's baby had "no impact on our relationship." 

JOHNNY KNOXVILLE (a/k/a P.J. Clapp) has filed for divorce after nearly twelve years of marriage to wife Melanie.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  After considerable confusion about whether WWII drama Valkyrie would be granted the necessary permits, and the role Cruise's high-profile association with the Church of Scientology was playing in the decision, the German Finance Ministry has declined permission to shoot at a Defense Ministry building where Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (played by Cruise in the film) was executed for attempting to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  Another request to shoot at a Berlin police station was rejected after "intensive review," according to a spokesman for the Berlin police department.

JOHN TRAVOLTA has blasted gay rights activists who plan to boycott his new movie Hairspray, insisting that he and Scientology are not homophobic.  The evidence on the topic is mixed, theough Time Magazine had some interesting info on point a while back.

ISAIAH WASHINGTON, still unable to stop digging a deeper hole for himself, siad that if he could do it all over again, he would have used the "n-word" instead of an anti-gay slur during an October argument with former Grey's Anatomy castmate Patrick Dempsey that got him fired from the hit show.

GIRLS GONE WILD has been hit with a lawsuit claiming sexual harassment, sexual battery and various unfair business practices.  Founder Joe Francis responds.  Certainly, it would be shocking to learn that some of the men working for GGW were anything less than perfect gentlemen.

INDIANA JONES IV will reportedly be shooting on the garden island of Kauai within a few weeks.  Indy should know the place well; it's where the opening scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark were shot.

JESSICA SIMPSON and DANE COOK were caught in a near-canoodling incident at Prince's V.I.P. concert at L.A.'s Roosevelt Hotel last Saturday.

TERROR in the UK:  Several doctors arrested over the London and Glasgow car bomb plot were on the files of MI5.  US intell sources suggested that some cell members were recruited by al-Qaeda in Iraq up to three years ago, but British security sources insisted there was no intell that al-Qaeda commanders plotted to infiltrate the NHS.  The Times of London reports that an al-Qaeda leader in Iraq boasted before last week's failed bombings in London and Glasgow that his group was planning to attack British targets.  BTW, the notion of doctors as terrorists is not new.  New PM Brown has pn_bbsmile/pnimages/smilies/icon_biggrin.gif" alt="icon_biggrin" /> on">banned ministers from using the word "Muslim" in connection with the case, and the AP is following suit, reporting on the "diverse backgrounds" of the suspects, with no reference to religious extremism whatsoever.  A Glasgow cabbie damaged a tendon in his foot kicking the flaming driver of the Jeep in the groin.

IRAN'S new English-language TV channel debuted claiming that the Glasgow attack was staged by Britain to discredit Muslims, which is ridiculous, but mentions Muslims more than the British gov't.  Venezuela agreed to sell Iran gasoline on Tuesday, less than a week after Iran unveiled a rationing program to limit its dependence on gasoline imports.  Pres. Ahmadinejad has announced his intention to ration electricity as well.

PAKISTAN:  Bill Roggio has background on the clashes between Pakistani security forces and followers of Taliban supporters Maulana Abdul Aziz and Ghazi Abdul Rasheed at the notorious Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, in the heart of Islamabad, the nation's capital.  Pakistani forces early Thursday demolished the front walls of the radical mosque, where battles between security forces and students have raged for two days.  Time magazine just happened to be there beforehand, and now seems convinced that these radicals mean what they say.  Even so, the leader of the radicals was been caught trying to escape wearing a woman's burqa.

IRAQ:  Iraqi troops have detained a senior official and operator in the Al-Qaeda network in central Baghdad.  US troops won a fierce battle outside Al-Qaeda's former stronghold in western Iraq, as commanders warned that recent victories must not be taken for granted.  The use of tribes by US forces, pan-Arab, London-based  al-Hayat claimed, "is causing an acute conflict among tribes and armed groups."  Parliament replaced a well-known, controversial Sunni Arab legislator wanted on corruption charges.  The Cabinet approved a revised bill to share the country's vast oil wealth, which will be debated in Parliament; the Sadrist bloc has announced its reservations over the draft oil law.  The latest Iraqi Red Crescent report shows the number of internally-displaced people leveling off at just over one million.

THE STURGEON THREAT on the Suwannee River finally has been noticed by The New York Times.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT has descended on Bald Knob, Arkansas.  It's like The Birds, but with bushy little tails.

A PINK DOLPHIN was spotted in Calcasieu Lake, an estuary just north of the Gulf of Mexico in southwestern Louisiana.  Pic at the link.

AN ALBATROSS that landed in a pensioner's garden is believed to be from a species never before seen in Britain: "We are talking about an endangered species on a par with the tiger and lowland gorilla."

SHERBORN, MASS:  Where boys will be boys, and sheep will be scared.

PET HOARDING?  Not really, considering that a Lake View, IA  man is accused of dumping more than 140 dead pigs into the Raccoon River.

1179 Reads

Hey, Baby... It's the Fourth of July!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE FOURTH of JULY STARTS HERE:

...with THE BEACH BOYS!  Because folks my age will always remember their mammoth July 4th concerts at the Washington Monument (as with these 1980 takes o­n "Good Vibrations" -- pictured above -- and "Catch A Wave"). Given the time of year, I have to include this 1964 clip of "Surfin' U.S.A." which I think is from the same gig that produced these takes on "Little Deuce Coupe," "In My Room" and "Fun, Fun Fun." Their take on "Dance, Dance, Dance" from Shindig! later that year may be even better.  There's also a nifty twofer of "I Get Around" and "'When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)" from their first UK TV appearance o­n Ready Steady Go! You can see Jack Benny intoduce these quick takes o­n "Barbara Ann" and "California Girls."  There's a primitive video for "Wouldn't It Be Nice" that starts with a cameo from Brian Wilson's dogs (Banana and Louie), who appear at the end of the Pet Sounds LP.  And I'll finish with a live version of "God Only Knows" from 1969.

MARVIN GAYE performs "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game.

RAY CHARLES performs "America The Beautiful" like no one else.

HOLIDAY BIN:  The full bin will be here on Friday, but today is the day for: The Decemberists - July, July!; X - Fourth of July; Ben E. King - 4th of July, Asbury Park (B. Springsteen); Jimi Hendrix - Star Spangled Banner; and Matt Stone & Trey Parker - Theme from Team America: World Police (NSFMost Places!).

TRANSFORMERS:  I was given half of Tuesday off, so I stopped by the cinema.  The visual effects were impressive, as was the aptly-named Megan Fox (Number 18 on Maxim's Hot 100).  Not a bad popcorn flick, but I think I may prefer the new Die Hard movie, despite one autobot really knowing his popular music.

THE UNITED STATES celebrates the 231st anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. As the Wikipedia notes, this is a little arbitrary: New Englanders had been fighting Britain since April 1775; the first motion in the Continental Congress for independence was made o­n June 8th; and the Congress voted 12-0 for independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain o­n July 2nd. Even so, the publication of the Declaration was momentous .  If you're not in DC, the best way to see and learn about the Declaration may be through the Charters of Freedom website. But you can watch Mel Gibson, Michael Douglas, Renee Zelleweger, Kevin Spacey, Wynona Ryder and other Hollywood folk read the Declaration at YouTube, after a short introduction by Morgan Freeman.

Of course, the holiday more broadly celebrates the American Revolutionary War, and the Founders' unlikely victory. People with the highest standard of living and the lowest taxes in the Western World fought a sometimes unpopular war for our freedom. Early o­n, the Revolutionaries (also known as "Americans" or "Patriots") had the active support of about 40 to 45 percent of the colonial population. By 1779, there were more Americans fighting with the British than with Washington, which is why Washington needed help from the French, the Spanish and freed Blacks. You can separate fact from fiction regarding the sacrifices and fates of the Founders at Snopes. You can hear two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough read from the first chapter of his 1776 via NPR.

TWENTY QUESTIONS from US citizenship tests, as asked on the official United States Immigration and Naturalization Services Web site.  I had a perfect score (because I am a geek), but had to guess on one of them.

FIREWORKS:  As James Lileks recently wrote, "There are few emotions that match the pleasure of walking out of a fireworks store with a giant sack of explosives."  But he had to leave Minnesota to get them, and he's not the only one crossing state lines -- New Jersey State Police troopers said they confiscated nearly four tons of fireworks along the border with Pennsylvania, which allows the sale of fireworks to out-of-state residents.  But please, let's observe the do's and dont's for our dogs and try to end the day with the same number of fingers we started with.

Back with the usual tripe tomorrow.

933 Reads

New Releases, Advance REM, Go! Team & Rilo Kiley, Mary Zwo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

SMASHING PUMPKINS release the video for "Tarantula" a week ahead of the Zeitgeist LP.

NEW RELEASES:  Smashing Pumpkins, They Might Be Giants, Welsh spetet Los Campesinos!, Gabby Glaser and more are streaming this week via Spinner.

BILL CALLAHAN:  The Artist Formerly Known As Smog talks to Pitchfork about the change in his work that he's still tyring to sort out himself.

R.E.M. is playing new material in Dublin, Ireland; video previews at the link.

CULT of the iPod?  Universal Music Group has opted to not renew its distribution contract with Apple's iTunes music store.  Instead, the label will enter into month-to-month deals with the JobsCorp.

RILO KILEY has a video from its upcoming LP called "The Moneymaker," but be forewarned, it's shot in a pr0n store and is introduced by nine minutes of conversation with pr0n "actors" and "actresses," so there's some language that likely NSFW.  You can skip to the music by clicking about 75 percent into the timeline on the video player.

THE GO! TEAM has leaked another new track, "The Wrath of Marcie," which is more typical of the Team than the first leak -- funky horns, indie guitars and danceable beats.  Scroll down to the "Contenders" at the link to find the stream.  ALSO:  Team songwriter Ian Parton spoke to Pitchfork about the band's new label and new album, due in September.

TOM JONES & JOE PERRY may have stolen the show at the Princess Diana tribute concert with a cover of the Arctic Monkeys' "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," which sounds exactly like you would expect.

MORRISSEY has a large Latino fanbase... who knew?  No doubt they tuned in to see him play "That's How People Learn" on The Late Show.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel has fled to Paris with her daughter after it emerged her troubled singer fiance cheated on her with a South African model called Lindy.

NICK LACHEY & VANESSA MINNILLO have a lawyer trying to keep photos of the couple having hardcore sex out of the weekly magazines and off the Internet.

TRANSFORMERS opened last night and is currently scoring 59 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, 72 percent among the "cream of the crop" critics -- shockingly high for a Michael Bay movie.  More than meets the eye?

CAMERON DIAZ denies having played any role in breaking up the marriage of Mindfreak magician Criss Angel and his estranged wife.

JOHN STAMOS says jet lag and improper use of Ambien led to his odd interviews with a reporter from Sydney's Daily Telegraph and on the Australian chat show Mornings with Kerri-Anne last month during which he slurred his speech, read lines from the teleprompter and made lewd gestures in front of her: "I am not David Hasselhoff."  And when I read that, I hear the voice of John Merrick.

ROSIE O'DONNELL claims she auditioned for "Price Is Right and even filmed test show, but joked she didn't land the gig because she ad-libbed the line, "Don't forget to spay and neuter your Republicans."  A source at CBS told TMZ that, to their knowledge, Rosie did not do any test shows.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Mama Spears claims that "Everything is going to be fine," but the pop tart's most recent comments suggest the two are still on the outs: "I hope my mom gets the help she needs... I'm praying for her right now."

LINDSAY LOHAN spent a quiet 21st birthday in rehab.  Her lawyers, otoh, spent it loudly blasting L.A. police for "selling stories", after the actress' toxicology tests following her DUI arrest were leaked online.

CHRIS BENOIT:  The homicidal-suicidal pro wrestler was known by the DEA as an "excessive purchaser of injectable steroids" who, over the past year, was prescribed a 10-month supply of anabolic steroids every three to four weeks by a Georgia doctor who was indicted today on federal charges.

TOMMY LEE is dating Kimberly Stewart?  How the mighty have fallen!

SPEED RACER has a new adversary -- PETA alleges that Chim-Chim was beaten and bit an actor on-set.  Speed also has a new role model -- Shaft!

SALMAN RUSHDIE and his hot fourth wife PADMA LAKSHMI (host of TV's Top Chef) are getting divorced, just two weeks after he was awarded a controversial knighthood.

IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME:  Former Jihadi Hassan Butt has sobering words for the West:  "I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy. By blaming the Government for our actions, those who pushed this "Blair's bombs" line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology..."

TERROR in the UK:  An Iraqi junior doctor and a brilliant neurologist working for the NHS are among the suspects being quizzed over the series of bomb attacks across Britain.  The news came as it emerged that an eighth person has been arrested in the terror enquiry.  Five doctors are now being held in connection with the recent attempted terror attacks.  US sources suggested that Ansar al-Islam would have a motive for an attack on Britain, having been driven out of its northern Iraqi stronghold and into Iran after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.  And though some downplay the story, the largely failed attacks may well have been an attempted fuel-air attack -- an explosion with many times the strength of a normal bomb, against which traditional defenses against car bombs may not work.

IRAQ:  US and Iraqi forces move into the next phase of operations in Baqouba. With almost no hostile fire reported in days, combat operations are winding down. The focus of the effort now is to consolidate control and persuade local residents to begin cooperating with US troops and Iraqi security forces.  CBS reports that informants are helping in the city.  Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner provided explicit detail on both Iran and Hezbollah's role behind the Shia terror networks in Iraq and their involvement in the Karbala attack, in which five Americans were kidnapped and killed.  Prime Minister al-Maliki urged Sunni lawmakers to end their boycott of his cabinet.  And following on yesterday's link about the tension between younger officers who have served in Iraq and more conservative generals it appears that some senior Army leaders are worried that the new emphasis on counterinsurgency may be undermining conventional capabilities.  Others would say that ignoring COIN training after Vietnam was a major reason for US problems in Iraq.

MARY ZWO, a six-week-old gorilla, had to be given emergency treatment for severe dehydration and hypothermia -- in a German hospital for humans.  She was able to return to the Muenster Zoo on Sunday and was said to be weak but slowly recovering.

AN UNIDENTIFIED DROMEDARY was found lying dead on the side of the E22 motorway in southern Sweden in the early hours of Monday morning.  Police have ruled out any criminal intent.

AN UNUSUALLY FRISKY DEER tipped off the cops to a mountaintop dope plantation in Italy.

DOG helps a murder suspect escape house arrest in Israel.

THE LAKE SPRINGFIELD MONSTER is right here in the Land of Lincoln.

RUSSIAN FISHERMAN catch a space alien and eat it.  Video at the link.  Hey, it's in Pravda, which is the Russian word for truth!

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Art Brut, Polyphonic Spree, ex-Jayhawks, Parts & Labor, Panda Jailbreak   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 02, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

ART BRUT throws a real toga party in the video for "Direct Hit."  And the video titling echoes I, Claudius.  PLUS:  Frontman Eddie Argos lists a few of his favorite things for Pitchfork's Guest List.  I am not shocked to learn he's a big Jonathan Richman fan.

SONIC YOUTH:  Thurston Moore is a bit surprised at the uproar over plans to sell a compilation LP at Starbucks: "I never thought of it as being more radical than recording for Universal Music. They're both corporations that have ties to things that people find sort of problematic," later adding "I kind of like the absurdity of it."

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE and MARK OLSON played the World Cafe Friday, so you can stream both gigs on demand via NPR.  BONUS:  Polyphonic Spree frontman Tim DeLaughter names a few of his favorite things for Pitchfork's "Guest List."

GREG LOURIS, Olson's former bandmate in The Jayhawks, has a gig unofficially streaming in two parts at Captain's Dead.

MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG:  Music blogger (and satellite radio DJ) Craig "Dodge" Lile gets a write-up from the Indianapolis Star dubbing him "Indiana's top tastemaker."

PARTS & LABOR:  The noise rock trio is profiled by Jim DeRogatis in the Chicago Sun-Times; keyboardist and guitarist Dan Friel cites Sonic Youth, Husker Du and Fugazi as influences.  You can stream the entire Mampmaker album via Virb.

OF MONTREAL is debuting the collage-filled video for "Suffer For Fashion" at the Subterranean blog.

JASON ISBELL talks about his first post-Drive-By Truckers solo LP with Glide magazine.

RYAN ADAMS talks sobriety, songwriting and splitting from the Lost Highway label with London's Sun.  He tals about judging his own material and the upcoming box set with The A.V. Club.

PRINCE is launching his new Planet Earth album as a free giveaway with a Sunday issue of the Daily Mail -- a move that has drawn widespread condemnation from music retailers.

RAP & HIP HOP are hemorrhaging sales, which are down 33 per cent, double the decline of the CD album market overall.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Ratatouille tops the box office with 47.2 million -- on the low side for a Pixar pic, but Disney's best opening in a year, excepting Cars and Pirates 3.  The movie may have legs based on good reviews and word of mouth, however.  Live Free or Die Hard opened in second place with 33 million -- about where the last Die Hard pic opened in 1995.  I'm not a huge fan of the genre, but the movie delivers.  Evan Almighty dropped 50 percent to third place -- not terrible, but not affordable on a 200 million budget.  1408 dropped 49 percent -- not terrible, but affordable, having made 40 million on its 25 million budget so far.  The Fantastic Four flick drops another dangerous 55 percent, making 9 million -- it may break even on its 130 million budget in the US and add to the 60 million it has made outside the US.  The leggy Knocked Up rounds out the Top Five; it has made over 122 million US so far on its 30 million budget.  Ocean's 13 makes 6 million and crosses the 100 million mark in the States.  Pirates 3 adds another 5 million and will just about match its 300 million budget here in the States, while making over 609 million abroad.  Sicko made a relatively healthy 4.5 million an should recoup its 9 million budget easily.  The debut of Evening rounds out the Top Ten with a 3.5 million take.

BRUCE WILLIS celebrated the premiere of Live Free or Die Hard by picking up a gorgeous young blonde in front of his 18-year-old daughter, Rumer.  And while he uncessfully tried for Petra Nemcova in th past, he held court with a table of "20-something models" at Nemcova's birtday party -- again with Rumer present.

SiCKO:  Michael Moore's movie gets an unexpectedly bad review from MTV's Kurt Loder, who compares it with a short 2005 documentary called "Dead Meat," which shows a very diufferent version of the Canadian healthcare system than Moore does.

KATE MOSS has lost her contracts with both Burberry and Agent Provocateur, with the latter involving a love triangle.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  The German Defense Ministry scrambled to qualify its stance on Cruise's World War II thriller Valkyrie, saying that it has not received an official request from United Artists to shoot in the country, but it will "look agreeably" upon any such application.  Meanwhile Holmes reportedly auditioned for a role in the film version of the musical NINE -- which she won't get if she still sounds like this.

BRITNEY SPEARS claims she never had a drug or alcohol problem but was railroaded into rehab.  Her mother is "brokenhearted" over recent difficulties in her relationship with her famous daughter.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  Jezebel had an expert analyze the heirhead's handwriting: "Rarely do we see an independent adult write with such diminished capacity of comprehension..." 10 Zen Monkeys compares the celebutante with the iPhone.  And the Gallery of the Absurd covers The Uninteresting Blob of Flesh.  And X17 has loads of dirt, including stuff on a new mystery man, a new agent and more on the letter to her mother.

CAMERON DIAZ is a homewrecker?  The "secret" Long Island wife of kooky magician Criss Angel yesterday accused him of having an affair with Cameron Diaz, claiming their marriage broke down as soon as the TV illusionist got famous and bedded the Hollywood star.

LIZ HURLEY had to pull a picture of her five-year-old son in a bikini from her website, after being accused of exploiting her son for financial gain.

JESSICA SIMPSON:  You will be shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that the early buzz on her late-summer film Blonde Ambition is so bad that creepy dad-manager Joe has pushed back the release date twice.  BONUS:  Her ex Nick Lachey and new gf Vanessa Minillo naked on vacation in Puerto Vallarta... though Life & Style censored the naughty bits.

HAMAS MOUSE (FINAL) UPDATE:  Farfour, the Mickey Mouse look-alike who had made worldwide headlines for preaching Islamic domination and armed struggle to youngsters on Hamas TV, was shown as beaten to death by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour's land.  Let's go to the video!

TERROR in the UK:   Two doctors were among five people being held as terror suspects last night after the bomb plots in London and Glasgow.  The links between the three attempted car bombings in Glasgow and London are becoming "ever clearer", the UK's top counter-terrorism officer has said.  Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the BBC  it was "clear that we are dealing, in general terms, with people who are associated with al-Qaeda."  The terrorists who attempted to bomb central London last week deliberately placed the second vehicle to catch rescuers attending the injured from the first explosion.  Possibly a test of the new gov't, like the 1993 WTC bombing and 9/11, France's top anti-terror judge cites the overall threat to Europe posed by Islamists trained in Iraq, but noting similar scenarios going back to Afghanistan, Chechnya and Bosnia.  Indeed, some the 9/11 attackers said that their actions were inspired by an urge to avenge the suffering of Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya (though the US helped Muslims in Bosnia and had nothing to do with Chechnya). France did not invade Iraq, but remains a target of al-Qaeda and affiliates.  Spain pulled out of Iraq, but remains a target.  Some even theorize that the UK plot may have been triggered by the knighting of Salman Rushdie.  Jihadi extremists will always have a grievance with the infidels.  Interestingly, it seems that MSNBC ignored the story at first, and later put on Larry Johnson as an expert to downplay the plot, though he's mostly known for suggesting the US had nothing to fear from Islamic extermists in July 2001.

IRAN curses Pres. Ahmadinejad over his sudden petrol rationing; London's Telegraph rounds up the economic discontent in the country.  Meanwhile, chief prosecutor Ghorbanali Dari Najafabadi has championed the creation of an international Islamic court.

IRAQ:  Civilian deaths in Baghdad dropped by almost two-thirds in June, a possible indication that recent American military operations around the country and raids on car-bomb shops in the "belts" ringing the capital are starting to pay off.  Nationwide, civilian deaths dropped to 1342 from 3014 in February; it is the lowest monthly number since July 2006.  This has come at the cost of higher US caualties, though the number in June is the lowest since March.  Michael Yon has a graphic dispatch on AQ's mass murder in Baqubah.  The US military is enlisting hundreds of fighters each day from tribal and insurgent groups in alliances aimed at countering al-Qaeda in Iraq, the top US general in Baghdad says, adding that American and Iraqi security forces now control about half of Baghdad, up from 19 percent in April.  Coalition forces conducted two major raids inside Sadr City against the Iranian-backed Qazali Network over the weekend.  A top special operations officer from Lebanon's Iranian-backed militia Hezbollah was captured in March in Iraq, where US officials say he played a key role in a January attack that killed five Americans.  The US military said on Saturday that its forces had killed an Egyptian man believed to be a senior member of al Qaeda in Iraq on Friday.  The Wall Street Journal ran a piece on the tension between young officers eager for change and more conservative generals.  Certainly, the late Capt. Travis Patriquin figured out the importance of winning over the Anbar Tribes before a lot of other people.

PANDA JAILBREAK:  Hiding low, looking right to left... If you see them coming I think its best... to move away, do you hear what I say, from under my breath?

GATOR WRANGLING:  She had seen it on TV plenty of times, so for Erin Kemp, wrangling a stray alligator that wandered into her yard was no big deal.

CATS decided to live with you, not the other way around.

A PEACOCK was fiercely beaten, after being mistaken for a vampire.  No, Little Tommy, the peacock will not be alright.

THIS INDIAN GOAT is a party animal.

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Who, Los Straitjackets, Cutout Bin, Ratatouille, Zorse   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 29, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE WHO!  As with recent Fridays featuring the Stones and The Kinks, some less obvious video.  Indeed, some of these clips tend to disappear from the Tube, so worth a look when they resurface like this.  Let's start with "So Sad About Us," live at the fabled Marquee Club.  Next, an odd live clip of "Substitute" for French TV, also the source of a Keith Moon-led take on "Barbara Ann" and a non-destructive "My Generation."  Switch to German TV for a live take on "The Seeker."  Go bootleg for the rarity "I Don't Even Know Myself."  Tune in the Old Grey Whistle Test for some seemingly drunk live vocals to the backing track for "Long Live Rock."  And check out the archival video of "I'm One" before someone's lawyers notice its's back.

LOS STRAITJACKETS stopped by the World Cafe for a miniset.  The usually instrumental band has now recruited three vocalists to help perform classic rock 'n' roll songs in Spanish.

CALEXICO have recorded an instrumental album titled Tool Box, available at the group's shows and through their website, which reportedly has more of the Southwestern touches some missed on the group's last LP, Garden Ruin.

THE EXPLORER'S CLUB, from Charleston, SC, have a major surf music mojo going as you can hear on "Last Kiss" (which is very pre-Pet Sounds Beach Boys), as well as "Forever" and "Summer Air."  South Carolina, btw, has a history as a surf music mecca, though the term has a different meaning for Myrtle Beach than for Redondo Beach.

WILCO:  Jeff Tweedy has had just about enough of interviews promoting the LP, thank you very much.

CHRISTOPHER is the Indian; the others are Village Puppets.  The close-ups from :30 to Fame show them singing.  (Thanks, Dad; everyone else thinks, "Well, that explains a few things...")

MAN MAN frontman Ryan Kattner (a/k/a/ Honus Honus) did a "Quit Your Day Job" segment for stereogum, talking about his days doing double-duty as a bartender and barista.

J MASCIS of Dinosaur, Jr. faced off against comedian David Cross in a Guitar Hero duel for the DL.

RICHARD HAWLEY has a new album titled Lady's Bridge coming in October.  If you remember him as a member of Blur, note that his solo work sounds more like Johnny Cash or Roy Orbison than Britpop, as you can hear when you stream a few tracks from the fabulous Cole's Corner via HisSpace.

LILY ALLEN was charged and bailed over an alleged assault on a photographer outside a London club.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds on the ol' HM are: Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You; Big Audio Dynamite II - The Globe; KISS (Ace Frehley) - New York Groove; T.Rex - Summertime Blues; The Zombies - Summertime; Wire Train - Skills Of Summer; Dirty Looks - You're Too Old; A Flock Of Seagulls - I Ran; The Hives - Hate To Say I Told You So; VHS or Beta - Can't Believe a Single Word; The Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm; The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy! (Acoustic); Lucky Soul - One Kiss Don't Make A Summer; Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb; Sonic Youth - Victoria (Kinks); Bright Eyes - Four Winds; Apples In Stereo - Energy; Redd Kross - Annie's Gone; Cheap Trick - I Want You to Want Me; Led Zeppelin - Misty Mountain Hop; and Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower.

RATATOUILLE:  It was tough to wait a week to write that Pixar's newest movie is probably the best movie I have seen this summer, possibly this year.  Brad Bird, who directed The Incredibles, revisits some of the same themes in a radically different context to great effect, albeit with less subtlety.  Not unlike Mr. Incredible, Remy has a special gift or talent, and a dream to pursue, while dealing with family tension and societal rejection.  But here those themes -- along with thoughts about those who create vs. their critics -- are more a framework for the broader sort of humor Bird brought to The Simpsons years ago.  Which makes for a nice balance, as kids would otherwise be less interested in the workings of French cuisine and restaurants than they are in superheroes and volcanic rocket silos.  As always, Pixar pushes the technical envelope, with some truly stunning animation sequences.  I would rank this pic with Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo, which for me puts it above A Bug's Life and Cars, but below The Incredibles and Toy Story.  And the Pixar cartoon before the movie was also broadly funny.

NOW SHOWING:  In addition to Ratatouille, currently scoring 90 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this week's wide releases include Bruce Willis inviting you to Live Free or Die Hard, which is scoring 77 percent, and the ensemble drama Evening, which is scoring 31 percent.

SiCKO:  Michael Moore's latest movie reaches 440 screens this weekend, so it's worth noting that the scary stories of US healthcare it it are matched in the countries Moore extols, not even counting the horrors of the real Cuban hospital system.  But these days, I almost feel sorry for Moore.  PETA is on his case over his weight and meat-eating lifestyle, with a letter proclaiming, "there's an elephant in the room, and it is you." (Ironically, elephants are vegetarian.)  It is true that obesity is a major reason the US lags other countries in life expectancy, so he sorta had it coming.  But to get bumped off Larry King Live for the French Hotel?  Ouch.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The pop tart gave her mom a lawyer's letter, though seemingly not related to the restraining order she is rumored to be mulling.  Fed-Ex will not sign the couple's final property settlement agreement absent proof that Britney can handle joint custody.  And, contrary to prior rumor, Spears will not be performing at the L.A. stop of the True Colors tour, mostly because she would actually have to perform.

THE SPICE GIRLS, otoh, have announced a world tour, for which they are expected to pocket about £10 million each.

LINDSAY LOHAN was allegedly drunk and had cocaine in her system during an early morning smash-up in Beverly Hills on Memorial Day weekend, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

THE FRENCH HOTEL reportedly is looking into possible legal action against her lawyer for having to spend 23 days in the slam.  Her rep denies it.  Free advice:  The ghosts of Clarence Darrow and Johnnie Cochran couldn't have gotten her out, given the public outcry when she was transferred to house arrest.  Don't believe me?  Watch Mika Brzezinski of MNSBC refuse to cover the story.

ISAIAH WASHINGTON can't stop complaining about being fired from Grey's Anatomy.  Newsweek asks, "Is that a good thing for him to do?" Hint: No, though it's funny that he's admitting the "rehab for homophobia" was a network stunt.

VIVICA A. FOX tried to deal the race card when the CHiPs busted her for DUI in March.  Ponch wasn't having any of it.

NICOLE KIDMAN says she has the same body she had at 15 years old.  The new face of Nintendo, otoh, has had several renovations.

1000 ESSENTIAL FILMS sounds like a few too many to be "essential," but London's Guardian has spent the week listing them, along with commentary.

ALYSSA MILANO has been named the Global Network's Ambassador for the control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, she has donated $250K to buy safe, inexpensive drugs to combat diseases of poverty that afflict a billion people worldwide.

NANOTECH:  Two Israeli scientists have created a one-millimeter-diameter robot which is capable of crawling through human veins and arteries.  Next up for them is creating an even tinier Raquel Welch.

IRAN'S top security body ordered local journalists not to report on problems caused by gas rationing,  The authorities also switched off the mobile text messaging system in Tehran overnight to prevent motorists from organizing more protests.  Members of Parliament said they would press the government to alter or even scrap the scheme after angry protesters set fire to at least a dozen petrol stations in Tehran and chanted slogans against President Ahmadinejad following Tuesday night's sudden introduction of quotas.  Banks, supermarkets and fire engines were also attacked while further disturbances were reported in other big cities, including Isfahan and Shiraz.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio has another round-up of Operation Phantom Thunder.  Gen. Petraeus's counterinsurgency advisor, David Kilcullen, tells Wired that the controversial walls built in Baghdad were key to the current massive military ops.  Iraqi and Arab papers are abuzz with the news of the formation of a new political coalition designed to bolster Prime Minister al-Maliki's government.  Moqtada al-Sadr called on all Iraqis to join him in a demonstration of national unity on July 5, confirming that his followers would march to the twice-bombed Golden Mosque in Samarra to mark the birth of the Prophet Mohammed's daughter Fatima.

A ZORSE is a Zorse, of course, of course...

THE BENGAL CAT, a cross between a domestic cat and the little forest-dwelling Asian leopard cat that roams Asia and part of Russia, has become the most registered feline with the International Cat Association.  Pic at the link.  Almost as cute as the Toygers.

RETURN of the WOOLY MAMMOTH:  Palaeontologists are piecing together the complete genome species of long-dead species such as the woolly mammoth and the Neanderthals in an effort to bring them back to life, much like billionaire John Hammond resurrected the extinct dinosaurs in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park.  And that turned out so well.

GILA MONSTER SPIT helped people with type 2 diabetes shed pounds, a three-year study found.  Because who wants to drink that?

EVERYBODY will soon be Skunk Fu Fighting... Polecats are fast as lightning!

RUBBER DUCKIES headed straight for Britain have proved an invaluable aid to science.  And make bathtime lots of fun.

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