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British Indie, R Hitchcock, Black Lips, Cutout Bin, Dogs & Gators   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, October 12, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

... with THE SEVEN AGES of ROCK: BRITISH INDIE!  This documentary from the BBC traces a Manchester-centric line from the first appearance of The Smiths of the UK's venerable Top of the Pops through the biggest days for Oasis, and on to the Libertines and the Arctic Monkeys.  That's a little sad, as it excludes stuff like the Stiff label, and mentions the Hacienda nightclub w/o recognizing the club exists due to Factory Records.  I would have liked a bit more about the literally riotous early days of the Jesus & Mary Chain, too... but they didn't ask me.  Nevertheless, the JAMC, the Stone Roses, Blur and Suede get decent time; Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets and more have cameos.  Tubed in segments:  Part 1- Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 - Part 9.  There's the more-than-occasional f-bomb lobbed in the interviews as well.

ALL THE BEATLES LPs, compressed into one hour, is streaming from WFMU's blog.  (Thanks, Ken King!)

JOY DIVISION:  Someone from the US distributor for the Ian Curtis biopic Control asked whether Joy Division could play the NYC premiere,  Bassist Peter Hook took it pretty well. The movie, which moves outside NYC on the 26th, is currently scoring 90 percent on the ol' Tomatometer.  Director Anton Corbijn -- who famously photographed Joy Div back in the day -- has been doing the PR thing with Entertainment Weekly, Salon, the Seattle Times, and so on.  BONUS: An hour-long documentary, Heart & Soul: The Story Of Ian Curtis And The Making Of 'Control', is streaming from Xfm Manchester.  (Thanks, Terry Nielsen!)

ROBYN HITCHCOCK:  You can stream his entire box set, which comes out at the end of the month, via YepRoc.  Doesn't include his major label stuff, but still hours of twisted listening pleasure.  (Thanks, Chromewaves!)

JENS LEKMAN talks to Drowned In Sound about a variety of things, including letting his friends decide which songs went on his new album, Night Falls Over Kortedala, which is streaming in full via Spinner through the weekend.

THE BLACK LIPS rocked "O Katrina" like a hurricane for the big redhead on the Peacock the other night.

RADIOHEAD:  The (almost) freely downloadable In Rainbows LP continues to reverberate through the mediasphere.  Guitarist Johnny Greenwood talked to Gothamist on launch day.  Fortune magazine reported on downloading the album.  Business Week looked at "The Big Record Labels' Not-So-Big Future."  Last 100 looked at five alternative models for the industry.  A writer for the Michigan Daily observes: "Though probably not the demise for the record industry, what the Radiohead digital release may signal is the tipping point for death of the local indie-music store..."

OKKERVIL RIVER did a studio session for the World Cafe you can stream from NPR.  The band also serves as the springboard for a Village Voice essay on how "indie" became part of the Indusrty of Cool:  "The inevitable irony, of course, is that this all winds up being sublimated self-loathing..."

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

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Bill Murray - Star Wars Theme; The Mountain Goats - Cubs In Five; Joe Dassin - Les Champs Elysees; The Decemberists - The Sporting Life; The Beach Boys - Sloop John B; Billy Bragg - A Lover Sings; The English Beat - Tears of a Clown (Smokey); Elvis Costello - (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea; The Bravery - It's All I Can Do (The Cars); A Flock Of Seagulls - I Ran; Devo - Girl U Want; The Bangles - If She Knew What She Wants (Jules Shear); Big Star - September Gurls; The National - Pretty in Pink (P-Furs); Lily Allen - Don't Get Me Wrong (Pretenders); The Pretenders - Not A Second Time (Beatles); Damone - Just What I Needed (The Cars); Luna - Sweet Child O' Mine (GnR); Jens Lekman - A Postcard For Nina; The Zombies - She's Not There; The Pipettes - Dirty Mind; Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Tell Me; Otis Redding - I Can't Turn You Loose; Wilson Pickett - Land of 1000 Dances; Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road (Acoustic Version, 914 Studios, 1974); Robyn Hitchcock - Ye Sleeping Knights of Jesus; Bright Eyes - Four Winds; Ringo Starr - It Don't Come Easy; Pearl Jam - I Can't Help Falling in Love; and Elvis Presley - Are You Lonesome Tonight?

MICHAEL CLAYTON, which stars George Clooney as the "fixer" for a large NYC law firm is so good that I really didn't care that I knew the outcome in advance and could have guessed it had I not known it.  Which is to say the picture is well-written and better-acted.  It is more subtle than a plot synopsis would suggest, and all the better for it.  Even the somewhat foreseeable ending is somewhat redeemed by a particularly catchy line.  Clooney does well enough (though he remains more star than actor), but it's the supporting performances of Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton that make the picture.  Indeed, actors stepped up to the plate across the board, even in the smaller roles taken by the likes of Danny O'Keefe and Sydney Pollack.  And always good to see Ken Howard, even if the White Shadow is looking kinda puffy these days.

NOW SHOWING:  In addition to Michael Clayton, which is currently scoring 89 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's wide releases are:  We Own The Night, which is scoring 50 percent; Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married, which was not screened for critics (shocka!); Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which is scoring 25 percent; and The Final Season, which is scoring 19 percent.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX, promoting We Own the Night and the upcoming Reservation Road, hung up on an interview with TimeOut NY, but he was highly quotable before that: "I've been acting since I was eight, and I never looked at entertainment magazines, never watched entertainment shows. I don't think one should be comfortable standing on a stage with people applauding and laughing at every stupid thing you say."  That's just the tip of the 'berg, too. 

BRITNEY SPEARS gets one-night-a-week visitation rights with her sons, but the visits must be supervised by a court-appointed monitor (as opposed to mama Lynne, as Spears sought).  This followed a hearing in which Court Commissioner Scott M. Gordon reminded the pop tart that she has "substance abuse issues and emotional issues... (which) could have devastating effects on the children."  This is what happens when you ignore court orders and act like a diva to the decision-maker.  But Spears seems stuck in denial, still trotting around town without panties on the day she is trying to regain parental rights.

JUDE LAW has been cleared of assaulting a paparazzi photographer, according to People magazine.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sir Paul and Heather Mills last night ended eight hours of mediation without reaching a deal on what could be the costliest divorce on record.  The Daily Mail claims the sticking points are a privacy clause preventing 39-year-old Mills from discussing the marriage and her annual income from the ex-Beatle's £825million fortune.

MADONNA is close to leaving her long-time Warner Bros. Records label for a wide-ranging 120-million-dollar deal with concert promotion firm Live Nation.  Regular Pate visitors knew this in July.

ORLANDO BLOOM... and Jessica Simpson!?  (Cue Vader.)  What happened to Jennifer Aniston?

BRADGELINA:  Contrary to prior speculation, Jolie and dad Jon Voight remain estranged.  Not to mention just plain ol' strange.

DAVID HASSELHOFF will likely not lose custody of his daughters just because he fell off the wagon with sufficient velocity to land in the hospital, his lawyer Melvin Goldsman tells People magazine.

LARS and the REAL GIRL:  How do you market a wholesome, old-fashioned film about a churchgoer who falls in love with his sex doll? Grass-roots screenings with religious groups, maybe?  Star Ryan Gosling talks to Entertainment Weekly about the movie which he compares to Harvey.  And here's the trailer.

RAMZI YOUSEF, the mastermind of the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, claims he converted from Islam to Christianity.  Of course, if you're stuck in a Supermax prison, you're probably not worried about some jihadi trying to kill for your apostasy, either.

INDONESIA:  Convicted Bali nightclub bombers feasted on kebabs with Indonesia's anti-terrorism chief at an evening party held at his house.  The party, which brought together more than 20 Muslim hardliners and former terrorists who have shown "regret" for their actions, was the latest "soft" strategy in Indonesia's anti-terror campaign to try and turn former militants into informers, or advocates of religious moderation.  Unfortunately, at least one of the quoted bombers doesn't sound very reformed yet.

IRAN:  Watch Hashemi Rasfanjani -- often described as a "moderate" and a "reformer" in the Western media -- tell his audience that the Holocaust was at least partially the fault of the Jews, who were a "pain in the neck" to the Nazis and other European countries.

IRAQ:  Six main Iraqi insurgent groups announced the formation of a "political council" in a new attempt to assert the leadership of the groups, which have moved to distance themselves from another coalition of insurgent factions led by AQI.  The Marines want to take the lead in Afghanistan, in anticipation of drawdowns in Iraq's Anbar province.  SecDef Gates yesterday played down the discussion.  Michael J. Totten has posted video of a walking tour of Ramadi with Army Capt. Phil Messer taken in August.  In a number of Shiite neighborhoods across Baghdad, residents are beginning to turn away from the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia they once saw as their only protector against Sunni militants.

IRAQ II:  Over 37 terrorists were killed, 25 suspects detained, and several weapons caches were discovered during military operations conducted by the Multi-National Forces in Diyala province, an MNF statement said.  Iraqi authorities said Wednesday that they had arrested the killer of a policeman who was murdered earlier in Kirkuk.  Thirteen suspected insurgents, including three members of AQI responsible for the assassination of a Sunni Arab preacher, were killed within hours by a US airstrike, the US military said on Thursday.  A recent raid in the town of Sinjar near the Syrian border yielded "literally terabytes of electronic files," including 800 names of al Qaeda terrorists - 143 of those either "en route or already delivered" to Iraq.  The intel included the terrorists' names, passport numbers, home addresses and their transit routes.

SUPER GROOM 2007:  A day after blurbing the Cat Championships in NYC, how can I overlook pooches preened and painted with non-toxic temporary food dyes in Vegas?  Yep, that's the Teenage Mutant Ninja Poodle.  More pics at the link.

CATS & DOGS: Thumper the black Lab saved his owner from a house fire, which fire officials believe was caused by Princess, the family cat.

DOG SPAYED as the veternary clinic goes up in flames.

TREE LIZARD UPDATE:  A nearly four-foot-long monitor lizard, suspected of killing small pets in an Orange County community, was finally caught Thursday.   Pics and video at the link.

KILLER GATOR snuffs it in Savannah, GA.  The nearly eight-foot alligator was responsible for the death of an 83-year-old Canadian woman -- said to be the first fatal gator attack in Georgia in more than 25 years.

GATOR THIEF sentenced and married on the same day, by the same judge, in Chambersberg, PA.  Franklin County Judge John R. Walker said: "By God, he got a life sentence."

1548 Reads

Meat Pups, New Raveonettes and Metric, Glenn Mercer, Kangaroos   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

MEAT PUPPETS:  Both Curt and Cris Kirkwood talk to The A.V. Club about the past and present.  At the moment, there's new and old to stream via the ol' HM.  BONUS:  Curt Kirkwood and Rufus Leaking perform "Backwater" on Pancacke Mountain.

ROGUE WAVE did an interview and mini-set at the World Cafe, streamable on demand via NPR.

RADIOHEAD:  Pitchfork has a track-by-track guide to the newly downloadable In Rainbows album, with plenty of embeded video.  Oasis, Jamiroquai, Nine Inch Nails and the Flaming Lips all seem likely to follow Radiohead's move to self-releasing albums.

THE RAVEONETTES: BiBaBiDi is streaming four new demos from the duo.

METRIC, along with taking requests, debuted a few new songs during the band's "Hey, Play This" gig for MySpace.

GLENN MERCER:  The former Feelies frontman talks to Things I'd Rather Be Doing about his "stunningly good solo album," which features almost all of the Feelies... minus Bill Million.  You can stream a couple via GlennSpace.  BTW, the album is available via Pravda, which is Pate's former label also.  Mercer covered the Feelies' "Only Life" at a Brooklyn gig in April.  The Jonathan Demme directed vid for "Away" is a bonus, though even that clip doesn't fully capture the frenetic energy of one of their live shows.  Mercer and Million would bounce off of each other; guitar picks would fly out of Million's hand with great regularity.

DAMON & NAOMI (formerly of Galaxie 500) talk about their melancholy melodies and more with the San Francisco Bay Guardian.  You can stream a few via D&NSpace.

JOSH RITTER, "quickly becoming the standard-bearer for a new generation of Americana artists," played DC's 9:30 Club the other night; you can stream the whole gig now via NPR.

BOB DYLAN:  The NYT Magazine ran a piece on "I'm Not There," the unconventional biopic by Todd Haynes featuring six Dylans.

NELLIE McKAY:  The idiosyncratic singer, songwriter and skilled multi-instrumentalist is profiled the San Diego Union-Tribune, with embedded video.

BRITNEY SPEARS hit Fed-Ex "several times during their marriage," or so an "insider" tells the uber-reliable Life & Style magazine.  A "friend" of the pop tart tells OK! magazine that she loves her pet Yorkie more than her kids.  Her estranged dad is so worried by her erratic behavior he wants to have her committed.  Her new album will be released two weeks earlier than expected, on Oct. 30, ostensibly due to Internet leaks... but a Halloween release seems about right.  And she's kinda topless in the uncut version of the "Gimme More" video, as though you can't see even more than that on the Internet.

UMA THURMAN, contrary to prior reports, is not engaged to her Swiss millionaire boyfriend.

REESE WITHERSPOON & RYAN PHILLIPPE are officially divorced.

PAMELA ANDERSON:  The newlywed is already pregnant, according to the uber-reliable InTouch Weekly.

JENNIFER LOPEZ:  More evidence of pregnancy on the set of MTV's Total Request Live.

LINDSAY LOHAN denies responsibility for breaking up the marriage of a British heiress and her musican husband.  Her new boyfriend is 25-year-old snowboarder Riley Giles, who she met during her stay at the Cirque Lodge rehab center.  An "insider" told OK! magazine that Li-Lo fired her mother, but her rep denies it.

DENISE RICHARDS & CHARLIE SHEEN:  Richards got plenty of pixels to tell her side of the bitter custody story to Cindy Adams in the NY Post.

GEORGE CLOONEY doesn't want Palisades Medical Center employees suspended for allegedly leaking Clooney's and girlfriend Sarah Larson's private medical records to the media after his recent motorcycle crash.  He's mellowed considerably from the days when he organized a celebrity boycott of Entertainment Tonight...

JACKO suffers from lupus, sources close to the former pop star tell Roger Friedman.

HUGH GRANT:  The Daily Mail has more than you ever wanted to know about Scandinavian beauty Caroline Hargreaves, who was caught canoodling Grant on camera the other day.

CHARLIZE THERON is Esquire magazine's new "Sexiest Woman Alive."  Interview and pics at the link.  Prior honorees include Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel.

NANOTECH:  Nanotextiles may help protect the wearer from viruses, bacteria and the harmful components of air pollution.

MILITARY RECRUITMENT:  All US military Services met or exceeded their active duty recruiting goals for FY 2007.  The Army National Guard and Air National Guard fell a few percent short.  The Army is offering cash bonuses of up to 35K to retain young officers serving in key specialties.

SWISS UNREST:  The capital of Berne was turned into a battle zone at the weekend when leftwing radicals seized control of the main square outside parliament, routing the main far-right political party two weeks before a general election and catching the Swiss police off guard.  The Swiss People's Party (SVP), which is tipped to win elections later this month, has used posters and ads with racist overtones.  But the Guardian omits that the SVP is already the largest party in Parliament as populists representing a strong strain of Swiss national conservatism who despise liberals and the left, but not as  neo-Nazis. There has been at least one recent case of an African immigrant being attacked by masked assailants wielding chainsaws.  Sadly, it is not tough for a party to tap into anti-immigrant sentiment when, according to federal statistics, about 70 percent of the prison population is non-Swiss and supporting poor immigrant families is an increasing drain on the national budget.  And Switzerland has not been really progressive when it comes to women, either.  There is likely a partial chicken-egg problem here, too -- unassimilated immigrants in Europe may have less success and create more social strain than in the US melting pot (though we're less melting alll the time). 

IRAQ:  None of the 1000-plus Iraqi detainees freed recently have returned to the insurgency, according to the Marine general who oversees US detention centers in Iraq.  The Iraqi government is willing to hand over wanted detainees to Saudi Arabia and will not allow terrorism to be exported to the kingdom, according to Vice Pres. Hashemi.  Shiite leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim returned to Baghdad after five months of hospital treatment in Iran, according to media reports.  After more than 20 months, September was the first month that there were no murders within the western Ameriya neighborhood of Baghdad.  Barring a spectacular attack in the next day or so, this year's Ramadan witnessed a 37 percent decrease in terrorist operations in comparison to the same period last year.  Michael J. Totten blogs from Ramadi about "The Best Police Force In Iraq."

A LUCKY KANGAROO decided to hop across the track during qualifying day for the Bathurst 100 car race in Australia last weekend.  Video at the link.  BONUS:  Greenpeace argues that more kangaroos should be slaughtered and eaten to help save the world from global warming.  I'm hoping for a Greenpeace-PETA cage match.

A PINK FLAMINGO that escaped from a Wichita, KS zoo in 2005 was spotted in Louisiana about three weeks ago -- apparently with the same companion it had the last time it was spotted.

GIZMO the RABBIT is missing... and allergic to lettuce and carrots.

OLYMPIC PIGS:  The Chinese communist regime is secretly breeding high-cost, high-quality porkers for its athletes, which has stirred anger among Chinese citizens.

THE CAT CHAMPIONSHIPS:  The claws will be out in NYC this weekend as hundreds of pedigree cats, with stage names such as "Disco Nofurno" and "Leonid the Magnificent," compete to win.

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Of Montreal, 'Mats, Moptops, a Moo-Cow, and a Moose   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI brings in a pyro expert to spice up the video for the funky "Debbie."

OF MONTREAL stopped by the current for a chat and mini-set, inclding a new song and covers of "Trouble" (Lindsey Buckingham), and "The Kids Are Alright" (The Who).

THE REPLACEMENTS:  Most of last Sunday's edition of Sound Opinions was devoted to a "Classic Album Dissection" of The "Mats' 1984 release Let It Be.  Chitown music scribes Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot talk with longtime Mplis music journo Jim Walsh who has written an oral history of the band called "The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting," due this November 15.  You can stream or download at the link.

STEVE EARLE, whose new LP was reviewed on Sound Opinions, talked to Pitchfork about Dylan, Springsteen, Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris, plus getting room service for his dog.

ROLLING STONE has posted excerpts from its 2007 Hot List.  And while I haven't put much stock in RS since high school, Megan Fox, Band Of Horses and Iron Man armor aren't bad picks...(though I s'pose if I was still full-on hipster, I'd argue that listing BoH after they sold a tune to Wal-Mart isn't the height of hot).

THE ROLLING STONES made their second US TV appearance on The Mike Douglas Show, covering Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away."

FIERY FURNACES composer Matthew Friedberger is only half-kidding when he tells Cincinnati City beat that the new Widow City LP was partially inspired by 1970s women's magazines and an episode of The Sopranos.

THE UNSEEN BEATLES is a documentary about the Fab Four's final concert in San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1966.  There's a clip posted at Amazon.

LILY ALLEN has gone from size 12 to size eight after several sessions with a hypnotherapist.

PETE DOHERTY:  The troubled singer's new addiction looks to be food.

LINDSAY LOHAN gave OK! magazine her first interview since leaving rehab, which she called "a sobering experience."  She's a genius, that one.  At least Morgan's Creek CEO James Robinson -- who once publicly criticized her work ethic -- says he'd hire her again in a second.  BTW, does the fact that her ex-con dad Michael's girlfriend is a dead ringer for Li-Lo move him into the "creepy" category?

SIENNA MILLER was miffed at the publication of nude pics from the set of Hippie Hippie Shake, so she's going to be really miffed at the even more explicit photos that have turned up on the Internet.

BRITNEY SPEARS took a drug test this weekend and passed.  All that time put in studying paid off.  The pop tart was snapped saying goodbye to her boys in a teary-eyed embrace after Monday's visitation.  And Spears was ordered by a L.A. County judge to be booked for August's alleged hit-and-run, before her next court appearance on Oct. 25.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sir Paul and Heather Mills may have reached a divorce setllement between £57million and £64million by the time you read this.

PAMELA ANDERSON announced her marriage to French Hotel sex tape cc-star Rick Salomon on her blog with the title, "The Adventures of Scum and Pam Have Begun."  Anderson's ex, Kid Rock had some words of wisdom for Salomon - advice he says he only wishes someone had offered him: "Why buy the cow, when you get the milk for free?"  I'll skip past the udder joke to note there's video at the second link.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND pleaded no contest to a DUI charge will serve 30 days in county jail under terms of a plea agreement.  After a year in a Chinese torture chamber, he should be able to do that time in his sleep.

DEMI MOORE, in an interview in London's Guardian, emphatically denies that she's had extensive plastic surgery, but says that "To fight it feels futile because... it perpetuates the myth."  Actually, it's decades of photos that perpetuate it.

DAVID SPADE donated 25000 to the family of a slain Phoenix police officer after reading about the shooting and the fact that he had overcome cancer to return to duty: "It just struck me as such a rough situation just because cops in general get kind of a bad rap lately and people forget it is the scariest job out there."

UMA THURMAN is reportedly engaged to her Swiss millionaire lover.  The two began dating after meeting at a party in Italy in July.  In August, they were seen canoodling in New York and were also spotted together in London last week.

NICOLE KIDMAN & KEITH URBAN are rarin' to start farming on the land they just bought in Tennessee.  Kidman has laready starred in remakes of The Stepford Wives and Bewitched, so why not Green Acres?

DAVID HASSELHOFF fell off the wagon and has been hospitalized, but his rep says the Hoff is doing fine.  But for now, don't jump in his car, m'kay?

ELEVEN INCONVENIENT TRUTHS:  Last week, a British judge ruled that schools would have to issue a warning before they show pupils Al Gore's controversial film about global warming.  In order for the film to be shown, the Government must first amend their Guidance Notes to Teachers to make clear that: the film is a political work and promotes only one side of the argument; if teachers present it without making this plain they may be guilty of political indoctrination; and eleven inaccuracies have to be specifically drawn to the attention of school children.

NANOTECH:  France's Albert Fert and German Peter Gruenberg will share the 2007 Nobel Prize in physics for a discovery that has allowed a radical reduction in the size and increase in the capacity of computer hard drives.  So I can't help mentioning that Pate frontman Jon Pratt is an award-winning scientist in related fields, like measuring nanoscale forces.

AL QAEDA in CYBERSPACE:  Private contractors working with the US government to monitor and track al Qaeda Internet communications say their windows into the various operations are not closed, despite published reports in the WaPo and the NY Sun to the contrary.  Rita Katz of the SITE Institute claims the White House leaked the most recent bin Laden video she gave them, but it seems that the White House had a translation of the video a full 24 hours before SITE intercepted it.

IRAQ:  AQI's Ramadan assassination campaign continues.  Two suicide truck bombs exploded in the northern town of Baji, targeting a police chief and a tribal leader who had joined forces with the US military against al-Qaeda.  Anonymous gunmen killed the police deputy chief of Nineveh province, also in the north.  Unknown gunmen assassinated a leading Shiite cleric in the Baghdad area of Al-Rasafah.  But a preliminary analysis (Ramadan ends on the 12th) suggests AQI may not match last year's Ramadan carnage, let alone the pace it set earlier this year.  The head of yet another Sunni insurgent group in Anbar province has met with US and Iraqi officials and expressed hope that former insurgents would have a role in the country's future.  In Anbar, a unique tribal reconciliation process is allowing repentant former AQI loyalists to return to homes and families free from the threat of arrest by coalition forces.  All of which may explain why AQI's objective seems to have changed from adding more towns and villages to the so-called "Islamic State in Iraq" to destroying the very same towns and villages.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Newsday's Timothy Phelps reports from DC that Basra is in chaos following the announcement of a UK troop withdrawal.  The London Telegraph's Con Coughlin reports from Basra that crime is down 70 per cent, and rocket and mortar attacks against British forces - which were running at more than 90 a day in the summer - have been reduced almost to zero (not surprising, given that they have moved out of the city center and are out by the airport).  Michael Yon was in Basra recently and e-mails that Basra is not in chaos.

A LARGE LIZARD capable of eating small pets and injuring children spotted in a Central Florida neighborhood tree remains on the loose, keeping homeowners on edge.  Video at the link.

GAYLORD the OSTRICH was the victim of a revenge killing that is sending a San francisco area man to jail.

A COW is in custody after causing traffic accidents that killed at least six people this year, Cambodian police say.

A MOOSE thinks it is a cow in Cannonball, ND.

MARLEY the PIT BULL assists a deaf man in Virginia Beach, because who won't help a man with a pit bull?  Video at the link.

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Arcade Fire, New Releases, Fogerty, Spoon, Babies & Kitties   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 09, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

ARCADE FIRE venture again into the crowd after a concert, this time to cover "Kiss Off" by the Violent Femmes.  BTW, did you check out their new interactive video site?

NEW RELEASES:  Jens Lekman, Band Of Horses, Cut Off Your Hands, Enon, Deborah Harry, Eric Clapton and more are streaming in full via Spinner.  Radiohead is selling downloads of In Rainbows for whatever you want to pay above the credit card processing fee.  Robert Pollard releases both Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love and Standard Gargoyle DecisionsBeirut officially releases The Flying Club Cup.  The Fiery Furnaces go to Widow City.  Sunset Rubdown releases Random Spirit Lover.  And for late night listening -- depending on the kind of night -- you might check out Doveman or Scout Niblett.

JENS LEKMAN talks to Pitchfork about his samples, badminton and the ire of the South Swedish Elvis Society.

JOHN FOGERTY:  All Things Considered has an audio feature on the onetime CCR frontman's return to Fantasy Records, plus audio and video links to a track from that album, Revival.  Amber Taylor will be thrilled.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE and Vampire Weekend's NYC gig is reviewed by David Byrne.  AC just made its national TV debut.  Oh, to have an audience rection shot!

THE FLAMING LIPS have a new song, "The Tale Of The Horny Frog," on the soundtrack of The Heartbreak Kid; you can stream it via the 'Gum.

SPOON rocked "The Underdog" and rolled "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb" on a late night comedy program Saturday night.  And it's your Twofer Tuesday.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN just released Magic, but apparently has enough material in the can for another LP already:  "There's another group of songs that exist that I think are great songs and should end up somewhere, but they just didn't quite fit with this group," says producer Brendan O'Brien.

THE RAMONES:  That Truncheon Thing has posted a gig from New Year's Eve 1979 at the Palladium in NYC.  You can jukebox it via the ol' HM.

ERIC CLAPTON:  Spinner has an excerpt about the breakup of Cream from his new autobiography, as well as video of Slowhand talking about "Layla."

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE:  The troubled singer's manager denies that Doherty took an overdose at the Clouds House clinic in Wiltshire.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Sources tell TMZ the real reason the pop tart didn't answer her buzzer when her kids came to visit last Thursday is because she wants nothing to do with anyone who tries to tell her how to be a good parent.  But Sean P. and little Jayden were escorted into the house Monday, along with what appears to be the court ordered parenting coach.  Spears has reached the point where people scream at her on the street to get out of the neighborhood, and throw hot coffee on her car.  For her part, Spears has become obsessed with Princess Diana and now believes she will meet the same tragic fate as the People's Princess.  And uber-reliable BANG Media reports that burglars are believed to have made off with Britney's collection of raunchy homemade sex tapes, uniforms Britney allegedly wears for kinky sex games, as well as a selection of the singer's steamiest photographs.

VANESSA HUDGENS:  The High Scool Musical starlet took time off from e-mailing dudes nude pics of herself to come down hard on the "stupid" behavior of rehab-devotees Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.

PRINCE HARRY was snapped snorting vodka in a drinking game medical experts warn could kill.

HALLE BERRY loves morning sickness and vomiting and hot sweats.  I guess that's why she got pregnant.

JESSICA SIMPSON may be getting back to her country roots, but she has her sights set on a NYC apartment, ostensibly to be close to her record label.

DENISE RICHARDS & CHARLIE SHEEN:  She has listed her 5,188-square-foot house for 3.9 million, having moved into a nearby five-bedroom, 5,600-square-foot house with a pool for about 4.6 million.  There's not a lot of high-profile projects on her resume at the moment, so I have to think she's doing personal appearances.  Meanwhile, he  is so serious about fiancée Brooke Mueller, he's promised to remove his 13 tattoos, which she hates.  He doesn't remember getting some of them.

BRADGELINA:   Little Zahara Jolie-Pitt flips off the paparazzi.  Wonder where she learned that!

P. DIDDY is taking legal responsibility for his sixth child... after DNA tests proved he was the father, natch.

HUGH GRANT looks like he's dating an entire sorority.  NTTAWWT.

THE DARJEELING LIMITED:  Owen Wilson made a brief public appearance at the Los Angeles premiere of Wes Anderson's latest.  Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman talk to MTV about the movie and how Schwartzman got cut out of The Royal Tenenbaums.  The A.V. Club lists "16 Films Without Which Wes Anderson Couldn't Have Happened."

THE HOBBIT:  Entertainment Weekly reports that the bitter legal feud between Rings Of The Rings director Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema may finally be nearing resolution, which would pave the way for Jackson to helm J.R.R. Tolkien's maiden Middle-Earth masterpiece.  It's a lengthy piece with lotsa juice, too.

FILM THREAT has a four-part series documenting The 50 Best Breasts in Movie History, with embedded video.  Because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  And who can object to raising... awareness?

CARTOON JIHAD:  A new documentary shows that several of the instigators behind the violent Mohammed cartoon demonstrations never even saw the drawings.  Shocka!

IRAN:  More than 100 students scuffled with police and hardline supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday on Tehran University campus and chanted "Death to the dictator" outside a hall where the Iranian president spoke.  Students and activists say some of those who have spoken out against the president and his government in the past two years have been detained or blacklisted from university courses.

MIDEAST MYSTERY:  The Israeli strike on Syria in September -- and the ensuing silence from everyone --  leads inexorably to the conclusion that the implications must have been enormous.  A "very senior British ministerial source" tells the UK's Spectator: "If people had known how close we came to world war three that day there'd have been mass panic. Never mind the floods or foot-and-mouth - Gordon really would have been dealing with the bloody Book of Revelation and Armageddon."  And buried in Jim Hoagland's Sunday WaPo column is the claim that "highly classified U.S. intelligence reports say that the Israelis destroyed a nuclear-related facility and caused North Korean casualties at the site, which may have been intended to produce plutonium..."

IRAQ:  Some Iraqi leaders, arguing that sectarian animosity is entrenched in the structure of their government, now stress alternative and perhaps more attainable goals to reconciliation.  The Iraqi Jihad Union becomes the latest militant faction to criticize AQI.  An Interior Ministry official has accused former Prime Minister Allawi and Hareth Al-Dhari, the leader of a mainstream Sunni movement, of having links with a militant group.  Gen. Petraeus accuses the Iranian ambassador to Iraq of belonging to the Qods force.  The Times of London follows jihadis to Iraq from Syria.  The NYT reports that Syria is encouraging Sunni Arab insurgent groups and former Iraqi Baathists with ties to the leaders of Saddam Hussein's government to organize there.

SEPARATED AT BIRTH:  Babies and kittens.  More awww...some pics at the link.

HONEY the GOLDEN RETRIEVER started producing milk due to an orphaned kitten's cries.  Awww...some pic at the link (and possibly still on the front page through the link).

A LLAMA brought the Virgin Trains service to a halt outside Stoke-on-Trent, but was not interested in boarding.

HAMSTERS on V1AGRA bounce back from jet lag faster than their unmedicated friends.  So. Many. Punchlines.

CROWS stare unamazed as they are outfitted with tiny cameras for their own reality TV show.  But will they sing?

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Lucinda Williams, Cover Songs, CYHSY, Barktoberfest   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, October 08, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

SIMON & GARFUNKEL, like Christopher Columbus and the cast of Easy Rider, look for "America."

JOHNNY ROTTEN, on the 30th anniversary reissue of "God Save The Queen," tells London's Sun that Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl and that vinyl is still where it's at.  He concludes with a familiar saying.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS has been playing an album a night in NYC and LA.  The second set each night has featured plenty of guests, including Steve Earle, Fionn Regan, David Johansen on "Jailhouse Tears" (nsfw) and "Looking For A Kiss," David Byrne on "Buck Naked" and Willie Nile on "I Wanna Be Sedated."

COVER ME:  Heather Browne is streaming three tracks from a covers disc released by BBC Radio One -- The Foo Fighters cover "Band On The Run," Stereophonics cover "You Sexy Thing," and Kooks cover "All That She Wants."

BOB DYLAN:  NY magazine's Culture Vulture compiles his ten most incomprehensible interviews, with plenty of embedded video.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & PATTI SCIALFA are being sued by an Olympic equestrian for allegedly backing out of a contract to buy a horse worth 850K for their daughter.  It really doesn't get any more blue-collar than that.

JOY DIVISION:  Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner talk to London's Sun about their late bandmate Ian Curtis after watching the biopic Control.  It appears that director Anton Corbijn and his cast really did their homework, as this mash-up clip of "Transmission" demonstrates.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

THE NATIONAL:  A piece in Canada's Gazette suggests that writing songs up to their standard takes as long as it has taken the band to achieve a level of notoriety.

LOUDON WAINRIGHT III played the World Cafe on Friday, so you can stream the whole gig now via NPR.

KATE MOSS & LILY ALLEN reportedly got into a verbal catfight over Courtney Love at London's The Groucho Club.

PETE DOHERTY tried to kill himself in rehab after discovering that his ex love Kate Moss was dating a new man, according to the uber-reliable News of the World.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  The pop tart continues her meltdown.  Her first scheduled visit with her children since being stripped of custody was a disaster, though Life & Style has the Spears spin on the same story.  She has reportedly reunited with her with estranged mom; OK! magazine claims that mama Lynne and little sister Jamie Lynn flew into L.A. to stage an intervention... but that Spears stormed out of her Malibu home afterward.  Her "friends" are worried that the court-ordered parenting counseling and drug-testing will cause an added drain to her rapidly depleting funds.  "Performers make money off touring," a source told Page Six. "And we all know she can't do that."  Ouch!

PAM ANDERSON and French Hotel sex tape co-star Rick Salomon tied the knot Saturday night in Las Vegas at the Mirage Hotel before Anderson's children and members of her family, during the break between between Anderson's two magic shows.  It is the third doomed marriage for both of them.

JENNIFER LOPEZ is knocked up.  Indeed, TMZ reports that J.Lo and Marc Anthony are expecting twins, so eventually there will be gossip about whether artificial insemination was involved.

LINDSAY LOHAN is officially checked out of the exclusive Cirque Lodge Treatment Center in Utah, according to her parents.  Li-Lo plans to start filming her tango-themed move, Dare to Love Me, in L.A. on Oct. 15. A source tells People magazine that Lohan has been insured for the film.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The Rock's Game Plan scored another upset victory with 16.2 million on a 29% drop, while The Heartbreak Kid remake opened to  a disappointing 14 mil from 3,299 theaters.  The Kingdom fell the normal 45% its second weekend in release, earning 9.3 mil and continuing to disappoint, though it may just be difficult selling war-themed movies this season.  Resident Evil 3 came in 4th place, taking in 4.3 mil.  Rounding out the Top Five, The Seeker flopped, earning a mere 3.7 mil in its debut.  Good Luck Chuck dropped 44% and two spots from last weekend, making 3.5 mil, for a total of 29.1 million.  The J-Lo produced, Reggaeton-themed drama Feel The Noise debuted with just enough over 3.4 mil to edge out 3:10 to Yuma.  The Brave One managed ninth place and 2.3 million -- a comment on the lack of competition.  Mr. Woodcock rounds out the Top Ten with 2.2 million, it has made just over 20 mill on a rumored 80 mil budget.  Overall, box office was down 26% compared to last year's.

THE DARJEELING LIMITED, I'm sad to report, disappointed me.  If The Life Aquatic found Wes Anderson & Co. treading water creatively, The Darjeeling Limited finds them as lost as the Whitman bros. are in the script, and relying on metaphors as obvious as the two I just used.  Though a number of the unfavorable reviews of this movie suggest Anderson has simply reduced the magic of earlier films like Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums to formula, the real problem for me was one of the ways in which this movie departs from the Anderson formula.  In his earlier films, Anderson has been very good (his detractors would say too good) at defining the relationships of the characters to each other early in each flick.  In The Darjeeling Limited, the relationship among the members of the Whitman family never get very well-defined, which made me care much less about their struggles.  Moreover, while Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman did well enough with the material they had, Owen Wilson seemed miscast as the most anal-retentive of the three brothers.  The movie has its moments, but they are really only moments.  Hardcore Anderson fans are going to want to see it anyway, but I don't see The Darjeeling Limited as broadening Anderson's audience.  If you do go see it, watch Hotel Chevalier online first, which makes it maddening that it's offered through iTunes (you can see it in two parts via the Tube, but shhh...).

BRADGELINA:  Jolie's estranged dad, Jon Voight, was spotted leaving The Waldorf Astoria hotel where the Jolie-Pitts are staying.

ROSIE O'DONNELL is now claiming that Barbara Walters fired her from The View.  There's also an ambiguous reference to Astroglide in the article and I have no intention of trying to figure it out.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY was... wait for it... caught canoodling in period attire with boyfriend Rupert Friend between takes on the set of The Duchess.  Photos at the link.

EWAN MacGREGOR has flown to Iraq to meet Britain's only female bomb disposal expert working in the war-torn country and to present her with a bravery award.

BE KIND REWIND director Michel Gondry talks to MTV about the movie and the arc of his career so far: "If this movie is not trashed by people, I will start to feel confident."

COLUMBUS DAY:  I get it as a holiday, so I thought a few words might be in order. Over the course of my life, I have seen the image of Columbus swing from unvarnished hero to genocidal criminal. Locales like Berkeley, CA have renamed the day "Indigenous Peoples Day. The ever-reliable Wikipedia still contains allegations of Genocide from Ward Churchill, though his bogus accounts were o­ne of the reasons he was dismissed from Colorado University. Columbus was certainly no sweetheart, but at the end of the 15th Century, it is fair to say that Europeans often did not treat each other all that well. Moreover, before the furriners showed up, Native North and South Americans engaged in slavery, tribal massacre, infanticide, scalping, human sacrifice, and the ritual skinning of slaves for their priests to wear. It was a far less civilized time all 'round. But the West is civilized today in part because of Columbus. Some four centuries-plus later, we all are still struggling to become more civilized, but focusing criticism o­n the more-civilized while giving the less civilized a pass is not particularly useful to that struggle.

IRAQ:  Powerful Shiite clerics Mudtada al-Sadr and Abdul Aziz Hakim announced a peace agreement Saturday aimed at ending frequent gun battles between their followers.  The agreement was a positive sign for the government of Prime Minister al-Maliki, as support from both is seen as necessary to avoid a vote of no confidence in Parliament.  Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army is being blamed for a bloody attack on two of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines in the southern city of Karbala in late August.  Bill Roggio looks at AQI's Ramadan assassination program as Sunni insurgent groups continue to turn on the terror group.  A militant group leader accused of sectarian violence against Sunnis in the Arab Danan region was detained on Friday.  Bill Ardolino looks at the dramatic changes in the Fallujah Police Department from January 2007 to today.  Iraq's national security adviser says a "big fat no" to any military attack on Iran.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  Although Time magazine has been slow to report that it's likely that no US soldiers will face murder charges from the Haditha shootings, the NYT blames the delay in investigating the incident for a loss of evidence.  That was a factor, but the NYT doesn't mention that the witness statements were contradictory to each other and contradicted in several cases by the physical evidence in the buildings.  Nor does the NYT report on whether the witnesses were biased, or looking to collect "blood money" from the US for their loss.  Nor does the NYT report that the hearing officer, Lt. Col. Paul Ware, wrote in one report that he recommended dismissing charges because they were based not only on were based on unreliable witness accounts, but also insupportable forensic evidence and questionable legal theories.  What the NYT does report about Lt. Col Ware is that "he felt that the killings should be considered in context - that of a war zone where the enemy ruthlessly employed civilians as cover" and that "He's aggressive, and he seems to make his judgments without regard for anything but the law. He must know that people - civilians, primarily - are going to howl about this, but that doesn't seem to be a concern."  So Ware considered the events in context and judged cases by the law, rather than public outcry for a scapegoat; that's quite an indictment.  BTW, the NYT story also suggests that Haditha had looked to be the "defining atrocity" of the conflict in Iraq... as opposed to the AQI truck-bombing that killed 500 Iraqis in a single day, or the Samarrah mosque bombing that ignited sectarian violence nationwide, or any of the many, many atrocities committed by jihadis in Iraq.  Apparently, the NYT is of the position that only the US commits war atrocities.  BONUS:  Defend Our Marines has a Marine Corps intelligence summary that says the deadly encounter was an intentional propaganda ploy planned and paid for by Al Qaeda foreign fighters.

IRAQ and the MEDIA II:  Yesterday, on CNN's Reliable Sources program, Robin Wright, who covers national security for The Washington Post, and CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr tell Howie Kurtz that that the decline in Iraqi casualties need not have gotten more media attention, but that any increase in US or Iraqi casualties "by any definition, is news."  Wright argues that the casualty count is "tricky," when in fact counts from the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count and Iraq Body Count show the same trend as the numbers used by Gen. Petraeus, and has no explanation for why it was easy to count casualties when they were rising, but suddenly "tricky" now that they are declining.  If you prefer, you can watch the video on the Tube.

BARKTOBERFEST:  Dogs celebrate Halloween early in Pensacola, FL.  Gallery at the link.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  The NYT covers factional fighting between red and gray squirrels in the UK.

SNAKE IN A WARDROBE:  No sign of a withch, though.

A RANDY PEACOCK sexually attacked Baronet Sir Benjamin Slade's Lexus,  incidenatlly proving the bird to be gay.  NTTAWWT.

BEETLES caught overdosing on Peruvian cocaine.  Dutch customs feeling their oats after last week's bust of Mr. Potato Head.

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