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Aretha Franklin, Richard Hawley, Cutout Bin, Anteater   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 23, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with ARETHA FRANKLIN, Live in Stockholm, 1968! The "Lady Soul" concert was broadcast on Swedish TV, including "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Come Back Baby," "Dr Feelgood (Love Is A Serious Business)," "Since You've Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby)" "I  Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)," "Chain Of Fools," and "Respect."

MEMORIAL DAY RADIO: WOXY starts running its Modern Rock 500 on Saturday. Chicago's WLS reverts back to classic Top 40 format Monday for the Big 89 Rewind.

CAT POWER: The Guardian Music Blog wonders whether she can regain the momentum she lost to her breakdowns and misbehavior.  Yes, she can.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: New tracks from Mates of State and Sam Phillips highlight the latest edition of the long-running NPR series.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: TIME magazine profiles the 20-year phenomenon that spans the generations. Here's the video podcast for "Seven" mentioned in the profile.

KID ROCK: You may be hearing a mutant hybrid of Warren Zevon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bob Seger "All Summer Long." Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

TOP 5 DRIVING SONGS, as compiled by Carrie Brownstein, former guitarist for Sleater-Kinney and host of NPR's Monitor Mix blog.

RICHARD HAWLEY: Frank Yang, being lucky enough to see him play the Royal Albert Hall, has plenty of A/V linkage for someone you should know.

THE TING TINGS' meteoric ascent from TheirSpace to a major-label record deal and an iPod commercial, is chronicled on NPR's Day to Day.

THE CONSTANTINES guitarist Steve Lambke talks to JamBase as the band quits their day jobs.

CUTOUT BIN: From Elvis Presley to Elvis Costello, from Otis Redding to R. Dean Taylor, from Kenny Rogers to Devo, Janis Joplin, The Replacements, Faith No More and the Undisputed Truth, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

CAMERON DIAZ plays a mother who shaves her head in support of her ill daughter in the upcoming My Sister's Keeper.

JESSICA ALBA's May 19 wedding to boyfriend Cash Warren might be one the most strategically sound decisions the actress has made in her career.

JODIE FOSTER cheated on her lesbian partner of 14 years with a younger, prettier woman who is now her new girlfriend, according to the National Enquirer.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise has sicked his lawyers on luxury baby boutique Petit Tresor, accusing them of babbling to the tabs about Suri's outrageously expensive designer duds.

SHANIA TWAIN: People has a pic of the alleged other woman in her separation from her husband of 14 years, music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange. Marie-Anne Thiébaud the longtime secretary and house manager at the couple's estate in Switzerland, denies that she split up the marriage.

WINONA RYDER & KEANU REEVES are not a couple, according to OK! magazine, contardicitng a prior claim in Star magazine.

OK!'s TOP 50 MAN CANDY: Considering I linked to Maxim's Hot 100, I thought it only fair to link something for the ladies (and gay dudes, I suppose).

BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA: The scariest trailer I have seen in years.

TERROR IN THE UK: Police arrested a "radicalized" convert to Islam after he was injured in a bomb explosion in a city center on Thursday. The 22-year-old, who suffered cuts to his eye and facial burns in the explosion and remains in police custody at a hospital, has a history of mental illness.

TRENDS IN GLOBAL TERRORISM: A study released on Wednesday reports a decline in fatal attacks of terrorism worldwide and says US think-tank data showing sharp increases were distorted due to the inclusion of killings in Iraq.

IRAQ: Iraqi soldiers moved unhindered through Baghdad's vast Sadr City district on Wednesday as Shiite militiamen who have long controlled the area faded from view and schools and businesses began to reopen after weeks of strife. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani expects Iraqi forces will take control of security of all Iraqi territories by the end of this year. Gen. Petraeus said on Thursday he expects to recommend further troop cuts this year after a 45-day pause in withdrawals that begins in mid-July. Joint US-Iraqi forces on Thursday arrested 29 AQI gunmen in a military operation south of Baquba. AQI is stepping up its racketeering campaigns as the military clamps down on its operations.

ANTEATER EATS WITH A SPOON: And sucks Cheez Whiz right from the can.  Let's go to the video.

RUPERT the TORTOISE has escaped through a hole in a garden fence. His owner has warned he can be aggressive and he has been known to bite children and dogs.

THE SWARM attacked two men at a Fountain Hills, AZ home and also stung six emergency workers trying to rescue them.

A HERD OF WILD BOARS thwarted a suspected car thief's getaway in northern Germany.

MEXICAN DONKEY UPDATE: "Blacky" has been freed from jail after doing time for assault and battery. Let's go to the video.

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Islands, Tom Waits, She & Her, Indiana Jones, Squirrel Threat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

BLONDIE: "Heart of Glass," filmed at Studio 54 in New York City, almost 30 years ago.

ISLANDS does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, inlcuding one previously released.  Nick Thorburn talks to the Victoria Times Colonist about the band's baroque pop.

LED ZEPPELIN will reportedly play four shows in Toronto this summer at the Skydome/Rogers Centre stadium this August. A "reliable source" tells MuchMusic that the dates will be announced shortly. No other shows will be announced, and the band apparently will not tour in the US, according to the report.

SPIRITUALIZED is advance streaming their album in full.

TOM WAITS is interviewed by Tom Waits about a wide range of topics -- artists who have shaped his creative life, songs that were beacons for him, what's wrong with the world, favorite scenes in movies, what he learned from parenthood, and much, much more...

SHE & HER: Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond) guests with She & Him for a cover of ABBA's "Chiquitita."

DRIVE-BY TRUCKER Patterson Hood talks to Aquarium Drunkard about the band's latest album; the phrase "it happened pretty naturally" is used more than once, but Hood's answers generally get more interesting from there.

THE SILVER JEWS have released "Strange Victory, Strange Defeat," the lead track from Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea, for download or streaming at the 'Gum and the 'Gum Mix (among other places).

A.A. BONDY, buzzyworthy indie-folkster, does five free songs for Daytrotter, four previously released.

THE ZUTONS' lead singer, Dave McCabe, talks to the Irish Independent about The Kinks, Resevoir Dogs, buying a house on Winehouse money, etc.

INDIANA JONES and the KINGDOM of the CRYSTAL SKULL: "Prairie dogs... Why did it have to be prairie dogs?" I'm kidding, of course. You know I wouldn't spoil it for you! This one is better than Temple of Doom, but not as good as the Last Crusade, though that's largely a function of not having Sean Connery this time around.  I did not find Shia LeBeouf annoying like some other critics did (except for his introductory scen, which isn't his fault).  He wasn't as annoying as the sidekicks from Temple of Doom anyway.  For all of the problems Lucas and Spielberg had getting the right script, this one (credited to veteran scribe David Koepp) still had problems.  It has a topical allusion that (unlike those in Iron Man) goes nowhere.  It fails to make the Red Menace as menacing as the Nazis or Mola Ram (though Cate Blanchett does a sterling job with what she is given).  And it somehow fails to ever make the viewer feel that Indy or those closest to him are in truly grave danger, though it could have been easily accomplished.  Nevertheless, it is consistently entertaining; its best line is both entirely familiar and totally unexpected.  This is the Memorial Day weekend's only wide release and is currently scoring 77 percent on the ol' Tomatometer.

STEVEN TYLER of Aerosmith has checked into Las Encinas Hospital drug rehabilitation clinic, where Dr. Drew Pinsky treated patients for VH1's Celebrity Rehab.

JESSICA ALBA's wedding was a surprise to her own brother, who says she and hubby Cash Warren are going to do a big second ceremony later.

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ's wedding photos are teased at People magazine's website.

WINONA RYDER & KEANU REEVES: More than co-stars in the drama The Private Lives of Pippa Lee?

DENISE RICHARDS denies asking for her ex Charlie Sheen's sperm, calling an e-mail purported to be from her to Sheen's now-fiancee Brooke Mueller "doctored." "I would never send an e-mail to (Mueller), and, at the time of that e-mail, I was with Richie (Sambora). If I wanted anybody's sperm, I'd have asked for Richie's," she said.  Video at the link.

SPIKE LEE is in Cannes to promote his World War II drama "Miracle at St. Anna," but he couldn't resist taking a few swipes at some fellow directors, including Joel and Ethan Coen and Clint Eastwood. Asked twice by The Times of London to respond to Lee's criticism, Eastwood stared out into the audience as the compere refused to accept a question that did not relate to his new movie, L'Échange.

PAKISTAN's new government has signed a peace deal with pro-Taliban militants, in what some US officials call a "victory for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda."

IRAN & IRAQ: Gen. Petraeus, who is to assume control of U.S. forces in the Middle East, has filled out his 46-page question-and-answer document submitted in advance of his confirmation hearing today.

IRAQ: Coalition forces detained two individuals May 17 -- including a key suspected AQI leader -- at a Sons of Iraq checkpoint in the Diwaniyah Peninsula area, approximately 40 km southeast of Baghdad. Coalition forces detained three wanted men and 26 other suspected terrorists during operations targeting AQI, around the country Tuesday and Wednesday.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Oakley Junior took a shine to Central Park ranger Mark Swift last Tuesday and has been following him about the picturesque site ever since.  Awww... so cute, until the day the ranger turns up murdered in his sleep.

LOST PARROT returns home after reciting his name and address to a stranger willing to help. He kept mum with the cops, but began chatting after a few days with the vet.

PIT BULL saves owner from Samurai-sword-wielding boyfriend.

NAKED GATOR WRASSLER in Bartow, FL, is a repeat offender.

A TINY NEW JELLYFISH SPECIES has its mouth on its underside and its anus wrapped around its brain.

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Death Cab, Avett Bros, Beck, Bon Iver, Flying Fish record   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

DEATH CAB hits the Black Cab to play "No Sunlight."

THE AVETT BROTHERS stopped by KEXP for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

BECK is now streaming a track from his upcoming record, the Danger Mouse-produced "Chemtrails."

LOVE STORY: The feature length documentary about seminal Arthur Lee-fronted Los Angeles rock band Love, will be released on DVD July 29th.

DAVID BYRNE & BRIAN ENO are re-teaming for a new album and tour in the fall. Byrne's agent is promising the live set list will consist of at least 40 percent Eno-era Talking Heads material.

BON IVER: Justin Vernon plays "Skinny Love" on Later with Jools Holland.  Apparently, the song was also featured on this week's episode of House.

EXENE CERVENKA, frontwoman of X, talks to the Village Voice about Fleetwood Mac, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, the X anniversary tour and more...

PANIC AT THE DISCO has traded in their guyliner for a copy of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and stopped by All Things Considered for a stripped-down mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

BLACK MOUNTAIN keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt talks to Drowned In Sound about trying to tour Europe on a budget.  Plenty of A/V linkage there also.

NEIL DIAMOND:  The Irish Independent asks, "Has he finally become hip?" He tops the UK album chart this week, fwiw.

X

JESSICA ALBA & CASH WARREN quietly wed Monday, says her rep. No, that's not Warren in the picture, or even a real wedding picture -- but the couple did meet while filming Fantastic Four. Shotgun weddings are the hot new trend in Hollywood.

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ are honeymooning in their basement: "We got some blow-up palm trees," Wentz said. "A little fake-n-bake tanning booth. We're eating DiGiorno's pizza, getting in that tanning oven every once in a while, it's great." Wentz also told Ryan Seacrest that they have a pre-nup.

SHANIA TWAIN's split from her husband, music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, is reportedly due to a third party, but Lange denies the claims.

CAMERON DIAZ tells In Style magazine that when it comes to seducing her men, she prefers an outfit that accentuates her natural resources: a pair of heels and nothing else. That is a look that rarely goes out of style.

LIV TYLER: Newly single, and looking vaguely like a drag queen for an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.

OWEN WILSON, a/k/a the Butterscotch Stallion, has handled his latest bust-up with Kate Hudson a lot better this time around - by immersing himself in blondes, boobs and beer.

THE McCARTNEYS: A photographer convicted of assaulting Sir Paul's ex-wife has been cleared of charges after Heather Mills failed to appear in court.

ALI LOHAN, Li-Lo's lil' sis, was hounded by Mean Girls.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is set to star in a new film adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear. Well, she's going to play Cordelia, anyway; the title role goes to Sir Anthony Hopkins.

A MEAN SEASON FOR TV: The writers strike, along with the rising popularity of DVRs and the increased availability of programming on multiple platforms, conspired to make this season the lowest-rated on record for the broadcasters.

KAREN ALLEN talks to USA Today about leaving her knitting to return with Indiana Jones to the Kingdom of the Crytal Skull.

IRAN's nuclear program may start a "cascade of proliferation" that could end with a dozen countries in the Middle East possessing nuclear weapons, a new study says.

40000 NATIONAL GUARD SOLDIERS were informed by the Pentagon Monday that they will be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the upcoming months and years.

IRAQ:  Some 10000 Iraqi troops fanned out in Baghdad's Sadr City on Tuesday in an attempt to establish government control in the Shiite militia enclave for the first time since Saddam Hussein's ouster. The large force in tanks and Humvees and on foot met no resistance from Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia as it rolled into the sprawling district. Coalition forces killed a senior AQI leader in Samarra and detained 20 additional suspected terrorists during operations around the country Monday and Tuesday. At Talisman's Gate, Nibras Kazimi translates a prolific jihadist sympathizer's "explosive" study of the steep drop in the number of insurgent operations conducted by the various jihadist groups, most notably AQI's 94 percent decline in operational ability over the last 12 months when only a year and half ago AQI accounted for 60 percent of all jihadist activity.

FLYING FISH likely break flying fish record at 45 seconds.  Video at the link.

MONSTER CARNIVOROUS MICE have overrun British-owned Gough Island. They have developed from eating insects and seeds and are now devouring young birds, including albatross chicks, at the rate of more than a million annually.

A DONKEY is doing time in southern Mexico for assault and battery. Chiapas police have thrown animals in the slammer before, including a bull that devoured corn crops and destroyed two wooden vending stands in March.

A CONFUSED WILD TURKEY smashed into a window at the Lubbock, TX county courthouse Monday was laid out for a while, but eventually was able to fly away. It left a turkey-shaped hole in the glass, just like a cartoon. I'm pretty sure Wild Turkey was involved.

SEXY SEA SLUGS get their own slideshow at ABC News.

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New Releases, Westerberg, Raconteurs, Bilbo the Lifeguard   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE CURE returns with "The Only One," the first single from their upcoming album; word is there will be four singles before the LP is released in September.

NEW RELEASES: The Ting Tings, Mudhoney, the Wedding Present, Scarlett Johansson and more are streaming in ful via Spinner.  Islands releases Arm's Way. The Hold Steady releases a new single, "Sequestered in Memphis," via iTunes... and it's very Hold Steady.

PAUL WESTERBERG talks to Pitchfork about the Replacements in general and the Twin/Tone reisuues in particular: "Each one was a progression or, depending on your opinion, a sidestep or tumble forward. I don't know what."

MATES OF STATE tell New York Magazine that suburban living has helpfully mellowed their music. Kori Gardner says: "I want people to relate to us. It's way harder to write a concise, meaningful pop song than it is to write chaotic rock songs."

THE BUTTHOLE SURFERS' classic 1980s lineup is reuniting to tour the US and UK this summer.

THE RACONTEURS "Salute Your Solution" and play "Consolers of the Lonely" on Later with Jools Holland for your Twofer Tuesday.

LOU REED will host his own weekly Sirius Radio show with Hal Willner: "We will try to bring Sirius' listeners audio from all parts of the world that covers the whole musical spectrum."

KATHLEEN EDWARDS stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you ca stream on demand via NPR.

HALL & OATES: A new appreciation from L.A. Times critic Ann Powers: "This reassessment of the most commercially successful duo in pop history hits a peak Tuesday, when H&O receives the Icon award during BMI's 56th annual Pop Awards, joining the likes of Paul Simon, Van Morrison and the Bee Gees. They'll follow this honor Thursday and Friday with two rare nights at the Troubadour, the site of their first Los Angeles shows some 35 years ago..."

AMY WINEHOUSE & PETE DOHERTY have been slammed by animal lovers over a bizarre video of the two troubled singers pretending to make one-day-old mice talk. Video at the link.

 

BRADGELINA: Jolie hangs out at a drugs den - in a grainy 1999 video of the Hollywood babe before she spectacularly turned her life around.

THE SIMPSONS: People magazine claims that Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo looked anything but broken up at Ashlee Simpson's private weekend nuptials, but E! Online reports that Jessica did not look happy the entire night and that she and Romo barely interacted the entire night, while US magazine reports that Romo skipped out on a family vacation with her the next day. Ashlee confirmed her pregnancy at the wedding.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: It's now official -- Holmes is headed to Broadway to costar with John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, and Patrick Wilson in the revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND is officially divorced, which deserves mention since most won't remember this has been dragging on for about four years.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE & JESSICA BIEL may soon be engaged. Plus, Biel has sparked rumors she is pregnant after she recently stopped drinking.

JEN & JOHN:  Aniston & Mayer. Caught. Canoodling. More pics at the link.

JUDE LAW & KIMBERLY STEWART, snapped really going at it and barely coming up for air.

KATE HUDSON, fresh off an encore with owen Wilson, has been spotted dining with Lance Armstrong twice in the last week.  IIRC, both Armstrong and Wilson have previously dated Sheryl Crow.

MARIAH CAREY & NICK CANNON are planning a second, over-the-top wedding.  Hey, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing twice, and overdoing it the second time.

LINDSAY LOHAN has been slapped with a lawsuit accusing her of taking a golden sheared mink coat from a party without permission.

PAUL BETTANY, a/k/a Mr. Jennifer Connelly, who you probably have seen in any number of movies, had only the vaguest notion that he is Jarvis in Iron Man.

SEAN PENN seemed quick to steer supermodel Petra Nemcova away from wife Robin Wright Penn, with whom he recently reconciled. There's also a "Nemcova at Cannes" slideshow at the link.

ISLAMISM in the TWIN CITIES: The Minnesota education department on Monday directed Tarik ibn Zayad Academy, a charter school which focuses on Middle Eastern culture and shares a mosque with the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, to "correct" two areas related to religion at the school. The agency said it was concerned about the school, with about 300 students, accommodating communal prayer and providing transportation to an after-school religious program. In an attempt to report about the new findings, KSTP went to TiZA, where the crew was attacked by school officials.

LEBANON: Talks between Hezbollah and the government stalled in Doha. The leader of the Maronite Christian Lebanese Forces milita said Arab peacekeepers would be needed if talks break down.

IRAQ: Iraq's Interior Ministry says police have arrested the top AQI figure in Mosul (grain of salt). ITM's Mohammed Fadhil has more background on Mosul and Operation "the Mother of Two Springs": "I was surprised to see the leading opposition newspaper Azzaman, which had always been skeptical of everything the government does, praise the operation..."  A police chief was killed Monday by a bomb planted in his office in Suq al-Shiyoukh, an area outside Nasiriyah, 200 miles southeast of Baghdad. Suq al-Shiyoukh was the scene of heavy fighting on April 19 between police and members of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army that left 22 people dead.

BILBO the LIFEGUARD DOG has been sacked by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution after it took over running beach life-saving from the local council: "He would fail the resuscitation test." Video of Bilbo in action at the link. Bilbo has been credited with helping save three lives.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: A militant squirrel knocked out the air conditioning at LAX on Monday. Video at the link.

AN ENORMOUS, HAIRY PIG created gaper's block in southwestern Wisconsin.

A RARE BEETLE was spotted in Britain for the first time in a decade. Not Pete Best.

JURASSIC PARK: Scientists have resurrected genes from the Tasmanian tiger - a meat-eating marsupial that became extinct more than 70 years ago - by injecting them into mouse embryos.

THE NORWEGIAN BLUE really had beautiful plumage.

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Flight of the Conchords, DeVotchKa, Black Kids, Odd Couples   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 19, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS serenade the "Ladies of the World" for our Monday amusement.

DeVotchKa played DC's 9:30 Club Friday night; you can stream the whole gig on demand via NPR. Plus, the band is profiled by the Associated Press.

FINAL FANTASY: Multi-instrumentalist Owen Pallett talks to the New York Times Magazine about the liberation of limitations, the one-man band vs. the musical collective and much more...

THE BLACK KIDS and Does It Offend You, Yeah? played the World Cafe Friday; you can stream their sets on demand via NPR. 

THE REPLACEMENTS' deluxe Twin/Tone reissues are surveyed by Milwaukee's Express.

THE BLACK KEYS upped the tempo for "Strange Times" on the Peacock net last week.

THE HOLD STEADY frontman Craig Finn tells Billboard that the upcoming Stay Positive LP is influence by getting old.

THE TING TINGS knock Madonna off the Top of the Pops. The duo did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including the UK smash "That's Not My Name" and a previously unreleased track.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE is profiled in the New York Times: Amy Phillips, the senior news editor for the Internet music site Pitchfork said that Death Cab was fortunate to establish itself in the era just before blog buzz mattered and then benefit from Web credibility as respected establishment figures. "They were able to grow and generate interest from print press, from college radio, from the ‘OC' effect - the older buzz-building methods," she said. "It's a stronger, safer way to build up your band. You don't have to come running out of the gate, and everything is not based on one Coachella or South by Southwest performance."

THE CHELSEA HOTEL, fabled in song and story, is currently the subject of a power struggle, as long-term tenants are battling owners to keep its bohemian character intact.

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ were married Saturday evening in an intimate ceremony performed by creepy dad-manager Joe! Pneumatic Maid of Honor Jessica Simpson dragooned ex-bf Tony Romo into appearing to stave off the pervasive break-up reports -- which have Romo tired of creepy Joe and Jessica moaning over ex-bf John Mayer hooking up with Jennifer Ansiton.

JEN & JOHN: Speaking of which, Jennifer Ansiton is like a schoolgirl these days. The NYDN claims that there is a certain feature of John that leaves Jen so pleased. The crooner's ex-paramours reveal he is hell to get over, not because he's a great guy, but because he's a "great" guy, if you know what we mean.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Prince Caspian takes the top slot, but falls short of projections with a 56.5 million haul. Coming in below the opening of the first Narnia movie is a huge red flag that will have Hollywood wondering whether it was due to: (a) Caspian's darker tone; (b) light marketing; (c) saturation of the fantasy film niche; (d) a possible trend of underperforming summer films. With Indy 4 and Kung-Fu Panda rolling out over the next few weeks, Caspian might have trouble making 200 million, let alone the 300 million some had hoped for. Iron Man dropped to the second slot, but held well enough that it will likley finish behind only the Spider-Man franchise to become the fourth biggest comic book movie evah. What Happens in Vegas is working as counter-programming in the third slot, while Speed Racer continues to crash and burn, down 60 percent from an awful start. Baby Mama held the fifth slot, while everyone else dropped a slot or two to make room for Caspian.  The exception is The Visitor, which snuck into the tenth slot from 13th last weekend.

BRITNEY SPEARS has denied that she is pregnant with her third child and says that her bloated tummy is simply down to new medication she is taking. Meanwhile, The National Enquirer claims that Adnan Ghalib, Britney's paparazzo ex-bf, is shopping a sex tape the pair made on their trip to Mexico.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS,as a knocked-up 17-year-old, probabaly should not be riding an ATV without a helmet or seatbelt.

INDIANA JONES & THE KINGDOM of the CRYSTAL SKULL premiered at Cannes and -- unlike three early Internet leaks -- has gotten generally good reviews.  You can read apparently spoiler-free-quotes from the Cannes reviews at Rotten Tomatoes.  Right now it's getting 77 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, but that may change as more reviews trickle in.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON stayed home in New York after a film studio refused to pay for the star's bloated demands to attend the Cannes Film Festival to launch Woody Allen's latest movie.

LINDSAY LOHAN, who turned 21 in rehab, is soliciting product sposorships for her birthday party via the web.

JOSS STONE promised her first ever film role would see her share a passionate smooch with a female actress and romantic comedy Snappers does not disappoint. Pic at the link.

WILLIAM SHATNER talks to New York Magazine's Vulture blog about his autobiography, Leonard Nimoy, his UFO sighting, TJ Hooker's politics and being propositioned by a gorilla.  As wacky as this interview reads, blogger Bill Quick writes that "this is pretty much the way he really is."

ELLEN DeGENERES announced her engagement to longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi in the wake of a California Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriages in the state.

ITALY: A former showgirl who has become an Italian cabinet minister says that you don't have to be pretty to get ahead in politics, but it helps. Thirty-two-year-old Mara Carfagna, nicknamed Mara La Bella, or Mara the Beautiful, was made... wait for it... the minister for Equal Opportunities last week.

CARTOON JIHAD: A Dutch political cartoonist was arrested on suspicion of insulting people because of their race or religion through his work, authorities said Friday.

OSAMA BIN LADEN purportedly released a new message on Sunday denouncing Arab leaders for sacrificing the Palestinians and saying the head of the Shiite terror group Hezbollah did not really have the strength to take on Israel. The man clearly has never read Dale Carnegie.

IRAQ: Prime Minister al-Maliki offered members of armed groups in Mosul an amnesty in exchange for surrendering their weapons. Foreign fighters who entered Iraq won't qualify, and neither will Iraqis who have already committed terrorist acts. Iraqi forces have detained more than 1000 suspects in an offensive aimed at crushing AQI in northern Iraq. Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Mohammed al-Askari said scores of militants had already handed over their guns. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise visit to Iraq on Saturday, welcoming Iraq's progress in passing a budget as well as oil legislation, and a bill paving the way for the provincial elections in the fall that are expected to more equitably redistribute power among local officials.

 

ODD COUPLES: ABC News has a slideshow of cats and dogs, monkeys and pigeons, pigs and tigers, living together -- a disaster of Biblical proportions

BABY ZOO ANIMALS: Another awww...some slideshow, courtesy of the Austin American-Statesman.

ORANGUTANS break out of Zoos in Tampa's Busch Gardens and Los Angeles. The primates were quickly rounded up, but the possibility that this was a rehearsal for a later coordinated operation cannot be ruled out. Remember, it's the orangutans that want to be like us.

A RUTTING STAG will attack if you crash his party.

I CAN HAZ A GIANT MURAL?  Yes, in San Francisco.

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