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REM, Black Kids, Sad Kermit, Shark Surfin'   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 08, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

R.E.M. has a new video for "Hollow Man," the second from their Accelerate album.

GANG OF TWO:  The full Gang of Four reunion is short-lived.  Bassist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham are moving on, although singer Jon King and guitar-player Andy Gill will continue, focusing on writing and recording new music as Gang of Four.

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

THE REPLACEMENTS & HUSKER DU:  Check out a vintage Q magazine profile of the Mpls scene from 1987 in Wolfgang's Vault.

LOU REED & LAURIE ANDERSON spent ten bucks on their wedding, which was performed by NPR host and bluegrass musician Nick Forster.

SAD KERMIT covers Elliot Smith's "Needle in the Hay," with spoilers for those who have yet to see the Royal Tenenbaums.

TOKYO POLICE CLUB stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

THE VASELINES are rumored to be reuniting for the SubPop 20th Anniversary party.

PRINCE is putting out a photo book chronicling Prince's 21 consecutive sold-out shows at London's O2 Arena last year, including a CD culled from the intimate, small-venue gigs the artist played after-hours.

SIGNS YOU MAY BE A HIPSTER, courtesy of the Morning News.

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ are set to have a shotgun wedding next weekend in California?

AMY WINEHOUSE was arrested and held in custody Monday for possession of Class A drugs. The charges were brought as a result of a damaging video of the star smoking crack cocaine and talking about taking Valium while appearing dazed and disorientated, which was made public in January this year.

BRADGELINA: Jolie is set to birth twin daughters, according to the ever-relaible Star magazine.

MARIAH CAREY & NICK CANNON: Their wedding photo is the new cover of People magazine.

MADONNA is desperately seeking publicity with another onstage girl-on-girl kiss in France.  At this point, wouldn't Madge get more pub kissing a dude?

THE DARK KNIGHT: Having mentioned that Aaron Eckhart leaked a big spolier, I note that a picture has surfaced on the Internet.  Plus, rumors are already rolling on the story for Batman 3.

GO, SPEED... UH-OH: The Wachowski's adaptation of the Japanese cartoon of the '60s and '70s -- has been tracking unimpressively in prerelease surveys. At present, "Speed Racer" appears on track to gross 25-35 million this weekend, though family moviegoers are notoriously tough to track before openings.  Fortunately for Warner Bros, most of its splashy effects were done with relatively affordable green-screen technology.

ELLEN PAGE set to play one of English literature's most famous characters, the eponymous heroine of Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre."

ROBIN WILLIAMS and his estranged wife Marsha Garces Williams have pledged to be "honest, cooperative and respectful" during their divorce proceedings, according to court papers released Tuesday.

CSI PALM BEACH: Gary Dourdan has been charged with three felonies for possession of a controlled substance -- one charge each for heroin, cocaine and ecstasy.

ISABELLA ROSSELLINI plays bugs and snails in a series of short films on how small creatures get down, commissioned by the Sundance Channel.  For one clip, she hired her son and his friends to play the male bees.

LEBANON's long-simmering political crisis erupted into gunfire and explosions Wednesday when a labor strike devolved into clashes between rival Hezbollah and government supporters. Most Sunnis back Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's government, while Shiites generally support the opposition led by Hezbollah, which the U.S. has labeled a terrorist organization. Lebanon's government has declared illegal an extensive telecommunications network run by Hezbollah. Tension is also high after the chief of security at Beirut airport was removed for alleged Hezbollah sympathies.  Helzbollah has besieged the Beirut airport and no longer has good relations with the Lebanese army.

IRAN: Two leading clerics declare that Pres. Ahmadinejad would be better off concentrating on Iran's social problems -- most notably its double-digit inflation -- than indulging his wacky religious beliefs. Nine million Iranians cannot read or write out of a population of at least 71.5 million, a newspaper reported Wednesday. Israel now believes the Islamic Republic will master centrifuge technology and be able to begin enriching uranium on a military scale this year, according to The Jerusalem Post.

IRAN & IRAQ: A Sunni fundamentalist from Kuwait who has been linked by the UN and the US to al-Qaeda said in an interview published Wednesday that Iran is supporting Sunni Arab insurgents fighting American troops in Iraq. The Iraqi government is preparing its case on Iran's involvement in the Shia insurgency. "It's a bit disingenuous to believe such quantities of up-to-date weapons manufactured this year, last year, can flow into the country without the knowledge of the Iranian government," said Iraq's ambassador to the UN. An Iraqi Sunni delegation on a visit to Cairo on Wednesday urged Arab countries to act against what it called the "Iranian occupation" of Iraq. Former Iranian president Mohamad Khatami was under fire from hardliners on Monday after comments interpreted as accusing the country's clerical leaders of supporting insurgents in the Middle East.

IRAQ:  A proposed election law could hurt the political movement of Moqtada al-Sadr -- whose Mahdi Army militia followers have been battling US and Iraqi troops in Baghdad's Sadr City.

SHARK SURFIN': Let's go to the video!

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Retirees on the Riverside estate in Grantham, England, went without television for two months - thanks to rogue squirrels. The squirrel attack knocked out the television signal in at least 15 flats on the estate. Repairs to the cable were not been possible while the squirrels continued to wreak havoc in the area.

A PITBULL turns up in the engine compartment of a pickup truck in Vacaville, Calif.

THREE ELK die in a tragic zoo opening incident.

MINNESOTEAN SEA MONSTER is so hard to track that a 50 grand reward is out for proof it exists.

3247 Reads

Lou Reed, Man Man, Bon Iver, Goose Attack   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

TOM WAITS announced the dates for his upcoming "Glitter and Doom" tour. Pehdtskajmba!

LOU REED played DC's 9:30 Club April 22, but you can stream the gig now via NPR. (Steve Hunter joins on gtr.)

MAN MAN gets a segment on All Things Considered, plus streaming music tracks and live video. "Everybody thinks that they're a joke band, but they're really not," says Jessica Suarez, a music writer for Pitchfork and Fader. "If you listen to their lyrics, they're super-emotional lyrics."

SHE & HIM talk to Alex Cohen on NPR's Day to Day, with a streaming track.

BEULAH frontman Miles Kurosky has posted a new song from his upcoming solo album at HisSpace.

CURTIS MAYFIELD is the focus of a new DVD that gets a rave write-up from Robert Hilburn in the L.A. Times.

THE REPUBLIC TIGERS show you "Buildings & Mountains" from their new album, which is streaming in full via Spinner this week.

BON IVER:  Justin Vernon talks to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and Drowned in Sound about his raved-about debut, For Emma, Forever Ago, recorded during a solitary stint of over three months in his father's log cabin, outside Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

THE POLICE will cap their reunion tour with a final concert this summer in NYC, where they started their first US tour 30 years ago. They said they would donate a million dollars to a city program that aims to plant one million trees by 2017.

IT MIGHT GET LOUD:  Davis Guggenheim has completed filming on a documentary that will look at the story of the electric guitar from the point of view of three significant rock musicians: the Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White.

PETE DOHERTY has rescheduled his headline solo show at the London Royal Albert Hall for July 12.

BRITNEY SPEARS has gained more visitation of her two young sons, three days supervised visitation a week, significantly more face time than she gets now.

JOHN MAYER spoke to Entertainment Tonight about the recent tabloid photos of him with Jennifer Aniston in Miami.

AMY WINEHOUSE's junkie husband has reportedly sworn his undying love to a secret mistress - and vowed to run away with her and a chunk of the singer's £10million fortune.

PAM ANDERSON sold off the contents of one of her LA homes -- including furniture, Baywatch memorabilia, books, clothing, shoes, and even her used underwear -- over the weekend as she 'spring cleaned' her life following the end of her third marriage.

LINDSAY LOHAN apparently left a private birthday party on Jan. 26 wearing an 11K blond mink coat belonging to a Columbia co-ed.

IRON MAN:  The Atlantic's Ross Douthat despairs of the movie's success because it means more superhero movies (I would say that's fine if they are good movies).  Hitsville's Bill Wyman notes the movie's records are inflated -- as is the overall box office.  The New Yorker's David Denby wonders if Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark has the emotional depth to justify an Iron Man franchise (A: Yes, if you know the comic book).  The L.A. Times gives "Ten reasons Jeff Bridges is underrated," but there are eleven, which is one more.

UMA THURMAN:  Jack Jordan -- Thurman's stalker -- has been found guilty of fourth-degree stalking and one count of second degree aggravated harassment by a Manhattan jury.  The aggravated harassment conviction can mean up to a year behind bars.

THE BATMOBILE is for sale.  I would prefer the Tumbler model, but if someone wants to get the old school version for me, I would still be pretty happy.

SEINFELD: Ten years later, Newsweek's Marc Peyser questions whether the show should be considered a classic, let alone the best sitcom ever.

PULP FICTION fans may want to read Bridget Johnson's account of a screening and panel discussion with Quentin Tarantino.

STAR TREK:  J.J. Abrams talks to the AP about why a self-professed "Star Wars" kid is directing the "Star Trek" reboot.  William Shatner believes as long as he keeps having fun, it will be impossible for him to die -- which is a good excuse to roll the "He's dead, Jim" video.

GLOBAL WARMING: The Daily Mail charts some of the leading celebrity ecological hypocrites.

IRAN & IRAQ: As American strikes on Shiite fighters in Baghdad have widened, Iran has suspended talks with the US on Iraqi security, with the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday citing the continued offensive as the reason. The Americans believe that Iran is supplying weapons and training to Shiite militias in Iraq, but the Iranians have denied that they are interfering. The Iraqis are forming a committee with experts from Interior and Defense Ministries to look into the allegations against Iran. Elements of the Mahdi Army seem to be tellling the L.A. Times that they are getting their weapons from Iran.

IRAQ: The US military says 3500 soldiers sent to Iraq last summer as part of the "surge" will soon be leaving. Suspected AQI operatives kidnapped a pro-US tribal chief and family members in a village north of Baghdad on Tuesday. Iraqi security forces found documents purported to belong to AQI in Diyala province, which include names of 6000 alleged suicide bombers in Iraq, an official newspaper said Tuesday. The official spokesman for the Iraqi government said nominees submitted for ministerial posts by the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front were "unqualified." The Christian Science Monitor reports on people moving back into the now-walled neighborhoods in Baghdad.  The CSM likes to do this story every few months.  Of course, once an area becaomes safe, like Ramadi, the walls can get dismantled.

GOOSE ATTACK: Let's go to the video. What say you, Police Chief Brody? (nsfw)

THE BIRDS: When the Andersons walked into their house after a neighborhood barbecue, they never expected to find 200 birds inside.

CAMEL punched on a dare at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.

COWS shut down the M2 Motorway, one of the main arterial routes in and out of Belfast.

CROCODILE takes boy's arm, saves his soul.

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Radiohead, New Releases, The Heavy, Monkey & Goat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

RADIOHEAD has joined with MTV to make video of "All I Need" to raise awareness of human trafficking.

NEW RELEASES: The Last Shadow Puppets, the Submarines, Matmos, Republic Tigers, Neil Freakin' Diamond and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner.  The Long Blondes release Couples.  The Morning Benders release Talking Through Tin Cans.  Elvis Costello releases Momofuku digitally, after dropping the vinyl a few weeks back. And Nine Inch Nails is giving away downloads of its album.

BECK may surprise us with a new album in the next 4-6 weeks, with help from people like Danger Mouse and Cat Power.

TIM FITE does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including two from the forthcoming Fair Ain't Fair album.

THE REPLACEMENTS:  There's a crash course in their early works at North by Northwestern, for all you youngsters out there. (Thx, LHB.)

THE HEAVY perform "Oh, No!" and "Sixteen" (which owes a bit to "I Put A Spell On You") live on The Current's stage at SxSW for your Twofer Tuesday.

ELBOW is losing money on its US tour, due to the US dollar's dropping exchange rate against the British pound.  Shoulda asked to be paid in Euros in the contracts...

LES SAVY FAV: Tim Harrington talks to Pitchfork about the new digital-only live album, After the Balls Drop, and the band's last studio effort, Let's Stay Friends.

DeVotchKa sousaphonist-bassist Jeanie Schroder talks to Straight about trying to build on the visibility of the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack with A Mad & Faithful Telling: "You don't want to get all this attention and then make something that sucks..."

BAD SONGS BY GOOD BANDS:  Count 'em down at Spinner.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON & RYAN REYNOLDS, who have been dating since Spring 2007, are engaged. She turned up at the Costume Institute Gala sans Reynolds but flashing a fabulous rock on her left hand. Congrats to them.

ANGELA KINSEY of The Office and her TV writer  husband have welcomed a baby daughter, named Isabel. Congrats to them, too.

DENNIS RODMAN entered an outpatient rehab facility Monday, just days after he was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic battery.  Good luck to him.

PEACHES GELDOF, Sir Bob's 19-year-old daughter, was caught on video buying drugs from Amy Winehouse's alleged dealer.  No congrats for her!

DINA LOHAN, Lindsay's mom, will be honored by Mingling Moms as one of Long Island's Top 20 Moms, the organization announced Monday.  Yes, really.

TOM CRUISE says his couch-jumping on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" seemed to set off a "confluence" of bad publicity for him, but he's not sure he would take it back.  Video at the link.

THE A-LIST is having trouble packing multiplexes based on star wattage alone.  It's increasingly clear that other elements, from established franchises to marketable concepts to such brand-name creators as Tyler Perry and Judd Apatow, either give actors a necessary boost or entirely replace them as the draw for moviegoers.  The Hollywood Reporter investigates, and presents nifty charts.

HARRISON FORD talks to the L.A. Times about returning to the iconic role of Indiana Jones after an 18-year hiatus.

IRON MAN 2 is set for April 2010, to be followed by Thor, Captain America and The Avengers.  BONUS:  Dvice gets you started on building your own Iron Man armor.

GO, SPEED... UH-OH: The early reviews are not good.  Ouch.

THE DARK KNIGHT: Here's a nice non-bootleg version of the third trailer currently running before Iron Man in theaters.  ALSO: Aaron Eckhart gives the L.A. Times a spoiler!

IRAN said on Monday it would not consider any incentives offered by world powers that violated its right to nuclear technology, ruling out a precondition to halt atomic work the West believes is aimed at making bombs.  Moreover, the Islamic theocracy will not submit to extensive nuclear inspections while Israel stays outside the global treaty to curb the spread of atomic weapons.

IRAN & IRAQ: Former president Mohammad Khatami has said exporting violence to other countries is "treason" against Islam and Iran's 1979 revolution, an apparent accusation that the country's hard-line rulers are engineering unrest abroad.  Hezbollah has been training Iraqi militia fighters at a camp near Tehran, according to US interrogation reports supplied to the Iraqi government. The Iraqi Minister of Defense Abdel-Qadir al-Ubaydi said a rocket exportable only by states has been found in Basra, a newspaper said Monday, while an Iraqi government spokesman sent mixed messages on Iran's role in his country.

IRAQ: The US is moving south, planning to upgrade facilities at Camp Delta and the Al Kut Air Base, which is about 140 miles southeast of Baghdad and just 35 miles from the Iranian border.  Milblogger Michael Yon writes in the NYDN that confronting the Shia militias is the storm before the calm.

A MONKEY on a GOAT on a TIGHTROPE: Let's go to the video.

FERAL PARROTS surviving in Brooklyn.

COMET the GOLDFISH has been trained to play soccer and basketball, and to dance the limbo.

A CROCODILE has been reported living in a rubbish-strewn local lake next to a supermarket in Swansea, England.

BEAR breaks its paw after dozing off and falling out of a tree in Orlando, FL.  Apparently not a Country Bear. And yes, the bear is going to be alright, Little Tommy. Pics and video at the link.

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We Are Scientists, Watson Twins, Isobel Campbell, Seal molests penguin   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 05, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

WE ARE SCIENTISTS stage a Western of sorts in the video for "Chick Lit," which may be the catchiest thing they've ever done.

TEGAN & SARA bring some of the banter featured here on Friday to a discussion of their current musicl faves in the New York Times.

THE WATSON TWINS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

STEPHEN MALKMUS talks to Canada's National Post about the differences between Real Emotional Trash and his previous albums.

ADELE: The 19-year-old British soul singer-songwriter has a chat and mini-set in audio or video at The Interface.

DESPERATELY SEEKING PAUL McCARTNEY: The upcoming indie mockumentary on a woman who turned down Paul's marriage proposal now has a trailer online. (Thx, Bena Warren.)

ISOBEL CAMPBELL talks to the Independent and The Scotsman about working again with Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age) on their second LP, Sunday at Devil Dirt: "He'll be jolly one day and then he'll go back to being quieter than ever and it's as if you're not even there. I try not to take it personally but it's not always easy. For me, it's actually quite masochistic. Sometimes you want to put a whoopee cushion on his chair or blow a big raspberry at him - which I actually do sometimes!"

JAMES BROWN: A DNA test reportedly confirms that the late Godfather of Soul fathered the son of a woman who claims to be the singer's widow.

EL PERRO del MAR: Sarah Assbring talks to Pitchfork about her self-recorded and self-produced new album, From the Valley.

AMY WINEHOUSE is unfit to work on any new music projects, according to her producer and friend Mark Ronson.  The pair were supposed to be recording the theme tune for the next James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.

IRON MAN RULES the weekend box office taking in about 100 million in the US and 200 million worldwide.  That is far more than the 70 million consensus prediction for the US.  Iron Man enjoyed the 10th-best three-day opening ever, the 10th movie premiere to exceed $100 mil, and the No. 2 debut of all time for a non-sequel (behind only Spider-Man's $114.8 mil). Robert Downey Jr. has never fronted a movie that grossed 100 mil during its entire run, let alone in one weekend.  It has recouped its production budget of 150 million and is well on its way to recouping estimated total costs of 225 million.  It did all this despite failing to appeal to what industry insiders call ''all four quadrants'' - that is, its audience was not evenly divided between men and women, young people and older folks (a whopping 71 percent of ticket buyers were men and 64 percent were over the age of 25). Speed Racer may face his greatest foe in the Golden Avenger when he rolls into theaters this Friday.  The weekend's other wide release, Made of Honor, made 15 million.  Iron Man's repulsor rays were felt all down the rest of the Top Ten.

R. KELLY: A woman is set to testify at the R&B superstar's upcoming child pornography trial that she had a three-way sexual encounter with Kelly and the allegedly underage girl shown in the video at the heart of the case.

COURTNEY LOVE made a 3am trip to the emergency unit of LA's Cedars Sinai hospital complaining of laryngitis.  Moments after being released, she was off to get some smokes.  Hmmm...

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS, Britney's 17-year-old knocked-up sister, was feted with an intimate baby shower in Kentwood, LA.  The pop wreck was in attendance.

ROB LOWE:  It's a small world -- Laura Boyce, the second nanny accusing Rob Lowe and his wife of sexual harassment, also babysits for reality TV star Shanna Moakler.  Lowe's wife denounces the allegations against them as "lies meant to embarrass and humiliate."

KATE HUDSON apparently has herself a stalker.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  This time, Oprah visit's Cruise's couch.  The Big O has a preview at her website.

NICOLE KIDMAN is reportedly set to play Dusty Springfield in a new biopic of the singer's life.

DREW BARRYMORE & JUSTIN LONG are secretly planning to marry in the Caribbean later this year, according to a source who overheard the couple planning the ceremony over a recent lunch date.

CSI star Gary Dourdan has issued a statement to Access Hollywood over his arrest for drug possession in Palm Springs last weekend, claiming the substances found in the car did not belong to him.

LINDSAY LOHAN began shooting her spot on ABC's Ugly Betty on Saturday.

PATRICK SWAYZE, who is battling pancreatic cancer, looked just a shadow of his former self as he went shopping this week.

ELISHA CUTHBERT has scored herself a new hockey player boyfriend, Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf.

GLOBAL WARMING is blamed for a rise in shark attacks off the East Coast.  Just another thing to add to the list.

IRAN & IRAQ: An Iraqi delegation in Iran has confronted Iranian security officials with evidence that Tehran is providing support for Shi'ite militias battling Iraqi government forces, an Iraqi official said on Friday. "They presented a list of names, training camps and cells linked to Iran," Haidar al-Ibadi, a member of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Dawa party, told Reuters.  Though they admit nothing, Iran backs efforts by the Iraqi government to disarm militiamen, an Iranian news agency said on Sunday.  Maybe it's just happy talk, or maybe Iran is concerned about US military planning for a "surgical strike" against an insurgent training camp inside Iran if Republican Guards continue with attempts to destabilize Iraq.

IRAQ: The US Army targeted and destroyed a Special Groups command and control center in a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System strike in Sadr City Saturday morning.  Bill Ardolino is back in Iraq, reporting that the fighting in Sadr City is causing the locals to turn against Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in the Rusafa neighborhood in Baghdad.

AN ANARCTIC FUR SEAL is observed trying to have sex with a king penguin.  I blame global warming.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Their rat allies shut down internet service for Qwest customers through Cochise County, AZ, while they secretly develop their own droid army.

A DOG was framed in a human castration case, but justice has prevailed in France.

A NANNY pulled a 2-year-old girl from the jaws of a coyote when the animal attacked the toddler and tried to carry her away in its mouth.

140 COWS stare unamazed as they are rescued by a military barge from flooding that has struck New Brunswick's capital region. Pic at the link.

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Tegan & Sara, Mystery Jets, Cutout Bin, Iron Man, Dog Slide   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 02, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:


photo by optionthis

... with TEGAN & SARA!  They have been called "indie music's answer to Laurel and Hardy," and their onstage banter is here among their performances at the Coachella festival.  The correct sequence, afaik, is: "Dark Come Soon," "The Con," "Burn Your Life Down," "Floorplan," "Speak Slow," "I Bet It Stung," "Fix You Up," "So Jealous," "Nineteen," "Back In Your Head," "Walking With A Ghost," "Hop A Plane" and "Living Room." BONUS: It turns out that there is a Tegan & Sara banter blog, with plenty of embedded video.

COACHELLA: In addition to Tegan & Sara, Largehearted Boy is collecting downloads and streams of acts that played the festival, including Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Roger Waters, DeVotchKa, MGMT, the Raconteurs and more...

OTTER, including Friend of Pate Scott Jasper, is playing the Bali Satay House in Ames, IA, tonight at 9:00 p.m. Be there or be square.  Guys wear ties, gals wear dresses. Yes, I'm kidding about the last bit.

OF MONTREAL's Kevin Barnes is doing a solo show in Toronto, so he spoke to Eye Weekly, in part about how he always identified with feminine male artists like David Bowie, Lou Reed, Marc Bolan and Prince: "I love how they transcend gender expectations without sinking too far into campiness - it's a fine line for sure..."

ELBOW stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.  Frontman Guy Garvey talks to the NYDN about the debt the band owes Radiohead and the dynamics of songwriting.  He discusses a variety of subjects -- politics, the business, self-promotion, etc. --at DCist with Kyle Gustafson, who blogs at Information Leafblower.

THE MYSTERY JETS have a new video for "Two Doors Down" that has a classic cheesy MTV feel to it.  I previously linked the video for "Young Love."

WILCO bassist John Stirratt seems to be doing the press in the current leg of their tour, praising the versatility of the current lineup and hinting about their next record in the Winnipeg Sun, while he talks about the changing nature of the biz and the band's five-night residence in Chicago with the Colorado Springs Independent. (Thx, LHB.)

THE REPLACEMENTS' widely circulated 1985 bootleg, Simply Unacceptable, is posted at PopHeadwound.  You can also stream it for now via the ol' HM.

OKKERVIL RIVER hit WOXY's lounge last week; you can watch the mini-set and download the audio via The Futurist.

CUTOUT BIN: From the Kingsmen to ELO, from Big Mama Thornton to The Babys, from the Ting Tings to the Sex Pistols, The Replcements, The Feelies, Liz Phair and Pavement, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

IRON MAN took a very long and winding road through development Hell to get to your cineplex today.  And it is almost always the better for it.  The original comic sprung from the backdrop of Vietnam; current events make this update seem as ripped from the headlines as an episode of Law & Order -- if Jerry Orbach had worn wicked cool armor.  The script -- which swifty and sharply mixes action and exposition from the outset -- attacks the arms business, though anyone familiar with the comic book's Obidiah Stane stiryline could have seen this variant coming.  The delay also put the project in the hands of director Jon Favreau (who even turns up in Vegas, baby), who does one of the smartest things a director can do -- cast his picture well.  Word is the suits would have preferred someone younger or more bankable than the rehabbed Robert Downey, Jr., but fans immediately saw him as perfect to play the excessive playboy-genius turned redemption-seeking hero Tony Stark -- and Downey does not disappoint.  Favreau lets Downey have his head, and his supporting cast -- primarily Gwyneth Paltrow, Terence Howard and Jeff Bridges -- each bring their game to meet his.  Indeed, while there is enough CGI action to keep the kids' attention, adults may find themselves wishing for more of the character-driven scenes. Downey is also able to fully exploit the comic aspects of Stark's flaws, giving the picture a lighter tone that distinguishes it from most of the recent superhero movies.  As for the music, please note that the first bedroom scene is set to an instrumental version of the theme from the old Iron Man cartoon; you have to wait for the end credits for the Black Sabbath.  BTW, you will want to stay through all of the end credits.  Really.  I cannot stress that enough.

NOW SHOWING: In addition to Iron Man,  which is currently scoring 95 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's only other wide release is the counter-programming of Patrick dempsey in Made of Honor, which is scoring 19 percent.

ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. is already looking ahead to a possible Iron Man sequel and added that he'd like to explore the burden his superhero responsibilities impose. One possible sequel storyline thread, Downey said, could be based on the "Demon in a Bottle" comic series. In it, an overwhelmed Stark becomes an alcoholic.

GWYNETH PALTROW, on the Red Carpet for Iron Man, was asked whether she had any well wishes to share with ex-bf Brad Pitt, who is rumored to be on the way to fatherhood again, didn't even play the usual "I-wish-them-the-best" lip service, curtly saying, "no," and moving on.

BRADGELINA: The potential release of a tape showing Jolie snorting and smoking heroin in the 1990s may do some serious damage to the soon-to-be mother of six's new reputation as a much hotter version of Mother Teresa.  Hey, it's in the National Enquirer, right?

BRITNEY SPEARS: Bills for lawyers, rehab and psychiatric care, combined with the pop wreck's inability to work, may have cost Spears 61 million dollars.

UMA THURMAN testified against her stalker Thursday; TMZ live-blogged it. BTW, it's not surprising that Uma didn't look at the defendant or in his lawyer's direction.  She was probably instructed by the prosecutor or her personal attorneys to speak to the jury.

BEYONCE KNOWLES is knocked up? That's what multiple sources tell the Hollyscoop blog, which is allegedly why she and Jay-Z rushed their wedding.

MARIAH CAREY & NICK CANNON married?  Carey's nephew was in the Bahamas, but his Facebook account throws doubt on the rumor.

MILEY CYRUS on top of the controversy surrounding her portrait in Vanity Fair, has also been criticized for telling the magazine that Sex and the City is her "favorite show!" - and for comparing the racy series to her Disney mega-hit Hannah Montana. She watches the edited version on TBS. Meanwhile photog Annie Leibovitz has clammed up.

JESSICA SIMPSON may be dispatched to jinx the Democratic National Convention in Denver... or so Pres. Bush joked in front of members of the Super Bowl-winning New York Giants who visited the White House Wednesday.

ANNE HATHAWAY's boyfriend Raffaelo Follieri has agreed to pay 1.3 million bucks to settle a lawsuit with billionaire Ron Burkle, who had accused Follieri of squandering the sum to support his lavish lifestyle.  Earlier this month, Follieri was arrested and charged with trying to pass a bad check, reportedly for around 250K.

THE WORLD'S 15 TOP-EARNING MODELS, according to Forbes magazine.  Giselle Bundchen towers over the rest -- even Heidi Klum -- but that is due to her savvy business sense off the catwalk.  Yes, there is a slideshow at the link, but the pics at the Daily Mail are better. Metro asks, "Is it all over for Naomi Campbell?"

THE INCREDIBLE HULK has a new trailer online. Ed Norton's hair is pre-Hulked.

GLOBAL WARMING will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said. Yet we rarely hear stories about natural variations in the climate exaggerating the warming trend.

SOMALIA: The US military killed a man believed to be the head of al-Qaeda in Somalia and 10 others in an airstrike overnight, an Islamic insurgent group said Thursday. The question now is whether his removal will take the energy out of the Islamists' Jihad or simply provoke a series of revenge attacks.

IRAQ: The apparent respite in fighting ended as US forces killed an additional 27 Mahdi Army fighters and a senior Special Groups leader during a series of engagements in the afternoon and throughout the night in Sadr City. A group of Iraqi Shiite MPs is in Iran for talks with radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in a bid to end clashes between his fighters and troops that have killed hundreds of people, a Sadr aide said on Thursday. A tip from a member of the Sons of Iraq led directly to the capture of a key AQI terrorist, reportedly known for vehicle-borne improvised-explosive device attacks, improvised-explosive device attacks, sniper attacks on Coalition Forces, the kidnapping and murder of Iraqis, and weapons trafficking.  An Iraqi govt spokesman stated that the findings of the committee looking into the recently discovered mass-graves in the "Triangle of Death" proved involvement of AQI and other organized crime rings in the massacres.  The head of the Basra operations room revealed that 324 wanted and suspects were arrested in Basra during the last three weeks.

DOG + KIDDIE SLIDE = ENTERTAINMENT.

INCREDIBLE JOURNEY: A cat returned home five days later after making a 460 mile round trip to London.

CRABS on a PLANE: The force of the crash broke off the plane's nose gear and crumpled the plane's fuselage. And while no one was hurt from the crash, one passenger aboard the plane did receive a number of crab pinches.

TWO SENTIMENTAL GEEKS have been charged with second-degree burglary after they attempted to free a dog from the city animal shelter so they could take it to its owner's funeral over the weekend.

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