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Rolling Stones, New Raveonettes and Sufjan, Cutout Bin, Hedgehogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 01, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE ROLLING STONES!  Here's a selection of live, semi-live, and undead clips of less-obvious tracks from the band's heyday: "Mercy, Mercy"; "The Last Time"; "Paint It Black"; "Honky Tonk Women"; and "Dead Flowers."

THE RAVEONETTES guitarist/vocalist Sune Rose Wagner tells the Portland Mercury that the duo's as-yet-untitled fourth album is nearly finished.  You can stream some demos at TheirSpace.

LOU REED talks to Common Ground about health and wellness, tai chi, turning wind into music and why he'd like to run for President.

SUFJAN STEVENS:  The 'Gum can hook you up with his new, Stripes-y rocker, "In The Words Of The Governor" and a La Blogotheque rooftop cover of the Innocence Mission's "The Lakes Of Canada."

TWELVE TRULY SAD SUMMER SONGS are listed by the A.V. Club, whose commenters jump in with additional candidates.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Jane's Addiction plays "Jane Says" on the Show that must remain Name Less.

THE NATIONAL frontman Matt Berninger lists his bests and faves for Pitchfork's "Guest List" feature.

PET SHOP BOYS singer Neil Tennant is the latest skeptic of the Live Earth global warming concerts: "I've always been against the idea of rock stars lecturing people as if they know something the rest of us don't - it looks arrogant."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel has lapsed into her bad habit... of dressing like her current beau -- in this case, the troubled singer.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: Barry Manilow - Very Strange Medley; Lovin' Spoonful - Summer in the City; Barrett Strong - Money (That's What I Want); Johnny Kidd & The Pirates - Shakin' All Over; The Dixie Cups - Iko Iko; Katrina & The Waves - Walking On Sunshine; The Posies - Solar Sister; Bram Tchaikovsky - Girl Of My Dreams; Guided By Voices - Glad Girls; Hoodoo Gurus - Mars Needs Guitars!; Wilco - Color Me Impressed; Magnolias - When I'm Not; Soul Asylum - Closer To The Stars; Husker Du - Celebrated Summer; The Dead Milkmen - Takin' Retards To The Zoo; Brian Wilson - This Whole World; Jason Falkner - Photograph (Def Leppard); Joan Jett - Summertime Blues; Marvin Gaye - Mercy Mercy Me; and The Dramatics - Hot Pants In The Summertime.

LINDSAY LOHAN is reportedly happy in rehab... or she was before her ex-con Dad told everyone she's in for multiple addictions to alcohol and drugs, including the powerful painkiller OxyContin.  Her beau Calum Best is promising to enter rehab also, after his coke-fueled sex orgy was taped and splashed in the tabloids.  And TMZ dug up a clip of Lohan laughing in an anti-DUI PSA.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are Judd Apatow's comedy Knocked Up, wich is currently scoring an impressive 91 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the Kevin Costner-Demi Moore thriller Mr. Brooks, scoring 52 percent; and the sports drama Gracie, scoring 45 percent.

GEORGE MICHAEL had a cocktail of drugs in his system when he was arrested in his car last year, including cannabis, an anti-depressant, and the illegal dance club drug GHB.  No wonder the cops had to wake him before he could go-go.

PAULA ABDUL apparently had a sob-filled meltdown that was taped and sent to Page Six.  What set her off?  The fact that even E! Online is skeptical when she denies yet again that her often bizarre behavior on American Idol stems from drug or alcohol use.  UPDATE: Perez Hilton has posted the audio of the tape.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD has reportedly been benched by Cowboys QB Tony Romo.

GO, SPEED GO!  There are some early details on the Wachowskis' live-action version of Speed Racer at USA Today -- including a live-action Chim-Chim.

WOODY ALLEN could not find a buyer for his latest film, Cassandra's Dream, at the Cannes Film Festival, but the Weinsteins just bought the rights for a US release.

JENNA FISHER, a/k/a Pam on The Office, is recovering from a broken back with help from Zach Braff's cupcakes.

THE 50 BEST DATE MOVIES EVER, according to Nerve.com -- complete with a recommended "best scene to make a move."

LONG SHOTS:  The Daily Film Dose has posted a list of "The Greatest Long Tracking Shots in Cinema," with plenty of embedded video.

THE WIZARDING WORLD of HARRY POTTER is set to open at Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park in late 2009, complete with the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Forbidden Forest and Hogsmeade village

JESSICA ALBA displayed her knowledge of single-malt scotches during an interview for Parade magazine.

VENEZUELA:  Radio Caracas Television, the station silenced by Pres. Hugo Chavez, has found a way to continue its daily broadcasts -- on YouTube.  In addition, RCTV's Colombia-based affiliate, Caracol, has agreed to transmit the evening installment of "El Observador" over its international signal, which could reach about 800,000 people in Venezuela.  The Carter Center and Reporters Without Borders issued critical statements , while relative calm returned to the streets after three days of demonstrations.

IRAN:  The US confirmed Thursday that a fourth Iranian-American -- peace activist Ali Shakeri -- is being held at a notorious prison in Tehran.  In a joint statement, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters without Borders, the International Federation for Human Rights and 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi urged Iran to to immediately release the four.  Adding insult to injury, Citibank froze the bank accounts of one of the prisoners under US sanctions law on grounds that she is now a "resident" of Iran.

IRAQ:  The US military is working more aggressively to forge cease-fires with Iraqi militants and quell the violence around Baghdad, judging that 80 percent of enemy combatants are "reconcilable."  Sunni Muslim Iraqi insurgents fought fierce battles on Thursday with al Qaeda-led terrorists for control of a Baghdad neighborhood that has effectively been outside government control for months.  ITM's Omar hears the Sunni insurgents are members of the Islamic Army of Iraq or 1920 Revolutionary Brigades and that that machine guns, RPG's and mortars were used in the clashes.  IraqSlogger is reporting the same.  Bill Roggio reports on the formation of a Babil Awakening, noting that all four provinces around Baghdad have now established Awakening or Salvation Councils to fight AQ.  Michael Yon has exclusive details on the arrest of the once-heroic Gen. Hamid in the city of Hit.  Bobby Ghosh, Baghdad bureau chief for Time magazine, tells WNYC public radio about the progress that would be lost if the US left now.

TINY BABY HEDGEHOGS are proving a handful for carers at a British rescue center, after the mild weather triggered a string of early orphaned arrivals.  More awww...some pics and video at the link.

WAYWARD WHALES UPDATE:  The humpbacks have disappeared near San Francisco Bay.  Researchers are optimistic that they are back in the ocean, but they could be riding the trolley.

XiANG XIANG, the world's only artificially-bred panda living in the wild has plunged to its death -- and may have been "murdered" by other pandas.

A CAMEL went postal on his employer at the C2K Camel Ranch near Grand Junction, CO.

WHACKING DAY:  An 80-year-old Croatian heart surgery patient leapt from his intensive care bed and used his walking stick to beat a deadly viper to death.

1248 Reads

Live Police, New NPs, Richard & Linda Thompson, Barking Shark   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE POLICE reunion tour is off to a good start, according to the Wall Street Journal.  It's as good an excuse as any to post clips from Vancouver of "King of Pain" and "Walking In Your Footsteps."

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS:  The band's Challengers album is due in August, but you can -- and should -- stream "My Rights Versus Yours" now.

RICHARD THOMPSON talks to Ents24 about his long career and his picks for new artists.

LINDA THOMPSON, Richard's ex, has a new album coming in August, but you can already stream "Beauty," on which she gets assists from Rufus Wainwright and Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons).  Just check the 'Gum Mix at the link.

FEIST gives Pitchfork some details on the recording of her current album, The Reminder.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Jackie Wilson sings his great "Lonely Teardrops" on Shindig, so you know there will be dancing.  BONUS:  Someone has reposted the Sam Cooke-Jackie Wilson clip.

THE PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  A coroner testifying for the prosecution in Phil Spector's murder trial said a gun was probably forced into the mouth of Lana Clarkson, but conceded on cross-examination that that the medical findings could not determine who held the gun.

DALE HAWKINS, who wrote the swamp-rock classic "Suzy Q" and produced the Box Tops, Michael Nesmith, Harry Nilsson and more, is the artist behind this week's Shadow Classic at NPR, including swampy takes on classics like "Hound Dog."

THE 25 GREATEST SONGS off Bad Albums, according to Rolling Stone's blog.

CHRIS CORNELL:  The former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman's solo LP, Carry On, isn't out until next week, but you can stream it all now via MuchMusic.

LINDSAY LOHAN is in rehab, but at least she missed her boyfriend's coke-fueled orgy with two call girls, which got taped.  Meanwhile, the starlet is the subject of a rant by Marilyn Manson and an endorsement of sorts from Sen. John Kerry.  And the producers of her next film are not dumping her.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  Seventy-three percent of Americans have read, seen or heard about her early departure from The View, and is viewed favorably by just 25% of Americans -- which is at least better than Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Lindsay Lohan.  Nevertheless, sources say O'Donnell has been approached by CBS, NBC and even Telepictures - the producer of the original Rosie O'Donnell Show - about getting her own talk show again.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA and ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, contrary to prior reports, are still together.  A  Kournikova pal told People magazine that Iglesias was only joking about a split to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is panicking at the prospect of prison, but the prison is prepared for her.

ARETHA FRANKLIN has signed up with Jenny Craig in hopes of shedding the pounds before her wedding next month.

BRITNEY SPEARS had to be carried out of the men's toilets of an exclusive LA hotel bar on Sunday night after she was discovered vomiting uncontrollably.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  According to OK! Magazine, Holmes and Nicole Kidman are fighting over Kidman's two children with Cruise.  Nicole wants Katie to know she's their real mother, and is said to be angered by the young bride's role in her children's life.

JENNIFER ANISTON is denying a report by Star magazine that she is writing a dishy book spilling the details of her four-year marriage to Brad Pitt and their 2005 divorce.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  After three months of dating, Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal are maintaining their low-key relationship.

DAVID HYDE PIERCE, best known as Dr. Niles Crane from Frasier, was apparently outed by the AP. NTTAWWT.

HARRY POTTER and the ORDER of the PHOENIX has moved up its opening date from Friday, July 13th to Wednesday, July 11th.  And it's probably about padding the opening box office numbers, not superstition.

VENEZUELA:  A top opponent of Pres. Hugo Chavez demanded the release of jailed protesters as university students continued to pour into the streets to protest the removal of a leading opposition TV station from the air.  Concern that protests will turn violent again caused Venezuelan government debt to tumble in local markets.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  The wife of an Islamic religious leader actively encouraged him to become a terrorist, and hoped their baby son would follow him into "martyrdom", the Old Bailey was told.  The couple were arrested after they flew into the UK allegedly carrying blueprints for missiles and bombs to be used against the West.

IRAQ:  Foreign Minister Zebari said that the Mahdi Army was most likely behind the kidnapping of five Brits in Baghdad, probably assisted by local police, but Az-Zaman quoted al-Hurra television, which claimed that Zebari denied making such accusations.  The UK is weighing its options, icluding dispatching an SAS team.  According to al-Hayat, Moqtada al-Sadr criticized Iran for "recognizing the American mandate over Iraq," which is consistent with al-Sadr's recent effort to position himself as a nationalist, rather than as a tool of Iran.  Turkey is making bellicose statements and began to relocate twenty additional tanks to the Iraq border on Wednesday, which -- in light of recent statements denying interest in crossing the border -- may reflect Turkish election politics.  The US transferred control of three provinces to the Kurdish Regional Gov't.  Contacts are underway between Prime Minister al-Maliki and the Baathist faction of Izzat al-Douri (Saddam's old VP), according to a Kurdish media report.  VOA surveys conditions in Mosul.  A Sunni police chief praised by US forces for clearing the city of Hit of insurgents has been arrested following an investigation into alleged murder, corruption and crimes against the Iraqi people, the US military says.  Michael Yon was there, says the US avoided a bloodbath, more details to follow.  Local authorities and about 100 tribes have formed an "operations room" to coordinate anti-terror efforts in Diayala province.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A Rare Barking Sand Shark, though that may be a dog off-camera. (Thanks, Dad.)

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: An Albino Wallaby and an Albino Magpie.

MONSTER PIG UPDATE:  A website claims the massive porker is the result of fauxtography, but the family which shot it and the local taxidermist beg to differ.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A suicide squirrel took down the grid in Puget Sound.

THE HAMSTER THREAT:  A British man was hospitalized with serious breathing difficulties after being viciously attacked by a hamster.  Richard Gere was unavailable for comment.

8507 Reads

New Tegan & Sara + White Stripes + Ryan Adams, Odin the Tiger   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE KINKS get a little psychedelic on this vintage British clip of "See My Friends."

TEGAN & SARA's upcoming album, The Con, is due in July, but seems to have leaked on the Internet, if you can beat the lawyers to it.  Filter has a background piece on the LP.

THE WHITE STRIPES:  Stereogum notes that three tracks from the upcoming LP have leaked and suggests you check the ol' HM for 300MPH Torrential Outpour Blues," "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)," and the Corky Robbins cover "Conquest."

MORE NEW RELEASES:  A Best of Elvis Costello and a solo LP from ex-Concrete Blonde singer Johnette Napolitano are streaming in full from AOL this week.

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT tells London's Independent that he intended his new album to be piano and voice, but going to Berlin forced a change: "Basically, a huge wave of German romanticism descended on the recording process, and almost drowned me."

RYAN ADAMS:  Spinner has two advance tracks from his upcoming Easy Tiger LP available as free downloads.  Or you can stream "Two" and "Everybody Knows" via the ol' HM.

JONATHAN COULTON is joined by Paul and Storm for a lilting, folkish rendition of Sir Mix-A-Lot's classic "Baby Got Back."

WHEN WILCO met Charles Nelson Reilly; the untold story.

DEVOTCHKA -- probably best known from its contributions to the score of Little Miss Sunshine, has an audio feature with streaming tracks at NPR.

PITCHFORK has posted the final lineup for its 2007 Music Fest.

JERRY GARCIA:  Deadheads should note that FADER magazine's Garcia-centric issue and podcast are available now as a free download.

LILY ALLEN was kicked out of school as a teenager for being a very naughty girl, in that Monica Lewinsky sort of way.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer was pursued by Courtney Love at a wrap party for Babyshambles' second album.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  In Touch magazine reported that the actress is headed back to rehab after a wild weekend that saw her arrested for DUI early Saturday morning - and out of it in a car just two days laterTMZ confirmed that Lohan checked into Promises rehab facility under the watchful eye of her lawyer.  Her ex-con dad says that "Lindsay is never going to get better" until the family starts including him.

BRITNEY SPEARS has posted a letter to her fans that shows she is in no way in denial, no siree: "Recently, I was sent to a very humbling place called rehab. I truly hit rock bottom. Till this day I don't think that it was alcohol or depression. I was like a bad kid running around with ADD..."

PIRATES 4?  Producer Jerry Bruckheimer says he and his mates need a break... but he already has rights to a book that could end up as another installment.

JESSICA BIEL and CAMERON DIAZ:  Justin Timberlake's new gf and his ex are both presenters at the MTV Movie Awards on June 3, so handlers gotta keep 'em separated.

JACKO:  You can see some of the wacky Jacko effects up for auction at TMZ.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  In a video entry posted on her blog, the so-called Queen of Nice rocked the pirate look and said she may never speak to Elisabeth Hasselbeck again.  Although Hasselback reportedly reached out to O'Donnell after last week's big fight on The View, it's hard to believe Hasselback will shed tears over it.  O'Donnells new plan is to tour with Cyndi Lauper.

BRADGELINA:  Star magazine reports that Jolie's friends are concerned over her recent major weight-loss.  Her brother ,James Haven Voight, attibutes it to grief over their mother's death and her role as a UN ambassador.

KATE HUDSON and OWEN WILSON turned up at at the Gramercy Park Hotel's Rose Bar the other night for a Velvet Revolver concert.

JUDD APATOW was profiled in the NYT Magazine:  Both of the films Apatow has directed (The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the upcoming Knocked Up) offer up the kind of conservative morals the Family Research Council might embrace - if the humor weren't so filthy.

MISS USA Rachel Smith fell down and went boom at the Miss Universe contest, icymi.

THE DARK KNIGHT:  The  sequel to Batman Begins will become the first feature film to be partly shot in the IMAX format, which should give Hi-Def detail, even in non-IMAX theaters.  AICN has your first official sorta look at Heath Ledger as the Joker.

VENEZUELA:  Hours after President Hugo Chavez shut down Venezuela's main opposition broadcaster, his government demanded an investigation of news network Globovision on Monday, claiming it was using "subliminal messages" to call for the president's assassination.  Venezueal is also filing charges against CNN for linking President Hugo Chavez to Al-Qaeda.  And why not?  Chavez accused RCTV of backing a bungled 2002 against him, though Human Rights Watch says Chavez has never proved itInternational press freedom groups, the European Union, the Chilean Senate, Human Rights Watch and others have expressed concern about the move against RCTV, but the Chavez govt keeps bringing the water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets.

IRAN, the day after meeting with the US for the first time since 1979, charged three Iranian-Americans, including U.S. academic Haleh Esfandiari, with endangering national security and espionage, which is punishable by death.  Esfandiari and at least some of the others have been among the most prominent advocates of a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran.

IRAQ:  The LA Times reports that US military leaders in Iraq are increasingly convinced that most of the broad political goals Pres. Bush laid out early this year in his announcement of a troop buildup will not be met this summer.  Gen. Petraeus' advisors hope to focus on smaller achievements that they see as signs of progress, such as the deals among Iraq's rival factions and tribes to establish areas of peace in some provinces.  On that score, four relatives of the head of the newly-formed Salah el-Din Salvation Council were killed by unidentified gunmen in a semmingly targeted attack.  And J.D. Johannes writes from Iraq about the spreading of the "Awakening" or "Salvation Council" movement to al Kharmah, with an interesting side note: "If the Sunni are seen as the sect working closest with the coalition to fight (al-Qaeda) and the Shia still allow (al-Sadr's Mahdi Army) to control the police forces and act as proxies for Iran, it is not difficult to see which group will win favor from the coalition."

ODIN the TIGER likes swimming in the tank at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Zoo in Vallejo, Calif.  Video at the link.

ELEPHANTS:  An Indian pachyderm is blocking traffic on a highway and refusing to let vehicles pass unless drivers give it food.  Meanwhile, hundreds of wild elephants have been hiding on a treeless island in the swamps of south Sudan.

A GIANT MONITOR LIZARD was shot twice in Casselberry, FL on Sunday, but it may still be on the loose.

MONSTER PIG UPDATE:  There's streaming audio with the taxidermist at NPR.  The picture was posted here on Monday.

MARGE the COW has a mutant gene, which scientists are using to breed a herd of cows that produce low-fat milk.  Marge is an X-Cow.

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White Stripes, New Releases, Of Montreal, Shark Petting   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WHITE STRIPES have released a video for the title track to the upcoming Icky Thump LP.

NEW RELEASES:  The June Carter Cash tribute, Satellite Party, The Little Ones, the Frank Smith-Juliana Hatfield collaboration and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner.

AEROSMITH:  Page Six claims that Liv Tyler has been telling people that dad Steven Tyler is going to announce he's leaving the band soon "because he can't take how the rest of the band is treating him."  Liv's rep denies it.

OF MONTREAL:  Kevin Barnes and Bryan Poole played unplugged for the Interface and talked about everything except their Outback steakhouse jingle.

FATS DOMINO played one of his increasingly rare shows at Tipitina's -- the first time since Hurricane Katrina hit his hometown of New Orleans.

CONTROL:  The new biopic on the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis won a host of acclaim and prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival, including Best European Film.  You cans watch the trailer and an interview with director Anton Corbijn that has additional footage.

THE HYPE MACHINE creator, now-21-year-old Anthony Volodkin, took a break from preparing for his physics final exam at New York's Hunter College to talk to Wired about the past and future of the MP3 blog-indexing site.

THE NATIONAL:  Lead singer and songwriter Matt Berninger tells the NY Post about the influence of Guided by Voices' Bob Pollard.  And he tells Spinner that he's borrowed bits from Grace Paley, Jonathan Ames... and Steven Spielberg.  Currently, you can jukebox a bunch of tracks via the ol' HM.

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE has a new album, Strawberry Jam, scheduled for a still-undetermined September release from Domino Records; tracklisting at the link.  Noah Lenox tells GvsB the album will be more "aggressive" than the "gauzy" sound of their Feels LP.

WILCO:  Jeff Tweedy spoke to NPR about the parade that inspired the title track of Wilco's new album, Sky Blue Sky.

LINDSAY LOHAN:  In the wake of her DUI bust, her ex-con dad says the out-of-control starlet needs to head back into rehab - and take her hard-partying mom with her.  Left unmentioned is the ongoing custody dispute between Li-Lo's parents.  It's almost too sad to link to a creepy clip of Lohan as a stripper in the upcoming I Know Who Killed Me.  Almost.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End took home box office booty to the tune of 142 million (or 156 million if you count Thurdsay night).  The grosses held up across the long weekend, which must make the Mouse happy, though it's short of some of the projections I saw.  Shrek the Third was saved by the long weekend; it had a 56 percent drop over three days, but rebounded to a 43 percent loss overall; Spider-Man 3 could tell a roughly similar tale.  Of course, with 219 and 307 million in grosses already, neither will be an object of sympathy.  The addition of a third blockbuster to the chart merely magnified the squeeze put on the rest of the field.  The only thing approaching a success story in the rest of the Top Ten is Waitress, which leapt up to the fifth slot, making about four million on 500 screens.

ROSIE O'DONNELL compares her departure from The View to being an unwanted foster child.

ASHLEY JUDD was in the winner's circle when hubby Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500, which was really the Indy 415 this year.

CHARLES NELSON REILLY, who acted and directed on Broadway but came to be best known for his campy (NTTAWWT) TV appearances on talk shows and Match Gameblank from complications of pneumonia on Friday in L.A.  He was 76.

JESSICA SIMPSON and JOHN MAYER may be back together, but they look like they are still fighting.

JACKO was paler than ever after too much tequila and vodka at Prince Azim of Brunei's 25th birthday bash.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA and ENRIQUE IGLESIAS are dunzo, prompting London's Sun to speculate that the latter's small admission last week was preemptive.

JOHN TRAVOLTA gorged himself on fries with mayo over the holiday weekend.  Life imitates Vincent Vega. (NSFW, natch.)

MISCHA BARTON:  The former OC star was rushed to the hospital Sunday evening after suffering an adverse reaction to medication.  Which is more likely to happen when you're drinking alcohol.

INDIANA JONES IV:  Last week's spoilers are corroborated at IESB, along with a new spoiler about the villain.

JESSICA ALBA is featured in one of the international teaser posters for Good Luck Chuck.

MEMORIAL DAY REDUX:  Vandals burned dozens of small American flags that decorated veterans' graves for Memorial Day and replaced many of them with hand-drawn swastikas on Orcas Island off Washington state's northwest coast.

VENEZUELA:  Danny Glover's pal Hugo Chavez pulled the plug on Radio Caracas Television -- a nation's hight-rating channel and the sole opposition-aligned TV station with nationwide reach.  Tens of thousands of Venezuelans protested the seizure of the station; Chavez rolled out the tanks and has already used a water cannon and tear gas on them.  Glover thinks that dissent is being crushed in the US, but this is what it really looks like.

CURING ISLAMOPHOBIA:  Tawfik Hamid -- a onetime member of an Islamist terrorist group -- writes that reforming Islam would help end Islamophobia.  It's hard to see how the Muslim world hopes to rebrand itself without reform.

AFGHANISTAN:  A British Commando was shot nine times during a Taliban ambush, but still managed to lead his comrades to safety.  All of his men escaped without injury.

IRAQ:  A bombing in Baghdad took the lives of at least two dozen people and targeted a major Sufi mosque and shrine in the city. Iraq's bitter experience with bombings in sacred sites -- most famously, the Samarra bombing in 2006 that flared a wave of sectarian killing -- pushed many Iraqi politicians to denounce the attack and warn against rash reactions, including Pres. Talabani, who expressed his commitment to rebuild the mosque and treat the wounded.  The US and Iran held talks on Iraqi security -- the first high-level talks between the two countries since 1979.  ITM's Omar was not impressed by the Iranian offer to train the Iraqi Army.  Turkey, while upset about Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq, says it has no plans for a cross-border military operation into the region.  The Iraqi Interior Ministry claims that most of the terror groups linked to Al-Qaeda are taking shelter in a triangle between Baghdad City and Al-Ishaqi area north of the capital after suffering raids and strikes by Iraqi security forces.

THE SHARK PETTING POOL is a fave feature of the renovated Indianapolis Zoo.  Visitors are asked not to reach under the sharks or poke them in the eyes.

MYSTERY EMU sparked an international incident after it went on the run from German and Swiss police.

A NEW LIMBLESS LIZARD was discovered in India.  Lead researcher Sushil Kumar Dutta insists that modern limbless lizards are not snakes.

A WILD LEOPARD leapt through the window of a home in southern Israel and hopped into bed with a sleeping family.  The leopard was weak from lack of food and explained that the other beds had been too soft and too firm.

THREE PIGS were locked into a home in Oregon by a man hoping the place would be trashed after it went into foreclosure.  The Big Bad Wolf had no comment.

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Memorial Day, Brian Wilson, Lily Allen & Blondie, Monster Pig   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 28, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

MEMORIAL DAY has become -- in the minds of some -- a day devoted to uncovering their swimming pools and barbeques. So take a moment (preferably at 3 p.m. local time) to remember what it's really about.  Or you could read the messages in The Hill from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, Army chief of staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr., chief of naval operations Adm. Mike Mullen, Air Force chief of staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Marine Corps commandant Lt. Gen. James Conway, Coast Guard commandant Adm. Thad Allen, and National Guard Bureau chief Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum.  Milblogger Blackfive has messages from soldiers and family members about those who have given all, as well as links to tribute videos.  The Wikipedia entry for Memorial Day notes a race track connection unrelated to the Indy 500 -- and even mentions the Drive-By Truckers.  But that DBT number is nowhere near as well-known as Sgt. Barry Sadler's No. 1 smash, "Ballad of the Green Beret."

ROGER DALTREY has blasted this summer's Live Earth concerts, branding them "un-environmental" for the amount of air pollution flying the stars in for the gigs will cause: "The last thing the planet needs is a rock concert..."

BRIAN WILSON is interviewed by the Pasadena Weekly; it's a good companion piece to the assorted Beach Boys videos embedded at Pitchfork to mark the release of The Warmth of the Sun compilation last week.

RADIO, RADIO:  WOXY is streaming the Modern Rock 500 today, while (as noted on Friday) WLS brings its music and DJs back for the day.

R.E.M. began recording a new album in Vancouver earlier this month... but no mention of Bill Berry.

LILY ALLEN joined BLONDIE for "Heart of Glass" on NBC's Today Show.  And if you keep watching, you'll get "Call Me" also.

ROBERT POLLARD and fellow ex-GbV member Chris Slusarenko have plenty of indie cameos on their next album as The Takeovers; you can stream and download four tracks at TheirSpace.

PETER BJORN & JOHN visited the World Cafe, so you can stream a mini-set on demand via NPR now.

THE EDITORS have a new song, "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors," streaming via Spinner.

SNAP.FM, coming in August, looks to be a combination of a music-centric social bookmarking site and a Daytrotter-esque showcase for indie bands.

LINDSAY LOHAN was busted on suspicion of DUI Saturday.  Splash News has near-immediate post-crash video.  Beverly Hills cops say they found a "usable amount" of a drug they say was cocaine at the scene.  Svedka vodka has decided against sponsoring her 21st-birthday bash in Las Vegas.

ROSIE O'DONNELL, as previously rumored, has left The View, though her contract wasn't up until June 20.  She reportedly capped her on-air meltdown by trashing her dressing room, while her chief  writer was allegedly escorted from the building after she was caught drawing moustaches on photographs of Elizabeth Hasselbeck that hang in The View's studios.  But we have one last video of Rosie warming up The View audience with 9/11 conspiracy theories.

CHARLIE SHEEN is rumored to be "having second thoughts" about being involved in an updated version of the 9/11 conspiracy flick, Loose Change.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills has been dropped from a week-long guest slot on The View after a tiff with host Barbara Walters, according to London's Daily Mirror.

PIRATES 3:  I'll wrap up the holiday box office tomorrow, but the regular weekend box office for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was 112 million (126 when you add in Thursday night showings).  Believe it or not, that may be considered a disappointing number.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE loves JESSICA BIEL, a source close to the singer tells People magazine, adding, "She's the coolest chick ever."

JESSICA SIMPSON writes that she is cowering from her true identity, while others write that she was following Leonardo DiCaprio around like a lost puppy in Cannes.

BRADGELINA:  Caught canoodling in Cannes; video at the link.  Meanwhile, the Daily Mail asks whether Jolie and Pitt are Hollywood saints or just bonkers.  I'm not so sure those are mutually exclusive; they may be synonymous.

HEIDI KLUM has named them Hans and Franz.  I guess she knows they are here to pump... you up.

KELLY CLARKSON:  Crossing mogul Clive Davis is probably not the smartest career move, but it appears he may have gone too far in his feud with the American Idol.

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STAR WARS TURNED 30 this weekend, with the largest Star Wars party in history, which organizers expected would draw more than 25000 would-be Wookiees and stormtroopers over the long weekend.  Time's Richard Corliss explains how the movie changed everything in Hollywood.  And it's a good excuse to relink Gnarls Barkley at last year's MTV Movie Awards.

COUNTER-INSURGENCY:  At the Small Wars Journal blog, Brigadier General (Ret.) Huba Wass de Czege -- founder of the Army's elite School for Advanced Military Studies (SAMS is also known as the "Jedi Knight program.") notes the import of the fact that serving field grade officers -- Majors, Lt. Cols and Cols -- have far more sustained combat experience than the younger generation of retirees acting as contractors or serving on CGSC and War College faculties.  He also highlights the "outside the box" thinking that SAMS grads can provide. 

IRAN claims its nuke program is peaceful, but Pres. Ahmadinejad has told the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps that "Once Iran is established as a nuclear state, all the world nations would come under the political flag of Iran.."   Meanwhile, Iran's financial system suffered a jolt last week, with panic selling on the stock market after Ahmadinejad abruptly ordered banks to cut interest rates sharply, despite surging inflation.

AL QAEDA deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has urged supporters in Iraq to extend their jihad to Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.  If only Lebanon, Palestine and Syria had not invaded Iraq... oh, wait...

AL QAEDA in IRAQ's TORTURE MANUAL:  In a recent raid on an al-Qaeda safe house in Iraq, U.S. military officials recovered an assortment of crude drawings depicting torture methods like "blowtorch to the skin" and "eye removal." 

IRAQ:  There is one matter on which US military commanders, many Iraqis and some of the Bush Admin's staunchest congressional critics agree: If the US withdrew its forces from Baghdad's streets this fall, the murder and mayhem would increase.  Iraq vet Phillip Carter has a step-by-step plan for withdrawal, while Iraq vet Owen West and former assistant secretary of defense Bing West have a plan for transitioning to an "adviser" presence.  The NYT claims that the admin is developing concepts for reducing US combat forces in Iraq by as much as half next year -- though reducing from 146K to 100K is not reducing by half (poor math skills at the NYT). Apparently, no top scenario has emerged.  It does look like the US is choosing the diplomatic track with Iran and Syria.  And with AQ now threatening to turn on Syria, something might come of it.

IRAQ II:  Moqtada al-Sadr re-appeared for the first time in months and again demanded that US troops get out of Iraq.  Sadr's aides have described the cleric's orders to stop fighting Iraqi forces as intended to improve his credibility and dispel allegations that the Mahdi Army was fueling sectarian violence.  Lt. Gen. Odierno, the No. 2 commander of US forces in Iraq, said he believed Sadr had returned to Iraq to shore up his organization.  At ITM, Omar is hearing a similar strategy.  Coincidentally, the same day Sadr popped up, Iraqi special forces killed the leader of the Mahdi Army in Basra after he tried to resist arrest.  Approximately 45 local sheiks met with Diyala provincial leadership in Baqouba to discuss their tribe's concerns, reconcile grievances and discover solutions to rid terrorism from the province.  And info from locals in Diyala led to a US raid on an al-Qaeda hide-out northeast of Baghdad on Sunday that freed 42 Iraqis imprisoned inside, including some who had been tortured and suffered broken bones.  Newsweek discovers the tribal salvation councils you have heard about here for about six months.  Michael Yon has a new dispatch from Anbar, with a bit about Mosul, also.  In Ramadi, 200 members of a Marine batallion have chosen to extend their enlistments, for no bonus money.

MONSTER PIG:  An 11-year-old boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog his father says weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9 feet 4, from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail.  If the claims are accurate, Jamison Stone's trophy boar would be bigger than Hogzilla, the famed wild hog that grew to seemingly mythical proportions after being killed in south Georgia in 2004.

HAMSTERS are taking Viagra to cure jet lag.  That's their story, and they're sticking to it.  Richard Gere was unavailable for comment. (Thanks, Lance.)

A SWARM of BEES grounded a Boeing 737 bound from England to Portugal, just two days after the swarm of 20000 bees descended on Bournemouth Pier.

GIANT SQUID have returned to the waters of Southern California, and it appears that one has washed up on the beach in San Diego.

REGGIE the GATOR, who eluded would-wranglers in L.A.'s Lake Machado and managed to disappear for 18 months until it recently resurfaced, was reportedly wrestled into captivity Thursday and rushed to a zoo with TV news helicopters providing live coverage of its freeway journey at rush hour.

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