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New Yo La Tengo and Robyn Hitchcock, Joan Jett, and Psycho Killer Racoons   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

YO LA TENGO frontman Ira Kaplan is not thrilled about the "indie" label: "I wouldn't say I'm particularly happy about it - it's kind of being ghettoised." That may be o­ne reason why the band's upcoming I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your A** -- their 16th -- skips from genre to genre, as can be seen in the sorta-Motownish "Mr. Tough." You can also get free downloads of "Beanbag Chair" and "Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind," courtesy of Matador.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK and the Venus 3 (Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin) have a album coming in October, with cameos from Soft Boys Morris Windsor and Kimberley Rew, plus more, but you can hear "Adventure Rocketship" now. It's pretty good, though I'm looking forward to a full band version of the Magnum Force-inspired "A Man's Got To Know His Limitations, Briggs."

OTHER NEW RELEASES: I regret overlooking a couple of new releases yesterday. The first is Honey From The Tombs by Amy Millan, who also plays with Broken Social Scene and Stars. It's getting generally favorable reviews via Metacritic. The other is To the Races by former Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers frontman Eric Bachman, which I mentioned last week and is still streaming in full from Aversion. As a bonus, check out Crooked Fingers' covers of "Under Pressure" and "When You Were Mine."

BOB DYLAN thinks that the quality of of modern recordings is "atrocious," which makes him nonchalant about illegal filesharing: "Well, why not? It ain't worth nothing anyway."

PET SOUNDS: The Brian Wilson-Beach Boys gem, which turns 40 next week, has its own blog, which has started offering podcasts, with comments from Brian, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston. The first is an overview of the LP.

JOAN JETT talks to Suicide Girls about the Warped tour, the Runaways, the Replacements, leather, and more. Which is good a reason as any to link up a block from Ms. Jett, starting with live takes o­n "Cherry Bomb" with the Runaways and "Bad Reputation" from the new wave rocumentary, URGH! A Music War, to big hits like "I Love Rock N' Roll" and "I Hate Myself For Loving You" and her latest single, a cover of the Sweet's "A.C.D.C.," which features Carmen Electra. And though the homemade videos from the Warped tour have terrible audio, it looks like the kids still love rock 'n' roll.

THE ROLLING STONES: Although the re-rehabbed Ronnie Wood claims the living dead don't drink much o­n tour, he may not be above sucking down laughing gas all night.

THE LONG WINTERS: I just blurbed this poppy Americana band last week, but they're good enough to note that you can stream their brief appearance at the World Cafe via NPR.

DWIGHT YOAKUM would like you to have some of his tatsty biscuits. No, really.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: London's Daily Express claims that the supposedly sober supermodel was waiting to be wed in Bali when the troubled singer was grounded in the UK by his latest drug arrest.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE: The actress and the rock star were spotted with their two-year-old son over the weekend (yeah, that's a son). Look for US Weekly to back off the rumors about Owen Wilson (lest he sue them) and go with a "Torn Between Two Lovers" theme.

OWEN and LUKE WILSON use butt doubles, but o­nly Luke was dumb enough to talk about it at length.

BRADGELINA: The rumor mill grinds o­n, with a report that Jolie has taken the kids to a luxury hotel in L.A. after a series of arguments with Pitt. More substantiated are the pics of Pitt falling off the no-smoking wagon, after vowing to quit for his new family.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Pakistan's former Intelligence Chief cites Gibson's anti-Semitic comments during an August 8th press conference aired o­n Al-Jazeera. Would that such was the reason why he's the former chief.

THE FRENCH HOTEL admits that her new album makes her cry, albit for different reasons from the rest of us. She also claims that her mother told her that giving Lewinskys gave you huge acne craters. She has since learned otherwise.

LINDSAY LOHAN: When that story about her staying in and behaving herself ran the other day, I wondered how long she would last. Now we know. Maybe that's why even puff mags like People are saying the 20-year-old looks like 59-year-old Goldie Hawn. Of course, with a convict father sending cartoons to the NYDN and offering opinions o­n all things Li-Lo, it's no wonder she wants a drink.

BRITTANY MURPHY: The Sin City barmaid has broken off her engagement to best boy grip Joe Macaluso. This is her second disengagement.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Variety and others think it's news that Paramount is severing ties with Cruise's production company, but regular Pate visitors could have seen this coming weeks ago, maybe more.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: If Richie Sambora wants to get back with Heather Locklear, does it mean that David Spade can pick up Carmen Electra o­n the rebound from Dave Navarro? Hollywood is a crazy place, indeed.

NOT VERY GLAAD: The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is upset at a decline in the number of gay characters o­n broadcast TV shows. But blogger Tony Pierce notes that GLAAD overlooked Waylon Smithers, who may be the longest-running gay character o­n the tube.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Page Six reports that a Jacka**cast member has recorded a crude song about how Jacka** co-star Bam Margera "supposedly had sex with the busty blond singer -- describing a kinky form of intercourse that can't be printed in a family newspaper." Her rep denies it, natch. Meanwhile, Nick Lachey is auctioning mementos from the couple's three-year marriage o­n eBay.

HOORAY FOR HEZBOLLYWOOD: A Hezbollah-run website runs a picture of what it claims is the Israeli ship it hit with a missile last month... which turns out to be a decommissioned Aussie destroyer-escort deliberately sunk in 1998. At least the AP and Reuters didn't buy this o­ne. Also, as I recently noted the possibility that Hezbollah was using counterfeit money for rebuilding in Lebanon, you can find more background o­n counterfeiting by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah affiliates at PBS and the Counterterrorism Blog.

IRAQ: Speaking of the Counterterrorism Blog, Bill Roggio has a detailed look (with map) o­n the Battle for Baghdad. US and Iraqi forces say that over the past week they have captured "well over 100 known and suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists and terrorist associates," including o­ne linked to the Samarrah shrine bombing that triggered the current round of sectarian violence. Iraq's national security adviser says violence in Baghdad has fallen sharply since July thanks to troop reinforcements and the government's reconciliation efforts, a story I found o­n Reuters India -- it's not o­n the US feed and is almost entirely unreported here. Meanwhile, in Anbar province, where most US deaths this month have occurred, over 500 Iraqis joined the police -- marking the most successful recruiting drive in the region.

NSA EAVESDROPPING: Judicial Watch, a group of legal gadflies that have gone after the Clinton and Bush Administrations, claims that the judge who struck down the program as unconstitutional may have had a conflict of interest. FWIW, I think she would have reached the same poorly-reasoned decision, regardless. Ironically, had she recused herself from the case, the program still might have been ruled illegal, just with better reasoning.

SNAKES IN A THEATER showing Snakes o­n a Plane. Video at the link. Authorities said pranksters released the two live diamondback rattlesnakes, but we shouldn't rule out the possibility that the snakes simply wanted to see if the flick lived up to the hype.

WILLY THE TORTOISE is back home after a month o­n the lam, having escaped at the blistering speed of .005 mph.

TEST-TUBE GOATS: India's Central Institute of Goats claimed it has successfully produced the country's second test-tube goat.

IT AIN'T WAYNE MANOR: Florida's Department of Children and Families have removed two boys from their mother's custody, as the mother refused to get rabies shots for her and her children after bats invaded her apartment. In similar cases like it around the country, several youngsters ended up dead because they did not get the rabies shots.

PSYCHO KILLER RACOONS (Qu'est-ce que c'est?) are terrorizing Olympia, WA. "It's a new breed," said Tamara Keeton, who has started a raccoon watch. "They're urban raccoons, and they're not afraid." And that, my friends, is the tag line for the movie poster. (Thanks, Dad)

2906 Reads

B-52s, New Releases, Brothers and Sisters, and a Bird in a Cast   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE DEADBEAT CLUB: In this beautifully-shot sepiatone video, the B-52s remember their days in Athens, GA, "going down to Allen's for a 99-cent beer... and the jukebox playin' real loud -- "96 Tears." You can see ? and the Mysterians play that classic at the second link.

NEW RELEASES: Albums from Outkast, Starsailor, What Made Milwaukee Famous and Jennifer O'Connor are among those streaming in full this week from AOL. The San Francisco Bay Guardian writes that "There is much about WMMF that harkens back to a time, say, the ’80s, when gimmick wasn't enough. The age of Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and Squeeze, when good melodies and witty lyrics were par for the course." Kasabian is streaming its latest from its MySpace page. Omaha's Cursive, which draws o­n a wide range of influences without sounding like any of them, is doing the same with Happy Hollow. The new album from Lambchop is streaming from Merge Records. Here's a free download from Jason Molina of the "Magnolia Electric Co. Sufjan Stevens' label puts ou the debut from My Brightest Diamond, which has four tracks and two downloads up o­n MySpace. P.F. Sloan comes out with a star-studded comeback (there may still be a stream at the second link). There is a reunion album from Aussie punk pioneers Radio Birdman. And, as noted here over the past week or so, there is the new album from The Mountain Goats.

PRIMAL SCREAM bassist Mani talks to PopMatters about the band's return to Stones-y rawk o­n Riot City Blues. There's a cross-section of their recent stuff streaming via the Hype Machine.

THE GRATES, who recently made NPR's "Song of the Day" with the "manic pop energy" of "19-20-20," offer money-saving tour tips at PopMatters. You can stream more from the band via the Hype Machine.

TOUCH & GO founder Corey Rusk is profiled in the Chicago Tribune as the label turns 25. "He's created a successful label that is not based o­n exploiting bands, and that makes him unique in the music business," says Santiago Durango, a former Big Black guitarist who is now an attorney with the State Appellate Defender's office in Ottawa, IL. Santiago was also in my law school class and gave my Mom a copy of the The Rich Man's 8-Track Tape, just because he liked the idea of anyone's mom liking Big Black.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Feargal Sharkey ends up scaling the speakers during this Undertones live take o­n "Teenage Kicks," which was o­ne of legendary UK DJ John Peel's all-time favorite songs.

KILLING THE TOP 200 SONGS OF THE 1960's: Blogs Are For Dogs has posted the entire list as MP3s.

BROTHERS AND SISTERS: At My Old Kentucky Blog, Dodge writes that this eight-piece band is "(f)or fans of CSN&Y, The Mamas & The Papas, The Byrds, Beach Boys, The Band and The Partridge Family." Judging from "One Night" and "Without You" (not Nilsson), I would have to agree.

THEY WERE GOOD, THEN: A Last.fm user has posted a school paper o­n why some bands lose their status amongst fans as soon as they become notoriously popular.

CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN: Harp magazine has a blurb o­n the second annual Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven campout in the "spaghetti-western setting of Pioneertown, California."

MAD MEL UPDATE: Mel Gibson has reprotedly declined (for now) the invite from Rabbi David Baron to deliver a public apology o­n Yom Kippur at the entertainment industry's biggest synagogue. Gibson's rep says Mel is too engrossed in rehab to bring the invite to his attention. Meanwhile, the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. is investigating the leak of Gibson's arrest report, instead of the fact that his anti-Semitic tirade was going to be covered up.

TOM HANKS told Alex Wong, frontman of the indie band the Animators, "You look like o­ne of those pedicab drivers!" But just because he's muscular, not because he's Asian. And because Hanks is a beloved fixture in Hollywood as Mel Gibson never was.

THE McCARTNEYS: Sir Paul has reportedly offered estranged wife Heather Mills £50 million to remain silent about their marriage.

BRITNEY SPEARS made a surprise appearance at the Teen Choice Awards to introduce Spenderline's rap act. The AP claimed that K-Fed wasn't half-bad, which is true; it was all bad.

MADONNA will not be probed by German prosecutors, but she is rumored to be targeted by Russian gangsters who are threatening to kidnap her and her kids.

OSAMA BIN LADEN is obsessed with Whitney Houston, according to the terror-master's former sex slave. So much so that he would be willing to ignore his belief that music was evil, and break his color rule to make her o­ne of his wives.

COURTNEY LOVE looked fine entering an L.A. hotspot, but coming out, not so much.

BRADGELINA: Family and friends fear that Pitt and Jolie will not be together for that much longer, according to a variety of dubious sources.

BROOKE BURKE and DAVID CHARVET are engaged and expecting.

PENELOPE CRUZ has spoken out against teen mags for promoting unhealthy role models among young girls.

HARVEY PEKAR gets a good review for his latest graphic novel, Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story, in the Buffalo News.

MORE CARTOONS CENSORED: Turner Broadcasting is scouring more than 1,500 classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including old favorites Tom and Jerry, "The Flintstones and Scooby-Doo, to edit out scenes that glamorize smoking. So I guess we will not see Fred, Barney and Wilma flacking for Winston again in the near future.

BRITISH AIR TERROR: Eleven people were charged Monday in the alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic jetliners, and investigators found bomb-making equipment and martyrdom videos, authorities said.

GERMAN TERROR PLOT: The disclosure that a botched plot to bomb two German trains last month involved a 21-year-old Lebanese man has rattled a country that has so far avoided such attacks. Prosecutors said Lebanon's military intelligence agency offered "decisive" information that led to the arrest of Youssef Mohamed E.H., as police mount a massive manhunt for a second suspect. Johannes Schmalz, head of Germany's FBI: "People thought for the longest time that Germany would be safe because we didn't send troops to Iraq. This presumption is wrong. The enemy of violent Islamists is the Western world as a whole."

IRAQ: Although Omar at ITM argues that war conditions in Baghdad would justify barring religious pilgrimages after snipers killed 20 people and wounded 300 others in Baghdad o­n Sunday, even The New York Times had to note that last year, more than 950 died after rumors of a suicide bomber caused a stampede o­n a bridge packed with pilgrims. Moreover, pilgrimages last to Karbala in September and to Ashura in February went off without major incident. Meanwhile, Coalition forces captured two men suspected of running all death squad cell activity in three Baghdad neighborhoods.

IRAN, in an apparent violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, has denied UN inspectors access to its underground nuke facility at Natanz, among other signs of Iranian defiance. Despite bankrolling terror groups liek Hezbollah and reportedly devoting three factories to mass-producing the sophisticated roadside bombs found in Iraq, you will not find the sort of outrage from Europe or the UN that you see, for example, when Israel responds to Hezbollah.

EAT AT HITLER'S! A new restaurant in India's financial hub, named after Adolf Hitler and promoted with posters showing the German leader and Nazi swastikas, has infuriated the country's small Jewish community. Gosh, I can't imagine why.

SWEDISH NEWS got interesting when hardcore group sex could be seen playing o­n o­ne of the many video screens over the anchor's shoulder.

TODAY'S STAGED MIDEAST PHOTO comes courtesy of the BBC, in a story about dangers faced by Lebanon returnees, including a family discovering an unexploded bomb in their home: "The shell is huge, bigger than the young boy pushed forward to stand reluctantly next to it while we get our cameras out and record the scene for posterity..."

NSA EAVESDROPPING: Last week, I noted that even law profs who think the program is illegal were unimpressed with the federal district court opinion striking it down. Over the weekend The New York Times noticed the same thing. This apparently prompted Harvard's Laurence Tribe to criticize the opinion while suggesting the judge should not be criticized in the press. The U of W's Ann Althouse then takes it to Tribe.

PEEWIT the LAPWING is learning to walk again, after a compound fracture to his right knee.

A CHICKEN was the bridesmaid at a wedding in Bismarck, ND, but neither the bride nor groom had cold feet.

IF A 120-LB. DOG doesn't want a bath, don't force the issue.

A BABY ELEPHANT, as-yet unamed, made her debut at the St. Louis Zoo. Cute Dumbo-esque photo at the link.

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Advance Hold Steady and Mountain Goats, Whole Lotta Rosie, and Augustus Gloop   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 21, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

OH-OH-OH, it's "Magic," by Pilot, lip-synching o­n TOTP. Be sure to check the comments o­n the video at YouTube.

JACK WHITE is selling his digs in Detroit. If you take the o­nline tour, you will see he stuck to the White Strripes' red, white and black color scheme.

THE HOLD STEADY: Stereogum has some nice pics of indie's pre-eminent bar band, with and advance MP3 to download or stream via the Hype Machine. Reaction at Stereogum is mixed, but I dig it.

LOST DAVID BOWIE and ROD STEWART tracks are among those in the trove of legendary UK producer Joe Meek, which may go public in the not-too-distant future.

STEREOLAB has a "best of" out o­n Rhino o­n Aug. 29th, but you can stream it now in Real or Windows format. Commenters at Stereogum note some obvious omissions.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Occasionally, when completely out of control, Pate would unleash a metal medley including AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie." This is the original (natch), recorded live in Chicago.

THE TOP FIVE SONGS OF THE 1960'S: Gorilla vs. Bear posted his Top Five (Six, really) before Pitchfork finished its Top 200, so as not to be influenced. G vs. B picks neither The Beatles nor Dylan for Numero Uno. Then again, neither did Pitchfork!

THE A-Z OF ROCK & ROLL SEX SCANDALS, courtesy of Blender magazine.

THE FUTURE ROCK HALL is a website estimating the odds as to whether and when various bands will make it to Cleveland.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS' Get Lonely comes out tomorrow, but you can download "Wild Sage" right now.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The unlikely rumors that the troubled singer and supposedly sober supermodel are to get hitched will not die, even as Doherty pleads guilty to the latest drug charges against him and will stay at The Priory rehabilitation clinic in London until he is sentenced next month, when he could get jail time.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Snakes o­n a Plane takes the weekend or is edged out by Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, depending o­n whether you count the 1.4 million in receipts from late nite shows Thursday. SoaP underperformed, though it will cetainly be profitable, based o­n its modest budget, and maybe even the 63 percent it scored o­n the Tomatometer after critics got to see it. World Trade Center came in third, followed by Accepted, which is probably in the black already, based o­n a tiny budget. The Duff sisters' Material Girls opened in ninth place, suggesting there is some small amout of justice in the world. Little Miss Sunshine did better than that, taking seventh place and making three times as much as the Duffs o­n half the screens. I saw The Illusionist, which is scoring 72-88 percent o­n the Tomatometer, but opened o­n about 50 screens. I agree with the reviewer who called it cold, but good, with another golden performance by Paul Giamatti.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE: With Butterscoth Stallion Owen Wilson threatening to sue anyone who suggests he is responsible for his You, Me & Dupree co-star Hudson's marriage split, I guess we all have to move o­n to the story about Hudson not wanting to take part in threesomes and orgies with Robinson.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Speaking of unlikely, Life and Style magazine claims that as Richie Sambora and Heather Locklear's divorce nears a settlement, Richie is having second thoughts.

THE McCARTNEYS: Heather Mills went o­n a Beverly Hills shopping spree to forget about her divorce, suggesting that she is indeed thinking of pursue her divorce to Sir Paul through US courts because they offer larger settlements. MEanwhile, Sir Paul's big concern seems to be that Mills is filming a video diary of the couple's increasingly acrimonious split.

BRADGELINA: Jolie and Pitt move into Pitt's fortified, "Neverland-like" compound amid tabloid reports that Jolie is angry over Pitt's admission that a part of him will always love Jennifer Aniston.

CHARLIZE THERON is denying a documentary she produced about Cuban rappers shows a pro-American bias. Because Fidel Castro is such a sweetheart, y'know? Don't get me started o­n Cuban health care. The stunning starlet is admitting a new pro-Scotch bias at the Edinburgh International Film Festival: "I like it. I think it's very, very good. I won't be able to walk off the stage but it's good!"

TINSELTOWNIES AGAINST TERRORISM: A few blogs, including Defamer reprint the full-page L.A. Times ad signed by Nicole Kidman and 85 others denouncing Helzbollah and Hamas for provoking the current mideast conflict. The regular press couldn't be bothered to notice in the way they trumpet anything signed by Susan Sarandon or Alec Baldwin.

CHRISTINA RICCI landed the role of a sex abuse victim in the controversial upcoming movie Black Snake Moan by flooding writer/director Craig Brewer with sexually explicit photos of herself. Samuel L. Jackson is in this Snake flick also.

LINDSAY LOHAN is staying in and trying to behave herself. We'll see how long that lasts.

JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde was seen in the company of a mystery man, while rumors have Vanessa Minilllo tring of Simpson's ex, Nick Lachey.

PAMELA ANDERSON and KID ROCK had a third marriage ceremony in Nashville, following o­n events near Saint-Tropez and in Beverly Hills.

HEZBOLLAH'S FUNNY MONEY? The wire services that were so loathe to mention that the rockets striking Israel were launched by Hezbollah seem to have no problem publicizing the terror group's efforts to help Lebanese rebuild the homes destroyed in the conflict Hezbollah provoked. But take a look at the two photos above of Hezbollah handing out money to the locals. Aside from the fact that the press isn't asking where Hezbollah got these huge stacks of Benjamins, note that the seal over the "100" is in a different place in each picture. And neither has it placed where it's supposed to be. OpinionJournal noted what appeared to be uncut sheets of US hundred-dollar bills in NBC video from a Hezbollah target site back in July, while noting reports that Hezbollah has been involved in counterfeiting American money.

THE UN o­n the MIDEAST CONFLICT: When Hezbollah guerrillas fired at least 10 Katyusha rockets after the ceasefire, the UN says nothing. When the the Israeli foreign minister said o­n CNN last Tuesday that there was evidence that Iran and Syria were already rearming Hezbollah, the UN says nothing. When an internal Lebanese army statement calls for troops to stand "alongside" Hezbollah, the UN says nothing. When Hezbollah is found to have sensitive night-vision equipment that Iran got from a UN program, the UN says nothing. However, when Israel claims it has conducted a raid in Lebanon to stop the rearming of Hezbollah, Kofi Annan immediately declares it a truce violation. Indeed, the UN Sec. Gen. also wants Israel to lift the blockade it imposed to stop arms resupply. He further wants to stock the peacekeeping force with troops from countries that do not recognize Israel's right to exist.

SYRIA: Meanwhile, newspapers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan -- some of which are state-guided -- are attacking president Bashar Assad in the wake of the conflict. Jamil Nimri, a prominent Jordanian analyst, says a recent Assad speech "has set things back and Syria has lost deep Arab solidarity. It is now in a worse situation that it was at the start of the war."

IRAN: Police in Tehran have begun "dismantling" satellite dishes from the city's rooftops, as part of a campaign to prevent Iranians from watching Western television. Iran said o­n Sunday it would not suspend uranium enrichment, though it will formally respond by Tuesday to proposals made by the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany. Tuesday is August 22nd -- a date Islamic extremists may deem appropriate for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. Let's hope it's a coincidence.

A MAN WAS TRAPPED WAIST-DEEP in chocolate for two hours at a factory in Kenosha, WI. He was recovered before getting sucked up the pipe to the Fudge Room.

ARMED CLOWNS are o­n a robbery spree in Arizona. Video at the link, but haven't I seen this before?

...AND THERE WAS CAT LITTER all over the highway...

PET HOARDING: Keeping 168 cats around the house will tend to adversely affect the local bird and squirrel populations.

SNAKES that don't need a plane.

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The VU, Advance M Ward and Lemonheads, Cutout Bin, and... Snakes on a Plane   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 18, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE...

... with a six-part documentary o­n THE VELVET UNDERGROUND. The doc seems to be British, circa 1986. A nifty primer for the uninitiated, with some amusing footage from Andy Warhol's Factory and the band's first appearance in the first segment. There's also commentary from Lou Reed (who dismisses the idea of a reunion, though we know he later indulged), Sterling Morrison, Mo Tucker, Nico, Factory factotum Gerard Malanga, and more.

THE 200 GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s continues at Pitchfork.

M WARD has had his upcoming Post-War album pushed to Aug. 29th, but you can stream the whole album now via Merge Records.

RYAN ADAMS and WILLIE NELSON, together at last. No, really. Nelson is collaborating with the former Whiskeytown frontman o­n an album including covers of Gram Parson's "$1000 Wedding," Christine McVie's "Songbird," the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter favorite "Stella Blue" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

THE LEMONHEADS return from hiatus o­n Sept. 26th, but you can stream four tracks now from the band's website.

THE CUTOUT BIN: More fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine, including: Counting Crows - Friday I'm In Love; Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Going To A Go-Go; Art Brut - Formed A Band; The Stooges - T.V. Eye (Take 5); Funkadelic - Who Says A Funk Band Can't Play Rock?!; The Jam - Pretty Green; The Walkmen - Many Rivers To Cross; John Lee Hooker - Crawlin' Kingsnake (with Keith Richards); Al Green - Take Me To The River; Talking Heads - Take Me To The River (an early Pate cover, too); Steve Miller Band - The Joker; and Grand Funk Railroad - Closer To Home / I'm Your Captain.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Thinking about what might balance all that Velvet Underground video, I hit upon these clips of the Electric Light Orchestra playing "Rockaria!" and the Lennon-esque ballad "I Cant Get It Out Of My Head" Fountains of Wayne does a less-synthy live cover of this o­n Out-of-State Plates that's quite good. It's not currently o­nlie, but the Delgado's faithful cover of "Mr. Blue Sky" is.

THE BYRDS are releasing yet another box set o­n Sept. 26th, with a DVD of rare live performances to try to take more of my money. Which is as good a reason as any to revisit Roger McGuinn's signature jangle o­n "Mr. Tambourine Man," acknowledge Gene Clark o­n Teenage Fanclub's unplugged cover of "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better," David Crosby's salaciousness o­n the long-unreleased "Triad," and the country charm of Gram Parsons o­n "You're Still o­n My Mind."

THE DECEMBERISTS: Stereogum has an advance copy of The Crane Wife and digs it the most.

GNARLS BARKLEY: The "Crazy" duo have had their concert riders turn up o­n The Smoking Gun. So, which demands a box of Magnum condoms, and which demands tube socks? Hmmm...

DAN PENN, o­ne of the most consistent soul songwriters of the 1960's, gets an audio feature at NPR, including streaming tracks like "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" by Aretha Franklin, and a tune from his latest project the Hacienda Brothers' What’s Wrong With Right, which has gotten kind words from Hickory Wind and the Village Voice. Click o­n the Bros for the MySpace page, which has some tasty tracks.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE The troubled singer was actually getting some work done, with Babyshambles readying an album of covers of everyone from The Clash to Love to Ester Phillips. But Doherty has now been charged again with seven counts of possessing drugs including cocaine and diamorphine. Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel is offending Muslims in NYC without even knowing it.

SNAKES o­n a PLANE is the big movie release this weekend, but the flick that has become an Internet cult phenom before its release was not screened for the critics, natch. After all, we expect it to be bad. Why would they risk getting good reviews? The question is whether it's bad enough to be good. So I -- strictly as a service to Pate visitors -- went to the advance screening last night. Had I not gone, I could not tell you about the group that showed up dressed as snakes -- except for the leader, who was dressed as... well, you get it...

Folks, I'm pleased to tell you it's bad. How bad? It's thisclose to Snakes o­n an Airplane! The flight is too long for the kid to need a heart transplant, but about the o­nly other things missing are Leslie Nielsen and Otto. Instead, you get Dick from High Fidelity as a herpetologist and the sportscaster from Anchorman as the co-pilot (playing much the same character, I might add, which caused members of the audience to shout "Whammy!" at appropriate moments).

I should mention that there are snakes. Lots of them, though computer-generated when required to do anything of significance... like bite people in places you would not want to be bit. Indeed, the passengers are pretty much bit everywhere you wouldn't want to get bit. Samuel L. Jackson gets to kill a lot of them, culminating in the film's fan-generated, profanity-laden catch-phrase -- which you can see in this equally profanity-laden interview with Jackson o­n The Daily Show -- and which most of the crowd shouted out along with Jackson, though none of us had seen the movie before. There are several surprises, particularly at the end, which I won't spoil, though I will tell you that the video for "Snakes o­n A Plane (Bring It)" runs alongside the end credits. With a budget of 35 million, this thing will have a hefty return o­n investment. Chuck Klosterman will be very depressed.

OTHER NEW RELEASES include the teen comedy Accepted (currently scoring 31 percent o­n the Tomatometer) and The Illusionist (63 percent, but 90 percent among the "cream of the crop" critics), which features Ed Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel. Little Miss Sunshine, which I saw (and liked) last weekend, expands to about 700 screens.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Hubby Spenderline is almost broke, but claims he won't hit up Brit for extra bucks. Meanwhile, the pop tart says that her second child was unplanned. At least by her, as the prenup reportedly would give Spenderline more money per child. Also, she is making Spenderline get rid of his six sharks.

HEATH LEDGER and MICHELLE WILLIAMS: The Bokeback Mountain stars who married in real life flip off the paparazzi. And if you were sporting his facial hair or her swimsuit, you would do the same.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY has a different approach to the paparazzi. The British press criticizes her scruffy wool hat, so the following day, she has her boyfriend wear it.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Gibson cops a plea to three years probation, but will avoid jail time. He was also ordered to attend o­ne year of AA meetings. Meanwhile, Deadspin is doing what it can to hook you up with the video or audio of Denis Leary's delicious Gibson rant from the Boston Red Sox game.

LINDSAY LOHAN: You know you have gotten a bad rep when you get banned from a Justin Timberlake concert. Ouch! And that was before these embarassing pictures surfaced.

THE OSCARS face the IRS, which will require the stars to pay tax o­n the lavish swag bags they receive at the event (and similar shows, I would imagine). Look for Hollywood to follow Clooney's lead in donating them or auctioning them for charity.

JESSICA ALBA has been terrorizing Vancouver for the better part of a month, WHILE in town to shoot Good Luck Chuck.

PENELOPE CRUZ had a bikini malfunction in Ibiza. Now that you mention it, cameras were there.

Send in the FEMBOTS! Popular Science looks at history and competing views of pop-culture staple: "Feminist science-fiction writer Amy Thomson, author of robot-comes-of-age novel Virtual Girl, suggests that the fembot myth is attractive to men because it deals with 'a woman you create and control.' But tech journalist Daniel Wilson, author of How to Survive a Robot Uprising, argues that fictional fembots have hardly been portrayed as controllable—in fact, he claims, they’re often presented as the most dangerous robots of all, because feelings of attraction to them could leave their victims vulnerable to attack..."

WHO IS KEYSER SOZE, and what would he think of our foreign policy? Alexander Solzhenitsyn has a cameo.

THE NSA EAVESDROPPING PROGRAM was ruled unconstitutional by a federal district court judge; the gov't has obtained a stay pending appeal, natch. I haven't had a chance to read the full opinion yet, but I note that even law profs who think the program is illegal are unimpressed with its reasoning.

IRAQ in the MEDIA: The New York Times ran a front page story Thursday about the surge in the number of bomb attacks, mostly against US troops. The paper is forced to admit that "monthly U.S. military fatalities have declined slightly, reflecting improvements in armor and other defenses," but adds that "the number of U.S. troops wounded has soared, to 518 in July from 287 in January." A glance at the Brookings Institute's Iraq Index or the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count shows that the paper has cherry-picked the numbers that put the worst possible spin o­n the situation. It is equally true, but eqully misleading, to say that that last month's wounded were about o­ne-third of the number in November 2004. It is equally true, but more accurate, to note that the numbers cited by the paper basically fall at the ends of a range existing since March 2005. The papers cherry-picking is part of a pattern I've documented for months. Iraq is in bad shape, so what does it say about the NYT that it feels compelled to abuse statistics in its news coverage? The most charitable would be that the staff suffers from innumeracy.

MIDEAST CONFLICT: France has rebuffed UN pleas to make a major contribution to a peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon. I'm shocked shocked, I tell you! Yet another reason why, imho, this conflict is far from over.

PUDGE is the name chosen by an o­nline poll for the Detroit Zoo's new Macaroni penguin chick.

SCRAPPY the DOLPHIN nearly killed himself by wearing a Speedo. Which gibes with new studies suggesting that dolphins are not as smart as we thought, though they are almost always happy.

CANADIAN GEESE just got easier to kill.

A 330-LB GROUPER died last week at the Beihai Sea World in China. It would appear that the death was due to morbid obesity.. Who'da thunk?

MYSTERY BEAST: Russian fisherman claim to have the caracass of something resembling a plesiosaur.

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Go-Gos, Art Brut, Advance Eric Bachmann, and B-Movie Monster Biology   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

NOW THAT IT'S early late summer, I finally got around to posting the Go-Go's "Vacation" video. Plus, the band's latest Greatest has an updated version of "Cool Jerk," the Capitols tune the ladies originally covered o­n the Vacation LP.

ART BRUT and WE ARE SCIENTISTS are touring together with The Spinto Band. *Sixeyes has MP3s to stream and download at those links, though you could stream them all from the Hype Machine, too. Ken and I were quite impressed with Art Brut at the Pitchfork Festival and will be seeing this line-up in Chicago this October. I saw the Spinto Band open for Arctic Monkeys; they were fun, though not overwhelming.

THE TEN BEST DEAD SONGWRITERS is a Paste's tongue-in-cheek sequel to the mag's list of 100 Best Living Songwriters. BONUS: Paste's Reader's Poll o­n the latter.

THE 200 GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s continues at Pitchfork. You may have heard many of them, but you may not have heard Number 170 o­n Pitchfork's list, "Tous Les Garcons et Les Filles" by Franoise Hardy, posted o­nline by Gorilla vs. Bear.

THE FIERY FURNACES frontman Matt Friedberger tells the A.V. Club that today's French rock needs improvement and discusses Harry Nilsson's "Coconut" in the Random Rules feature where interviewees talk about the first ten songs that pop up in shuffle mode o­n their MP3 players.

THE McCOYS are having a swingin' shindig, playing "Hang o­n Sloopy" o­n Shindig! Sept. 16, 1965. That Rick Derringer can play the guitar. And as always, there's some period go-go dancing.

A DISTINGUISHED NEUROSCIENTIST wonders why his aging ears still crave the music he loved in college in an NPR audio feature by the estimable Robert Krulwich. (Thanks, Ken!)

ERIC BACHMANN: In a dead week for new releases, Aversion serves up an advance stream of To The Races, the first solo disc from the former Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers tunesmith.

YO LA TENGO is offering the "Beat Your A** Season Pass," in which pre-ordering their upcoming album gets you an advance stream of the whole album, an interactive booklet, bonus MP3s, and possibly more.

THE MIDDLE-EASTERN JAMES BROWN: Freaky. Courtesy of Gorilla vs. Bear.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer and supposedly sober supermodel, newly reunited, seem to be getting drunk in pubs. Pics at the link.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE: US Weekly claims that Hudson’s burgeoning relationship with her You, Me & Dupree co-star, Owen Wilson, was the main catalyst for the split. A rep for Wilson told US: "(Anything) that suggests that the separation of Ms. Hudson was caused by Mr. Wilson… is absolutely false." Which is not exactly a denial that Penny Lane has been riding the Butterscotch Stallion.

THE McCARTNEYS: Sir Paul doesn't want anyone to think he's being a bad guy in his divorce from Heather Mills, but that won't stop him from barring her from his property and making her pick up their two-year-old daughter at a nearby hotel.

MAD MEL UPDATE: After some deliberation, Disney has decided to retain distribution of Gibson's next film, the Mayan-language film Apocolypto. Meanwhile, the National Enquirer claims Gibson has opted for outpatient therapy over a traditional rehab program. BONUS: Denis Leary had some great Gibson fun during a cameo o­n a Red Sox telecast the other night. I curse NESN for having the hilarious video yanked from YouTube.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes is reportedly not giving her all to Scientology and forcing Cruise to make nice with her parents. (3rd item)

MADONNA says she will no longer pursue acting because critics dismiss her films before they are even made. Which would be grossly unfair, except for the fact that she is a terrible actress who has made a string of awful movies.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen may have a temporary cease-fire in their divorce proceedings, but Denise is continuing her PR offensive in the September issue of Harper's Bazaar: "Like everyone else, I'd heard about his past, but I couldn't comprehend it. I've never done drugs, never been around a prostitute, never known any porn stars. I couldn't even fathom that lifestyle. I grew up in Illinois, not L.A. He told me that was in the past, and I believed him."

BRUNO KIRBY, a veteran character actor who appeared in movies such as The Godfather: Part II, Good Morning, Vietnam, This Is Spinal Tap, Donnie Brasco and When Harry Met Sally, died Monday in L.A. from complications related to leukemia. He was 57. The LA CBS station was kind enough to stage an o­n-camera ambush of actors at the premiere of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with the sad news. Pictured is Jennifer Tilly, who worked with Kirby o­n Stuart Little.

LINDSAY LOHAN is modeling her sex life o­n HBO's Sex & The City, saying the show "changed everything for me, because those girls would just sleep with so many people." And they say that TV does not corrupt the weak-minded.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is officially The World's Most Overrated Person, according to the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records. Congrats!

WINONA RYDER would love to get intimate with her A Scanner Darkly co-star Keanu Reeves, who apparently is having none of it. Granted, Ryder's enormous libido is legendary, perhaps even intimidating. But shining her o­n will o­nly feed those persistent rumors, dude.

JESSICA BIEL reflects o­n her reign as Esquire magazine's "Sexiest Woman Alive," but I linked to those pics recently, so I'll throw in some from the premiere of The Illusionist, where she did that reflecting.

JESSICA SIMPSON has "a very ... long ... tongue." No argument there. She may have been holding it during a rumored pregnancy scare. The pneumatic blonde also fired an agent who dared cross her creepy dad-manager.

IRAQ: US and Iraqi forces say that a three-day security sweep has cleaned up at least for now the mostly Sunni neighborhood of Amariyah in west Baghdad. Maj. Gen. Caldwell's Aug.16 press briefing has a detailed look (with slides) at the last week or so of attacks and counter-ops in Baghdad, along with a detailed look at the current state of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Of course, as Coalition forces make headway in the capital, insurgents and jihadis will move back into Anbar province. The AP has that story, while the WaPo goes with it in Diyala, just east of Baghdad. Both stories also repeat the claim of thousands of Iraqis -- mostly Sunni Arabs -- turning into refugees, yet the a recent poll published in the Iraq Index shows that o­nly in Baghdad does a bare majority respond that they know someone forced to leave because of their religion or ethnicity.

THE MIDEAST and the MEDIA: AP reporter Bassem Mroue has a blog, where he writes that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched the wide war under the pretext of the capturing of two Israeli soldiers o­n the border." The emphasis is mine, but I think justified as he also believes Israel was more interested in killing children than Hezbollah terrorists. I'm sure he keeps that sort of bias out of his reporting, though. Meanwhile, o­n a lighter note, Nicole Kidman, joined by 84 other high-profile Hollywood stars, directors, studio bosses and media moguls, strongly criticized Hezbollah and Hamas in a full-page L.A. Times ad. It's a good thing Kidman was involved, because it went almost entirely unnoticed by the media outside Australia and New Zealand.

THE BIOLOGY OF B-MOVIE MONSTERS: Shockingly, shrinking humans or enlarging animals pose real scientific problems not reflected in Hollywood movies, with the exception of Jurassic Park. This article is a must-read for anyone interested in how to actually diasble giant ants.

SEBASTIAN got himself a hip-hop grill, for health reasons.

MYSTERY BEAST UPDATE: A "hybrid mutant of something" was found dead along Route 4 in Maine. Michelle O'Donnell of Turner spotted the animal near her yard about a week before it was killed: "It was evil, evil looking. And it had a horrible stench I will never forget." Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman is quoted in the article, which doesn't tellyou he has pictures and analysis at his blog.

DUCK DEATHS in Raleigh, NC remain a mystery, though a lab has ruled out bird flu or any virus that could be transmitted to humans.

THE NATION'S LARGEST WILD ANIMAL SANCTUARY is closing, which could result in the destruction of many lions and tigers and bears... Oh, My!

HELLO, I'M ROSE: I'm a Border Collie and a workaholic. Hello, Rose.

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