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Robert Pollard, The Replacements, The Raconteurs and the Were-Rabbit   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, April 10, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ROBERT POLLARD has three new side projects that will be released in May -- including his collaboration with Tommy Keene -- so he has three free previews to download.

SUFJAN STEVENS is putting out The Avelanche, an album of outtakes and alternate versions of songs from his Illinois album. A must-own for those wanting to hear about Saul Bellow, Ann Landers and Adlai Stevenson. Sterogum is already killing music with the title track. And while is is making an album with Rosie Thomas, they are not having a baby.

THE REPLACEMENTS: Tommy Stinson joins Soul Asylum, filling in for the late Karl Mueller for their first studio album in eight years. Prefix makes Tim part of its list of essential albums.

VAN MORRISON is a tough interview, but the introvert does talk about some of his favorite songs while promoting his acclaimed country-flavored album, Pay the Devil.

NEKO CASE talks to the Philadelphia Inquirer about the history and importance of reverb. You can hear what she means o­n the free downloads from her label.

THE DOORS are returning to the big screen in two new documentaries. o­ne will feature the surviving members; the other will have interviews with the family members of Jim Morrison. But how could either top the classic lines Oliver Stone gave them, especially "Well, Jim Morrison! You've ruined another Thanksgiving!"

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Pate fans may remember the band covered Love's "Little Red Book" a few times in the early days. Though this looks to be a lip-sync, I dig the instrumentation.

THE RACONTEURS: Jack White and Brendan Beson talk to London's Guardian about dual songwriting. You can see the "Steady As She Goes" video o­n YouTube, plus bootleg video from their London gig.

DAVID BOWIE has been put on a strict diet by his model wife Iman, following his heart attack in 2004.

LEIF GARRETT has been sent back to jail for 45 days after failing drug tests.

ABBA STALKER ARRESTED: A long-term stalker of former ABBA blonde Agnetha Faltskog was arrested near the singer's estate in Sweden.

BILLY BRAGG launched a tour to defeat British National Party candidates in the local elections, which would be more effective if Bragg's politics were more mainstream.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: UPDATE: The troubled singer is the subject of a song o­n the next Courtney Love album. Supposedly sober supermodel Moss is rumored to be stringing Doherty along to make sure he doesn't reveal more details about their druggy antics together. But he is reportedly desperate to get her pregnant. If you want an extended look at the train wreck that is Pete Doherty, you can see Who the F*** is Pete Doherty? via Google Video.

JESSICA SIMPSON: In case there was any doubt, the pneumatic blonde will be mining her divorce o­n ther next album. Meanwhile, her future ex responded to rumors that Jessica wants to adopt: "She could be a great mom, but she’d have to concentrate, which I can’t see her doing." What we can see her doing is getting sued for one hundred million dollars.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Ice Age: The Meltdown claimed the top spot again, though its 50 percent drop is larger than for most major computer-animated features. Even so, it's the first movie of the year to cross the 100 million milestone. The Benchwarmers came in second with a scary 20.5 million. Take the Lead came in third, followed by Inside Man. Lucky Number Slevin was not so lucky in at number five.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY wants to play Eliza Doolittle in a stage production of My Fair Lady. And she has donated the Vera Wang dress she wore at the Oscars to Oxfam for an eBay auction.

BRADGELINA: Is Jolie planning to give birth in Namibia? I had doubted it, but she's reportedly rented all 14 rooms and suites at the Burning Shores resort for up to 12 weeks, protected by private security, with a jet o­n standby. There's talk about Jolie wanting to have as natural a childbirth as possible. There are also the inevitable rumors that Jolie will join Pitt o­n Ocean's 13.

STEVEN SPIELBERG has agreed to a deal with Fox to star in a reality TV show, to be produced by Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice).

GOSSIPOLA? A New York Post Page Six staffer was suspended pending the outcome of a federal investigation into allegations he sought to extort over 100 grand from a billionaire as "protection" against inaccurate and unflattering items about him  The staffer is claiming he was set up.

CASABLANCA has topped the Writers Guild of America's list of the 101 best screenplays ever written. I'm shocked!

BEN AFFLECK, who supposedly has political ambitions, baselessly accused Pres. Bush of "probably" leaking the name of a CIA agent and suggested he be hung for doing so. Former Amb. Joe Wilson has similarly claimed that the Administration leaked his wife's name to punish him for claiming that Bush was lying about prewar intell. The Washington Post runs an editorial saying Bush was right to declassify of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate that showed "as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the o­ne guilty of twisting the truth."

MARLON BRANDO screen tested for Rebel Without a Cause. It may well be Brando's very first work in front of a camera. Video at the link.

ICONS OF STYLE: Gwyneth Paltrow has been crowned Britain's best-dressed woman by Harper's Bazaar. Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe have been voted Hollywood's Most Stylish Couple by In Touch magazine.

EMINEM has blasted his estranged wife for going o­n the radio to claim he is back o­n drugs.

SIENNA MILLER and JUDE LAW on again? London's Mirror reports that Law has jetted to New York at short notice to see his former fiancee, after a secret date in a Central London restaurant last weekend.

CARMEN ELECTRA rode a Sybian o­n the Howard Stern show. IDLY has the pictures. She followed that up with a raunchy performance at a lesbian festival, where she kissed Joan Jett, which both of them seemed to have enjoyed greatly.

NANOTECH: Government officials in Germany have reported what appears to be the first health-related recall of a nanotechnology product. It was unclear yesterday what kind of nanomaterial is in the bathroom cleaner at issue, or even whether the nanoparticles were to blame, but some hyteria will ensue immediately.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio has analyses of Friday's mosque bombing and fighting in and around Ramadi. After the bombing, Shiites took to the streets to denounce al Qaeda and al-Zarqawi, not local Sunnis. That story doesn't fit the notion that Iraq is having a civil war, so it o­nly shows up in foreign media. The AP would rather play up comments about undeclared civil war; you have to search to discover that the leader of the main Shiite party said: "Our people will not be drawn into the trap of civil war.'' A report leaked to The New York Times suggests that Iraq has to do work o­n their local governments, though the problems forming a national government suggest this should be no surprise. If Iraq's main problems end up being crime and corruption, it would mean that jihadis, insurgents and civil war will have receded as threats, which would be a good thing.

IRAN: Seymour Hersh has a story in The New Yorker fretting about the US launching tactical nuclear strikes o­n Iran's nuke facilities, though even his own source says "if senior Pentagon officers express their opposition... then it will never happen." And as usual with Hersh, most of his piece is anonymously sourced, which is problematic when Hersh admits he's fast and loose with the facts when it suits him, leaving o­ne suspicious of whether he's serving some fudge from the Sy Hersh highway. O­ne of the few named sources in the article is Robert Baer, a CIA officer in the Middle East and elsewhere for two decades, who told Hersh that Iran is "capable of making a bomb, hiding it, and launching it at Israel. They’re apocalyptic Shiites. If you’re sitting in Tel Aviv and you believe they’ve got nukes and missiles — you’ve got to take them out. These guys are nuts, and there’s no reason to back off."

LEBANON: Blogger Michael J. Totten reports from inside a Hezbollah dinner and later responds to a threat.

THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT: Life imitates Wallace and Gromit in Northumberland, as sharp-shooters have been brought in to defend the gardens! Grower Jeff Smith, 63, said: "This is no ordinary rabbit. We are dealing with a monster..."

PET HOARDING: Usually, it's a house full of cats and dogs. This time it's over 1,000 turtles in a Tibeca loft.

DOLLY THE LLAMA, star of Napoleon Dynamite, has been sold by the mother of the film's director.

ATTACK GOOSE bedevils New Jersey shoppers, mysteriously disappears. Dramatic slideshow and video at the link.

THE GOLDEN GHOST: Sam, a golden retriever, survived two New Hampshire winters, deer hunting season and being hit by a car and still no o­ne could catch him. Satellite tracking, helicopter surveillance and dart gun attempts failed. He was no match for the bolied ham.

3125 Reads

Broken Social Scene, Shearwater, Giant Drag, a Dog in a Kilt   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, April 07, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

THOMAS DOLBY threatened legal action against Britney's hubby Spenderline, for using Dolby's 1983 smash, "She Blinded Me With Science," in his latest rap song. And he got the song removed from MySpace.

FRIDAY TIMEWASTER: Curveball. It's like 3-D Pong, plus you can put English o­n the ball.

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE: Jason Collett, promoting his second album, "Idols of Exile," tells the Kansas City Star that BSS leader Kevin Drew sets a high standard: "Kevin would say, 'There’s no sense in just making a good record. There are a lot of good records out there. Let’s make a great record.' I didn’t want to just make a good, linear singer/songwriter record. The genre is full of records like that. I wanted to transcend it." Drew and Leslie Feist had sharp words for Canadian Idol while picking up a Juno Award. And if you still haven't seen the video for "7/4 (Shoreline)," you really should.

RADIOHEAD frontman Thom Yorke thinks the success of Arctic Monkeys proves "the mainstream music business is a bunch of f---ing retards."

SHEARWATER: The Okkervil River-related indie folk-rock group makes "Song of the Day" at NPR with "Red Sea, Black Sea." You can stream four more at MySpace.

GIANT DRAG: I don't think I've focused o­n this indie duo before, but check out their covers of the Beach Boys' "God o­nly Knows" and Chris Issak's "Wicked Game" before the video for "This Isn't It."

THE POGUES: The Village Voice has an untimely review, but it's nice to know Shane MacGowan still has what it takes.

ISLANDS: Time Canada makes Return To The Sea the pick of the week: "(T)he music is both catchy enough to be fun and obscure enough for Islands to retain the underground credibility the band's founders so successfully built when they were two thirds of the Unicorns." See them prepare for the first lunar concert in "Rough Gem." And there's more to hear at MySpace.

SEVEN MISTAKEN SONGS, courtesy of the A.V. Club.

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE plans to get topical o­n the next album. You can hear the Spree's latest o­n the Thumbsucker soundtrack.

THE SMITHS: Fans tell London's Guardian about the songs that saved their lives.

SONIC YOUTH, ROBERT POLLARD and MY MORNING JACKET are among those opening for Pearl Jam o­n the upcoming tour. Plus, Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon will be playing acoustic o­n an unpcoming episode of The Gilmore Girls. No, really.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer announced in an Austrian porn club that he's marrying the supposedly sober supermodel, who just inked a big deal with Calvin Klein. Doubt that marriage is going to happen, even if he gets his teeth fixed.

TOM-KAT UPDATE in the Parade interview where Cruise admits that "normal" does not make sense to him, Holmes had the look of a Stepford wife, "dazed, passive and vacant. She never stopped smiling." Roger Friedman notices that Cruise’s lawyer worked for years for jailed private eye Anthony Pellicano.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are the all-star noir of Lucky Number Slevin (67 percent Fresh o­n the Tomatometer, though a 55 percent Rotten with the "cream of the crop"), Antonio Banderas dancing through Take the Lead (44 percent Rotten) and two movies not shown to critics -- The Benchwarmers and Phat Girlz. Shutting out critics is a growing trend, but it's funny to read how Sony went ballistic after critics in Orlando got to see The Benchwarmers.

GEORGE CLOONEY has a big wiener in his mouth at the Gallery of the Absurd.

ALEC BALDWIN and ANN COULTER won't be hooking up in the near future.

WHITNEY HOUSTON: Her sis-in-law tells the National Enquirer that all that crack has made Whitney a sex fiend.

SOUTH PARK, THE SHIELD and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA pick up Peabody Awards. Hurricane Katrina coverage also a big winner.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Remember this pro-life monument to the pop tart? Dare you see the reverse angle?

JUDAS: Just in time for Easter, National Geographic uncovers his "lost gospel," in which he claims Jesus made him do it.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Star is set to claim the pneumatic blonde is crank calling Kristin Cavallari, even though she's not seeing Nick Lachey.

DAVID HASSELHOFF: His divorce takes another ugly turn as he claims that his wife has a drug problem and needs pro help. I thought she was just hooked o­n a feeling for the Hoff.

RACHEL WEISZ may get bent over a table and lashed with a cat-o'-nine-tails.

EVANGELINE LILLY: The Lost hottie had training for plane crashes before she joined the cast of castaways.

EVA LONGORIA: Maxim blows her up to a size visible by satellite.

IRAQ: Blogger Zayed, recently published in the Washington Post, is profiled by The Wall Street Journal and has been accepted into the City University of New York's graduate school of journalism. Former TV Guide critic and Entertainment Weekly creator Jeff Jarvis, who got Zayed started blogging is asking o­ne and all for help. Bill Roggio traces how disrupting an insurgent cell led to Iraqi security forces arresting Abu Ayman, the former aide to the Chief of Staff of Intelligence during Saddam's regime, with strong ties to al-Zarqawi. At ITM Omar has more o­n the threats to newspaper distribution, which more are defying. Mohammed has more o­n the political blocs resorting to the parliament to choose a leader for the new government, as well as news o­n possible unrest reaching Najaf.

IRAN: UN nuke watchdogs say they have found convincing evidence that the Iranians are working o­n a secret uranium enrichment project that has not been officially declared. I'm surprised... they found it.

DOGS are getting fashionable in NYC.

BROKEBACK DUCK POND: "I wish I knew how to quack you!"

ELK passes away after mouth-to-nose resuscitation fails.

BIRD WOMAN: A Chinese woman is living in a cage in the middle of a park with 300 birds.

NICE BEAVER! Bailey is nursed to health after losing her teeth in a car accident. The punchline writes itself.

2595 Reads

London Calling, Advance Streams, Trip Shakespeare, Monkeys   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE CLASH and LED ZEPPELIN: Indian-born Harraj Mann, 23, was held for questioning under the Terrorism Act after playing "London's Calling" and "The Immigrant Song" through the stereo of a taxi he caught to an airport in northern England. In fact, he's the second man detained after a report of listening to "London Calling." Ironically, The late Joe Strummer was not down with Islamic extremists: "I think you have to grow up and realise that we're facing religious fanatics who would kill everyone in the world who doesn't do what they say. The more time you give them the more bombs they'll get."

MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS: Carl Wilson notes the re-issue of the David Byrne-Brian Eno classic -- like most of the prior reissues -- leaves off the track titled "Qu'ran." Wilson notes the original album had "an equal-opportunity scepticism toward religion that pervades the record, far less blinkered and ethnocentric than, say, the Danish cartoons." Not that Islamic extremists would care about that.

HEAR 'EM FIRST: VH1 is streaming upcoming albums from Built to Spill and Calexico.

THE PRETENDERS: The recently issued, five-disc Pretenders boxed set, Pirate Radio, brings Chrissie Hynde out to tell Billboard how gay gentrification saved America and to quash a breakup rumor.

SUFJAN STEVENS and ROSIE THOMAS are making an album and having a baby.

THE JAMES GANG is reuniting for an August tour. But no Chicago date.

GENE PITNEY was found dead in his hotel room in Wales Wednesday following a concert that fans acclaimed as o­ne of his best. He was 65. During a long career, Pitney had hits as a singer -- "24 Hours from Tulsa," "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance," and "Half Heaven, Half Heartache." As a writer, he penned "Hello Mary Lou" for Ricky Nelson and "He's a Rebel" for the Crystals. You can see him sing "I'm Gonna Be Strong" o­n YouTube and "He's A Rebel" with Darlene Love and Sam Moore at the 2002 Rock Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

SOUL ASYLUM: Stylus has second thoughts o­n the 1986 album Made to Be Broken: "Hipsters may love to hate the band, knowing them o­nly from some MTV video about missing children, but in fact Soul Asylum deserves a place in the pantheon of 1980s indie rock. Success may have spared Dave Pirner a life of mindless day jobs, but it ruined his chances at canonization alongside his peers as the unrewarded vanguard cadre of alternative rock—no chapter in Our Band Could Be Your Life for these guys..."

TRIP SHAKESPEARE: Members of this Twin Cities outfit went o­n to form Semisonic, but the Pate crowd may remember that Trip Shakespeare played their first out-of-town gig at the M-Shop in Ames, IA. Another Form of Relief has a retrospective, with plenty of killing music. Those wanting to avoid illegal downloads can stream 'em from the Hype Machine.

CENTRO-MATIC frontman Will Johnson talks to ChartAttack about the band's evolving sound and devoted fans: "It's not necessary and I'm not worthy of it, but it's good knowing that maybe something that you do reaches somebody in a way that's special to them and sits with them in a personal and important way. To know that is nothing short of intoxicating." Hear 'em at MySpace. It's kinda Americana, kinda Westerberg, kinda GbV...

PITCHFORK: At So Much Silence, Kevin ponders the Pitchfork Festival lineup and potential conflicts of interest.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer thoughtfully shoplifted a pair of Burberry scarves for the supposedy sober supermodel's birthday.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Star magazine claims Cruise commissioned an adult-sized pacifier for Holmes to clench between her teeth as an aid to the hoped-for Scientological "silent birth." Cruise denies it, natch.

RYAN SEACREST and TERI HATCHER: He says they're dating. She says they're "not attached." Nevertheless, the two were spotted dining together. American Idol judge Simon Cowell recently told Seacrest, "I’m not the o­ne trying to look like someone out of Desperate Housewives… lose the beard." Which was a reference to Seacrest's unshaven look, I'm sure.

EMINIEM has filed for a divorce, less than three months after remarrying Kim.

SHARON STONE plans to direct Basic Instinct 3. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY has converted his vegetarian girlfriend Penelope Cruz into a carnivore. The punchline writes itself.

HEATHER LOCKLEAR caught canoodling with comedian David Spade, according to Us Weekly. And yet people are still shocked when I turn up with some beautiful babe o­n my arm. Women like humor.

NATALIE PORTMAN helped save co-star Jason Bateman's pet Boston Terrier from being hit by a pick-up truck.

JAMES "P.J." RANSONE, currently o­n-screen in Inside Man, saved a woman from a brutal rapist Monday night.

OLIVER STONE blasts media groups who "slander" celebrities for their political comments: "We're Hollywood wackos and all that stuff, left-wing... (It's) an easy and facile dismissal. I'm still a citizen, I've served my country as a veteran, I've had many jobs before the film business. I know something of life, having lived to this age." If it makes him feel better, the reason I think he's a wacko is not because he's from Hollywood, but because his JFK was riddled with errors and outright fabrications designed to advance a wacky conspiracy led by LBJ.

BRADGELINA: Has Pitt walked out after getting kicked to the couch?

GEORGE CLOONEY and BRAD PITT, however, are not o­n the outs after their casino plan went south, contrary to prior gossip.

JESSICA ALBA has backed off her demand that Playboy magazine yank its March issue after she received a letter of apology from Hugh Hefner. Playboy also made undisclosed donations to two charities Alba supports. No o­ne can stand up to the Alba!

EDU-BLOGGING: The 61st Carnival of Education is o­nline.

IRAQ: Bill Roggio analyzes Zarqawi's demotion from commander of al-Qaeda in Iraq and updates news o­n mounting pressure o­n Jaafari to step down as nominee for prime minister. The Iraqi cameraman working for CBS News was acquitted of insurgent activity.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: US media coverage of Iraq is too polarized between "good news" and "bad news," with all sides are missing out o­n a complete picture, participants in a panel discussion organized by Reuters said o­n Wednesday. No kidding. Sean at My Election Analysis, who describes himself as "at best cautiously-pessimistic-to-neutral about how things are going" in Iraq was unequivocally shocked by recent good stats, having found the Iraq Index which I regularly consult. BTW, if people in the press agree that the coverage is polarized, what do they intend to do about it?

IRAN: Yesterday, I suggested that Iran's military exercises -- however serious -- were designed to suggest a threat to the Strait of Hormuz. Now Teheran is saying as much.

MONKEYS are stopped from using cellphones at the London Zoo. They will have to resort to Monk-e-mail.

LOST DOGS: Gidget, a Lhasa apso, comes home after almost five years. Grimaldi, a little white pooch, is not o­nly missing, but wearing a a diamond stud in its left ear.

ROSCO THE BULLDOG isn't lost, but he's trying, having been recaptured after escaping from a kennel, over a seven-foot concrete wall topped with barbed wire.

THE ONE-EYED KITTEN that totally creeps me out is coming to a new museum of oddities in central New York.

A MAGPIE in the West Midlands makes a regular stop for a drink and a cigarette.

3674 Reads

Ray Davies, Mozart, The Boy Least Likely To, Easter Bunnies   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

FATBOY SLIM (a/k/a ex-Housemartins bassist Norman Cook) is threatened by a witch's curse for planning a gig at Loch Ness. And I'll take any excuse to turn someone o­n to Spike Jonze directing Christopher Walken in the fab video for Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice."

RAY DAVIES: The Kinks frontman gets an audio feature o­n his first solo album, along with clips from Other People's Lives and the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset" (just because it's a great song).

VAN DYKE PARKS, who collaborated with Brian Wilson o­n SMiLE, produced Randy Newman and Rufus Wainwright, and played with Harry Nilsson and Tim Buckley, among others, is handling the arrangements for the next album from indie singer-harpist Joanna Newsom.

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN singer Ian McCulloch is set to stand trial for allegedly assaulting two people outside a Glasgow venue. McCulloch has denied the charges.

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART was in the top 5% of wage-earners in late 18th-century Vienna, according to newly-discovered documents, but blew it all by the time he died. I await the new episode of VH1's Behind the Music.

THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO: Their childlike pop wowed crowds at SXSW and their album got a US release this week, but the duo suffers from gadget envy opening for James Blunt in the US. Their goofy video for "Be Gentle With Me" is cheap enough and clever enough to have been a classic, had it been made in the 80s.

FLAMING LIPS frontman Wayne Coyne tells the Toronto Star that the band forces itself to try new things, "even if it's not something we're good at."

THE RACONTEURS: Though Jack White has denied rumors of a White Stripes breakup, a New York Sun review notes that this band may be more than a side lark for White. You can stream their single from the band's website.

SUFJAN STEVENS: Winning the New Pantheon prize gets the singer-songwriter a profile in the Detroit Free Press, including two MP3 clips from his Michigan album.

TOM JONES, who apparently has had a lot of plastic surgery, says he will never retire: "As long as I can sing, I will. I'm enjoying it now more than ever. I'm having more fun now. It's not as frantic. I get more respect from people and it's very gratifying."

MARTIN GILKS, drummer for the Mighty Lemon Drops, the Wonder Stuff and others, died a in a London hospital after a motorcycle accident. He was 41.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: For o­nce, it's someone else in Babyshambles charged with drunken driving, though the troubled singer was trying his best to disrupt an airport in Austria. Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel is reportedly going o­n vacation to Hawaii with Lindsay Lohan and Courtney Love for a celebrity version of Girls Gone Wild.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise is trying to force Holmes into labor by feeding her spicy Indian food. After Holmes gives birth, Cruise plans a PR blitz as overdone as his PDAs for Holmes. Cruise has personally asked for another round with the Today Show's Matt Lauer, with whom he famously argued about anti-depressants. Lauer might want to read the interview in which Cruise recalls being diagnosed as dyslexic as a child as an "absolute affront" to his dignity: "I remember thinking, 'I've got to figure this out. What's normal? Am I normal? Who's to say what's normal?' I didn't understand what 'normal' is. It still doesn't make sense." I'm sure it doesn't.

THANDIE NEWTON is writing letters to Tom Cruise, Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie; Coldplay's Chris Martin, Barry Manilow, Kevin Costner, Bill Murray, Meg Ryan, Jack Nicholson and Ben Affleck, urging them to ditch their SUVs. A rep for o­ne of them said of the very thin Newton: "she should eat a grilled cheese sandwich and French fries."

JACKO was crowned as America’s most foolish person for the fourth year running, according to a survey by a public relations consultant.

REBECCA ROMIJN is settling down with her fiance Jerry O'Connell in an old brothel.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY will be joined by Scottish actor James McAvoy in the film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is cast as a 14-year-old in Napoleon and Betsy, which has historians complaining that Hollywood is putting a salacious spin o­n a very innocent relationship.

BRITNEY SPEARS is slammed by little people as "wicked" and "sick" for hiring dwarves to entertain her husband's guests at his recent birthday bash.

JESSICA SIMPSON has reportedly landed the Pam Anderson role in the movie vesrion of Baywatch. A source told London's Sun: "Jessica has all the assets to make Pammi’s part her own."

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY, People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive, is beaten by a pair of 14-year old girls... in a 400-meter race: "Those little girls had very, very long legs."

KING KONG took in 100 million bucks in its first week in the US o­n DVD, breaking Universal Studios' record.

JOHN McTIERNAN, director of Predator, Die Hard, and many more, was charged Monday with lying to the FBI, becoming the first Tinseltown figure accused in the unfolding investigation of wiretapping and other alleged wrongdoing by Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS thinks modern American men look more like women. Which might explain his new Grizzly Adams look. And Douglas is particularly horrified by the male use of cosmetics. After all, real men have cosmetic surgery.

GEORGE CLOONEY and BRAD PITT may be on the outs over Clooney's failed Vegas casino plan, which would make for some cold shoulders o­n the set of Ocean's Thirteen.

KATE BECKINSALE was reported to have the inside track to play Wonder Woman in Joss Whedon’s new film adaptation. And why not? She looks the part more than Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Michelle Geller and Charisma Carpenter. Plus, she already has the costume. However, it seems that the IMDB fell for an April Fool's prank.

IRAQ: The embattled prime minister is refusing to give up his claim to head the country's next government. At ITM, Omar reports o­n death threats against newspaper sellers. NBC News producer Libby Leist blogs her first night in Baghdad, traveling with Sec. of State Rice, inwhich Leist notes the gulf between the Green Zone and Iraq outside it. I Was There touches o­n the isolation of US troops in the Green Zone in the course of discussing the insurgents seeming superiority in using the media. 2/28 BCT Iron Soldiers blogs Iraqi police and soldiers returning to Ramadi from their training in a pilot program. The L.A. Times concludes a series o­n wounded troops home from Iraq fighting to get back o­nto the battlefield.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: The New York Times reports o­n "the deadliest day for American forces since the beginning of the year," burying the following: "At least 13 American troops have died so far this month, setting a pace that could interrupt a trend of steadily declining casualties over the past five months. The monthly tally of at least 31 deaths in March was the second lowest since the invasion of Iraq three years ago." The five-month trend has never been a headline story for the NYT, which rushes to suggest that a bad day or two may interrupt it. If the trend of low US casualties continues at the end of the month, you can bet that the paper will not bother to notice.

IRAN is rolling out a slew of new military hardware this week, as part of its "Great Prophet" naval war games. The "Whale" missile is not the threat Iran claims, and the "flying boat" is a joke, but others are more serious threats to shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. In any event, they are manifestations of an attitude that suggests Iran wants to make more than electricity with nuclear power.

CARTOON JIHAD: Ephraim Karsh, head of Mediterranean Studies at King's College, University of London, writes at the Wall Street Journal that the ambitions of Islamic fundamentalists have little to do with cartoons or alleged western imperialism.

KUWAIT: Women are voting and running for office for the first time in a council by-election.

BUNNIES marry to mark the Easter holiday season, amid complaints from animal rights activists.

DONKEYS are better than wives, according to an Indian schoolbook.

RUFUS THE WILD TURKEY hangs out in the parking lot of the Jacques Spur Junction Cafe.

DON'T EAT CANADIAN BEARS: Sound advice from French health officials. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.

RISE AND SHINE, CAMPERS! It's Brown Kamchatka Bear Day in Moscow. The bear has ended his hibernation o­n hearing the voice of spring.

5879 Reads

New Releases, Pink Mountaintops, a Horse, a Pig and their beer   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

T-BONE BURNETT, who will release his first new album in 14 years next month, talks to Newsweek about his careers as a musician, alt-rock producer, and movie music maven, putting together classics for The Big Lebowski, popularizing bluegrass with the O, Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack, and coaching Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon for Walk The Line.

NEW RELEASES this week include albums from Morrissey, the Flaming Lips, the Concretes, and Serena Maneesh (gothic psychedelia) streaming in full from AOL Music. There is also an album from Islands, new jangly goodness from Tommy Keene (bonus classic jangle, including a cover of the Hollies' "Carrie-Anne" at MySpace), a wider release for the buzzworthy Loon from Tapes 'N Tapes, a US release for the debut of childlike UK popsters The Boy Least Likely To and 70s-influenced R & B from Van Hunt. Plus a reissue from Jose Gonzalez and a Twin/Tone comp from Soul Asylum.

SUFJAN STEVENS won the inaugural New Pantheon Music Prize for Illinois, against competition from Arcade Fire, Fiona Apple, M.I.A., Antony and the Johnsons, and others. Stevens will be awarded a cash prize of five grand and a trophy.

BUDDY BLUE, o­ne of the original Beat Farmers, has passed away unexpectedly.

NEKO CASE talks to the Boston Globe about being single In America and how being invited to join the New Pornographers was a turning point in her career. You can see and hear Neko at her redesigned website.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Rumors are swirling that Bill Berry may retake the drummer's throne for REM full-time, which coincides nicely with the tip I got from Ken King o­n this clip of "Carnival of Sorts (Boxcars)," which may have been the band's TV debut. Lots of amusing early 80s dancing! And since it's Tuesday, let's make it a twofer with Springsteen joining REM for "Man o­n the Moon."

BELLE & SEBASTIAN have put out the video for "The Blues Are Still Blue." The flip side of the single is a cover of Thin Lizzy's "Whiskey In The Jar."

CALEXICO gets three of five stars for the upcoming Garden Ruin album. You can stream and download "Cruel" from MySpace.

THE MOUNTAINTOPS: Stephen McBean, the frontman for Black Mountain and Pink Mountaintops, talks about playing and gawking at SXSW, which netted Pink Mountaintops an opening slot for the Flaming Lips CD launch shows.

DINOSAUR JR.: With the media usually focusing o­n the drama between J. Mascis and Lou Barlow, it's nice to give some to Murph the drummer as the band headed to Tallahassee FL, where Murph lived for a year.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The ever-reliable News of the World claims that the supposedly sober supermodel is paying off the troubled singer to keep his silence about their o­n/off romance.

LINDSAY LOHAN apparently flashed children at the Nickolodeon Kid's Choice Awards. No wonder she won the Favorite Movie Actress trophy.

SIENNA MILLER and STEVE BUSCEMI will be getting high security protection while shooting Interview, a remake of a thriller by Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri in 2004 after his film Submission sparked anger among the Muslim community.

SUSAN SARANDON feels that the next US elections should be monitored by international entities, as in Haiti and Iraq, because: "The last o­ne was an embarrassment. Everybody knew there was fraud, but nothing was done about it. In some states there were more votes than people able to vote." Actually, not everybody buys debunked studies from Berkeley. Indeed, even David Corn at The Nation took a pass o­n the conspiracy theories.

BRADGELINA: In the unbelievable category is a News of the Word rumor about Jolie giving birth in Africa. In the more believable category is a report that Pitt is miserable since moving into a squalid 1970s tower block in Paris.

VAUGHNISTON are reportedly shopping for a pad in Chicago.

KIRSTEN DUNST was spotted getting cozy with SNL's Andy Samberg at a Jose Gonzalez concert. Samberg is largely responsible for the the popular Narnia and Natalie Portman rap videos.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Cruise is delaying his marriage to Holmes until after the birth of their child and the premiere of Mission Impossible 3, but assures us: "I won't let this woman get away," which rings true, albeit in a very creepy way. Meanwhile Woman's Day magazine claims that the Cruise-Kidman tapes are so embarassing that that both "could retreat out of the Hollywood spotlight completely." But the mag never says what's o­n the tapes, which are now in the hands of the FBI, which is investigating former celeb private eye Anthony Pellicano.

(LEGAL) DOWNLOADABLE MOVIES reach the marketplace, But you could buy the Special Edition DVD of King Kong o­n sale at Tower Records for less than the cost of the download. There really is no business like show business.

UNITED 93: A NYC cinema has pulled the trailer for forthcoming 9/11 film after several complaints from distressed patrons. Universal Studios said o­n Monday that it would stick with the trailer. Tom Roger, whose 24-year-old daughter was o­n American Flight 11, which flew into the WTC's north tower, said he wished the studio had somehow notified other 9/11 families about the trailer. Sandra Felt, whose husband was o­n United 93, was surprised by the reaction of others: "9/11 is a fact. It happened. Running away from the movie isn't going to resolve underlying factors of why we're upset by it."

EVA LONGORIA doesn't regret her remarks about her relationship with Tony Parker: "I never regret something I say. I regret how people perceive it." Because she never makes mistakes, apparently.

SHARON STONE, fresh from bombing in Basic Instinct 2, is going to focus o­n her songwriting career. No, I didn't know about it either.

EROTIC THRILLERS: The flop of Basic Instinct 2 is dissected across Tinseltown. Paul Verhoeven, director of the first Basic Instinct, and screen scribe Nicholas Meyer want to blame the Bush Administration, whereas producer JC Spink thinks the genre is suffering because sex is more pervasive in our society now than it was 10 years ago. Zalman King blames a more conservative international market. None consider two obvious reasons why more erotic thrillers aren't being made. First, studies show that G, PG, and PG-13 movies are more profitable and more likely to be blockbusters. Second, that Basic Instinct 2 flopped because almost every critic in America thought it stunk.

IRAQ: In the Wall Street Journal, Reuel Marc Gerecht looks at the complex balances of power -- or terror that Iraqis (and the US must navigate to stabilize the country. At ITM, Mohammed looks at the mounting international and local pressure for Jafar to withdraw as nominee for Prime Minister in the next few days. The AP's "blog" from Ramadi has Todd Pitman surprised that the locals don't mind when the Marines take cover in their courtyards, with some welcoming them.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA: On March 19th, the Washington Post ran a story about troops returning from Iraq, reporting their consensus that the media had a predetermined, negative script for coverage. Two days later, the paper ran a piece o­n Iraqis questioning whether Saddam's ouster was worth it -- a thesis flatly contradicted by public opinion polling. Five days later, the WaPo ombudswoman ran a special article largely defending the paper's coverage, quoting reporter Thomas Ricks and former Clinton Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon as suggesting reconstruction is a non-story. But o­n Monday, bureau chief Ellen Knickmeyer had a piece about a reconstruction contract for building 142 primary health centers running out of money. As it turns out, the WaPo regularly reports any bad news about reconstruction -- though this is the o­nly news the paper's readers get about reconstruction. Thus, for example, the 60 percent drop in child mortality since Saddam was toppled is not reported, even though it's a miracle if US reconstruction is as bad as the WaPo says it is.

IRAQ IN THE MEDIA II: I don't want to just pick o­n the WaPo. At the end of March, The New York Times' Jeffrey Gettleman reported o­n "rising sectarian tensions... and at least 40 mutilated bodies surfacing in the streets -- 30 of them beheaded." The paper later admitted the story was wrong... in paragraph 17 of an unrelated story. It turns out that insurgents were staging fake sectarian killings, o­nly 18 were killed (none beheaded) and the insurgents were just nabbed by US and Iraqi forces. Oddly enough, the NYT website currently has no story o­n the capture of these thugs. Instead, the paper's big story Monday (again by Jeffrey Gettleman) was about Iraqis stockpiling weapons, including the claims that after Saddam was toppled, security evaporated, opening the floodgates for looters, carjackers, kidnappers and thieves, and that L. Paul Bremer disbanded the Iraqi Army, transforming Baghdad into a weapons bazaar. In reality, Saddam opened those floodgates by emptying his prisons, even of murderers, before the invasion. Moreover, Saddam's Army evaporated before Bremer ordered that it be disbanded -- and that Bremer quickly reversed the order. With coverage like this, it's no wonder if most troops think it stinks.

PATCHES THE HORSE will, among other things, fetch your beer. More pics at the link.

PRISCILLA THE PIG, however, will drink your beer. She's nearing retirement and training an apprentice.

THE MARCH OF THE PENGUINS is getting earlier in the North and later in the South (at least in eastern Antarctica), ostensibly due to a combo of global warming and local cooling.

SNAKE comes free with your broccoli.

SPIDER-HUNTING NUDIST consumed in a ring of fire. Like I could pass up that reference.

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