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Panda Bear, R&R Hall of Fame Mania, Wilco, an Earless Terrier   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


PANDA BEAR:  For whatever reason, I had been glossing over the buzz for the solo efforts of Animal Collective's Noah Lennox at some of my go-to music blogs, like Gorilla vs. Bear and Stereogum.  I'm not sure why, as mid-period Beach Boys kept getting mentioned, and regular visitors here know I'm a sucker for that.  I finally gave in after a rave post at Aquarium Drunkard... and I was all set to link to the oh-so-trippy "Bros." when the 'gum posted the video for "Bros."  Kismet!

THE 2007 ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES -- Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, R.E.M., The Ronnettes, Patti Smith and Van Halen -- get the royal treatment at Spinner, with photos, interviews, and streaming "Best Of" albums from each.  BONUS:  An article in the New York Post sadly suggests that Ronnie Spector may give her ex Phil competition in the crazy department.

CAT POWER:  Chan Marshall has some live video up at Rolling Stone, including a cover of Buddy Holly's "Crying, Waiting, Hoping."

GENESIS is carrying through its threatened reunion and will tour North America this fall, destroying all life in favor of its new matrix.

RYAN ADAMS is playing Stonehenge.  Not the Spinal Tap song, but the actual Stonehenge.

THE BIG BOPPER suffered massive fractures and likely died immediately in the 1959 plane crash that also killed early rock 'n' rollers Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, a forensic anthropologist said Tuesday after exhuming the body.  The exam was requested by the Bopper's son to settle long-standing rumors a gun might have been fired on board the plane and that the Big Bopper might have survived the crash and died trying to get help.  The Bopper's big hit was "Chantilly Lace," natch.

TONY VISCONTI:  The famed record producer has a new autobiography out, so he talked to the UK's Metro about working with Marc Bolan and David Bowie.  He tells Billboard that today, he and Bowie exchange e-mail and YouTube clips.

WILCO:  Another day, another leak.  This time, Idolator has posted "Impossible Germany," on which the blog thinks the band "are clearly nicking Television."  To which I would say, "a little."

OASIS frontman Noel Gallagher and gf Sara MacDonald are expecting a baby.  It's her first child; Noel has a seven-year-old daughter, Anais, with ex-wife Meg Mathews.

OF MONTREAL frontman Kevin Barnes (who recently gave new meaning to the term "frontman") talks to Express about the Cleveland Indians and Gilbert Arenas.  But it's a nice excuse to relink to the goofy video for "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse," anyway.

BRADGELINA:  We now know that Jolie is adopting a 4-year-old boy from Vietnam... and it appears to be on the fast track.  In the meantime, she's taking advantage of her residence in N'awlins to study voodoo, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.

BRITNEY SPEARS is refusing to take anti-depressants in rehab or to to go to family therapy.  The first part is really odd, given rumors that she thinks she's suffering from post-partum depression, not substance abuse.  The pop tart has been reprimanded for making cellphone calls, has left the facility to shop, and now wants to leave rehab for good.  At least she has reformed Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx rooting for her, not to mention hit producer Timbaland and ex-bf Justin Timberlake.

ROSIE O'DONNELL says she has been getting treatment for depression since the Columbine school shootings and hangs upside down for up to a half-hour a day to improve her mental state.  Y'know, like a bat.  She feels the most important thing to do when you're feeling depressed is to get up and move -- all visual evidence to the contrary.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise has reportedly has called the producers of Holmes's new movie and told them he will be on set every day.  Holmes's agent supposedly chose the role for her because -- unlike the Batman Begins sequel she bailed from -- Holmes wouldn't be kissing anyone or have a sex scene.

RALPH FINNES - already under fire for a recent romp with a stewardess in an airline toilet - has sparked a second storm by frolicking naked at 5 a.m. with four young women in a hotel pool.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON tells Parade magazine that she looks like a boy, somehow avoiding mention of anything below her neck.

LINDSAY LOHAN is still having some bad days out of rehab.  According to the ever-reliable In Touch Weekly, she recently turned up to the set of her new movie hours late, napped in her trailer for five hours, then threw up and immediately went home.

STING'S STAFF live in a climate of fear because his wife subjects them to gratuitous abuse to make her "feel royal", an employment tribunal has heard.

REESE & RYAN BREAK-UPDATE:  Those rumors about Reese Witherspoon and new co-star Jake Gyllenhaal are re-ignited after folks spotted them visiting each other's pads in NYC, after Witherspoon tried to squash rumors from the set.  Meanwhile, Ryan Phillippe and Ashlee Simpson were seen getting cozy at a Hollywood club, though he reportedly beat off her advances.

BILL MAHER denies he "advocates the whacking" of Vice-Pres. Dick Cheney.  He just supports the rights of those who do.

300:  Zach Snyder's adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel (based on the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae) arrives in theaters tomorrow.  Prepare for glory by watching the latest trailer, or peruse iFilm's collection of 300 clips and extras.

IRAQ:  US and Iraqi forces originally planned for setting up 35 or 40 joint security outposts in Baghdad, but now it appears there will be about 70 such posts.  Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said that there has been an increase of citizen-provided tips to Iraqi and coalition authorities in the three weeks since the new security plan got started.  Two of the five additional US brigades involved in the so-called "surge" have arrived in Iraq, with a third brigade awaiting deployment in Kuwait.  Wednesday saw more targeted attacks mounted against Shia pilgrims outside the capital.  IraqSlogger reports that some former Mahdi militiamen have begun to dissociate themselves from Moqtada al-Sadr and take up arms to try to defend their Baghdad neighborhoods from attacks.  Shiite extremist groups are also surfacing in southern Iraq.  At ITM, Omar reports on political parties realigning in a more secular direction.  The Iraqi government is also trying to influence the Syrian government to stem the flow of foreign jihadis into Iraq by subtly raising the prospect of reopening the Iraq-Syria oil pipeline.

IRAN will attend the international conference on Iraq in Baghdad on Saturday.  The co-author of an upcoming book on Pres. Ahmadinejad reports that the recent disappearance of a former deputy defense minister has created panic inside Ahmadinejad's administration.  It appears that the former minister is cooperating with Western intell agenciesRussia is threatening to drag its heels on construction of the Bushehr nuclear plant over purported payment problems.  Coincidentally, the state-run press carries claims that Iran will not need anyone's help to build the next nuke facility.  The parliament approved rationing and hiking the price of gasoline, which is another reason why Hashemi Rafsanjani is openly challenging Ahmadinejad, especially on the economy.  The large-scale protests staged by teachers over the past week would be another reason.  And Ahmadinejad reportedly got into a spat with Syrian Pres. Assad over the establishment of an international tribunal on the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

AFGHANISTAN:  Afghan soldiers have captured a Taliban leader who tried to flee a security operation in the south dressed in a burqa, NATO said on Wednesday.


...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A Terrier with no ears.  Vets hope they will be able to let the tiny dog hear properly for the first time by making tiny openings where his outer ears should be.  Pics at the link.

GREY PANTHER POWER:  A 61-year-old British great-grandmother landed a 100 lb. shark on vacation... in Florida.  A 73-year-old British retiree helped save a man from the jaws of a 7-ft-long alligator while on vacation... in Florida.

SNAKES on a PLANE:  Workers at a northern Malaysian airport cargo complex found 2,400 snakes of a protected species in crates bound for Hong Kong sent by smugglers in Thailand, news reports said today.

COWS stare unamazed as they take the rap for eating dozens of chickens that went missing from a remote village in eastern India.

5699 Reads

Todd Rundgren, How Indie Rock Saved My Life, Russian Dwarf Hamster   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


TODD RUNDGREN and ROD STEWART are famous for the wrong reasons, according to a piece at the UWM Post.  In the interest of correcting the record, here is The Nazz's "Open My Eyes" and Rundgren's "Hello, It's Me" and "I Saw the Light."  And here is The Faces playing "Stay With Me" and "Ooh La La."

RY COODER gets audio features from both Morning Edition and World Cafe at NPR, streaming several songs from and interviews on My Name Is Buddy, a concept album about a farm cat who hooks up with a labor-agitating mouse and a blind preacher toad.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN:  Bright Eyes, The National, Spoon, Cat Power, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Mastadon and country legend Charlie Louvin (and guests) are all touring -- though not together.

MARY WEISS of the Shangri-Las has recorded her first album of new material since 1965.  NPR has the audio feature.  And yep, she's got a couple streaming from HerSpace, one of which is "A Certain Guy," which is really Ernie K-Doe's "A Certain Girl," later covered by The Yardbirds and Warren Zevon, among others.

WILCO has posted "What Light" from Sky Blue Sky for your streaming and downloading pleasure.  BTW, I did by chance hear the upcoming album over the weekend; it's quite good.  The opening track, "Either Way," really reminds me of The Band in spots.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  The Bird and the Bee in "Again and Again."  You can stream more jazzy pop from Inara George (daughter of the late Lowell George) and Greg Kurstin at TheirSpace.

ANDY PARTRIDGE of XTC, Barry Andrews of XTC and Shriekback and Shriekbacker Martyn Barker improv under the name Monstrance in glorious Quicktime.

MARGOT & THE NUCLEAR SO & SO'S:  My Old Kentucky Blog is streaming three new songs in advance of their debut on Dodge's Sirius satellite radio show.

JOHN SELLERS gives Largehearted Boy a music mix  for his new book, Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life, even though he thought:  "1) It was going to be impossible to narrow down the list to less than 1,000 songs, and 2) half of those were written by Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices."  More links at LHB.  You can also stream his interview with USA Today's Whitney Matheson, who also posts an excerpt from the book.

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY will soon announce its first Lou Reed/Delmore Schwartz Scholar.  What better way to celebrate than to jukebox an "alternate" version of the first Velvet Unnderground album.


SCARLETT JOHANSSON and JESSICA BIEL were snapped shopping together in Paris.  Scar-jo tried to hide behind her hat, but she couldn't hide on the video.  Somewhere, Justin Timberlake's ears were burning.

BRITNEY SPEARS is still in rehab, so Fed-Ex took the kids to Vegas last weekend.  American Idol judge Simon Cowell says that he could not care less about pop tart's recent meltdown and rehab stint, which he called "fashionable" and an "indulgence."

NAOMI CAMPBELL will be made to mop floors and sweep corridors at a New York city public building in the coming months, as punishment for attacking her maid.  But the real punishment is that she is barred from turning it into a reality show.

GREY'S ANATOMY:  ABC is using Isaiah Washington's anti-gay slur and subsequent "rehab" to play hardball in contract negotiations.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but Howard K. Stern has reportedly admitted he's not the father of Smith's daughter Dannielynn and is now willing to sign over the paternity rights to the man who believes he is the baby's real dad, Larry Birkhead - for the right price.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL, ANNE HATHAWAY, and her breasts on the set of Brokeback Mountain.  It's a touching story.  Maybe even more touching than the Stanley Tucci story.

LINDSAY LOHAN lashes out at the tabloids for romantically linking her to every man she is seen out with.  Maybe it's not a good idea to tell the tabloids: "Sex And The City changed everything for me because those girls would just sleep with so many people. And that's me. I'm not dating just one person. It is the variety of partners everyone likes, especially at my age."  ALSO:  Li-Lo looked disheveled and worryingly thin in the toilets of the plush Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel last weekend.

JUDE LAW and his kids had to bunk down at ex-wife Sadie Frost's house after his boiler exploded, because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Refreshingly normal for a celeb.

GWYNETH PALTROW will talk about her kids' celebrity play dates, but hubby (and Coldplay frontman) Chris Martin doesn't want to talk about Gwyneth Paltrow.

ASTRONUT Lisa Nowak may have been set off when she found these explicit e-mails between space shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein & Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman.

SPEED RACER:  The live-action version directed by the Wachowski Brothers starts production June 5 in Berlin and is due May 23, 2008.

PRES. GEORGE H.W. BUSH denies fondling Teri Hatcher's rear end; let's go to the video.

THE FAKE GUCCI AD:  The Swiss man who conned one of the country's biggest papers into publishing a two-page ad he created of himself posing semi-naked beside a bottle of Gucci perfume is a sign of how desperate some are becoming for their proverbial 15 minutes.  Andy Warhol would be proud, particularly of doing so through a fake ad.

FRANCE:  The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists.  Apparently the annual youth intifadas will go away if you cannot see them on the Internet.

IRAQ:  The joint US-Iraqi force of 1,150 soldiers and police have established 23 checkpoints in Sadr City.  Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militiamen have shaven their beards, changed their attire, and hidden their weapons, according to IraqSlogger.  Local council leaders in Shi'a areas fear that the crackdown on the militia will leave the Shi'a areas defenseless against armed Sunni extremists, who will try to re-incite the cycle of sectarian killing with high profile attacks both inside and outside the capital, as the attack on pilgrims traveling to Karbala shows.  Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno said that the readiness of the Iraqi battalions arriving in Baghdad is rising steadily and that there have been major recruiting successes in Anbar province.  Michael Yon also has another essential dispatch about Iraqi forces, with Lt. Gen Oderino and Geraldo Rivera making cameo appearances.  Col. Sean B. MacFarland, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, talked to Stars and Stripes about his unit's experiences in Tal Afar and Ramadi.  British troops have seized "a significant arsenal" of ammunition from insurgents in Basra.

IRAQ at HOME:  House Democrats are pushing to add billions of dollars to Pres. Bush's request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, including 900 million for troops suffering from brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Liberal House Democrats are revolting over the move, threatening to vote against the bill because it doesn't go far enough toward ending the war.

IRAN:  The former deputy defense minister who disappeared in neighboring Turkey last month is said to have sought asylum in the US, according to the newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat.  It's... interesting that this report -- and yesterday's -- originated in the Saudi-owned press.

DOG discovers that what happens at the Dominican Carnival does not necessarily stay at the Dominican Carnival.

A BLACK LABRADOR who plunged through thin ice on a Denver was reunited with her owner after a firefighter in a dive suit scooted along the ice and scooped up the scrambling pooch.  Let's go to the video.

ASSAULT with a stolen catfish.

THE BLACK RHINO BIRTH at Paignton Zoo in Devon was captured on webcam.  Video at the link.

A RUSSIAN DWARF HAMSTER escapes death!  It turns out this story dates back to last August, but I just could not resist the chance to type "Russian Dwarf Hamster."  Pic at the link.

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Dean & Britta, New Releases, Juliana Hatfield, Ostriches   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, March 06, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


DEAN & BRITTA have a new, delightfully retro video for "Words You Used To Say" that the kids at Stereogum and Chromewaves think is a partial homage to this Serge Gainsbourg video.  The kids also seem to agree that Britta is teh hottness; sorry, guys -- D&B are hitched.

NEW RELEASES:  Arcade Fire is obviously the big new release in indieworld... and probably beyond.  Their buzz got as far as The New York Times Magazine over the weekend.  Son Volt, The Stooges, Bright Eyes, Mary Chapin Carpenter, !!! and more are streaming in full this week via Spinner.  BTW, Son Volt mastermind Jay Farrar does good interview with the Hartford Courant on the themes and tone of The Search.  Broken Social Scene spin-off Apostle of Hustle releases the National Anthem of Nowhere.  Super Furry Anumal Gruff Rhys releases Candylion.  Ry Cooder releases My Name is Buddy -- a concept album about a cat named Buddy.  As noted yesterday, sometimes Roxy Music crooner Bryan Ferry releases his album of Dylanesque covers.  Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 release a live EP.  The Stooges' Fun House, Television's Marquee Moon, and Okkervil River's Black Sheep Boy all get deluxe reissues.  Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley get gospel compilations.  Several of the new releases have enough advance reviews to make Metacritic already.

VAN HALEN:  Eddie and Alex Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar have all told the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that they will be attending the induction ceremony on March 12th -- but they will not be performing; Velvet Revolver will be stepping in to pay tribute.

RONNIE SPECTOR'S interview about her upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is currently streaming at NPR.  Ronnie recently learned that her ex-husband, famed "wall of sound" producer and murder suspect Phil Spector had moved to oppose The Ronettes' admission into the hall as far back as 1994.

CASIMIR PULASKI DAY was yesterday.  I forgot (as it's no longer a a work holiday for me), but Athsmatic Kitty and Pitchfork offered up the demo of the Sufjan Steven song named after -- but not really about it.  Here's a bit on the actual Pulaski.

TWOFER TUESDAY:  My two favorite performances from Juliana Hatfield are probably her cover of "Temptation Eyes" with the Blake Babies and her solo track, "My Sister."

NEIL YOUNG, Swedish garage rockers Mando Diao and the more arty Blonde Redhead can be seen on 3x3 via AOL.  The Neil Young performance is from the recently unearthed Massey hall gig from 1971.

BONO will edit an issue of Vanity Fair in his ongoing effort to rebrand Africa for the idle rich. 

SHAWN COLVIN may suffer from depression, but it didn't stop her from becoming the latest to cover Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," which you can stream via Spinner.

WOLFGANG'S VAULT, sued by Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, Santana and the Doors by selling merchandise and streaming concert archives belonging to the musicians, has filed a counterclaim against the musicians and their labels, arguing that case is actually a blatant attempt by two of the largest record labels in the world -- using artists as a front -- to secure new income streams and destroy a legitimate business.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  A source tells US Weekly that the Spears family is worried that the troubled pop tart may not last the scheduled month in rehab.  Which tends to support the rumors that Spears tried to hang herself while claiming to be an anti-christ.

NICOLE RICHIE was hospitalized after falling ill on the set of her reality series.  Dizzy spells are not unknown when you're on the Skeletor diet.

COURTNEY LOVE totally narced on the French Hotel's birthday party, using her website to note a big pile of white powder in the rest room.  Big fans of talc, I'm sure.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  The paparazzi at X17 have pics and video they say show the Tom-Kitten's resemblance to Cruise.

GREY'S ANATOMY co-star Isaiah Washington -- just out of gay-slur rehab -- got an NAACP Image Award last Friday.  Better luck next year, Ann Coulter!

JESSICA BIEL'S 25th birthday party is the subject of some subtle deadpan humor at People magazine.  The mag notes that the shapely actress happily took a piece of cake, declaring: "I'm not one of those skinny actors. I've got meat on my bones."  The next sentence:  "Other guests at the party included Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and supermodels Jessica Stam, Daria Werbowy, and Gemma Ward."

GEORGE CLOONEY has come out for Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, calling him "the true rock star" of the Democratic Party.  Clooney has publicly offered to raise money for Obama as well.

STEVEN SPIELBERG is the proud owner of stolen property, i.e., "Russian Schoolroom," a Norman Rockwell painting stolen from a gallery in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton, MO, more than three decades ago.  Spielberg purchased the painting in 1989 from a legitimate dealer and didn't know it was stolen until his staff spotted its image last week on an FBI Web site listing stolen works of art, according to the feds.

HARRY POTTER & THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX:  The Leaky Cauldron and Aint-It-Cool-News have reviews from a test screening in Chicago.  SPOILERS in each.  RELATED:  Daniel Radcliffe has signed on to star in the final two Harry Potter films, according to Warner Bros.

THE GEICO CAVEMEN are getting a half-hour sitcom pilot for ABCThe Wall Street Journal looks at brand extension, including the scary news that the creepy Burger King has lined up a studio and distributor for a feature film.

BLACK SHEEP:  It's "Violence of the Lambs!"  See the trailer on the Tube or in glorious Quicktime.  More proof -- if any was needed -- that there is nothing quite so dangerous as a clever sheep.

SPIDERMAN 3 video is running at NBC today only.

THE 'STANS:  ABCNews reports that efforts are underway to identify the dead following the US and NATO strike in a remote area of eastern Afghanistan over the weekend.  US officials say that the CIA is moving additional manpower and equipment into Pakistan in the effort to find Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahri -- which suggests to me that they don't think either was killed in that Afghan raid.  The Christian Science Monitor surveys the state of al Qaeda today.   Over 2,000 Afghans in Khost demonstrated against suicide bombings.

IRAN:  A former Iranian deputy defense minister with knowledge of the nuclear and defense establishment has gone missing in Turkey, sparking allegations of a Mossad and CIA-linked kidnapping. The UN's nuke watchdog thinks Iran may have temporarily halted its nuclear program.  But a senior Iranian official dashed hopes that any short-term pause could translate into Tehran accepting a UN Security Council demand to freeze its enrichment activities.

IRAQ:  The Interior Ministry now claims it has captured the second in command of the Islamic State in Iraq, not the top guy as previously claimed; the report remains unconfirmed.  The Islamic State of Iraq has reverted back to the practice of posting execution videos.  The Interior Ministry is also investigating how weapons seized during military operations find their way back to the black market. (hint: a mirror might help.)  A "senior Iraqi official" says Moqtada al-Sadr has been pressured to chill out by Ayatollah Sistani, the Shia clerical leadership in Najaf, and even Iran.  The US is not so sure about the Iran part; it would have been helpful had Newsweek revealed the sect of its source.  ITM's Omar Fadhil reports that al-Sadr's Mahdi army is not responding to the raids in Baghdad with fire, but are trying to undermine the new security plan by spreading rumors about alleged crimes committed by US soldiers.

OSTRICH NEWS:  Three German teenagers may be on the hook for a hefty fine if a court decides that their festive firecrackers scared the libido right out of an ostrich named Gustav.  In Cornwall, Edgar the ostrich regularly escapes from his home and heads for the local burial ground to chase mourners and eat graveside floral tributes.  Maybe Edgar has the same problem as Gustav.

SQUIRRELS may be forced onto birth control in the People's Republic of Santa Monica.  It's already being done in the People's Republic of Berkeley.

MOUSE revenges itself on a man in the Guangdong province of China.

A ROBIN will eat a worm from the mouth of a nature photographerNTTAWWT.  Pic at the link.

MOOSE downs a helicopter near the southeast town of Gustavus, Alaska.  The injured animal was euthanized at the scene.  Was global warming to blame?

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Bryan Ferry, The Broken West, Jayhawks, Belushi, Emus vs. Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, March 05, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade


BRYAN FERRY talks to London's Telegraph about his upcoming album of Dylan covers.  Ferry is no stranger to covers, natch -- as the clips of  "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (featuring Anna Nicole Smith) "The In Crowd" (scorching), "Let's Stick Together" (with Jerry Hall), "I Put A Spell on You" and even the 1973 version of Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" attest.  You can preview his 2007 takes on Dylan with "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and "Positively Fourth Street."

MARIANNE  FAITHFULL -- one of rock's consummate survivors -- talks to the Daily Mail about surviving emergency cancer surgery, and the surprise phone call she got from Mick Jagger in recovery.  The paper also embedded video of an oddly uptempo take of the classic "As Tears Go By" from Hullaballoo.

THE BROKEN WEST singer and guitarist Ross Flournoy is conflicted about being tagged as "power pop."  The Boston Globe rightly notes the band is much closer to Big Star or Teenage Fanclub than to the Knack or Shoes.  The paper was also nice enough to link to streaming songs at BrokenWestSpace, so you can hear for yourself.

EL PERRO DEL MAR is touring, so Sarah Assbring is doing the press rounds with eye, NOW, New City Chicago and the Boston Herald.  (Thanks to Chromewaves, though I get New City in the lobby of my building).  Most of the pieces tell the story of how Assbring adopted the name "El Perro del Mar" ("Dog of the Sea"), her stripped-down retro style and her expectations -- or lack of them -- for Canada and the US; in the Boston Herald, she also talks about Sweden's socialized musical education.  You can stream four from HerSpace.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS tells Canada's Globe & Mail that reviewers are missing the underlying optimism of her new album, West.  You can stream a few from HerSpace.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  The Jayhawks perform the great and terrible "Blue."

APPLES IN STEREO frontman Robert Schneider tells Chart Attack that he went through a period where "I just became, not just disinterested, but actually offended by the big bells and whistles production that I had always pursued" before making New Magnetic Wonder, which owes more than a little to the lush sound of the Electric Light Orchestra.  Steam a few at TheirSpace.

THE CAT IN THE HAT just turned 50, which is celebrated in this audio feature from NPR, and is a good excuse to relink to the wonderful Dylan Hears A Who, which may require you download the Firefox browser, if you haven't already.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer and the supposedly sober supermodel were asked to leave the Shockwaves NME Awards by security after a series of incidents at the ceremony held at Hammersmith Palais.  Said incidents apparently included the couple's blazing bust-up backstage -- broken up by Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie -- after Doherty was caught trying to smuggle a spoon into the loos.

BRITNEY SPEARS has flipped her lid in rehab, trying to hang herself with a bedsheet after scrawling the devil's number "666" across her head and screaming "I am the anti-christ" to frightened staff.  US Weekly has details of her last, pathetic gasp before entering rehab.  The pop tart is getting words of support from Brooke Shields, whose book on postpartum depression Spears is rumored to be reading in rehab.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Despite lousy reviews, audiences went hog wild for Wild Hogs, which took in 38 million in receipts to become Disney's biggest-ever March opening.  David Fincher's acclaimed Zodiac came in a respectable second with 13.1 million -- ballpark typical for most Fincher films.  Ghost Rider fell to third in its third week of release with 11.5 million, followed by Bridge to Terabithia with 8.6 million and The Number 23, which slid to fifth with 7.1 million in its second week.  Norbit continued to make money in sixth place ,while Music and Lyrics is struggling in seventh, despite dropping a mere 36 percent.  Black Snake Moan took in a mere four million, though it came in third on a per screen average.  Reno 911!: Miami plunged 63 percent to land in ninth place, but has made 16 million on a ten million budget.  Breach rounded out the Top Ten with 3.4 million.

LIZ HURLEY had a surprise civil wedding with Indian businessman Arun Nayar in the Cotswolds last Friday.

THE McCARTNEYS:  It was Sir Paul who emerged smiling from the first significant round in his divorce feud with Heather Mills.  It was the staff at a top London dance studio who were smiling as Mills quit the studio after just one day of practice for Dancing with the Stars.

JOHN RATZENBERGER, known as Cliff Claven on Cheers and a voice talent for PIxar animations, will replace Vincent "Big P*ssy" Pastore, who quit after one week of training for Dancing with the Stars.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie has filed papers to adopt a Vietnamese child, and it seems that US and Vietnamese officials will bend the rules to make it happen.

GREY'S ANATOMY;  Disgruntled starlet Katherine Heigl is blaming ABC's Touchstone for going public on their salary dispute, though it seemed like her people did that.

KIRSTEN DUNST:  Someone is spreading nasty rumors about old MJ.

EVANGELINE LILLY:  The Lost hottie is attracted to men who are in touch with their feminine side and are able to pick out clothes for her -- which explains her long-term relationship with co-star and ex-Hobbit Dominic Monaghan.

SIENNA MILLER tells London's Guardian that she always ends up putting my big fat foot in it.  Indeed, she does so in the interview when asked why people take drugs:  "'Cos they're fun! 'Cos they're f*ckloads of fun! No, don't write that..."  She later added: " I liked mushrooms, which were legal until a year or so ago. If I had a drug of choice, it would be magic mushrooms."

JOHN BELUSHI died 25 years ago today, but his comedy -- and his influence on comedy -- last to this day.  For example, the Peacock lawyers have missed this classic clip of Belushi with Joe Cocker on the Show Named Less.  Belushi first developed that impression for National Lampoon's Lemmings -- a Broadway parody of Woodstock.  His breakthrough movie role as Bluto in National Lampoon's Animal House was almost entirely silent, physical comedy, yet his slightly profane, inspirational speech near the climax is ingrained in pop culture.  And I count myself lucky for having been able to see the Blues Brothers live at the long-gone Poplar Creek Music Theater -- and to have Belushi flip his way down the aisle about ten feet away from my seat.

AFGHANISTAN:  ABCNews reports that US and NATO forces have been conducting a major attack against a compound in a remote area of Eastern Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden or another senior al Qaeda leader may be hiding.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio has a round-up including signs of short term success for the Baghdad security plan (though the Times of London wonders if it can last), a planned reshuffle of the Iraqi cabinet to promote reconciliation, an unconfirmed report from the German press that the leader of al-Qaeda's political front organization has been captured in Salahadin province, and more.  ITM's Omar Fadhil has a detailed on-the-ground report from Baghdad, including new restrictions on cars and over 1000 displaced families returning to the capital.  The Times of London publishes serious academic criticisms of The Lancet study which claimed that there had been 650K civilian casualties.  Stars & Stripes has an update on the two faces of Ramadi.  The Small Wars Journal blog has David Kilcullen correcting misreporting by London's Guardian, as well as Bing West reviewing the good and bad points from his February trip in-country.

IRAN:  Students involved in an angry protest against Pres. Ahmadinejad have been expelled and earmarked for compulsory military service in an apparent act of official retribution.

TERRIERS DOGNAPPED AT GUNPOINT on video have been found and reunited with their owners.  Videos at the link.

WHEN POT-BELLIED PIGS ATTACK... they attack Posh Spice.

EMUS vs. DOGS in a Sea-Tac smackdown!

CAT extracted from the engine of a running car after several hours of rescue efforts.  Video at the link.

DOGS are being trained to use cash machines for their disabled owners in the UK.

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Mekons, Advance Stooges & Wilco, Cutout Bin, Owen & Mzee   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, March 02, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade



...with THE MEKONS!  The ever-reliable Wikipedia calls them "one of the longest-running and most prolific of the first-wave British punk rock bands," though they have incorporated elements of English folk, country, and other styles over the years.  For example "Poxy Lips" has a zydeco feel, while "Ghosts of American Astronauts" is swirling, ethereal pop -- and both are from 1988's So Good It Hurts.  "Work All Week" has a bit of the reggae beat, while "Memphis Egypt" is blistering rock 'n' roll.  You can download "Ghosts," Memphis" and the countrified "Hole in the Ground" in glorious QuickTime from Twin/Tone Records.  You can also stream a few equally eclectic tracks via MekonSpace.

THE STOOGES' reunion album comes out next week, but you can stream the whole thing now via VH1.

PEARL JAM reprortedly will headline Lollapalooza this summer, though promoters don't plan on announcing the 130-band lineup or putting tickets on sale for several weeks.

WILCO:  Three advance tracks from Sky Blue Sky leaked onto the Internet.  Though it seems like the band is trying to get them removed, you may also be able to stream "Either Way," "You Are My Face" and "Walken" via the ol' HM.

THE WHITE STRIPES are putting the finishing touches on their next LP, which  will be titled Icky Thump.  Tracklisting at the link.

UNO, DOS... one, two, tres, quatro!

THE SHINS have a performance and interview streaming via Yahoo! Music.

YOKO ONO confesses.

ARCTIC MONKEYS have a new track off the forthcoming Favourite Worst Nightmare, which you can stream via Prefix.

NOISE POP:  This fest kind of slid off my radar screen but Heather Browne has an interview with fest guru Jordan Kurland and MP3s of the bands she's planning to see.  Lala/WOXY are streaming gigs live and on demand, including Ths Submarines, Snowden, Malajube, Midlake, Cake and more...

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer and the supposedly sober supermodel have reportedly moved in together, with Doherty lugging a banjo, a babyseat, gold records and assorted coats and clothing into Moss's fashionable north London pad.  Also, Doperty was visiting England's Cotswold Wildlife Park when witnesses say that he threw what looked like a spliff to some penguins as a way of showing off for Moss.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM include: The Cure - Friday, I'm in Love; Iggy Pop - Lust for Life; The Posies - Surrender; Yo La Tengo - Mr. Tough; The B-52s - 53 Miles West of Venus; The Yardbirds - Over Under Sideways Down; Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner; Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Summer Wine; Sam & Dave - Hold On! I'm A Comin'; The Clash - Time Is Tight; Eddie Floyd - Big Bird; Ronnie Spector - You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory (J. Thunders); Guns n' Roses - You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory (J. Thunders); Ram Jam - Black Betty; Black Flag - TV Party; Ramones - Teenage Lobotomy; and Art Brut - My Little Brother.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH IS STILL DEAD, but her mother has given up the fight to bury the body in Texas, clearing any obstacle to a burial today in the Bahamas, compler with an "over the top" memorial hosting about 300 guests.

JOHN TRAVOLTA thinks Anna Nicole Smith could have been saved by Scientology.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases include: the star-studded, midlife-crisis road comedy Wild Hogs, currently scoring 23 percent on the Tomatometer; David Fincher's ripped-from-the case-files thriller Zodiac, currently scoring an impressive 85 percent; and the seemingly bizzare Black Snake Moan, which is scoring 61 percent.

THE FRENCH HOTEL has been banned from Associated Press stories by the wire service's entertainment editor, prompting debate among journos.  Of course, she might make the other wires if she lands in jail for violating her probation.

GREY'S ANATOMY:  Disgruntled star Katherine Heigl was smacked down in a press release from ABC expressing disappointment that her less-than-equal salary bump was leaked to the press and reminding the world that Heigl remains bound by a long-term contract.

HUGH GRANT:  A Dutch TV reporter handcuffed herself to Hugh Grant at last Friday's Amsterdam premiere of Music & Lyrics.  Appropriately enough, some wag has turned the incident into a music video.

JUDE LAW said he was "speechless" after receiving a prestigious French award for his contribution to film.  Presumably because could not bring himself to think about being lumped in with Jerry Lewis.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, contrary to prior reports, will make a cameo appearance the in forthcoming Terminator 4.

ANTONELLA BARBA, the focus of recent attention over some racy Internet photos, survived the most recent cut on American Idol.  Was it despite the photos, or because of them?

JENNA FISCHER, who plays Pam on NBC's The Office, is looking hot in photos from the upcoming Will Ferrell comedy, Blades of Glory.

THE TOP TEN GREATEST FILM SPEECHES (with embedded video) compiled by Not Defteri is not bad, though it really only goes back to 1954.  But there's also a link to a far more complete list.  One of the videos has been yanked, but there's a lo-fi version to be had.

IRAQ:  US soldiers are leaving their fortified bases and establishing many small outposts in the capital's most violent neighborhoods in a major tactical shift under the two-week-old Baghdad security plan.  Fifteen of about 30 planned "joint security stations" with Iraqi forces have already in the capital.  They have also set up an unspecified number of smaller "combat outposts."  A joint security station in Sadr City should open in a few days.  A a prominent Shiite cleric with high-level political ties survived an assassination attempt on one of Baghdad's quietest days in months - with one reported car bombing and one fatality.  The Iraqi Interior Ministry announced that 80 suspected al-Qaeda were killed in heavy fighting Wednesday in a village near Fallujah.

IRAN is stalling any answer to the invitation to the planned conference on Iraq's future, after being caught off guard by Washington's enthusiastic endorsement of the meeting.  Tehran's client Hezbollah denied a US intell claim it was training Iraqi militants in Lebanon on how to operate armor-piercing munitions against US troops in Iraq.

AFGHANISTAN:  Mullah Omar and new threat Mullah Dadullah seem to have been feeling more comfy in advance of an expected spring Taliban offensive, but Mullah Obaidullah Akhund, former Taliban defense minister and #3 on the ladder of the Taliban's 10-member leadership council, was captured in Quetta.  ABCNews reports that Akhund may know the secret whereabouts of Mullah Omar, and perhaps of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahri.

IOWA:  Gov. Chet Culver  declared all Iowa 99 counties disaster areas after last weekend's ice and snowstorm knocked the power out to thousands of people, including families of Pate members.

OWEN & MZEE UPDATE:  The giant tortoise and orphaned baby hippo who forged an unusual friendship after the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia are the stars of a new Web site so fans can follow their progress.

OTHER ODD PALS:  A pair of Sumatran tiger cubs and a set of young orangutans, all abandoned at birth, have become inseparable after sharing a room at an Indonesian zoo.  Awww...some photo and video at the link.

MOLLY the CAT has made it home four months after disappearing from a beach resort 150 kilometers away in New Zealand.

A SQUIRREL, unlike a cat, really gets stuck in a tree when he gets stuck in a tree.  Pre-rescue photo at the link.

A COW stares unamazed as it forces an airplane to land on Interstate 84 near the Oregon-Idaho border.

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