THE FLAMING LIPS played "Bohemian Rhapsody" during a surprise show at SXSW. Stereogum has onstage video. KissAtlanta has it in Quicktime. Take Your Medicine is killing music with a MP3 download. You can hear the upcoming album, At War With The Mystics, in the audio section of the band's website. Jim DeRogatis is promoting his new book on the band.
SCOTT McCAUGHEY: The Young Fresh Fellow and Minus 5 frontman does a piece for Harp on the record that changed his life after listing a bunch of candidates. However, when Ken King and I saw the Minus 5 Wed. night, Scott picked a favorite not on that list to cover -- The Undertones' "Teenage Kicks." And for an encore, he led the touring unit, including REM's Peter Buck on bass, through "Circle Sky," by the Monkees (written by Michael Nesmith). Of course, there was a lot of great Minus 5 music as well. Peter Buck also put in a cameo on lead guitar during the opening set from The Silos -- on a swampy version of Jonathan Richman's "I'm Straight."
AEROSMITH frontman Steven Tyler will undergo mystery surgery this week for his mystery medical malady, forcing the band to cancel the rest of its North American tour. UPDATE: It looks to be throat surgery. We wish him well, natch.
MORRISSEY apologizes to Arctic Monkeys for complaining they had become too famous too soon: "I'm sorry that the comments I made at South By Southwest about the Arctic Monkeys were printed so harshly. "I actually quite like the Arctic Monkeys and whatever I said was said with tender, avuncular concern. I hope to God I didn't upset their grannies. "In any case, I was wrong about their success being too sudden and without any dues paid, because that's exactly how it happened for The Smiths. So, I really should shut it." You can preview Morrissey's new album at MySpace.
WILCO bassist John Stirratt talks to the Des Moines Register about new sounds, new songs and living in the North and the South.
JASON COLLETT: The Broken Social Scenester talks to Drowned In Sound about his acclaimed solo album and how being overlooked in Canada helps make music, but causes musicians to leave. You may still be able to get a free Collett track via SXSW.
SEEN YOUR VIDEO: From Hullabaloo, we have The Byrds syncing "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better," with equally synced go-go dancing during Roger's guitar solo.
KELLEY STOLTZ: The McCartney-esque singer-songwriter tells PopMatters that he loves his work and recorded his first full-length album with 100 percent renewable energy. You can stream a few via MySpace.
LYNYRD SKYNYRD: Though I focused on Blondie and the Sex Pistols getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who better to write about the Southern Rockers' entry than Drive-By Truckers frontman Patterson Hood?
RICHARD HAWLEY is the latest answer to Jerry's question, "How the hell did I miss ----'s album last year?" at Yeti Don't Dance. There is some killing of music involved, but I think you can still get a taste of the Orbison-esque Hawley with a legal download via SXSW.
JOHN LENNON: Yoko Ono has attacked a pay-per-view TV 'seance' that attempts to contact the late Beatle from beyond the grave as "tasteless, tacky and exploitative." It may well be worse than Lennon: The Musical.
PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: The troubled singer openly took heroin, ecstasy and crack cocaine throughout an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes reportedly fears what Scientological parenting rules will do to her Cruise-spawn, which the church sees as a kind of "second coming." That's according to the ever-reliable Star. Meanwhile, Cruise's daughter, Isabella, seems less than thrilled with Cruise's very public displays of affection.
OMIGOD, THEY KILLED CHEF! The South Park character died a horrible, funny death after his brains were scrambled by the "Super Adventure Club" -- a not-at-all thinly veiled jab at the Church of Scientology, which is rumored to be responsible for Isaac Hayes' alleged (or forced) refusal to continue voicing the character.
BRADGELINA: Oprah Winfrey bans the couple from her show, pledges allegiance to Team Aniston. Meanwhile, Jolie may be miffed at Pitt's drinking habits.
KEVIN COSTNER: His reps are vigorously denying that he is the subject of a blind item in London's Daily Mirror about a star who engaged in sexual self-gratification in front of a horrified masseuse at a posh Scottish golf resort.
ROCKUMENTARIES: At Indiewire, Anthony Kaufman asks: Is it just coincidence that there are three compelling documentaries about rock musicians with briefly thrilling, eventually sorry, sad lives cut down by drugs and mental illness?
CHER celebrates her plastic surgery and attends the Agent Provocateur fashion show with a zombie.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON: Dumped by Josh Hartnett?
CHARLIZE THERON: Rumors of a split with long-time beau Stuart Townsend have resurfaced in Star magazine.
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: The DVD will be out soon, but right now, you can see it in 30 seconds. With bunnies.
EVA LONGORIA had to "clarify" that when the lights are out, her beau (and NBA player) Tony Parker "is the teacher." Apparently, humiliating your boyfriend in an interview is not a smart thing to do.
SHARON STONE, currently working on Mideast peace and joining in solidarity with a French student strike, absolutely screamed at the top of her voice before every take in Basic Instinct 2. Which may well be how the audience reacts.
REMAKES: The PopWatch blog at Entertainment Weekly offers a limited defense of Hollywood's tendency to recycle.
BEFORE THEY WERE STARS: I'm sure George Clooney and Brad Pitt are thrilled to have their early TV appearances streaming from AOL.
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY visited the trout pout shop? Has the world gone mad?
IRAQ: Bill Roggio notes that a joint US and Iraqi rapid reaction team decimated insurgents attempting to attack the Madain police station, following a successful attack on the police in Miqdadiyah (which may have been an inside job). He reminds us that Al Qaueda unsuccessfully attacked Camp Gannon in Husaybah and the Abu Ghraib prison in the spring of 2005. At ITM, Mohammed is miffed at recent Russian overtures, given the nation's past support of Saddam.
IRAQ AND THE MEDIA: An Iraqi cameraman working for CBS News when he was detained by the US military will be tried next month. The AP story has plenty of quotes from journos protesting the unfair treatment of Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein. It leaves out that he was referred to CBS by a "fixer" in Tikrit (i.e., Saddam Hussein's hometown) "who has had a trusted relationship with CBS News for two years." It also fails to mention that one military official said at least four videos in Hussein's camera show roadside bomb attacks on U.S. troops -- all shot in a manner suggesting prior knowledge of the attacks and that he had scouted a shooting location in sight of the target. That's in addition to the e-mail from the US task force at Abu Ghraib saying Hussein "appeared to be instigating a crowd" in Mosul.
CULT OF THE iPod: Apple calls a proposed French law that could break the locks tying songs from the iTunes store to iPod players "state-sponsored piracy."
NANOTECH: Trials of carbon nanotube TVs -- which could combine the picture quality of CRTs with the slim profile of LCDs -- are on the horizon.
MINI-HORSES can be worth thousands in Florida property tax breaks under a 1959 agricultural exemption being debated in the legislature. Why? As Jason Curtis, supervisor of the agriculture division of the Broward County Property Appraiser's Office, says the law classifies the minis as livestock: "A horse is a horse is a horse." Of course.
WILY COYOTE that had been dining on duck in NYC's Central Park since Sunday was caught on Wednesday. The Coyote blames the ACME Corp. for his capture. Let's go to the video.
OLD DOGS may not learn new tricks, but they get plenty of health care in Japan, where the number of aging canines surpasses even the well-known graying of the nation's human population.
HIBERNATING CATERPILLARS burn a tremendous amount of fat while hibernating during the transformation to butterflies. This is really going to annoy the bears.
LONGHORN wanders into a Houston fire station. Why is this news? After all, it is Texas...