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Topic: Karl

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Beirut, Georgie James, Nicole Willis, Pogues, Rescued Bull   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

BEIRUT:  Zach Condon & Co, played "Nantes" and "A Sunday Smile" on the UK's Later with Jool Holland.  Don't forget that La Blogotheque shot unique live videos of the band for every track on The Flying Club Cup.

BEST of 2007:  Pitchfork unveils its Top 50 Albums of 2007.  You can stream or download a 2007 mixtape from Paper Thin Walls.   And don't forget Largehearted Boy's continuously updated list of lists.

GEORGIE JAMES visited NPR's Studio 4A for the Project Song challenge of writing and recording a song in two days.  Audio and video at the link.

ART BRUT frontman Eddie Argos talks to the Brisbane Times about the origins of the band, forming the "English Travelling Wilburys," and success: "The sort of success I'm after is to be able to meet my favorite bands."

QUEENS of SOUL:  The Philadelphia Weekly talks to soul singers Sharon Jones and Nicole Willis, who both note that they are better known in Europe than in the US... though both seem to hope to change that.  I've mentioned Sharon Jones any number of times, but I may have slighted Willis, so let me note that you can stream a few from Nicole Willis and The Soul Investigators at TheirSpace.

STEPHEN STILLS has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to bandmate Graham Nash, who said Stills is set to undergo an operation on January 3rd.

MALCOLM MIDDLETON:  In his own strange way, the Arab Strapper touches on the true meaning of Christmas with "We're All Going To Die," which is his bid for the UK's Christmas Number One.

THE POGUES' perennial Christmas hit, "Fairytale of New York," is being bleeeped (twice) by BBC Radio 1, which has roused the ire of Telegraph readers, among others.  I posted the uncensored video last Friday.  UPDATE: BBC Radio 1 has backed down, and will air the uncensored version.

DEVENDRA BANHART shares some of his favorite shows and records of 2007 with USA Today's Pop Candy blogger, Whitney Matheson, who put some outtakes in her latest streamable podcast.

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE:  GvsB has some excellent pics from the band's annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Lakewood Theater in Dallas.  Though holiday-themed, the sets apparently also included their relatively new show-stopping cover of "Live and Let Die."

AMY WINEHOUSE has reportedly vowed to kill herself if she is parted from her husband by a lengthy jail sentence.  And police believe that Winehouse herself may be linked to Blake Fielder-Civil's charges of allegedly perverting the course of justice.  The singer was arrested, questioned and released without filing charges, in line with standard British procedure.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS: Britney's 16-year-old sister is knocked up.  The father is her boyfriend, Casey Aldridge, whom she met... wait for it... in church.  A source close to Britney Spears tells TMZ that the popwreck is "frantic" over the news.  Maybe all that talk about being a bad role model for young girls might finally sink in.  Mama Lynne Spears's parenting book has been "delayed indefinitely."  Who'da thunkit?

BRITNEY SPEARS, btw, gets nothing but high marks from the producer of her new video, which has received a mixed response from critics, amid reports the pop tart was digitally-slimmed down for the promo.

SIR PAUL McCARTNEY raised eyebrows as he left a charity event with a mystery brunette balanced precariously on his knee.  A source told The Daily Mirror: "Yes, she's very attractive but she's just a friend. She works for his company and organizes charity events."

JOHNNY DEPP has been named the best celebrity autograph signer for the third year running in the 15th annual survey of who's cool -- and who's cruel -- to autograph collectors by Autograph magazine.  Spider-Man and Ricky Bobby, otoh, have some 'splainin' to do.

JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT is not pregnant.  Or fat.  Just ill-attired.

THE FRENCH HOTEL:  When I joked that the heirhead wants an Oompa-Loompa now, I should have known better.

KATE HUDSON's explanation of her split with husband (and Black Crowe) Chris Robinson) is taken out of context, I hope: "We had Ryder, and we both sort of looked at each other and went, ‘Something's off,'" she said.  If it's accurate, it's a good thing the parents can afford therapy for the tyke.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  United Artists and MGM have pushed back the release of Cruise's Nazi thriller "Valkyrie" from the July Fourth holiday frame to Oct. 3, 2008 -- ostensibly due to shooting delays and coincidentally from one of the best dates on the calendar to one far less competitive.  "Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography" is set to drop next month.  The NYPost's Cindy Adams claims it's not being published in Britian because it's too "scandalous" for the UK's celebrity-friendly libel laws.  The counter-spin is that biographer Andrew Morton, whose disclosures about Princess Diana's miserable marriage made him many millions, failed to discover anything salacious about the 45-year-old actor.  We won't have long to wait to settle that question.

DAVID HASSELHOFF and his ex-wife have agreed to share custody of their teenage daughters and reached a financial settlement, ending months of bitter wrangling played out in the celebrity media.  Ooga-chucka!

BRADGELINA:  Pitt tells Newsweek there is "not a chance" he will run for the US Senate... or direct.

MICHAEL FLATLEY is undoubtedly dancing a jig after a court ordered the woman who accused him of sexual assault to pay him more than 11 million bucks for making false allegations to extort money from him.

THE WRITERS' GUILD has denied waiver requests for the Golden Globes and Oscars telecasts, which also raises the prospect of boycotts by the stars, as noted here last Thursday.

THE HOBBIT:   Oscar-winning "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson has settled a feud with the New Line studio and will make two films based on J.R.R Tolkien's "The Hobbit."  There was no mention in the statement of whether Jackson would serve as director on the two films.

CLOVERFIELD "star" Michael Stahl-David talks to Ain't-It-Cool-News about the mystery-shrouded J.J. Abrams project.  The title may be unfamiliar to you, but you may have seen the trailer.  And if you haven't seen the trailer, you really should, though I might still prefer the teaser trailer.  Ain't-It-Cool-News has an advance review from Neill Cumpston, who is -- for those who don't know -- a strong drink of coffee.  By which I mean whiskey.

PAKISTAN:  A key suspect in the alleged Heathrow bomb plot was on the run after escaping from his police custodians after an extradition hearing in Pakistan. tHE police said they have laid formal charges against the two officers who were escorting Rashid Rauf, whois suspected in an alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners with liquid explosives.  The extraordinary "escape" may point to a deal between the authorities in Islamabad and militants in an effort to ensure smooth national elections on January 8, but al-Qaeda remains a threat to this seemingly "inventive" initiative.

IRAQ:  The Shiite-dominated government has agreed to take over support of a US-funded plan that has organized thousands of Iraqis - including former insurgents and their sympathizers - into local security groups.  ABC News' Jonathan Karl and Luis Martinez sum up the Pentagon's quarterly report to Congress on stability and security in Iraq, including the economy and political reconciliation.  Security will be increased at Baghdad's mosques and other holy sites ahead of the Eid al-Adha holiday that begins today.  US troops uncovered a network of underground hideouts used by AQI in the town of Al-Eskandariah south of Baghdad.  Turkey sent hundreds of troops about 1 1/2 miles into northern Iraq early Tuesday in an operation against Kurdish rebels, but withdrew them later in the day.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The Washington Post reports: "Overall violence continues to decline in Iraq, although the rate of decrease has slowed since September and a few indicators have actually gone up in recent weeks, according to U.S. military figures released yesterday by the White House."  Glass half-empty much?  And as the numbers get lower any increase is that much larger of a percentage.  I guess this is why journalists are journalists, rather than mathemeticians.

A BULL was rescued from a well by clever firefighters in China.  It's like the Jessica McClure story, only with a bull.  And Chinese firefighters.

A FLATULENT COW that breaks wind on the hour has become Edinburgh's latest tourist attraction.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  The cagey rodents chew shed rattlesnake skins and then lick their fur with their snake-scented spit, to defend itself against predators.

PETA is trying to keep bears from entering a pizza-eating contest in Cincinnati.

MAN vs. DEER:  A Maryland man subdued a deer that ran through the front picture window of his house.

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Iron & Wine, Aimee Mann, Sufjan Stevens, Petra Swan Update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 18, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

IRON & WINE:  Sam Beam's latest video is for "Boy With A Coin."  If it comes up blank, try the "F5" key on your 'puter.

NEW RELEASES:  A week before Christmas?  Not likely!  Rivers Cuomo of Weezer has a compilation of odds and sods.  And there is the Peaches remix of Tone Loc's "Wild Thing" -- you can watch a video version and the original at So Much Silence.

AIMEE MANN brought her Christmas show to the Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., last night -- with a cameo from Nellie McKay.  You should be able to stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.  Mann talks about the holiday tour with DC's Express.

BEST of 2007:  Pitchfork has posted its Top 100 Tracks of 2007 (with plenty of A/V linkage), as well as Top 25 lists from the staff writers.  PopMatters has posted a Top 60 albums list (also with plenty of A/V linkage).

SUFJAN STEVENS is among those with new holiday tracks for free downloading at Sounds Familyre.  You can still stream his Christmas box via the Great Sufjan Song Xmas Xchange.

THE SHAKY HANDS did the profile and four unreleased songs thing for Daytrotter.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman James Darnielle was backed by Superchunk's Jon Wurster on drums.for three Christmas covers -- including Chuck Berry's "Run, Run Rudolph" at last year's Trekky Records Christmas show.  It's like Twofer Tuesday, but it's one more.

KEVIN DREW talks about having two first names, J Mascis, kitchen tools and more at Incendiary -- which I presume was named by a fan of Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous.

MINOR THREAT:  The legendary hardcore band inspires a fruity hot sauce!

AMY WINEHOUSE sought comfort in cocktails at 6a.m. amidst reports she is set to be grilled by police over the charges against her husband.

PETE DOHERTY is to reveal all about his life with ex-girlfriend Kate Moss in a new TV documentary... if the price is right.

PAM ANDERSON filed for divorce from sex tape impresario Rick Salomon after just 72 days of wedded bliss.  But wait!  The couple have reconciled, though no word on whether Pam withdrew the legal papers. 

LINDSAY LOHAN is reportedly back to hitting the "water" bottle and looking for a sugar daddy.  The latter would jibe with the story that Li-Lo is colluding with paparazzi for extra cash as movie and industry party offers dry up: "Nobody is comfortable bringing her into an environment with alcohol," a source tells the NYDN. "Whether she's rehabbed or relapsed, it's bad either way."

BRITNEY SPEARS:  More details from the unlikely Star magazine story about Spears wanting to marry Sam Lufti in Vegas are reprinted over at MSNBC.

JACKO is keeping his face on with Post-It Notes.

JOHN TRAVOLTA has been dropped from the "Dallas" movie after being promoted as the project's anchor for more than two years.  "John was given a nice seven-figure 'gift' to go away quietly," a source told Page Six.

TARA REID flew to the isle of Bali, where she accidentally fell and injured herself on her first night partying.

THE WORLD'S MOST INFLUENTIAL TODDLERS, according to Forbes magazine, all seem to have celebrity parents.

 

JESSICA SIMPSON is getting blamed for Dallas QB Tony Romo's abysmal performance against the Eagles on Sunday.  Her next film, ironically titled "Major Movie Star," could very well be headed toward the same straight-to-video fate as "Blonde Ambition."  Creepy dad-manager Joe is already cutting costs on the pneumatic blonde's photo shoots.

HUGH GRANT:  The Asian beauty caught in his bar snog-fest last week is revealed to be former pr0n star Shu Qi.

JENNA FISCHER reveals the secret to lip-syncing in "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story," also mentioning that her "Office" co-worker "Creed" was the guitarist for The Grass Roots.  Really, you can see him about 1:30 into "Let's Live For Today" and playing the solo.

DAVE LETTERMAN, off the air for six weeks due to the continuing writers' strike, plans to pursue an interim agreement with the Writers Guild of America that would permit his full staff to return as early as Jan. 2.  Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien also seem set to return to late-night TV with fresh episodes on Jan. 2... with or without writers.

THE BRADY BUNCH has a lesbian photo scandal that has nothing to do with Marcia and Jan.  Who'da thunkit?

THE DARK KNIGHT:  That spoilerrific footage yanked off the Tube by lawyers yesterday resurfaced at Gizmodo.  Will you beat the lawyers this time?

30 YEARS of LucasFilm Christmas Cards.  I would have thought the Star Wars TV Christmas Special would have put ol' George in permanent Grinch mode.  RELATED:  "That's not a galaxy... it's a space station."

TERROR in the UK:  An Electrician accused of being a Muslim holy warrior testified in court that he was hunting the Loch Ness Monster during an alleged jihad training course.  He also said he was being framed by the same anti-Muslim elements who faked the September 11 attacks on America and the London attacks.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  "Aisha Salim" has paid for painful surgery to "restore" her virginity, because the horror and outrage that would ensue if it was discovered she had already slept with a man would be such that her own strictly religious relatives might kill her rather than face public shame.

NORTH KOREA has made significant progress in disabling its nuclear facility in Yongbyon but has hesitated at providing key details about the extent of its nuclear programs, including whether it has weaponized the plutonium harvested from the reactor, according to US officials.

IRAN:  Russia delivered an initial shipment of nuclear fuel to the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, so does anyone want to bet that Iran stops its enrichment program?  Of course not.  However, it has forced the Iranians to admit (or claim)  that they are building a second nuclear facility themselves in Darkhovein.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio has Multinational Forces-Iraq's charts and graphs on the reduction in deaths, attack trends, sectarian violence, IED, suicide and car bomb attacks.  A truck packed with explosives blew up close to the Mosul Dam, which US Army engineers have previously warned is poorly constructed and in danger of imminent collapse.  Iraq launched its first new oil tanker in 27 years, and delivery of two more tankers is expected within three months.  The US is providing Turkey with real-time intelligence that has helped the Turkish military target a series of attacks this month against Kurdish separatists holed up in northern Iraq, including a large airstrike on Sunday.

FEARLESS GIANT RATS, each as large as a cat, have been discovered in a "lost world" of exotic animals and plants that scientists liken to the Garden of Eden.  BONUS: Click through for the Pygmy Possum.  DOUBLE BONUS:  These rats should not be confused with giant rats from the "lost world" of New Jersey, which few scientists liken to the Garden of Eden.

PETRA, the rare Black Australian swan that made international headlines when it fell in love with a pedal boat has ditched its plastic lover for the real thing.

THE WORMORATOR:  Guess what powers a newly-invented composting toilet?

NAUGHTY PETS can unleash Christmas chaos.  Pet-friendly holiday decorating tips at the link.

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Vampire Weekend, New Malkmus, The Kinks, Glowing Cats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 17, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

VAMPIRE WEEKEND perform "I Stand Corrected" -- a track from their upcoming album -- on Indie 103.1FM.  They were also on MTV recently, defining "crunk," and talking about David Byrne and blog buzz.  Bassist Chris Baio talked to Eye Weekly about the band's misleading name and turning their buzzworthy CD-R into a debut album.  Singer-guitarist Ezra Koenig tells the Boston Herald about the influence of his parents' record collection.  In the Guardian, Dave Simpson notes the band is just one of several seemingly influenced by  the exuberant and often polyrhythmic sound of African "hi-life."

BEST OF 2007:  Vampire Weekend has a Top Ten list at Filter, as does The National's triple threat, Aaron DessnerPitchfork had some of their favorite artists name their own for the most recent Guest List feature.

SHARON JONES and the DAP-KINGS performed a concert from WXPN and the Fillmore at the TLA in Philadelphia on Friday, so you can stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.

STEPHEN MALKMUS and the JICKS have a new album coming in March; the advance track is "Baltimore."

ROBERT POLLARD:  Pitchfork rounds up all things Bob, including a duo of releases due in January and February.  ALSO: Fmr GbV guitarist (and sometimes Pollard collaborator) Doug Gillard talks to Harp magazine about his work on movie soundtracks.

DAN FOGELBERG, the singer and songwriter whose hits "Leader of the Band" and "Same Old Lang Syne" helped define the soft-rock era, died Sunday at his home in Maine after battling prostate cancer. He was 56.

THE KINKS' video for "Father Christmas" from The Old Grey Whistle Test isn't hi-quality, but I know my former roomie Dale will want to see it.  BONUS:  Here's a faithful cover from OK Go.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED offers a streaming holiday mix, including a sneak preview of the upcoming Magnetic Fields album.

MISSION OF BURMA is playing a January benefit for the people of Burma (and presumably not the gov't of Myanmar).

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS:  A.C. Newman wants those who call his band dorky or geeky to take a look in the mirror.

JENS LEKMAN talks to Harp magazine about his new album and his first kiss.

AMY WINEHOUSE has reportedly wants a festive season binge before entering a  one-week rehab and detox treatment course in Israel.

I AM LEGEND, based on the 1954 sci-fi novel by Richard Matheson (adapted twice before  -- with Vincent Price as The Last Man on Earth and Charlton Heston as The Omega Man) is unfortunately like all too many modern remakes.  The film takes advantage of modern technology to create a far more impressive post-apocolyptic world than its predecessors.  But once you have absorbed that world, the movie devolves into a not-so-impressive zombie flick.  And, as Amber Taylor notes, gratuitously inserts Big Pharma as a villain.  Will Smith is competent playing Will Smith in generally-serious mode.  The German Shepherd who plays Sam apparently gets no credit, but certainly should.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Will Smith was Legend at the cinema, with a shockingly large 76.5 million this weekend -- Smith's biggest opening evah and the biggest opening for a December release evah.  That's right; bigger than LotR, bigger than Narnia. That's ginormous.  Alvin and the Chipmunks also did a surprisingly big 45 million -- about twice as much as studio estimates.  The Golden Compass tanked 65 percent to earn nine million -- ouch!  Enchanted dipped to fourth with six million, but I wonder if it may yet stage a comeback once word-of-mouth gets out on Alvin.  No Country For Old Men inched into the Top Five with three million, a mere 29 percent drop made possible by those Golden Globe noms.  Fred Claus skidded 51 percent to make 2.3 million.  This Christmas was right behind on a 54 percent drop, though it has already made 46 million on a 13 million budget.  Atonement moved into ninth place on an expanded release, making 1.8 million and a 15K+ per screen average.  August Rush rounds out the Top Ten with 1.7 million.  Juno made it to eleventh place on just 40 screens, with 1.4 million -- a whalloping 36K per screen average.

HELENA BONHAM CARTER & TIM BURTON have welcomed their second child, a daughter to joins four-year-old Billy.

BRITNEY SPEARS was denied admittance to the Four Seasons Hotel and disinvited from being a guest judge on Fox's American Idol.  OTOH, she was named Us Weekly's Worst Dressed Celeb of the Year, which has to count for something.

LINDSAY LOHAN used her celebrity to try and get Hannah Montana tickets for a friend's kids.  And it looks like she could get a gig with director Quentin Tarantino.

JESSICA SIMPSON:  Blonde Ambition, costarring Luke Wilson, will be hitting a handful of theaters in Simpson's home state of Texas before going direct-to-DVD.

RUPERT EVERETT calls Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, Diane Keaton, Woody Allen and Al Pacino "all just tragic parodies of themselves."  And George Clooney's Ocean's 11 series "a cancer to world culture."

HUGH GRANT outraged diners at a chic West End restaurant by openly snogging a mystery woman while a friend caressed her thigh.

ALEC BALDWIN offers to hold the 2007 Golden Globe Awards at his Manhattan apartment, to avoid problems with the writers' strike.

REESE WITHERSPOON and VINCE VAUGHN are not seeing eye-to-eye on the set of their new new film, "Four Christmases."

THE DARK KNIGHT trailer is online at one of the movie's viral websites, with plenty of shots from LaSalle St. in Chicago.  I can also confirm that the first six minutes of the movie -- shown in front of the IMAX version of I Am Legend -- is as good as others have said it is.  UPDATE:  Speaking of which, someone was very, very naughty.  Hope you get there before the lawyers do!

TERROR in the US:  Two men accused of plotting behind prison walls to launch Jihad-style attacks on military sites, synagogues and other targets in 2005 pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiring to levy war against the United States.

TERROR in the UK:  Investigators examining the bungled terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow six months ago believe the plotters had a link to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.  While officials stopped short of saying that the plot originated with Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, or was directed by the group, they did say it was the closest collaboration they knew of between the Iraq group and plotters outside the Middle East.

TERROR in ALGERIA:  Two convicted terrorists who had been freed in an amnesty carried out the suicide bombings at UN and government buildings that killed 37 people, an Algerian security official has said.  Hey, you can't just lock terrorists up indefinitely; that would be, y'know, not nice.

IRAQ:  Oil production is above the levels seen before the US-led invasion of the country in 2003, according to the International Energy Agency.  Britain's weekend handover of Basra province will have a limited effect on security in Iraq's biggest oil region because rival Shiite warlords and local officials have been wielding the real power in the area.  Basra's police chief says the Brits left the city in chaos, though this was the subject of debate back in October also.  In addition, the Iraqi Army now has four brigades and an Iraqi Special Operations Forces battalion in Basra province... though the police chief might argue that is part of the problem.  Elsewhere in the south, Shiite leaders are reimagining Najaf as a new hub of Shiite political and economic power, not just for Iraq but for the entire Middle East.  Iran is playing a significant role in the plan, which would further weaken the Iraqi central government.  Kurdish leaders rule out a Kurdish state but stress they want a continued US presence in northern Iraq and a strategic alliance similar to that between the Washington and Baghdad.  More than 20 Turkish planes took part in airstrikes early Sunday against Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, Turkish media reported.

GLOW-IN-THE-DARK KITTIES!  Just in time for the holidays!

MONKEYS AMOK in New Dehli, as the Indian government is cracking down on thousands of roaming monkeys after the deputy mayor reportedly died while fending off monkeys.  Let's go to the video.

A PUPPY in Cambodia teaches a drunken man not to urinate through the owner's fence.

SHARK 1, Kangaroo 0.

CRINKLY the UGLY SWAN may finally have a girlfriend.

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Van Morrison, AA Bondy, Magnetic Fields, Cutout Bin, Mutant Mice   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 14, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with VAN MORRISON!  Arguably at the height of his artistic powers, live at London's Rainbow Theatre, July 24, 1973.  Your setlist includes "Warm Love," "Take Your Hands Out Of My Pocket" (Sonny Boy Williamson), "Here Comes The Night," "I Just Want To Make Love To You," "Brown Eyed Girl," "Moonshine Whiskey," "Moondance," "Help Me" (Sonny Boy Williamson, Ralph Bass, Willie Dixon), "Domino," "Caravan," and "Cyprus Avenue."

CHRIS CORNELL and his family were allegedly stalked by a man with a gun.

BEST of 2007:  Stereogum reveals the winners of the Gummy Awards, so that those who voted can rip on the selections in the comments sections.  Welcome to the Internet.  NME's list is also discussed at the 'Gum.  Baltimore's City Paper has an overall Top Ten plus writers' individual picks.  The A.V. Club Top 25 list has embedded audio.

AA BONDY:  His brooding brand of Americana impressed folks at the CMJ showcases this fall; Brooklyn Vegan has some background and embedded videos.

THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME inductees for 2007 are announced.  No real surprises, except that the Beastie Boys missed the cut.

MAGNETIC FIELDS:  An advance track from next month's LP, "California Girls," has nothing to do with the Beach Boys.

THE POGUES:  The Scotsman sorta reviews the band's pre-Christmas tour, which " is now as much of an institution as the traditional sport of offering amateur opinions on Shane MacGowan's wellbeing..."  Which means it's time for their classic "Fairytale of New York," which features Kristy MacColl by circumstance.

CAT POWER:  Matador has posted some video of Chan Marshall working on the upcoming Jukebox covers LP in a darkened studio.  Marshall is doing charity work in Africa before the album is released in January.

RICHARD BUCKNER talks to DC's Express about the value of having other players interpret his ideas.  There's a video at the link, and you can stream a few tracks via BucknerSpace also.

BRIGHT EYES:  Conor Oberst talks to the A.V. Club and reveals an understandable but (imho) misguided opinion about "crossover success."  It is possible to have commercial success without sacrificing artistic integrity.  I think he would be better off asking why people can not only buy his record, but also enjoy Britney Spears making a fool of herself.

THE ACORN talk to the 'Gum about their day jobs.  There are MP3s at the link, but you can also stream a few from Glory Hope Mountain via AcornSpace.

FEIST was interviewed and played "1 2 3 4" on the Today Show, where Al Roker confessed his secret love of the banjo.  This time around, her choir of indie all-stars is decked out in Feist-y letter sweaters.  I will say the Today crew knows how to do a light show.

LED ZEPPELIN reunion video was being yanked from YouTube without authorization from Warners or the band.

CARBON/SILICON:  Mick Jones and Tony James were interviewed for The Bryant Park Project, and squeezed in one of their songs.

THAX DOUGLAS is the subject of a new documentary, which will be insanely funny to a select few.

MARK MOTHERSBAUGH's career in Devo, movie soundtracks and beyond is the subject of an in-depth profile in the L.A. Weekly.

CUTOUT BIN 2.0:  This Friday's fortuitous finds can be streamed individually or jukeboxed at the new Pate page on the ol' HM!  It's a whole new world, people.

BRITNEY SPEARS -- and this will shock you -- really wasn't all that sick when she decided to blow off her court-ordered deposition, according to a source close to Spears.: "She did feel sick, but more than anything, she felt like she didn't have to do something just because she was told."   The pop tart had a quick recovery, too, based on the video of her driving around until 2 a.m.  People magazine has a sneak peek at her new video.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are I Am Legend, starring Will Smith and currently scoring 54 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the CGI-ed Alvin and the Chipmunks, which is scoring 28 percent; and The Perfect Holiday, which is scoring 20 percent.  Atonement and Juno expand to more screens.  The Kite Runner, currently scoring 63 percent, opens on 35 screens.

EVA LONGORIA & TONY PARKER are denying claims that model Alexandra Paressant slept with the NBA star.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Holmes tells InStyle magazine what turns on Cruise... and it's not weird per se, though Holmes might have wanted to go with something more conventional.

AWARDS SEASON:  Nominees for the 65th annual Golden Globe Awards were announced Thursday.  Kudos to Amy Adams and Cate Blanchett, as well as TV's Mad Men and The Tudors...but there were big snubs for movies and TV also.  Roger Friedman reminds us that the Globes are not a reliable predictor of the Oscars, largely because the Hollywood Foreign Press tends to favor big stars it can invite to the telecast.

DAVID HASSELHOFF was taken to hospital suffering alcohol poisoning twice in three days, according to reports.  Is he taking the official return of Knight Rider to network TV that hard? (KITT pics at the link.)  Both things will make it tough to jump in his car.  BONUS:  Revisit the Hoff's drunken pizza episode.

THE MOST OVERPAID CELEBRITIES, according to Forbes magazine.

THE TOP TEN AWKWARD MOMENTS of 2007, according to Time magazine.

AL SHARPTON:  Teams of federal agents swooped down on up to ten of the Reverend's close associates, demanding the flamboyant clergyman's financial records since 2001.  Sharpton reacted exactly as you would imagine.

ALIEN vs. PREDATOR 2:  You can watch the first five minutes online at Yahoo! Movies.

CARDSTACKER Bryan Berg -- who once taught design in Pate's hometown of Ames, IA -- and his record-breaking card buildings are featured in the Daily Mail, with embedded time-lapse video.  There are additional videos at his site.

AL GORE:  The former Veep's rise as a climate-change celebrity has proved highly lucrative.

NORTH KOREA may have given arms to Lebanon's Hezbollah and Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, according to a report compiled for Congress.  Paris Intelligence Online, a French Internet publication that specializes in political and economic intelligence, is cited in the new report as saying that the program began in the 1980s with visits by Hezbollah members to North Korea for training and expanded after 2000.

PAKISTAN intelligence agencies claimed to have foiled an Al Qaeda plot to assassinate Pres. Musharraf and have arrested some activists of the global terrorist network.  The runup to the general elections next month has seen the breakup of opposition alliances and the emergence of a potentially powerful anti-establishment bloc which includes civil society (lawyers, sacked judges, doctors and journalists), militants and al-Qaeda.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio maps the state of Concerned Local Citizens groups in 12 of Iraq's 18 provinces.  The Mahdi Army is using a new generation of youths, some as young as 15, to expand and tighten its grip across Baghdad, but the ruthlessness of some of these young fighters is alienating Sunnis and Shiites alike.   Civil defense members found 14 Iranian-made rockets in Wasit province, south-east of Baghdad and handed them to coalition forces, the US-led military said overnight.

CHARLIE, an eight-year-old Bichon Frise, threw the 15th annual World Pie Eating Championship into chaos.  Video at the link.

MUTANT MICE fear no feline!  Video at the link.

SCORPIONS on a PLANE panicked passengers and delayed a Vietnam Airlines  domestic flight by two hours.

UNICORN DEER snapped in the woods around Elma, NY.

FAMILY DOGS apparently saved a Queensland toddler from drowning after he fell into a dam.

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Ike Turner, Sharon Jones, Okkervil River, Trout Breakout   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 13, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

IKE TURNER, whose role as one of rock's critical architects was overshadowed by his ogrelike image as the man who brutally abused former wife Tina Turner, died Wednesday at his home in suburban San Diego. He was 76.  AOL has your photo gallery and Tubed clips, including 'Proud Mary' and 'River Deep Mountain High.'

SHARON JONES bristles at the notion that she is part of a trend: "People ask, 'Are you trying to create a classic soul sound?' I ain't creatin' nothing. Every time I open my mouth, this is what's going to come out."  And you can hear or watch what that was like when Ms. Jones and the Dap-Kings played Morning Become Eclectic, which is streaming via KCRW.  And you can see video of the recording of "Answer Me" over at the 'Gum.

OKKERVIL RIVER has released a free covers EP for the holidays.

LEVON HELM:  The legendary drummer-vocalist for The Band -- and his recovery from throat cancer -- were featured on Fresh Air and can be streamed via NPR.

BILLY BRAGG writes that the saddest thing about the Morrissey-NME spat is the singer resorted to the courts to stifle his critics: "Had Morrissey claimed freedom of speech in his own defence, I would have supported his stance.  Yet Bragg adds the caveat, "unless he has been misrepresented," which suggests he also supports Morrissey for going to court if he's right (and that he doesn't believe Morrissey is right).

JOHNNY CASH, with June Carter Cash, family and friends, on "The 12 Days Of Christmas."  Fish, meet barrel!

THE LEE VEES:  Guster guitarist Adam Gardner talks about his Hanukkah-themed side project with the Boston Globe.  You can stream a few tracks via LeeVeeSpace.

THE TOP 50 VIDEOS of 2007, with embedded videos, according to the staff at Pitchfork.

LED ZEPPELIN was talking about playing NYC after their triumphant reunion gig in London.

DINOSAUR, JR.:  Lou Barlow talked to The Daily Iowan about that band's successful reunion: "I like the idea of us being classic rock, in that Black Sabbath sense... I'm kind of down with that. I don't think we're as good as Led Zeppelin, but in a punk-rock or indie-rock sense, I do think we have that classic idea."

JESSICA ALBA: Knocked Up!  Cue Vader!  Alba and Cash Warren had split last summer -- reportedly because Alba wanted to wed -- but the two reconciled, obvs.

KEIFER SUTHERLAND is being deluged with fan mail in jail.

SHIA LeBEOUF:  Charges were dropped against the star of Transformers and the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull by the Windy City Walgreens, where the glassy-eyed actor was busted last month on a misdemeanor criminal trespassing charge.

PAM ANDERSON & RICK SALOMON:  First comes lust, then comes marriage, then comes the couple in a (sur-)reality TV show.

GWEN STEFANI is starting a college-scholarship fund for students affected by this fall's California wildfires.  Stefani already donated about 160K in proceeds from her Oct. 30 concert in San Diego to the San Diego Foundation fire-relief fund.

BRITNEY SPEARS eloped with the shify Sam Lufti?  I'm not buying it, though he's the one telling the press that Spears skipped her scheduled deposition due to "high anxiety."  Fed-Ex's attorney indicated he "will pursue" a court sanction against the pop tart for failing to show.  Access Hollywood has a piece on her toxic diet of caffeine drinks and fast food -- as though that's the reason for her mood swings and the real threat to her liver.  And she is considering a role as the Virgin Mary in a new satire titled "Sweet Baby Jesus."

BRADGELINA was named US Weekly's Couple of the Year, which is amusing given that US Weekly has been needling the couple ever since they struck up a cozy relationship with rival People magazine.

EVA MENDES would rather go naked than wear fur?  Not really.

ARE TV NETS DYING?  NBC has quietly begun reimbursing advertisers an average of 500K each for failing to reach guaranteed ratings levels, the first time a network has taken such a step in years.  CBS, ABC and Fox also are doling out make-goods. They have blamed softness on a new ratings formula, but media agencies disagree.  The networks' problems emerged even before the Writers Guild of America went on strike November 5.

AWARDS SEASON:  What if they held the Oscars and nobody came?  Except for the Screen Actors Guild's awards, attendance of nominees at all of the major awards shows is a question mark, as they would have to cross the Writers Guild of America picket line.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is advertising her new line of champagne clad only in gold paint.  Sorry, this heirhead is no Jill Masterson.  Or Dame Shirley Bassey, for that matter.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  The daughter of a British imam is living under police protection after receiving death threats from her father for converting to Christianity.

PAKISTAN:  Al Qaeda and the Taliban are targeting the nation's nuclear sites.

LEBANON:  A car bomb attack killed one of Lebanon's top generals and at least two other people Wednesday, putting even more pressure on the country's delicate political situation.  Brig. Gen. Francois Hajj was considered a leading candidate to succeed the head of the military, if Gen. Michel Suleiman is elected president.  Suspects range from the "Syrian-Iranian axis" to the al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists whom the army crushed at the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared.

IRAQ:  Prime Minister al-Maliki established an Awakening council in Samarra, while an 800-man police force was formed in Wasit province.  The Shia factions that have feuded over control of Iraq's southern oil hub Basra have proclaimed a truce, as tipped here yesterday.  US-led troops killed 14 suspected insurgents and detained several others, including an AQI leader believed to be responsible for numerous deadly attacks against US-led forces, the military said Wednesday.  The AQI leader was reportedly in command of 300 militants and responsible for the kidnapping and killing of three Iraqi national guard soldiers.

THE GREAT ESCAPE:  Trout are snapped breaking out by jumping into an eight-inch pipe which brings fresh water into a trout farm near Alresford, Hampshire.

A SEA LION is recovering after wandering dazed and confused on the streets of San Carlos, Calif.

JELLY the CAT wandered back home with a copperhead snake wrapped around her neck.  The next morning, she was almost paralyzed, but is expected to recover fully.  Pic at the link.

...AND THERE WERE CHICKEN CARCASSES all over the highway.  Fowl pics at the link.

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