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Topic: Karl

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Roy Orbison, Black Keys, Castanets, Nick Cave, Biker Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS adds 25 selections to the National Recording Registry, including: "Oh, Pretty Woman," Roy Orbison (1964); "Tracks of My Tears," Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (1965); "Thriller," Michael Jackson (1982); "Call it Stormy Monday but Tuesday is Just As Bad," T-Bone Walker (1947) and more...

DESTROYER: Dan Bejar talks to the Calgary Herald, revealing a blase attitude toward a four-star review in Rolling Stone.

THE BLACK KEYS played DC's 9:30 Club the other night, so you can stream the gig and an interview on demand now via NPR.

BLONDIE drummer Clem Burke talks to Pitchfork about a deluxe reissue and two solid months of special shows on both sides of the Atlantic celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Parallel Lines album.

CASTANETS: Ray Raposa did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, three of which are previously unreleased.

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS bring "More News From Nowhere" from the "Dig, Lazarus Dig!" album. Possibly mildly NSFW.

OKKERVIL RIVER frontman Will Scheff talks to Tiny Mix Tapes about the band's higher profile, touring, and doing things that seem like horrible ideas.

NEIL YOUNG plans to finally release his comprehensive "Archives" of music, videos and other material dating back to 1963 on a series of interactive Blu-ray discs.  And he's got a promo video for it.

LAURA VEIRS answers five questions for Muzzle of Bees.

BON IVER: The Mps City Pages allows Justin Vernon to vent about doing inteview after interview as "that guy with the cabin."

JESSICA SIMPSON reportedly went binge drinking on the day that ex-bf John Mayer went public with Jennifer Ansiton. The pneumatic blonde's rep denies that she has split from Dalls Cowbows QB Tony Romo. E!'s Marc Malkin reports that Romo will be Simpson's date when little sister Ashlee marries Pete Wentz this weekend.

JEN & JOHN, meanwhile, were... wait for it... caught canoodling backstage at a mayer concert in Orlando, FL.

BRADGELINA: Jolie confirms she is carrying twins in an interview with the "Today" show's Natalie Morales.

BRITNEY SPEARS has sparked fresh pregnancy rumors after she was snapped cradling her swollen-looking stomach on a shopping trip, though she has been snapped smoking near her Los Angeles home.

AMY WINEHOUSE & PETE DOHERTY, in a scene recalling the famous face-off moment in Alien vs Predator, were snapped pressed up against each other for a goodnight kiss outside Winehouse's Camden pad the other night. Winehouse can breathe a sigh of relief; she won't be charged by police for a drug video that allegedly shows her using a crack pipe.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON & PENELOPE CRUZ are set to steam up screens with a racy scene, set in a red-tinted photography dark room, which features in Woody Allen's upcoming release Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The women later have a menage a trois with Oscar winning actor Javier Bardem, who is Penelope's real life boyfriend.  We already have a trailer.

HALLE BERRY is denying she's engaged to her boyfriend and baby daddy Gabriel Aubry, despite sporting a diamond ring on her left hand at an event over the weekend.

KATE HUDSON is denying she's engaged to Owen Wilson.  Indeed, E! and People claim the duo is dunzo and quite the bad break-up at that.

JODIE FOSTER has ended her 14-year lesbian relationship with film producer Cydney Bernard, just four months after she broke her silence about the relationship, which was long an open secret in movie circles.

GYLLENSPOON have "been talking marriage for a while," a source close to Reese reveals to OK! magazine.

MADONNA, following the lead of Oprah Winfrey, is making a "huge investment" in a girls' school in Malawi. Madge's investment plans come on the eve of a court ruling which is expected to grant her full custody of two-year-old David Banda.

MAXIM'S HOT 100 for 2008 is out with Sport Illustrated cover girl Marisa Miller in the top slot. The full photoset is online. Miller was followed by Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Eva Longoria Parker, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Elisha Cuthbert, Eva Mendes, Christina Aguilera, Lindsay Lohan and Ashley Tisdale in the top 10.  There are some very wrong choices as well as rankings. The inclusion of barely legals from the cast of High School Musical at the expense of women like Katherine Heigl and Natalie Portman has a faint whiff of creepy.  And Britney Spears at No. 19?  Have they been in a coma for a year?

ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG, pioneer of pop art, Monday of heart failure at his Florida home; he was 82.

NANOTECH: A new technique in paint making could soon make almost any surface germ-free.

LEBANON: The US-backed Cabinet on Wednesday reversed measures against Hezbollah that set off Lebanon's worst violence since the 1975-90 civil war. The decision was a major victory for the Iranian-allied Hezbollah and the latest sign that the Shiite militant group appeared to have gained the upper hand in the country's political power struggle after its fighters routed supporters of the government.

IRAQ: Prime Minister al-Maliki took personal charge Wednesday of a military operation to rout AQI in Mosul, which the US describes as the terror group's last major stronghold, even as a tenuous cease-fire took hold over Baghdad's Sadr City slum. US troops went from house to house on Wednesday in Baghdad's Shiite stronghold looking for bombs and arms ahead of an Iraqi army deployment in line with a new truce, witnesses and officials said. An eight-year-old girl strapped with explosives has blown up and killed an Iraqi army captain near Youssifiyah, south of Baghdad.

COLBY the LAB loves the sidecar of a 1957 Chang Jiang 750 motorcycle. Let's go to the video.

SNAKE MAN escapes from his Austrian jail cell by squeezing through a food hatch in the door.

POLAR BEARS were declared a threatened species Wednesday because of the loss of Arctic sea ice, but the Interior Department also cautioned the decision should not be viewed as a path to address global warming. It turns out that the North Pole is becoming warmer and that the South Pole is becoming colder.

GIANT BEETLES - some the size of a child's hand - were seized by customs agents in Philly from an overseas package after postal workers heard the insects making scratching noises.

GIANT PANDAS at China's most famous panda park, the Wolong centre, were safe and well following a huge earthquake that struck the area, state press said Tuesday.

38434 Reads

Last Shadow Puppets, Cameron McGill, Duffy, Cat & Horse   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS:  Their debut video in the UK was the epic "The Age Of The Understatement," but their live take on "My Mistakes Were Made For You" on Later with Jools Holland is quite nice also.

CAMERON McGILL: The Champaign-Urbana born singer-songwriter stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming via MPR.  With a full band, he's pretty Uncle Tupelo-esque.

MORE NEW RELEASES:  You can stream the new albums from Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Sloan via their labels. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

PETER MOREN of Peter Bjorn & John is blogging his solo tour at Billboard, including his recent gig at Schuba's.

GORDON LIGHTFOOT gets his own stamp from the Canada Post Corporation, along with Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, and Paul Anka.

DUFFY talks to Canada's Globe & Mail about race, geography and looking forward to a gig at the Apollo Theatre.  Which is as good as an excuse to relink the title track from "Rockferry," and throw in her cover of Madonna's "Borderline" from the BBC's Big Weekend show (incl. a bit of "Someday, We'll Be Together").

MONITOR MIX: Townes Van Zandt, The Small Faces, The Undertones, The Libertines and more are in Carrie Brownstein's latest mix... but why not the Grateful Dead?

THE HOLD STEADY gets a rave advance review for the Stay Positive LP at Uncut.

CLINIC: The art-punk quartet stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set streaming via MPR.  Ade Blackburn talks to Drowned In Sound about the band's new album, their hometown of Liverpool, Radiohead's internet release of In Rainbows, and more...

OKKERVIL RIVER loses keyboardist Jonathan Meiburg, who will focus on fronting Shearwater.

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ will wed Saturday, May 17 at a "top secret" location, a source close to the couple told Usmagazine.com.

JESSICA SIMPSON & TONY ROMO, otoh, are reportedly dunzo, though their reps deny it. More dish. Just don't let him sing.

JEN & JOHN:  Are Jennier Ansiton and John Mayer using each other for mutual PR?  Or are they longtime friends with benefits? Both? Neither?

RYAN ADAMS & MANDY MOORE were snapped shopping together at Meltdown Comics and Collectibles and Vintage Gear Guitar Shop in Los Angeles. Adams is looking extra wacky these days.

BRADGELINA: Pitt seems to have a map of the levees in New Orleans tattooed onto his back.

BRITNEY SPEARS hit a red Ford Explorer on Sunset Blvd. in Beverly Hills.  Oops, blah, blah, blah.

BEYONCE KNOWLES has reportedly gained a lot of pregnancy weight: "When she gains weight, she normally does the Def Jam detox, but not now."

SHIA LeBEOUF admits in the new GQ: "I've been in love with every woman I've ever worked with" - a list that includes Megan Fox, Sarah Roemer and Michelle Monaghan. But some weren't available, and "there's the three-month attention span that actors have. I don't know if it's mutual, but I really don't care. They have to kiss me when 'action' gets called, anyway, so I'll get what I want."

WILLIAM SHATNER tells Page Six his romantic partners would dramatically gasp, "So, this is what it's like to be in bed with Captain Kirk!" Shatner laughed, "You can't imagine how much of a downer that is in every sense of the word."

LINDSAY LOHAN has apparently made up with girlfriend DJ Samantha Ronson.

THE TOP 5 MOVIE STAR GAP ADS, courtesy of Armchair Commentary.

IRENA SENDLER, credited with having saved the lives of some 2500 Jewish children in the Warsaw ghetto during WWII, died Monday at age 98.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS: To some, Saudi Arabia's first women-only hotel is a sign of progress, a place where women can conduct business without interference in a male-dominated society. But others say the new hotel simply reinforces gender segregation in a nation that still doesn't let women drive. ALSO: Al-Qaeda has sent a message over the Internet to its operatives in Saudi Arabia calling on them "to leave the country for Yemen, lest (you) be killed or arrested by Saudi security forces."

LEBANON: The Lebanese army, which has virtually stood by and watched Hezbollah militants take control of parts of Beirut unopposed, last night vowed to use force to impose law and order from 6am Tuesday.

IRAQ: Iraqi troops have begun operations in Qurnah north of Basra. Prime Minister Maliki denied the Basra operation is fully underway. Iraqi troops are operating in the Mahdi Army-controlled neighborhood of Shula in Baghdad. Despite a declared ceasefire, Shiite gunmen loyal to Moqtada al Sadr and Iranian influenced "special groups" are continuing to attack US and Iraqi forces in Baghdad's Sadr City. mostly along the three-mile wall US soldiers are building on al-Quds Street, which separates the southern Jamilla and Tharwa neighborhoods of Sadr City from northern sectors. Iraqi troops captured two senior AQI leaders near Mosul while five soldiers were killed and four wounded in a bombing in the city.

CAT & HORSE, plus creepy cute music.

HAIR of the DOG: Sold in a glass bottle with a contented German Shepherd pictured on the label, beef-flavoured Dog Beer is being pioneered at a Derby pet shop.

GREAT TITS are coping well with global warming in Britain.

HEY, is that an iguana in your pants, or are you... oh, it is an iguana.

A COW stares unamazed -- and unharmed -- after a head-on collision with a car in Switzerland. Cow!

2106 Reads

Morning Benders, New Releases, MMJ, Cursive, Kitties!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE MORNING BENDERS perform a live unplugged version of "Crosseyed" in the hills of Berkeley.

NEW RELEASES: Death Cab for Cutie, We Are Scientists, Tim Fite and Frank Sinatra are among the albums streaming in full this week via Spinner.  The Black Angels release Directions to See a Ghost (psychedelic). Duffy releases Rockferry. Vetiver releases Thing of the Past -- an album of covers of 1960s Americana, including tracks by Guthrie disciples Michael Hurley, Derroll Adams, Townes Van Zandt, and others. The Old 97s reunite and Blame It On Gravity.

FOREVER CHANGES: The increasingly-recognized classic LP from Arthur Lee & Love gets some appeciation in the Irish Independent: "It's impossible to reduce Forever Changes to a single soundbite such as "psycheldelia" or "rock". Mariachi horns, strings, intertwining guitars and folk and baroque elements fuse to produce one of the most singular set of songs recorded..."

THE KILLS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

SILVER JEWS frontman David Berman shares his top five musical moments with The Scotsman.  The first is well-known to Pate fans.

MY MORNING JACKET played "Evil Urges" and "I'm Amazed" on the Peacock last weekend, which makes a nice Twofer Tuesday.

THE BLACK KEYS talk to DC's Express about the recordings they made for the never-completed Ike Turner album, and adapting their newest material for their live show.

CURSIVE did three free songs for Daytrotter, including two previously unreleased tracks.

ANDREW BIRD blogs his four days recording at the Wilco Loft for the New York Times.

NEKO CASE:  An essay at PopMatters examines the "world" created by Case's most recent material.

LINDSAY LOHAN (Ugly Betty cameo aside) seems to have become a Hollywood pariah.  And she reportedly has a full-blown fight with her girlfriend, DJ Sam Ronson.

BEN AFFLECK blames starring in then-fiancee Jennifer Lopez's "Jenny From The Block" video for nearly ruining his career.  Which probably makes him feel better about himself than blaming a lack of talent or hideous choices in movie projects.

KATE HUDSON & OWEN WILSON engagement rumors are now rampant in the British press.

DENNIS FARINA, often cast as a foul-mouthed mobster or cop, was busted for bringing a gun to LAX.

JEN & JOHN: The papararazzi serve up more pics of John Mayer and Jennifer Aniston cuddling up at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Miami.

SPEED RACER: You can watch the first seven minutes of the big summer bomb at Yahoo! Movies.

BUCK ROGERS reportedly will return to theaters in a movie directed by comic book icon-turned-filmmaker Frank Miller.

BRADGELINA: Pitt helped Bono celebrate his 48th birthday in Monaco.

GWYNETH PALTROW:  People magazine has some video from her food & travel show, scheduled to air this fall on PBS.

HAYDEN PANETTIERE has been dogged by rumours she is a lesbian?  I haven't heard that, so it sounds like a PR gambit.

MEGAN FOX (Transformers), FHM magazine's Sexiest Woman in the World, was snapped topless on the set of her new movie, Jennifer's Body.  Call it Gratuitous Tuesday.

MILITARY RECRUITMENT: Every service branch in both active duty and reserves have made their April targets as well as the year-to-date goals.

MIDEAST MYSTERY: Syria went to extraordinary lengths to conceal its undeclared construction of a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor from spies in the sky and on the ground in recent years, according to a draft report by independent nuclear experts briefed by Bush admin. officials.  One author of the report said his conclusions were based not only on photographs of the Syrian site but also on interviews with government officials who closely monitored the facility while it was under construction. RELATED: At least 40 developing countries from the Persian Gulf region to Latin America have recently approached UN officials to signal interest in starting nuclear power programs, a trend that concerned proliferation experts say could provide the building blocks of nuclear arsenals in some of those nations.

IRAQ: Sadrists may be reneging on the new truce in the Sadr City area of Baghdad. Bill Ardolino goes on a night patrol through Shorja Market, the most famous market in Iraq with the Al Sadria Sons of Iraq and soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division. Basra has been transformed by its own surge, now seven weeks old. Just as in Baghdad, Iraqi and Western officials emphasize that the gains here are "fragile," but in interviews across the city, residents overwhelmingly reported a substantial improvement in their everyday lives.  Refugees returning to al-Bata and al-Hemidat are reconciling, but face the challenges of reconstruction after the devastation of war.

KITTIES on a TREADMILL: Let's go to the video.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A bee with three heads.

GREAT WHITE SHARK repelled by Stooge-Fu.

RESCUE DOGS working with Chinese firefighters have been given leather shoes. Pic at the link.

MARMITE the JACK RUSSELL TERRIER was rescued from a watery hole by a psychic pet detective.  Take that, Ace Ventura!

1985 Reads

British Sea Power, Dr. Dog, AMC, Green Puppy   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, May 12, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

GNARLS BARKLEY got it "Going On" in their latest video.

BRITISH SEA POWER played the World Cafe on Friday; you can stream the gig on demand via NPR.

CLOUD CULT concerts don't end with the encore; they end with a bidding war. After every performance by this rising Minneapolis rock band, fans vie in a silent auction for one-of-a-kind souvenirs from the show: pictures painted to the music by the group's two on-stage artists.  Video at the Wall Street Journal.

DR. DOG stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

JACK WHITE talks to the Times of London about how The Raconteurs differ from the White Stripes, along with anecdotes from his days in the upholstery business.

AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB scores Grace Zabriskie for the video for "All the Lost Souls Welcome You to San Francisco."

MARTHA WAINWRIGHT tells the Telegraph about the soap opera of her family life, while the Times of London has free downloads from her new album, I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too.

MISSION OF BURMA frontman Roger Miller talks to Drowned In Sound about the band's reformation: "As for the present, we still pay for the van, eat better than we did before, and generally drink higher quality beer than we used to. The whole thing's a bit of a trip, but we still enjoy each other's company in the van, and our amusement factor has not diminished."

SYD STRAW talks to LAist about about songwriting, her amazing long list of collaborators, officiating at weddings, and starting her career singing backup for Pat Benatar.

CHARLIE LOUVIN talks to the Charlotte News & Observer about making music at 80: "I'm often asked, 'When you and your brother were recording these songs, did you think they'd still be viable 50 years down the road?' My answer is, absolutely not..."

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Iron Man dominates the cineplex for a second weekend, making another 50 million.  that's a 48 percent drop from its opening, but for a 100 million+ opening, a 50-60 percent drop would have been typical. Worldwide, the Golden Avenger has pulled in over 276 million in two weekends. Meanwhile, Speed Racer spun out massively and may not beat the low-rated rom-com What Happens In Vegas for second place when the actual receipts come in.  The otherstudios claims the WB is inflating the estimates.  Even a 20 million take is far below even the tepid tracking numbers oif 30-35 million last week.  Even worse, Speed Racer seems to be tanking overseas , where anime is a bigger draw than in the US.  Prince Caspian arrives Friday, which gives Speed little hope of pulling out of this tailspin.  Everything else in the Top ten dropped a few slots, though Forgetting Sarah Marshall only dropped from fifth to sixth, while Harold & Kumar dropped from fourth to seventh.  Notably, with the exception of Made of Honor, the mid-budget pics are generally proving profitable.

THE 50 MOST MEMORABLE MOVIE CARS, courtesy of RottenTomatoes, just to take the edge off that bad Speed Racer news.

INDIANA JONES and the LONG KNIVES of the INTERNET:  The New York Times looks at the efforts of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to keep you from seeing advance reviews of the upcoming Indy 4, especially bad ones like the one linked here last week.  Indeed, the NYT investigated and finds reason to believe it was a legit review.

R. KELLY allegedly paid off a woman to get her to return an incriminating sex tape featuring the R&B singer, a judge was told in closed-door hearings last month.  Jury selection in the long-delayed trial began Friday.

JEN & JOHN:  Singer John Mayer flew to Miami Wednesday to re-connect with Jennifer Ansiton, just five days after he was caught canoodling a blonde.

KATE HUDSON & OWEN WILSON are rumored to be engaged, after the actress was spotted sporting a diamond ring on her wedding finger on Thursday.

JESSICA BIEL & JAKE GYLLENHAAL are among the big names sidelined when David O. Russell's indie political comedy Nailed was shut down by the Screen Actors Guild on Friday because of insufficient funds on deposit with the guild.

ALEC BALDWIN told 60 Minutes that he might run for political office someday.  He might want to start with the presidency of the Film Actors Guild.

JAMES PACKER, who had ranked as Scientology's wealthiest member in the world, has left the sect to which he was introduced by Tom Cruise.

JAYDE NICOLE has been crowned Playboy's Playmate of the Year for 2008.  More SFW pics at the link, along with the obligatory turn-ons and turn-offs.  Not that there are not NSFW pics floating around the net.  She reminds me more than a little of Hugh Hefner's ex-gf Barbi Benton.

LEBANON: Hezbollah and its allies began withdrawing their gunmen from Beirut Saturday evening, and it is pretty clear the government lost.  The army offered to broker a face-saving solution by promising to "investigate" Hezbollah's controversial private telephone network without damaging the group's defenses. It also proposed to retain the current chief of airport security, a Hezbollah ally whom the government had tried to fire.  Some believe that the government may have won a moral victory by abstaining from large-scale violence in response to Hezbollah's aggression, while the terror group its promise to use its weapons only against Israel.  But moral victories won't accomplish anything against a terror army which was able to seize about 75 percent of Beirut in a couple of days.

IRAQ: Followers of Muqtada al Sadr agreed late Friday to allow Iraqi security forces to enter all of Baghdad's Sadr City and to arrest anyone found with heavy weapons in a surprising capitulation that seemed likely to be hailed as a major victory for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki.  The deal was reportedly brokered with help from Iran. It is not clear who won, though the political establishment appears to have turned against the Sadrists, at least for now.  Blogger Bill Ardolino was able to make a day trip into Sadr City on Saturday.  And -- as I suspected -- a man detained Thursday in northern Iraq is not the leader of AQI.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A green puppy. This is CNN.

COW gives instant media criticism in Sacramento.  Let's go to the video (unless it's near meal time).

PYTHON vs CAT ends all too predictably. X-Ray at the link.  Extra sad: "Three other kittens from the same litter and five adult cats were looking on."

GRIZZLY BEAR VICTIM drives 25 km through the wilderness to safety.  Man vs. Nature.

THE BIRDS: Debbie Shoemaker was wading in waist-deep water in the Gulf of Mexico when she felt something like "a big hard punch in my face."  A pelican had just flown into her, its beak piercing her cheek.

GIANT CHICKEN on the loose in Holland.

1388 Reads

Box Tops, Last Shadow Puppets, Cutout Bin, Speed Racer   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, May 09, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE BOX TOPS!  Before tackling the power pop of Big Star and becoming an icon of proto-indie rock, Alex Chilton cut his musical chops as the singer for this blue-eyed soul group out of Memphis.  Best known for their take on Wayne Carson Thompson's "The Letter," which ruled the charts in 1967, the follow-up, "Neon Rainbow," would get as high as No. 24 later that year. "Cry Like a Baby" was a major hit in 1968.  They hit the Mike Douglas Show for a twofer of "Turn On a Dream" and "Soul Deep," the latter being their final Top 40 hit.  The group became increasingly disenchanted with the managers, lawyers, and promoters that exploited them; the band would dissolve by February 1970.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED show cases "great music from bands we'd never heard of before," including Bowerbirds, Amber Rubarth and Try Me Bicycle.

THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS, a/k/a Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane of The Rascals, did a chat and stripped-down mini-set for the World Cafe you can stream on demand via NPR. You can stream their full album of symphonic, '60s-tinged pop through the weekend via Spinner.

THE CAVE SINGERS vocalist Pete Quirk talks to DC's Express about switching to neo-folk from the post-grunge sound of the now-defunct Pretty Girls Make Graves.

EL PERRO del MAR: Sarah Assbring talks to Vancouver's Straight about how mortality affected the recording of the just-released From the Valley to the Stars.

THE TING TINGS: "Shut Up and Let Me Go" is the track of the new iPod ad, which is a good excuse to relink the new single, "That's Not My Name."

PAUL WELLER turns 50 this month. The Telegraph surveys three distinct chapters of his life in music.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND also gets a profile in the Telegraph, talking about all of the band's perceived influences.

THE KILLS get a profile in Metro Toronto and a rave live review from Frank Yang at Chromewaves, with plenty of A/V linkage.

CUTOUT BIN: From Marilyn Monroe to Richard Hell, from Smoosh to The Supremes, from the Woodentops to Wilco, Elvis Costello and the Starland Vocal Band, this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

SPEED RACER, as you'll see in the next blurb, is getting mostly bad reviews, with some critics really hating it.  I completely understand why, but cannot bring myself to hate it, and not just because I love the original cartoon.  The script is a disaster.  It is on the one hand over-plotted, with too many bit characters whose relevance is never fully explained.  On the other hand, it often fails in basic exposition in ways that distance you from the movie.  A number of the bad reviews find the Wachowskis' "car-fu" so unrealistic that they never feel as though the characters are in real peril.  I did not have as much of an issue with that as with the failure of the script to establish a particular level of cartoon action, so that you know what the rules of "car-fu" are.  Thus, the race that works best is the road rally in the second act, because we instinctively understand the more realistic environment better.  The track races which bookend the film are less satisfying because their exposition is non-existent, leaving the viewer clueless as to the relative import of the twists, turns, obstacles, etc.  The Wachowskis would even have done well to take the remixes of the Speed Racer music that plays over the end credits and bring them into the movie itself; the limited animation of the 60s original required that the tension and drama be carried in no small part by that music.  All of that being said, the movie is a psychedelic visual feast.  There is plenty of racing action for the kids, and some solid family messages for a family movie. I found myself leaving the theater liking it, despite its major flaws.  But I would have loved to love it.

NOW SHOWING: In addition to Speed Racer, which is currently scoring 35 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's other wide release is the rom-com What Happens in Vegas, which is scoring 42 percent. It is probably another big weekend for Iron Man, methinks.

LIV TYLER & ROYSTON LANGDON have decided to separate, her rep confirms to People magazine.  Wasn't my fault.

MINNIE DRIVER denies that musician Craig Zolezzi is the father of her unborn child, adding that he is English and "sort of in the same business." And she's got a countrified music albuum coming out, with cameos from Ryan Adams and his band The Cardinals, as well as Liz Phair.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Part of her return appearance from CBS's How I Met Your Mother is already online. The ever-reliable Star magazine claims that the pop wreck and Fed-Ex are having weekly steamy phone sex sessions, which if true disproves the existence of God.

JEN & JOHN: After filming for three months in Miami, Jennifer Aniston has big plans for the wrap party of Marley & Me, including a special performance by her new man, John Mayer.  Plus, we have a lovely new profanity-laden video, "Makin' Music with John Mayer," courtesy of FunnyOrDie.

LINDSAY LOHAN has a new song, "Bossy," posted online. She really needs to get movie work. Really.

KATHERINE HEIGL would like to leave Grey's Anatomy for more movie works, but she's under contarct to the ABC show.

INDIANA JONES and the KINGDOM OF UH-OH: An early review at Ain't-It-Cool-News (w/spoilers) is not good.

THE SPIRIT: Will Eisner's 1940's classic comic is headed for the big screen, thanks to Frank Miller (The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, 300).  Trailer at the link (current temp score from The Untouchables).

JESSICA ALBA competes in a staring contest to boost boyfriend Cash Warren's Internet startup, iBeatYou.  Video at the link.

GLOBAL WARMING may cause Greenland to gain independence from Denmark.

IRAN & IRAQ: Iran has protested to Iraq over reports that Baghdad had backed the United Arab Emirates' claim to three islands in the Gulf, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

IRAQ: Iraqi soldiers for the first time warned residents in Sadr City to leave their houses, signaling a new push by the US-backed forces against Shiite extremists who have been waging street battles for seven weeks.  The leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, was arrested in the northern city of Mosul, the Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman said Thursday. News of the arrest was also reported by Iraqi state television, but the US military has not confirmed the report. I'll believe it when I see it.  Bill Roggio has  background on al-Masri.

BABY HEDGEHOGS: Awww...

BABY GIRAFFE: Awww...

A MISSING CAT in Cornwall, England, is spotted by a woman nearly 4000 miles away in America, via webcam.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Militant squirrels are secretly behind the kamikaze iguana who took down the electrical grid in Taramac and Pompano Beach, FL.

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