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Topic: Karl

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More New Releases, She & Him, Baseball Season, Wild Croc   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

R.E.M. played 30 Rock on the Today Show.  Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin of the Venus 3 join Stipe, Buck and Mills.  Scott & Peter get caught bouncing during "Supernatural Superserious."

THE SPECIALS are reuniting with dignity.

MORE NEW RELEASES:  The new Apples In Stereo is streaming in full via Yep Roc.  Paste magazine is streaming the album from Color Revolt.  (Thx, LHB.)

PITCHFORK TV has revealed its first week's programming schedule, including The Pixies, Liars, Man Man, Jay Reatard, The Thermals, Robyn, and more...

SHE & HIM:  Fresh Air features an interview with Zooey Deschanel plus tracks from her album with M Ward, steaming via NPR.

THE BREEDERS:  The Deal sisters talk to MTV about their rural roots and songwriting.

THE PROCLAIMERS are turning to reality TV to find a third member.  Although the third member won't have to be Scottish, he will have to look like the near-identical twins, and must be able to pull off a passable Fife accent.  No word on whether contestants will have to walk 500 miles.

U2 inked a 12-year deal with Live Nation Artists that includes worldwide touring, merchandising, and the band's U2.com Web site. The deal, however, is not a true 360-degree pact, as there is no publishing component and the band retains its relationship with Universal Music to release music.

BASEBALL SEASON has brought much press about the Chicago Cubs' 100-year drought and a feature of the late Steve Goodman performing "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" from the Bryant Park Project.  I am still more partial to the Mountain Goats' "Cubs In Five."

LIZ PHAIR has signed a new record deal with ATO, the first fruit of which will be a reissue of her classic 1993 debut, "Exile in Guyville," with four previously unreleased audio tracks and a DVD documentary about the album's genesis.

HARP MAGAZINE gets an obituary of sorts at Idolator.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Roger Friedman writes that Cruise's public grovel to Paramount mogul Sumner Redstone would indicate that the actor knows just how bad Cruise's "Valkyrie" is and that he's trying to shore up his future before the eye patch hits the fan this fall.

JOHN CUSACK:  A woman who showed up Sunday outside the actor's Malibu home -- despite a restraining order barring her from approaching the actor -- was arrested on suspicion of stalking, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said Monday.  However, a year ago, the same woman was arrested outside the Beverly Hills home of Tom Cruise, also on suspicion of violating a restraining order.  Nothing screams "B-List" like getting a hand-me-down stalker from Tom Cruise.

BEYONCE KNOWLES & JAY-Z have taken out a marriage license in Scarsdale, NY, according to People magazine.

JAY LENO has apologized for teasing Ryan Phillippe for landing his first role as a gay teen on the soap One Life to Live. He also asked Phillippe to give the camera his "gayest look."

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY says JENNIFER GARNER is like Mary Poppins, with a magic bag that carries everything but duct tape.

KATE HUDSON & OWEN WILSON are reportedly apartment hunting in NYC and looking to move in together as soon as Owen is done filming "Marley and Me" with Jennifer Aniston.

BRITNEY SPEARS has turned to a familiar face for help -- on-again, off-again manager Larry Rudolph, at the behest of her dad-conservator Jamie, according to OK! magazine.

THE DEPARTED is being made into a TV series for HBO.  Will the mob boss be played by James Gandolfini?

JACK NICHOLSON was snapped frolicking in the surf on the Caribbean island of St Bart's, showing that the paparazzi are willing to embarrass anyone, not just young starlets with a few extra pounds.

MIKE MYERS' upcoming movie, The Love Guru, is under fire from some in the Hindu community.  Based on what I have heard, it will face much greater fire from those who pay to see it.

DITA VON TEESE, burlesque queen and ex-wife to marilyn Manson, was interviewed in Sunday's New York Times Magazine.  But it took London's Sun to reveal her hardcore past, including some corporal punishment and girl-on-girl action.  Of course, The Sun is not always accurate, but the censored (but still NSFW) and uncensored (and very, very NSFW) movie stills do seem to support the claims in the tabloid.  Call it Extremely Gratuitous Wednesday.

CARTOON JIHAD:  Dr. Wafa Sultan has been forced to go into hiding with her family following a fatwa from an Islamic scholar, according to Omedia. Sultan faces the fatwa following a recent debate on Al-Jazeera in which she challenged Egyptian Islamist Talat Rheim over Dutch cartoons of Mohammed, who Muslims revere as a prophet. Sultan argued that Denmark had the right to print the cartoons.

TERROR IN THE US:  A South Jersey man swept up in the alleged plot to attack Fort Dix was sentenced to 20 months in prison on weapons charges.  Agron Abdullahu of Buena Vista Township was the only one of the six men arrested last year not charged with conspiring to kill US soldiers.  But US District Judge Robert Kugler acknowledged that this was more than a garden-variety gun case and deserved a sentence to match. The term he imposed was twice as long as the sentence Abdullahu sought and four months longer than the maximum term recommended by federal probation officials.

OUR FRIENDS, THE SAUDIS:  A young Saudi Arabian woman was murdered by her father for chatting on the social network site Facebook, it has emerged.

AFGHANISTAN:  The house of Parliament passed a resolution Monday seeking to bar TV programs from showing dancing and other practices deemed un-Islamic.  The resolution, which is not now legally binding and cannot be enforced, will go before the upper house of Parliament for consideration. It would also have to be approved by the president before becoming law.

IRAQ:  Michael J. Totten has a two-parter on the liberation of Karmah -- a small city between Fallujah and Baghdad: "So many Stateside Americans still wonder aloud why mainstream Muslims refuse to stand up to terrorists, so apparently the story in Karmah - which is hardly unique to Karmah - isn't familiar enough..."  Wired's Danger Room hypothesizes that Moqtada al-Sadr was in league with Prime Minister al-Maliki to target the "rogue" Mahdi units who are operating as renegades in Basra and elsewhere, but that does not really square with reports that Iran pressured al-Sadr into declaring a ceasefire, because that would further expose the Iranian-backed splinter groups.

A 9-FT CROCODILE was chased and collared on US 441 in Florida.  Video at the link, but my favorite part is John Law's arrival on the scene: ''This is the Broward's Sheriff's Office,'' a deputy said into a bullhorn. ``Get back into the canal!''

THE DWARF CROCODILE that was stolen from a Norwegian aquarium has been returned and is recovering from its ordeal, which included having its mouth taped shut, the aquarium director said Tuesday.

ALCOHOLIC RATS cheer scientific breakthrough.

MALE DOLPHINS flash bling to pull the chicks.

POLAR BEAR SIGHTINGS are up around Newfoundland and Labrador coastal communities in Canada.  Even stranger, the reporter managed to avoid blaming global warming.

THE FLYING PENGUINS of the BBC, from April Fool's Day, icymi.

1225 Reads

R.E.M., New Releases, Bjork, Headlights, Ceiling Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

R.E.M. continue their collaboration with La Blogotheque with a Take-Away Show; watch all five videos at the link.

NEW RELEASES:  Obvs, the R.E.M. album is the big release this week.  The Black Keys release Attack & release -- the duo's first album for Nonesuch.  Albums from Los Campesinos! Gnarls Barkley, Moby and a Willie Nelson compilation are streaming in full this week via Spinner.

STEREOGUM has posted a downloadable 15-year anniversary tribute compilation of Björk's Post album.

FEIST has enlisted the help of the Calgary-based The Old Trout Puppet Workshop for the video of her latest single, "Honey, Honey," off the Grammy-nominated album The Reminder.

THE HEADLIGHTS brought their light, dreamy melodies and male-female harmonies to The Current or a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD of the UNDEAD, tells The Sun: "I smoke my head off. I smoke weed all the d*mn time. There, you've got it..."  But he claims that's his strongest drug.  He also lashes out against anti-smoking laws and says he is finding writing an autobiography difficult, thus bringing us full circle.

STEPHEN MALKMUS talks about The Jicks with the Boston Globe, and more than holds his own on FNC's demented late-night gab fest Red Eye.

STEVE EARLE & ALLISON MOORER are the musical guests on this week's edition of Sound Opinions.

THE GUILLEMOTS frontman Fyfe Dangerfield shows the Independent around the synagogue turned art gallery turned Batcave that serves as the quartet's recording and rehearsal space.

DEAN WAREHAM appears on WNYC's Soundcheck to discuss his memoir, Black Postcards: A Rock & Roll Romance.  There is also an excerpt of the book, allong with tracks from Wareham's band's -- Galaxie 500, Luna, and Dean & Britta -- at the link.

MOUNTAIN GOATS mastermind John Darnielle talks to io9 about his dystopian affinity in explaining why Ozzy Osbourne is a Sci-Fi visionary.

KATHERINE HEIGL talks to the Times of London about her TV and movie career, as well as newlywed bliss with musician Josh Kelley and her newfound desire for kids: "I think we're both on such a career trajectory right now, it would be foolish to waste the opportunities. I think he'd prefer to wait a little more time, but I kind of wouldn't, so I think we'll meet somewhere in the middle."  That is generally what produces kids.

JOHNNY DEPP has been offered ten million dollars to become the "face" of American birth control giant Trojan.

PAUL McCARTNEY was caught canoodling heiress Nancy Shevell on a paradise isle.

AMY WINEHOUSE has almost become a recluse since contracting an ugly skin condition and friends are terrified about her negative state of mind.

EDDIE VAN HALEN is just fine, thank you very much, says his son, Wolfgang.

MADONNA is the cover story of this month's Vanity Fair magazine, in which she talks about her new album, her adoption from Malawi, her directorial debut, Kabbalah, etc.  Elsewhere, Madge bizzarely compares the paparazzi's treatment of Britney Spears to the cruel conditions in Africa.

JESSICA SIMPSON was sent home from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after being treated for a kidney infection.

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD returns to make television a little bit less watchable.

WOODY ALLEN is suing the skinny jeans off of American Apparel over the use of his image on billboards and on the Internet.

LARA FLYNN BOYLE:  Plastic surgery victim.

NICKELODEON'S TEEN CHOICE AWARDS winners are here.  But it's really just an excuse to see Jack Black and Orlando Bloom get slimed.

AFGHANISTAN:  NATO leaders holding a summit in Bucharest this week are unlikely to fully meet the military requirements of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan, US SecDef Gates said Monday.  This is the theater that is supposed to have multi-lateral support.  Fortunately, there has been a dramatic fall in the number of trained Afghan soldiers leaving the Afghan National Army over last couple of years.

IRAQ:  Sources in Basra tell TIME magazine that there has been a large-scale retreat of the Mahdi Army in the oil-rich Iraqi port city because of low morale and because ammunition is low due to the closure of the Iranian border. That Iraqi lawmakers traveled to the Iranian holy city of Qom over the weekend to win the support of the commander of Iran's Qods brigades in persuading Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr to order his followers to stop military operations also speaks volumes as to the real source of the fighting and thuggery in southern Iraq these past months.  Supporters of the Sadrist movement believe the failure to rout the Mahdi Army is a humiliation for Prime Minister al-Maliki.  It is certainly true that al-Maliki seems to have blundered his way into a full-scale battle without adequate preparation and loses for failing to decisively beat the Sadrists, particularly in the context of the fall provincial elections.  But al-Maliki said Monday that security operations in Basra will continue "to pursue criminals and to stop terrorist activities," and the retreat of the Mahdi Army make it a non-victory for the Sadrists also.  Either way, there seems to be unfinished business.

A STUBBORN CAT trapped in the drywall of a Gilbert, AZ, home has finally been rescued from that house.  The owner thinks the cat could have been in the walls since mid-January.

PLANE HITS DOG, skids off runway in Bangalore.  None of the passengers or crew on the Kingfisher Airlines flight IT 2427 to the neighbouring southern city of Hyderabad were hurt and they were immediately evacuated.

THE PAPILLION DOG that vanished after the manager of a doggie day care claimed a hawk carried her off was found wandering at a nearby school Thursday afternoon.

A ROGUE BULL has been jailed in a southern town in Mexico for devouring corn crops and destroying two wooden shops.

A CROCODILE THIEF walked unnoticed out of a Norwegian aquarium at the weekend and now risks losing a finger or two, the head of the aquarium said on Monday.

1928 Reads

Stephen Malkmus, Caribou, Raveonettes, Elephant painter   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, March 31, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

WHY? has a video of "Song of the Sad Assassin" (from the Alopecia album) that looks a bit like Beavis and Butthead on a very, very bad trip.  So it was not shocking to learn that animator Mike L Mayfield has worked on King of the Hill and American Dad.

STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS played DC's 9:30 Club Friday night, so you can stream the gig on demand via NPR.

BLACK MOUNTAIN bassist Matt Camirand talks to the Vancouver Sun about "prefer(ring) the sound and equipment that bands used in the late '60s and '70s, compared to stuff that's coming out now."

IDOLATOR asks a related question -- "Why Buy Digitally Recorded Albums On Vinyl?"  At Matador Records, Partrick suggests the answer is that there is something pleasurable about the entire package that you cannot get from a download.  He also has some interesting backstory about why Tower Records went under.

CARIBOU played DC's Rock and Roll Hotel last night, so you should be able to stream the gig on demand today via NPR.  Mastermind Dan Snaith answers six questions for the Washington Post -- including, "What's a guy with a PhD in mathematics - who studied algebraic number theory - doing in a field like this?"

PHOSPHORESCENT uses an odd winter gathering to frame "A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise."

RAY DAVIES plays mostly songs that have inspired him over the years as Guest DJ for NPR's All Songs Considered.

GUNS N' ROSES, after going years without management, will now be represented by Irving Azoff and Andy Gould, the management team that has most recently handled Guns spinoff project Velvet Revolver.  So we may be getting those cans of Dr. Pepper after all.

THE RAVEONETTES played the World Cafe Friday afternoon, so you can stream the gig now via NPR.

X frontwoman Exene Cervenka talks to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about the age barrier in rock and band's landmark "13-31 Tour," a 31st anniversary trek featuring original members Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom and D.J. Bonebrake.

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

BRADGELINA was the subject of a new round of marriage rumors, this time coming out of N'awlins.  But it appears that the ever-reliable Star has some egg on its face.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: 21 hit a surpise jackpot of 23.7 million and the highest per-screen average of the weekend.  Horton Hears a Who drops to second with 17.4 million, but that's a mere 29 percent drop from a long Easter weekend and it has made 117.3 million to date.  Superhero Movie made 9.5 million -- about half of what the original Scary Movie made in 2000.  Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns skidded 61 percent to fourth place with 7.7 million.  Fifth goes to Drillbit Taylor, which looks to be Judd Apatow's second flop.

STOP-LOSS debuted in eighth place at the box office with 4.5 million, which makes it quite unlikely it will recoup its 25 million budget.  People at the studios -- in this case Paramount -- attribute this to people not being ready to deal with the Iraq war, as opposed to concluding that people do not want to see a movie where the US military is painted as the villain.  Again.  There has been quite a good market for movies where the US government is the heavy, pushing current hot-button issues -- the Bourne franchise being an obvious example.  There just doesn't seem to be a market for movies wherer the military or the troops are put in a bad light.

BRITNEY SPEARS is having regular colon cleansing sessions at a clinic in Beverly Hills.TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise and Paramount mogul Sumner Redstone are settling their differences and getting ready to work together again.  Katie Holmes is in final negotiations to make her professional stage debut on Broadway.

GEORGE CLOONEY galpal Sarah Larson's modeling career consisted mostly of being paid by promoters for clubs, magazines and radio stations to attend special events in sexy outfits and party with her wild girlfriends.  The ever-reliable Star magazine links to the risque pictures.

HEATH LEDGER may have fathered a secret love child with an older woman when he was 17-years-old, according to a news report in Australia.

MADONNA wants to remake Casablanca - and this time set it in Iraq. It's sure to be as big a hit as any of her recent movies.

THE FRENCH HOTEL thinks her "hard work" has been "an inspiration for a lot of girls out there."  Not even OK! magazine is buying that.

JENNIFER ANISTON  was looking cozy with Orlando Bloom at newly opened restaurant Beso in Los Angeles.

SWIMSUIT SPECTACULAR:  Moviefone has galleries of the hottest women and men ever to sport swimsuits in movies, as seected by over 12 million voters.  Call it Gratuitous Monday.

GO, SPEED, GO!  Entertainment Weekly has exclusive new pics to go with the magazine's cover story on the Wachowskis' big-screen reimagining of Speed Racer.

DITH PRAN, the photojournalist whose nightmarish experiences in Cambodia were the basis for the film The Killing Fields, has passed away in New Jersey.

AL QAEDA is training operatives who "look Western", with a view to having them enter the United States undetected to conduct terrorist attacks, according to CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden.

IRAQ:  In a possible turning point in the recent upsurge in violence, Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his Shiite militiamen off the streets Sunday but called on the government to stop its raids against his followers.  The government welcomed the move, which followed intense negotiations by Shiite officials, including two lawmakers who reportedly traveled to Iran to ask religious authorities there to intervene.  The Iraqi government is due to lift a curfew in Baghdad.  Fighting continued in the Basra area after the announcement,so Michael Yon may yet prove correct in believing it's likely to get worse before it's better.  Though reports had the Iraqi initiative stalling against Shia militia in Basra, the Mahdi Army has taken high casualties.  The renewed fighting between Shiite militias and US and Iraqi troops has forced a temporary re-evaluation of strategy in Diyala province, leading to a pause in some operations targeting al-Qaida in Iraq.  The NYT has an assessment of the internal politics of the fighting.

ELEPHANTS have been trained to paint their self-portraits.

A 6-FT, 200-LB BEAR has been perched high above a Central Florida neighborhood for hours Friday after it was chased up a tree by two 6-month-old kittens.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A two-headed calf, born in Van Alstyne, TX.  Video at the link.

OODLES OF POODLES:  A Chilliwack standard poodle has whelped a record brood: 16 puppies.  Pic at the link.

THE WORLD CAT CONGRESS is now in session in Houston, TX.  Could actually get less done than US Congress, United Nations.

1281 Reads

Zombies, Replacements, Andrew Bird, Cutout Bin, Liger   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, March 28, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:

... with THE ZOMBIES!  The original lineup is touring behind their 1968 album Odessey & Oracle, for the first time ever, but are playing the hits, too.  They kicked it off at the Shepherd's Bush Empire earlier this month, with selections including  "She's Not There," "Say You Don't Mind" (which may give you problems, depending on your (IE) browser), "Maybe After He's Gone," "Brief Candles"Hung Up on a Dream," "Changes," "Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)" a fab take on "Time of the Season,"  Brian Wilson fans will note Darian Sahanaja sitting in on 2nd keyboards.

THE REPLACEMENTS' deluxe reissues of Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the TrashStink, Hootenanny, and Let It Be are coming next month.  Rhino is now streaming a selection of 'Mats songs in Real AudioWindows Media and glorious Quicktime.  Your playlist -- "I Will Dare," "Take Me Down to the Hospital,""Kick Your Door Down," "Dope Smokin' Moron," "Hootenanny," "Johnny's Gonna Die," "Sixteen Blue," "Kids Don't Follow," "Within Your Reach," "Unsatisfied," "Shiftless When Idle" and "Stuck in the Middle."  You will have to det the discs to hear that unreleased take on the DiFranco Family's "Heartbeat, It's a Lovebeat."

GUNS N' ROSES:  Dr Pepper says it will give a free can of Dr Pepper to "everyone in America" (excluding ex-GNR members Slash and Buckethead) if the lost "Chinese Democracy" album arrives anytime during the calendar year 2008.  Axl Rose is surprised by the announcement, but says he will share his can with Buckethead.

THE ROLLING STONES:  Martin Scorsese talks to the Orlando Sentinel about the band's influence on his filmmaking, as well as his Stones concert documentary, Shine A Light.  You can stream the doc's soundtrack via iMeem.

ANDREW BIRD is blogging about songwriting for the New York Times, along with Roseanne Cash and Suzanne Vega.

THE B-52s:  Fred Schneider talks to Canada's Sun about the 16-year-gap in making the band's new album, Funplex, and its surprising emphasis on sex.  The band has a new clip for the title track; you can still stream the album over the weekend via Spinner.  BONUS:  The B-52's perform "Rock Lobster" at the Downtown Cafe in Atlanta, Georgia in 1978, about a month before the release of their first album.

SHEARWATER frontman Jonathan Meiburg talks to Pitchfork about ornithology and the band's upcoming album, Rook.  There is also an advance track, "Rooks."

XIU XIU explain to Pitchfork why bluegrass is the original goth music, how to con your grandmother into buying you a guitar, and where to buy that rare album when you're on the West Coast.

JASON COLLETT:  The Broken Social Scenster talks to Canada's Sun about his latest solo LP, sincerity vs. irony, and more...

CUTOUT BIN: From Genesis to Emma Franklin, from The Sonics to Vera Lynn, from Ben Folds to Jimi Hendrix, from the Jesus & Mary Chain to Petula Clark to She & Him covering The Beatles and The Lemonheads covering Suzanne Vega, this Good Friday's fortuitous finds overfloweth, and can be jukeboxed or streamed individually on the Pate page at the ol' HM.

MILES FISHER does an excellent spoof of the Tom Cruise scientology videos in Superhero Movie.  Fortunately, I can watch it on the Internet and avoid the rest of the flick.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases include the Superhero Movie parody which has been embargoed or not screened for critics; the card-counting drama 21, which is currently scoring 41 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the Iraq war drama Stop-Loss, which is scoring 56 percent; and Run, Fat Boy, Run, which is scoring 46 percent.

KATE BOSWORTH & JIM STURGESS got so blotto on Grey Goose that they do not remember much of their love scene for 21.

LINDSAY LOHAN, star of Mean Girls, has now signed on to to star as Nancy Pittman, once a loyal member of Charles Manson's not-so-merry band, in the movie Manson Girls.

JESSICA LANGE, through her rep, denies that she has had plastic surgery, but a picture is worth a thousand words.

BRADGELINA's next baby pics may sell for as high as ten million dollars.  One magazine editor who asked to remain anonymous said, "It's at the point now where some stars might decide to have more kids just to collect the money from their photos."

KIRSTEN DUNST has been calling friends -- including her ex-bf and co-star Tobey Maguire -- to make amends, which happens to be step nine of most 12-step programs.

JOHN HUGHES -- the writer-director behind teen comedies liek "Sixteen Candles," "Pretty in Pink," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "The Breakfast Club" -- hasn't set foot in Hollywood for years, but his influence has never been more potent, according to the L.A. Times.

GORE, KEANU BARADA NIKTO!  Keanu Reeves stars as Klaatu in the upcoming remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still, in which the threat to Earth is not nuclear war, but environmental calamity.

WHEN THE WHIP COMES DOWN:  The twenty-five most emasculated, disempowered, henpecked husbands on the planet, according to GQ magazine.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA:  The ladies of BG go all Barbarella for a piece in the April issue of GQ magazine.

THE STANS:  The US has escalated its unilateral strikes against al-Qaeda members and fighters operating in Pakistan's tribal areas, partly because of anxieties that Pakistan's new leaders may insist on scaling back military operations.  OTOH, the return of millions of refugees is seen as one of the great success stories of post-Taliban Afghanistan. More accurate than any poll, aid workers like to say, this flow of people is tangible evidence that Afghans themselves think their country is improving.  Meanwhile, members of the Taliban dream of retaking huge chunks of Pakistan as part of Afghanistan under their rule, which seems as likely as the proposed Islamic State of Iraq that never came into being.

IRAQ:  The New York Times and the Times of London both report that the Iraqi government's offensive against Shia militia gunmen is faltering.  However, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pledged there will be "no retreat" and Muqtada al-Sadr wants a "political solution" to the crisis.  At the Counterterrorism Blog, Andrew Cochran calls it a "budding disaster," though that may be a bit premature.  It does appear that the Iraqi Army was not prepared to fight in Basra's narrow streets with its current vehicles, and PM al-Maliki is now reaping what was sown with Mahdi Army infiltration of Iraqi police forces.  However, even the typically pessimistic Anthony Cordesman notes that Basra is a special case.  Abu Muqawama elaborates, noting that the Brits adopted a "peacekeeping" mindset in Basra and never really engaged in a broader COIN or CT effort.  That meant that all the myriad Shia groups were able to pursue their (relatively) non-violent political agenda and consolidate control over the political levers of city.  At CNN, Michael Ware points out that Iran has squeezed al-Sadr to keep breakaway factions of the Mahdi Army fighting US and Iraqi forces.  Maj. John Tammes, who has always been a straight shooter with me, is close to some of the action and comments that "this was brought on, in part, by the fed up residents of Basrah who want an end to the militia crap - kidnappings, violence, etc. Since the IA and the Coalition are pushing AQI further up North and out, the Iraqis figure it is better to confront the problem now, rather than wait for it to get worse..."

SINBAD the LIGER:  Scientists are still trying to figure out how these hybrid cats dwarf their parents in size.  Let's go to the video.

HAWK DOGNAPS A PUPPY from doggie day-care.  Video at the link.

NEWTS take over a £1m home in Dauntsey, Wiltshire, by adverse possession.

A TORTOISE that smokes and appears to be addicted to nicotine has been discovered in China's northeastern province of Jilin.

WOMBAT falsely accused of raping a man and causing him to adopt an Australian accent.  Really.

1185 Reads

Spinto Band, She & Him, Sons & Daughters, Petra update   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, March 27, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE SPINTO BAND is poppy as ever on "Summer Grof," an advance clip from the forthcoming Spinto Band release, Moonwink.

THE RACONTEURS' Brendan Benson talks to Newsweek about the surprise release of the band's new album, his iPod Nano commercial commercial, and more...

SHE & HIM fill out a questionnaire for Canada's Exclaim!  What are your current fixations? She: Bobbie Gentry, Marvin Gaye, pumpkin seeds. Him: The Louvin Brothers.  You can stream their album in full via Merge.

GARY LOURIS:  The ex-Jayhawk tells The Phoenix his goal as a solo artist is "to make more records more often. I have a lot of material, and I'm just trying to figure out the musical waters here."

SONS & DAUGHTERS, known for dark folk-punk, have brought in strains of '60s pop and garage rock for their new album, influenced by producer and ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler (who is also mentoring Duffy).  You can stream a bunch of tracks via S&DSpace.

THE ROLLING STONES perform "Ruby Tuesday" on a show whose copyright holder is usually more vigilant.

JULIANA HATFIELD is blogging about her guilt, shame, and embarrassment at being part of a system that exploits women/people and their art -- and taking a blowtorch to MTV's The Hills (and herself for watching it).

BELL X1 stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

THE CURRENT has shrun its playlist as its ratings have delined, according to the Mpls City Pages.

TUPAC SHAKUR:  The L.A. Times will launch an internal investigation into the authenticity of documents used in a story last week asserting that the newspaper had uncovered new evidence implicating associates of rap impresario Sean "Diddy" Combs in a bloody 1994 assault on the hip-hop superstar, after the celebrity-centric website, The Smoking Gun, posted a story saying the records -- purportedly statements by an unnamed informant to an FBI agent, which the newspaper posted on its website -- appeared to be forgeries.

RICHIE SAMBORA is off the wagon and arrested for DUI in Laguna Beach.  The Bon Jovi axeman may be criminally charged with child endangerment because his 10-year-old daughter Ava and another juvenile in the car (along with another adult).

ROBIN WILLIAMS and Marsha Garces Williams, married in April 1989, are splitting up.  Williams had dumped his first wife for Garces, who had worked for Williams as a nanny and personal assistant.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Katie Holmes is finally cracking under the strain of life with Tom Cruise, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine, which tells of increasingly common fainting spells.

BRITNEY SPEARS seems to be reporting to work, making regular visits with her sons and focused on taking her life back.  So perhaps it's no coincidence that the paparazzi are moving on, perhaps to Miley Cyrus.

RICHARD WIDMARK, who made a sensational film debut as the giggling killer in "Kiss of Death" and appeared in some 40 films, including "Judgment at Nuremberg," "How the West Was Won," and  "Murder on the Orient Express," died after a long illness. He was 93.

KATE MOSS reportedly is set to wed her rocker boyfriend Jamie Hince.  The supermodel reportedly told fans the pair were going to 'get married' as they enjoyed a trip to Amsterdam.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Heather Mills is trying to prove Sir Paul is worth much more than the £400million he claimed in their divorce battle.  Mills also has told friends she cannot look after their daughter Beatrice on £35,000 a year, the sum awarded at the High Court.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  A new study suggests as many as 4000 Muslim teens and young adults simply vanish every year -- forced into arranged marriages by family members through abduction, rape, and threat of death.

IRAQ:  Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki gave gunmen in the southern oil port of Basra three days to surrender their weapons and renounce violence as clashes between security forces and Shiite militia fighters erupted for a second day.  Moqtada al-Sadr has demanded that the country's prime minister leave Basra.  Bill Roggio notes that the current Iraqi offensive has been anticipated for some time. The Iraqi Army and police have been massing forces in the South since August 2007, when the Basra Operational Command was established to coordinate efforts in the region. As of December the Iraqi Army deployed four brigades and an Iraqi Special Operations Forces battalion in Basra province. The Iraqi National Police deployed two additional battalions to the province.  Armed clashes have resumed in Sadr City, stronghold of the Sadrist movement in Baghdad, between Iraqi and US forces on one side and militants on the other, while US helicopters shelled the city of Tikrit.  NPR has started a series on the Major Crimes Task Force -- Iraq's first professional investigative agency, which takes on the politically explosive cases no one else will touch.

PANDA SEXERCISE:  Zoo keepers at the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre in the Sichuan province, South West China, are putting their charges through a rigorous exercise scheme - mainly involving apples - with the aim of improving their mating skills.  Let's go to the video.

PETRA UPDATE:  The black swan who once fell in love with a swan-shaped paddleboat has been dumped by her beau, and is reuiniting with the boat on Friday.

FISH may be able to count, but scientists are testing a plan to train fish to catch themselves by swimming into a net when they hear a tone that signals feeding time.

SNAKE in a KITCHEN:  A Belfast woman got more than she bargained for when she reached for a bin bag under her kitchen sink.  Karen Kennedy and her fiance both thought the other was playing a practical joke.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  These sneaky, militant rodents socially-network better than Kevin Bacon.

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