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Topic: Karl

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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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More Zep, Dirty Projectors, The Darkness, Wii Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

LED ZEPPELIN REDUX:  NME is collecting the Tubed video from the reunion show.  Your pick to click? "Kashmir," though "Good Times, Bad Times" would have been even better without the feedback.  And :42 of "Rock and Roll" leaves you wanting more.  BONUS:  At Glide, Ace Cowboy has a fab video from Ween.  Yes, Ween.

BEST of 2007:  At Chromewaves, Frank Yang has an A/V-laden "Class of 2007."  And don't forget Largehearted Boy's continuously updated list of lists.

FEIST. who nearly drove off the road in a blizzard when she got the good Grammy news, got tourist tips for Japan during an interview for Thirsty. (Thx, LHB.)

LET IT DIE: 23 Songs That Should Never Be Covered Again, with embedded videos, courtesy of the A.V. Club.

THE DIRTY PROJECTORS play some of their ethereal re-imagining of Black Flag's Damaged album (w/video) for The Bryant Park Project, streamable via NPR.

THE NATIONAL:  Aaron Dessner relives the story of how his latest album - Boxer - nearly didn't happen at all.

THE DARKNESS wuz robbed when "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" only made it to No.2 in the UK for 2003.  Frontman Justin Hawkins was reportedly very bitter about the defeat.

CHRISTMAS NUMBER ONES:  At the Guardian's Music Blog, Peter Robinson argues that Simon Cowell and X Factor are killing the UK holiday tradition, leaving it to indie bands to set things straight.  Malcolm Middleton talked to Drowned In Sound about his entry, "We're All Going To Die" (w/ embedded video) and had nice words for The Black Arts' entry (w/link).

LILY ALLEN covers ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky."  Not bad, though I still prefer the original.  The Decemberists, too.

FIERY FURNACES:  Matthew Friedberger talks to the Montreal Gazette about the band's classic rock influences, while sister Eleanor Friedberger talks to the Boston Herald about selling album-oriented progressive music to the singles-driven iTunes throng.

NELLIE McKAY stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set, including "A Christmas Dirge," which you can stream via MPR.

AMY WINEHOUSE  is "determined" to make it to the Grammys.  She's currently in a program being supervised by doctors - and, her rep said, writing a lot.

 

BRITNEY SPEARS wanders lost and aimless in a parking garage near the Hustler store on Sunset Boulevard.  Maybe she was freaking over her imminent deposition.

MADONNA stands ready to help Hillary Clinton combat the Oprah-powered campaign of Barack Obama.  Somehow, I don't see the HRC camp as eager to invite those "Blonde Ambition" references.  Madge was also seen with what looked like two black eyes - prompting renewed speculation that she has had a facelift.

ALEX TREBEK suffered a heart attack, but it's not final jeopardy for the game show host.

CHARLIZE THERON wuz robbed!  Really, not in the awards season sense.

JODIE FOSTER came out of the panic room and paid tribute to her lesbian partner of more than 15 years - in a thank you speech at an awards ceremony, finally confirming Hollywood's most open secret.

THE SPICE GIRLS played to a half-empty Mandalay Arena auditorium in Vegas the other night.  Ouch.

JESSICA BIEL was voted the "cleanest" female celebrity by SoCal Cleanse Detox users, while Amy Winehouse was voted the "dirtiest."

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE was recently named King of Sex by Rolling Stone magazine, and he insists that trumps George Clooney and Brad Pitt's poll-topping achievements.  Juliette Lewis -- who dated Pitt pre-Jolie -- might just agree with him.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie Jolie calls her blonde-haired blue-eyed natural child Shiloh, 20 months, the "outcast" in her ethnically diverse family.

PEE WEE HERMAN is looking to expose himself in theaters again: "A lot of the kids who grew up with the show are young adults. The college kids are middle-aged adults. I feel like I have enough of a built-in audience to make back an investment."

THE OLSEN TWINS are the latest target of PETA, which has launched a new ad campaign unveiled at the Olsens' Walk of Fame star on Hollywood Boulevard.

AWARDS SEASON:  The Critics' Choice Awards nominees are announced.  The winners usually end up being a good Oscars barometer.

JESSICA SIMPSON is chasing a movie role requirng a number of quite graphic scenes including a full-frontal nude scene.  The pneumatic blonde is also reportedly mad at pal Eva Longoria for being friendly and polite to Simpson ex John Mayer, though Simpson's rep denies it.

ISLAMISM IN CANADA:  A 16-year-old girl has reportedly died after being choked by a man believed to be her father, apparently after a dispute with her family over her refusal to wear the hijab, the Islamic headscarf worn by some Muslim women.

PAKISTAN:  The nation's main alliance of Islamist parties was near collapse Tuesday after cancelling a last-ditch meeting to resolve differences over a possible election boycott, party officials said.

IRAN needs to install 50000 centrifuges within five years so it can make enough fuel for one nuclear power plant, Pres. Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday.  The Iranian opposition group that first exposed Iran's nuclear-fuel program said the new US National Intelligence Estimate is correct that Tehran shut down its weaponization program in 2003, but claims that the program was relocated and restarted in 2004.  However, the National Council of Resistance of Iran is controversial, to say the least, so take it with a grain of salt, though it does gibe with prior statements by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.  Iranian and UN nuclear officials began a new round of talks to probe the source of traces of weapons-grade uranium found at a university in Tehran.

IRAQ has asked the UN Security Council to extend the mandate of US-led foreign forces for another year, saying it will be the last extension and it may ask for the mandate to be ended early.  A suicide car bomb exploded near the homes of senior Iraqi politicians in Baghdad on Tuesday, killing two people and wounding 12.  An "honor agreement" among southern clans sets the stage for the handover of security authority in Basra.  Marine Corps Maj. Gen. W.E. Gaskin says that he believes the postive trends in Anbar province are "permanent."

Wii DOG will take you on at video tennis.

PETS of BEL AIR, a trendy pet shop that boasts Paris Hilton, Denise Richards, Demi Moore, Britney Spears and Robin Williams among its clientele, gets their puppies from puppy mills, according to the Humane Society of the United States.  The L.A. Dept. of Animal Regulations has shut the store down, reportedly because three of its permits have expired.

GIANT SPIDER attacks the space shuttle.

DEAD PARROT returns to haunt its owner in a bag of cheese and onion crisps.  African Grey -- beautiful plumage.

DEAD DALMATION is paid tribute in housepaint by his former owners.

WHEN GEESE ATTACK:  Don't expect a big payout from the jury.

WHEN SHARKS ATTACK:  Don't figuratively get right back on that horse.

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Art Goats, Wilco, Led, Zep, Best of 2007, Otis Redding, Kung Fu Monkey   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

EDDIE ARGOS joins THE MOUNTAIN GOATS on a rendition of the MG's "Best Ever Death Metal Band Out Of Denton" at the Pineapple Folk Yuletide Gathering, Union Chapel, London.  Because nothing says Yuletime like a hearty chorus of "Hail Satan!" (Thx, LHB.)

WILCO has announced it will play "five shows exploring tha band's complete recorded works" at Chicago's Riviera Theater in February.  Details at the link.  Frontman Jeff Tweedy gets a decent profile from the Associated Press. There's also an alternate version, with some different material... which is kinda Wilco-esque.

LED ZEPPELIN played their first concert in 19 years, before nearly 20K fans at London's 02 arena.  The progenitors of heavy metal get rave reviews from the Guardian to the Sun, from the Telegraph to the Scotsman, from the NME to MTV, from the Times of London to the NYT to the Hollywood Reporter.  These gents may just have a future in the business of show.  JAM! has a song-by-song review.   Here's live footage in an ITV report.  And a few seconds of fan footage of the historic opening.  UPDATE:  And a minute of "Black Dog" from Auntie Beeb.  And some bootalicious "Stairway to Heaven."

NEW RELEASES:  Virtually nothing during the holdiay season.  The Bear Hands EP, the "I Hate CDs" compilation and the the Rumble Strips EP (again) are streaming via Spinner.  If you like the hippety-hop, there's new stuff from Beanie Siegel, Hi-Tek and the Wu-Tang Clan.

BEST of 2007:  Dodge is streaming tracks from his Fave 50 Albums at MOKB, along with honorable mentions and more.  I know I'll be checking out bands I overlooked.  PLUS:  Lists from Drowned In Sound and various music-bloggers are discussed at the 'Gum.

OTIS REDDING died in a plane crash on Lake Monona, Wisc., 40 years ago yesterday.  Check out his masterful appearance on Britain's Ready Steady Go! (Part1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

CHRIS ISAAK, with a song he wrote almost 60 years ago, "Let It Snow."  Add in a Christmas music medley at KFOG, and you have your Twofer Tuesday.

KEITH RICHARDS, LORD of the UNDEAD, is reissuing his 1978 solo single "Run Rudolph Run" on iTunes just in time for the holidays.   The single went on sale Monday, prior to Richards' 664th birthday.

GOOD FOR THE JEWS played some of their "Putting the Ha! in Hannukah" set for The Bryant Park Project, streaming on demand (w/video) via NPR.

NICOLE ATKINS talks to Frank Yang at Chromewaves about the various styles on her Neptune City album, which comes out in Canada today.  I blurbed her last month, when she appeared on Letterman.

ROSANNE CASH back home recovering comfortably from her brain surgery last week.  Best wishes to her.

QUIET RIOT singer Kevin DuBrow died of an accidental cocaine overdose, the coroner in Las Vegas said Monday.

LINDSAY LOHAN is now banned from the Shutters on the Beach Hotel in Santa Monica after she spent three days in their holed up with her now ex-boyfriend Riley Giles, according to the ever reliable Star magazine. The terrible twosome reportedly spent their time depleting the mini-bar and leaving dirty towels and cigarette butts strewn about their suite... plus a bloody syringe that someone left lying on the bedside table on a room service tray.

BRITNEY SPEARS:  Gas station manager Sham Bahia laughed off the pop tart's theft of a cigarette lighter.  A photographer returned to the store Saturday and paid for it.  Meanwhile, Spears pal Sam Lufti is nowhere near the pop tart since Us Weekly exposed details of his seedy past.

THE FRENCH HOTEL was at the center of a bizarre nightclub incident when she comforted an Oompa-Loompa injured when the crowd rushed the stage.  She wants an Oompa-Loompa now!

ELLEN DeGENERES, trying to revamp her image after regifting her adopted dog Iggy, is teaming up with former Meow Mix owner Richard Thompson to rebuild shabby animal shelters across the US.

MICHAEL VICK:  ICYMI, the disgraced fmr Falcons QB was sentenced to 23 months in prison for financing a dogfighting ring and helping to kill pit bulls that did not fight aggressively.

GARY COLLINS will not be prosecuted for manslaughter, even though the man he hit the night he was busted for DUI died.

GEORGE CLOONEY will make his second trip to war-torn Darfur, though he's blunt about what he's done for Darfur so far: "You want the truth? Absolutely nothing. People can march and pat each other on the back, and concerts will happen, and the simple truth is there's still the exact same issues going on."

JACK NICHOLSON reckons he could have fathered as many as 9000 kids.  I'm guessing that's one more thing his lawyer would have advised against saying.

ATONEMENT and JUNO both did well in limited release last weekend, while John Cusack's Iraq war-themed Grace Is Gone did not (much like all the other Iraq-themed flicks this year).  NPR has a piece on Atonement with videos -- including a clip to match an excerpt from the book.

AWARDS SEASON:  NY critics pick the Coen Bros.' No Country for Old Men as best picture.  LA critics pick Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood.  I just hope an East Coast-West Coast gangsta war can be avoided.

THE DARK KNIGHT:  Those first six minutes of the Batman Begins sequel that got raves last week will appear as a preview in Imax theaters before "I Am Legend," which opens Friday.

INDIANA JONES IV:  USA Today has the poster for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull along with some very light spoilers (much lighter than others I've linked here before).

WALK HARD:  The first ten minutes of Judd Apatow's parody of rock biopics is online.  But to see Jenna Fisher you'll have to watch the clip for "Let's Duet."

VENEZUELA:  At Newsweek, Fmr Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda writes that Pres. Hugo Chávez tried to overturn the results of Venezuela's recent constitutional referendum but was rebuffed by the military.

AFGHANISTAN:  Taliban fighters ran away from the only major Afghan center they held after heavy aerial bombardment Sunday night.  Musa Qala had become the main center of drugs trading in Afghanistan.  However, they are expected to regroup and try to stage a counter-attack.  In Sangin, Taliban fighters hanged a 12-year-old boy from a mulberry tree, claiming he was passing information on Taliban roadside bomb attacks to police and British forces, Afghan police have said.

IRAN:  Students defied a clampdown on protests in Iran by tearing down the gates of Tehran university.  They chanted slogans against Pres. Ahmadinejad and carried placards saying "Live free or die", "No war, no fascism" and "Women must decide their fate, not the state."  They wrecked the iron-barred gates and threw stones at police, according to Iranian state radio, which said the protest ended peacefully.

IRAQ:  The Chicago Tribune reports on the new US base near the Iranian border.  Iraq's foreign minister insisted a new security pact with the Americans will set a time limit on the US troop presence in Iraq.  The LA Times claims Iraq remains balkanized in a piece on the need for national reconciliation and reconstruction in 2008.  Michael J. Totten interviews Marines with the 3rd Battalion 5th Regiment's India Company about pushing the insurgents out of Fallujah.  Guerilla groups in Diyala province are uniting to combat AQI, under the delightful name, "Direction of Revenge Operations."

KUNG FU MONKEY:  That chimp is fast as lightning.

EAT MORE BEAVER:  Advice from the Riverfront Times in St. Louis.  Levent Blayock says the party really gets hopping, with kids paddling each other and women screaming.

A GREEK PARROT is facing a $650 (£320; 444 euros) parking ticket.

AN ENGLISH PARROT is driving its owner insane by mimicking his mobile phone's ringtone.

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Jens Lekman, Alex Chilton & Yo La Tengo, SFA, Cat-sicle   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 10, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

JENS LEKMAN did an interview and four-song set to watch over at Spinner.

THE WHITE STRIPES:  The band's future is cloudy following an abrupt cancellation of its tour amid concerns over Meg's health, but Jack White tells the L.A. Times he's staying busy: "Half of me was glad because I have three other records I'm working on and I didn't have any time to work on them, and I was really getting worried that I might have to not do these things I wanted to do because of the touring."

ALEX CHILTON joined YO LA TENGO on the fourth night of the latter's traditional Hanukkah run at the legendary Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ.  Brooklyn Vegan has video, including covers of the Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale" and The Kins' "'Til the End of the Day."

BEST of 2007:  NPR reviewers Bob Boilen, Carrie Brownstein (of Sleater-Kinney), Will Hermes, Tom Moon and Meredith Ochs are streaming the year's surprises, innovations and letdowns.  Top 50 lists from MOJO and Q magazine are discussed at the 'Gum, along with Filter magazine's Top Ten.   And don't forget Largehearted Boy's continuously updated list of lists.

LED ZEPPELIN is now in the midst of a major promotional deal involving both ESPN and the NFL.  With the big reunion show looming tonight, Ten Zen Monkeys looks at the Top Ten Pillars of Led Zeppelin Mythology, while Ireland's Independent looks at the pre-Zep careers of John Paul, Jimmy and Robert. JAM! looks at their post-Zep careers.

RAY CHARLES:  Albany, GA, unveiled a revolving, lighted bronze statue of Charles on Friday in the middle of a new downtown plaza that bears the R&B legend's name.

CHRISTMAS SONGS:  The staff at Spinner has compiled lists of the 12 Best and 12 Worst songs of the season.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS has a video for "The Gift That Keeps Giving" that is quite evil, though maybe not as bad as John Cale's "Gift."

SLY and the FAMILY STONE finished a four-night stand in NYC, so Brooklyn Vegan can give you a peek at the reclusive Sly's state of mind.

INGRID MICHAELSON, riding a wave of television placements, played the World Cafe Friday, so you can stream the whole gig on demand via NPR.

FERRABY LIONHEART:  The L.A.-based singer-songwriter did the free songs thing over at Daytrotter.

JOE STRUMMER widow Lucinda Mellor has unearthed a trove of unseen lyrics, cartoons, and other memorabilia, which is now set to be compiled in a new book.

PHIL SPECTOR has finally found a new lawyer for his murder retrial, which the lawyer proposes to begin in September 2008.

PETE DOHERTY:  A Babyshambles fan sang and played guitar with his idols at the NME Awards launch party after the trobled singer was taken ill.

BRITNEY SPEARS shoplifted a lighter from a gas station... and bragged about it to the paparazzi about it.  Like that's not going to come up in some future child custody hearing.  The pop tart previously lifted a wig from the Hustler store in L.A.

LINDSAY LOHAN makes news going out in a see-through top.  The Sun's pic does not make this as clear at the photos at Egotastic.

THE FRENCH HOTEL desperately wants her ex, Stavros Niarchos, back, say sources who have followed her antics in Miami last week.  Page Six reports Greek shipping heir Niarchos was with Brandon Davis' ex-girlfriend, Caroline Vreeland; he was also recently linked with La Lohan.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND is a "model prisoner," says a spokesman for the Glendale City Jail.  Sutherland spent his first full day on Thursday folding jail laundry.

FALLEN IDOL:  Fmr "American Idol" finalist Jessica Sierra -- busted last week for disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest -- has learned that a major pr0n company has obtained a vdeotape featuring her -- and they're preparing to distribute it.

DANIEL BALDWIN had his probation revoked and is under an arrest warrant for his failure to appear at a progress report hearing after his arrest last year for possession of drug paraphernalia and for being under the influence.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  The Golden Compass won the weekend with a lackluster 26 million, falling short of expectations (30-40 million).  The hoped for franchise-starter had a budget of 180 million and a reported 60 million in marketing costs.  Enchanted took second with ten million on a mere 34 percent drop.  In third place was This Christmas, the surprise family comedy, which earned five million.  Fred Claus clawed back to fourth with 4.7 million.  Beowulf rounds out the Top Five with 4.4 mil; its global total so far just about matches its 150 million budget. The Coens' No Country for Old Men went from tenth to sixth place with 4.2 million.  Taking seventh place was the sentimental, Christmas-themed August Rush, which earned 3.5 million.  Hitman dropped from fourth to eighth with 3.4 mil.  Awake dropped from fifth to ninth in its second weekend, with 3.3 million.  Rounding out the Top Ten was Bee Movie, with 2.6 mil; its glogal total is about ten million short of its 150 million budget (and who knows how much in promotion).

SIENNA MILLER has been paid £37,500 plus legal costs by The Sun and News of the World for invasion of privacy, after publishing nude photographs taken while she was filming a movie... in public.  Go figure.

SEX & THE CITY:  The Daily Mail is streaming the trailer for the movie reunion.

WILL SMITH revealed he wants to become President of the United States, but did not mention whether there would be a place in his Administration for DJ Jazzy Jeff.

OPRAH played to crowds in Iowa and South Carolina on behalf of Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

SEAN PENN endorsed Dennis Kucinich for president in San Francisco Friday: "I found the (recent Democratic) debate infuriating, nearly an argument for fascism with few exceptions, key among them Dennis Kucinich," Penn said.  The full text of Penn's speech is online, but even Kucinich's people seem a bit on edge about it: "Sean Penn is a good friend, but he's also a very intense, independent-minded person," said the spokesman for the Kucinich campaign. "He's going to say whatever he's going to say."

MARILYN MANSON ended up sharing a cage with a baboon after taking an ecstasy pill.

PAKISTAN:  Pres. Musharraf will lift emergency rule and restore the suspended constitution on December 15, a day earlier than planned.  Islamist parties are divided and in disarray ahead of crucial January elections.  It seems like folks are rejecting Islamist text messages on the war, as well.  Pakistan's army claimed Saturday it has cleared almost all of embattled northwestern Swat valley of militants.  I would take that with a grain of salt, but if citizens are helping keep out the extremists, perhaps there is something to it.

IRAN:   The new National Intelligence Estimate that says Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 is raising concerns among the political center and left, as well as conservatives who have long called for a hard line against the Islamic Republic.  "It, like the report in 2002 that set up the invasion of Iraq, is both misleading and dangerous," wrote Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, and Valerie Lincy, editor of the nonpartisan group's Web site, Iranwatch.org, in a NYT op-ed.  Richard Barlow, a top former CIA and Pentagon expert on Pakistan's clandestine nuclear program in the 1980s until he was hounded out of the government for telling the truth, also points out that the NIE - or at least its unclassified summary - doesn't say at what stage the Iranians allegedly "halted" their weapons program in 2003.  British spy chiefs have grave doubts that Iran has mothballed its nuclear weapons program, and believe the CIA has been hoodwinked by Teheran.  The leaders of France and Germany said Iran remained a danger and that other nations needed to keep up the pressure.

IRAQ:  Gen. Petraeus said he applauds Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr for helping, through a cease-fire, to reduce violent attacks in Iraq by 60 percent since June.  There are reports that Sadrists are weeding out what they consider to be black sheep within their ranks.  On CNN, Michael Yon and Michael Ware report that some of those black sheep aren't Sadrists at all now, but agents of Iran -- and that about 25 percent of the "awakening" citizen militias across Iraq are now either Shiite or mixed.  It is thus unsurprising that a regional Sadrist leader and his family died when an explosion went off as they were sleeping in their home in southern Iraq.

IRAQ II:  Izzat Ibrahim al Douri, the most wanted member of Saddam Hussein's regime and insurgent leader, narrowly escaped a raid on his hideout in the northern city of Tikrit on Friday.  The Baghdad neighborhood of Saidiyah is becoming the focal point of a growing battle between the US military and the Iraqi government over the burgeoning number of "concerned local citizens."  Iraq's defense minister promised on Sunday to wage a new crackdown in volatile Diyala province.  Iraqi bonds are surging on improved security and oil earnings.

IRAQ and the MEDIA:  The "Dwelah Massacre" totuted by the Associated Press may have been, to use a phrase from Mark Twain, greatly exaggerated.

I CAN HAS... CAT-SICLE?

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Militant squirrels are attacking the energy-efficient LED lights on the Christmas tree in Milwaukee's Red Arrow Park.

A RECORD-SIZE SPITTING COBRA, measuring nearly nine feet and possessing enough venom to kill at least 15 people, has been discovered in Kenya, a conservation group said on Friday.

A MOUNTAIN LION is peeping some woman's morning hot tub sessions in Deadwood.  Insert profanity-laden punchline here.

WILLY the TORTOISE made his third escape from home in Riverside, Calif.  Not only slow, Willy is the size of a small bathtub.

A 25-LB TOM TURKEY crashed through a third-story bedroom window in Traverse City, Mich.  Life imitates WKRP in Cincinnati.

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