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Topic: Karl

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New Releases, Monterey Pop, Of Montreal, Baby Hippo   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WRONG TROUSERS don't seem old enough to know that "Video Killed the Radio Star," but they seem to have studied it pretty well.

NEW RELEASES:  The White Stripes release Icky Thump and take over an old Tower Records store for the occasion.  Art Brut, the Polyphonic Spree, Mooney Suzuki, Rocky Votolato and more are streaming in full from Spinner.  The very trippy sophomore LP from Jennifer Gentle is streaming in full from HisSpace. Minus Story (from Lawrence KS) is also psychedelic, in a Flaming Lips sorta way.  And Lightning Dust -- a side project of the Black Mountain collective -- is streaming a few tracks, too.

A HISTORY of the FLEXI-DISC at Stylus has a money quote from Randy Johnston, who owns the Toronto-based record shop Molten Core:  "I used to consider flexis to be a cheap throwaway, but...(now) I can see flexis as a perfect piece of pop art. We're living at the end of a cheap, throwaway culture, after all."

MONTEREY POP turned 40 over the weekend, so Heather Browne is streaming some highlights of the legendary music fest.

DINOSAUR, JR, now reuinited, talk to Harp magazine about how their personalities have changed over the years.  Built to Spill leader Doug Martsch touts the band's influence, and J Mascis's guitar-noodling ability, to the AP.

OF MONTREAL backs AXE RIVERBOY (a pseudonym for Tahiti 80 frontman Xavier Boyer) on covers of The Zombies' "Care of Cell 44" and David Bowie's "Starman" for a La Blogotheque Take-away Show.  Add in Axe Riverboy's "Roundabout" and Of Montreal's "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games," for a Twofer of Twofers Tuesday. 

ROBERT POLLARD is not only realeasing two albums this Fall, but will also dip back into live shows, icluding one at Chicago's Metro.

PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  Former defense team member Sara Caplan was held in contempt of court Monday for continuing to refuse to testify about forensics expert Henry Lee's actions at the scene of Lana Clarkson's death.

RYAN ADAMS considers it a miracle he did not die.  Others consider his upcoming Easy Tiger LP focused and perhaps his best yet.

SUFJAN STEVENS:  GvsB wonders whether Stevens has new material about the state of Oregon, or whether it's a hoax.  Pichfork called his label, which says it's a hoax.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The supposedly sober supermodel acted as a roadie for the troubled singer, toting his acoustic guitar as she arrived at London's Royal Festival Hall for that Disney tribute concert.  Doherty is rumored to be reuniting with Libertines bandmate Carl Barat for a performance at this year's Glastonbury Festival.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  Shivering in the cold of her cell (at least it's cold to someone paper-thin), the heirhead made her dad a Father's Day card.  So cute.  She is probably out of jail next week, and her neighbors are unhappy.

BRITNEY SPEARS is threatening legal action against a Florida radio station that used a bald-headed photo of the pop tart on billboards that appear to call her sanity into question.  Interestingly, the lawyers' letter complains of commercial exploitation of her likeness, not libel.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  Barbara Walters said that, while "it's very hard for anyone to follow Rosie" on The View, the co-hosts now are able to talk about matters like "heterosexual sex" that they couldn't discuss when O'Donnell was the moderator.  If you think Walters is exaggerating, note that O'Donnell reportedly said, "I've been hanging around with those heteros for a full year and it's not fun..."

JULIA ROBERTS gives birth to the too-normally-named for a celebaby Henry, largely wiping out coverage of Keri Russell giving birth for the first time.

KRISTY SWANSON, the original vampire slayer, was arrested late Saturday night for allegedly assaulting the ex-wife of her baby daddy and former skating partner, Lloyd Eisler.  Swanson claims she was the real victim.

LINDSAY LOHAN is being offered a free car service to ensure she gets from nightclubs to her home safely, when she comes out of rehab.  New York-based company Georgi clearly has great confidence in Li-Lo's ability to stay clean once she gets out of the Promises clinic.  US Weekly was reporting that Lohan canceled her 21st birthday party at PURE nightclub in Las Vegas on July 2nd, but the story seems to have vanished from the mag's website. 

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY and SIENNA MILLER:  Knightley hoped some of Miller's social skills would rub off on her, but the two are staying in and playing board games.

TOM-KAT UPDATE:  Cruise is at the highest level of "clear" in Scientology - and now he may even perform a wedding for a friend, Australian heir James Packer, one of the church's richest benefactors.  Cruise renewed fears he may "inject" Scientology propaganda into a new film about German WWII officer Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg by turning up at Scientology's UK HQ. The couple was spotted partying until 7 a.m. with the Beckhams in Madrid after David Beckham's final game in Spain.  And there was the traditional Tom-Kat PDA photo-op at the game.

MORE CANOODLING!  The New York Post's Page Six is likely to expand to three pages, which is one of the signs of tha apocalypse.  Just a little Mark of The Beast humor.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie says she's open to making peace with her estranged father, Jon Voight.  Maybe she looks at Shiloh and sees a mini-Voight.

PAUL POTTS, the 36-year-old mobile phone salesman turned opera singer, will spend the £100,000 won from Britain's Got Talent on dental work.

SHARON STONE and other celebs are headed to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, to raise money for AIDS victims - but are they doing it on the backs of that country's human-rights victims?

THE DARK KNIGHT:  Entertainment Weekly shows you Batman's new suit -- which is starting to look enough like the Joel Schumacher era to make me uneasy.  However, I do want to see more of the new Batpod.

JERI RYAN married French chef Christophe Eme in the French countryside over the weekend.  Jeri had accused her frst husband of asking her to perform sexual acts with him in public, and in adult clubs in New York, New Orleans, and Paris.

RATATOUILLE:  Speaking of French chefs, I saw the sneak preview of Pixar's latest over the weekend.  I'm waiting until closer to the June 29th opening to do a review, but circle your calendars. In the meantime, Jason Kottke makes some good points, including one about Pixar doing its homework on kitchens.  You can watch trailers and clips galore at Yahoo!

LIFE IMITATES MONTY PYTHON:  Dead guy not so dead after all.

TERROR in the US?  Large teams of newly trained suicide bombers are being sent to the US and Europe, according to evidence contained on a new videotape obtained by ABCNews.com.  U.S. intell officials call it propaganda; former White House counterterrorism official Richard Clarke takes it seriously.

THE UNITED NATIONS supposedly reformed its Human Rights Council, but the body now prepares to place Israel under a permanent indictment while eliminating expertsreporting on violations by Cuba and Belarus, and threatening those reporting on Burundi, Cambodia, North Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Burma, Somalia and Sudan.  Indeed, Incoming UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the slaughter in Darfur was triggered by global climate change.

IRAN:  Some 200 exiled Iranian dissidents of various political stripes gathered in Paris to launch a movement called "Solidarity Iran," seeking to devise more and better-coordinated ways of boosting efforts by people within Iran itself to replace the country's terrorist-sponsoring and brutal Islamic regime with secular, democratic rule.

IRAQ:  The US military began a major attack by more than 2000 American troops against Sunni insurgent positions in Baquba -- the capital of Diyala Province -- overnight, part of a larger operation aimed at blunting the persistent car and suicide bombings that have terrorized Iraqis and thwarted political reconciliation.  Bill Roggio has background on the major operations starting in the "belts" surrounding Baghdad and on joint Iraqi-British strikes on Iranian-backed terror cells in the south.  In Diyala, US soldiers also are willing to risk teaming up with militias to fight Al Qaeda-aligned groups.   Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki warned that US troops sometimes create new militias by arming Iraqi tribes, urging that such decisions be left to his government.  It's a fair point, though it would carry more weight if Maliki weren't backed by the Mahdi Army, while the tribes being armed are mostly Sunni.  CNN notes that raids aimed at disrupting the flow of weapons and fighters between Iraq and Iran resulted in the deaths of at least 20 militants early Monday in eastern Iraq.  Saudi Arabia calls on Iran not to interfere in Iraq's internal affairs, which is unlikely to deter Iran in any way.  Even Moqtada al-Sadr is continuing to criticize Iran to boost his nationalist cred; a high-level Sadr aide accuses Iran of helping Al Qaeda.  Basra's police chief has been reassigned or fired in the wake of two attacks against Sunni mosques in the city, reportedly sectarian reprisals for last week's attack on mosque in Samarra.  Iraqi officials do not expect a major Turkish incursion in the north.  In Baghdad, US soldiers found and rescued boys starving and chained to beds in a government-run orphanage for special needs children.

PAUL the BABY HIPPO is challenging polar bear cub Knut for public affection at the Berlin Zoo.

A ONE-EYED SNAKE was saved from being run over and shot in Rayville, LA.  And it wasn't even Mardi Gras.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A giant flying squirrel has been found in Jharkhand, India arousing the curiosity of forest officials and a bit of concern among tribals.

ALABAMA KITTENS may buy Mitchell Morris a new boat motor and a new heart.

A BLACK SEA BASS had to be deflated by the Harbor Patrol in Avalon, California, last week.

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Sir Paul, Ryan Adams, Nemozob, Guilty Pleasures, Lucky Lamb   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 18, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

PAUL McCARTNEY is having his 65th birthday party today, so aside from the obvious, I thought I would point you to some medleys of unreleased and alternate takes of McCartney tracks.  Plus, to show he's still got it, Parts One and Two of the SuperBowl halftime show in 2005 -- including "Drive My Car," "Get Back," "Live and Let Die," Hey, Jude."  And a twofer from the 1976 Wings Over America tour -- "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Jet"   BONUS:  Sir Paul makes mashed potatoes.  No, really.

SONIC YOUTH is coming to a Starbucks near you,  No, really.  With a new song, too.

RYAN ADAMS performed at the World Cafe Friday, so you can stream a full set on demand via NPR.

THE WHITE STRIPES performed an acoustic set to war veterans at the Royal Chelsea Hospital, west London, last week.  Proceeds from a concert by the band in London will go to the Chelsea Pensioners' Appeal and help build a new care home at the site.

NEMOZOB has produced two of my current fave mashups -- Nick Drake vs. Marvin Gaye on "Northern Soul" and the Beastie Boys vs. Led Zeppelin on "The Immigrant Check."

SEEN YOUR VIDEO:  Tony Joe White brings the bayou on "Pork... Salad... Annie."  H-UH!

THE RAMONES now have their own Converse All Star Hi-Top, with proceeds going to The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

GUILT BY ASSOCIATION:  ChartAttack covers the upcoming LP of indie artists interpreting their guilty pleasures.  I've mentioned it before, but it's worth relinking to the album's MySpace page, not least for Petra haden's signature take on Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."

TOP TEN CRUSHING DISAPPOINTMENTS is the subject of a Stylus Staff list.

VOXTROT leader Ramesh Srivastava leader returns the blog love that propelled the band to notoriety without having released a single CD.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  Nicky Hilton may have been in hysterics after visiting her sister in the pokey, and the heirhead may have been praying for strength, but her fellow inmates are delighted she's back, as some say her presence there means extra goodies for all, including shampoo, blankets and cookie rations.  Indeed, one ex-inmate says most inmates "have to be bleeding from their eyes" to get into the eight-bed medical ward where the celebutante is staying, and word is that Hilton has been wearing make-up and white and pink polka dot prison scrubs rather than the orange suit.  The Ninja Dude blog claims to have an inside source saying that the heirhead has been behaving this way because -- thanks to irresponsibility and bad investments -- she is largely out of capital, living almost entirely on credit and her parents' good will, with hopes of a bigtime book deal on "transformation and personal growth."  she's not the only one loonking to cash in -- A New Jersey car dealership is running a "Paris in Jail Sale" during the celebutante's stay in the pokey.

NICOLE RICHIE is reportedly engaged to -- and pregnant by -- rocker Joel Madden.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer tops the box office with 57.4 million bucks -- better than the original and better than most analysts predicted (though my tepid review allowed for it).  Next weekend will tell the tale of whether it's worth its 130 million budget.  Ocean's 13 made 19 million -- a 47% drop that's better than this summer's other threequels in their second weekends.  Knocked Up held onto the third slot with 14.5 million and a 90 million US total on a 30 million budget.  The Pirates threequel dropped from second to fourth with 12 million and 820 million worldwide so far.  Surf's Up rounds out the Top Five with 9.3 million with a 47% drop -- a bit large for an animated flick, but FF must have eaten into that family audience.  Shrek the Third dropped a still-too-high 41%, but ahead of the 7.1 million opening for Nancy Drew, which looks to be a flop (depending on how low the budget was).  Case in point -- Hostel, Pt II plunged another 63% but has made 14 million on a ten million budget.  Mr. Brooks brought in another 2.8 million past its 20 million budget.  Spider-Man 3 rounds out the Top Ten with 2.5 million and a 330 million total in the US on its 258 million budget; considering the marketing costs, it's a good thing it made another 500 million outside the US.

ROD STEWART married longtime gf Penny Lancaster in a small town just outside the Italian Riviera resort of Portofino.

DAVID HASSELHOFF was awarded primary physical and sole legal custody of his two daughters.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE and JESSICA BIEL:  JT calls Biel his "very dear friend," but says he has not met the love of his life, adding that it wasn't a good idea to have Biel join him on tour but that he doesn't "know how to say no to a pretty face."

JESSICA SIMPSON and JOHN MAYER:  The pneumatic blonde celebrated her newly single status with a girls-only night in Los Angeles last week - and reportedly told pals she was "happy" about her recent break-up.  OTOH, a guest at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood told Celebrity Babylon of overhearing Mayer demanding that Simpson stop calling and texting him.

LINDSAY LOHAN is still in rehab, but is denying that the "bodyguard" who made explaosive claims in UK's News of the World tabloid worked for her for two years, saying it was more like finning info ten days.  But a non-denial denial of the substance of what he said.

ROSIE O'DONNELL may yet replace Bob Barker as the host of The Price Is Right, having at least gotten a meeting with producers.

BILL CLINTON and SHAQUILLE O'NEAL have been (baselessly) dragged into a Las Vegas prostitution case.

PAUL POTTS -- the amazing amateur opera singer -- wowed 'em again in the semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent.

BRADGELINA:  Jolie was in full damage control mode following stories that she was trying to control the press, blaming her handlers for the restrictive contract that reporters were going to be forced to sign to get an interview.  A spokeswoman for Paramount Vantage piped up to claim that the attempt to bar FOX News from the movie's premiere was "an omission" and "an honest mistake."  And Jolie turned up the charm for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, including floating the notion that she and Pitt may have 14 kids.  Stewart called her "our most powerful weapon against extremism," wondering whether a Pakistani burka could contain her hotness.  And to top things off, Jolie gave a lift to paparazzo James Ambler, who popped a flat on his bike while following the A Mighty Heart star around New York.

THE BBC has failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff, a report commissioned by the corporation has concluded.  A staff impartiality seminar held last year is also documented in the report, at which executives admitted they would broadcast images of the Bible being thrown away but not the Koran, in case Muslims were offended.  During the seminar a senior BBC reporter criticized the corporation for being anti-American.

WAR in the GAZA STRIP:  The Arab League member states found themselves divided Saturday over their response to the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip and the crisis in the Palestinian Authority.  Saudi Arabia said Friday that Palestinians have come close to putting the last nail in their coffin and called on both Hamas and Fatah to revive the unity government.

IRAN started the first phase of gasoline rationing on Thursday, limiting fuel that drivers of government cars can buy, but many Iranians are still confused about how and when the full rationing plan would be in place.  Tehran is in the midst of a sweeping crackdown that both Iranians and US analysts compare to a cultural revolution in its attempt to steer the oil-rich theocracy back to the rigid strictures of the 1979 revolution.  Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie was knighted by the Queen of England; an Iranian group raised the price on his head to 150K.

IRAQ:  With the "surge" troops now completely in-country, US forces have begun a wide offensive against Al Qaeda on the outskirts of Baghdad to cut down the group's devastating campaign of car bombings.  Regular Pate visitors know that US forces started building up for the offensive in April.  IraqSlogger notes that US military deaths seem to be trending down this month; we'll see.  Time magazine suggests that the "surge" is responsible for the less-than-expected retaliation after the bombing of the mosque in Samarra.  A British general is at the forefront of the risky US strategy to turn former Sunni insurgents into "freedom fighters" battling Al Qaeda in Baghdad.

LUCKY LADY the LAMB running loose in the Bronx was just the start of a busy day of wacky animal news in NYC.

FOUR DOLPHINS sleep with the fishes near Oceanside, California.

DEPUTY DOG dies in the line of duty, eating the seats in sheriff's department patrol car.

HOW TO X-RAY an ELEPHANT:  Australia's Daily Telegraph has a photo gallery.

PYGMY BUNNIES UPDATE:  The only surviving pair of endangered pygmy rabbits released as part of a program to increase their numbers in the wild have dodged coyotes, badgers, hawks and owls and found time for love.

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Kinks, FoW, Spoon, Cutout Bin, Silver Surfer, Kitty Puppy   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 15, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE WEEEKEND STARTS HERE:

...with THE KINKS!  Having recently posted some less obvious Stones clips, I thought I'd do the same here, with songs like "I Gotta Move" (from Shindig!), and softer fare like "Sunny Afternoon," the Dave Davies-penned "Death of a Clown," concept LP title track "The Village Green Preservation Society" (pictured), "Days," " Celluloid Heroes" and a rawking live version of "Victoria." Plus, you can hear bits of the hits in the background of this mini-documentary on the band.  And because it's Friday, here's some "Alcohol."

FOUNTAINS of WAYNE stopped by The Current, so you can stream a mini-set -- including the always fab "Red Dragon Tattoo" -- on demand from MPR.

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS:  John Linnell shuffled his iPod for The A.V. Club and came up with Glenn Gould and Japanese language instruction, plus more.

SPOON:  The upcoming Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga should be streaming in full via Merge Records today.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK is performing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in its entirety as a benefit for Medecins Sans Frontieres at Three Kings Pub in Clerkenwell, London on June 30 and July 1.  He's also spotlighted at the moment by the Sundance Channel which has an interview and unplugged take on "I Wanna Destroy You" posted for your viewing pleasure.

DAYDREAM NATION, the Sonic Youth epic streaming via Spinner through the weekend, gets retrospectives at PopMatters and the New York Sun.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS have free songs to stream and download (three unreleased) from SxSW at Daytrotter.

THE EASYBEATS are never far away when I've got "Friday on my Mind."  This is a live version.

BONO:  Radar magazine photoshops the covers of Vanity Fair's star-studded, Bono-edited July "Africa" issue to include a few statistics Vanity Fair left out.

THE PIPETTES:  Waves and Wires has posted the band's San Francisco gig, which you can jukebox (albeit out of order) via the ol' HM.

ICE CREAM TRUCK MUSIC:  Ears weary of "Pop Goes the Weasel" and the Mister Softee theme during these hot summer months now have an alternative: Michael Hearst's album, Songs for Ice Cream Trucks.  You can listen at the album's website.

BONNAROO:  Festival sets from Wilco, Flaming Lips, Feist, Lily Allen, Gillian Welch, Ben Harper, Cold War Kids and String Cheese Incident and more will be streaming via AT&T's Blue Room starting today and through the weekend.

THE CUTOUT BIN:  This Friday's fortuitous finds from the ol' HM are: R.E.M. - Radio Song; Soft Boys - I Wanna Destroy You; Joe Jackson - It's Different For Girls; The Polyphonic Spree - Running Away; I'm From Barcelona - Britney; The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset; Big Star - Till the End of the Day (live Kinks); U2 - Desire; Dramarama - Anything, Anything; Steve Miller Band - Swingtown; Friends Of Distinction - Grazing in the Grass; The Archies vs The Velvet Underground - Velvet Sugar; Bay City Rollers - Summerlove Sensation; Wilco - Something In The Air (live Thunderclap Newman); John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John - You're The One That I Want; C.W. McCall - Convoy; Blondie - Hanging On The Telephone; Art Brut - Direct Hit; The Clash - Lost in the Supermarket; Count Five - Psychotic Reaction; World Party - Is It Like Today?; Grateful Dead - Truckin'; Cheap Trick - He's A Whore; Diamond Nights - Saturday Fantastic; Meatloaf - I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That); The Turtles - Happy Together; and Journey - Don't Stop Believin'.

FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE of the SILVER SURFER is -- as you can see below -- not a well-reviewed movie.  And I should note at the outset that I thought the first FF a very mediocre adaptation of the comic book.  But it did really well at the box office.  So I can list the many things that are wrong with this second installment.  It does great violence to the Galactus Saga -- one of the seminal tales of modern comics.  It captures the global scope of the story, but largely lacks the gravity and tension it ought to have.  It does even greater violence to Galactus himself (and though I can guess why, I have a good counter-argument as to why something closer to the book would have been better). The "acting" ceratinly hasn't improved.  And Jessica Alba's skin color varies from near-normal to slightly-less-orange than The Thing, with an astonishing lack of continuity.  Nevertheless, I think it may do well, because -- for all of its flaws --  it captures the tone and family-orientation (in the on-screen relationships and overall content) that I think were key to the success of the first film.  People who really liked the first one will probably like this one.  I think that is doubly important this summer, where a lot of people have been disappointed by the big-budget threequels.  Plus, it's only 92 minutes long, which should play well with those fatigued by the length of last month's blockbusters. It also means a fair amount is packed into those 92 minutes, so kids won't lose their attention.  And biz-wise, theaters can run more showings daily.  If you want a big ol' spoiler, you can click the "Read more" link at the bottom of today's blurbs.  BONUS:  The A.V. Club lists "10 Wonderfully Weird Moments From Fantastic Four Comics," including one involving the Silver Surfer-Galactus Saga.

JESSICA ALBA has been required to go everywhere to promote the Fantastic Four flick, including SportsCenter, where she denied saying that she hopes directors will be able to see past "my hotness."

NOW SHOWING:  Aside from the Fantastic Four, which is currently scoring 23 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, this weekend's only wide release is Nancy Drew, which is scoring 55 percent.

JOSS STONE, who has been desperate to be in a relationship since splitting from her first love Beau Dozier in 2005, told Britain's The Times magazine: "I think I'll have to turn lesbian."  Which may be a good way to attract a man. 

PAUL POTTS sang opera on Britain's Got Talent and moved everyone, even Simon Cowell, icymi.

THE FORBES CELEBRITY 100 LIST is out and sortable a whole bunch of ways.

THE FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  The heirhead begged the deputies to pray for her as she was transferred from Twin Towers  back to Lynwood.  Even though her private room at the Lynwood medical clinic is an upgrade, a law enforcement source told TMZ that "To describe Paris as emotionally upset would be an understatement," with root of the problem being severe panic attacks.  OK! magazine claims that her jailhouse remorse is more about her fear of losing endorsement deals than the pangs of conscience.  A source is quoted as saying it will be tough for her to boost her image with charity work because few charities will want to be associated with her.  And an L.A. Times study shows that she will end up serving more time than 80% of other people in similar situations: "Twenty-three days would be considerably more than the average person given her sentence would actually serve," said Stan Goldman, professor of criminal law and procedure at Loyola Law School.

BRITNEY SPEARS is asking for help from her fans to name the pop tart's upcoming album.  Some of the choices are hilarious... just not the ones that she thinks.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL may make his Broadway debut this fall in a new play loosely based on Howard Dean's 2004 campaign for the White House.

20 MOVIES Not Coming Soon to a Theater Near You, courtesy of Premiere magazine.

THE BIG CHILL-OUT:  Screen Gems is remaking the 1983 Boomer navel-gazer with an African-American cast.  And while the characters will have gone to school in the 90s, the redo may stick with the original's fixation on Motown classics.  Really, hasn't Whitey already done enough to Black people?

BRADGELINA:  Jolie is touting press freedom these days, playing the widow of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in a new movie called A Mighty Heart.  But Jolie turns out to be a mighty hypocrite when it comes to her own freedom of the press, requiring all journalists to sign a contract before talking to her, and tried to ban FOX News from the red carpet of her premiere.  USA Today and the AP were among those that canceled interviews, and eventually Jolie scotched all print interviews when she heard the reaction.  After this story got out, she reversed her position on restricting reporters' questions at today's press junket.  The Jolie-Pitt nanny has been telling stories to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.  And St. John must be giddy at having paid Jolie millions to promote their clothing when she turned up at the NYC premiere of A Mighty Heart wearing a 26-dollar vintage dress from Melrose Avenue in LA.

AFGHANISTAN:  The Taliban failed to mount their long-threatened spring offensive, and indications are the guerrillas may have trouble recruiting fighters after the harvest, a NATO commander said.  Afghan Defense Minister Wardak dismissed claims by a top US State Dept official that there was "irrefutable evidence" that the Iranian government was providing arms to Taliban rebels. 

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  Following Tuesday night's AP story on the latest quarterly report from the Pentagon, the Washington Post headline is "No Drop in Iraq Violence Seen Since Troop Buildup," the NYT headline is "Violence Rising in Much of Iraq, Pentagon Says," and the L.A. Times chimes in with "Iraq violence up since troop increase."  And the AP's "Baghdad Crackdown Seeks Sunni Help" claims that the "security operation has failed to curb violence nationwide," "violence is actually more acute nationwide," and that the "sectarian slaughter has dipped slightly in Baghdad, but is up dramatically outside the city."  But the AP later reports the actual numbers.  The four-month death toll before the operation was 7,919 while the number for the past four months was 7,281 -- a drop of 8% nationwide.  Using the same timelines, deaths in Baghdad dropped from 5,585 to 3,764  -- a 33% drop (the AP calls this a "dipped slightly.").  According to iCasualties -- which uses the AP numbers -- there were 3014 civilian deaths in February and 1980 in May -- a 34% drop in the level of monthly deaths.  This is what the US media presents as failure, even before all of the "surge" troops are deployed and integrated into their areas of operation.

IRAQ:  Gen. Petraeus, otoh, drives through the streets of Iraq's capital, he sees "astonishing signs of normalcy" in half, perhaps two-thirds of Baghdad.  That was before the mosque bombing in Samarrah, which he called a "serious blow."  Could it be that the mosque bombing was intended to reignite sectarian violence precisely because the current operations are succeeding in Baghdad?  Bill Roggio rounds up news on arrests in the bombing case and sketchy reports of sectarian strife after the blast.  Daveed Gartenstein-Ross analyzes the strategic implications of the bombing, noting that last year, major violence did not break out immediately following the al-Askariya bombing, but heated up over time.  More than 2000 Kurdish fighters are being deployed in restive Diyala province to support US and Iraqi forces fighting insurgents, a top Kurdish security official said.  A Turkish think tank warns that a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq could inflame Kurdish nationalism.

A CHINESE DOG gave birth to a "kitten" which local vets say is really a puppy which looks like a cat because of a gene mutation. It apparently yaps like a puppy.  Oh, sure.

ALASKA'S ONLY ELEPHANT has agreed to move to a warmer climate amid mounting pressure over her welfare but faces the dilemma of how to get there.  Can't she just wait for the global warming?

BRITISH SNAKES:  Dorset police took custody of a two-meter carpet python -- indigenous to Australia, but found on a country path in the UK.  A couple's intimate moment at Christchurch Park in Ipswich was interrupted when a four-foot constrictor fell out of a tree above them.

LAND 'O' GOSHEN!  That's where a wild turkey suddenly came crashing through the windshield of a New Yorker's car after dropping her son off at school on Tuesday.

...AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:  A piglet with six legs and two penises.  And two anuses.

Read full article: 'Kinks, FoW, Spoon, Cutout Bin, Silver Surfer, Kitty Puppy'
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Zumpano, Crowded House, English Beat, Tiger Cubs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 14, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

SHOCKING BLUE play a rare, raw, live version of signature tune "Venus" on Dutch TV.  Sounds more like the Jefferson Airplane.

ZUMPANO -- A.C. Newman's band before the New Pornographers -- gets the Shadow Classic designation at NPR, with three streaming tracks of power-pop goodness.

BRIGHT EYES:  Conor Oberst talks about politics, the comfort of music and "silver linings in the human experience" in Paper magazine.

CROWDED HOUSE:  LA Weekly is streaming four new tracks from the band via its digital jukebox.

KEREN ANN:  The 33-year-old Israeli-born, New York-based French singer-guitarist  tells PopMatters that she learns how to live through music.

SHARON JONES and the DAP-KINGS:  While the latter have been backing Amy Winehouse on her US tour, Ms. Jones has been busy bringing her impressive pipes to projects for Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright, They Might Be Giants and others.  They have a new LP due in September; 'till then, let's watch 'em cover "Things Got To Get Better" at their last album release party.

FEIST:  The NYT review of Monday's gig at NYC's Town Hall includes an audio Q&A by Jon Pareles in the sidebar. 

THE ENGLISH BEAT:  Former lead singer Dave Wakeling stopped at the World Cafe for an interview and in-studio performance of Beat classics you can stream via NPR on demand.

THE B-52s are back in Athens, GA, wrapping up work on their new album, just 15 years after the last one.  Fred Schneider says, "There's more electronica on it. It's up-tempo and a bit sexed-up. It's sexier than ever."

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE:  The troubled singer and supposedly sober supermodel went to the Isle of Wight festival, but ended up drinking and arguing in a pub, missing most of the bands.  Not that Moss should care --  her assets have doubled in value since the cocaine snortng scandal that threatened to destroy her career.  And both of them are doing ad campaigns for designer Roberto Cavalli; pics at the link.

FRENCH HOTEL at the GREYBAR HOTEL:  Her parents, who jumped the vistitors' line at the jail, claim she's "weepy," but "hanging in there."  OTOH, paparazzi agency X17 claims that her mental state has allegedly taken a recent turn for the worse, with the jail assigning "three additional guards to watch her 'round the clock."  The AP notes that few Hollywood players have come out in her support, quoting PR flack Howard Bragman: "Paris's career was made in a microwave and not in a crock pot," he said, adding that she lacks the self- awareness that might inspire empathy from her colleagues.  But Barbara Walters says she would be willing to have the celebutante co-host The View.  She was visited by Dr. Steven Hoefflin, "the plastic surgeon to the stars" during her house arrest, though he is reported to also be akin to the Hilton family's private doctor  An X-rated website featuring nude photos and videos of the heirhead just re-opened after being shut down by court injunction.  US Weekly claims her medical problems in jail were symptoms of withdrawal from not only Adderall (as previously reported), but also Xanax, referring to "igh self-administered doses" of the drugs.

LINDSAY LOHAN reportedly has hired a group of Heirhead look-alikes for her 21st birthday party, as the real onemay be in jail for the event.  This is the gossip equivalent of crossing the streams from Ghostbusters.

GEORGE MICHAEL is considering making a £50 million offer for Damien Hirst's diamond-encrusted skull -- which fortunately is a work of art.

JENNIFER ANISTON is denying adoption rumors again.  And she was reportedly warned by her ex, Brad Pitt, to dump her new bf, Paul Sculfor.  I doubt it, but maybe Pitt reads PerezHilton.

GREY'S ANATOMY:  Isaiah Washington talked to Entertainment Weekly about getting the boot from the hit show.  Apparently, someone convinced him that just quoting Network made him sound like a complete loon.  But someone forgot to slip that memo to Washington pal and black gay activist Jasmyne Cannick, who sees the firing as a hit by Hollywood's "gay mafia."

BRITNEY SPEARS:  US Weekly is reporting that the pop tart reconciled with stage mother Lynne on June 10th, while Life & Style claims that "Brit was cordial, but you could've cut the tension with a knife."  The NYPost's Cindy Adams reported that Fed-Ex had again knocked up baby mama Shar Jackson -- a report swiftly denied by reps for both.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is awfully busy these days.  Just a few short weeks after shooting with Sienna Miller, the Daily Mail runs on-set pics from the adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel Atonement.  Keira told Empire magazine: "This is such a relief. Not that I don't enjoy all that Pirates stuff, but it's not about my character - it's about Johnny's character."  I would suggest that one reason the first Pirates flick was better than the sequels was that it was actually told from Elizabeth Swann's point-of-view -- which was a nifty inversion of the trad macho movie formula.

KNOCKED UP:  A piece in the New York Times claims that the hit comedy, as well as sleeper success Waitress, "go out of their way to sidestep real life" because "possibility of not having the baby is never discussed by either woman despite her circumstances."  I have yet to see Waitress, but the author is clearly wrong about Knocked Up, in which Alison discusses it with her mother.

THE PRICE IS TOO HIGH?  Radar magazine asks whether Bob Barker is retiring tomorrow because of one too many lawsuits.

MR. WIZARD, a/k/a Don Herbert, died of bone cancer; he was 89.  James Lileks links to a video and posts audio of Bob & Ray's wonderful "Mr. Science" parody.

BRADGELINA:  Mike Walker of the ever-reliable National Enquirer reports that while filming her new flick Wanted in Prague, Jolie visited a sex shop called "Erotic City" and purchased a black leather garter belt and a black riding crop.

IRAN'S parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill that could lead to the death penalty for persons working in the production of pornographic movies.

IRAQ in the MEDIA:  The AP claims that: "Violence in Iraq, as measured by casualties among troops and civilians, has edged higher despite the U.S.-led security push in Baghdad, the Pentagon told Congress on Wednesday."  However, if you download the actual report (Acrobat format), it never says this.  The report says that "The overall level of violence in Iraq this quarter remained similar to the previous reporting period but shifted location."  One reason the report doesn't say that "violence edged higher" is that while the AP says the report covers "the February-May period," it in fact covers only through May 4, but includes days before the US started the new operation (at least 235 deaths from 2/10-14/07).  Another reason is that the Pentagon would not say that violence increased "despite" the "surge" without looking at the trend during the period, which shows an overall decrease in civilian deaths.  And while the AP mentions in passing that "violence fell in the capital and in Anbar province," it does not mention that nationwide, sectarian murders have dropped from over 1600 in December 2006 to a little over 600 in April -- a drop of 62.5%.

IRAQ:  Iraqi political, religious and communal leaders unanimously condemned the attack that destroyed the two minarets of the revered Askari shrine in Samarra by suspected Sunni insurgents on Wednesday morning.  Amid appeals for calm, al-Sadr's Mahdi Army is armed and ready, sources report, and clashes broke out in a number of areas in Baghdad before a curfew was imposed.  Suspicion fell immediately on the relatively small guard force that had protected the shrine since the attack in February last year, a unit composed almost of entirely of Sunnis and which American and Iraqi commanders had long suspected of harboring Al Qaeda sympathizers.  The 1920 Revolution Brigade has driven Al Qaeda out of the city of Buriz in Diyala province.  Coalition Forces have killed the Al Qaeda military emir of Mosul.  The Wall Street Journal has an op-ed by Prime Minister al-Maliki.  Dr. David Kilcullen, Gen. David Petraeus' chief adviser on counter-insurgency warfare, explains how marriage rites helped split the Anbar tribes from Al Qaeda.

TWO BENGAL TIGER CUBS are being reared by a pair of feline fanatics in Germany at the Tiger Garden Ingelheim (i.e., the couple's backyard), which already houses five adult tigers.  Video at the link.

MATING GATORS go wild for tubas playing B flat.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  An aggressive squirrel went on the rampage in southern Germany, injuring three people. A 72-year-old pensioner finally put a stop to the mayhem, killing the creature stone dead with his crutch.

A MAN was attacked with a swordfish snout in a home invasion in central Queensland, police say.

A BABY DOLPHIN has been given access to a dolphin "chat line" because the mother is deaf and speaks in a monotone.  The article does not mention whether the chat line bills per-minute.

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White Stripes, Pipettes, Nick Drake, Game Theory, Gorilla Run   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

GNARLS BARKLEY + THEREMIN = "Crazy" delicious!

THE WHITE STRIPES:  Icky Thump hits the stores next week, but you can stream it all now via MTV.

CRUISIN':  Why settle for Capt. Stubing's Magic Band when you can cruise to Cozumel and the Caymans with Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, John Hiatt, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller and Brandi Carlile?  I'd even take that Ben Folds trip if Ted Lange was pouring the drinks.

THE PIPETTES stopped by The Current, so you can stream a mini-set on demand via MPR.

SON VOLT frontman Jay Farrar talks about his influences (musical and otherwise) and living in the Midwest at Richmond.com

IRON & WINE:  Sam Beam's next album, The Sheperd's Dog, isn't due until September, and the single isn't due until July, but Dodge is streaming "Boy With a Coin" from My Old Kentucky Blog.

NICK DRAKE:  The tragic story of the late British singer-songwriter is told through family members and musicians in A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake (Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five).  There's a chunk missing in Part Two, but some of it is here.

BONO'S anti-poverty campaign investing $30 million to pressure the presidential candidates to focus on the issue -- and has enlisted former Senate majority Leaders Frist and Daschle to co-chair the effort.

CAT POWER:  Chan Marshall is now the first woman to have won the Shortlist Prize (for her album The Greatest),  which this year was judged by a panel including Franz Ferdinand, Sufjan Stevens, the Flaming Lips, and, Panic! at the Disco.  The prize site has a nifty juke box, too.  BONUS:  Pitchfork is streaming tracks from Cat Power and Bright Eyes from the soundtrack to Ethan Hawke's upcoming movie, The Hottest State.

GAME THEORY and THE LOUD FAMILY:  Some Velvet Blog is streaming tunes from both of Scott Miller's prog-pop bands, including covers of songs by America and The Hollies.

PHIL SPECTOR TRIAL:  Los Angeles County sheriff's criminalist Steve Renteria is on the stand, with defense lawyers eliciting testimony that Spector's DNA was not recovered from under Lana Clarkson's nails and that Clarkson's DNA, not Spector's, was found on the gun that was fired into her mouth -- which they will argue shows a lack of struggle.

THE DISNEY SONGBOOK:  Pete Doherty will join Shane Macgowan, Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave, Beth Orton, Baaba Maal, Ralph Steadman and Bryan Ferry to pay tribute to classic Disney songs at a concer organized by Saturday Night Live producer Hal Willner -- a follow-up of sorts to Stay Awake, an album celebrating Disney hits that Willner produced in 1987.  Reclusive legend Van Dyke Parks, famed for producing Brian Wilson and more recently Joanna Newson, will arrange the score.  Click through for Cocker's  Dumbo story.

THE FRENCH HOTEL in the GREYBAR HOTEL:  Wile the heirhead has been telling Barbara Walters about God giving her a second chance, Page Six claims that her doting daddy, Rick Hilton, has been shopping a "Get Out of Jail" bash for his little girl to the top Las Vegas clubs.  Rick and mom Kathy turned up at the jail, surrounded by armed guards and swamped by paparazzi.  PETA would like the former Carl's Jr. burger shill to become a spokesperson for chickens' rights.  But they might have to contact her directly, as she's been dropped by her agent.  BONUS:  Meanwhile, George Clooney is demanding an immediate retraction and an apology from KP International for disseminating stories quoting Clooney -- who has sympathetic to Yong Hollywood -- as saying the celebutante cannot complain about the harsh media spotlight:  "You can only get so far without any discernible talent. Then you either work or use cheap publicity tricks to keep the public's attention. Then you are in no position to complain if, like Paris, you are on the receiving end of bad publicity."

NAOMI WATTS and LIEV SCHREIBER are denying reports that they secretly married with a private ceremony in New York last week.  Their baby is due in August.

CATHERINE KEENER and DERMOT MULRONEY have filed for divorce; the papers indicate the two separated in May of 2005.  The couple have been married for 17 years and have one son,

ANNE HECHE must give primary custody of her son and child support to her estranged husband.  OTOH, Heche will now have more time to start dating women again.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE talked to the Daily Mail about a bunch of topics, including doing sex scenes on film and diagnosing his ex-gf, Britney Spears: "I think this goes for anyone: It all starts with the songs. The truth of it is, she had catchy songs. If she had catchy songs again, I don't think anybody would be chastising her as much as they are."

LINDSAY LOHAN reportedly has a new pal in rehab -- disgraced New York socialite Dori Cooperman, who entered Promises for help with prescription pills and booze two weeks ago after she checked out of the Meadows rehab clinic in Arizona because it wasn't "cool" enough.  Li-Lo's rehab threatened to derail a major deal with the fashion label Jill Stuart.  And it's a good time to sue Lohan for hitting your van with her car.

SIENNA MILLER has split from singer Jamie Burke and seems keen on Scottish singer Paulo Nutini, whose current relationship is going through a rough patch already.  BTW, Nutini sounds older and wiser than 20-years-old, so you may want to stream a few from HisSpace.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sir Paul has invited Heather Mills to his 65th birthday bash next Monday, marking an astonishing turnaround in their bitter divorce battle.

RYAN REYNOLDS has a lovely essay at the Huffington Post about the joys of blowing up mailboxes and piles of dog crap with firecrackers.

INDIANA JONES IV:  Sean Connery will not un-retire to reprise his role as Henry Jones, but the blog post at London's Guardian notes that the film's working title is Indiana Jones and the City of the Gods.

THE SOPRANOS finale brought HBO to the edge of an historic feat: a show on a pay cable network available in about 30 million homes was more popular last week than all but one show on the far larger world of broadcast television, and definitely putting the whack on the Tony Awards and the NBA Finals.  In a fitting touch, creator David Chase gave his exclusive exit interview to the New Jersey Star-Ledger -- the newspaper Tony used to fetch from his driveway.  In a much less classy move, people upset with the series finale vandalized Chase's Wikipedia entry.  BONUS:  The singer of the final song demanded to know how the show ended.

THE COUNCIL on AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS, recently named as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in connection with a Texas terror-financing trial, has seen its membership decline more than 90 percent since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to tax documents.  And its current donor drive is lagging as well.

IRAN:  The UN's nuke agency thinks Iran could have 8000 centrifuges enriching uranium by December, a significant rise in nuclear capability likely to fuel fears that Tehran seeks nuclear weapons.  IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei told an IAEA meeting in Vienna that the "brewing confrontation" with Iran over its atomic ambitions "must be defused."  ElBaradei could do his part by not letting Iran believe he was going to downplay the Iranian nuke program, which tends to embolden Iran and cause distrust in the West.  A senior US diplomat accused Iran of transferring weapons to Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan -- the most direct comments yet on the issue by a ranking US official.  Fifty-seven Iranian economists attacked Pres. Ahmadinejad, accusing his gov't of ignoring the basics of economics.

IRAQ:  Bill Roggio looks at the current state of the Baghdad Security Plan, noting in part that while sectarian killings were reported to have increased during May, after falling significantly the first four months of the year, the number is still half of what it was in December 2006.  Moreover, murders are down significantly in May for the Karkh district (home to once-volatile Haifa Street) and the Adhamiyah neighborhood.  Despite heavy pressure from Congress, the White House and top military commanders, the deadlock in Iraqi politics has reached a point where many Iraqi and US officials now question whether any substantive laws will pass before the end of the year.  Militants bombed a bridge over a major highway for the third consecutive day, suggesting a new campaign against key transport routes may have begun.  An anonymous tribal leader accused the Anbar Salvation Council of conducting secret operations to assassinate Iraqi resistance leaders from outside Al-Qaeda and other well-known figures and former army officers, according to Quds Press.  May be true, may be propaganda intended to increase tribal frictions noted here yesterday.  Al-Hayat reported that the two main Kurdish parties are attempting to unite their semi-regular Peshmerga forces in preparation for a possible military confrontation with Turkey.  US and Iraqi forces raided a lollipop factory being used to make bombs, finding boxes full of explosives and two tons of fertilizer in the basement of the facility in northern Iraq.

THE GREAT GORILLA RUN through Golden Gate Park benefitted The Gorilla Organization, which was established nearly 30 years ago to save endangered gorillas in Africa.

PET HOARDING:  Today we have a classic catlady, fretting over what will happen to the estimated 70 cats she has rescued and cared for over the years, now that she is being foreclosed on.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  Firefighters suspect a squirrel is the culprit behind a blaze that claimed a house in Blue Island, IL last weekend.  Judging from an arched power line abutting the two-story home, the fire was likely sparked by electricity -- which is the classic squirrel modus operandi.

GOAT-KILLING BEASTIE TERRIFIES TAIWAN:  A 23-man posse was mounted after a goat-farmer in the mountainous Linkou district of the island reported eight deaths amongst his 100-strong herd.  A woman who witnessed the attack said the beast "looked like a tiger".

JUMPING STURGEON, Injured Floridian.

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