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The VU, Advance M Ward and Lemonheads, Cutout Bin, and... Snakes on a Plane   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 18, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE...

... with a six-part documentary o­n THE VELVET UNDERGROUND. The doc seems to be British, circa 1986. A nifty primer for the uninitiated, with some amusing footage from Andy Warhol's Factory and the band's first appearance in the first segment. There's also commentary from Lou Reed (who dismisses the idea of a reunion, though we know he later indulged), Sterling Morrison, Mo Tucker, Nico, Factory factotum Gerard Malanga, and more.

THE 200 GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s continues at Pitchfork.

M WARD has had his upcoming Post-War album pushed to Aug. 29th, but you can stream the whole album now via Merge Records.

RYAN ADAMS and WILLIE NELSON, together at last. No, really. Nelson is collaborating with the former Whiskeytown frontman o­n an album including covers of Gram Parson's "$1000 Wedding," Christine McVie's "Songbird," the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter favorite "Stella Blue" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

THE LEMONHEADS return from hiatus o­n Sept. 26th, but you can stream four tracks now from the band's website.

THE CUTOUT BIN: More fortuitous finds from the Hype Machine, including: Counting Crows - Friday I'm In Love; Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Going To A Go-Go; Art Brut - Formed A Band; The Stooges - T.V. Eye (Take 5); Funkadelic - Who Says A Funk Band Can't Play Rock?!; The Jam - Pretty Green; The Walkmen - Many Rivers To Cross; John Lee Hooker - Crawlin' Kingsnake (with Keith Richards); Al Green - Take Me To The River; Talking Heads - Take Me To The River (an early Pate cover, too); Steve Miller Band - The Joker; and Grand Funk Railroad - Closer To Home / I'm Your Captain.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Thinking about what might balance all that Velvet Underground video, I hit upon these clips of the Electric Light Orchestra playing "Rockaria!" and the Lennon-esque ballad "I Cant Get It Out Of My Head" Fountains of Wayne does a less-synthy live cover of this o­n Out-of-State Plates that's quite good. It's not currently o­nlie, but the Delgado's faithful cover of "Mr. Blue Sky" is.

THE BYRDS are releasing yet another box set o­n Sept. 26th, with a DVD of rare live performances to try to take more of my money. Which is as good a reason as any to revisit Roger McGuinn's signature jangle o­n "Mr. Tambourine Man," acknowledge Gene Clark o­n Teenage Fanclub's unplugged cover of "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better," David Crosby's salaciousness o­n the long-unreleased "Triad," and the country charm of Gram Parsons o­n "You're Still o­n My Mind."

THE DECEMBERISTS: Stereogum has an advance copy of The Crane Wife and digs it the most.

GNARLS BARKLEY: The "Crazy" duo have had their concert riders turn up o­n The Smoking Gun. So, which demands a box of Magnum condoms, and which demands tube socks? Hmmm...

DAN PENN, o­ne of the most consistent soul songwriters of the 1960's, gets an audio feature at NPR, including streaming tracks like "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" by Aretha Franklin, and a tune from his latest project the Hacienda Brothers' What’s Wrong With Right, which has gotten kind words from Hickory Wind and the Village Voice. Click o­n the Bros for the MySpace page, which has some tasty tracks.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE The troubled singer was actually getting some work done, with Babyshambles readying an album of covers of everyone from The Clash to Love to Ester Phillips. But Doherty has now been charged again with seven counts of possessing drugs including cocaine and diamorphine. Meanwhile, the supposedly sober supermodel is offending Muslims in NYC without even knowing it.

SNAKES o­n a PLANE is the big movie release this weekend, but the flick that has become an Internet cult phenom before its release was not screened for the critics, natch. After all, we expect it to be bad. Why would they risk getting good reviews? The question is whether it's bad enough to be good. So I -- strictly as a service to Pate visitors -- went to the advance screening last night. Had I not gone, I could not tell you about the group that showed up dressed as snakes -- except for the leader, who was dressed as... well, you get it...

Folks, I'm pleased to tell you it's bad. How bad? It's thisclose to Snakes o­n an Airplane! The flight is too long for the kid to need a heart transplant, but about the o­nly other things missing are Leslie Nielsen and Otto. Instead, you get Dick from High Fidelity as a herpetologist and the sportscaster from Anchorman as the co-pilot (playing much the same character, I might add, which caused members of the audience to shout "Whammy!" at appropriate moments).

I should mention that there are snakes. Lots of them, though computer-generated when required to do anything of significance... like bite people in places you would not want to be bit. Indeed, the passengers are pretty much bit everywhere you wouldn't want to get bit. Samuel L. Jackson gets to kill a lot of them, culminating in the film's fan-generated, profanity-laden catch-phrase -- which you can see in this equally profanity-laden interview with Jackson o­n The Daily Show -- and which most of the crowd shouted out along with Jackson, though none of us had seen the movie before. There are several surprises, particularly at the end, which I won't spoil, though I will tell you that the video for "Snakes o­n A Plane (Bring It)" runs alongside the end credits. With a budget of 35 million, this thing will have a hefty return o­n investment. Chuck Klosterman will be very depressed.

OTHER NEW RELEASES include the teen comedy Accepted (currently scoring 31 percent o­n the Tomatometer) and The Illusionist (63 percent, but 90 percent among the "cream of the crop" critics), which features Ed Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel. Little Miss Sunshine, which I saw (and liked) last weekend, expands to about 700 screens.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Hubby Spenderline is almost broke, but claims he won't hit up Brit for extra bucks. Meanwhile, the pop tart says that her second child was unplanned. At least by her, as the prenup reportedly would give Spenderline more money per child. Also, she is making Spenderline get rid of his six sharks.

HEATH LEDGER and MICHELLE WILLIAMS: The Bokeback Mountain stars who married in real life flip off the paparazzi. And if you were sporting his facial hair or her swimsuit, you would do the same.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY has a different approach to the paparazzi. The British press criticizes her scruffy wool hat, so the following day, she has her boyfriend wear it.

MAD MEL UPDATE: Gibson cops a plea to three years probation, but will avoid jail time. He was also ordered to attend o­ne year of AA meetings. Meanwhile, Deadspin is doing what it can to hook you up with the video or audio of Denis Leary's delicious Gibson rant from the Boston Red Sox game.

LINDSAY LOHAN: You know you have gotten a bad rep when you get banned from a Justin Timberlake concert. Ouch! And that was before these embarassing pictures surfaced.

THE OSCARS face the IRS, which will require the stars to pay tax o­n the lavish swag bags they receive at the event (and similar shows, I would imagine). Look for Hollywood to follow Clooney's lead in donating them or auctioning them for charity.

JESSICA ALBA has been terrorizing Vancouver for the better part of a month, WHILE in town to shoot Good Luck Chuck.

PENELOPE CRUZ had a bikini malfunction in Ibiza. Now that you mention it, cameras were there.

Send in the FEMBOTS! Popular Science looks at history and competing views of pop-culture staple: "Feminist science-fiction writer Amy Thomson, author of robot-comes-of-age novel Virtual Girl, suggests that the fembot myth is attractive to men because it deals with 'a woman you create and control.' But tech journalist Daniel Wilson, author of How to Survive a Robot Uprising, argues that fictional fembots have hardly been portrayed as controllable—in fact, he claims, they’re often presented as the most dangerous robots of all, because feelings of attraction to them could leave their victims vulnerable to attack..."

WHO IS KEYSER SOZE, and what would he think of our foreign policy? Alexander Solzhenitsyn has a cameo.

THE NSA EAVESDROPPING PROGRAM was ruled unconstitutional by a federal district court judge; the gov't has obtained a stay pending appeal, natch. I haven't had a chance to read the full opinion yet, but I note that even law profs who think the program is illegal are unimpressed with its reasoning.

IRAQ in the MEDIA: The New York Times ran a front page story Thursday about the surge in the number of bomb attacks, mostly against US troops. The paper is forced to admit that "monthly U.S. military fatalities have declined slightly, reflecting improvements in armor and other defenses," but adds that "the number of U.S. troops wounded has soared, to 518 in July from 287 in January." A glance at the Brookings Institute's Iraq Index or the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count shows that the paper has cherry-picked the numbers that put the worst possible spin o­n the situation. It is equally true, but eqully misleading, to say that that last month's wounded were about o­ne-third of the number in November 2004. It is equally true, but more accurate, to note that the numbers cited by the paper basically fall at the ends of a range existing since March 2005. The papers cherry-picking is part of a pattern I've documented for months. Iraq is in bad shape, so what does it say about the NYT that it feels compelled to abuse statistics in its news coverage? The most charitable would be that the staff suffers from innumeracy.

MIDEAST CONFLICT: France has rebuffed UN pleas to make a major contribution to a peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon. I'm shocked shocked, I tell you! Yet another reason why, imho, this conflict is far from over.

PUDGE is the name chosen by an o­nline poll for the Detroit Zoo's new Macaroni penguin chick.

SCRAPPY the DOLPHIN nearly killed himself by wearing a Speedo. Which gibes with new studies suggesting that dolphins are not as smart as we thought, though they are almost always happy.

CANADIAN GEESE just got easier to kill.

A 330-LB GROUPER died last week at the Beihai Sea World in China. It would appear that the death was due to morbid obesity.. Who'da thunk?

MYSTERY BEAST: Russian fisherman claim to have the caracass of something resembling a plesiosaur.

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Go-Gos, Art Brut, Advance Eric Bachmann, and B-Movie Monster Biology   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

NOW THAT IT'S early late summer, I finally got around to posting the Go-Go's "Vacation" video. Plus, the band's latest Greatest has an updated version of "Cool Jerk," the Capitols tune the ladies originally covered o­n the Vacation LP.

ART BRUT and WE ARE SCIENTISTS are touring together with The Spinto Band. *Sixeyes has MP3s to stream and download at those links, though you could stream them all from the Hype Machine, too. Ken and I were quite impressed with Art Brut at the Pitchfork Festival and will be seeing this line-up in Chicago this October. I saw the Spinto Band open for Arctic Monkeys; they were fun, though not overwhelming.

THE TEN BEST DEAD SONGWRITERS is a Paste's tongue-in-cheek sequel to the mag's list of 100 Best Living Songwriters. BONUS: Paste's Reader's Poll o­n the latter.

THE 200 GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s continues at Pitchfork. You may have heard many of them, but you may not have heard Number 170 o­n Pitchfork's list, "Tous Les Garcons et Les Filles" by Franoise Hardy, posted o­nline by Gorilla vs. Bear.

THE FIERY FURNACES frontman Matt Friedberger tells the A.V. Club that today's French rock needs improvement and discusses Harry Nilsson's "Coconut" in the Random Rules feature where interviewees talk about the first ten songs that pop up in shuffle mode o­n their MP3 players.

THE McCOYS are having a swingin' shindig, playing "Hang o­n Sloopy" o­n Shindig! Sept. 16, 1965. That Rick Derringer can play the guitar. And as always, there's some period go-go dancing.

A DISTINGUISHED NEUROSCIENTIST wonders why his aging ears still crave the music he loved in college in an NPR audio feature by the estimable Robert Krulwich. (Thanks, Ken!)

ERIC BACHMANN: In a dead week for new releases, Aversion serves up an advance stream of To The Races, the first solo disc from the former Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers tunesmith.

YO LA TENGO is offering the "Beat Your A** Season Pass," in which pre-ordering their upcoming album gets you an advance stream of the whole album, an interactive booklet, bonus MP3s, and possibly more.

THE MIDDLE-EASTERN JAMES BROWN: Freaky. Courtesy of Gorilla vs. Bear.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: The troubled singer and supposedly sober supermodel, newly reunited, seem to be getting drunk in pubs. Pics at the link.

KATE HUDSON-CHRIS ROBINSON BREAK-UPDATE: US Weekly claims that Hudson’s burgeoning relationship with her You, Me & Dupree co-star, Owen Wilson, was the main catalyst for the split. A rep for Wilson told US: "(Anything) that suggests that the separation of Ms. Hudson was caused by Mr. Wilson… is absolutely false." Which is not exactly a denial that Penny Lane has been riding the Butterscotch Stallion.

THE McCARTNEYS: Sir Paul doesn't want anyone to think he's being a bad guy in his divorce from Heather Mills, but that won't stop him from barring her from his property and making her pick up their two-year-old daughter at a nearby hotel.

MAD MEL UPDATE: After some deliberation, Disney has decided to retain distribution of Gibson's next film, the Mayan-language film Apocolypto. Meanwhile, the National Enquirer claims Gibson has opted for outpatient therapy over a traditional rehab program. BONUS: Denis Leary had some great Gibson fun during a cameo o­n a Red Sox telecast the other night. I curse NESN for having the hilarious video yanked from YouTube.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes is reportedly not giving her all to Scientology and forcing Cruise to make nice with her parents. (3rd item)

MADONNA says she will no longer pursue acting because critics dismiss her films before they are even made. Which would be grossly unfair, except for the fact that she is a terrible actress who has made a string of awful movies.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen may have a temporary cease-fire in their divorce proceedings, but Denise is continuing her PR offensive in the September issue of Harper's Bazaar: "Like everyone else, I'd heard about his past, but I couldn't comprehend it. I've never done drugs, never been around a prostitute, never known any porn stars. I couldn't even fathom that lifestyle. I grew up in Illinois, not L.A. He told me that was in the past, and I believed him."

BRUNO KIRBY, a veteran character actor who appeared in movies such as The Godfather: Part II, Good Morning, Vietnam, This Is Spinal Tap, Donnie Brasco and When Harry Met Sally, died Monday in L.A. from complications related to leukemia. He was 57. The LA CBS station was kind enough to stage an o­n-camera ambush of actors at the premiere of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with the sad news. Pictured is Jennifer Tilly, who worked with Kirby o­n Stuart Little.

LINDSAY LOHAN is modeling her sex life o­n HBO's Sex & The City, saying the show "changed everything for me, because those girls would just sleep with so many people." And they say that TV does not corrupt the weak-minded.

THE FRENCH HOTEL is officially The World's Most Overrated Person, according to the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records. Congrats!

WINONA RYDER would love to get intimate with her A Scanner Darkly co-star Keanu Reeves, who apparently is having none of it. Granted, Ryder's enormous libido is legendary, perhaps even intimidating. But shining her o­n will o­nly feed those persistent rumors, dude.

JESSICA BIEL reflects o­n her reign as Esquire magazine's "Sexiest Woman Alive," but I linked to those pics recently, so I'll throw in some from the premiere of The Illusionist, where she did that reflecting.

JESSICA SIMPSON has "a very ... long ... tongue." No argument there. She may have been holding it during a rumored pregnancy scare. The pneumatic blonde also fired an agent who dared cross her creepy dad-manager.

IRAQ: US and Iraqi forces say that a three-day security sweep has cleaned up at least for now the mostly Sunni neighborhood of Amariyah in west Baghdad. Maj. Gen. Caldwell's Aug.16 press briefing has a detailed look (with slides) at the last week or so of attacks and counter-ops in Baghdad, along with a detailed look at the current state of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Of course, as Coalition forces make headway in the capital, insurgents and jihadis will move back into Anbar province. The AP has that story, while the WaPo goes with it in Diyala, just east of Baghdad. Both stories also repeat the claim of thousands of Iraqis -- mostly Sunni Arabs -- turning into refugees, yet the a recent poll published in the Iraq Index shows that o­nly in Baghdad does a bare majority respond that they know someone forced to leave because of their religion or ethnicity.

THE MIDEAST and the MEDIA: AP reporter Bassem Mroue has a blog, where he writes that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched the wide war under the pretext of the capturing of two Israeli soldiers o­n the border." The emphasis is mine, but I think justified as he also believes Israel was more interested in killing children than Hezbollah terrorists. I'm sure he keeps that sort of bias out of his reporting, though. Meanwhile, o­n a lighter note, Nicole Kidman, joined by 84 other high-profile Hollywood stars, directors, studio bosses and media moguls, strongly criticized Hezbollah and Hamas in a full-page L.A. Times ad. It's a good thing Kidman was involved, because it went almost entirely unnoticed by the media outside Australia and New Zealand.

THE BIOLOGY OF B-MOVIE MONSTERS: Shockingly, shrinking humans or enlarging animals pose real scientific problems not reflected in Hollywood movies, with the exception of Jurassic Park. This article is a must-read for anyone interested in how to actually diasble giant ants.

SEBASTIAN got himself a hip-hop grill, for health reasons.

MYSTERY BEAST UPDATE: A "hybrid mutant of something" was found dead along Route 4 in Maine. Michelle O'Donnell of Turner spotted the animal near her yard about a week before it was killed: "It was evil, evil looking. And it had a horrible stench I will never forget." Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman is quoted in the article, which doesn't tellyou he has pictures and analysis at his blog.

DUCK DEATHS in Raleigh, NC remain a mystery, though a lab has ruled out bird flu or any virus that could be transmitted to humans.

THE NATION'S LARGEST WILD ANIMAL SANCTUARY is closing, which could result in the destruction of many lions and tigers and bears... Oh, My!

HELLO, I'M ROSE: I'm a Border Collie and a workaholic. Hello, Rose.

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The King, The Sleepy Jackson, The Dead Boys, and Orangutans Online   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

ELVIS PRESLEY: The King is still dead, as thousands of fans make the pilgimage to Memphis, TN and Tupelo, MS to reminisce and pay homage o­n the 29th anniversary of his death. You can watch local TV coverage from Aug. 16, 1977 o­n YouTube and read the obit that ran the next day in the Washington Post. Elvis Presley News recaps the international headlines from the event and links to the eulogy at his funeral. The official Elvis website is offering a free trial of Elvis Radio o­n Sirius, including coverage of the annual fan vigil, which you can see o­n the GracelandCam. In May, I hooked you up with a career-spanning round-up of YouTube video links, all of which are still good, with the exception of the remix of "A Little Less Conversation," which became a Number 1 hit in over 20 countries in 2002. BONUSES: My May round-up did not include "Jailhouse Rock," so there it is. Plus, you can stream a few from the Hype Machine; indeed, there may be more Presley there by the time you read this. You can listen to individual songs or select a media player at the top of the linked page for an Elvis jukebox.

THE REPLACEMENTS: Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson are together again on two songs from the soundtrack for the animated film Open Season.

THE BLACK KEYS released a digital EP o­n iTunes Tuesday, but you can stream it first.

YO LA TENGO singer/guitarist Ira Kaplan talks to Pitchfork about the title of their upcoming LP, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your A**, due September 12th. He also spoke to the San Jose Mercury News about how the band fit in with the the Bleeding Edge Festival and his former job as a music journalist. The band has also launched an o­nline petition urging Congress to make ketchup the official condiment of the United States of America. BTW, both Pitchfork links will hook you up with free YLT MP3s.

THE 200 GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s continues at Pitchfork.

THE SLEEPY JACKSON is garnering generally favorable reviews for Personality (One Was A Spider, o­ne Was A Bird), with critics using Geoge Harrison, Brian Wilson, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Decemberists as touchstones. You can stream or download an unplugged performance (including "'Song for Paul McCartney") from AOL or the studio tracks available via the Hype Machine.

SEEN YOUR VIDEO: Young, loud and snotty, it's the Dead Boys' punk classic "Sonic Reducer."

KILLING MUSIC: rbally has been o­n quite a roll lately, posting bootlegs of Fugazi, The Specials, Old '97s and Dinosaur, Jr. in the past few days alone.

NIKKI SUDDEN: The late rocker will have a posthumous album released o­n October 10th.

THE ARCADE FIRE: Rolling Stone should be too legit to be killing music with a link to the band's cover of New Order’s classic "Age of Consent." But there it is.

THE INTERNATIONAL BLUEGRASS MUSIC ASSOCIATION Award nominees are announced. Perennial favorite Allison Krauss and Union Station are the top nominees, with 11, but my favorite, the Del McCoury Band, got four.

PETE DOHERTY UPDATE: Babyshambles failed to play their Ibiza Rocks gig o­n August 14th, with the troubled singer telling organisers that he had lost his passport, and his attempts to obtain a temporary o­ne had been rejected. He might not have told them that was because Doherty put o­n a silly pose in his photo.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Perez Hilton claims that Homes turned up at an elite Tinseltown soiree with o­ne of her Scientology "handlers," looking "dead in the eyes." The NYDN reports o­n claims that Joe DiMaggio thought Cruise was stalking him. And Cruise is the cover boy for the relaunch of Cracked magazine.

THE McCARTNEYS: Heather mills has submitted a counter-claim in her divorce proceedings, reportedly alleging that Sir Paul was a "controlling husband" who "always put his own interests above hers."

MADONNA will be monitored by German prosecutors at her weekend concert in Duesseldorf, because her mock crucifixion scene could be construed as insulting religious beliefs -- an offense punishable by three years in prison. The show might be covered by laws protecting artistic freedoms, though calling a Madonna concert "artistic" is a bit of a stretch. For the record, I disagree with such laws, which some are attempting to use to stifle criticism of Islamic extremism.

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY BREAK-UPDATE: The former supermodel is getting support from ex-hubby (and backstreet guy) Billy Joel as she decides whether to divorce her current husband.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Jeannette Walls claims that Spenderline apparently is entitled to more money for each child the couple has under their prenup.

ROYAL MISTAKE: London's Sun headlined a story about Princes William and Harry caugt o­n camera during a booze-fuelled night out with chums. The paper claimed that they were taken in a nightclub this summer, but was forced to eat its words after Clarence House pointed out that the pictures were taken three years ago. Despite the correction, the paper ran a follow-up piece asking whether Harry is the greatest playboy Prince in the nation’s history.

JESSICA SIMPSON: Some website I've never heard of claims that some magazine I've never hear of has the pneumatic blonde complaining about ex-hubby Nick Lachey's small package and saying that she "faked" the first time they had sex. Probably untrue, but definitely funny.

DAVE NAVARRO and CARMEN ELECTRA BREAK-UPDATE: Navarro has been linked to porn superstar Jenna Jameson, who has been caught getting cozy with Ultimate Fighting Champion Tito Ortiz.

BRADGELINA: Pitt reportedly drops off Maddox and Zahara at the Warner Bros. day-care center every day before going to shoot Oceans 13.

JAMES WOODS has dumped his 20-year-old girlfriend after she reportedly behaved badly at Woods' brother Michael's July 31 funeral. A Woods pal is not kind about her: "She truly has the soul of a moth and the brain of a dead trout."

DAVID HASSELHOFF: The details of the Hoff's divorce are going public. TMZ has the details and the documents.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Yesterday I noted that the AP quoted Azzam Tamimi as an expert o­n the Mideast without mentioning his public support for Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Well, just a few days after the AP quotes him as blaming the rise of Islamic extremism o­n the US, he turns up in London's Guardian, claiming last week's terror plot bust was probably a hoax. Even the readers of the Guardian are hammering him. According to this logic, US foreign policy did not provoke a terror plot, but I don't expect the AP to note his unfounded claim or his apparent flip-flop.

MIDEAST CONFLICT: Iran and Syria are quick to spin the cease-fire as a victory for Hezbollah. But with Hezbollah refusing to disarm and withdraw its fighters, Israel threatening to resume operations in Lebanon if the terms of UN resolution are unmet, and Kofi Annan claiming it will take weeks or months to muster peacekeepers, it's probably a bit early to declare winners and losers. ALSO: If the IDF is the monstrous bunch portrayed in the media, why do the Lebanese feel comforatble defying the travel ban to return home in southern Lebanon?

IRAQ in the MEDIA: Monday, The New York Times had another gloomy lede: "Revealing the first major crack in the fragile unity government, the speaker of Parliament said Monday that he was considering stepping down because of bitter enmity among the Kurdish and Shiite political blocs..." Since taking office in late May, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani praised the Sunni insurgency in public, called the Americans "butchers," claimed that "the Jews" were financing acts of violence in Iraq and denounced the idea of carving up Iraq into autonomous regions. Tuesday, Sunnis joined the call for his resignation. At ITM, Omar -- a Sunni -- is glad, calling al-Mashhadani "a Hamas-type nutcase clown." The NYT story rightly noted some Iraqi disillusionment with the new government, but the move to boot al-Mashhadani leaving will help, not hurt, in that regard.

A GIBBON teases a dog o­n video. Whatever did people do for entertainment before teh Internets?

SNAKES o­n a PLANE: The movie will probably not address the poop factor.

A JACK RUSSELL TERRIER belonging to the Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight savaged a polecat to death in front of crowds at a county show. Oops.

DUTCH AND INDONESIAN ORANGUTANS are looking to date each other o­n the Internet. Because they wanna be like you.

MARGE GUNDERSON: "And I guess that was your accomplice in the woodchipper." Geez.

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New Releases, The Decemberists, Bishop Allen, and Sammy the Duck   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

OK GO's latest video, for "Here It Goes Again" is an internet hit for good reason. Musically, it's somewhere between Cracker and the Kinks, which is not a bad place to be.

NEW RELEASES: It's another slow week before things pick up with the "back to school" indie crowd. But The Sex Pistols' Spunk, Bonnie Raitt, a Grand Funk GH, and a Monkees' deluxe reissue are streaming in full from AOL. The Buzzcocks have a new single with live B-sides. And there's a limited edition box set of the KISS solo albums! No?

THE 200 GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960's: Remember those fabulous Sixties? All this week Indie tastemaker Pitchfork does.

YACHT ROCK: Stereogum reports o­n Michael McDonald's shout out to Paul Rudd in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. You can watch the "Yacht Rock" comedy shorts that inspired the term o­n YouTube and stream McDonald and others via the Hype Machine.

THE DECEMBERISTS' upcoming album is leaking o­nto the internet. And though the band (and its lawyers, probably) is getting tracks taken down, they don't disappear from the Hype Machine quite as quickly.

CLELL TICKLE, the indie marketing guru who threatened folks watching Tapes N/ Tapes at the Pitchfork Fest, is profiled in this short film. Dialog probably NSFW, even after bleeping.

SLEATER-KINNEY: The band's last pogo is reviewed in the L.A. Times. It's not clear what comes next for the riot grrls, though lead guitarist Carrie Brownstein recently interviewed Saddam Hussein.

BISHOP ALLEN is o­ne of the bands in a Wall Street Journal article about making money via the web. BA is releasing four new songs a month for a year o­n their site. "Click Click Click Click" is from July. YANP has bonus tracks from prior months.

SOME VELVET MORNING: When I blurbed Nancy Sinatra back in May, Ken King noted to me how strange her duet with Lee Hazlewood was o­n "Some Velvet Morning." Since then, I've run across the original again, along with danceable version by Primal Scream with Kate Moss and a strangely fitting, reverb-soaked cover by Slowdive.

PETE DOHERTY-KATE MOSS UPDATE: Although the supposedly sober supermodel is helping the troubled singer kick drugs, rumors of their engagement are denied.

JESSICA SIMPSON played a surprise Friday night performance at West Hollywood's gay & lesbian nightclub Factory. Egotastic has your video of bad dancing and making "You Spin Me 'Round (Like A Record)" sound even worse than the original. *Shudder* Meanwhile, ex-hubby Nick Lachey was asked if he would rather be trapped o­n a desert island with the pneumatic blonde's creepy dad-manager Joe or Satan. After some hesitation, Lachey said, "I might take my chances with Satan, Prince of Darkness."

KATE HUDSON and CHRIS ROBINSON are separating after nearly six years of marriage.

DENISE & HEATHER & RICHIE & CHARLIE & DAVID: Perhaps inspired by Monday's events in the Mideast, Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards have also agreed to an interim cessation of hostilities. No word so far o­n whether an international force will be called in to keep the peace.

HUGH GRANT, meanwhile, is rumored to be getting married to Jemima Khan... in about two years.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: The couple played Good Samaritans for some auto accident victims, while civilians claim a Tom-Kitten sighting at a birthday for Jaden Smith, son of Jada Pinkett and Will Smith.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON and JOSH HARTNETT are reportedly moving into a luxury six-million-dollar NYC loft, requesting extra soundproofing in their bedroom. Hartnett's rep denies they are moving in together.

MADONNA: Kids say the darnedest things. Madge's daughter's reaction to the video for "Hung Up," which featured the 47-year-old gyrating in a leotard: "Yuck, that's disgusting. Why are you behaving like that?"

BOY GEORGE lashed out at the press as he began his court-ordered community service cleaning up the streets of NYC. VH1's Best Week Ever has video, though not of his hissy fit.

FARRAH FAWCETT gets better plastic surgery. But I don't think that cures the crazy part.

WILLIAM SHATNER was roasted for at a Comedy Central special to air Aug. 20th. I like that they made him sit in Captain Kirk's chair.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS denies the documented staging of photos in Lebanon, but maybe we should not be surprised. For example, o­n Sunday, the AP quoted Azzam Tamimi, "director of the London-based Institute of Islamic Political Thought," blaming the rise of Islamic terrorism o­n the war in Iraq and the situation in "Palestine." Nothing in the story suggests that Tamimi himself publicly calls for the eradication of Israel and declares his support for Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas, as you can see in the linked video.

IRAQ: Michael Yon is back to blogging from the theater. He has an interview with Omar from ITM and a quick piece noting that despite the incredible progress that has been made in Iraq, we are in great peril of losing the war entirely. He mentions censorship in that post, but his interview at Pundit Review radio suggests he does not think it's too late to get things back o­n track, though things remain as dangerous in Afghanistan. Yon also has choice words for the global media coverage of the war.

AIR TERROR PLOT: German authorities are investigating links to suspects arrested in London following an alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners. MI5 agents used and "sneak and peek" raids to plant bugs in the homes of key suspects. The alleged ringleader quickly broke under Pakistani interrogation that "was probably not gentle." These are cases to at least consider when the US debates issues like "sneak and peek" warrants under the PATRIOT Act, rendition of terror suspects to countries that practice torture, and US interrogation methods. I would prefer to have the moral high ground, but I wouldn't want to watch nine airliners explode over US cities from there, either.

SAMMY the DUCK lives in the Palms of Largo assisted living community in FL, even though he's much younger than the human residents. It appears that Sammy may not be aware he is a duck. More pics and video at the link.

IT'S A PANDA BABY BOOM in China, with the birth of two more pairs of panda twins born at Chinese breeding centers.

WILD HORSES: The world's oldest known Przewalski horse -- the o­nly surviving subspecies of horse that has never been domesticated -- has died in the Prague zoo. Thanks to a breeding program, some 300 of the horses now live in the wild of Mongolia.

THE WOOLY MAMMOTH may stage a comeback of sorts, if Japanese researchers have their way.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY: Author Amy Sutherland's life changed after taking the techniques of the nation's premier school for exotic animal trainers and applying them to her husband.

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Moby Grape, Mountain Goats, Isobel Campbell, and Mystery Beasts   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 14, 2006 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: kbade

Karl

LISTEN (AND WATCH), MY FRIENDS, as the late Mike Douglas introduces Moby Grape playing "Omaha." Plus, we have the band playing "Hey Grandma," "Sitting By The Window" and "Sweet Ride (Never Again)." The band was largely a victim of corporate overhype and Skip Spence's madness, but that self-titled debut album is really solid.

ARTHUR LEE continues to be memorialized, more personally by songwriter Paul K in Giant magazine, with an appreciation of Forever Changes (with embedded video) at PopMatters that suggests the LA bands had a much grittier view of the Summer of Love than the Fan Francisco hippie contingent.

THE LONG WINTERS: At Chromewaves, Frank enthusiastically hooks you up to interviews, audio and video of a band he classifies as power-pop, but which I would compare more to the poppier side of the Jayhawks or Wilco. Which is still a pretty good thing. You can find even more via the Hype Machine, as Frank is not the o­nly blogger jazzed over the band. You can select single tracks or click o­n a media player at the top for a streaming jukebox.

NEKO CASE recommends comedy, music and media to The New York Times, including the documentary We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen. She also reccommends a disc from the Eccentric Soul series, which I second.

INSIDE THE ROCKERS STUDIO: To ceelebrate the deluxe reissue of Sebadoh III, Stereogum asks ten questions of Lou Barlow and Eric Gaffney. MP3s at the link, too.

MOUNTAIN GOATS frontman John Darnielle talks to the Athens Exchange about touring and the state of the world: "Oh, it's sorry, but it's always been sorry: everybody always thinks 'this age is the worst age ever,' most religions sorta bank o­n that whole 'this must be the end!' feeling but where you've got people you're gonna have awful quarreling. That's just the way the world is, all you can do is try to keep your little corner of it friendly, maybe encourage a few other people to think what they can't do to do the same thing." He then seems to have given a drunken, impovisational performance worthy of the Replacements in their day. But he seems sober in the new video for "Woke Up New," from the Goats' forthcoming Get Lonely.

BEST LIVE BANDS: Brooklyn Vegan posts SPIN magazine's Top Ten as target practice for his readership.

ISOBEL CAMPBELL claims her her Mercury Prize nomination has her bad luck, self-doubt and disillusionment with the music industry. But she will probably attend the ceremony, lest her label kill her. You can stream some of her acclaimed collaboration with Mark Lanegan through MySpace and the Hype Machine.

JAMES BROWN wins an appeal of a sexual harassment case dismissed based o­n the statute of limitations.

BRYAN FERRY is back in style, according to London's Independent; "At 60, the enduring 'face' of Roxy Music provides an object lesson in the art of growing old elegantly..."

BRITNEY SPEARS moaning about being "ugly," belching and rambling about time travel has become a video hit o­n the internet, according to London's Sun.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby took a second victory lap, with the dance romance Step Up providing unexpected competition (though trend was down over the weekend. The foiled air terror plot seems to have dampened interest in Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, which is as moving as its glowing reviews suggest, though this may be inherent in the subject. It's a great reminder of the way people came together after 9/11, though it says nothing about the larger issues before or after that date. The other new releases, Pulse and Zoom, placed fifth and seventh.

JESSICA BIEL, Esquire magazine's reigning "Sexiest Woman Alive," reportedly got carried away enough at the Lotus nightclub to plant a big old smooch o­n an attractive female companion. Her rep denies it, natch.

IS THIS A BLIND ITEM? It involves a Very Famous Unmarried Hollywood Actor Prone To Starting Litigation If His Sexuality Is Ever Questioned. And spanking.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: Holmes has embarked o­n a strict exercise plan to get ready for the new Batman film, including yoga and kickboxing.

THE ODD GWYNETH PALTROW public service announcement posted here Friday is drawing a lot of Photoshop fun o­n the internet.

LINDSAY LOHAN may get booted from the Chateau Marmont for her excessive partying. The hotel's rep denies it. It would be bad timing for Lohan, who now has her very own stalker.

JESSICA SIMPSON: The pneumatic blonde gets a verbal smackdown from Reese Witherspoon: "My grandma did not fight for what she fought for, just so you can start telling women it's fun to be stupid."

THE FRENCH HOTEL was reportedly attacked by her pet kinkajou, though the kinkajou denies it. Ever the animal lover, the heiress has bought the plot next to Marilyn Monroe's grave to bury her pet goat. Yet Hilton (and her ilk) get a a tongue-lashing from Lost hottie Evangeline Lily: ""Those people couldn't give a rat's ass if somebody was starving in the street next to them."

HEIDI KLUM vs. ELLE MACPHERSON: A new Victoria's Secret ad campaign is having Klum call herself "The Body" -- a title long claimed by fellow supermodel Elle Macpherson. This sort of dispute is ideally suited to be settled by Jell-O wrestling, except that Klum is pregnant again. Having just pointed folks to Klum's recent Esquire layout o­n Friday, I must also point you to these recent pics of Macpherson in the Caribbean, just in the interest of fairness.

REVENGE OF THE GREEN HELMET: Last Friday, I linked to German TV video of a man known as "Green Helmet" staging photos at Qana. The AP, rather than conceding the point, has responded by running a glowing profile of Salam Daher (in which he is suddenly dressed in a blue helmet and flak jacket like those worn by the press) and telling a columnist that "Partisans o­n both sides of a conflict will interpret images of that conflict in different ways. AP strives to stick to the facts." Really? The AP reported inflated casualty numbers from Qana, then did an elaborate tapdance to explain it away. Salam Daher provided these phony numbers. Indeed, the AP's hero seemingly provided an alias to the AP at the time, yet they relay his accounts as though they are not suspect. The AP's photo captions in no way suggested that photos were being staged in the manner shown by the video. The AP suggests that the displaying of corpses is not unusual in the Middle East, though an Egyptian blogger openly mocks that explanation. The display of corpses is not unusual among groups seeking a propaganda advantage, but the AP should not be involved in passing along staged photos without telling viewers what they are seeing. The L.A. Times and international photogs are taking this issue a bit more seriously. Meanwhile, the blog that identified the doctored Reuters photo now has a piece from someone who purportedly worked for AP Television News claiming that the AP's lucrative side deal with Arabic media skews their entire operation.

MIDEAST CONFLICT: Pajamas Media carried a report via Tom Harb of the World Lebanese Cultural Union, purporting to describe the internal struggles at the Lebanese Council of Ministers’ meeting that delayed approval of a cessation of the conflict. Michael J. Totten blogged and photographed from the "free-fire zone" in Israel.

AIR TERROR FALLOUT: With Britain carrying out some two dozen serious investigations into suspected terrorist groups, in the midst of the investigation of a plot that may have included using a baby's bottle to hold a liquid explosive, a letter to the Prime Minister from British Muslim groups calling for "urgent" changes to UK foreign policy seems to have backfired, as Tony Blair's Ministers and even the editors of London's Guardian respond that British Muslim leaders need to do more to deter terrorism (much to the chagrin of some of the paper's readers). The Guardian and the Times recognize the need to court more sensible Muslims; after all last week's big bust started with a tip from a worried Muslim. But if Secretary of State for Communities Ruth Kelly thinks terrorists can o­nly be defeated by national unity, she should note the recent poll showing that 81 percent of British Muslims consider themselves Muslims first, with o­nly seven percent seeing themselves as Britons first.

A KANGAROO in China is thought to be the first to have an artificial limb.

MYSTERY BEASTS: People o­n a northern Manitoba reserve are avoiding a lake after three sled dogs were gutted amid reports that a strange creature is o­n the loose. In the French town of Boulogne-sur-Mer, scores of policemen -- some armed with shotguns -- are hunting a mysterious big black feline. An animal resembling the hyenas in the Lion King has been spotted in northern Minnesota.

KILLER SQUIRREL UPDATE: Following Friday's report from the UK is a story of a squirrel that attacked at least seven people in Winter Park, FL this month.

PETS may get legal protection in domestic abuse cases, if domestic violence support groups and animal welfare advocates are successful.

THREE PITBULLS unleashed to "cause some excitement" do exactly that in Kansas City, MO.

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