$300 billion and counting

Time to discuss Social Security again to divert attention from casualties and debt, George.

From AP via Catch
Congress has approved an additional $82 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan and to combat terrorism worldwide, boosting the cost of the global effort since 2001 to more than $300 billion.
The Senate approved the measure Tuesday on a 100-0 vote. The House passed the measure last week. It now goes to President Bush for his certain signature…..
Most of the money — $75.9 billion — is slated for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, while $4.2 billion goes to foreign aid and other international relations programs.

Read the full article here.
Who are we to question out pious leader? He is after all doing God’s work. Buy the Bushfish [From Wonkette]

Do you believe God belongs in government?
Do you believe President Bush is doing The Lord’s Work?
If so, then show your love for God & the USA!

Shearwater and the Striated Caracara

Interview by Monte Holman
Shearwater (Puffinus gravis) hail from Austin and are blood relatives of folk-rock band Okkervil River. Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff share song-writing duties in both bands, though lately it seems they’ve branched off from one another. Sheff assumed more of a lead role in Okkervil, and Meiburg claimed Shearwater, enlisting the help of Travis Weller (violin), Thor Harris (drums, thunder), Kim Burke (upright bass), and Howard Draper (everything), all of whom were present on past Shearwater recordings.
“Theives” (EP—Misra), their latest recording, explores dynamics. It’s both delicately soft and surprisingly noisy, all the while haunting. Employing folksy standbys, such as banjos and lap-steels, the band attempts to build lush new backdrops for instrumental presentations listeners may expect from a Texas-based band. Meiburg’s sober vocals ring out beautifully and ghostly.
Shearwater is currently on tour with the Mountain Goats, and Jonathan Meiburg (pictured front and center) was kind enough to speak with me before the show at North Six. The man loves birds.
FREEwilliamsburg: I read on your website that you consider yourself, for the time being, “more of a musician than a scientist rather than the other way around.” So you’ve been studying a while then?
JM:(laughs) I’m nearly finished with my Master’s thesis, which I returned to with some vigor and determination a couple months ago and found that I still really loved it and was really interested in it. I’m going to finish it up in a month or two and stop there for now because while I’m interested in moving on and getting a Ph.D., it would mean six years of school and I’d have to quit music. I’m just not ready to quit music right now.
But today I went to the Natural History Museum. I spent time up in the collection there working with the guy I worked with in the Falklands, and it’s so cool to get to go back in there. Today I just spent time in the exhibits, and ah, I love that place. It’s like a maze — it’s so alive — it’s got this sort of scientific veneer but it’s really all about art. It’s all about the presentation, the beautiful and strange dioramas and the way everything is laid out—it’s very whimsical, and some of it’s almost nonsensical. There are parts of it that you get the feeling they’re almost embarrassed are still there, but they can’t get rid of them now; it’s so permanent.

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Le Tigre to collaborate with, um, Paris Hilton


From TinyMixTapes
Because it makes so much sense (why wouldn’t they?!), uber-feminist dirtstache band Le Tigre will be producing a track for human Barbie doll Paris Hilton’s upcoming debut album, as reported by MTVe. The album, due out on Paris’ own imprint, Heiress Records, will be distributed through Warner Bros. Rumor has it that the album will be called “Paris is Burning.” No release date has been set, but incidentally, Paris will be attending a totally hot launch party for her label thrown by PlayStation on July 2nd. More combinations that make perfect sense! I wonder, universe, if next we can see Bob Saget on Broadway or maybe Bright Eyes on Jay Leno performing “When the President Talks to God.” Oh wait, list of things that are totally happening.
Le Tigre’s list of recent collaborators reads like a pop culture who’s-who. Their most recent single, “TKO,” featured Missy Elliot, and Kathleen Hanna did a guest vocal on Green Day’s latest, American Idiot. And to think, not too long ago they were just your average electro pop band. See what a major label can make happen, folks? Le Tigre released The Island last fall on Universal Records. They’ll be too busy making music with famous people this summer to tour, but they will be appearing in your home non-stop for months to come via reruns of VH1 fundit programming. Be sure to catch “My Coolest Years: I Was a Closet Case.”

Low's Alan Sparhawk cancels tour because of mental instability

Get well, Alan. We’re all big fans.

From the band’s messageboard [Via OneLouder]:
dear friends,
the following is a lot of sentences starting with “i”. i’ve heard this is bad form and it tends to paint a very egocentric picture of the writer. good thing i’m a musician…
low has to cancel the shows we have booked in may and june – perhaps beyond. i have always tried to extend true respect to the fans of our music. it would be very easy to just cancel without proper explanation, and hope that the rumors tipped our way, perhaps adding to some crafted mystique. but, i’m a coward and i’ll leave that to the true artists.
i have not been very mentally stable for the last while. due to this, touring at this time has become too much of a burden on everyone involved. my current problems and instability create undue and unnecessary stress for everyone close to me, especially on the road, so despite coming back from several months of shows we have thoroughly enjoyed playing and being a part of, i have to respect their best judgment. those last several months have been some of the hardest to live through, and it is too much to ask those around me to have to put up with that any more.
for those of you who cling to details and think information is power; i have been speculated/diagnosed with everything from post-traumatic stress disorder, ADHD, bipolar whatever, suicidal depression/anxiety (“here’s some pills, call me if you are still alive next week – oh, wait, sorry, your small business insurance plan doesn’t cover all this…”), to paranoia, laziness, OCD, and good old-fashioned two-faced asshole-ness. i know – “big deal, who doesn’t have problems? you have a great and easy life! how bad can it be!?!” i wish i was a better person, and i’m working on that, much in the same way everyone else does. unfortunately, for one reason or another, that battle for me right now abruptly demands some drastic effort, sacrifice, and change – and that’s just to stay in the game… i feel like i’ve come through the worst of it, by there’s nothing uglier than lips speaking vain promises, so forgive me if i’m reluctant to be the cheerleader this time. i need to get healthy, and it’s apparent that something about touring right now is doing more damage than good.
several months ago, amid a couple “bad days”, i found myself standing in front of a photo of John Peel, on the wall outside one of the BBC studios on london. the image of his face in this photo is an image that exposes fools. i was ashamed to even look into his eyes. still, seeing his calm, wise face made me realize i had been letting my own selfish battle with sanity get in the way of the gift of music that i and we all are so privileged to be even a small part of. my thoughts raced.

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Air-ianna America – The Huffington Post is here


Welcome to the Huffington Post, which, as our motto says, has been delivering news and opinion since, well, a few hours ago. As you look around, you’ll see that our front page features our favorite posts from our group bloggers — including Mike Nichols, Ellen DeGeneres, John Cusack and David Mamet — and the top news headlines of the moment. If you are hungry for more, you can always get your fill at The Blog and the News Wire where fresh posts and news stories are added 24/7. And don’t forget to check out Eat the Press, Harry Shearer’s spicy dish about the media. So come in and make yourself at home.

Check it out for yourself

Oneida and Apes in Greenpoint

Todd P presents
Oneida [pictured], Apes, Sightings and Pterodactyl
Saturday May 7 at Palace Tavern
The Palace Tavern is a 1930’s era old man bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn featuring $1.50 Budweiser mugs and 3 for $2 Jello shots. Huge wood floor back room with gingerbread house walls and a cozy fireplace, plus a big half moon bar with big old timey pane picture windows looking out onto Nassau Ave up front.
Doors will open at 9:30 and the bands will go on promptly, due to a kinda early curfew over there.

Harry Reid calls president Bush a 'loser'

Dullard Harry Reid actually says something candid:

[From reviewjournal.com]
In the course of a discussion on filibusters and Senate rules, Washington’s top Democrat gave the 60 juniors a lesson in partisan politics, particularly about the commander in chief. “The man’s father is a wonderful human being,” Reid said in response to a question about President Bush’s policies. “I think this guy is a loser.
“I think President Bush is doing a bad job,” he added to a handful of chuckles.
“He’s driving this country into bankruptcy,” Reid said, referring to the deficit. “He’s got us in this intractable war in Iraq where we now have about 1,600 American soldiers dead and another 15,000 injured.”

The May 2005 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas
Well, “Revenge of the Sith” is finally coming out. And if that’s the most we have to look forward to this month, it’s going to be a sad, sad time.
We’re highly skeptical, but Variety gave the new Star Wars flicker a glowing review. Hollywood Reporter reviews it here. One more from Coming Soon. Here’s the rest of this month’s films below:
Ridley Scott film about the Crusades. Great timing, huh?
Main thing to keep in mind here is Ridley Scott, who turned even “Gladiator” into better-than-expected but not quite Best Picture worthy fare. I mean come on people “Traffic” was released that year. The screenwriter has been tapped to do three upcoming huge releases, including “Jurassic Park IV” (yes, there’s going to be a ‘IV’), Scorcese’s “Infernal Affairs” remake, and “Tripoli.” So Hollywood, at least, has confidence in him.
Casting is interesting. In keeping with the law that says that Orlando Bloom must not appear in a modern setting, he has the lead. Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson should be fun to watch (although I can happily wait to see Liam in “Batman Begins,” instead). And Ed Norton appears in a mask.
Actually, I don’t think this is going to be very good. But it’s going to look great.
The R is going to hurt a bit, but “House of Wax” is R, too, so….
Other problems include the second frame of “Hitchiker’s” this week and the one-two comedy punch of “Monster-in-Law” and “Kicking and Screaming” the following week. It’s gonna be hard to sell the Crusades with those options. Still, it’s a Ridley Scott epic, and even “Black Hawk Down” made over $100mil, and that was in the winter. $104mil.
Paris Hilton gets whacked. What more do you need to know?
Probably. This is from Dark Castle, the Joel Silver/Robert Zemeckis shingle that brought you “Gothika,” “Thirteen Ghosts,” and “Ghost Ship.” Almost all remakes, and not very good ones at that. Also, they bring the mad gore. Now, Elisha Cuthbert’s in this, but, then again, I must remind you of the gore, the suckiness, and the Paris Hilton who, even if she does get waxed (and not in a good way) will still be alive for part of the film. On the other hand, “Gilmore Girls” fans rejoice (or lament if you care about their cred) for Chad Michael Murray and Jared Padalecki’s presence in this mess.
This comes from the twin brother writing team that brought you “Baywatch: Nights,” which is strangely appropriate.
I will say this, however…this is the first Dark Castle trailer that actually looks scary.

[Read more…]