ZZ Top's VW Bus Ball

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This was created by Billy F Gibbons’ of ZZ Top. He also created the iconic Eliminator Coupe. Check out more pictures of the Bus Ball here.

Bottled Music

Check it out: Awesome Color at Glasslands tonight

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Awesome Color get compared to early Sonic Youth quite a bit, but that shouldn’t come as much of a shock, seeing as Thurston Moore has acted as their producer. Their live show is very high energy, and occasionally a bit violent, as lead singer Derek Stanton has been known to smash the occasional guitar on-stage. The Bushwick-by-way-of-Michigan trio also manages to work in some nifty Southern rock elements, which makes the classic rock nerd in me love them.
Mp3s: http://www.myspace.com/awesomecolor
Glasslands is at 289 Kent Avenue. Doors are at 9pm and An Alien Heat, and RJCC (from Sightings) also play.
-Cortney Harding

Pentagon: Intelligence relating to the Iraq-al-Qaeda relationship was manipulated for White House

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Meanwhile, CNN is reporting o Anna Nicole, astronauts who wear diapers, and skateboarding dogs. From WaPo

Intelligence provided by former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith to buttress the White House case for invading Iraq included “reporting of dubious quality or reliability” that supported the political views of senior administration officials rather than the conclusions of the intelligence community, according to a report by the Pentagon’s inspector general.
Feith’s office “was predisposed to finding a significant relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda,” according to portions of the report, released yesterday by Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.). The inspector general described Feith’s activities as “an alternative intelligence assessment process.”
An unclassified summary of the full document is scheduled for release today in a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which Levin chairs. In that summary, a copy of which was obtained from another source by The Washington Post, the inspector general concluded that Feith’s assessment in 2002 that Iraq and al-Qaeda had a “mature symbiotic relationship” was not fully supported by available intelligence but was nonetheless used by policymakers.
At the time of Feith’s reporting, the CIA had concluded only that there was an “evolving” association, “based on sources of varying reliability.”
In a telephone interview yesterday, Feith emphasized the inspector general’s conclusion that his actions, described in the report as “inappropriate,” were not unlawful. “This was not ‘alternative intelligence assessment,’ ” he said. “It was from the start a criticism of the consensus of the intelligence community, and in presenting it I was not endorsing its substance.”
Feith, who was defense policy chief before leaving the government in 2005, was one of the key contributors to the administration’s rationale for war. His intelligence activities, authorized by then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul D. Wolfowitz, and coordinated with Vice President Cheney’s office, stemmed from an administration belief that the CIA was underplaying evidence of then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s ties with al-Qaeda.
In interviews with Pentagon investigators, the summary document said, Feith insisted that his activities did not constitute intelligence and that “even if they were, [they] would be appropriate given that they were responding to direction from the Deputy Secretary of Defense.”
The report was requested in fall 2005 by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), then chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Although the committee and a number of official inquiries had criticized the administration’s prewar intelligence, Democratic senators, led by Levin, demanded further investigation of Feith’s operation.
“The bottom line is that intelligence relating to the Iraq-al-Qaeda relationship was manipulated by high-ranking officials in the Department of Defense to support the administration’s decision to invade Iraq,” Levin said yesterday. “The inspector general’s report is a devastating condemnation of inappropriate activities in the DOD policy office that helped take this nation to war.” READ IT ALL

Check it out: Parts and Labor and Girl Talk February 9th at Studio B

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The massive hype about Girl Talk just flat out baffles me. When I saw him at the Spin holiday party a few months ago, his act consisted of dressing like he was about to be photographed by the Cobrasnake, hitting ‚”play” on his iTunes, and spitting glitter at the audience while hopping around. People have since pointed out to me that he actually ‚”mixes,” or something, but really, it’s mostly just a cult of personality and pure spectacle.
If Girl Talk is all hype and no substance, Parts and Labor are total professionals with no pretension. Anchored by the monster drumming skills of Chris Weingarten, Dan Friel and BJ Warshaw layer walls of distorted sound upon wailing vocals, resulting in furious, manic noise. The press loved on their last record, the brilliant, paranoia-driven ‚”Stay Afraid”, and the word on the street is that their upcoming album, ‚”Mapmaker” will be even better.
Parts and Labor mp3s: http://www.partsandlabor.net/av.html
Girl Talk mp3s: http://www.myspace.com/girltalkmusic
Studio B is at 259 Banker St in Greenpoint. Doors are at 9pm, Parts and Labor are at 11pm, and Girl Talk is on at midnight. Cover is $15.
-Cortney Harding

Bluegrass Tribute to the Shins

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We’re lukewarm on the new Shins record, Wincing The Night Away. We like it, but it just doesn’t compare to Oh, Inverted World or Chutes Too Narrow. On the other hand, the tracks on this Bluegrass Tribute to the Shins are blowing us away. Care of [Underrated Blog]
The Shins Bluegrass Tribute – Know Your Onion!
The Shins Bluegrass Tribute – Kissing The Lipless
On an unrelated note, Aries Spears is the shiznit:

New M.I.A. Video: Bird Flu

We love you M.I.A.

"Will we print the NY Times in five years? I don't care," says the NY Times publisher

And given journalistic trainwrecks like Judith Miller, Arthur Sulzberger’s apathy shows: [From haaretz via Gawker]

Arthur Sulzberger – Given the constant erosion of the printed press, do you see the New York Times still being printed in five years?
“I really don’t know whether we’ll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don’t care, either,” he says. He’s looking at how best to manage the transition from print to Internet.
[…]
The New York Times is on a journey, Sulzberger says, and its end will be the day the company decides to stop printing the paper. That will be the end of the transition. It’s a long journey, and there will be bumps in the road, says the man at the driving wheel: but he doesn’t see a black void ahead.