Underground Rock’s Ace Of Debasement

from SPIN

Swans Leader M. Gira: Say No to Society, Record Labels, Touring With Your Spouse

by Kory Grow

“I don’t know how Kim and Thurston did it for so long.”

Over the past three decades, Michael Gira has established himself as underground rock’s ace of debasement. From the brutal, self-pugilistic caterwauls of sludgy art-rockers Swans to the brittle, American Gothic doom-folk he recorded with Angels of Light, he strips music down to its harrowing, bare-bones essentials. It’s no wonder, then, that his acidic bellowing and post-blues licks resound in the works of industro-rockers like Godflesh and heady metallers like Neurosis as much as experimental folk artists like James Blackshaw and Wooden Wand. Since 1990, he’s applied the same principles to running his home-brewed record label Young God, launching the careers of freaky folks like Devendra Banhart and Akron/Family; running his business with a cutthroat, do-it-yourself attitude a good decade before the rest of the internet followed suit. He is an iconoclast’s iconoclast, so, we asked him to explain his outlook on life on the eve of the release of Swans’ 12th album, the relentless, cinematic, two-hour bludgeon The Seer

[ click to continue reading at SPIN ]

Dad’s Family Saved By Sexy Scraped Red Toe

from The NY Daily News

Extortion scheme aimed at Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein undone when cops intervene in roommate feud over a bag of cat food

You can’t make this up: A violent extortion plot aimed against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein fell apart when cops had to intervene in a domestic disturbance over cat food in the home of the would-be mastermind and found an incriminating fake ID A violent fight over a bag of cat food helped bring down the man accused of demanding millions from Harvey Weinstein in a plot that threatened the movie mogul’s family. Suspect Vivek Shah, now facing federal charges he ordered Weinstein and four other wealthy individuals to pay up or he’d start killing loved ones, had a critical run-in with cops on May 22 after his female roommate called 911 claiming assault. The fight inside their West Hollywood, Calif., bungalow stemmed from a confrontation over Shah’s placement of a cat food bag in a recycling bin, Shah said in a court statement obtained by the Daily News. “[Shah] stormed into my room in a violent rage and slammed my door open so hard, it scraped the skin on the top of my foot and it started bleeding,” roommate Stephanie Harris said in a court filing seeking a restraining order. Cops who responded found Shah in possession of a fake driver’s license bearing the name Ray Amin – the ID used to rent the mailbox used in the alleged extortion scheme. The May 22 incident is mentioned without description in the federal indictment of Shaw made public Wednesday. “I’m scared of him,” Harris told The News Friday. “He’s a dangerous individual.” Harris told the court Shah, 25, boasted about taking a “muscle enhancement” that altered his moods. She said she asked him to move out after the altercation, but he refused. [ click to read full article at NYDailyNews.com ]

Neil Armstrong Gone

from The Chicago Sun-Times

Editorial: America should shoot for the stars again

The moment Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon, he became slightly other­worldly in our eyes, cloaked in a golden aura that did not sit easily with his shy and private ways.

But Armstrong understood the power of that aura and used it, sparingly, over the years for a cause he believed in fully: human space exploration. One of his last high-profile public appearances, in 2010, was to testify before a Congressional committee against the Obama administration’s plan to redirect NASA’s efforts away from human exploration of space and toward more basic long-term science research.

That, Armstrong said, would be “devastating.”

NASA’s first priority, he said with a touch of the same poetry he brought to his first step on the moon, should be “learning to sail on this new ocean.”

[ click to continue reading at The Chicago Sun-Times ]

The Day Woody Boyd Died

from Grantland

You Either Smoke or You Get Smoked

An oral history of White Men Can’t Jump


By Thomas Golianopoulos

White Men Can’t Jump begins with a 19-minute sequence that features a version of “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” by the Venice Beach Boys, more rat-a-tat “yo momma” jokes than a season’s worth of BET’s ComicView and, of course, some pickup basketball. Director Ron Shelton (Bull DurhamTin Cup) wanted to establish that his actors — a ragtag cast that included a burgeoning movie star, a fifth-lead sitcom actor, former NBA players, Division-I washouts, weekend warriors, and Kadeem Hardison in a goofy hat — really had game. So when the film’s stars, Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, step to the top of the key for a best-of-five shooting contest, Shelton doesn’t cut away to the basket. No camera tricks, no editing, no ringers. There was just one problem: His actors couldn’t stop chucking up bricks.

“We were looking at our watches like, ‘When are these guys gonna make one?'” says actor Ernest Harden Jr., who looked on during the six-hour shoot. One day on set, Harden uttered what became the film’s mantra: That word action is a motherfucker. “You could be prepared,” Harden says. “And then you hear ‘action’ and everything goes wrong.”

[ click to continue reading at Grantland ]

Excellent Non-dietary Use For Turtles Finally Discovered

from 10 News San Diego

Turtle Rescued After Being Taped To Balloons

Woman Who Reported Incident Defends Herself From Criticism


OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Authorities are looking for whoever taped a turtle to several balloons and sent it flying in an Oceanside neighborhood.

The turtle was spotted duct-taped and dangling from balloons that were caught high up in a eucalyptus tree. Some neighbors next door saw what was going on and tried to help the turtle.

“We look up and there’s green and blue balloons up there,” said resident Chanelle Wright. “He was just swinging his arms trying to get out of it. Somebody had taped him to the balloons.”

In the meantime, the turtle hung dangling in the wind. That’s when Joel Rabago’s mother got out her camera and started taking video of the hanging turtle.

“When something like this happens, she always takes the video camera, no matter what it is,” Rabagos said.

The Oceanside Fire Department eventually arrived with a big ladder truck, but as they were about to rescue the turtle, a gust of wind blew him down to earth.

[ click to read full story at 10 News ]

Fender Lynx Wins. Veterinary Dentist Wins. Mini-van Owner Loses.

from The NY Daily News

Dogs gone wild! Pack of crazed pit bulls demolish California minivan

In an attack reminiscent of ‘Cujo’ four pit bulls attack Dodge minivan trying to get to cat hiding in fender.


A pack of pit bulls ripped through the front of a Southern California man’s minivan in a stunning display of force that would make Cujo cringe.

So what drove the dogs to such destruction? A kitty stuck in the bumper area, Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Kovaleff said Tuesday.

The unidentified owner of the Dodge minivan was parked at his home in Banning when he saw the damage to his vehicle Monday morning, according to CBS affiliate KESQ in Palm Springs.

The kitty, described as a short-haired tabby about seven weeks old, was even given a name “Fender Lynx” — after the fender she was found in and because her ears resemble those of a lynx.

No more car fenders for this plucky pussy cat. The Palm Springs Animal Shelter hopes to find her a permanent home Saturday.

[ click to read full article at NYDailyNews.com ]

Holy Sh!t. Tony Scott Gone.

from TMZ

Director Tony Scott Commits Suicide – Jumps Off L.A. Bridge


Famed director Tony Scott — who directed “Top Gun” among many other major films — jumped to his death today off an L.A. bridge … this according to the L.A. County Coroner.According to the Coroner, 68-year-old Scott — Ridley Scott’s brother — jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge spanning San Pedro and Terminal Island around 12:30pm.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Jennifer Osburn said a suicide note was found in Scott’s Toyota Prius, which was parked on one of the eastbound lanes of the bridge.

Scott directed such films as “Top Gun,” “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Enemy of the State,” and “The Taking of Pelham 123.”

[ click to continue reading at TMZ.com ]

The Pussy Heard ’round The World

from The Guardian

Pussy riot trial: ‘We are representatives of our generation’

As three members of the Russian punk band await a verdict, we examine how they managed to find themselves in the dock

By Miriam Elder in Moscow

They have targeted some of Moscow’s most well-secured sites with their flash concerts – the metro, a jail, Red Square – but it was a 40-second performance inside Russia‘s official church that proved a step too far for a system increasingly intolerant of dissent.

“We are representatives of our generation,” Maria Alyokhina told the court in an opening statement that reads like a manifesto, as Pussy Riot went on trial on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. “It is important for me to understand whether the church is growing along with society or whether it remains a conservative institution. In the search for an answer, I did not expect a repressive and inquisition-like reaction.”

Pussy Riot formed as an anonymous feminist punk collective in October 2010, in the weeks after Putin’s declaration that he would return to the presidency after four years as prime minister. He had stepped down because the constitution did not allow more than two consecutive terms as president. His formal return, although expected, sent a wave of anger through segments of Russian society. Some began to refer to him as Tsar; others used the word “authoritarian”.

The women of Pussy Riot, students and graduates of some of Moscow’s most prestigious schools, were among that number.

“A lot of us couldn’t sleep after this announcement,” a member of the band, who identified herself as Tyurya, told the Guardian during a rare interview early this year. “We felt such anger because of this rudeness, this arrogance towards citizens. So we decided, damn it, we need to do something.”

[ click to read full article at The Guardian ]

LORE: I live the life of a general at war.

from Entertainment Weekly

An extraterrestrial interview with ‘Rise of Nine’ author Pittacus Lore — EXCLUSIVE

by Stephan Lee


When Lorien elder Pittacus Lore called me earlier this week, I had a hard time understanding him at first. Of course it was due to the voice-changer he was using to hide his identity, as he is in the midst of a high-stakes, intergalactic battle against the Mogadorians. At great personal risk, Lore spoke to EW about his new book Rise of Nine (Aug. 21) in the Lorien Legacies series. He also shared his thoughts on the I Am Number Four movie and what Loriens like to read and watch. Also read on for news of Lore’s possible book signing appearances in the future.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Your books have been widely read since I Am Number Four. Are you loving the author’s life?
PITTACUS LORE: I don’t live an author’s life. I live the life of a general at war. While I have been writing the books during moments of peace, my full-time job is hunting and killing Mogadorians. That being said, I appreciate all the support we have gotten from readers around the world.

Have you enjoyed interacting with earthling readers?
Yes I have. I interact with them online every day and occasionally I show up at events though none of them know I am actually Pittacus Lore. Readers of Earth have been great to me and to the other Loriens here on Earth.

What can we expect from Rise of Nine?

Rise of Nine starts more or less where the Power of Six ends. Number 4 and Number 6 are trying to find the other Lorien on Earth. They are both wounded and have both fought massive battles. They are trying to find their brothers and sisters so that they can end the reign of terror brought on by the Mogadorians.

[ click to continue reading at EW ]

iSoda? (or, The Geekiest Dumb Thief Ever)

from The San Jose Mercury News

Steve Jobs home burglary suspect accused of stealing wallet, driver’s license, special computers with house key

By Mike Rosenberg and Jason Green / Staff writers / © Copyright 2012, Bay Area News Group

PALO ALTO — Detectives say Kariem McFarlin told them he was desperate for easy cash when he saw the Palo Alto home being renovated, hopped over the fence, found a spare key and went inside. No lights, no alarm, no one home. Then he discovered what hallowed ground he was on: the home of the iconic late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs.

Alone and with free rein of a house belonging to one of the richest and most secretive families on the planet, McFarlin made off with some of the legendary gadgets Jobs helped create, police said in a report released Tuesday, one month after a break-in just now being publicized. He grabbed iPhones, iPads, Macs and iPods, then found Jobs’ wallet — with a single dollar inside — and, perhaps most shockingly of all, took his driver’s license.

Police said he also snatched $60,000 worth of Tiffany & Co. jewelry and Cristal Champagne, and even took a soda-maker and kitchen blender.

[ click to continue reading at The SJ Merc ]

Horshack Gone

from The New York Times

Ron Palillo Dies at 63; Played Horshack on TV

ABC, via Photofest


Ron Palillo, who portrayed the goofy high school underachiever Arnold Horshack in the hit 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter” with such definitive oddballness that he had trouble for years afterward finding work as an actor, died on Tuesday in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 63.

“I know him, love what he does, not right for the part,” Mr. Palillo said in a 1997 newspaper interview, repeating what he said was the mantra of every casting director he met after his years on “Kotter,” which was on ABC from 1975 to 1979. “Everybody thought of me as Arnold Horshack. I resented Horshack for so many years.”

Welcome Back, Kotter” starred Gabe Kaplan as a high school teacher returning to his alma mater in Brooklyn to take over an unruly class of remedial students known collectively as the Sweathogs (because their top-floor classroom was always hot). The Sweathogs were Vinnie Barbarino (played by John Travolta), Freddie Washington (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), Juan Epstein (Robert Hegyes) and Horshack, to whom Mr. Palillo imparted two trademarks: a braying laugh that sounded like a DisposAll with a utensil caught in it, and a wild waving of his hand to answer Mr. Kotter (usually wrongly) while grunting: “Ooh, ooh, Mista Kahta! Mista Kahta!”

[ click to read full obit at NYTimes.com ]