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Tuesday? Ensues Music News Day

| Tue Oct. 23, 2007 6:10 PM EDT

mojo-photo-news1023.jpg

  • Police in England shut down today what they called "the primary source worldwide" for illegal, prerelease music downloads. The invitation-only "OiNK" site turned out to be run by a 24-year-old dude in Middlesbrough, northeast England. Look, they caught the kid in his bathrobe:

    OiNK's servers in Amsterdam were shut down as well, but here's an OiNK memorial site if you're feeling sad.
  • Def Jam chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid confirmed his support for Nas after the rapper announced his new album would be called Nigger, saying "Anything Nas wants to do, I stand beside him." The Rev. Al Sharpton, on the other hand, condemned the choice, saying "We do not need to be degrading ourselves… we get degraded enough."
  • Lance Bass describes life in the closet during his years in 'NSYNC to MTV News, saying he had people close to him sign non-disclosure agreements, and that the band's management and publicists didn't advise him against coming out, because, he says, even they didn't know. Huh.
  • The BBC has been criticized for allowing a racist remark by Iggy Pop to go uncensored and unacknowledged during the network's live broadcast from Glastonbury in June. Pop told a story about visiting "Paki shops" in Camden, using a term that the BBC said has now passed out of "polite usage."
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    The End of the Infinite Internet?

    | Tue Oct. 23, 2007 5:30 PM EDT

    Everyone's favorite cable monopoly has been caught dabbling in some interesting political waters of late. Last week, the Federation of American Scientists, a group of scientists, engineers, and other technical professionals who research and comment on national policy issues, published a company handbook revealing that for the bargain price of $1,000, Comcast would happily intercept any and all of its customers' communications that the government requests through FISA.

    Hillary: "Pay Attention To Your Hair"

    | Tue Oct. 23, 2007 5:23 PM EDT

    Bill-Hillary-1970-New-Hav.jpg

    So I was walking past "Blow," a new salon in the MoJo hood, when I spotted this quote, attributed to Hillary Clinton, taped on the door:

    I have to say that in all the years since I've been at Yale, the most important thing that I have to say today-is that hair matters. This is a life lesson my family did not teach me, Wellesley and Yale failed to instill on me: the importance of your hair. Your hair will send very important messages to those around you. It will tell people who you are and what you stand for. What hopes and dreams you have for the world…and especially what hopes and dreams you have for your hair. Likewise, your shoes. But really, more your hair. So, to sum up. Pay attention to your hair. Because everyone else will.

    And I thought: That can't be real. But it is.

    This isn't meant to be a slight on Hillary, btw. More just a sad commentary on the state of politics in America. More on how Hillary is judged on her looks here.

    CDs Out Today and a Word From Critics

    | Tue Oct. 23, 2007 4:58 PM EDT

    CoheedCoheed and Cambria
    No World For Tomorrow
    (Sony)
    Rolling Stone: "Impressive" (3.5/5 stars)
    Blender: "Blazing" (3.5/5 stars)



    DaveDave Gahan
    Hourglass
    (Mute)
    The Guardian: "Magnificence" (4/5 stars)
    Rolling Stone: "Depeche-sounding" (3/5 stars)



    mojo-cover-carrie.jpgCarrie Underwood
    Carnival Ride
    (Arista)
    Slant: "Cliché-addled" (2/5 stars)
    NY Times: "Clever" (no grade)



    mojo-cover-serj.jpgSerj Tankian
    Elect the Dead
    (Reprise)
    Billboard: "Arty" (no grade)
    AllMusic Guide: "Ambitious" (4/5 stars)

    Mitt Romney is Fictionally Handsome

    | Tue Oct. 23, 2007 2:55 PM EDT

    Re-reading Sridhar Pappu's 2005 article on Mitt Romney ("The Holy Cow Candidate"), I'm reminded of some similarities...

    romney_and_superheroes.jpg

    Thankfully, that only took me two and a half hours to create.

    Weird Weather Watch: Southern California Fires

    | Tue Oct. 23, 2007 2:44 PM EDT

    By now, you've probably heard that there's a really big wildfire in the San Diego area, and it's being fueled by the Santa Ana winds. It's the worst fire in four years—which is saying something in Southern California. Fire season is especially bad this year due to the erratic weather that's the hallmark of climate change: First, record rainfall produces lots of brush; then, a record drought turned it into so much kindling. Add the Santa Ana winds, and you've got a conflagration. 170,000 acres, to be exact.

    Almost 300,000 people have been asked to evacuate, and about 10,000 of them spent the night in Qualcomm stadium (formerly San Diego Stadium). Seems that as climate change progresses, more and more of us are going to be camping out in behemoth football stadiums. Their corporate sponsors are probably stoked.

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    Superdome Redux, San Diego Style

    | Tue Oct. 23, 2007 1:16 PM EDT

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    As you've likely heard, wildfires are shellacking San Diego. More than 150,000 acres have burned, 1,200 homes have been destroyed, and 300,000 people have been evacuated. And while the devastation is tremendous, the loss of life thus far has thankfully been only one, and those without homes, are, well, doing alright.

    Last night more than 10,000 of the home-less bedded down in Qualcomm stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers (football).

    Yep, professional sports stadiums are worth those taxpayer dollars in an emergency pinch, but unlike those who braved the Superdome during and after Katrina, the atmosphere at Qualcomm is, dare I say it, festive. As Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger put it in his news conference earlier today: "The people are happy. They have everything here."

    It is southern California after all—those forced to flee include Mel Gibson, Kelsey Grammer, and Victoria Principal—so should we be surprised to learn that last night bands played, gourmet food was served, and massage therapists were on-hand to assist the tanned and tattered refugees?

    Now, I've been an evacuee myself, during the Oakland Hills fire in 1991 that flew through Oakland and Berkeley destroying nearly 3,000 homes and killing 25. It's scary, and downright devastating for those who lose everything. I mean not to minimize their suffering, it's just interesting to see the contrast of rock and roll playing and bellies full, with the squalor endured in a less well-heeled community when the going was just as rough.

    The Blackwater Suit You've Never Read About

    | Tue Oct. 23, 2007 1:13 PM EDT

    Private military contractor Blackwater USA is currently facing multiple law suits, including one filed recently on behalf of the victims of the Nisour Square shooting, but there's one you haven't heard about. Filed last Friday in U.S. district court on five handwritten pages—one of them bearing a picture of what appears to be the plaintiff in a towel—the suit accuses Blackwater, among other military contractors, of a litany of abuses, ranging from murder and treason to arson and identify theft. The plaintiff is an extraordinarily litigious inmate named Jonathan Lee Riches, who's serving a 10-year sentence at a South Carolina correctional facility on a wire fraud (and identify theft) rap.

    By my count, Riches has filed no fewer than 41 suits this month alone—drafting as many as six handwritten complaints per day—and at least 106 since February 2006. In the past, he's accused Martha Stewart of an elaborate plot to "silence" him; sought "$63,000,000,000 billion" in damages from embattled NFL star Michael Vick; and targeted Senator John McCain for "campaign finance fraud," requesting a restraining order to prevent the presidential candidate and his children "from coming to FCI Williamsburg"—where Riches is incarcerated—"to kill me because I exposed them."

    Indeed, Riches' court filings make for some interesting reading. A sampling from his Blackwater complaint:

    Plaintiff moves for a temporary restraining order against the contract killing of my life and compels the Defendants' to shut down overseas operations A.S.A.P., under Declaratory Injunctive relief. Plaintiff seeks peace in the world without American companies meddling in the Affairs of other Nations. Plaintiff also seeks to add me on to the 2008 Presidential Ticket, as Plaintiff plans to run as a Independent crime/corruption stopper.

    Riches, who occasionally refers to himself as "Teflon Jon," also seeks "the return of Jonathan Lee Riches' copyrighted weapons, grenades, bow and arrows, GPS tracking, mugs and t-shirts." in addition, he requested that the IRS look into Blackwater's tax records—an odd coincidence considering that Henry Waxman's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform unearthed an IRS ruling yesterday that the California congressman pointed to as evidence of "significant tax evasion" on behalf of Blackwater.

    Either Mike Huckabee is Really Bad at Math, or He Has His Facts Wrong

    | Tue Oct. 23, 2007 11:59 AM EDT

    On Sunday, Mike Huckabee said the signers of the Declaration of Independence were "brave people, most of whom, by the way, were clergymen." CQ's Politifact.com says "not so fast":

    Only one of the 56 was an active clergyman, and that was John Witherspoon. Witherspoon was a Presbyterian minister and president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). . .We'd like to give Huckabee every benefit of the doubt, but even if you consider former clergymen among the signers the best you could come up with is four. Out of 56. That's not "most," that's Pants-on-Fire wrong.

    Or he could just be bad at math. See, maybe he was trying to make a point: we need better math education in schools so that presidential candidates will know that you need 29 out of 56 signers to have "most." At least that's what I choose to believe.

    Garrison Keillor Stops Woman From Sending Him Dead Beetles

    | Tue Oct. 23, 2007 11:41 AM EDT

    keillor.jpg This is just completely bizarre:

    Order Blocks Harassment of Keillor
    Oct 23rd, 2007 | ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Garrison Keillor has gotten a restraining order against a Georgia woman he claims has made telephone calls and sent him explicit e-mails and disturbing gifts, including a petrified alligator foot and dead beetles...
    Keillor's filing said the e-mails and letters were often "disturbing, unintelligible and rambling," and in one, [the accused, Andrea] Campbell "graphically described making love to me."
    He also alleged Campbell showed up at his home in St. Paul in July. His wife was startled awake early one morning by the sound of someone rustling around outside the family's house. She filed a police report.
    Campbell denied the allegations in a telephone interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She said she only wanted to show her gratitude for Keillor's work.
    "I am unclear as to what the problem is," she said.
    Campbell said Keillor had misunderstood the letters, e-mails, packages and phone calls. She said she was never closer to his house than the sidewalk.
    "I believe that he's paranoid, or some woman, his wife, is upset and told him he has to do something about it," she said...
    "It's transcendental love, that's all" she said. "Between a writer and reader."