Saturday, September 30, 2006

LA Weekly - ¡Viva Border Volleyball!

This is freaking awesome.

When the Texas one goes up, can we go Paintballing in it?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - 3:00 pm

California’s most desolate and unknown beach is desolate and unknown for a reason. It has no name, no facilities, no parking lot. There are no signs for it inside Borderfield State Park. There are no signs for the park either. To get there, you depart the 5 freeway 10 miles south of San Diego, follow the roads to where the gas stations give way to horse stables, get lost in the overgrowth and streams of the Tijuana River delta, and from there walk the dirt road two miles through coastal dunes to emerge at the Pacific.

This is a filthy beach, where the Tijuana River deposits human waste, heavy metals, toxic poisons and other industrial effluvia from Mexico into the ocean. “CONTAMINATED WATER; DEEP HOLES; RIPTIDES; NO LIFEGUARD; NO SWIMMING!” the signs announce.

No switching sides allowed
This is also a geopolitically divided beach, purposefully hidden, a DMZ in miniature where the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol would prefer no distractions as they monitor the fence of metal pylons that draws a 20-foot-tall line in the sand all the way into the sea.

It is the perfect beach, in other words, for the world’s first game of international border volleyball.

This is the idea, at least, as I trek to the beach with no name to meet Brent Hoff and three other collaborators who plan to stage the match. There, under the noon sun, are a lone umbrella, some towels, lots of water and a brand-new volleyball. Hoff is the editor of Wholphin, a new DVD magazine published by McSweeney’s. For the DVD’s menu, Hoff wants to film a game of beach volleyball using the border fence as the net.

Through the pylons we can see hundreds of people — families, kids, ice-cream vendors and fishermen — all hanging out on Mexico’s side. The fence itself has kind of a beach vibe here: It’s broken in parts, and Mexican nationals wander back and forth, left alone by the border-patrol units perched up on the hill unless they happen to wander a bit too far.

“Why not use this no-man’s land as a real beach,” Hoff adds, now spinning the volleyball in preparation, “and see if we could strike up a friendly pickup game? There’s no law against that.”

Or is there? Hoff suddenly wonders if hitting the ball back and forth constitutes a violation of U.S. Customs law, since goods are technically being transported across an international border. “Does a nice volley amount to three strikes? Can we all get thrown in the slammer?” One friend of Brent’s refused to come down because he thought we’d all get shot.

We decide to take our chances. Here we are, under the perfect sun of San Diego, where beach volleyball reigns, so why should that be any different just a few miles south?

With Hoff’s three collaborators filming, he needs a second, and so I am volunteered to be the other half of Team USA. By chance, we are both wearing white tank tops, beaded necklaces and swim trunks — just the right uniforms for Team USA to show everybody who’s boss. (U-S-A! U-S-A!) Hoff’s shades are yellow and mirrored for a nice finishing touch. We approach the fence. Within seconds Team Mexico is formed, and the match begins.

Beach volleyball is a much different game when played over two-story metal pylons. Strategy and nuance go out the window. There are few sets and certainly no spikes. Mostly, it’s tit-for-tat power bumps that send the ball in 30- and 40- and even 50-foot arcs. The ball hangs in the air so long that a lot of time is spent looking skyward, bracing for another bump that hopefully goes in the right direction. Waiting for one good knock to fall from the blue, it occurs to me that our entirely new sport makes for some extreme, if inadvertent, political theater. Despite the difficulty, the game is fun — and surprisingly uninteresting to the border patrol, who zipped down at the drop of a hat several times earlier but now seem content to observe us with binoculars.

Spectators line up on the other side too. Beachgoers watch the game, and a bunch of kids doing a college art project film us as well. We learn that our opponents are two guys named Jerry and Larry. Jerry grew up in El Monte. He’s in Mexico because he “made mistakes in his life” — I notice a big “EMF” for the El Monte Flores gang on his arm. But now, he says, he’s on the right path. Larry is a student with long, rocker hair; he’s wearing a black shirt and jeans.

Although we’re not really playing for points, it’s clear we’re losing. Hoff makes heroic dives, and I’m (sort of) pulling my weight in the volleys that develop, but Jerry and Larry have strength and stamina, despite the fact that Jerry is older and wider than me and Hoff combined, and Larry looks like he should be melting.

After an hour or so, we call it quits. Our wrists are red and raw as we go to the fence to shake hands. A crowd gathers for this moment of cultural exchange, which turns into a photo opportunity. Like China’s pandas, Hoff and I are goodwill ambassadors. See how furry and friendly we really are? We’re not all saber rattlers up here! We take pictures with Jerry and Larry, with the art-school kids, with some tourists from Canada who are marveling at the whole thing.

All this activity finally brings down the hammer of the border patrol, and a jeep shows up to separate us. The officer is friendly but firm. He’s just come on shift and has no idea we’ve been playing volleyball over the fence for the past hour.


He tells us that a daredevil launched himself across the border in a cannon a while back, but that ours was, in fact, the first-ever game of international border volleyball.

“And it worked over that tall fence?”

“Yup,” we say. “We’re up for one more round if you want to play.”

“No, man,” the officer says. “I’m on duty.”

Junk Food Blog: Jimmy Dean Chocolate Chip Pancakes & Sausage on a Stick

There's something inherently wrong about this product. American's are weird, anyway, mixing sweet and savoury with abandon; but this... This... Just look at it carefully...

Mystery meat surrounded by CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKE.


It's actually making me hungry.

Now I'm craving battered sausage. :: Bar fight at the Irma roils Cody

The reaction of the tourists here is almost as amusing as the name of the reporter...

CODY - It's usually the mock Old West gunfight outside the Irma Hotel that has tourists talking, but an old-fashioned barroom brawl late Monday night captivated at least one out-of-town couple.

"A couple came up to me after it was all over and shook my hand and said, 'We're from South Carolina, and we just want to thank you, that was the best bar fight and greatest entertainment we've ever had,' " said Scott Richard of Cody.

Richard said he was present for the melee, and at times became sucked into the fracas. In a town known for rowdy saloon brawls, Richard said he heard the fight described as the biggest in 15 years.

Details of the incident are sketchy. Police declined to release names or other information, citing an ongoing investigation and possible charges. Some were briefly hospitalized following the fight, which ended around 12:40 a.m. Tuesday, according to eyewitnesses.

Kelly Jensen, administrative services director for the city of Cody, said she was unaware of the extent of any injuries.

According to Richard, the fight broke out shortly after midnight in the Irma's Silver Saddle bar.

"Somebody in the bar, as a joke, yelled, 'Last call for alcohol,' " said Richard. A drink then got sloshed onto the ceiling, where it dripped onto an individual who took umbrage with the turn of events, he said.

"This skinny guy stands up and starts lipping off," Richard said.

Amid an attempted apology, someone else threw a punch, and Richard said he stepped in to try to break things up but was also hit.

"And then all hell broke lose," he said.

According to eyewitness Jasper Nielson of Cody, the bar was particularly busy, with a number of hunters and outfitters present.

A large group was also in the bar celebrating a birthday, he said.

As many as a dozen people were fighting at one time, with three or four separate incidents dying down and starting again over at least a 20-minute period, Nielson said.

The fight was at times bloody and brutal, and it continued outside on the hotel porch, where a window was spattered with dried blood Thursday.

"It looked like a grenade went off," Nielson said of the scene afterward.

Although bartenders tried to intervene - including one who suffered a dislocated elbow and severe bruises - the fighting continued.

Police were delayed in responding because the two officers on duty were tied up at a previous call, where a reportedly violent suspect was barricaded in a bedroom.

Jensen said 911 dispatchers received an initial call about the Irma incident at 12:25 a.m. An off-duty police officer and a Park County Sheriff's deputy arrived at the scene by 12:41 a.m.

Some at the scene questioned that timeline, estimating a 30-minute delay, but said they were unsure when hotel staff first called police.

Officers reported learning that seven individuals were involved in the altercation, Jensen said. Nielsen estimated at least a dozen people were fighting at once.

A number of glasses and bottles were broken, according to eyewitnesses, and hotel maintenance worker K.C. Forsyth said a chair and table were broken. "That's never happened before," he said.

Officers solve overcrowding puzzle - at Krispy Kreme: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

As if they didn't spend all their time there anyways...

Ex-doughnut shop answers sticky question

By Erika Pesantes
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted September 30 2006
Boynton Beach· Mayor Jerry Taylor admits the place he's found to house police officers, who work out of the congested police headquarters, will elicit chuckles.

But good-humored police are ready to brace themselves for the batch of jokes. In fact, bring them on, they say.

Taylor says the former Krispy Kreme Doughnut shop on Boynton Beach Boulevard just west of Interstate 95 could be perfect for a police substation. He will propose leasing space that would relieve the cramped police station during Tuesday's commission meeting.

"There's really no room to turn around. People work in the type of environment you put them in," Taylor said of the current 18,354-square-foot location. "It's not conducive to good performance if you cram people like sardines."

The Krispy Kreme site is spacious and has plenty of parking, he said. The doughnut shop, which opened in August 2003, flopped and now remains vacant and up for lease.

At the police station attached to City Hall, fingerprinting must be done in hallways that are crowded with filing cabinets and other office supplies.

Recently, a team of 18 traffic unit officers worked out of a 400-square-foot room with moldy carpets. They moved out, but 12 officers and sergeants from the Community Action Team are due to move in.

They currently work in a 150-square-foot space.

"It's not pleasant to come to work and walk through a maze to get to your office," Maj. Frank Briganti said. "At this point, we're so cramped that anything would be welcomed.

"After a few months, the doughnut jokes will wear off and we'll be happy to occupy the Krispy Kreme place."

A 2003 study found the Police Department desperately needed an additional 53,000 square feet of space to work comfortably -- nearly three times the size of the current headquarters.

Sgt. Philip Hawkins said occupying the site of the former Fire Station 2 would be ideal for police. It just needs to be revamped, he said, adding it has generators and large bay doors.

"It's got everything," he said.

Over the past five months, police officers have been shifting around the tight quarters and even overflowed into a classroom at its range at Miner Road and Gateway Boulevard.

About 200 police officers and clerical employees squeeze into the police headquarters and the 6,981-square-foot range.

And more employees are soon expected -- five additional police staffers have been budgeted for.

Taylor said leasing space to alleviate the department would be an interim solution until construction of the 65,000-square-foot police facility at the site of the proposed Emergency Operations Center at Gateway Boulevard and High Ridge Road begins in late 2009.

For now, police anxiously await relief, despite the jokes that may roll in.

"It's a bad stigma we're trying to kick," said Sgt. John Bonafair. "But we're willing to work with whatever they give us. If we get the space, we'll take the jokes."

Friday, September 29, 2006

What's Your Beer Personality?

Bugger. I hate these things. I never turn out the way I want to. I should be Stella Artois. Sam Adams is for beer nerds.

You Are Samuel Adams

You're fairly easy to please when it comes to beer - as long as it's not too cheap.
You tend to change favorite beers frequently, and you're the type most likely to take a "beers of the world" tour.
When you get drunk, you're fearless. You lose all your inhibitions.
You're just as likely to party with a group of strangers as you are to wake up in a very foreign place.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Your favourite group/artist and your top 3 songs by them

Saw this question on forum I frequent. This, I guess, is my answer...

Today I'm gonna go with Meat Beat Manifesto.

1. Circles from Satyricon. I first heard this album on an overnight ferry to France to meet up with my then girlfriend for Valentine's Day. It was the beginning of the end of our 2 year relationship, and the lyrics just struck me. "Why do we idolise it, if we can't justify it?" Add to that a cool acid-jazz groove, and these great discordant harmonies, this song seems shorter than it really is (4.15 minutes), but mostly because I want it to last forever.

2. Now from 99%. I've only recently (like in the last few years) been able to play catch-up with MBM's earlier stuff. Now is the perfect introduction to the band, a funky, jazzy backbeat that could have been the backdrop to an early Public Enemy track. The lyrics are little wanting, and it can be a little jarring to hear a white guy from Swindon rapping, but all the hallmarks that would make this the band that should be much bigger are there.

3. Acid Again from Actual Sounds & Voices. Where does this opening sample come from? It's brilliant... "Are you unhappy?" "I'm happiest I've ever been. I'm not happy. I'm not happy at all, really. I'm very sad, I'm... I'm not happy. I'm so fat - I don't feel very pretty. I really don't." "You know a lot about drugs?" "Oh, I live for drugs. It's great. Just lately I... freaked out... on acid... I freaked out very, very badly. You know I don't think I'll ever take acid again and before I thought that was the best thing in the world. I never want it again. Never acid again." And a slow burning Moog tune explodes into one of the coolest, aggressive live-drum breakbeats ever recorded. The simple "acid again" sample, along with an extra "I dig that" slides around the groove, giving way only to gloriously psychedelic sitar refrains, 303 knob-tweaking, chunky guitar chords and housey-synth riffs. Once it starts all I want to do is dance my freaking arse off for 7 solid minutes. It's the perfect mixture of everything Acid has come to mean to the British public; pure psychedelic electronica.

Ahem. Luckily for everyone I have no ambition to a music journalist.


I love the last line of this story. New York's West Village is one of my favourite places to hang out when in the city. If you get a chance, go to the Four Faced Liar on West 4th Street - cheap beer, fantastic juke-box, and a great mix of people.

Most of my early West Village experiences involve hanging out with gay friends for some reason. Usually being invited to someone's party and then having the 'friend' who invited me not show up. So there I am, the only straight male at a party filled with some of the most camp gay guys I've ever seen, every single one doing their best to convince me I must be gay, too.

"Look, you must be gay! Look at your long fingernails! You're drinking gin! You're kissing boys!" Etc...

Yeah, they'd usually have me convinced by the end of the night. But, cock-tease that I am, I'd always leave 'em hanging.

Some of the gay bars in the West Village can be a little intimidating if you're straight, though, especially when you have to take a leak - best advice: take a guide with you. Finally - stay alert - that way you're less likely to end up lashed to a railing in a rubber suit like this guy...

September 28, 2006 -- Only in the West Village, kids . . .

The body of a man clad in a kinky black leather mask and decked out head to toe in S&M gear was hanging from a chain-link fence on Hudson Street yesterday - as many passers-by ignored it, thinking it was a Halloween display.

The slightly built, fair-skinned mystery man may have been choked to death by a dog collar around his neck, it's other end strapped around a 3-foot-tall fence post, police sources said.

The 40ish, tattooed man was found kneeling, braced face-first against the fence in front of 424 Hudson St. at around 6:45 a.m.

In a bizarre twist, the body had been there for at least an hour, dismissed by some who walked past as a quirky seasonal display in an area scattered with S&M and gay bars.

"The body was covered with a black suit and he had a mask on his face," said deli owner Indra Patel, who first spotted the strangely posed corpse when he opened next door around 5:30 a.m.

"I thought it was a dummy. It looked like a dummy, because every year they do decorations like that. I was wondering why they put up the [Halloween] decorations early."

Patel said at least an hour went by before a woman walking her dog realized the sidewalk exhibit of a man wearing a pair of leather spiked gloves, chaps and a vest was a real person and called police.

Cops were investigating if the man had committed suicide or died during some sort of bizarre auto-erotic sex game.

An autopsy will be performed today to determine how the man died. Police sources said there was no sign of a struggle and they don't believe he was a victim of foul play.

Another witness, Kevin Samuel, 50, a porter for a building across the street, said he had looked at the body several times but it just never clicked that it might be a real person.

"I'm staring at him and I think, 'Is that a prop or a real person?' His legs looked like he was twisted on an angle and that he fell in it [the fence]. It looked like he was stuck there and couldn't get up, like he lost his balance," Samuel said.

"He didn't look like a person. I think he had a black mask on; I couldn't see his face.

"I was looking at him for a while. I've never been stumped before trying to identify people. I'm ashamed of myself in a way because, I didn't realize it was a human being."

A worker repairing a gas leak at Hudson and Leroy Street said "I thought it was a decoration for Halloween. I thought it was a scarecrow."

Another passer-by, Ralph Constanza, 31, said, "It looked like he had a bad night, I can tell you that."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | 09/24/2006 | Local moms compete for 'Hot' title

I really don't know what to say here, really. Most of it would be smarmy, and filled with 'Jugs of Hot MILF' style punnery. Though I imagine I could throw a little social commentary about how 'Desperate' the networks are to pull a new reality TV show out of a 'Housewives' beauty pageant.

Not to fear, though. I'm not quite lowering myself to Entertainment Tonight standards... yet.

A gaggle of gorgeous moms from across South Florida lined up in Miami Beach for a chance at cash prizes, a modeling agency interview and the title of 'Hottest Mom in America.'

Jacqueline Atwood, 17, from Hobe Sound, keeps her mother, Danielle, 47, company as she waits to audition for 'The Hottest Mom in America', a new reality TV show.
Jacqueline Atwood, 17, from Hobe Sound, keeps her mother, Danielle, 47, company as she waits to audition for 'The Hottest Mom in America', a new reality TV show.

At 5 a.m., when many partygoers are going home from clubland, a bunch of fair ladies began lining up Saturday outside an empty Miami Beach theater with no velvet rope and no bouncer.

Some wore classy, elegant dresses, while others looked set to embrace a brass pole. There were naturally pneumatic stunners and others who obviously had had some, ahem, surgical assistance.

But they all shared one sultry goal: to become the Hottest Mom in America -- and earn some cash for themselves and their kids.

There they were: scores of foxy South Florida moms flocked to the Byron Carlyle Theater on 71st Street, happy to spend up to two or three hours waiting in line for their turn to audition for the hot mom contest.

Mark Hughes, the show's executive producer, said more than 200 women turned out for the auditions. ``We want moms who are not just physically attractive, but confident, energetic, smart and involved with their kids and communities.''

Everybody, it seems, wants to be sexy from the cradle to the grave these days. Given our national obsession with hotness, it's no surprise that ''reality'' contest shows are so popular.

''I think I'm a pretty hot mom, and my son is the world to me,'' said flaxen-haired Yvonne Leibow, a Miami loan officer, communications student and mom of 2-year-old Devin. ``My family supports my being here. They agree that I'm hot.''

Gawking male motorists agreed, too. Distracted by the bulging cleavage and lithe legs on display, a few rubberneckers nearly crashed into one another.

Every so often, a crew member with a headset would run up and down the line of contestants, motioning for them to cheer wildly and wave their arms in the air whenever a TV camera ventured close.

''I don't know what the heck we're supposed to be cheering for, but here goes,'' said Meisha Robinson, a North Miami single mom and beauty salon manager. 'I'm here mostly just to say, `I did it.' My family can't believe it.''

Sagine Douge, of Hollywood, said her husband told her she was crazy. ''You're gonna get up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday?'' mimicked Douge, who has a 1-year-old son, Jordan.

To audition, the moms tell a camera why they think they should win and briefly display any showbiz talents, like singing or dancing. The computers take stills of the contestants, which are later displayed on the show's website, hottestmomin

Through further interviews, the field will be narrowed to 50, then 10, then five, Hughes said. ``Some of the ladies see it as a chance to begin a career in TV, but most are just having fun with it.''

The winner will get $25,000, plus a $25,000 scholarship for her child or split among her children, an interview with a modeling agency and treatments with Restylane, an injectable antiwrinkle gel, for a year. Auditions are scheduled through October in Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, New York City and Los Angeles. TV stations then will bid to air the show once it's done filming, Hughes said.

Homestead ''hottie'' Stacey Christidis, wearing what looked like a shirt with the bra on the outside, said she would use the prize money to pay medical bills for her daughter Malaina, 6, who has autism.

''Motherhood is the hardest job,'' said Christidis, a doting mom who also has a 3-year-old son, Nico.

"Why not make some money at it?''

KGBT 4 - TV Harlingen, TX: Frisco outs art teacher after museum trip

Friscoans: Sex-starved Puritan prudes? Maybe...

Frisco outs art teacher after museum trip

FRISCO, Texas Frisco school trustees aren't renewing the contract of a veteran art teacher who was reprimanded because a student saw a nude sculpture during a museum visit.

Sydney McGee has been on paid administrative leave from Fisher Elementary School since Friday.

McGee's contract runs through the end of the school year.

Board members declined to take questions after their closed meeting tonight. They have previously said there were concerns over McGee's performance.

Her attorney, Rogge (ROWG-EE') Dunn says he would wait for written clarification from the school district to decide how to proceed.
McGee's attorney says the teacher's troubles started after taking 89 students on a school field trip to the Dallas Museum of Art in April. The principal later admonished McGee about the trip, telling her a parent complained about a student seeing nude art.

AP Wire | 09/26/2006 | Man in thong leaves behind video of burglary attempt

File under "Borat Wannabe".

A Kentucky man wearing only a thong and carrying a knife is accused of videotaping himself attempting a burglary, then leaving the tape behind, police said.

Helped by the tape, police arrested Rodney McMillen, 36, of Covington, over the weekend and charged him with burglary, Police Chief Steve Hensley said. He was found at his mother's home in Norwood, Ohio, Hensley said.

McMillen is accused of breaking into a woman's apartment on Sept. 20, clad in only thong underwear and carrying a knife, Hensley said. The woman fended off the attacker, who left the apartment and fled into a stand of trees near the apartment complex, Hensley said.

Investigating officers found a video camera the burglar left in the apartment and found video of McMillen's family on the end of the tape, Hensley said.

Investigators were able to identify some of them and tracked down McMillen at his mother's house, Hensley said.

McMillen was being held in the Hamilton County Justice Center in Cincinnati on $50,000 bond, awaiting extradition to Kentucky.

Pistol Found in Carry-On at Md. Airport

Luckily, it was neither liquid nor hidden in a lipstick case.

And I love how everytime ANYTHING happens now, particularly at airports, we instantly need to be told that it had nothing to do with terrorism.

(09-22) 17:53 PDT LINTHICUM, Md. (AP) --

Security screeners discovered a pistol in a carry-on bag at Baltimore's main airport Friday morning, and two concourses were evacuated when its owner disappeared, authorities said.

The bag was held at the security checkpoint at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, but the man who owned it passed through, airport spokesman Jonathan Dean said.

There was no indication of terrorism, police said.

Police, security officers and search dogs unsuccessfully hunted the terminals for a man in his early 30s, wearing blue jeans and a red and black track jacket, Transportation Security Administration police spokesman Jonathan Green said.

"We simply were acting with all due precaution," Dean said.

The pistol was a .25 caliber semiautomatic, Green said.

Concourses A and B, which serve Southwest Airlines, reopened after 90 minutes. Passengers were being required to go through screening again, Dean said.

More than a dozen flights were delayed, said Cheryl Stewart, an airport spokeswoman.

Killer Teddy Bear Leaves 2,500 Fish Dead

Beware the bears, man!

(09-25) 14:16 PDT Milford, N.H. (AP) --

A teddy bear has been implicated in 2,500 deaths. Of trout, that is. State officials say a teddy bear dropped into a pool at a Fish and Game Department hatchery earlier this month clogged a drain. The clog blocked the flow of oxygen to the pool and suffocated the fish.

Hatcheries supervisor Robert Fawcett said the bear — who was dressed in yellow raincoat and hat — is believed to be the first stuffed bear to cause fatalities at the facility.

"We've had pipes get clogged, but it's usually with more naturally occurring things like a frog or even a dead muskrat," he said. "This one turned out to be a teddy bear and we don't know how it got there."

The deaths prompted Fawcett to release a written warning: "RELEASE OF ANY TEDDY BEARS into the fish hatchery water IS NOT PERMITTED."

He said it's not known who dropped the bear, but urged anyone whose bear ends up in a hatchery pool to find a worker to remove it. "They might save your teddy bear, and keep it from becoming a killer," he said.

"It's kind of a cute little teddy bear and people wouldn't think that a cute little teddy bear would be able to kill fish."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

TV on the Radio give a ‘voice to our time ’ - ALTERNATIVE ROCK -

Easily the greatest album of this year.

NEW YORK - TV on the Radio already had a singer before Kyp Malone joined the band.

Tunde Adebimpe’s soulful, oscillating croon was considered by many one of the strongest voices in rock music, thanks partially to his ability to individually render each of the syllables in a few words like “storefront cemetery.”

The band has been a fixture of the vibrant musical scene in the hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, which has also included the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Liars. TV on the Radio, with Adebimpe’s urgent vocals and David Sitek’s layers of guitar and electronic fuzz, first showed its potential on the 2003 EP “Young Liars.”

Soon after hearing it, Malone — already a friend — joined the band, bringing an exceptionally high-pitched voice and another songwriting perspective, adding to an already talented lineup, rounded out by bassist Gerard Smith and drummer Jaleel Bunton.

“It’s been my dream for a long time ... to marry early ’90s noise with Usher,” says the bearded, soft-spoken Malone. “And then when I met [those] guys, it was like that can actually happen.”

“I see a space for me,” jokes Adebimpe, finishing Malone’s sentiment.

What specifically constitutes the space of TV on the Radio has led to some head-scratching metaphors and desperate grasps for language. Sitek, also the band’s producer, would prefer not to label it any more specifically than “rock.”

“I personally am trying to be like Earth, Wind and Fire and Wu-Tang,” says Adebimpe, who spent much of his childhood in Nigeria, moving to New York about 14 years ago. He remains the group’s primary vocalist.

‘Simply one of this year’s best albums’
Whatever the concoction, TV on the Radio finally sound fully formed on their new album, “Return to Cookie Mountain,” released last week on Interscope Records. Though the band’s 2004 disc, “Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes,” was reviewed well and won honors like the Shortlist Music Prize, critics say “Cookie Mountain” is their greatest achievement.

The New York Times called it “simply one of this year’s best albums”; Vanity Fair described it as “beautiful, inspired noise”; and wrote that TV on the Radio “fulfill the enormous potential hinted at on its first three records.”

They also have at least one rock legend in their corner: David Bowie, who first heard the band several years ago when his doorman passed a CD along. He’s since guided them with advice and puts in a guest appearance on the song “Providence.”

“They have a strong link with the great body of American poetry, especially Beat poetry,” Bowie has said. “The sampling, multi-tracking and mashing identifies them as the spawn of a techno-industrial society.”

At a recent interview in Williamsburg, Adebimpe, Sitek and Malone lamented the transition of their neighborhood from grungy and unified to increasingly chic and socially dispersed.

Befitting their hipster roots, the three can express disdain for less progressive ways of life. They speak of “some rich person” or “accountants” like enemies, and refer to their own work as “art.” (Sitek, Malone, Adebimpe and Bunton have also individually been involved variously with painting, photography, animation and filmmaking.)

But the band spends as much time laughing as they do fretting over politics, and the overarching impression TV on the Radio gives is that they are aggressively conscious — both of themselves and their times.

“We wanted [‘Cookie Mountain’] to be the most accurate representation historically of us and our relationship with each other and the world — and that just isn’t easy,” says Sitek. “Hopefully, we’re giving a voice to our time that addresses a bunch of stuff that isn’t the most common subject matter for popular music.”

Not afraid to attack Bush
Much of the album is imbued with thoughts on the current state of the world. On the disc’s opener, “I Was a Lover,” Adebimpe and Malone sing in unison: “We’re sleepwalking through this trial/ And it’s really a crime, it’s really a crime, it’s really a crime.”

Last year after Hurricane Katrina, TV on the Radio released the song “Dry Drunk Emperor” free on their Web site. Both vicious and beautiful, it attacked President Bush, urging people to “shut down this hypocrisy.”

On Sept. 14, TV on the Radio kicked off their current tour in New Orleans, an intentionally symbolic opener for the band. Sitek, who grew up in Baltimore, sees government’s failure of cities elsewhere, though: “Everywhere is New Orleans,” he says.

“It feels criminal to me to know what’s going on in our name around this world and to just keep turning up the cognitive dissonance,” says Malone. “And everyone’s doin’ it. I’m not saying we start a militia — I don’t know, cause I don’t really know what to do.”

Shortly after saying this, TV on the Radio will head to Manhattan to perform on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” where they’ll play their blistering new single, “Wolf Like Me.”

Though Adebimpe stops short of raising an army, he spews a fury of passion through his microphone and out through television sets — his eyes closed, his head flayed backward, and his left arm waving spastically.

He sings over and over: “We’re howling forever and ever, oh oh.”

Police: MySpace photo prompted woman to hire hit man

Yet another reason why I never put anyone else's face on my MySpace pages...

MESA, Ariz. — A 22-year-old woman was arrested after authorities say she tried to hire someone to kill another woman whose photo appeared on her boyfriend's Web page.

Heather Michelle Kane was booked Tuesday for investigation of conspiracy to commit murder, Mesa Detective Jerry Gissel said.

She was arrested after she met an undercover Mesa police detective at a grocery store, gave the officer $400 and offered to pay an additional $100 once the woman had been killed, according to court records.

The records say Kane gave the undercover officer photographs taken from her boyfriend's social networking Web page of the woman she wanted killed. She also requested a photo of the woman's dead body.

It wasn't clear if the boyfriend and the targeted woman were romantically involved, Gissel said.

“Madden” curse strikes again? - Reuters Newsblogs

I love this game, even though I'm still playing the 2004 edition. Please Madden, don't put any Giants' players on the cover next year, mmkay?

It looks like the infamous “Madden curse” has claimed another victim. Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander broke his foot in Sunday’s game against the New York Giants and will be warming the benches for at least two weeks.

Alexander, last season’s NFL MVP and cover athlete for “Madden NFL 07″, joins a growing list of players who have been injured or had a dismal season after having their likeness on the cover of the best-selling football game from Electronic Arts Inc.

Athletes poo-poo the curse, which some say has taken over where the so-called “Sports Illustrated jinx” left off.

Here’s a quote from Alexander, which was attributed to an August story in USA Today: “The way I look at it, if I was going to get hurt this year, being on the cover had nothing to do with it,” he said. “So if I was going to be hurt, I’d rather be on the cover than not on it.”

Here’s a list of prior “cursed” ”Madden” cover players, from an August 27 report in the Los Angeles Times:

2001: Eddie George of the Tennessee Titans, which went to the Super Bowl the previous season but lost, bobbled a pass in a playoff game against Baltimore. The pass was intercepted by a Baltimore defender and returned for a touchdown. The Titans lost.

2002: Quarterback Daunte Culpepper sat out five games because of injury, and his Minnesota Vikings finished 5-11.

2003: Running back Marshall Faulk suffered an ankle injury and failed to rush for 1,000 yards, and his St. Louis Rams finished 7-9, after having gone to the Super Bowl the previous season.

2004: Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick broke his leg the day after the video game hit stores and ended up playing only five games.

2005: Linebacker Ray Lewis sat out a game because of injury, ended his season without a single interception, and his Baltimore Ravens failed to make the playoffs.

2006: Donovan McNabb, quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, sat out the last seven games due to injury. The Eagles lost five of them and failed to make the playoffs.