Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Adam Lambert keen on Queen

NEW YORK - WILL he, will he rock you? Adam Lambert won't rule out a stint as the new frontman of Queen.

The legendary band has expressed interest in employing the 'American Idol' runner-up's formidable vocal skills, and Lambert is a big fan of the group once fronted by the late Freddie Mercury.

But the 27-year-old California native said in an interview Tuesday that he'd feel torn about joining the band.

'That's a tough question because, honestly, how do you say no to being in Queen?' said Lambert, sporting his trademark dark nail polish and blue-streaked hair. 'I mean, that's unbelievable. But at the same time, I do have my own thing to do right now, and that's my goal. So if I could, I would try to do both. That's the honest question. I would try to do both. I would love to perform with them anytime they wanted me to but I also have my record to do. So, we'll see.'

Lambert, a former theatre actor, has ambitious plans for his post-'Idol' debut album. 'My record will be kind of a rock-pop-electronic-dance thing,' he said. 'I don't know how to describe it. I think it's gonna take on a life of its own, as far as genre goes.' The album is in the very early stages and Lambert aims to co-write much of the material.

On 'Idol,' Lambert was the resident glam rocker, staging elaborate, over-the-top performances and daring to don goth-inspired outfits (with guyliner) on an otherwise family-style show.

'There's a way to take the glam rock of the '70s and the classic rock of the '70s and kind of modernize it. ... I want it to be produced in a very, very current, almost futuristic, way. So we're going to come up with something really fresh,' he said.

The musical mix will include 'sexy, dance-y, vibe-y' numbers and more emotional songs that 'appeal to people that are going through a hard time or don't believe in themselves,' he said.

'I want to communicate the liberation that is being comfortable in your own skin and that is being your own person,' said Lambert, who has largely kept his personal life under wraps. 'And the spirit of being different, and how strong that can make you feel.'

Any dream collaborators? 'Madonna would be amazing,' he gushes. 'I'd love to work with Madonna - I think she's a genius. She has great ideas. Lady GaGa is brilliant. She's got her finger on the pulse. She's the hot thing right now. Katy Perry's amazing, absolutely amazing.' -- AP

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Flock 2.5: Availble & Awesome Now

Hey Flockstars,

We have a very exciting new release for you! Flock 2.5 is now available, and is going to make your social browsing experience even more awesome.

New in 2.5:

FlockCast: a new feature that allows you to broadcast your actions (photo uploading, blog posting, status updating) from other social networks directly to your Facebook profile, whenever you want!

Facebook Chat: now integrated into Flock - chat with your Facebook friends where ever you are on the web!

People Sidebar improvements: you can now show full status updates, click links in status updates, and search both friend names and status updates.

Twitter improvements: see @replies, direct messages, and full tweets. Perform and save searches in MyWorld to stay on top of what's going on. If you haven't tried Twitter yet, this is a good excuse to give it a try - Flock makes Twitter even easier to use!

Flock 2.5 is available now at We'll be sending out auto-updates to you eventually, but if you want it now you can simply download and run the installer - Flock will migrate all your content as you upgrade.

Want to learn more about 2.5's new features? Check out the video demos at

We can't wait to hear what you think of Flock 2.5!

Evan Hamilton
Flock Community Ambassador
evan at flock dot com

Ex-Wilco member dies

URBANA (Illinois) - JAY Bennett, a former member of the band Wilco, has died at age 45, according to his record label.

'We are profoundly saddened to report that our friend died in his sleep ... Jay was a beautiful human being who will be missed,' read the posting Sunday on Undertow Music Collective's website.

Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy said in a statement Monday he was 'deeply saddened' by Bennett's death.

Tweedy said Bennett made significant contributions to Wilco's songs and the band's evolution. He said Bennett would be remembered 'as a truly unique and gifted human being.'

Bennett died at his Urbana home early Sunday, friend and fellow musician Edward Burch told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said an autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday.

Bennett worked as a sound engineer and played instruments for Wilco from 1994 to 2001.

Earlier this month, Bennett sued Tweedy, claiming he was owed royalties for songs during his seven years and five albums with the group.

In the breach-of-contract lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court, Bennett also claimed that he deserved money from the band's 2002 documentary, 'I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.'

The film documents the making of Wilco's album 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.' -- AP

Cocorosie / Coconuts, Plenty of Junk Food - Tour Only EP!

CocoRosie will be embarking on a summer tour beginning June 3rd, and as a thank you to their beloved fans, will be releasing a new tour only EP titled 'Coconuts, Plenty of Junkfood'. Five NEW, unreleased tracks which will only be available for sale at their shows. A brand new full-length album is also in the works which is tentatively scheduled for autumn 2009!!! Details on the full-length to be announced soon.

Watch Paolo Nutini Live In Session For The Sun

Paolo dropped by the UK's most popular newspaper recently to lay down three exclusive live tracks for The Sun's Bizarre sessions.

Click here: now to watch Paolo and the boys as they rock, roll and swing their way through barnstorming versions of new single 'Candy', 'Pencil Full Of Lead' and old favourite 'New Shoes'.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Malaysia-Singapore joint committee to discuss bridge linking eastern Johor & Singapore

SINGAPORE: Malaysia and Singapore will look into the possibility of linking up the eastern side of Johor and the Republic with a new bridge, said the prime ministers of both countries on Friday.

This proposal will be studied by the joint ministerial committee, which has already been set up to look into the development of Iskandar Malaysia.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak, who is in Singapore for an introductory visit, announced this at a joint news conference

Both leaders said they also discussed the possibilities of iconic projects between the two countries.

On Mr Najib's proposal to set up a wellness centre in Iskandar Malaysia, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee felt this could be expanded into a township.

This proposal will also be discussed by the joint ministerial committee, which is led by Singapore's National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan and Nor Mohamed Yakcop from the Prime Minister's Office in Malaysia.

Turning to the Points of Agreement (POA) between both countries, both leaders agreed that it had dragged on for too long for nearly 18 years after it was signed.

Hence, they have asked the foreign ministers of both countries to meet to implement the POA and to resolve the matter.

Earlier in the day, the Malaysian Premier and his wife were at the Singapore Botanic Gardens where an orchid was named after the visiting dignitaries.

Mr Najib, who is accompanied by his wife and several ministers, was introduced to Cabinet Ministers, top civil servants and members of the diplomatic community.

He is also set to meet Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and call on President SR Nathan.

- CNA/yb

Thursday, May 21, 2009

American Not Idol

LOS ANGELES - THE finale of US television's reality show 'American Idol' ended in a shock upset on Wednesday as a clean-cut underdog defeated a glam-rocker seen as the overwhelming favourite.

In a result that stunned viewers of the singing contest that has become a pop-culture phenomenon, Kris Allen, a 23-year-old from Arkansas edged out Adam Lambert, a quirky, make-up-wearing actor-singer from California.

US media had hyped the showdown as a smackdown between contestants from conservative 'red states' in the shape of Allen, versus the liberal attitudes of 'blue states' personified by the flamboyant Lambert.

An estimated 100 million viewers dialed in votes to settle the contest following a special on Tuesday where both singers performed a series of songs.

Wednesday's finale saw guest performances from stars such as Rod Stewart, Cyndi Lauper, Carlos Santana and the Black Eyed Peas.

Allen went back to his country roots in a performance alongside Keith Urban while Lambert reveled in the opportunity to play alongside Kiss.

Just before the results were announced, the two finalists sang together in a performance of Queen's anthem 'We Are the Champions.' Yet while it was Lambert who had been expected to be crowned champion, it was college student Allen who walked with the prize that will see him given a recording contract.

The show's panel of four judges had appeared to be leaning towards Lambert in Tuesday's show, with notoriously critical Briton Simon Cowell unusually effusive in his praise of the 27-year-old from San Diego.

'The whole point of doing a show like this is that you hope you can find a worldwide star and I genuinely believe with all my heart that we have found that with you,' Cowell told the singer.

'American Idol' was exported to the United States from Britain in 2002, quickly establishing itself as a television ratings giant.

The program aims to unearth the next big singing talent and past contestants such as Carrie Underwood and Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson have gone on to forge successful careers in the entertainment industry. -- AFP

Saturday, May 16, 2009

British Choir Sings "What's my age again ?"

Intimacy Remixed Out Now and Ares (Villains Remix) Video

From Bloc Party

Hello everyone!

First thing first - Intimacy Remixed is out now. You can get it on limited edition CD and limited edition vinyl from the Wichita Shop:

The digital version is available now from iTunes.

Also - the video that all of you made at the London Olympia shows for Ares (Villains Remix) is finally in.

You can check it out here

Friday, May 15, 2009

Depeche Mode cancel four more concerts

BUCHAREST : British band Depeche Mode announced Thursday it was cancelling four additional concerts in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia, amid fears over frontman David Gahan's health.

"Depeche Mode have been forced to cancel a further four shows on their Sounds of the Universe tour due to further complications from singer Dave Gahan's severe bout of gastroenteritis," the band announced on its website.

"Dave is currently undergoing further tests," it added.

The band had been due to perform in Bucharest, Sofia, Belgrade and Zagreb between May 16 and 21.

The concerts could still be rescheduled at a later date, it said.

Depeche Mode, one of Britain's most successful and longest-lived bands, already cancelled long-awaited gigs in Greece and Turkey this week after Gahan was rushed to hospital shortly before going on stage.

- AFP/il

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Myanmar to charge Suu Kyi

YANGON - MYANMAR democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi was driven from her house to prison on Thursday to face charges over a US man who swam across a lake and spent two days at her home last week, witnesses said.

A convoy containing her car and several police vehicles swept out of the 63-year-old's lakeside residence in the main city of Yangon just after 7.00am (0030 GMT, 8.30am Singapore time), they said.

Heavy security was in place and police sealed off the road to the house.

Witnesses said about 15 minutes later Aung San Suu Kyi's car entered the notorious Insein prison on the outskirts of Yangon, where she is due to appear in court in connection with the incident involving the American. Her party earlier said she was expected in court at 10.00am.

US national John Yettaw was detained by police in the military-ruled nation last week for gaining uninvited access to the 63-year-old Nobel Laureate's off-limits lakeside residence in Yangon and staying there for two days.

News of the charges emerged after the lawyer, Kyi Win, visited Aung San Suu Kyi at her home on Wednesday, the spokesman said. Aung San Suu Kyi has spent most of the past 19 years detained in virtual isolation in her house since the junta refused to recognise the NLD's landslide victory in the country's last elections in 1990.

Her party said at the weekend that she was in poor health and called for her to be given urgent medical assistance after her doctor was arrested for questioning over the incident with the American. Lawyer Kyi Win said last week that Mr Yettaw was an 'adventurous' American acting of his own accord.

Her latest period of detention at her home - where she lives with her maids and is permitted occasional visits from her lawyer and doctor - expires at the end of May but diplomats say it is likely the government will extend this sentence. -- AFP

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Share Your Flock Love With Top Flockstars

Posted May 7, 2009 - 12:44pm by Evan Hamilton

Hey Flockstars,

I'm super excited to announce a brand new tool for all of you passionate Flockstars out there!

Top Flockstars is a way for you to get recognized and rewarded for your hard work telling the world how much you love Flock.

We thrive on the word-of-mouth evangelism that you all generate. The majority of our 7.5 million downloads have been generated by you telling your friends, family, and colleagues about Flock. You love Flock, you tell your friends, and therefore we are able to keep making Flock better for you. We're immensely grateful for this gift you give us, and we wanted to give something back to you.

It's pretty simple:

1. Log into Top Flockstars using your Facebook account - we'll show you which of your friends are already using Flock
2. Use our form to tell your non-Flocking friends to download Flock
3. For each person who downloads Flock and logs into Facebook, you'll get a token
4. Spend your tokens on nifty rewards!

If you're super-persuasive with your friends, you'll get visibility on the Top Flockstars leaderboard (I'm looking forward to watching the competition). You can also compete on a smaller scale with the friends leaderboard, which shows you how you're doing against your own Facebook friends. And, of course, you get the joy of knowing you've turned your friends on to an awesome browser.

This program is made possible through the power of Facebook Connect. Instead of requiring you to sign up for a new account to participate, all you need are your Facebook credentials. Simple. We're pretty sure that Top Flockstars is the first program to use Facebook Connect in this way, and psyched to break new ground by creating another interesting way to get the most out of Facebook and Flock working together.

This program is all about you, and as always your feedback is key. Let us know what you think.

Now go get 'em!

Evan Hamilton
Community Ambassador

evan at flock dot com

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hope mixes with grief among China's quake survivors

BEICHUAN, China: Gong Guilin lost both his legs in last year's massive Sichuan earthquake. Now he dreams of becoming a Paralympic tennis player.

One year after the quake struck, hope is slowly returning to Gong's life, as it is for millions of other survivors, but for many the will to move on is mixed with a sense of indelible grief.

"I like tennis best, but I play basketball and like riding the bike," Gong, 20, said, showing off his new artificial legs.

"My goal is to go to college. I want to participate in the All China Handicapped Games and then advance to the International Paralympics."

But on the eve of the first anniversary of the quake, the tragedy still haunts the survivors of the 8.0-magnitude quake in this mountainous region in southwest China's Sichuan province.

Nearly 87,000 people were killed or left unaccounted for when the quake struck a region the size of South Korea, in the worst natural disaster in China in over 30 years.

In Beichuan town, the worst hit area where about 20,000 people were killed or reported missing, weeping survivors trickled into the once bustling hub over the weekend to pay respects to their loved ones.

Authorities had largely kept Beichuan town under lock and key due to the vast destruction wreaked by the earthquake, but ahead of the first anniversary thousands of former residents have been allowed to return to mourn their dead.

"I know I must resume my normal life," said Lin Zemao, a teary-eyed 50-year-old farmer who lost his wife and son in the quake, standing in front of the ruins where his son was killed.

"They would want that, but since they left there is really nothing to live for."

For four days since Sunday, survivors have been allowed to return to perform traditional Chinese rites. Most go to the places where they believe their loved ones died. The sound of wailing relatives drifts through the air.

Throughout the devastated and rubble-strewn town, where even the buildings left standing are on the verge of collapse, mourners bow in prayer, burn paper money and incense and set off firecrackers to scare off evil spirits.

"My husband is buried over there," says retired school teacher Liu Huifang, 57, pointing to a pile of rubble and debris.

"On the morning of May 12, he sent me away to the bus station to visit my mother. That was the last time I saw him. After the earthquake, I dared not return. I waited a week for his call, but it never came."

The destruction has been so widespread that the government has decided not to rebuild Beichuan, but instead is planning to turn the town into an earthquake museum.

In the quake zone, those with intact homes and with families are gradually building new lives, but the weakest victims still need help.

Few places have offered more hope than the Hong Kong-funded Stand Tall rehabilitation programme that specialises in artificial limbs and physical therapy at the Sichuan People's Hospital in the provincial capital Chengdu.

"When our patients first came here they were at emotional lows. They had lost hope, but after they saw the facilities and the technology, they quickly improved," Cai Li, vice-head of the hospital told AFP.

"Now they see they have the ability to re-enter society as normal people and they know that we will help them."

The picture is not so bright for the elderly, as many will live out their remaining days in nursing homes set up throughout the region by the International Red Cross Federation and the Chinese Red Cross.

"My three children need to find jobs and take care of themselves, so I must try to take care of myself as well," said Li Guo, a fragile 75-year-old woman at a nursing home in badly damaged Mianzhu city.

She told AFP she now spends her time with other senior citizens, whiling away the time playing cards, chatting and watching television.

"I like living here better than with them because they are never home and leave me by myself anyway."

Francis Markus, spokesman for the International Red Cross, said victims in the quake zone will have needs that must be served for a long time to come.

"For many, the earthquake resulted in tremendous economic pressures with incomes in some families set back by 15 years," he told AFP.

"This has brought more pressure on looking after the elderly and is why the Red Cross must support this kind of home in China."

- AFP/yt

Monday, May 4, 2009

Britney Spears Announces European Tour

"The Circus Starring Britney Spears 2009 Tour" Comes To Europe This Summer For An Exclusive Limited Engagement

After an extraordinary run of 39 North American tour dates Britney Spears is bringing "The Circus Starring Britney Spears 2009 Tour" to Europe. The largest arena concert spectacular to ever tour Europe will begin its run with 8 nights at London's O2 Arena starting June 3. "The Circus Starring Britney Spears 2009 Tour" is a dazzling display of music, dance, magic and theatrics.

New European tour dates are:

June 19 - O2 Arena - Dublin, Ireland
June 20 - O2 Arena - Dublin, Ireland
July 5 - Bercy - Paris, France
July 6 - Bercy - Paris, France
July 9 - Sportpalais - Antwerp, Belgium
July 11 - Parken - Copenhagen, Denmark
July 13 - Globen - Stockholm, Sweden
July 16 - Hartwell Arena - Helsinki, Finland

Visit or stay tuned to Facebook Events for more information.