Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The New York International Auto Show is less than a week away, and as the auto world waits enthusiastically to see what the global automakers have in store, we thought it would be a good time to give you a preview of what to expect at this years show. As the show’s Director, Candida Romanelli puts it, “Whether you’re in the mood for a new car, or just fantasizing about your dream ride of the future, the New York Auto Show has got just what you’re looking for,“. So sit back, and take a look at some of the hottest vehicles set for debut this year.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
This lightweight sports car comes complete with Gullwing doors and the ultimate handling dynamics. It comes powered by a 6.3L, V8 front-mid engine that develops 571 hp when coupled with a seven-speed double-declutch transmission and sports suspension with aluminum double wishbones.
“the new ultimate sports machine” – Automobile Magzine
Complete with a light aluminum body, powerful and efficient engines and improved MMI control system, the new Audi A8 is slated to arrive in dealerships later this year. The Audi A8 comes equipped with an FSI direct injection 4.2L V8 engine that outputs 350 hp.
“meant to appeal to wealthy consumers looking for maximum luxury and space” – Edmunds.com
In spite of all the commotion experienced during its sale to Spyker, SAAB seem’s to have done itself an unmistakable job with this Scandinavian beauty that is based of SAAB’s Aero X Concept. The 2.8L, V6 engine is enhanced by a Borg-Warner twin-scroll turbocharger, which results in 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque
“a clear resurgence of past design traits married to a modern, sleek profile” – MotorAuthority
Ford Shelby GT500
The 2011 Ford Shelby GT500 is expected to take high performance to a whole-new level with improved handling capabilities, driving dynamics and fuel efficiency. It comes loaded with a muscular 5.4L all-aluminum V-8 engine that generates up to 550 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque.
“has the aluminum powerplant we all wanted…, and the effect is absolutely en-lightening.” – Autos.aol.com
After sales figures that exceeded expectations by ten-fold in Japan, the sleek, stylish and sporty Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe is bound to give the Toyota Prius its first real competition. Powered by a 1.5L i-VTEC engine and Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) electric system, the CR-Z hybrid coupe is expected to hit a mileage of 36 mpg city/38 mpg highway.
“Transforming the automotive landscape” – MotorTrend Magazine.
This luxurious performance sedan comes with a slew of latest technology features, including the Blind Spot Navigation (world’s first system to help avoid blind spots) and Eco Pedal (encourages eco-driving behavior). The M37 comes loaded with a 3.7L, V6 engine that outputs 330 hp, while the M56 comes with a direct injection 5.6L, V8 that delivers 420 hp.
“M has gone from a good-looking sedan to a gorgeous, exotic-looking car from the future.” – cars.about.com
Hyundai seems to be one of the fastest growing brands, and that claim seems to have been substantiated by Kelly Blue Books (KBB) analysis that Hyundai beat Toyota for “Brand Loyalty” for the first time this year. Hyundai’s popular mid-size sedan, based on their new “fluidic sculpture” design comes with a Theta II 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine that delivers 198 hp.
“the perfect symbol of Hyundai’s transformation.” – The Truth About Cars.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet
This fabric-top two-door E-Class Cabriolet from the Mercedes-Benz staple exudes confidence and style like none other. It comes in a choice of either a 3.5L, V6 delivering 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque in the form of the E350, or a 5.5L, V8 that churns out 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque in the form of the E550 cab.
“2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet is a smooth Spanish Fly(er)” – Autoblog
Based off the Nissan Qazana concept crossover we saw at last years Geneva Motor Show, the slightly larger Nissan Juke comes with a squared-off roofline along with a pair of extra doors. In the European markets the Nissan Juke is available in either a 1.5-liter turbo-diesel I-4, or one of two 1.6-liter I-4s, one of which comes with a turbocharger.
“filling a niche between the Versa hatchback and Rogue crossover.” – Consumer Report
The lighter, more powerful and fuel-efficient Porsche Cayenne comes with a complete interior and exterior styling re-design. Watch out for the Cayenne S Hybrid – a highly advanced full hybrid that delivers the performance of an eight cylinder with the fuel-economy of a six cylinder. It packs 333-hp, through its supercharged V-6 engine teamed with a 47-hp electric motor.
“…the Cayenne isn’t the sportiest member of the Porsche range, but it does offer a level of precision, feel, and driver gratification that is lacking in many other luxury SUVs” – MotorTrend Magazine.
By Maxim Tkachenko,
Moscow (CNN) -- The world's largest country by land mass is challenging time: This weekend, Russia is cutting the number of its time zones from 11 to 9.
"The less fractional division of the country will enable us to resolve a number of transport and communications issues, will increase its manageability and strengthen the position of Russia as an important chain in the world's global infrastructure," President Dmitry Medvedev said at a special Kremlin meeting devoted to the issues of time change.
Technically speaking, five Russian regions -- two in European Russia and three in Siberia -- will not join the rest of the country in moving the clock one hour forward to daylight saving time at 2 a.m. Sunday, thus coming a little closer to Moscow.
Aman Tuleyev, governor of the Siberian coal-mining region of Kemerovo, which will undergo a time zone change, said at the Kremlin meeting that the existing time zone span doesn't make a lot of sense.
"You travel just a 100 miles to any neighboring city in our area and need to switch your watch one hour back, then move it one hour forward again upon return. This has been creating needless confusion for both businesses and regular people," he said.
Some local governments of the regions where the time zone change will take place have been lobbying in favor of this measure for years, and overwhelmingly supported the proposed federal initiative.
But not everybody is happy.
Video: Cost of daylight-saving
In Samara, the closest region to Moscow to experience a time zone change, a series of modest-size protests took place against what activists called a darker future. With the new time, they'll see sunset one hour earlier, which they fear will result in higher electricity bills for the population and translate into a rise in street crime.
"In winter, school kids would be walking back home in darkness, while we adults would barely see any sunlight after we finish work," one activist told CNN by phone.
Last November, in his annual State of the Nation address, the Russian president proposed an even more radical reform. He suggested not only to cut the number of time zones in Russia but also abolish the current switch to daylight saving time, which the country has been doing since 1981.
Throughout this year, government officials and scientists will closely examine the consequences of the time reform in the five Russian regions, and a further reduction of time zones in Russia might take place in the future if the experiment proves positive, according to Medvedev.
The president also called upon experts to finalize their studies on the possible effects of abolishing the daylight saving time in Russia by February 2011.
"Many Russian citizens are not happy about those times switches," he said. "Nobody has ever told me it's a good thing and that they feel better. But we must take into account all factors involved," he said.
According to Russia's energy officials, the abolition of the daylight saving time would increase the country's energy consumption by 4.5 billion kWatt/hour which translates to about $85 million of extra spending.
--Scientist Sergei Kravchenko
But chief Kremlin economist Arkady Dvorkovich told Russian media it's false economy. The measure would increase energy consumption by only 1-3 percent, but the negative effects of the time switch are far worse, he said.
"The energy advantages are negligible," he said, "but the health of the people and their stable biological rhythms is a much more important factor."
Many experts argue that time changes expose people to additional stress which leads to more industrial and road accidents, as well as health problems for people with chronic diseases.
"Reports say that in the first 5 days after a time change the number of ambulance calls of patients with blood hypertension and cardiac infarction cases increases by 11 percent. And the number of suicide attempts in those days grows by 60 percent, " scientist Sergei Kravchenko told a popular Russian weekly.
Agriculture is also an industry that is negatively affected: Farm animals are used to being fed and milked at the same time and suffer when people change current time twice a year.
The general public is mostly welcoming the time reforms in Russia.
"It would indeed be great if they abolished the daylight saving time," one blogger said. "What kind of energy economy are you talking about? Major factories are working around the clock anyway. As for citizens, they pay their own electricity bills and want the government to leave them alone and not to stick its nose into their purses."
By JODI KANTOR
WASHINGTON — One evening in April 2008, three low-level staff members from the Obama presidential campaign — a baggage handler, a videographer and an advance man — gathered in the windowless basement of a Pennsylvania hotel for an improvised Passover Seder.
Pete Souza/White House
The day had been long, the hour was late, and the young men had not been home in months. So they had cadged some matzo and Manischewitz wine, hoping to create some semblance of the holiday.
Suddenly they heard a familiar voice. “Hey, is this the Seder?” Barack Obama asked, entering the room.
So begins the story of the Obama Seder, now one of the newest, most intimate and least likely of White House traditions. When Passover begins at sunset on Monday evening, Mr. Obama and about 20 others will gather for a ritual that neither the rabbinic sages nor the founding fathers would recognize.
In the Old Family Dining Room, under sparkling chandeliers and portraits of former first ladies, the mostly Jewish and African-American guests will recite prayers and retell the biblical story of slavery and liberation, ending with the traditional declaration “Next year in Jerusalem.” (Never mind the current chill in the administration’s relationship with Israel.)
Top aides like David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett will attend, but so will assistants like 24-year-old Herbie Ziskend. White House chefs will prepare Jewish participants’ family recipes, even rendering chicken fat — better known as schmaltz — for just the right matzo ball flavor.
If last year is any guide, Malia and Sasha Obama will take on the duties of Jewish children, asking four questions about the night’s purpose — along with a few of their own — and scrambling to find matzo hidden in the gleaming antique furniture.
That event was the first presidential Seder, and also probably “the first time in history that gefilte fish had been placed on White House dishware,” said Eric Lesser, the former baggage handler, who organizes each year’s ritual.
As in many Jewish households, the Obama Seder seems to take on new meaning each year, depending on what is happening in the world and in participants’ lives (for this group, the former is often the same as the latter).
The first one took place at the bleakest point of the campaign, the long prelude to the Pennsylvania primary, which was dominated by a furor over Mr. Obama’s former pastor. “We were in the desert, so to speak,” remembered Arun Chaudhary, then and now Mr. Obama’s videographer, who grew up attending Seders with his half-Jewish, half-Indian family.
No one led the proceedings; everyone took turns reading aloud. Mr. Obama had brought Reggie Love, his personal aide, Ms. Jarrett and Eric Whitaker, another close friend, all African-American. Jennifer Psaki, the traveling press secretary, and Samantha Tubman, a press assistant, filtered in. Neither had ever been to a Seder, but they knew the Exodus story, Ms. Psaki from Catholic school and Ms. Tubman from childhood Sundays at black churches.
They peppered the outnumbered Jews at the table with questions, which the young men sometimes struggled to answer. “We’re not exactly crack Hebrew scholars,” said Mr. Lesser, now an assistant to Mr. Axelrod.
Participants remember the evening as a rare moment of calm, an escape from the din of airplanes and rallies. As the tale of the Israelites unfolded, the campaign team half-jokingly identified with their plight — one day, they too would be free. At the close of the Seder, Mr. Obama added his own ending — “Next year in the White House!”
Indeed, the group, with a few additions, has now made the Seder an Executive Mansion tradition. (No one considered inviting prominent rabbis or other Jewish leaders; it is a private event.)
But maintaining the original humble feel has been easier said than done.
Ms. Tubman and Desirée Rogers, then the White House social secretary, tried to plan an informal meal last year, with little or even no wait staff required. White House ushers reacted with what seemed like polite horror. The president and the first lady simply do not serve themselves, they explained. The two sides negotiated a compromise: the gefilte fish would be preplated, the brisket passed family-style.
Then came what is now remembered as the Macaroon Security Standoff. At 6:30, with the Seder about to start, Neil Cohen, the husband of Michelle Obama’s friend and adviser Susan Sher, was stuck at the gate bearing flourless cookies he had brought from Chicago. They were kosher for Passover, but not kosher with the Secret Service, which does not allow food into the building.
Offering to help, the president walked to the North Portico and peered out the door, startling tourists. He volunteered to go all the way to the gates, but advisers stopped him, fearing that would cause a ruckus. Everyone seemed momentarily befuddled. Could the commander in chief not summon a plate of cookies to his table? Finally, Mr. Love ran outside to clear them.
Mr. Obama began the Seder by invoking the universality of the holiday’s themes of struggle and liberation. Malia and Sasha quickly found the hidden matzo and tucked it away again, so cleverly that Mr. Ziskend, the former advance man, needed 45 minutes to locate it. At the Seder’s close, the group opened a door and sang to the prophet Elijah.
In preparation for this year’s gathering, Mr. Lesser and others have again been collecting recipes from the guests, including matzo ball instructions from Patricia Winter, the mother of Melissa Winter, Mrs. Obama’s deputy chief of staff.
“We like soft (not hard) matzo balls,” Mrs. Winter warned in a note to the White House chefs, instructing them to buy mix but doctor it. Use three eggs, not two, she told them; substitute schmaltz for vegetable oil, and refrigerate them for a day before serving (but not in the soup).
The Seder originated with Jewish staff members on the campaign trail who could not go home, but now some celebrate at the White House by choice. Participants say their ties are practically familial now anyway. “Some of the most challenging experiences of our life we’ve shared together,” Ms. Jarrett said.
No one yet knows exactly what themes will emerge this year. Maybe “taking care of people who can’t take care of themselves and health care reform,” suggested Ms. Sher, now Mrs. Obama’s chief of staff.
The evening might also reflect a group that has settled into the White House and a staff more familiar with the new custom. Last week, Ms. Sher was leaving the East Wing when a guard stopped her.
“Hey, are you bringing macaroons again this year?” he asked.
Rover spots ‘strange stuff’ on Martian rock: Scientists puzzle over images showing tightly packed blueberries
An enhanced-color image of the Chocolate Hills rock on Mars shows a strange coating that one researcher has called a "blueberry sandwich." The coating appears blue in this picture due to the false-color effect, but the naked eye would see this scene in shades of rusty red. Chocolate Hills is about the size of a loaf of bread. Click on the picture for a larger version.
NASA's Mars rover Opportunity has found a Martian rock covered in weird material as its odometer hit a major milestone this week, with the long-lived robot completing equivalent to a half–marathon on the Red Planet.
The crater is about 33 feet (10 meters) in diameter, with dark rays extending from it, as seen from orbit, which made it a target of interest for rover inspection because they suggest the crater is young.
The rover made the pit stop to investigate the crater on its long journey to the large crater Endeavour, which is still about 7 miles (12 kilometers) away. It was while Opportunity was at Concepción that the rover surpassed 12.43 miles (20 kilometers) of total driving, about the length of a half-marathon.
Opportunity has driven farther than any other wheeled robot to land on Mars. Its robotic twin Spirit, which landed in January 2004 just weeks ahead of Opportunity, has driven about 4.8 miles (7.7 kilometers), while NASA's Sojourner rover, a small robot that landed in 1997, could drive only about a third of a mile (about half a kilometer) from the Pathfinder base it landed with.
Mars rock oddity
With new software that allows Opportunity to photograph rocks and other aspects of the Martian terrain and decide for itself what is worth closer inspection, the rover took an up-close look at a few rocks ejected by the impact that created Concepción.
What Opportunity has seen are chunks of the same type of bedrock it has seen at hundreds of locations since landing in January 2004: soft, sulfate-rich sandstone holding harder peppercorn-size dark spheres like berries in a muffin. The little spheres, rich in iron, gained the nickname "blueberries." But these rocks have some unusual twists as well.
"It was clear from the images that Opportunity took on the approach to Concepción that there was strange stuff on lots of the rocks near the crater," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, principal investigator for Opportunity and Spirit. "There's dark, grayish material coating faces of the rocks and filling fractures in them. At least part of it is composed of blueberries jammed together as close as you could pack them. We've never seen anything like this before."
Opportunity used tools on its robotic arm to examine this unusual material on a rock called "Chocolate Hills." In some places, the layer of closely packed spheres lies between thinner, smoother layers.
"It looks like a blueberry sandwich," said Matt Golombek, a rover science-team member at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
Melted Mars rocks
Initial analysis of the coating's composition does not show any obvious component from whatever space rock hit Mars to dig the crater, but that is not a surprise, Golombek said. "The impact is so fast, most of the impactor vaporizes," he said. "Thin films of melt get thrown out, but typically the composition of the melt is the stuff that the impactor hit, rather than the impactor material."
The composition Opportunity found for the dark coating material fits at least two hypotheses being evaluated, and possibly others. One is that the material resulted from partial melting of blueberry-containing sandstone due to the energy of the impact. Another is that it formed from the filling of fractures in this type of rock before the impact occurred.
"It's possible that when you melt this rock, the sandstone melts before the blueberries do, leaving intact blueberries as part of a melt layer," Squyres said.
"As an alternative, we know that this type of rock has fractures and that the sandstone can dissolve," he said. "Long ago, water flowing through fractures could have dissolved the sandstone and liberated blueberries that fell down into the fracture and packed together. In this hypothesis, the impact that excavated the crater did not play a role in forming this material, but split rocks along fractures so the material is exposed on the exterior like a coating."
NASA / JPL-Caltech / UA
An orbital image captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the Opportunity rover (indicated by the white pointer) perched on the edge of Concepcion crater on Mars.
Golombek said, "One consideration that jumps out is that we've been driving around this part of Mars for six years and never seen this stuff before, then we get to this young crater and it's coating rocks all around the crater. Sure looks like there's a connection, but it could just be a coincidence."
The observation that the rocks thrown from the crater have not yet eroded away much is evidence that the crater is young, confirming the suggestion from the dark rays.
"We're not ready to attach a number to it, but this is really young. It is the youngest crater we've ever seen with Opportunity and probably the youngest either rover has seen," Squyres said.
Every year Big Rock Brewery in Calgary has a contest for people to make commercials up to promote their beer. This is one entry that has to be one of the best commercials of all time!! Thanks to my buddy Tim for sending this over..it pays having friends that have nothing better to do at work than watch funny videos!
life.com — The Beauty of Xiaohe, estimated to be some 3,800 years old and one of the most perfectly preserved mummies ever found, was discovered along the ancient "Silk Road" trade route of Asia.
You can imagine my surprise after I paid my 50pence to use the public bathroom, walked in and found myself staring at not just one but three ceiling mounted video surveillance cameras. I had to get real close to their enclosures to convince myself that I wasn't seeing things. Not only was it really there, but it was a Pan-Tilt-Zoom model with a microphone to top it off. Must get some great noises coming from there. It has also been reported that London officials are now installing cameras with speakers to allow them to talk as well as see and listen. Perhaps its just me, but I had absolutely no idea that this was legal anywhere, let alone in downtown London, UK. Sure I knew that London has more cameras per square mile than any other country on the planet, but in bathrooms?! How are they getting away with that one? It is appalling!
According to the London Assembly of Liberal Democrats, London has been outfitted with over 500,000 surveillance cameras. Other put the number much higher at 1.4million cameras but nobody is telling what the real number is. Another few 10,000 cameras have been installed in taxis and police cars as well.
Sounds a bit big brother to me folks, downright scary in fact. Now it gets scarier when you consider that the vast majority of these camera feeds are not sent encrypted across the wire. This makes hacking these video feeds trivial, just a simple wire tap.
Here's a scenario, I wake up, walk out of my hotel room and see a camera in the hallway watching me. I get into the elevator and look up to smile at the camera there, I walk through the lobby and out to the street. Along the way half a dozen cameras watched me walk less than 200ft. I get in my cab and the camera in there watches me all the way to my destination. I walk into the building followed by 4 cameras. I use the public restroom, 3 cameras watch me in there. I head up the elevator to my office on the 2nd floor and smile at the camera there. I walk down the hall to my office while under surveillance the whole way. I close my office glass door. Turns out the camera in the building has a vantage angle through my glass door and the outside camera on the opposite street corner pole has a clean shot into my office through the windows. I'm feeling a lot of love right now. So I logon to the internet and start surfing. Hmmm. Now I guess they are watching physical me and virtual me at the same time as they inspect the bits and bytes I send ripping around the network.
Just in the last couple years, U.S. cities (like my hometown of Denver) have begun installing their own public video surveillance systems in a big way. Now I need to check and see if U.S. cities are also watching you in the public bathroom.
Here is a shot I took in a London public bathroom. Notice the two cameras on the ceiling. Another one was behind me on the other wall facing towards these cameras. They had all of the angles covered that’s for sure. Don't want to miss any of the action.
Dollar bills aren't very thick: .0043 inches per bill according to the U.S. Treasury. Stacked vertically, a million dollars in hundred dollar bills would be less than four feet high. That's shorter than the average seven year old. That might not sound like much, but trust us, it is.
Take a look at these pictures of a ton of money, all in one place.
- $205 million seized from a Mexican drug dealer's house
- Yep, those are pennies. 100 million of them, as part of Common Cents' Penny Harvest.
- A million Euros.
- Shredded Money, by artist Jan Henderikse. It hurts just looking at it.
- $41 million seized in Columbia
- Seized on a bus in Laredo, Texas. No one claimed it, so if you're looking for a couple extra bucks...
A heavily intoxicated Pennsylvania man tried to resuscitate at dead possum lying along a highway, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday.
Donald Wolfe, 55, was spotted by a state trooper attempting to breathe life back into the dead animal around 3pm local time Thursday in a remote area north of Pittsburgh.
State troopers arrested Wolfe along an isolated stretch of the highway and charged him with public drunkenness, according to the paper.
Trooper Jamie Levier said Wolfe was “extremely intoxicated” and “did have his mouth in the area of the animal’s mouth, I guess.”
Another witness observed Wolfe kneeling near the dead animal and gesturing as though he was conducting a seance.
Wolfe will face charges of public drunkeness before a district judge in Jefferson County at an unscheduled date.
Police listed “society” as the victim of the crime.
Love them or hate them, tribute bands aren't going anywhere soon. In fact, they seem to be multiplying, as if Guitar Hero and karaoke machines weren't enough to stymie their spread. Here are 20 musical acts that pay homage to another band (or sometimes two bands!) with their punning names and goofy gimmicks. If they don't make you smile, they may make you cringe.
Some tribute bands spring up after a much-loved artist's death, and some spring up when the much-loved artist merely habitually cancels shows. This London band's hook is that it's more reliable than the original. So if you don't have the jumping offstage and punching fans, the crack smoking, crying and anorexia, it's only Maybe Winehouse.
Watch Maybe Winehouse Perform Live
Here's a lesson in using Westerners' Asiatic exoticism against them. The name "Buddhist Priest" is actually a bad joke your dad would make, but the Hawaiian metal tribute band's Eastern references pacify any violent reaction you would justifiably have. You know you love your yoga, orientalist.
There's the great jazz tradition of taking other musicians' songs and making them your own, and then there's the tribute band tradition of playing someone else's songs in an entirely unrelated genre. You know, 'You Shook Me All Night Long' played with a mouth harp and a mandolin by genuine hillbillies from Tennessee. They love it in England.
Watch Hayseed Dixie Perform Live
Many will call a tribute band pathetic. Write your own freaking music, nimrods, they may say. But wouldn't you rather attend a bat mitzvah where Seattle's Weener were performing than go to an actual Ween show? But those are just our relentlessly postmodern tastes.
Looks like things haven't changed too much in Portland, Ore., seeing that little city is producing bands like this, "Portland's only all-male Go-Go's tribute band." With a name like that and a concept to back it up, these guys redefine sticking it to The Man. In skirts!
We doubt that these UK performers do a better version of 'You Oughta Know' than what you'd find at an 11-year-old girls' sleepover, but until someone makes time travel affordable, we'll have our nostalgia served lukewarm with a name to match.
There may not be anything more not punk-rock than a punk tribute band. Except if it's a punk tribute band from London doing Abba à la the Ramones. Those shows must really be terrifying: Ginger ale everywhere, the floor strewn with Cheez Puffs, Grandma and all her friends getting their constitutionals on the dance floor ...
Watch Gabba Perform Live
We were in a bar where a familiar album was playing, but all the songs sounded just slightly off, but we couldn't put our finger on why. The bartender whispers, "All tribute bands. And I got it on iTunes, only 89 cents a song!" Get London's Fillers -- like the original, only cheaper.
We can't help but wonder about an active band's relationship to its ardent imitators. In the case of the mysterious aRe wE theM?, we can only imagine Michael Stipe puppeteering, à la 'Being John Malkovitch,' some college boys somewhere near Liverpool. Or making a quick phone call to have those pretenders eliminated.
They bill themselves as "the most accurate tribute to Loverboy," and these lads from Largo, Fla., claim they started their band to seduce "Larry's sister," who listens only to bad covers of boy bands. Suddenly the intention of this whole subgenre of music becomes crystal clear.
Reasons why New York's all-female tribute to Led Zep is better than the original include breasts and not selling their souls to the devil to become great musicians. These gals have seemingly made their deal with a lesser imp, hence avoiding all those icky personal tragedies that have plagued the fellas.
While some might call Noel Gallagher's assessment of No Way Sis as the second best band in the world narcissistic, we call it generous. Had the Scottish Oasis lasted into this century, their lead singer might have gotten punched in the face, too, or at least lightly tapped on the shoulder.
If this band were to live up to their name, they'd rig a tube from a liposuction clinic that pumped the excess fat onto the stage, and they'd dollop it onto a catapult, topping each scoop with a gob of steaming mayonnaise, and they'd shoot those pungent blobs right into the crowd. Instead, they play Sabbath songs in Vancouver.
It's a wonder most tribute bands don't get sued. In 2005, when Milwaukee's finest Beatles/Metallica mash-up group received a cease-and-desist order from the owner of the Beatles' song catalog, Sony/ATV Music, it was none other than good guy Lars Ulrich who stepped in on Beatallica's behalf. All parties came to an agreement, so now Beatallibangers everywhere can enjoy songs like 'A Garage Dayz Nite' and 'All You Need Is Blood.'
You know, these blokes, who live closer to Jersey Classic than New Jersey, could've rhymed their name with anchovy. And done some kind of fish dance. Could've even made it a Phish/Bon Jovi mash-up with a name like that. Canned fish is bad for you because of the mercury -- could've even thrown in some Queen. Way to go, guys. Way to go.
Given the gay male population's pivotal role in the rise of Madonna, it's surprising these boys from San Francisco didn't get together sooner and make it official. Our only critique of this testosterone-heavy homage to the Material Girl is its lack of vogue-ing. Hello, ladies, that was Madonna covering you!
This British punk oufit performing versions of the Irish boy bands hits makes you wonder: What is punk music all about? It was Iggy Pop who said the Stooges were just taking what people wanted to hear and throwing it back in their faces. Either Boyzone has an oppressive following, or boy rhymes pretty easy with oi.
Wasn't 'Bat Out of Hell' already a tribute to the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'?
And the gimmick of the decade goes to the Misfats of Portland, Ore.: They're overweight and they change all the words of the Misfits songs to be about food ('I Turned Into a Martian' becomes 'I Turned Into a Lard Ass'). They disbanded in 2008, but fun this big has to have a short shelf life.
The lead singer of this band lived in Seattle in the 1990s and heard about a band called the Foo Fighters. He grew out his beard and perfected his voice to sound exactly like Dave Grohl's, dressed like him and played all his songs. It's not a remake of 'Single White Female,' it's a Foo Fighters tribute band!