August 28, 2008
After near-misses, imminent success seen for human cloning milestone
LEIPZIG, GERMANY — An international consortium of scientific experts in the field of mammalian cloning is on the cusp of achieving the world’s first successful Chris Thile clone, according to recent findings published in the scientific journal Nature Genetics.
The group has been struggling for almost twenty years to overcome various experimental setbacks, including developmental defects in physiological as well as musical growth resulting from misregulation of so-called imprinted genes in the clones.
NEW YORK — Driven by rampant speculation, supply shortages, and growing demand from the developing world, oil prices climbed again this week, reaching a record height of $115 a barrel before stabilizing at the end of trading on Wednesday.
The travel sector has struggled to cope with rising fuel expenses, with most major airlines dramatically raising prices. And with gasoline expected to reach $5 per gallon by the end of the year, touring bands in low-paying musical sectors such as folk and bluegrass have begun to seek alternatives to traditional automotive touring.
For regional touring, several bands including Ollabelle (NY) and Old School Freight Train (VA) have adopted the horse-drawn carriage.
“People think we’re doing this shit to be folksy or something. No way. This is actually the only way we can afford to tour,” said Corey DiMario of Crooked Still, who recently traded his Toyota minivan in for a covered wagon and two mules.
But as the energy crisis worsens, even fertilizer and feed prices may become prohibitively expensive for these struggling musicians.
“I might have to quit the violin and go back to work on an oil rig,” said Scottish fiddle legend Alasdair Fraser, whose former employer, petroleum giant BP, has reportedly contacted him with a job offer.
Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas currently tour together by land in a rickshaw drawn by a Highland Cow. The two make trans-Atlantic voyages in a 25-foot motorless sailboat to save money on airline costs and fuel.
“To be living like this in the new millennium is absolutely f—ing ridiculous,” said Greg Liszt, who was forced to trade his 2005 Honda motorscooter for a donkey.
Courtney Love, Billy Bob Thornton, French First Lady Carla Bruni audition for coveted spot
Several sources now report that one of the members of Alaska’s Bearfoot Bluegrass Band is leaving the group, and auditions for a replacement have begun.
The nationally-touring ensemble intends to continue performing live and recording with its new lineup.
The Bearfoot Bluegrass Band (BBB) began in 1999 and instantly rose to international superstardom by winning the 2001 Telluride Band Contest.
Speculation abounds as to which band member is quitting, and the BG Intelligencer has mounted an ongoing investigation, the results of which are so far inconclusive. The classic BBB lineup consists of Kate Hamre, bass; Mike Mikelson, guitar; Jason Norris, mandolin; Angela Oudean, fiddle; and Annalisa Tornfelt, fiddle and vocals.
Using anonymous sources, the BG Intelligencer has confirmed the identities of several of the musicians who tried out during the first round of auditions, and the findings are nothing short of shocking.
“Every time I hear about one of these people trying out, I’m like, ‘What the heck!?’ Some of these people are coming way out of left field,” said someone close to the band.
The first to audition was actor, writer, director, touring musician, and former Jolie-husband Billy Bob Thornton, who recapitulated his famous monologue from Sling Blade before launching into a medley of original bluegrass songs.
Next, French First Lady Carla Bruni, wife of Nicholas Sarkozy, reportedly enraptured the BBB audition panel with a sultry rendition of her new song “Le Presidente de Mon Corps.”
Finally, Courtney Love performed a rare acoustic rendition of the classic traditional country ballad “In the Pines.”
“Bearfoot has great gigs and a big following, so it makes total sense that they’d keep going with a new member. It worked for the Allman Brothers, AC/DC, and the Rolling Stones,” said a personal friend of the group.
Greg Liszt shits brick
KENTUCKY — Jaden Pratt, 14, from Knob Lick, KY, has just invented a totally novel five-finger banjo picking style that strikingly advances the entire art of banjo playing.
“I am so f—cked,” said Gregory Liszt, whose musical career is founded on his use of a four-finger style previously considered innovative.
TEXAS — Cadillac Sky, whose remarkable bluegrass capabilities and head-banger mentality have earned them a fast-growing following in the country world, has recently announced its next radical innovation in rock-grass.
From now on, instead of playing a solo, each member of the band will unleash a savage raptor from an onstage cage, and the blood-thirsty bird will fly into the audience brutally mauling the faces of as many fans as possible until the solo break is over.
Boston band starts moving company to pay off new trailer
“She’s my f—ing soulmate, dude” says Thile to pal
[EDITOR'S NOTE: It has recently been called to our attention that no part of this article is even barely true.]
MANHATTAN — New York has been abuzz all summer with rumors stemming from the Chris Thile, Dolly Parton scandal.
Thile, the highest paid player in major-league bluegrass, has reportedly told buddy and bandmate Noam Pikelny that Dolly Parton is “my f—ing soulmate, dude.”
The association between Thile and Parton began in the early part of this decade, when Thile played mandolin in the bluegrass band fronted by the musical icon, former sex symbol and occasional actress.
Obvious erotic tension suffused that band, which eventually broke up amid allegations that Parton, 62, had taken the virginity of the young mandolin prodigy.
After a several year remission, the scandal flared up again this summer when Thile was spotted leaving a surreptitious rendezvous at Parton’s Tennessee mansion.
Thile’s romantic partner, a NYC designer and musician, at first devastated by the revelations of Thile’s infidelity, has recently been seen at the West Village gastro-pub the Spotted Pig on an apparent date with rocker Lenny Kravitz.
“I thought he was Macaulay Culkin,” says actress
PHILADELPHIA — Mila Kunis and longtime boyfriend Macaulay Culkin are repairing their badly battered relationship after a hilarious misunderstanding led the actress to commit an egregious act of infidelity.
The former star of Fox’s “That ‘70’s Show” and voice of Meg on the popular cartoon The Family Guy, Ms. Kunis was on location in Philadelphia for the filming of her upcoming movie Max Payne, also starring Mark Wahlberg and Ludacris.
“We were taking a quick break from filming, and I couldn’t believe it when I looked across the street and saw Mac [Culkin] walking by,” said Ms. Kunis.
“I figured he had come out to surprise me, which is totally just like him,” she continued.
“Anyway, we hadn’t seen each other in weeks, and there was just this unbelievable spark right at that moment,” said the former Complex cover model.
“Next thing I knew we were back on set in my trailer and like two hours had gone by,” she said.
But the actress was shocked back into reality when she received a phone call from the real Macaulay Culkin later in the day, according to sources close to both parties.
“People have been confusing me and Culkin ever since I started gigging at the age of twelve,” said Bryce Milano, 16, mandolinist. “It’s usually just kind of insulting, but this time it worked out amazingly.”
Said Culkin, “I will kill Bryce Milano if I ever see him. I swear to God.”
Will jam sessions be next?
WEST VIRGINIA — The annual Clifftop Old Time Fiddlers Gathering, long famous for its highly inclusive culture, has recently taken a striking turn toward selectiveness and elitism.
Starting this year, participation in the camping festival’s numerous lesbian orgies will for the first time ever require an invitation.
The move, generally hailed by the increasingly cliquish attendees, has nevertheless irritated some campers.
“I’ve been seeing people get kicked out of tents at 4:30 in the morning just because they didn’t get invited to the orgy,” said one longtime festival-goer known simply as “Ebu”, adding, “That totally violates the spirit of Clifftop, and that kind of thing would never have happened at the Clifftop of old.”
Although all-girl group sexual encounters have been the primary focus of Clifftop for several years now, the festival maintains at least a nominal commitment to old time fiddle. Indeed, some wonder if the new members-only attitude will eventually permeate the few remaining musical jam sessions that still exist at the festival.
“This is likely the beginning of the end,” said old-time fiddle champion and career songwriter Mark Simos, whose attendance at Clifftop has now spanned multiple eras.
Others were optimistic about the future, however. Said mandolinist Eric Robertson, “I don’t know what’s going on at this place, dude, but there are ridiculously hot chicks hooking up everywhere. I’m absolutely coming back every year until I die.”
WEISER, IDAHO — Four-time Weiser National Old Time Fiddle Champion and confirmed narcoleptic Tristan Clarridge, 21, has extended his winning record at the prestigious contest with an unprecedented fifth victory.
“Tristan’s triumph over his disability, narcolepsy, is the real story here,” said world-renowned fiddler Mark O’Connor, whose legendary success at the fiddle contest has inspired an entire generation of young players.