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Pretenders, Spencer Tweedy, 1980, Sloan, Sledding Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 19, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE FLAMING LIPS debut "There Should Be Unicorns" in Oklahoma City.

THE PRETENDERS stopped by World Cafe Live, including this bonus video of "Tattooed Love Boys."

SPENCER TWEEDY streams his debut solo EP, Geezer Love.

1980, playlisted by World Cafe via Spotify.

SLOAN shared a pair of holiday tacks, "Kids Come Back Again At Christmas" and "December 25."

DROPKICK MURPHYS share "Paying My Way."

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS are dreaming of a "White Christmas."

JOHN LYDON, a/k/a Johnny Rotten, shared the soundtrack of his life with Pitchfork.

DAVID BOWIE: Rolling Stone surveyed the making of Hunky Dory.

SHEARWATER: Jonathan Meiburg explains why music should not be Grape Nuts or whipped cream.

THE CALM AMID THE CHAOS: 2016’s Best New Music, according to Kevin Madden. I could live with this list as easily as my faves.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Rogue One topped the chart with a massive 155MM haul, the second-biggest December debut ever, behind The Force Awakens.  It's also the 12th biggest domest debut ever, while raking in almost as much again overseas, where the international cast will help it play big.  Not too shabby for a spin-off.  Moana placed with 11.7MM on a 37 percent drop; it faces even more competition from the debut of Sing over the holidays.  Office Christmas Party showed with 8.5MM on a 50 percent drop the first big victim of the Death Star moving into your cineplex's prime real estate. Taking that big a hit with the Christmas theme is a big red flag.  But Rogue One's biggest victim may be the 7MM debut of Collateral Beauty in the fourth slot, placing it in the Top 25 worst openings for a film opening on 3000+ screens.  The 36MM budget may be the only thing saving it from bomb status (I'd guess the stars took a gamble on backend deals and lost). Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also took a sizable 51 percent drop to round out the Top Five with 5MM, but the Potterverse spin-off is in its 5th weekend and has grossed over 700MM worldwide, so no lumps in their stockings.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is reportedly returning to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

JULIA ROBERTS has signed on to star in her first-ever (limited) TV series.

KATIE HOLMES & JAMIE FOXX lew to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for a private weekend getaway to celebrate her birthday.

MICHAEL SHEEN reassured fans he was misquoted and is probably not leaving acting for activism.

CEE-LO GREEN reassured fans a video showing his phone exploding was staged for a project.

ROB KARDASHIAN says Blac Chyna left him ... and she took their baby with her.

BROOKE MUELLER is in rehab.

MARGARET CHO & TILDA SWINTON had a fight about the latter's casting in Doctor Strange...and Swinton released the emails.

ZSA ZSA GABOR,  the Hungarian actress whose self-parodying glamour and revolving-door marriages to millionaires put a luster of American celebrity on a long but only modestly successful career in movies and television, died of heart failure on Sunday in Los Angeles. She was 99.

DR HENRY HEIMLICH, the thoracic surgeon and medical maverick who developed and crusaded for the antichoking technique that has been credited with saving an estimated 100K lives, died on Saturday at a hospital in Cincinnati after suffering a heart attack at his home there last Monday, his family said. He was 96.

RUSSIA: A well-known Russian journalist and critic of President Vladimir Putin has been found dead in his Kiev apartment with a gunshot wound to the head.

A BLACK LABRADOR shows off his sledding technique. (Thx, Zoey.)

THE INCREDIBLY RARE "GHOST SHARK," which has its genitals in its head, was caught on camera for the first time.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT:  A pack of furry, pint-sized grinches have stolen the Christmas spirit from Toronto's Mel Lastman Square.

SNAKE vs WALLABY: Who You Got?

1883 Reads

Aimee Mann, Ryley Walker, Yeasayer, Ultimate Painting, Rogue One, Shark   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 16, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with AIMEE MANN's CHRISTMAS CAROL (profanity warnings): Part One has your Scrooge-y set-up with Michael Penn. Part Two features The Office's John Krasinski. Part Three has Michael Cera. Part Four has John C. Reilly.

RYLEY WALKER stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

YEASAYER stopped by KEXP for a live performance.

ULTIMATE PAINTING, Live at the Bowery Ballroom, Dec. 7, 2016.

TOM WAITS gives a reading of a "Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis."

THE DECEMBERISTS: Colin Meloy talked to SPIN about the tenth anniversary of  The Crane Wife.

THE 100 BEST SONGS of 2016, according to Pitchfork.

THE 70 BEST ALBUMS of 2016, according to PopMatters.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED publishes its Listeners' Top 20  Album Picks for 2016.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is currently scoring 84 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and Collateral Beauty, which is scoring 19 percent.  Manchester By The Sea expands wide scoring 97 percent.

ROGUE ONE is, as advertised, a war story. That's not particularly useful, given that the franchise is Star Wars. It is more accurate to say that this spin-off is more about ground fighting, and gound-level rebellion more than other movies in the franchise, including RotJ's battle on the forest moon of Endor.  And it is in that sense perhaps the grittiest of this universe; one can imagine which shots are among the reshoots rumored to lighten a few moments.  Given that the story of the construction of the Death Star and the theft of its technical plan is not key to the Skywalker family saga, characters can die and thus the stakes are real, despite knowing the outcome in some general sense.  That is not to say that the Skywalker presence is unfelt; it's no spoiler to note that Darth Vader has a role here, and by the end the Sith Lord pretty much delivers the audience what it wants.  He may be the film's most prominent cameo, but a number of familiar and obscure faces from the prior films also appear here.  The new cast performs well enough, and enough of the characters are drawn enough, with their own arcs.  Nevertheless, I suspect people wil remember Alan Tudyk's voicing of the K-2SO droid as much as lead humanoids like Felicity Jones and Diego Luna.  Michael Giacchino's reportedly last-minute score isn't all that memorable, but it neatly incorporates and launches from the John Williams catalog, from the obvious to some of the fleeting phrases of the original (now Ep. IV). All told, a really solid movie, one that probably benefits from not having to carry the expectations of the main saga, even if the tone is darker than most of the series.


ALAN THICKE told his son to take a photo as he was being taken to the hospital.

JOHNNY DEPP & AMBER HEARD reached a speed bump in their ongoing divorce saga.

HOW I MET YOUR FATHER now looks set for the small screen, years after How I Met Your Mother ended.

PASSENGERS, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, may not be what you think, and it's risky. (spoiler alert, obvsly)

BERNARD FOX, the mustachioed actor known to TV viewers as Dr. Bombay on “Bewitched” and Col. Crittendon on “Hogan’s Heroes,” has died. He was 89.

A GREAT WHITE SHARK, filmed without a cage. What say you, Police Chief Brody?

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: They've declared war on Christmas.

THE SWARM: A massive wasp nest was discovered in a Brazilian farmhouse.

ROUND UP THE USUAL SUSPECTS: A New Jersey police department said officers used their patrol cars to round up "a group of suspicious donkeys loitering behind a residence."

1938 Reads

Lemon Twigs, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Eric Johnson, Old 97s, CYHSY, Pool Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


NATALIE PRASS sahres a video for "Everybody's Having Fun (It's Christmas Time)".

THE LEMON TWIGS stopped by KEXP for a mini-set.

BILLY BRAGG & JOE HENRY also stopped by KEXP.

ERIC JOHNSON played World Cafe Live.

THE OLD 97s share "Good with God," ft Brandi Carlisle.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH share "Fireproof" ahead of The Tourist.

SHE & HIM get animated for their take on "Baby, It's Cold Outside," which Zooey originally sang in Elf.

BAD BRAINS: An oral history of I Against I.

THE 50 BEST ALBUMS of 2016, according to TLOBF.

THE BEST AMERICANA ALBUMS at 2016, according to The Guardian.

MOGWAI: Ten of Their Best.

DUNKIRK: The next movie fro Christopher Nolan has a trailer online.

THE SAG AWARDS nominations went to these folks. Congrats.

BRANGELEXIT: Brad Pitt hopes to see the kids for Christmas at some point, but when hasn't been determined.

LAMAR ODOM is back in rehab -- and has a deal to star in a new reality seriesabout his recovery.

MARGOT ROBBIE returns as Harley Quinn in Gotham City Sirens.

PATRICK WILSON (Watchmen, The Conjuring) will play the villain in Aquaman.

WARNER BROS  film head Greg Silverman is exiting the studio.

THE WORST FILMS of 2016, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

THE LION KING, RUSHMORE and THE BREAKFAST club are among the latest to be preserved by the Library of Congress in the National Film Registry.

ISIS has used chemical weapons, including chlorine and sulfur mustard agents, at least 52 times on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq since it swept to power in 2014, according to a new independent analysis.

IRAN: President Hassan Rouhani ordered the country's nuclear agency to start plans to produce nuclear fuel and propulsion systems for ships and submarines in response to their claimed violation of the Vienna deal by Washington. (spoiler: The US has been going out of its way to not declare Iran inviolation of the deal for months)

SEAMUS: Pools are a problem for him.

BIGGY POP: Iggy Pop's cockatoo hits social media.

LOOK OUT, BALD EAGLES: The Obama administration on Wednesday finalized a rule that lets wind-energy companies operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years — even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles.

THE GRYFFINDOR SPIDER really does look like the Hogwarts sorting hat.

1886 Reads

My day was jam-packed...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS: “Ain’t No Chimneys In The Projects.”

ALSO, ALAN THICKE is dead of a heart attack at age 69.

I SHOULD BE BACK TOMORROW.  Also, I'll be seing Rogue One Thursday night, so I should have a few words Friday.

1791 Reads

Angel Olsen, Mike Doughty, Blue Rodeo, Dinner Roll Rat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SEAN ROWE shared a vdeo for "To Leave Something Behind."

ANGEL OLSEN stopped by WFUV's Studio A for a chat and mini-set.

MIKE DOUGHTY also stopped by WFUV's Studio A for a chat and mini-set.

BLUE RODEO stopped by World Cafe.

CONOR OBERST shared a full-band version of the Ruminations song “Tachycardia,”and the solo “Afterthought.”

BILLIE MARTEN covers "White Christmas."

BOB GELDOF, by his own admission, is responsible for two of the worst songs in history: "'Do They Know It's Christmas?" and "We Are The World."

NILE ROGERS writes about working with Bowie and Prince. (Thx, Frank Yang)

QUEEN's Brian May got the UN to worry about the asteroid threat.

IN MEMORIAM: Bands that split in 2016, courtesy of Stereogum.

AQUARIUM DUNKARD's 2016 Year In Review.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES nominations went to these folks. Congrats!

THE CRITICS' CHOICE AWARDS went to these folks. Congrats! Also, Ryan Reynolds gave a great accepatance speech.

CHRIS EVANS is once again the best actor for the buck, according to the latest Forbes List.

SUSAN OLSEN, a/k/a Cindy Brady got fired from her hosting gig on a Los Angeles-based radio show after she posted a homophobic rant on Facebook.

ROGUE ONE released a featurette on K-2SO.

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE dropped an extended TV spot that features a number of villains.

OUT: Pizza Rat. IN: Dinner Roll Rat.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: A red squirrel with exceptionally large hips was rescued after its lower half was trapped in a manhole cover.

CHIMPS can recognize each other from behind.

FLYING TURKEYS cause power outages in east Medford. A special report from Les Nessman.

1896 Reads

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