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He took the Whos' feast. He took the who pudding, he took the roast beast.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 21, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND STARTS HERE (See y'all next Wednesday):

... with CHRIS ISAAK, live at Universal Studios last December 12th. Your holiday-themed numbers include "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Hey, Santa," "Last Month of the Year," "Blue Christmas," and "Christmas on TV." Bonus: Dreidel banter!

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS:  Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.  Mental Floss has "The Real Story Behind A Charlie Brown Christmas (and why it almost wasn't shown)." The WaPo has reflections from producer-director Lee Mendelson.

DARLENE LOVE & RONNIE SPECTOR duet on "Sleigh Ride" and "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree."

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.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED throws a holiday party featuring the Polyphonic Spree, Nellie McKay, Telekinesis, Sufjan Stevens and more.

THE POGUES:  It's not Christmas Eve in the drunk tank (or even St. Patrick's Day) without a "Fairytale of New York."

NORAD will be tracking Santa, per usual. CNET has a history and behind-the scenes story.

THE 25 BEST CHRISTMAS ALBUMS, according to Complex.

BILLY MACK: Because "Christmas Is All Around."

SANTA SOUL: A free compilation from Andy Cirzan and Sound Opinions.

THE FLAMING LIPS perform "White Christmas" as only they can.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: "The Keep That Keeps Giving."  Not to be confused with "The Gift," which is not Christmasey at all.

THE MUPPETS: "Ringing of the Bells." Not to be confused with Super Furry Animals.

GLAM XMAS:  I started the month with Wizzard's awesome "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" and Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" (1973's UK Xmas No. 1). The circle is now complete.

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS:  The real deal, not Jim Carrey.  Then he slunk to the ice box. He took the Whos' feast. He took the who pudding, he took the roast beast. He emptied the ice box as quick as a flash. Why, the Grinch even took the last can of who hash.

DAVID BOWIE & BING CROSBY'S cross-generational duet o­n "Little Drummer Boy." This historic even was recently recreated by Will Farrell and John C. Reilly. Plus, "Gulliver's Travels" co-stars Jack Black and Jason Segel have done a cartoon cover

THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS:  Many people believe human activity is causing global warming.  I blame Snow Miser and Heat Miser.

CHICAGO CHRISTMAS MEMORIES:  If you grew up in Chicago (and I suspect other places), the season is not complete without watching the short cartoons of "Hardrock, Coco & Joe" (a story fantastic, a story so queer), "Suzy Snowflake" and the jazzy version of "Frosty the Snowman."

THE BEATLES fan club messages for 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969.

THE TRON 1982 HOLIDAY SPECIAL, courtesy of Funny Or Die.

HOLIDAY BIN: From Sufjan Stevens to the Salsoul Orchestra, from James Brown to the Ramones, from Chuck Berry to Squeeze, plus John Lennon, Darlene Love, The Kinks, They Might Be Giants and more -- your stocking stuffers are now streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Pate even had a song titled "Rope Around The Moon," so watch the whole thing, in B & W or colorized. BONUS: Vintage Bailey backlash from warped, frustrated old people at the New York Times and Portfolio. DOUBLE-BONUS: 22 TV variations on It's A Wonderful Life.

RUDOLPH, THE RED-NOSED REINDEER:  Pull up an ice block and lend an ear!  Herbie wanted to be a dentistNTTAWWT.  BONUS:  The Rankin-Bass classic continues to inspire ads like 2009's Verizon ad, following 2008's Apple ad, and even more so 2007's AFLAC commercial.

FESTIVUS:  For the rest of us.  Technically already started, so I can be one of your grievances.

SCARY GHOST STORIES: I overheard Andy Williams crooning "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" in a store this month, and the lyric about "scary ghost stories" never really struck me before.  Took me a second, but I supposed he was referring to Dickens.  It turns out -- as noted by a coworker -- that this was a thing in Victorian England...  and the modern day. BONUS: Krampus!

CLASSIC TV CHRISTMAS SPECIALS by the truckload, linked at WFMU, the post is a few years old, but many of the links still work. Also, 23 TV Episodes based on "A Christmas Carol."

NAT KING COLE:  His chestnuts are roasting.

MAYMO THE BEAGLE gets 210 bottles for Christmas.

100 ANIMALS in Santa hats. You're welcome.


14 ANIMALS Who Tried to Ruin Christmas.

AN AUSTRALIAN FAMILY shot into the Guinness Book of Records in 2011 after decorating their home with an astonishing 331038 Christmas lights. If the video at the link doesn't work, try this one.

2573 Reads

Metric, Mountain Goats, Dr Dog, Faux Eagle Attack   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


METRIC covers Blondie's "Heart Of Glass" and Morrissey's "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself" for VH1.

MOUNTAIN GOATS play a short set on the Mountain Stage.

DR DOG also plays a short set on the Mountain Stage.

STAG cranks out power pop at the KEXP studios.

DJANGO UNCHAINED: Stream the soundtrack via the L.A. Times.

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

NUGGETS: Lenny Kaye talks to Spinner about the 40th anniversary of the seminal garage rock comp.

SACRED COWS: Which classic albums are overrated? Much action in the comments.

DALE WATSON talks country music and "country music" at the Chicago Reader.

TRENDS OF 2012, according to The Guardian.

LINDSAY LOHAN denies trashing her Scary Movie 5 trailer.

CLARE DANES and HUGH DANCY welcomed their first child, son Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy, on Monday. No doubt labor looked like this.

KRISTEN STEWART apologizes to her public for angering them, then adds that she doesn't care about people's opinions.

JUSTIN BIEBER secretly met up with Victoria's Secret model Barbara Palvin in Miami.

MILEY CYRUS grabbed a stripper's rear during a raunchy birthday party.

SAM DONALDSON was arrested for DUI in Delaware.

BILL MURRAY doesn't talk to the press much, but he's quoted in this GQ profile.

THE TWILIGHT ZONE is eying a return to primetime, with help from Bryan Singer.

SOME CLASSIC (POST-APOCALYPTIC) MOVIES, collected by the NYDN, somehow omitting When Worlds Collide.

THE UNITED STATES: Three State Department officials resigned after a damning report on the the Benghazi consulate attack.

LIBYA: Six senior Islamists, including former Guantanamo inmate Sufyan Ben Qumu, have denied involvement in the assassinations of security officials in Benghazi. The inquiry into the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi has stalled due to the influence of militant groups.

AFGHANISTAN: A Defense Dept. report says since the adoption of measures to prevent insider attacks, 90 percent of operations in Afghanistan have returned to normal. 

MAYBE THE EAGLE GRABBED YOUR BABY?  Nope, turns out to be a (good) student animation.

MONKEYS, like Wham's guilty feet, got no rhythm.

LEAPING CROCODILE, startled tourist.

OWL vs PICKUP TRUCK: Who you got?

2649 Reads

Andrew Bird, Alt-J, Americana, Cohen Covers, Crossing Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE KILLERS' video for "Here With Me", directed by Tim Burton, features a Winona Ryder cameo.

ANDREW BIRD stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

ALT-J played a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

THE TOP FOLK & AMERICANA LPs OF 2012: Folk Alley streams tracks from their selections.

17 LEONARD COHEN COVERS, collected by Largehearted Boy.

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

THE BEST LPs OF 2012, according to critics at The Guardian.

THE MOST OVERLOOKED ALBUMS of 2012, according to the Daily Swarm.



NOW SHOWING (OR SOON): This weekend's wide releases start today with The Guilt Trip, currently scoring 43 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and the 3-D rerelease of Monsters, Inc., scoring 95 percent.  Friday brings Jack Reacher, which is currently scoring 79 percent; This is 40, scoring 62 percent; and the near-wide debut of Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away, which is currently not scored. Christmas brings Django Unchained, currently scoring 97 percent; Les Miserables, scoring 72 percent; and Parental Guidance, unscored.  All of these are early numbers, so double-check the links before heading off to the cineplex.

BRITNEY SPEARS: To be dumped by Jason Trawick? Too good to check.

LINDSAY LOHAN: Too broke for a shrink? That's what RadarOnline claims.

ORLANDO BLOOM & MIRANDA KERR deny a split. Or her mum does, anyway.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL & BEN GIBBARD, otoh, are officially divorced.

KATY PERRY & JOHN MAYER were... wait for it.... caught canoodling at an intimate birthday party in NYC.

QUENTIN TARANTINO is tired of defending his films each time the US is shocked by gun violence.  But his Django Unchained star, Jamie Foxx, think the films have influence.

KATE UPTON previews the SI Swimsuit issue... from Antarctica

LIBYA: Assailants attacked two Benghazi police stations on Sunday in an attempt to free one or two prisoners linked to assassinations of security officials; four policemen were killed and several others were wounded.

SYRIA: After days of heavy fighting, rebel forces took control of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp south of Damascus. The government massed forces to retake the camp. Large numbers of Palestinian residents fled. Rebels made further gains in central Syria.

IRAN's president said Western sanctions would not slow down its nuclear program. Iran's nuclear chief said Iran would not stop enriching uranium to 20 percent. The US resumed efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program.

EGYPT: Opponents resumed protests over a draft constitution. Egypt's public prosecutor, appointed by President Morsi, resigned.

THIS CAT helps school crossing guards.

PUGGLES: Two baby echidnas, which weighed less than one gram each when they hatched at the Perth Zoo in August, are the result of the first successful breeding from zoo-born echidnas.

A FOX makes like Pooh and the honey pot, but with a Volkswagen.

BIRDS are lining their nests with cigarette butts to repel pests and keep themselves warm, according to research.

2702 Reads

Tegan & Sara, Jingle Jams, Stornoway, Kim Wilde, Terrier Pup   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


TEGAN & SARA cover Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time."

CHRISTMAS RELEASES from Bing Crosby, the Beach Boys, the Rat Pack and more are streaming this week at Spinner.

JINGLE JAMS: An eclectic mix of holiday tunes from NPR.

STORNOWAY unveils new material unplugged at The Guardian.

YUKON BLONDE stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

THE XX drops a cver of Wham!'s "Last Christmas."

KIM WILDE drunkenly warbles "Kids In America" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" on the subway.

MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle talks with Willamette Week about the song, "White Cedar." (Thx, LHB.)

SILVER JEWS frontman David Berman is essayed at Tablet.


KISS: The A.V. Club reviews drummer Peter Criss's "endearingly needy and sleazy" memoir.

AMY WINEHOUSE may not have died from alcohol poisoning, this according to London officials who are launching a new inquest into the singer's death next month.

CHANNING TATUM and his wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum "are pleased to announce that they are expecting the birth of their first child next year."

BROOKE MUELLER spent just six days in rehab (ostensibly for Adderall).


JIMMY FALLON may take over the Tonight Show.

BRITNEY SPEARS may be off The X Factor.

STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS has a full trailer online already.

THE UNITED STATES State Department designated Michel Samaha, Lebanon's former Minister of Information and Tourism, as a global terrorist for plotting with Syrian officials "to conduct bombing attacks against Lebanese political and religious figures in northern Lebanon."

SYRIA: Saying neither side could win the conflict, Syria's vice president called for a negotiated settlement. Both Turkey and Iran put forward plans to end the conflict.

EGYPT's judges moved to boycott the second round of voting in the constitutional referendum. Opposition leaders called for protests on Tuesday over alleged polling violations in the first round.

IRAQ: Thirty-two Iraqis were killed and more than 100 were wounded in a series of bombings and attacks across the country.

BOSTON TERRIER PUP is too excited to keep his feet planted.

CIRCUS ELEPHANTS were saved from the deadly Siberian cold by vodka.

A SHETLAND PONY takes the Berlin subway.

MAYBE THE DINGO stole your cash and jewelry.

2489 Reads

Feelies + Yo La Tengo, Lissie, Joey Kneisser, Polite Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 17, 2012 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE FEELIES joined YO LA TENGO on the Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray" during YLT's annual Hannukah run at Maxwell's. (Thx, Ken King.)

LISSIE stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.

JOEY KNEISER is streaming Midnight For The Graveyard Heart.

LEAGUES: The Nashville trio features two unreleased songs from World Cafe Next.

10 R.E.M. COVERS, rounded up by Largehearted Boy.

GLAM CHOPS: Art Brut's Eddie Argos has a "Countdown to Christmas."

TRACEY THORN talks to the Daily Swarm about her Christmas LP, Everything But The Girl, X Factor, and more.

SHE'S WITH THE BAND: Quotations from Pamela Des Barres.

GEORGE CLINTON was ordered to transfer his copyrights in certain songs to court appointed receiver.

THE 10 BEST PRETENDERS SONGS, according to Stereogum.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey tops the chart with 84.8 million, which is a December record.  Nevertheless, it may earn less than Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and cost more to make (250-70 million). No one will have to hold a garage sale for Peter Jackson, but he may want to consider tightening up the next two installments (more on that below. Rise of the Guardians, capturing what's left of the family market is a distant second with 7.4 million, with Lincoln a close third at 7.2 million (financially, Rise will be lucky to push worldwide, while Lincoln is easily profitable).  Skyfall takes the biggest Hobbit hit, dropping from first to fourth with 7 million.  Life of Pi hangs in to round out the Top 5 (again) with 5.4 million.  Overall, the box office is way up over both last weekend, and the same weekend last year.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY is a movie that just can't win... at least with a lot of the top film critics.  By expanding a single book into three movies, Peter Jackson simultaneously pits slimmer material against the more epic LotR trilogy and invites everyone to recall their discomfort with the multiple endings of LotR: Return of the King.  Is this first Hobbit "too long"? It is slowly paced -- particularly in the first two acts -- but I never felt bored or that the film dragged, particularly given the amount of exposition and character introduction required.  Perhaps my age is showing, but if I'm paying as much as I am for a movie (particularly with the tech premium for 3-D, 48 fps), I am going with the mindset that if Jackson wants to ramble a bit and dip into secondary material to enrich what is going to be a 7+ hour story, I'm not going to get impatient about it.  I suppose it may be an issue for younger viewers.  I will say that, like some others, the 3-D 48 fps presentation (48 frames per second as compared to the typical 24 frames for film or 30 for video) was occasionally disconcerting and strangely reminiscent of videogame action, so choose your presentation wisely.  In short, I might not have made the upfront choices Jackson made, but I found his execution of them entertaining and unworthy of the harsh words some have had for the effort.

LINDSAY LOHAN sent a belated “thank you” card and flowers to Charlie Sheen for that 100k check he gave her. She reportedly admits her life has gone off the rails and she desperately needs professional help.  Meanwhile, a strip club may save her storage locker.

AMANDA BYNES's lawyer convinced the judge to throw out two criminal charges against the actress.  A decidedly unhappy city attorney intends to continue a DUI case against her.

RUSSELL CROWE revealed he is determined to bring his family back together and lashed out at 'false and cruel' reports surrounding his love life.

MATT. DAMON. opens up about those ol' gay rumors about him and Ben Afflleck.

MARISA MILLER and her husband, music producer Griffin Guess are parents after welcoming their first child on Thursday.

DONALD FAISON married CaCee Cobb, Jessica Simpson's former personal assistant.

KRISTEN STEWART: I rarely do fashion stories but get a load of this.

SYRIA: Rebel forces made gains in the northern area of Aleppo. Government troops assaulted a rebel-held area southwest of Damascus. US officials said Syrian government forces had loaded dozens of bombs and shells with chemical weapons.

EGYPTIANS went to the polls to vote for a new constitution. New Islamist groups are emerging in Alexandria, including Hazemoun, the Third Islamist Current, and the Salafi Front.

AFGHANISTAN: President Karzai said US and NATO troops should withdraw from Afghan villages as soon as possible.

A CAT politely asks for attention.

CHEETAHS from the Houston Zoo work out at the Sam Houston Race Park.

SQUABBLING BLACK SWANS reconcile in Regent's Park.

A MUZZLED DOG alerted humans to animals in distress by honking the car horn.

2382 Reads

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