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Moar low-key inter-holiday blogging.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 29, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ST VINCENT covers The Beatles' "Martha My Dear."

BILL'S INDIE BASEMENT has the Best Reissues, Box Sets and Compilations of 2020.

COACHELLA is posting videos of past performances.

CHVRCHES: Lauren Mayberry explains how the privations of 2020 helped them get rid of their baggage, and get to the heart of who they really are.

THE BEST ROCK LPs of 2020, according to Paste.

PUBLIC RADIOs Most Played Songs of 2020.

THE BEST INDIE LPs of 1995, according to Paste.

THE VILLAGE VOICE returns under a controversial owner.

TONY RICE, a giant of bluegrass guitar, has died at 69.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Madonna's immortal string-laden story-song "Papa Don't Preach."

DC FILMS has big plans for movies and streaming.

LORI LAUGHLIN just got out of prison.

WANDAVISION has an unsettling new trailer.

THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM: Netflix's high-profile plan to have Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss adapt the bestselling Chinese sci-fi books has been hit by a scandalous attempted-murder plot in Shanghai.

SOUL: Does Pixar Make Kids' Movies Anymore?

MARK HAMILL has a joke for Star Wars nerds.

WE ALL have this friend.

CAT gets a doggo sleigh ride.


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Leslie West RIP, and easing into the gap between holidays.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 28, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


WEEKEND BOX OFFICE? Wonder Woman 1984 posted a record result for the pandemic since theaters reopened in late August, with 16.7MM domestic and 85MM worldwide. The first Wonder Woman opened to 103.2MM. No word on what it did for HBOMax subscriptions.  Wonder Woman 3 is being fast-tracked written by Patty Jenkins, who is attached to direct, and starring Gal Gadot.  Tom Hanks' News of the World placed with 2.4MM.  Croods: A New Age showed with 1.7MM on a 17 percent drop.

WONDER WOMAN 1984, btw, was not good, and I say that as someone who enjoyed the original quite a bit.  It has a few good moments, and several good ideas, none of which get fully baked.  The WB made sure it would get early buzz from outlets which would go easy on it, only to have the Tomatometer plummet after its release. You can get a non-spoilery flavor of the split critical reaction at THR.

DAVID BOWIE's early career gets over three hours of discussion and analysis on Political Beats, with guest Damon Linker.

PAUL McCARTNEY as a management study.

THE NUMBER ONES, while I was out, looked at Simply Red's "Holding Back the Years," Genesis' "Invisible Touch," Peer Gabriel's "Sledgehammer," and Peter cetera's "Glory of Love."

LESLIE WEST, the towering co-founder of hard rock group Mountain who belted the classic rock staple "Mississippi Queen," has died at age 75.


MEGXIT: Harry and Meghan want a more permanent agreement to continue as non-working royals in California despite big-money deals with Netflix and Spotify.

HILARIA BALDWIN tried to explain herself after people accused her of pretending to be Spanish.

A HOMELESS MAN rescued all the animals at a shelter after it caught on fire.

ANIMALS at Sydney's Taronga Zoo were treated to Christmas themed food.

RESCUING a deer stuck on a frozen lake, because slippery.

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Another week of Christmas Staycation here.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 21, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with CHRIS ISAAK, live at Universal Studios. 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!

THE CURRENT's Rock the Cradle stream is holiday-themed.

LIT UP LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE, Vols. 1 & 2:  A Vintage Holiday Mixtape.

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)." There's more reflection at Aquarium Drunkard. The WaPo has reflections from producer-director Lee Mendelson.  And Caitlin Flanagan asks what gives the special its power.

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

THE POGUES:  It's not Christmas Eve in the drunk tank (or even St. Patrick's Day) without a "Fairytale of New York."  From 2012, here's the backstory. And at The Week, Michael B. Dougherty argues that it's the greatest Christmas song of all time. NME has 25 Things you didn't know about the tale.

ANTON BARBEAU, an occasional collaborator of the late Scott Miller, crafted his own "Xmas Song."

THE 10 BEST PUNK CHRISTMAS SONGS, according to L.A. Weekly.



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

THE 50 BEST HOLIDAY SONGS, according to The Ringer.

THE 25 BEST CHRISTMAS ALBUMS, according to Complex. BONUS: The L.A. Times rounds up the Merry and the Meh, including the evolving Christmas Time Again, by The dB's and Friends.

15 BIZARRE CHRISTMAS ALBUMS, courtesy of Mental Floss.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY of Christmas Songs.

2020's BEST HOLIDAY MUSIC, according to The AV Club

EIGHT HOURS of vintage department store holiday music.

BILLY MACK: Because "Christmas Is All Around."  ALSO: Is Love Actually is an awful movie? Or a rom-com masterpiece? PLUS: We now know for sure what happened to Harry and Karen.

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

WHITE CHRISTMAS: A Snapshot Of The Most Successful Song In Music History.

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

THE COURTEENEERS drop a video for "Winter Wonderland" that's not that Winter Wonderland.

CALEXICO: Speaking of presents, here's their "Gift X-Change."

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

MICHAEL CAINE looks back at The Muppet Christmas Carol.


AN XMAS FLASH MOB from the Berklee College of Music broke out into an impromptu performance of the classic Christmas carol “O Holy Night” at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

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.

HALL & OATES: "Jingle Bell Rock," reduced to its molten kitchy essense.

THE MOST COVERED CHRISTMAS SONGS, according to FiveThirtyEight.

HOLIDAY SONGS, showcased by Brooklyn Vegan and Salon.

16 WEIRD FACTS About Big Christmas Hits.

MARIAH CAREY's “All I Want For Christmas Is You” tops the chart again.

WHY Are There No New Christmas Songs

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, online. Also, a 5-year-old called 911 on the Grinch.

DAVID BOWIE & BING CROSBY'S cross-generational duet o­n "Little Drummer Boy." This historic event was recreated by Will Farrell and John C. Reilly. Plus, 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, complete.

A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOU...FROM PHIL SPECTOR: Essayed by Aquarium Drunkard and NME.

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

THE SEX PISTOLS & THIN LIZZY played "A Merry Jingle" for Top of the Pops.  BONUS: The Pistols' final UK show was a Christmas benefit.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Pate even had a song titled "Rope Around The Moon," so watch the whole thing. 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, even more so 2007's AFLAC commercial, and AT & T bringing in Rudolph, Bumble, and Santa for 2015.BONUS: NPR has a piece on the original manuscript.  DOUBLE BONUS: Don't Subject Your Kids to Rudolph.

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 a few years back, 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, which has now inspired a major motion picture, and a Nativity set. DOUBLE BONUS: NME rounds up 10 Deliciously Scary Christmas Movies. TRIPLE BONUS: 18 Killer Santas From Film and TV.

LIAM NEESON auditions as a mall Santa.

TEN UNFORGETTABLE Musical Christmas Moments On Film.

THE 30 BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES, according to Empire magazine.

FIVE REASONS Why Die Hard is a Christmas movie, not including the ornament.

HOME ALONE: Did Kevin McCallister grow up to become the Jigsaw Killer?

DRECK THE HALLS: A Holiday TV Specials Retrospective.

23 TV EPISODES based on "A Christmas Carol."

A CHRISTMAS HAM: CNN's Mary Katherine Ham and Commentary's John Podhoretz break down the Hallmark Christmas movie genre.

NAT KING COLE:  His chestnuts are roasting.

MAYMO THE BEAGLE gets 210 bottles for Christmas.


27 DOGS That Do Christmas Better Than You Do Christmas.

17 WEINER DOGS make the perfect Christmas photo.

THE DOGGO who stole Christmas.

SHELTER DOGS are more than happy to choose their own Christmas presents.

29 CATS Trying To Figure Out This Whole Christmas Thing.

A SHETLAND PONY in a Christmas foursie.

CHRISTMAS ON CHRISTMAS ISLAND involves millions of crabs.

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.

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Elton John and our way to the weekend.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 18, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with ELTON JOHN! Half of a live show captured by the OGWT on Christmas Eve, 1974.  Your setlist includes: "Grimsby" (incomplete), "Rocket Man," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Daniel," Grey Seal,"  "Bennie And The Jets," "I Saw Her Standing There," "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me," "Honky Cat," "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting," "Crocodile Rock," "The B^tch Is Back," "Your Song," and "White Christmas."



THE BESNARD LAKES share “Our Heads, Our Hearts On Fire Again.”


WEAPON OF CHOICE, but with Fred Astaire instead of Christopher Walken.

SMOKEY ROBINSON took a do-over at pronouncing Hanukkah for a fan on Cameo, the celebrity greeting service.

THE 25 BEST EPs of 2020, according to Paste.

THE BEST REISSUES & BOX SETS of 2020, according to NPR.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Madonna ackshually singing on "Live to Tell."  (Somehow I missed this earlier in the week.).


JEREMY BULLOCH, who played Boba Fett in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died aged 75.

IAN McKELLEN gets vaccinated.

COMING 2 AMERICA: EW has your first look.

TOM CRUISE and... Hayley Atwell?

PEDRO PASCAL talks Wonder Woman 1984, The Mandalorian, Nicolas Cage and more.

DENISE RICHARDS is opening up about her public split from Charlie Sheen — and the toll it took on her career.

THE BEST MOVIES of 220, according to Uproxx.



FROSTY the Snow-Rat.

OPOSSUM vs SKUNK: Who You Got?

A BOBCAT, sighted on the Bronx River.

AN EXPEDITION IN THE ANDES revealed 20 species new to science, including the ‘lilliputian frog.'

A WHALE had enough of the dolphins.

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Thursday Things after the Holiday Mix is complete.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


EURYTHMICS'. Dave Stewart declares "Christmas is For Lovers".

THE WATERBOYS' Mike Scott visits World Cafe.

ASHLEY RAY plays a Tiny Desk Concert from home.

DJANGO DJANGO plays "Asking For More" and "Hail Bop" for NME.


FLEET FOXES' Robin Pecknold Reviews 2020.

AQUARIUM DRUNKARD's 2020 Year in Review.

LED ZEPPELIN is getting their own pinball machine.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Billy Ocean's Motown-pastiche ballad "There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)."


THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Newly surfaced behind-the scenes footage.

LILY JAMES & SEBASTIAN STAN are on board to play former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in a new limited series for Hulu.

GAL GADOT and Fallon try new foods.

NIGHT COURT is back in session?

SETH MacFARLANE is developing a reboot of the seminal '80s comedy “Revenge of the Nerds.”

SOUL: Inside Pixar's trippy Christmas offering.

THE MANDALORIAN has a Christmas present for you.

THE BEST MOVIES of 2020, according to The Ringer.



A PIGLET and a calf.

A CAT, working a Chrismtas tree like Rocky Balboa.

PAPA found a home.

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