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That weekend could have been longer.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 06, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BO DONALDSON & THE HEYWOODS: "Billy, Don't Be a Hero," from the Summer of '74. Workin' the Elvis jumpuit look.


PERFUME GENIUS plays KEXP from home.

AN IMAGINARY FESTIVAL with imagination.


THE NEW DUNCAN IMPERIALS cover The Supremes' "Someday We'll Be Together."

SONIC BOOM, interviewed by Dean Wareham.

VANILLA ICE postponed a concert after drawing fierce criticism due to the coronavirus pandemic. Eighty-four tickets had been sold.

A LONG DISTANCE DEDICATION: Casey Kasem's first American Top 40, 50 years ago.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Patti Austin & James Ingram's smooth Quincy Jones-produced duet "Baby, Come To Me," a sort of early 'Thriller' warning.


JEFFREY EPSTEIN confidante, British socialite and heiress Ghislaine Maxwell, has been arrested by the FBI. Will she sell anyone out?

TOM CRUISE is allowed to skip the 14-day quarantine rule in the U.K. so he can start filming "Mission Impossible 7."

CARL REINER: Remembrances from Mel Brooks, Lily Tomlin, Mark Harmon, and more.

AIRPLANE! at 40: Lauded by The Ringer and The Guardian.

45 YEARS OF JAWS: The Shark Still Works.

TENET and the Most Important Summer Movies Ever.

HUGH DOWNS, a longtime host of "Today" and "20/20," whose honeyed delivery and low-key manner made him a TV favorite for decades, has died at 99.


AN EAGLE, nabbing a shark at the beach.

A GOOD BOY heard the water hose.

LLAMA ANTIBODIES neutralize Covid-19?

DUCKS are assisted acrosss the street.

1084 Reads

A Shining City on a Hill.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 02, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE BEACH BOYS!  It's Pate Reunion Weekend and time to "Do It Again."  Because folks my age will always remember their mammoth July 4th concerts at the Washington Monument -- as with this 1980 take o­n "Good Vibrations."  Their "Lost Concert" from 1964 includes "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Long, Tall Texan," "Little Deuce Coupe," "Surfer Girl," "Surfin' USA," "Shut Down," "In My Room," "Papa Ooh Mow Mow," and "Hawaii." Their take on "Dance, Dance, Dance" from Shindig! later that year is like a slice of Christmas in July.  There's also a nifty twofer of "I Get Around" and "'When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)" from their first UK TV appearance o­n Ready Steady Go!  The Andy Williams Show serves up "Help Me, Rhonda," while The Jack Benny Hour produced these quick takes o­n "Barbara Ann" and "California Girls."  There's a primitive video for "Wouldn't It Be Nice" that starts with a cameo from Brian Wilson's dogs (Banana and Louie), who appear at the end of the Pet Sounds LP.  And I'll finish with a live version of "God Only Knows" from the 1967 European tour -- one of the last Brian would do for a decade or so.  BONUS: Part 1 and Part 2 of the epic Political Beats podcasts covering the entirety of the Beach Boys' catalog.

RAY CHARLES performs "America The Beautiful" like no one else.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: Bruce Springsteen, circa 1978, before it came out on The River.

AMERICAN MUSIC: The Violent Femmes, circa 1992.

DAVE ALVIN: Hey, baby, it's the "4th of July."


THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER: As performed by Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Smokey Robinson, members of the Grateful Dead, and Umphrey’s McGee.

THE UNITED STATES prepares to celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4, 1776. As the Wikipedia notes, this is a little arbitrary: New Englanders had been fighting Britain since April 1775; the first motion in the Continental Congress for independence was made o­n June 8th; and the Congress voted 12-0 for independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain o­n July 2, 1776. Even so, the publication of the Declaration was momentous .  If you're not in DC, the best way to see and learn about the Declaration may be through the Charters of Freedom website. Or you can watch Mel Gibson(!), Michael Douglas, Renee Zelleweger, Kevin Spacey(!), Wynona Ryder and other Hollywood folk read the Declaration.

Of course, the holiday more broadly celebrates the American Revolutionary War, and the Founders' unlikely victory. People with the highest standard of living and the lowest taxes in the Western World fought a sometimes unpopular war for our freedom. Early o­n, the Revolutionaries (also known as "Americans" or "Patriots") had the active support of about 40 to 45 percent of the colonial population. By 1779, there were more Americans fighting with the British than with Washington, which is why Washington needed help from the French, the Spanish and freed Blacks. You can separate fact from fiction regarding the sacrifices and fates of the Founders at Snopes. You can hear two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough read from the first chapter of his 1776 via NPR. Or watch a nifty clip on the passage and public reading of the Declaration from the John Adams miniseries.


BLONDIE: In honor of Debbie Harry turning 75, here's the band, Live at Paradise in Boston, circa 1978.

THE GRATEFUL DEAD streams their first-ever studio outtakes collection, 'Workingman's Dead: The Angel's Share.'

THE GO-GOS announce a new song and a documentary.

THE 50 BEST LPs of 2020 (So Far), according to PopMatters.

THE BEST ALBUMS of 2020 (So Far), according to The Ringer.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Toto's lovably absurd, overblown synth-gloop anthem "Africa."


BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD return for two new seasons on Comedy Central.

WAYNE'S WORLD & ME: How Garth became a kind of beacon — a guide to being a real person in a branded world.

MAHERSHALA ALI will star in a six-part HBO limited series about boxing legend Jack Johnson.

STAR WARS: No, Disney is not erasing the sequels as suggested by a satirical YouTuber.

MAD MEN is moving to Amazon and coming back to AMC.

OLIVIA DeHAVILLAND, the last remaining star of Old Hollywood, turns 104.

JULY 4TH MOVIE RELEASES, ranked by The Ringer.


TWIGGY: Another Fourth of July tradition, the water-skiing squirrel. She retired last summer, but it remains a great story. Compelling and rich.


BEAVERS gnawing away at the Arctic permafrost.

INVADING CICADAS May Turn Into Sex-Crazed Zombies This Summer.

1083 Reads

Carl Reiner RIP, and Wednesday Things.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 01, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE NASHVILLE TEENS, with a stompin' cover of "Tobacco Road."

NICOLE ATKINS guests on World Cafe.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS plays tunes from 'Car Wheels On A Gravel Road' and more from 1998.

COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS shares “How You Get Hurt.”

SUN KIL MOON & PETRA HADEN share “Lemon Balm.”


GLENN TILBROOK of SQUEEZE covers the Human league's "Don't You Want Me, Baby?"

THE 20 BEST POST-PUNK ALBUMS of 2020 (So Far), according to Paste.

SHINEDOWN: America's Most Popular Rock Band?

MAROON 5 bassist Mickey Madden, a founding member of the band, was arrested Saturday on felony intimate partner violence charges in Los Angeles.

JOHNNY MANDEL, a composer and orchestrator who brought emotional depth and a sophisticated sheen to the realms of popular song, television and film, died on Monday at his home in Ojai, Calif. He was 94.


CARL REINER, who as performer, writer and director earned a place in comedy history several times over, died on Monday night at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 98.  Trbutes from Mel Brooks, Dick van Dyke, Billy Crystal and more poured in.

RESPECT: The Aretha Franklin biopic has a trailer online.

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM will return to screens for an eleventh season.

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN's team really wants you to know that he does not ban chairs from his movie sets.

STAR WARS: Extras from A New Hope are posted at Disney+.

LOST: Damon Lindelof reveals that they originally wanted to end the show in three seasons.

THE 25 BEST MOVIES of 2020 (So Far), according to the Ringer.


A BEAR with a plastic container on his head gets help from a fishing family.

A SHEEP enjoys scome skritches.

ELK RETURN TO KENTUCKY, to live in reclaimed strip mines.

HUMMINGBIRDS live in a richer-hued world than we do, full of signs and messages that we never notice.

1035 Reads

The trees are drawing me near.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JON PRATT: Pate's frontman shares "Meet Me By The Riverside."

THE ZOMBIES and ARGENT get about two and a half hours of discussion and analysis on Political Beats with Prof. Randy Barnett.

THE BETHS play live for The Current.

THE RAYBORN LIVE ARCHIVE (Vol. 3) has Bob Dylan, Magnolia Electric Company, David Byrne, Mission of Burma, and much more.

BILL CALLAHAN shares "Pigeons."

DEVENDRA BANHART shares "Let's See," which eventually contains some familiar lyrics.


SONIC YOUTH: An Oral History of Goo.

JOHNNY CASH: Third Man Records is offering subscribers a 1973 live double-album plus DVD.

NPR's 25 FAVORITE LPs of 2020 (So Far).

BENNY MARDONES, the rock and soul singer-songwriter behind the '80s smash and radio perennial "Into the Night," died Monday from complications following a long struggle with Parkinson's disease. He was 73.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Men At Work's perfectly silly new wave anthem, "Down Under."



ANNE HATHAWAY & HUGH JACKMAN have a “Les Misérables”reunion; she dishes a bit on Christopher Nolan.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME directors Joe and Anthony Russo have said that reopening cinemas at the moment is a "high-risk situation."

BROADWAY shows will remain closed until at least January 2021.

HARRY POTTER will soon be a big-budget videogame.

DR. DRE  and his wife of 24 years are ending their marriage.

BEYONCE is releasing a new visual album on Disney+.

WILL FARRELL MOVIES, ranked at Uproxx.

FACE/OFF: The Advice Column.


A RACCOON steals catfood from beneath a deck.

UTAH encourages hunting bullfrogs.

A NEWFOUND SPIDER SPECIES looks enough like the Joker to be named after Joaquin Phoenix.

1017 Reads

Tell Me Why...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 29, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE BLACK HOLLIES with the grainy, garagey "Tell Me What You Want".

NEW RELEASES: Paste will point you to Khruangbin, Pottery, Haim, Bad Moves, and more.

BILL'S INDIE BASEMENT has Redd Kross, Einstürzende Neubauten, Mikal Cronin, and more.

HAIM premiered their new material at Los Angeles deli Canter's.

PHOEBE BRIDGERS covers John Prine's "Summer's End."

TOM PETTY: Hear the demo for “You Don’t Know How It Feels.”


THE FLAMING LIPS return with "My Religion Is You."

THE TO 25 ALBUMS of 2020 (So Far), according to Consequence of Sound.


THE NUMBER ONES looks at Hall & Oates' twitchy new-wave doo-wop jam "Maneater."



TENET has been postponed again, to August 12.

MULAN also has been pushed back again.

JUSTIN BIEBER  is seeking legal recourse against two anonymous women who previously accused him on social media of sexual assault.

MARGOT ROBBIE is re-teaming with Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson for a new, female-fronted Pirates of the Caribbean spinoff.

RYAN REYNOLDS derails an X-Men cast reunion.

A GOLDEN GIRLS episode gets canceled for blackface.

A COMMUNITY episode gets canceled for blackface.

BRAVE NEW WORLD has a trailer online.


JACK RABBITS fight in the middle of the road.

WHEN YOUR NEW PAD has a surprise accessory.

THE KITTY has it down.

DOLPHNS teach their friends to hunt and use tools.

1006 Reads

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