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Carrie Fisher RIP, Richard Adams RIP, George S. Irving RIP   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 28, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

CARRIE FISHER, the actress, author and screenwriter who brought a rare combination of nerve, grit and hopefulness to her most indelible role, as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movie franchise, died on Tuesday morning. She was 60.  Per Fisher's wishes, I report that she was drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra.  Aside from her mosy iconic role, she lent her support to a bunch of great commedies, including The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally, and Hannah and Her Sisters.  But perhaps her legacy should be found in her writings, including Postcards From the Edge, Wishful Drinking, and The Princess Diarist.  I say this because -- for someone considered "Hollywood royalty" as the child of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher -- she had that sort of John Lennon-esque quality of authenticity, of letting it all hang out without coming actross as ither haughty (in the case of her fame) or seeking victimhood (in discussing her problems).  That quality was in ample evidence during this recent interview for Fresh Air.

also...

RICHARD ADAMS, the author of Watership Down, has died at age 96.

and then there is this...

GEORGE S. IRVING, a fearless comic actor whose signature smile could turn into a smirk with the perfectly timed arch of an eyebrow, died December 26 in New York of natural causes.He was 94. He won a Tony for his role in Irene, which coincidentally marked Carrie Fisher's stage debut).  As a voice actor, generations will know him as Heat Miser in The Year Without A Santa Claus and A Miser Brothers’ Christmas.

There really isn't much more news worth noting for today, but I'll be back tomorrow.

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Bon Iver, Honus Honus, The Sonics, Beach Slang, Christmas Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 27, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

KURT VILE turned out a holiday version of his "Wakin on a Pretty Day," with Lisa Loeb and others.

BON IVER played a full set at Pioneer Works.

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

THE SONICS performed live for KEXP.

BEACH SLANG covered Green Day's "2000 Light Years Away."

ALEX CHILTON would have turned 66 romorrow, so let's enjoy the Box Tops' "The Letter" and Big Star's "In The Street" for the final Twofer Tuesday of 2016.

WHAM!: The most misunderstood group of the 1980s?

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: Bob Boilen's Top 40 Songs Of 2016.

THE TOP 50 ALBUMS of 2016, according to Entertainment Weekly.

LEE FIELDS & THE EXPRESSIONS: Oliver Wang revisits this year's overlooked retro-soul.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Rogue One repeated atop the holiday chart with 96MM over the four-day frame and is likely close to profit against its 200MM budget worldwide.  Sing placed with 56MM, and has recouped its 76MM production budget on domestoc receipts since opening last Wednesday; the "A" Cinemascore suggests it may have legs, too.  Passengers showed with 23.1MM over the weekend (30MM since opening) against a 110MM production budget; that's bad, but not awful, if Pratt and Lawrence can bring in some foreign receipts. Why Him? took the fourth slot with 16MM and would have me asking "Why this movie?", if not for the low 38MM budget.  In contrast, Assassin's Creed rounded out the Top Five with 15MM (22MM since Wednesday) against a 125MM production budget, which suggests it would need a Warcraft-like miracle in foreign markets to make money.

KANYE WEST & KIM KARDASHIAN looked tense after spending Christmas morning with family.

BRITNEY SPEARS was targeted during a hack of Sony Music Group.

AVRIL LAVIGNE defended Nickelback to Mark Zuckerberg.

NICK & VANESSA LACHEY welcomed their third child on Monday.

BEAUTY & THE BEAST dropped an extended TV trailer.

CHILDREN OF MEN: Vulture and the BBC among those looking back at Alfonso Cuarón's dystopian film ten years later.

THE CAT wants your PlayStation.

A MASSIVE AUSSIE FUR SEAL turned up on a suburban street in Tasmania, 50 Km from the ocean, and sat on a parked car on its way back to the wild.

A CANADIAN WOMAN who authorities say managed to hide her 4-year-old pet cat Bella in her handbag during a trans-Pacific flight had her vacation cut short when border agents discovered the ruse at a New Zealand airport.

ROAST PIG should not be necessary to get you to flee a tsunami.

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George Michael RIP, Amos Lee, Lucinda Williams, NIN, The 1975, Ice-Fishing Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 26, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

GEORGE MICHAEL, one of pop’s reigning stars in the 1980s and 1990s, in the duo Wham! and on his own, died on Sunday at his home in Goring in Oxfordshire, England. He was 53. Some of his notable songs include: "Young Guns (Go For It)," (which seemingly was one influence on the Ronson/Mars "Uptown Funk"); "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Careless Whisper," the then-controversial "I Want Your Sex," which proved too risque to crack the No. 1 spot in the US or UK; the Bo Diddling figurative flip side, "Faith"; "Father Figure," and the self-referential "Freedom '90," the supermodel-laden video for which was directed by David Fincher.

HOLIDAY CHEER: Amos Lee, Lucinda Williams, Corinne Bailey Rae, The Record Company and Rachael Price of Lake Street Dive are among those playing for WFUV's annual event.

THE NEW STANDARDS -- Chan Poling (the Suburbs), John Munson (Semisonic), and Steve Roehm play a holiday set, incl The Jayhawks' Gary Louris covering Bowie's "Starman," and Jeremy Messersmith covering "Pure Imagination."

NINE INCH NAILS streams their Not The Actual Events EP.

THE 1975 plays a full concert at the O2 Arena.

KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD share "Nuclear Fusion."

CAR SEAT HEADREST & NAKED GIANTS cover the Talking Heads' "Naive Melody (This Must be The Place)" and it sounds like it was.

THE STATUS QUO guitarist Rick Parfitt has died at the age of 68 after suffering from a severe infection. The band's first hit was the psychedelic "Pictures of Matchstick Men" though they later embraced the more blue-collar sound of songs like "Whatever You Want."

THE BEATLES' SOLO LPs -- Reviewed circa 1970.

THE SELMER MARK VI: The Most Legendary Sax Ever?

MOGWAI: Ten of Their Best.

FRANK MURRAY, the former manager of The Pogues, has died at the age of 66.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Studios gave the bean-estimators the day off, so we should have those numbers tomorrow.

CARRIE FISHER was in critical condition following a massive heart attack aboard an 11-hour flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday.  She is now in stable condition, according to her mother, Debbie Reynolds.

JOHN WILLIAMS admits he's never seen the Star Wars franchise he helped make with his iconic scores.

ALIEN: COVENANT has a red band trailer online.

JUSTICE LEAGUE confirmed additional characters.

MILES TELLER went upside down Thursday night when his truck hit another car and flipped over.

THE MOVIE THAT DOESN'T EXIST -- And The People Who Think It Does. This is freaky.

THE SOVIET UNION ended 25 years ago: read Gorbachev's speech.

THIS CAT doesn't quite get ice fishing.

A VET caught bird flu from a cat.

CATS: The "ecological axis of evil"?

DOG TREATS laced with cannabis is a big business.

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Zuzu's Petals!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 23, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY STARTS HERE:

... 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! Double Bonus: "It's a Bad Brains Christmas, Charlie Brown."

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."

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 CURRENT has your hipster holiday music stream.

THE ALL SONGS CONSIDERED Holiday Extravaganza for 2016.

A STONE SOUL CHRISTMAS, at Aquarium Drunkard.

MARC BOLAN: T.Rexmas.

LIT UP LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE: A Vintage Holiday Mixtape.

PASSION PIT frontman Michael Angelakos released his debut album. Merry Christmas, Mr. Fields.

DEAN WAREHAM Does The Holidays.

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

35 ALTERNATIVE HOLIDAY SONGS, courtesy of NME.

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

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.

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

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 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.

EMMET OTTER's JUG BAND CHRISTMAS Soundtrack.

JON BON JOVI sings "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" to R2-D2 in his first professional recording.

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.

16 WEIRD FACTS About Big Christmas Hits.

MARIAH CAREY's “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has slipped to number two in the ranking of holiday shoppers’ most-heard songs.

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 event was recreated by Will Farrell and John C. Reilly. Plus, Jack Black and Jason Segel have done a cartoon cover

NOW SHOWING: Did that yesterday.

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.

TEN OR TWELVE UNDERRATED Holiday Tracks (Some of which already appear here).

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.

ALL THESE KIDS WANTED FOR CHRISTMAS was warm blankets.

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.

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, 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."

NAT KING COLE:  His chestnuts are roasting.

MAYMO THE BEAGLE gets 210 bottles for Christmas.

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, as told by cats.

27 DOGS That Do Christmas Better Than You Do Christmas.

29 CATS Trying To Figure Out This Whole Christmas Thing, and 29 CATS Who Just Want To Help You Decorate Your Tree.

A SHETLAND PONY in a Christmas foursie.

14 ANIMALS Who Tried to Ruin Christmas.

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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Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Bob Weir, July Talk, Bob Weir, Basset Mom   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

TEGAN & SARA shared a vdeo for “That Girl.”

GILLIAN WELCH & DAVID RAWLINGS play an 8-song Nashville Session for World Cafe.

BOB WEIR played WFUV Live at the King's Theatre.

JULY TALK visted the WNYC Soundcheck studios.

WILD PINK shared “Wizards Of Loneliness,” the latest advance single from the band's self-titled LP.

DARLENE LOVE's final "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)" for Letterman.

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, SLY STONE & NINA SIMONE will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammy Special Merit Awards.

THE BEST UNDERGROUND GARAGE PUNK LPs of 2016, according to Pitchfork.

FOLK ALLEY's 10 Favorite Albums of 2016.

BIG THIEF's Top 10 Breakfasts of 2016.

NOW SHOWING: Wednesday's wide releases are Sing, which is currently scoring 69 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Passengers, which is currently scoring 29 percent; and Assassin's Creed, scoring 18 percent.  Why Him? opens on friday and is currently scoring 33 percent.

THE KARDASHIANS continue to freeze out Blac Chyna, who has reconciled with fiancé Rob Kardashian.

EMMA STONE is the cover of the Rolling Stone.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR put out a casting call listing a very large cast. (potential spoilers, obvsly)

MISCHA BARTON: A Teen Star Looks at 30.

ALAN THICKE died of a “ruptured aorta”, according to his death certificate.

WES ANDERSON announced his next film, Isle of the Dogs, a stop-motion animation about a group of dogs living on an island.

THE 15 BEST HORROR MOVIES of 2016, according to Paste.

THE 20 BEST MOVIES of 2016, according to The A.V. Club.

SYRIA: The Russian government and state media describe the situation in Aleppo as “liberation,” and Russian state TV last week interviewed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who praised Moscow for its support.

GERMANY: A manhunt is underway for a 24-year-old Tunisia native in connection with this week's Christmas market attack in Berlin. The suspect was arrested in August with forged documents en route to Italy, but a judge released him, an official says.

A BASSET HOUND protects her pups from Grandpa.

A NEGLECTED CAT is freed from pounds of matted fur.

A SAVAGE ELEPHANT farted on a friend's head.

RAMBO THE GATOR will be staying with his owner, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials ruled.

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