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Tis the Season...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 01, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


U2 cover "Merry Christmas, Baby (Please Come Home)."

SONIC YOUTH: Steve Shelley Selects 10 Gems From The Band's Archive.


PHOEBE BRIDGERS covers Tom Waits' "Day After Tomorrow" for the holidays.

THE NEW PR0NOGRAPHERS are back onstage, with Neko Case and Dan Bejar.


DAVID BOWIE: 10 Defining Moments From the 90s.

SLY & THE FAMILY STONE: There's A Riot Goin' On turns 50.

KACEY MUSGRAVES talks to The Current about the nonlinear stages of grief, and her upcoming appearance on Sesame Street.

LISA LOEB is voicing a commercial for insomnia drugs. Get off my lawn.


AND JUST LIKE THAT, the Sex and the City sequel has a trailer online.

THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL: Season 4 has a teaser online. I really liked the first two seasons, was a little disappointed by the third. Hope springs eternal!

BRITNEY SPEARS  says she's "on the right medication" now.

MARILYN MANSON's home was crawling with detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and it's related to his ongoing sexual assault investigations.

THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS gets an EW cover story.

NICOLAS CAGE will play Dracula in Universal's Renfield.

GAME OF THRONES is getting another prequel, this one with a silly title.

LIVE IN FRONT OF A STUDIO AUDIENCE is doing The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes with stacked casts.


A RARE DEEP-SEA ANGLERFISH, usually found at ocean depths of more than 2000 feet, was found on a beach in San Diego.

MIGRATION of Monarch butterflies.

A BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY, showing 'em off.

5 Reads

The last day of November, even in leap years.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JASON and the SCORCHERS cover "Absolutely Sweet Marie" and play "Harvest Moon" for Twofer Tuesday.

SAINT ETIENNE is streaming a Christmas EP, Her Winter Coat.

DAVE GROHL & GREG KURSTIN kick off Hannukah with covers of Lisa Loeb's "Stay" and the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop." (another Twofer 4 U)



NEIL YOUNG is releasing another lost album of Summer Songs.

HOW THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS made a little "Birdhouse In Your Soul."

THE TOP 50 ALBUMS of 2021, according to Paste.

THE TOP 20 SONGS of 2021, according to The Guardian.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Mariah Carey's melodramatic ballad "I Don't Wanna Cry," which was Carey's fourth single and also her fourth chart-topper.


MEL BROOKS Writes It All Down.

SPIDER-MAN producer Amy Pascal says Tom Holland will return, and that the animated Spider-Verse sequel is in the works.

BRADLEY COOPER was once held up at knifepoint on the NYC subway.

MAGIC MIKE is getting a threequel.

THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT may explain his escape from the Sarlaac.

BENNIFER helped a holiday food drive.

MILEY CYRUS & PETE DAVIDSON will host NBC's NYE special.


A BEAR politely closes the door.


THIS SQUIRREL always brings dried seed to trade for some nuts.

17 Reads

And so, the post-holiday, during-holidays (Chanukah), pre-holiday period.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 29, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE WHO: "I'm A Boy."

NEW RELEASES: Pitchfork will point you to Julie Dorion, Richard Dawson & Circle, and more.

RYLEY WALKER dropped a surprise album, Post Wook.  I could have put Course in Fable on my faves list.

SILK SONIC played "Fly As Me" on Soul Train.

THE BEATLES were like aliens from the future in 1969 - and they are still as radical today.

YOKO ONO shares an article suggesting she didn't break up the Beatles.

BRIAN WILSON talked to BrooklynVegan.

THE NUMBER ONES looked at Amy Grant's "Baby Baby," Roxette's "Joyride," and Hi-Five's "I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)" during my week off.


WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Over a light Thanksgiving frame, Disney's Encanto topped the chart with 40.3MMGhostbusters: Afterlife placed with 35.3MM (with a 24.5MM 3-day total that dropped 44 percent from its debut).  House of Gucci showed with21.8MM.  Below the fold, Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1970s teen comedy Licorice Pizza posted a huge 83.8K opening screen average from four theaters, which MGM is calling an-all-time record.

STEPHEN SONDHEIM,  one of Broadway history’s songwriting titans, whose music and lyrics raised and reset the artistic standard for the American stage musical, died early Friday at his home in Roxbury, Conn. He was 91. And he gave an interview just the Sunday befoe he passed.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY Decides to Not Run for Texas Governor.

MICHAEL STRAHAN and Laura Shepard Churchley, the daughter of Alan Shepard, signed up to follow the billionaire Jeff Bezos and the actor William Shatner to the edge of space on the next Blue Origin spaceflight.

KEVIN SPACEY has been ordered to pay the producer of House of Cards 31MM to cover the loss in revenue caused by his termination from the show.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY is doing her thing. And caught COVID, unrelatedly.

BENNIFER enjoyed Thanksgiving.

LINDSAY LOHAN got engaged to Bader Shammas.


A DOBERMAN, watching and imitating Michael Jackson.

CATS, running on solar power.

A BEAGLE who loves soccer.

SPIDER-CAT, doing whatever a spider-cat can.

KRATU: A rescue steals the dog show.

22 Reads

Black Friday week is here. And so are Faves 2021.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND STARTS HERE... with FAVES 2021.  I occasionally hear from folks who want to know what music -- from among all of the posts I do here -- I recommend.  To some degree, I recommend all of it, unless I expressly write otherwise (e.g., it's not my thing, but it might be yours).  With the holiday shopping season upon us, I have tried to make a list of reasonable size.  It's an unordered list. I may have overlooked some things that I really dig. 

And note these are my faves; I'm not purporting to list the "Best" albums of the year.  And unfortunately, for me 2021 in music echoed the year itself as a bit of a disappointment, as the delta variant took away the promise of a Hot Vaxx Summer for so many.  Moreover, my year turned into quite the whirlwind as Summer drew to a close, so I'll be doing this list in vintage full-on Christgau blurb style.  Let's get to it.

Obviously, I'm going to dig the super-deluxe version of THE REPLACEMENTS' debut LP, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, which sadly isn't on Spotify.  But it's even sadder that we've reached the point where Sorry Ma, gets the super-deluxe treatment and still beats a lot of new releases.  Eventually, there will be a super-deluxe version of Stink, and yes, I will be there for it.  Similarly, while I'm less of a fan of NEIL YOUNG, his recent archival releases have been strong, most notably Way Down in the Rust Bucket, which features Crazy Horse circa 1990.  TOM JONES claims to be Surrounded by Time on this covers album, but you know that someday we will wish we had more time with him.  Among albums of new material, my actual fave this year has to be LORD HURON's Long Lost,with that Fleet Foxes-by-way-of-The Byrds sound dipped in Phil Spector's echo chamber that anyone who knows me knows I dig hard.  But for those more upbeat moment's there's POM POD SQUAD's Death of a Cheerleader, which crams 14 songs into just over 30 minutes, including a cover of "Crimson and Clover," for all of which I am the target demo.  Almost as good is Comfort to Me from AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS, a sophomore album with no slump, just young, loud and snotty vintage-sounding punk from Down Under. A couple of notches more chill was the latest from COURTNEY BARNETT's Things Take Time, Take Time, which still features sharp lyrics and vocals reminiscent of Liz Phair, but easing laconically a few degrees toward Lou Reed.  While I'm still near the subject of sophomore non-slumps, NATION OF LANGUAGE returned with A Way Forward, which finds the band sounding a little less OMD and occasionally a little early New Order.  THE WAR ON DRUGS continues to prove classic rock need not be old on I Don't Live Here Anymore.  It wouldn't be one of my Faves lists with out some retro-R & B albums, and the one everyone's listening to right now is the Bruno Mars/Anderson Paak side joint, An Evening with SILK SONIC, which is winking hard but utlimately kidding on the square with its soulful grooves (it certainly doesn't hurt to have Bootsy Collins and Thundercat guesting).  Less heard, but as rewarding is Introducing... AARON FRAZER, which was co-written with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach.  Sort of adjacent to those would be ST. VINCENT's Daddy's Home, which filters Annie Clark's signature guitar stylings through 70's glam and R & B. And Clark is someone whose work I started liking and more recently found myself only respecting, so it would be condescending to call this a return to form beyond my personal tastes, but there it is.  LANA DEL REY released two strong albums this year, Chemtrails Over the Country Club and Blue Bannisters, even as backlash against her became more fashionable.  I dunno that I like either as much as NFR, but maybe in the fullness of time.  LOW is a band that tended to fall into my respected box, but I found Hey What to be quite arresting once I got past the opening track.  THE HOLD STEADY's Open Door Policy didn't seem to get the attention it deserved, may because the concert scene was still pretty moribund, or maybe because the album is pretty low-key compared to their median album.  I tend to feel the same way about TEENAGE FANCLUB's Endless Arcade, perhaps surprisingly strong given that Gerald Love left the band.  Home Video from LUCY DACUS and Little Oblivions from JULIEN BAKER found ther way into regular rotation and have me a littly hyped for a new album from boygenius (their group with Phoebe Bridgers) that should be coming soon.  Speaking of should-be supergroups, did you know that THE FLATLANDERS -- Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock -- put out Treasure of Love, their first LP in 12 years?  Because if you like Americana, you should.  Anyway, that's a fairly representative sample.

A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING has been relegated to AppleTV+, as the IP gods decreed.

WKRP: "Turkeys Away," in its entirety. And here's the turkey giveaway by itself. There's a WKRP purist backstory for this episode as well.

THANKSGIVING:  George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation (1789).  It was controversial at the time.

A BUNNY crashes the gate.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, with a cat, and a pupper.

35 Reads

It's like the Monday of a short week.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 22, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS play "Birdhouse In Your Soul" with the Doc Severenson Orchestra.

NEW RELEASES: Paste will point you to Adele, Beach Fossils, Robert Plant and Alison Krass, and more.

BILL'S INDIE BASEMENT has Elbow, Kelley Stoltz, Fine Place, and more.

BOYGENIUS performs "Stay Down" at a benefit show.

WARREN ELLIS on the past, present, and future of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

CHVRCHES is profiled in the New Haven Register.

THE TOP 75 ALBUMS of 2021, according to Uncut.

KEITH ALLISON, who performed with Paul Revere & The Raiders, has died, a family spokesperson has confirmed. He was 79.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Wilson Phillips "You're In Love," the final chart-topper of the trio's brief but dominant run.


WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Ghostbusters: Afterlife topped the chart with 44MM, and even ticked up over the weekend, which bodes well as we enter a holiday period with schools out.  The Eternals places with 10.8MM on a 60 percent drop that's probably among the steepest in the MCU for a third weekend in release.  Clifford the Big Red Dog shows with 8MM on a 53 percent drop, which is what happens when big competitioner rolls in and you're already streaming the pic at home.  Below the fold, the much-promoted Will Smith vehicle King Richard debuted in the fourth slot with only 6.5MM.

JASON REITMAN, avoiding talking about Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Preparing for a wedding?

KIM KARDASHIAN & PETE DAVIDSON want their budding romance to remain “low-key” for now. You laughed. You know you did.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE, blazing up on set.

JEREMY RENNER is boasting two very different streaming TV roles.

ARCANE has already replaced Squid Game as Netflix's most-watched series.

ART LaFLEUR, the actor who was best known for playing Babe Ruth in The Sandlot, has died after a 10-year battle with A-typical Parkinson's. He was 78.


A BABY ARMADILLO, playing with its toy.

JUST a happy pupper.

A DOG and his boy, sort of.

47 Reads

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