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Aimee Mann, Ryley Walker, Yeasayer, Ultimate Painting, Rogue One, Shark   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 16, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with 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.

RYLEY WALKER stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

YEASAYER stopped by KEXP for a live performance.

ULTIMATE PAINTING, Live at the Bowery Ballroom, Dec. 7, 2016.

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

THE DECEMBERISTS: Colin Meloy talked to SPIN about the tenth anniversary of  The Crane Wife.

THE 100 BEST SONGS of 2016, according to Pitchfork.

THE 70 BEST ALBUMS of 2016, according to PopMatters.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED publishes its Listeners' Top 20  Album Picks for 2016.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is currently scoring 84 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and Collateral Beauty, which is scoring 19 percent.  Manchester By The Sea expands wide scoring 97 percent.

ROGUE ONE is, as advertised, a war story. That's not particularly useful, given that the franchise is Star Wars. It is more accurate to say that this spin-off is more about ground fighting, and gound-level rebellion more than other movies in the franchise, including RotJ's battle on the forest moon of Endor.  And it is in that sense perhaps the grittiest of this universe; one can imagine which shots are among the reshoots rumored to lighten a few moments.  Given that the story of the construction of the Death Star and the theft of its technical plan is not key to the Skywalker family saga, characters can die and thus the stakes are real, despite knowing the outcome in some general sense.  That is not to say that the Skywalker presence is unfelt; it's no spoiler to note that Darth Vader has a role here, and by the end the Sith Lord pretty much delivers the audience what it wants.  He may be the film's most prominent cameo, but a number of familiar and obscure faces from the prior films also appear here.  The new cast performs well enough, and enough of the characters are drawn enough, with their own arcs.  Nevertheless, I suspect people wil remember Alan Tudyk's voicing of the K-2SO droid as much as lead humanoids like Felicity Jones and Diego Luna.  Michael Giacchino's reportedly last-minute score isn't all that memorable, but it neatly incorporates and launches from the John Williams catalog, from the obvious to some of the fleeting phrases of the original (now Ep. IV). All told, a really solid movie, one that probably benefits from not having to carry the expectations of the main saga, even if the tone is darker than most of the series.


ALAN THICKE told his son to take a photo as he was being taken to the hospital.

JOHNNY DEPP & AMBER HEARD reached a speed bump in their ongoing divorce saga.

HOW I MET YOUR FATHER now looks set for the small screen, years after How I Met Your Mother ended.

PASSENGERS, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, may not be what you think, and it's risky. (spoiler alert, obvsly)

BERNARD FOX, the mustachioed actor known to TV viewers as Dr. Bombay on “Bewitched” and Col. Crittendon on “Hogan’s Heroes,” has died. He was 89.

A GREAT WHITE SHARK, filmed without a cage. What say you, Police Chief Brody?

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: They've declared war on Christmas.

THE SWARM: A massive wasp nest was discovered in a Brazilian farmhouse.

ROUND UP THE USUAL SUSPECTS: A New Jersey police department said officers used their patrol cars to round up "a group of suspicious donkeys loitering behind a residence."

1809 Reads

Lemon Twigs, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Eric Johnson, Old 97s, CYHSY, Pool Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


NATALIE PRASS sahres a video for "Everybody's Having Fun (It's Christmas Time)".

THE LEMON TWIGS stopped by KEXP for a mini-set.

BILLY BRAGG & JOE HENRY also stopped by KEXP.

ERIC JOHNSON played World Cafe Live.

THE OLD 97s share "Good with God," ft Brandi Carlisle.

CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH share "Fireproof" ahead of The Tourist.

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

BAD BRAINS: An oral history of I Against I.

THE 50 BEST ALBUMS of 2016, according to TLOBF.

THE BEST AMERICANA ALBUMS at 2016, according to The Guardian.

MOGWAI: Ten of Their Best.

DUNKIRK: The next movie fro Christopher Nolan has a trailer online.

THE SAG AWARDS nominations went to these folks. Congrats.

BRANGELEXIT: Brad Pitt hopes to see the kids for Christmas at some point, but when hasn't been determined.

LAMAR ODOM is back in rehab -- and has a deal to star in a new reality seriesabout his recovery.

MARGOT ROBBIE returns as Harley Quinn in Gotham City Sirens.

PATRICK WILSON (Watchmen, The Conjuring) will play the villain in Aquaman.

WARNER BROS  film head Greg Silverman is exiting the studio.

THE WORST FILMS of 2016, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

THE LION KING, RUSHMORE and THE BREAKFAST club are among the latest to be preserved by the Library of Congress in the National Film Registry.

ISIS has used chemical weapons, including chlorine and sulfur mustard agents, at least 52 times on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq since it swept to power in 2014, according to a new independent analysis.

IRAN: President Hassan Rouhani ordered the country's nuclear agency to start plans to produce nuclear fuel and propulsion systems for ships and submarines in response to their claimed violation of the Vienna deal by Washington. (spoiler: The US has been going out of its way to not declare Iran inviolation of the deal for months)

SEAMUS: Pools are a problem for him.

BIGGY POP: Iggy Pop's cockatoo hits social media.

LOOK OUT, BALD EAGLES: The Obama administration on Wednesday finalized a rule that lets wind-energy companies operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years — even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles.

THE GRYFFINDOR SPIDER really does look like the Hogwarts sorting hat.

1759 Reads

My day was jam-packed...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS: “Ain’t No Chimneys In The Projects.”

ALSO, ALAN THICKE is dead of a heart attack at age 69.

I SHOULD BE BACK TOMORROW.  Also, I'll be seing Rogue One Thursday night, so I should have a few words Friday.

1680 Reads

Angel Olsen, Mike Doughty, Blue Rodeo, Dinner Roll Rat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


SEAN ROWE shared a vdeo for "To Leave Something Behind."

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

MIKE DOUGHTY also stopped by WFUV's Studio A for a chat and mini-set.

BLUE RODEO stopped by World Cafe.

CONOR OBERST shared a full-band version of the Ruminations song “Tachycardia,”and the solo “Afterthought.”

BILLIE MARTEN covers "White Christmas."

BOB GELDOF, by his own admission, is responsible for two of the worst songs in history: "'Do They Know It's Christmas?" and "We Are The World."

NILE ROGERS writes about working with Bowie and Prince. (Thx, Frank Yang)

QUEEN's Brian May got the UN to worry about the asteroid threat.

IN MEMORIAM: Bands that split in 2016, courtesy of Stereogum.

AQUARIUM DUNKARD's 2016 Year In Review.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES nominations went to these folks. Congrats!

THE CRITICS' CHOICE AWARDS went to these folks. Congrats! Also, Ryan Reynolds gave a great accepatance speech.

CHRIS EVANS is once again the best actor for the buck, according to the latest Forbes List.

SUSAN OLSEN, a/k/a Cindy Brady got fired from her hosting gig on a Los Angeles-based radio show after she posted a homophobic rant on Facebook.

ROGUE ONE released a featurette on K-2SO.

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE dropped an extended TV spot that features a number of villains.

OUT: Pizza Rat. IN: Dinner Roll Rat.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: A red squirrel with exceptionally large hips was rescued after its lower half was trapped in a manhole cover.

CHIMPS can recognize each other from behind.

FLYING TURKEYS cause power outages in east Medford. A special report from Les Nessman.

1763 Reads

Shonen Knife, Saintseneca, Two Door Cinema Club, Goodbye Dog   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 12, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


TEGAN & SARA dolls are "Dying to Know" in a new video.

SHONEN KNIFE stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

SAINTSENECA streams a surprise EP, The Mallwalker.

TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

SAM PATCH, a/k/a Arcade Fire's Tim Kingsbury, shares “St. Sebastian."

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

BOB DYLAN's Nobel Prize Acceptance Statement.

ROBBIE ROBERTSON talks about his memoir at Salon.

SON VOLT's Jay Farrar talks about the band's upcoming album with Garden and Gun.

THE BEST ALBUMS of 2016, according to Bandcamp.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Moana three-peated atop the chart with 18.9MM, a last hurrah before Rogue One shows up and stops evertything like an AT-AT.  It was still a leggy 33 percent drop for Disney, and it will be interesting to see whether it gets caught between Rogue One and Sing. Office Christmas Party placed close behind with 17.5MM, a little over studio estimates and a little under some gurus' projections.  Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them showed with a strong 10.8MM and has a worldwide gross closing in on 700MM. Arrival takes the fourth slot with 5.6MM on a leggy 23 percent drop; it's closing in on breakeven worldwide, which gives one hope for smart sci-fi.  Doctor Strange rounds out the Top Five with 4.6MM and looks just as strong as the Beasts after six weekends.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES has a trailer online.

FATE OF THE FURIOUS has a trailer online.

MATTHEW LEWIS, a/k/a Neville Longbotton, is engaged.

DEADPOOL 2: Tim Miller explains why he left the sequel.

BRAAAM!: The Sound that Invaded the Hollywood Soundtrack.

NIGERIA: Two suicide bombers, seven and eight years old, injured 17 people in a market.

A DOG says goodbye to her human for the last time.

CATS and HUMANS: A Strange and Complicated History.

A SECOND JAGUAR has been caught on camera in Arizona.

GIRAFFES are on a path to extinction.

1664 Reads

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