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John Bradbury RIP   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


A SLOW NEWS DAY, and a bit of a sick day, but there is this sad news:

JOHN BRADBURY, the drummer from groundbreaking UK ska band The Specials, has died aged 62. Bradbury's beats were a foundation of the Two Tone sound. The band’s major hits include "Ghost Town", which was a number one in 1981, as well as "Free Nelson Mandela", "Racist Friend" (later, um, homaged by TMBG) and my personal fave, "A Message to You Rudie" (which can be heard at a very appropriate moment in Grosse Point Blank).

ALSO: DAVID LOWERY, Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker frontman, has filed a 150MM class action lawsuit against Spotify.

I SHOULD RETURN TOMORROW with the traditional NYE party.

1964 Reads

Brandi Carlile, Lucius, Dawes, Sharon Jones, Foals, Lemmy RIP, Bunnies   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


OVER 42 MILLION SERVED: Thanks for stopping by!

WAVVES dropped a no-frills video for "My Head Hurts" among the holiday proceedings.

BRANDI CARLILE, LUCIUS, DAWES, and SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS played a holiday gig for WFUV, only partly holiday-themed.

FOALS stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

THE 2015 AMERICANA HONORS & AWARDS, replete with live performances, have been reposted online.

RADIOHEAD dropped their unused theme for Spectre.

ALEX CHILTON would have turned 65 yesterday, so let's enjoy the Box Tops' "The Letter" and Big Star's "In The Street"for the final Twofer Tuesday of 2015.

LEMMY — a.k.a. Ian Fraser Kilmister of the band Motörhead — has died at the age of 70 according to reports. The Guardian profiled the hard-living elder statesman of hard rock in August. Stereogum recaps the Motörhead discography.

PATTERSON HOOD writes about Vic Chestnutt.

HENRY ROLLINS talks to The Quietus about listening to The Stooges in Antarctica, his love for Joy Division and why he'd never appear in a reformed Black Flag.

STEVE STRANGE: The New Romantic is remembered by Spandau Ballet's Martin Kemp.

COLUMBIA HOUSE seeks a second life in vinyl.

DOCTOR STRANGE: Entertainment Weekly has your first looks at Benedict Cumberbatch as Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme.

KANYE WEST bought KIM KARDASHIAN 150 presents for Christmas.

MIRANDA LAMBERT followed GWEN STEFANI on Twitter around the same time that news of Lambert's new beau, singer Anderson East, broke.

BEN AFFLECK & JENNIFER GARNER find it annoying to still be living together after their separation (shocka).

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN is set to direct the upcoming action thriller Dunkirk, based on the 1940 evacuation of Allied soldiers in France.

MEADOWLARK LEMON, whose halfcourt hook shots, no-look behind-the-back passes and vivid clowning were marquee features of the feel-good traveling basketball show known as the Harlem Globetrotters for nearly a quarter-century, died on Sunday in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 83.


A MONKEY stole a bus and crashed into parked cars in India.

A CHINESE ZOOKEEPER bragged of eating endangered species.

DOGS trained to pose for cameras.

2087 Reads

Martin Courtney, Squeeze, Rickie Lee Jones, Orangutan   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 28, 2015 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


FATHER JOHN MISTY updates John Lennon's "God" at the Troubadour.

MARTIN COURTNEY of Real Estate stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

SQUEEZE: Difford & Tilbrook stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

RICKIE LEE JONES stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

BONO & FRIENDS busked on Grafton Street in Dublin on Christmas Eve to raise money for homeless charities.

THE POGUES: Shane MacGowan uses his new teetth to give a pretty Grinchy interview to Vice.

STEVIE WRGHT, who fronted the band the Easybeats in the 1960s and is widely regarded as Australia’s first international pop star, has died at the age of 68.

WILLIAM GUEST, a member of Gladys Knight and the Pips from 1953 to 1989, died on Thursday in Detroit. He was 74.

CAMERA OBSCURA's keyboardist, the late Carey Lander, remembered by by bandmate Tracyanne Campbell.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with 153MM in its second weekend, 5444MM domestic and over one billion dollars worldwide, continues to shatter just about every record it encounters and is now seems pretty likely to dethrone Avatar as alltime champ by the time it's done. Daddy's Home placed a distant second, but 38MM makes it Will Farrell's best debut since Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby. Maybe all those TV showings of Elf helped.The production budget for Daddy's Home was around 50MM, which means this will likely make a tidy profit as it runs into January.  Joy shows with 17.5MM, a likely tribute to the draw of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper and barely enough to think the studio can profit against a 60MM budget.  Sisters came in fourth, but the holidays gave it a leggy 13.9MM, about what it made in its debut. Alvin and the Chipmunks The Road Chip rounds out the Top Five with 12.7MM.  Below the fold, Concussion debuted at sixth with 11MM, which is probably enough to take it to profit against a 35MM budget.  The seventh place expansion of The Big Short was also successful at 10.5MM against a 28MM budget.  The remake of Point Break debouted in eighth with 10.2 MM against a 105MM budget...but this seeming flop may be saved overseas where it has grossed 43MM (40MM of which is from China alone).

ROBERT DOWNEY JR., who spent time behind bars in the late 1990s on drug convictions, received a Christmas Eve pardon from Gov. Jerry Brown, effectively removing a black mark from the movie star's checkered past.

MADONNA's 15-year-old son has flown the coop so he could stay with his dad.

CHRIS BROWN & SCOTT DISICK are sober buddies?

KHLOE KARDASHIAN is continuing her commitment to the rehabilitation of Lamar Odom.

CARSON DALY wed his longtime love, fiancée Siri Pinter, in a private ceremony on Wednesday.

DEADPOOL dropped a red-band trailer for the holidays.

HASKELL WEXLER, Oscar-winning cinematographer (and he should've won another for his Herculean last-minute effort on American Graffiti) has died at 93.  Seriously, he was working in Los Angeles on already scheduled jobs during the day and helicoptering to Petaluma to work on American Graffiti every night, providing enough light to hold camera focus whilestill  making it look naturalistic.

SACHA BARON COHEN & ISLA FISHER donated a million dollars to aid refugees in Syria.

ARIZONA: The man accused of training and arming two men who went on to attack a “draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in North Texas has been indicted on charges that he accessed an Islamic State list that recorded the names and home addresses of U.S. service members.

BELGIUM: Authorities have announced the arrest of a ninth suspect linked to last month’s Paris attacks, a man they said had been in contact with the suspected ringleader’s cousin.

IRAQI troops who have fought their way deep into the Islamic State stronghold of Ramadi were consolidating their positions on Friday ahead of a planned final assault to capture the city.

AN ORANGUTAN turns her blanket into a hammock.

A FLOCK OF CHICKENS was set loose in Oregon's Department of Revenue.


A COYOTE was stopped by airport security in South Carolina.

2033 Reads

Hurry Christmas, Hurry fast.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - 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! 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.

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

DEAN WAREHAM Does The Holidays.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 (may take a moment to load).  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 even was recreated by Will Farrell and John C. Reilly. Plus, Jack Black and Jason Segel have done a cartoon cover

NOW SHOWING: Christmas will see the wide openings for: Daddy's Home, which is currently scoring 35 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the remake of Point Break, not screened for critics; David O. Russell's Joy, currently scoring 62 percent; Concusssion, scoring 60 percent; and the expansion of The Big Short, scoring 86 percent.

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.

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 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. DOUBLE BONUS: NME rounds up 10 Deliciously Scary Christmas Movies. TRIPLE BONUS: 18 Killer Santas From Film and TV.

TEN UNFORGETTABLE Musical Christmas Moments On Film.

THE 30 BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES, according to Empire magazine.

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.

100 ANIMALS in Santa hats. You're welcome.


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.

2673 Reads

Springsteen, Sharon Jones, All Songs, Eurythmics, Santa Hound   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN played "The Ties That Bind" and was joined by Paul McCartney for "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town."

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS played a holiday Tiny Desk Concert.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED's 2015 Holiday Spectacular, with Carrie Brownstein, Dan Auerbach, Aimee Mann, Ben Folds and more.

YOUTH LAGOON visited WFUV's Studio A for a chat and mini-set.


EURYTHMICS: We split the duo for Twofer Tuesday. Dave Stewart dropped "Christmas is For Lovers" last year, while Annie Lennox teamed with and Al Green covered Jackie DeShannon's "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" for the Scrooged soundtrack.

CBGB is reopening...as a restaurant in Newark Liberty International Airport.

THE GRATEFUL DEAD's Fare Thee Well was only the beginning.

THE 100 BEST TRACKS of 2015, according to Pitchfork.

THE GUMMY AWARDS: Stereogum's reader poll for 2015.

R KELLY walked off from an interview on HuffPost Live after getting questioned about sex abuse charges.

LENNY KRAVITZ: Police raided a free dental clinic he sponsored in the Bahamas.

NICOLAS CAGE returned a stolen dinosaur skull to Mongolia.

STEVE HARVEY announced the wrong winner of the Miss Universe pageant.

JAMES FRANCO is remaking Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?

BRIDGET JONES's BABY: Entertainment Weekly has a first look.

BELGIAN police delayed a raid in the search for Paris terror attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam last month because of a legal ban on conducting them at night, the federal prosecutor’s office said Wednesday.

THE ISLAMIC STATE has lost 14 percent of the territory it held in January, according to an analysis by IHS, a defense research firm.That's good, though not the 40 percent claimed by the US.

A HOUND in Santa gear.

A SIAMESE CAT is currently the frontrunner to take over the Mayor's seat in Barnaul, a city of 650K that is about 2000 miles east of Moscow.

A PIG ON THE LAM was captured in Tennessee with donuts.

A LARGE SNAKE, possibly a ball python, took a weekend ride on an MTA bus in Brooklyn.

2255 Reads

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