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Ho Cubed, Holiday Bin, Etc.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with CHRIS ISAAK, live at Universal Studios last December 12th. 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!

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."

JULIAN CASABLANCAS of The Strokes covers SNL's "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" with Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, and The Roots.

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

BILLY MACK: Because "Christmas Is All Around."

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.

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.

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 even was recently recreated by Will Farrell and John C. Reilly. Plus, "Gulliver's Travels" co-stars Jack Black and Jason Segel have done a cartoon cover.  The Detroit Free Press has a column on the duet embedding all three.

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.

THE TRON 1982 HOLIDAY SPECIAL, courtesy of Funny Or Die.

HOLIDAY BIN:  Darlene Love, the Pretenders, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Mayer Hawthorne, Ray Charles, Dave Edmunds, and Sufjan Stevens are just a few of the stocking stuffers now streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Pate even had a song titled "Rope Around The Moon," so watch the whole thing.  (If you don't want to download the Veoh player, it's Tubed in B & W or colorized. BONUS: Vintage Bailey backlash from warped, frustrated old people at the New York Times and Portfolio.

NOW SHOWING:  The wide releases for on Christmas (or as early as yesterday in some cases) include Little Fockers, which is currently scoring 7 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; the Coen Bros take on True Grit, currently scoring 97 percent; and Gulliver's Travels, scoring 22 percent.  The King's Speech, which is getting all sorts of awards buzz, expands to 600 screens scoring 95 percent.

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 last season's Verizon ad, following 2008's Apple ad, and even more so 2007's AFLAC commercial.

FESTIVUS:  For the rest of us.  Technically already started, so I can be one of your grievances.

CLASSIC TV CHRISTMAS SPECIALS by the truckload, linked at WFMU. Also, 23 TV Episodes based on "A Christmas Carol."

NAT KING COLE:  His chestnuts are roasting.


100 ANIMALS in Santa hats. You're welcome.


2842 Reads

The Old 97s, Sahron Van Etten, REM, Baby Red Pandas   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BEACH HOUSE played their "10 Mile Stereo" for Conan.

THE OLD 97s did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

SHARON VAN ETTEN stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

R.E.M. drops "It Happened Today," along with a trailer for the Collapse Into Now album.

FRANK YANG rounds up less obvious holdiay covers at Chromewaves.

MATT WILSON's jazz trio plays a Cristmassy Tiny Desk Concert.

REMINDER: Amazon MP3's 25 Days of Free continues.

THE RAMONES: "Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)."

CONOR OBERST talks to Spinner about the upcoming, sci-fi themed 'The People's Key,' his favorite science fiction authors, his work helping jailed immigrants and the future of Bright Eyes. "Shell Games" is already online as an advance track to the LP.

ANTICIPATED RELEASES of 2011, according to Prefix and American Songwriter.

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: 17 Reasons He Was Cool.


LINDSAY LOHAN has been moved to an undisclosed location after a clash with a Betty Ford Center staffer. Lohan, a suspect in a criminal battery investigation arising from the incident, claims the staffer started it. The staffer claims that Lohan had been drinking. Betty Ford has fired the staffer -- ostensibly for talking about the story.

RYAN REYNOLDS told the usual anonymous pals that Scarlett Johansson treated him badly during the filming of Green Lantern.

BRET MICHAELS finally asked his on-off girlfriend of 16 years, Kristi Gibson, to marry him on the finale of his VH1 reality show.

BRADGELINA is headed for a nuclear breakup, according to TV's Dr. Drew, based on no solid evidence whatsoever.

STEVEN TYLER gushes over Jennifer Lopez, his new co-judge on American Idol.


HARRY POTTER and the Honor Beating.

TERROR  in the UK: British security officials say a large-scale terror attack was aimed at landmarks and public spaces, as more details of the plot emerged and police searched the homes of 12 British suspects being held for questioning.

IRAN: Lebanese members of parliament denounced Supreme Leader Khamenei's comments on the investigation of the assassination of Rafiq Hariri.

IRAQ: Parliament approved Nouri al Maliki as Prime Minister, and also approved three deputy prime ministers and 29 cabinet positions.

BABY RED PANDAS: Let's go to the video.

A DOG has given birth to 17 puppies, leaving their owner thrilled but fatigued. Pics and video at the link.

DEER RESCUERS face a fine.

 100-LB AFRICAN TORTOISE found in the Arizona desert.

2516 Reads

Belle & Sebastian, Fake Problems, Hall & Oates tribute,   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


NICOLE ATKINS drops a video for "Vultures" from her upcoming Mondo Amore LP.

HIGHLIGHTED RELEASES from British Sea Power and Percy Sledge join Springsteen, Local Natives, Mumford & Sons, BSS, Budos Band, MGMT, Titus Andronicus, The National and more at Spinner.

BELLE & SEBASTIAN are doing a live webcast from Glasgow today at 4 p.m. ET (but NPR's countdown clock suggests it starts earlier than that).

FAKE PROBLEMS did five free songs for Daytrotter.

HALL & OATES get the indie tribute treatment for download or streaming at HeroHill.

SUFJAN STEVENS & BRYCE DRESSNER (The National) drop two Christmas tunes - one classic, one original.

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.

RONNIE SPECTOR talks to Vanity Fair about plastic surgery, serving the troops, Keith Richards, and Christmas songs.

GUEST LISTS: Pitchfork asks a bunch of artists for the Best of 2010, but only Marnie Stern offers "Top 10 ways not to get laid on tour in 2010."

OKKERVIL RIVER's Will Scheff talks to Spinner about the band's collaboration with the legendary Roky Erickson.

JAY FARRAR's Top 20 Songs, according to American Songwriter.

LINDSAY LOHAN: The FBI is now in possession of threatening and harassing messages sent to the actress and other members of her family.

SHANIA TWAIN gets engaged... to the man whose wife stole her husband.

TRACY MORGAN will miss at least two episodes of 30 Rock because he's recovering from kidney transplant surgery.

VINCE VAUGHN and his wife welcome a baby daughter.

BETTY WHITE was Entertainer of the Year, according to the Associated Press.

MARILU HENNER has Total Recall.

JACK BLACK has a meaty New Year's resolution.

STEVE LANDESBERG, famous for his roles on "Barney Miller" and more recently "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," has died of cancer at 65.

GOLDEN GLOBES voters bribed into nominating Burlesque?

TERROR in the UK: British authorities rounded up a dozen suspects in a conspiracy to launch multiple-point attacks around the UK. 

IRAN: A parliamentary commission voted to cut off diplomatic relations with Britain. The US suspects Indian companies were aiding Iran's missile program and Syria's chemical and biological programs. Police were deployed in Tehran as food and fuel subsidy cuts began.

IRAQ: Followers of Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr stand to gain control of powerful posts in the new coalition government.

BABY OTTER SIDNEY PLAYING: Let's go to the video.

SNAILS that coil one way trade sex for an increased chance to not being eaten by snakes that have specialized to eat snails that coil the other way.

HAMMERHEAD SHARK accidentally killed in Egypt. Gonna need a bigger butt.

***** RING busted in Dallas.

A TRIP to see Father Christmas' reindeer in a country park goes very, very wrong.

2537 Reads

Jenny & Johnny, Grace Potter, Liz Phair, John Lennon, Possum   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 20, 2010 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JENNY & JOHNNY stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.  The duo made their national television debut on Conan, performing I'm Having Fun Now single "Big Wave" for the broadcast and a web-exclusive take on "Scissor Runner."

GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

LIZ PHAIR performed a six-song concert at World Cafe Live.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND covers Cheryl Cole's "Fight For This Love."

JOHN LENNON: Roio offers alternate mixes and sessions from Walls and Bridges.

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

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART: Rock legend Don Van Vliet died Friday from complications from multiple sclerosis in California. Dangerous Minds can hook you up with a streaming documentary, presented by the late John Peel. (Thx, LHB.) In addition we have the 1980 profile of Beefheart by Lester Bangs.

DESTROYER: Dan Bejar talks to Paste about the band's new, poppier direction, the empty promises of red wine, and the futility of creating art for oneself.

MIDDLE BROTHER: John McCauley III (Deer Tick), Matt Vasquez (Delta Spirit) and Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) prepare to unleash their debut self-titled full-length, slated for March 1.

THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS HIT: From Elvis to Shakey, from Cliff Richard to Mark E Smith, every pop star worth their salt has sung a song of Santa at some point. But there is an art to the festive ditty. Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley cracks the code.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Tron Legacy is the number one film of the weekend, earning an estimated 43.6 million, which is likely a bit disappointing given its ultrawide release and 200 million budget. OTOH, films opening that big in this frame annually have tended to finish with 180-200 million domestically, so it's not terrible news, either.  Yogi Bear placed with 16.7 million -- a notch or so above Marmaduke, but way less than Alvin & the Chipmunks. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader drops 48 percent to the third slot with 12.4 million, lagging far behind the prior films in the franchise.  The Fighter leaps into the fourth spot on wide release with 12.2 million (12.6 total) against a 25 million budget, meaning it will make a tidy profit by the end of its run, further enhancing Oscar buzz around it.  The Tourist rounds out the Top Five with 8.7 million in receipts, but its 47 percent drop and ~30 million total against a 100 million budget continues to disappoint.  Below the fold, Tangled seems leggy is sixth place, and Black Swan dropped to seventh, but made more money than last week -- 8.3 million and a total now beating its 13 million production budget. How Do You Know? debuted in eighth place with 7.6 million against a 120 million budget. Ouch.

DEMI LOVATO vehemently denies sex tape rumors.

JULIA STILES denies breaking up Michael C. Hall's marriage.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON & RYAN REYNOLDS share a happy meal or something.

TONY ROMO is engaged to pageant queen and KDAF-TV anchor Candice Crawford.

NICOLLETTE SHERIDAN is dropping the most explosive claims of abuse from her lawsuit against her former Desperate Housewives employers and as a result she will not have to submit to a psychiatric evaluation, according to RadarOnline.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL is suing popular shoemaker Steve Madden for two million bucks - claiming the company stiffed her completely over an endorsement deal she made with them in August 2010.

THE TOP MOVIE THEMES and TRENDS of 2010, according to the NYT's A.O. Scott.

ROGER EBERT'S Best Feature Films of 2010.

IRAN: The Chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mullen said Iran is still pursuing nuclear weapons, and said the US is prepared to deal with Iranian aggression.

AFGHANISTAN: A major threat to the success of the US Afghan war strategy are the ratlines that snake along the rough roads of the country's East and South, providing insurgents with weapons and other supplies from neighboring Pakistan.

IRAQ: The Iraqiya party, led by Iyad Allawi, will join a government headed by Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki. Iraqiya agreed to join after a ban on three members of its party was lifted.

RELEASE THE... POSSUM? Was the Kraken unavailable?

NEARLY 20000 CAMELS camels from the UAE and other Gulf Arab countries have converged on Abu Dhabi's western region for one of the world's biggest camel beauty contests involving prizes worth nearly 9.5 million dollars.

MONKEYS have taken up residence with a raccoon near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

MEERKAT ABDUCTION lands two teen boys in hot water.

HOLLY the COYOTE was rescued from an ice patch on Lake Michigan.

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Aimee Mann, Diplomats of Solid Sound, Cousins, Iron & Wine, Singing Parrot   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 17, 2010 - 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.

THE DIPLOMATS OF SOLID SOUND did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.  Soul from Iowa City, improbably enough!

COUSINS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter at Pop Montreal.

CLOUD CULT stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set (and some painting).

IRON & WINE drops "Tree By The River" as a sweet, sweet advance track to Kiss Each Other Clean.

GEORGE JONES is one of NPR's 50 Great Voices.

YOU AIN'T NO PICASSO is streaming Matt's 50 Favorite Songs of 2010.

REMINDER: Amazon MP3's 25 Days of Free continues.

THE PRETENDERS: "2000 Miles." It felt like Christmas time.

PITCHFORK's TOP 50 ALBUMS of 2010 starts here.

ARETHA FRANKLIN underwent "highly successful" surgery for an undisclosed ailment on Dec. 2 - and is reported to have pancreatic cancer - was discharged from a Detroit hospital earlier this week.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: The Listeners' Poll.

SUEDE talks to The Quietus about their triumphant (and now extended) return.

JIMI HENDRIX biopic nixed, perhaps due to concerns about the impact a film would have on catalog sales.

THE CUTOUT BIN is on hiatus this week, as the ol' HM was busy retooling itself yesterday.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include Yogi Bear, which is currently scoring 14 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Tron Legacy, which is scoring 51 percent; and How Do You Know, scoring 28 percent. The Fighter expands wide, scoring 87 percent.  Black Swan goes near-wide, scoring 88 percent.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is "partying very hard" on her "girls' trip" in Jamaica, seeking solace from her failed marriage to Ryan Reynolds - but she's still wearing her wedding ring. E! Online has speculated that Blake Lively, who co-stars with Reynolds in Green Lantern, may have led him astray.

DAVID ARQUETTE says he's having a bit of a nervous beakdown and drinking a lot since his split from Courtney Cox.

MILEY CYRUS is shrugging off her salvia smoking scandal.

LINDSAY LOHAN is afraid she's being targeted by a stalker; the Betty Ford clinic is taking measures to protect her.

MARIAH CAREY and Nick Cannon are having twins.

PRINCE HARRY... and a Real Housewife?

WINONA RYDER talks to GQ about her run-in with Mel Gibson, painkillers, Black Swan and more...

THE SAG AWARDS nominations are announced. The King's Speech and The Fighter score four each, while True Grit's Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld also get nods.

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY had some lost footage surface in a Kansas salt-mine vault.

BLAKE EDWARDS, director of Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Great Race, The Days of Wine and Roses, the original Pink Panther franchise, 10, S.O.B. and others, died of complications from pneumonia at age 88. Nikke Finke has a remembrance.

IRAN reportedly has begun secret negotiations on proposals to surrender a substantial part of its uranium stockpile and suspend enriching nuclear fuel in return for an end to sanctions that have crippled the country's economy. I'd love to see some proposal for policing any such deal. Meanwhile, Tehran has cut the annual budget it provides Hezbollah by over 40 percent, stirring an unprecedented crisis within the Lebanese Shi'ite guerrilla organization.

PAKISTAN: Two new classified intelligence reports say there is a limited chance of success in Afghanistan unless Pakistan hunts down insurgents operating from havens on its Afghan border. But Pakistanis may be incapable of doing that because their forces are already "stretched too thin."

AFGHANISTAN: CNN's Nic Robertson, having covered Afghanistan since the 1990s, revisited some of the places he'd reported from over the years to see what had changed.

IRAQ: Captured insurgents who claim al Qaeda is planning suicide attacks in the US and Europe during the Christmas season, two senior officials said Wednesday. The botched bombing in central Stockholm last weekend was among the alleged plots the insurgents revealed.

LOLITA the PARROT practices singing Drowning Pool's "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor."

FLYING SQUID: Rare photos from off the coast of Japan.

SOME SHARKS can become invisible. Gonna need a bigger cloak.

ONE CROCODILE SPECIES was vegetarian... 80 million years ago.

BRITAIN's UGLIEST DOG is sprung from a shelter.

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