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Eddie Van Halen and Johnny Nash, RIP.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, October 07, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


EDDIE VAN HALEN, whose razzle-dazzle guitar-playing — combining complex harmonics, innovative fingerings and ingenious devices he patented for his instrument — made him the most influential guitarist of his generation and his band, Van Halen, one of the most popular rock acts of all time, died on Tuesday. He was 65 and had a long bout with throat cancer. That's the NYT obit; Rolling Stone's has some of the key videos and a separate piece lists his Top 20 solos.  Here's the statement from his ex-wife, Valerie Bertinelli.  The tributes pour in, from Sammy Hagar to Pete Townshend to Billy Idol, to Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, to many more, collected at Pitchfork and Brooklyn Vegan.  I can't say I was a big Van Halen fan in their heyday, though I didn't dislike them; they simply weren't my genre, if you will.  And I heard them enough on the radio, which I mention to note Van Halen's cultural footprint.  Decades later, I was asked to take my nephew -- who was getting into rock and learning the guitar -- to Van Halen's 2007 reunion tour... and I knew every song in the playlist.  Most of the time, I could even recall big chunks of the lyrics.  That's how much the band has seeped into the collective unconscious, in largest part due to Eddie's incendiary and original guitar work.  Yet as many have noted and will note, for all of his talent and technique, EVH also exuded a sense of just plain fun that rivaled his frontman, David Lee Roth.  In the years since that reunion show, I came around to the take that VH was Generation X's answer to the Beach Boys: the tension between the musical genius and the doofus lyricist, the harmonies, the celebration of the California lifestyle -- it's all there (and making it obvious why DLR later had a solo hit covering "California Girls."  BONUS: This Louder piece from 2015 focusing on Van Halen's signing and debut is quite good. DOUBLE BONUS: Chuck Klosterman's ranking of VH songs will link you up to most anything you want, though I'd pick "Beautiful Girls" as one of my favorites and an example of my Beach Boys hypothesis.  TRIPLE BONUS: A nugget about EVH's unpaid cameo on Michael Jackson's "Beat It."  QUADRUPLE BONUS: VH's "Hot For Teacher" popped up during those (in)famous US Senate hearings on rock lyrics.

JOHNNY NASH, an American reggae and pop music singer-songwriter, best known in the US for the 1972 hit, “I Can See Clearly Now,” died Tuesday at his home. He was 80.

I think that's enough for today. More tomorrow, barring the unforeseen.

609 Reads

Today is October 6, or so I am told.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, October 06, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE MOODY BLUES "Ride My Seesaw" in 1968 for Twofer "Tuesday Afternoon."

JIM JAMES visits with World Cafe.

BRITTANY HOWARD performs three songs for CBS This Morning.

THE KILLS share a demo of a previously unreleased song called “Raise Me."


LED ZEPPELIN: The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear an argument that a jury should hear the recording of a song that “Stairway to Heaven” allegedly infringed.

TEN MUSICAL MOMENTS from Gilmore Girls, which just turned 20.

LINDA RONSTADT talks to NPR about the role of her Mexican-American identity in her career and what music she's been listening to lately.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Wham!'s intense impending-fatherhood lament "Everything She Wants."


DUNE is moving all the way to October 2021.

THE BATMAN will no longer hit theaters in 2021. Warner Bros. has delayed the comic book adventure and a number of other movies, including “The Flash” and “Shazam 2.”  However, "The Matrix 4" is supposedly moving up to Dec. 22, 2021.

REGAL CINEMAS owner Cineworld Group has confirmed the temporary suspension of its U.S. and U.K operations starting Thursday.

GLOW is now officially canceled due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

MEGXIT: Queen Elizabeth II had a secret plan for Harry and Meghan to live in Africa.

GUY RITCHIE will direct, write, and executive produce a TV series based on The Gentlemen.

PADDY CONSADINE will lead the cast of House of the Dragon, HBO's Game of Thrones prequel from George R.R. Martin, Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik.

NICOLE KIDMAN's latest interview with the NYT has a bit about filming Eyes Wide Shut

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 7 is back atop a train.

THE SNOOPY SHOW has a teaser online.

BEST IN SHOW: An Oral History.


FAKE 3-D PRINTED TURTLE EGGS with hidden GPS trackers might be able to expose the illegal trade of endangered turtle eggs.

THE SEAL POPULATION s booming off New England, sparking debate over whether it's an environmental success or protections have gone too far.

AN EXOTIC TICK species is found in Rhode Island for the first time.

SCIENTISTS SUCCESSFULLY EXTRACT DNA From Insects Embedded In Tree Resin. What could possibly go wrong?

658 Reads

How's your Rocktober going?   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, October 05, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE JAGS: "Back of My Hand," from TOTP and the "Where Are They Now?" file.

NEW RELEASES: Paste will point you to Dawes, Bartees Strange, Drive-By Truckers, and more.

BILL'S INDIE BASEMENT has Death Valley Girls, Working Men's Club, New Order, and more.

JOE PERNICE drops an album of Barry Manilow covers.


MICK FLEETWOOD gets in on the "Dreams" craze.And there's also this.

AC/DC teased "Shot in the Dark" from that album they make.

RADIOHEAD: Kid A turned 20, with reconsideration from BuzzFeedNews and The Quietus.

THE NATIONAL's Matt berninger talks to Stereogum about going solo, Obama, 'Game Of Thrones,' and "appearing" in an erotic podcast.

LAURA JANE GRACE talks about her surprise quarantine album.


WEEKEND BOX OFFICE?  Tenet remains atop the chart with 2.7MM on a 21 percent drop. The re-release of Hocus Pocus (1993) placed with 1.9MM.  The New Mutants showed with 1MM on a 9 percent drop.

REGAL CINEMA could "temporarily" close 543 of its theaters in the US.

NO TIME TO DIE moves to April 2, Easter weekend 2021 (and was probably the final straw foor Regal).

RICK MORANIS was randomly attacked in New York City on Thursday.

MEGXIT: An explosive new biography lays bare the depth of the Royal Family's anger and frustration at Harry and Meghan's decision to quit.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN has been charged with six more counts of forcible sexual assault in Los Angeles.

CLINT EASTWOOD looks to be moving quickly to get his next movie going. 

QUIBI is in bad financial straits.

COPS has quietly resumed production, to meet international contracts.

COBRA KAI: Season 3 has a teaser online.

JEFF GOLDBLUM, SAM NEILL & LAURA DERN goof on the "chaos theory" scene from Jurassic Park.

LESS COWBELL: Christopher Walken has had enough.


A TIGER catches a ball.

THE DALLAS ZOO has adopted into their primate family a 17-year-old gorilla named Asha, who zoo officials said will be a “strong female role model for our little ones.”

DURING FAT BEAR WEEK, bears are preparing themselves for hibernation. What if we could take a long nap like that, too?

AN EMU ON THE LAM was lured back into captivity with a pear.

WASINGTON STATE OFFICIALS hunt for a colony of Murder Hornets.

607 Reads

Go-Gos, and then some.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, October 02, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE GO-GOs!  They made history as the first all-female band that both wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the Billboard album charts. Kind of a hard band to place seasonally. Their debut, Beauty and the Beat, which yielded hits like "Our Lips Are Sealed" and "We Got the Beat," as well as great album cuts like "This Town," "Lust to Love," "Tonite" and "How Much More," came out in late Summer 1981, iirc, and "Lips" was climbing the charts that Fall, so I mentally place the band in this time of year. And it's still warm enough that the title track to the too-quick sophomore album, "Vacation," -- or their cover of the Capitols' "Cool Jerk" -- doesn't sound too out of place. "Get Up and Go" was also a single from that LP, but it didn't make the Top 40.  The band would chart twice more -- in 1984, with "Head Over Heels" and "Turn to You" -- before splitting and the near-inevitable reunion tours.

DELTA SPIRIT virtually visits The Current.

SUZANNE VEGA visits WNYC's Soundcheck.


TOM PETTY: Hear "Leave Virgina Alone."

ANDY SCHAUF shares a "Clove Cigarette."


THE MOUNTAIN GOATS become bobbleheads in "Get Famous."

ELVIS COSTELLO's Teenage Obsessions.

STEVIE NICKS' Moonlight Confessions.


THE TOP 10 LIZ PHAIR SONGS, according to Paste.

THE LA's Turns 30, with restrospectives at Paste, Clashmusic, and Stereogum.


NO TIME TO DIE: Here's Billie Eilish's theme for the Bond film.

SPIDER-MAN is bringing back Jamie Foxx as Electro?

RON HOWARD discusses Tom Hanks, Henry Winkler, friendship, wildfires and workaholism.

KRIS JENNER is being sued by a former bodyguard on allegations of sexual harassment — but vehemently denies his claims.

SHIA LeBEOUF was charged with battery and petty theft.

PATRICK MAHOMES and his fiancée Brittany Matthews are expecting their first child together.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK Turns 10, with pieces at Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, Uproxx, The Ringer and Yahoo!



DEER Crossing.

A BABY GOAT, balancing on a donkey.

AN ESCAPED FERRET wandered into a stranger's home and climbed into bed with a resident.

A TWO-HEADED SNAKE turns up in a North Carolina home.

598 Reads

Thoysday. Let's do this.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, October 01, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE PSYCHEDLIC FURS broke through with this video for "Love My Way" on the MTV.

JASON ISBELL & AMANDA SHIRES play a Tiny Desk Concert from Home.


ALEX IZENBERG covers the Plastic Ono Band and Randy Newman for a Lagniappe Session.


ANDREW BIRD shares "Andalucia" from his upcoming holiday album.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS are surprise-releasing another new LP.

PRIMAL SCREAM defends Johnny Rotten after the pic of him wearing a MAGA shirt in 2018 made the rounds on social media again.

MAC DAVIS, a songwriter and performer who began a decades-long ascent in music and entertainment in the early 1960s, died Tuesday in Nashville following heart surgery. He was 78. 

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Madonna's "Crazy For You," the ballad from the 'Vision Quest' soundtrack.


OSCAR ISAAC & JAKE GYLLENHAAL will star in a movie about the making of The Godfather.


DONALD GLOVER and Michelle White welcomed their third child together during the coronavirus pandemic.

ANGELINA JOLIE made BRAD PITT quarantine for 14 days after he returned from France before seeing their kids.

LILY JAMES (Downton Abbey, Baby Driver, The Darkest Hour) is profiled by Harper's Bazaar, but don't ask if she's dating Chris Evans.

JK ROWLING: A number of prominent British literary figures, including John Cleese, have signed an open letter supporting the author amid the row over her stance on transgender rights. There is a counter-letter as well.

BORAT 2 has a teaser online.

GAME OF THRONES: George R.R. Martin names his least favorite scene in the series.


WHICH HOLLYWOOD SEX SYMBOLS Actually Have Sex on Screen? A Study.


A THREE-LEGGED BEAR walked into an open garage and made off with a bottle of Diet Coke.

A CAT and her piglets.

A GROUP OF PARROTS at a UK zoo have been removed after repeating obscene language at visitors.


600 Reads

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