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Leon Russell RIP, Robert Vaughn RIP, Arrival   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 14, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


VERY BUSY WEEKEND, but I have a few items for you...

LEON RUSSELL, renowned multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who collaborated with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, the Rolling Stones and Elton John over the course of 50 years in the music industry, died Sunday. He was 74.  As a member of Phil Spector's "Wrecking Crew," Russell played keyboards on tracks like the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" and Ike & Tina Turner's "River Deep – Mountain High."  Most don't know he also played on Sinatra's "Strangers In The Night."  Of his solo work, Russell is likely best known for "A Song For You."

ROBERT VAUGHN, an actor best known as the secret agent Napoleon Solo in The Man from UNCLE, has died aged 83.  I'll probably remember him more from Bullitt and The Magnificent Seven; he was the last living member of the latter group.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Doctor Strange repeated atop the chart with 43MM, on a 49 percent drop which may be better than expected (compared with Thor 2, also a Nov. release); the sorcerer has taken in 492MM worldwide, which is probably right at the brink of profitability.  Trolls places with 25MM, likely a beneficiary of the Veteran's Day school holiday; it is about 60 percent of the way to profit.  The debut of Arrival showed with 24MM, far above the 16-18MM most had projected, and deservedly so (see below).  Almost Christmas took the fourth slot with 15.6MM against a 17MM budget, and seems likely to profit if it shows legs through the holiday season.  Hacksaw Ridge rounded out the Top Five with 10.8MM on a leggy 29 percent drop that may have also been related to the Vets' day weekend.

ARRIVAL:  You've all seen the aliens-come-to-Earth movie, right? War of the Worlds, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Independence Day, and so forth.  You have not seen Arrival. And if you do -- as you should -- you may well think you're watching one of those movies until it fully reveals itself.  There is a twist of sorts here that makes you start re-evaluating everything you have just seen, while changing the story into something different and moving in ways that defy your expectations entering the theater.  Amy Adams is usually good in everything, and she's terrific here, while Jeremy Renner does the understanted thing he does at his best, but for which there was no room in the Marvel movies or American Hustle (his last film with Adams, iirc).  I do not know whether Arrival is the best movie of the year, but it's in the team photo for the best I've seen this year.

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Neil Young, Leonard Cohen RIP, Thee Oh Sees, Pink Martini, Hamsters   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 11, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with NEIL YOUNG!  Live on the Beeb, circa '71. Your setlist includes: "Out on the Weekend," "Old Man," "Journey Thru the Past," "Heart of Gold," "Don't Let It Bring You Down," "A Man Needs A Maid," "Love in Mind," and "Dance, Dance, Dance."

THEE OH SEES advance stream An Odd Entrances.

PINK MARTINI advance streams Je Dis Oui.

JOSEPH plays a Tiny Desk Concert.

LOCAL NATIVES play a Takeaway Show.

THE VOGUES: It's a "Five O'Clock World" on Friday.

LEONARD COHEN, the legendary singer-songwriter whose work inspired generations, and whose works included the oft-covered "Hallelujah," has died at the age of 82.  Here are 20 essential Cohen songs.

PINK FLOYD: What was it like to hear The Dark Side Of The Moon live before the album came out?

THE PRETENDERS' Chrissie Hynde talks to The Guardian in her usual don't-give-a-crap way.

GILLIAN WELCH: Rolling Stone looks back at Revival 20 years later.

BODY/HEAD: Kim Gordon and Bill Nace talk to Paste their latest release.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include Almost Christmas, which is currently scoring 41 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Arrival, which is scoring 95 percent; and Shut In, which was not screened for critics.

BRANGELEXIT: Brad Pitt has been cleared of abuse allegations by the L.A. County Dept. of Children and Family Services.

BLAC CHYNA & ROB KARDASHIAN have welcomed their first child together.

ROGUE ONE has a new trailer with just a little more Vader.

X-MEN: A reboot of the diminishing mutant movie series is in the works as Hugh Jackman's Wolverine heads for retirement and a studio's 4 billion franchise sits in flux.

FANTASTIC BEASTS & WHERE TO FIND THEM director David Yates talks about Johnny Depp's role in the sequel, and more...

VETERANS' DAY: Today is the observation of the anniversary of the end of WWI; thank a vet today, and read the excellent 2009 piece by the WaPo's David Ignatius that may be more true today.

SEINFELD, but with hamsters.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: Leprosy. I'm just saying.

A RARE BEDBUG reappears in Florida after 60 years.

A CHICKEN was apprehended after crossing the road in Edmonton.

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T'was the witch of November come stealin'   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE WRECK of the EDMUND FITZGERALD: The legend lives o­n from the Chippewa o­n down of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee.This is the 41st anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald -- 729 feet-long, 75 feet in breadth, 39 feet in depth, weighing 13,632 gross tons -- an ore bulk carrier with a capacity of 25,000 tons. When it was launched o­n June 7 1958, at the Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan, Fitzgerald was the largest ship o­n the Great Lakes. Here's misty, water-colored video of the launch.

The "Queen of the Great Lakes" sank in the eastern end of Lake Superior during a fierce storm -- including snow squalls -- that pounded the ship with 30-foot waves. The crew of 29 men perished; without witnesses, a definitive reason has never been determined. A Coast Guard report suggested that faulty hatches failed to keep water out of the ship's cargo holds, though others believe the ship struck an uncharted shoal and took o­n water. A documentary created and aired by the Discovery Channel concluded the loss was due to freak waves that overwhelmed the faulty hatches.

After the wreck, the Rev. Richard Ingalls went to Mariners' Church in Detroit and rang its bell 29 times, o­nce for each life lost. The church continues to hold an annual memorial, which includes reading the names of the crewmen and ringing the church bell. Here's video of Rev. Ingalls recounting that night.  More than 250 people gathered at the church for the 40th anniversary, which was expanded to remember victims from all tragedies on the Great Lakes. And here's a remembrance from a brother one of the lost crew member

At the request of family members surviving her crew, Fitzgerald's 200 lb. bronze bell was recovered by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society in 1995, as a joint project with the National Geographic Society, Canadian Navy, Sony Corporation, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The bell is now o­n display in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Here's a brief video from o­ne of the underwater explorations of the wreck. Fmr newsman Larry Elliot recalls the remote expedition.  And here is a story from one of the two scuba divers to ever reach the sunken hull.  Throw in the 3-D animation, and you'll feel just like Bill Paxton.

The song by Gordon Lightfoot spent 21 straight weeks o­n the pop charts, peaking at No. 2. Here, Lightfoot discusses writing the song, and the lyrics he's changed.  And there's a homemade video for it, which I highly recommend. Beats the tar of Celine Dion! (PS:  Ken King -- who has lived o­n the U.P. of  Michigan, says the gales of November are quite something.)

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David Bazan, Matt Pond PA, Band of Skulls, Tobin Sprout, Tortoise   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 09, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


NICK CAVE plays "Magneto."

DAVID BAZAN is advance streaming Dark Sacred Night.

MATT POND PA is advance streaming Winter Lives.

BAND OF SKULLS perform in the WNYC Soundcheck studio.

TOBIN SPROUT (Guided By Voices) announces a solo LP, The Universe And Me, and shares “Future Boy Today/Man Of Tomorrow."

TRANSLATOR is "Everywhere That I'm Not," including the "Where Are They Now?" file

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS: Patterson Hood talks to Paste about making a political record, and being snubbed by Pitchfork.

BILLY BRAGG talks to Under The Radar about pop and politics (per usual).

ROY WOOD: Britain's lost pop genius?

EAST RIVER PIPE is the latest of The Guardian's Cult Heroes.

BRANGELEXIT: A rep for Angelina Jolie says she and Brad Pitt have reached a legal agreement about the custody of their six children.  But other sources close to the situation maintain the two have not reached any new agreement.

PRINCE HARRY has attacked the "racial undertones" of press coverage of his girlfriend Meghan Markle in an extraordinary statement in which he warns that he fears for her safety.

LINDSAY LOHAN releases ‘I only speak Lilohan’ clothing range to raise money for charity... and promises to do the Mean Girls' Jingle Bell Rock Dance if she sells enough.

CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY  and his wife, Sarah Roemer, are expecting their second child.

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON is getting remade by Max Landis, son of the original's director, John Landis.

DONALD TRUMP is likely the President-Elect of the United States. As far as I remember, he will be the first President elected without prior government or military experience. In its way, as historic as if Hillary Clinton had become the first female President.

A MATING TORTOISE can't stop saying, "Wow!"

HEADBANGING RAMS converge on a sleepy village in British Columbia.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: A militant rodent is dead following the second attack in less than a week reported at a Deltona, FL retirement community.

AN AGGRESSIVE TURKEY terrorizes a California town.

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Jim James, Hiss Golden Messneger, Blank Range, Iguana vs Snakes   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 08, 2016 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


FOXYGEN busts some moves in the video for "Follow The Leader."

JIM JAMES stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER visited WFUV's Studio A for a chat and mini-set.

BLANK RANGE: Nashville roots-rockers stream the Vista Bent EP.

THAT PETROL EMOTION: "Big Decision." Add Devo's "Freedom of Choice" for an election-themed Twofer Tuesday.

PINK FLOYD's first producer, Joe Boyd, talks about the band's early days.

R.E.M.: Michael Stipe talks to The Guardian about Out of Time's 25th anniversary.

THE KINKS: Dave Davies pours could water on a reunion, of course.

NEIL YOUNG deep cuts, recommended by SPIN.

BRANGELEXIT: Angelina Jolie is ready and willing to fight Brad Pitt in court over the custody of their children and “until he gets his s**t together” she only wants him to have monitored visitation.

RUSSELL BRAND has allegedly welcomed his first child with fiancée Laura Gallacher.

JENNIFER ANISTON is profiled by Marie Claire.

GHOST IN THE SHELL put a mini-teaser into AMC’s request to shut off your phones in front of Doctor Strange screenings.

STARSHIP TROPPERS may get a big-screen reboot.

THE INHUMANS: Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says it will eventually happen, it's just a matter of when.

IRAQ: The cluster of mass graves outside the small village of Al-Hud are some of the first grim signs of the atrocities soldiers expect to uncover as they push deeper into ISIS’s most important stronghold.

BABY IGUANA vs RACER SNAKES: Best thing I've seen in weeks.

A DANISH BACKPACKER bitten by a freshwater crocodile at Lake Kununurra said the attack was “the result of me being stupid”.

IS THAT KOALA in your bag, or are you...oh.

A PSYCHIC SCOTTISH GOAT has predicted who the next President of the USA will be.

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