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Aimee Mann, Curtis Harding, Emily Haines, Rag'n'Bone Man, Cow   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 15, 2017 - 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.

CURTIS HARDING brings the soul to WFUV's Studio A.

EMILY HAINES stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

RAG'N'BONE MAN also stopped by World Cafe.

S. CAREY shares “Still, Still, Still” (billed as a Christmas carol).

PURLING HISS shares “My Dreams."

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

THE TOP 40 POP SONGS of 2017, according to Stereogum.

BLANK PLACE: Richard Hell after Lexington. (Thx, Katherine)

THE SUSPECTS: Steve Wynn and Kendra Smith’s band before the Dream Syndicate.

WHAM!: The inside story of "Last Christmas."

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is currently scoring 93 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and Ferdinand, which is scoring 80 percent. Fairly sure the Jedi will win the weekend.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, the eighth installment of the venerable space opera, may require a brief revisitation of theprior installment, The Force Awakens. I get the impression it didn't age well for many as essentially a remix of elements from the original trilogy and as featuring Rey as a "Mary Sue" character so instantly powerful that she efectively reduced the stakes in that film's climactic lightsaber battle.  I get those arguments, though I tended to think that there was probably a corporate imperative to assure people these new films were going to be more in the style of the originals than like the prequels, and because I thought Luke Skywalker was himself a bit precocious in Episode IV (though the point about that last fight in TFA is well-taken).  This was my basic mindset entering the theater.  On the other side, I can say that The Last Jedi does a better remix; some of the elements -- drawn primarily from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi -- are obvious, but some are more subtle and those tend to work better.  And Rey is less of a Mary Sue insofar as the second act of the trilogy (in an echo of TESB) finds her challenged more on an emotional and personal level from both Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren.  Poe Dameron gets a better arc in this picture, most likely because he was supposed to be killed early in the last installment and was grafted onto later versions of that script.  Finn continues to frustrate me insofar as there is an interesting idea to be explored in his character that the scripts have not executed well.  Mark Hamill gets a great turn as Luke; some may wonder if they stretched his demeanor a bit too much, but I'm forgiving given the lapse of time and how well Hamill delivers. I really can't say much non-spoilery about Leia Organa, save to say that Carrie Fisher's final performance is much improved over TFA (when she hadn't acted in a while).  Overall, the script is perhaps not as viscerally satisfying as some of the other installments -- and that's even adjusting for the inherent problems of a second-act movie.  Some of the remixed ideas are in fact weaknessses that get imported here.  For example, I don't think it's very spoilery of me to note that TESB -- considered by many to be the best of the franchise-- had a timeline does not withstand rigorous scrutiny.  Indeed, the second act of this second act gets into a sublot that really didn't do much for me (this is a big part of my Finn frustration).  And it only occurs to me now, decades later, that one of the subtexts of that film and this one is really a rather odd one for an all-ages space opera.  I can't tell you what it is here, but it goes from subtext to text in Poe's story here.

MARK HAMILL recalls the shock of finding out about Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford's secret affair, and more.

DUSTIN HOFFMAN is accused of sexual misconduct by three more women, anonymously.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN "does not recall" pressuring Salma Hayek to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female costar in Frida.

ESPN may not be the most female-friendly workplace, to put it mildly.

DISNEY WANTS TO BUY FOX: What does that mean?

THE DARKEST HOUR: Inside Gary Oldman's transformation into Winston Churchill.

DWAYNE "THE ROCK" JOHNSON  is actually considering running for President of the United States in 2024.

AWAY FROM A MANGER, a cow flees down I-95.

PET HOARDING: An animal group has removed more than 100 cats from a central Ohio home where 55 other felines were found dead.

SHELTER DOGS may be forced into Veganism in Los Angeles.

ASBESTOS THE KITTY is living the good life after falling through his new owner’s ceiling.

414 Reads

Pat DiNizio RIP, Big Thief, Margo Price, Cigarettes After Sex, Monkey   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


PAT DiNIZIO, who as lead singer and songwriter for the New Jersey band the Smithereens blended pop, rock and New Wave music for such hits as “Blood and Roses, "Behind the Wall of Sleep," “Only a Memory,” ” “In a Lonely Place,” and “A Girl Like You,” died Dec. 12. He was 62. The band announced the death on Facebook but did not disclose any other details. Here's the local angle from NJ.com.  A 2011 concert was re-upped by World Cafe.  My personal fave still may be "Strangers When We Meet," particularly the Beatle-esque counterpoint during the middle-eight.

BIG THIEF played a full set at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, Mass.

MARGO PRICE plays from the 9:30 Club balcony for NPR Music's 10th anniversary.

CIGARETTES AFTER SEX play a Tiny Desk Concert.

U2 covers Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On."

CAR SEAT HEADREST returns with the 13-minute "Beach Life-In-Death."

KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD share two new singles, “Beginners Luck” and “All is Known.”

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

THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME inductees include Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, and Nina Simone.  The snubbed include The Zombies, Radiohead, the MC5, Kate Bush, Rage Against the Machine, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, LL Cool J, Judas Priest, the Meters, Link Wray, Rufus with Chaka Khan, and J. Geils Band.

THE 20 BEST ALBUMS of 2017, according to Pitchfork.

THE 100 BEST SONGS of 2017, according to NPR Music.

THE FLAMING LIPS' Wayne Coyne reviews 2017.

YO LA TENGO returned to their Hanukkah tradition at the Bowery Ballroom, starting with a reworking of KISS.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN:  Salma Hayek writes of his sexual misconduct and threats to kill her.

RUSSELL SIMMONS is accused of rape by three women.

TAVIS SMILEY has been suspended by PBS after allegations of misconduct.

MORGAN SPURLOCK on Wednesday admitted to a history of sexual misconduct that reaches back to his college days.

THE SAG AWARDS nominations went to these folks. Congrats.

KIRSTEN DUNST & JESSE PLEMMONS are expecting their first child together.

DWAYNE "THE ROCK" JOHNSON an Lauren Hashian are expecting their child (his third).

JOHN STAMOS is going to be a dad at 54.

J-ROD: Marriage rumors.

A MONKEY ON THE LAM in Tokyo dodges capture for over a week.

RUDE TIT steals squirrel's nut.

GIANT PENGUIN BONES have been dug up in New Zealand.

FRANCESCA THE HIPPO was welcomed to the Oklahoma City Zoo by Gayla Peevey, who sang the novelty hit, "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas" in 1953.

454 Reads

JD McPherson, Phoebe Bridgers, Joe Henry, Christmas Squirrel Threat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


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

JD McPHERSON stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

PHOEBE BRIDGERS stops by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

JOE HENRY stops by WFUV's Studio A.

LUCY DACUS shares "Night Shift." (Thx, Katherine.)

LOMA: Members of Cross Record and Shearwater share "Relay Runner."


MGMT shares a video for "When You Die."

MARGO PRICE writes about Cohen, Dylan, writing songs and singing poems.

THE CURE will play a 40th anniversary concert in Hyde Park, with a slew of quality opening acts.

THE NATIONAL: Aaron and Bryce Dessner talk to The Guitar magazine about their gear and learning to play together.

THE 50 BEST ALBUMS of 2017, according to NPR Music.


JESSICA CHASTAIN had worried that she would face industry repercussions for speaking out about sexual misconduct.

KEN FRIEDMAN, owner of the famed Spotted Pig restaurant, is accused of sexual harassment.


CONFESSIONS of a Star Wars Nerd.

LUPITA NYONG'O talks to Vogue about prepping for Black Panther, colonialism, pole-dancing, and more.

BATGIRL, GREEN LANTERN CORPS, and JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK remain on the DC/WB movie slate (for now, anyway).


THE SQUIRREL THREAT: An obese squirrel was caught on video stealing gourmet chocolate and lip balm that a family leaves outside as a holiday treat for delivery people.

A DOGGO who nearly died af a flea infestation found his forever home.

A YOUNG DEER, lost in the supermarket.

RUDOLPH roasting on an open fire...no, wait!

428 Reads

Bon Iver, All Songs, Lithuania, Pearl Jam, Old Shark   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


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."

BON IVER played a couple -- including some Leon Russell -- for NPR Music's 10th Anniversary Concert.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: The Year In Music 2017.

LITHUANIA streams White Reindeer.


SQUEEZE share a video for “Patchouli.

PEARL JAM gets a 2-hour, 23-minute long survey on Political Beats with guest Josh Jordan.

DESTROYER: Dan Bejar talks to Under the Radar about ken.

MORRISSEY claims he was misquoted by Der Spiegel about... well, everything.

APPLE denies reports that it is retiring the iTunes Music Store from 2019.


THE GOLDEN GLOBES nominations went to these folks. Congrats.

AMAZON STUDIOS struggles to find a new head in the Post-Weinstein world.

MARIO BATALI steps away from his restaurant empire amid sexual misconduct allegations.

A PROMINENT AGENT at CAA is facing accusations that he offered an actor sex in exchange for access to directors and a movie star.

READY PLAYER ONE has a trailer online.

ADRIANNA LIMA is not ditching Victorias Secret, despite recently saying she won't be taking off her clothes anymore for an "empty cause."

THE LAST JEDI is getting good early buzz, including from some not high on The Force Awakens.

IT'S STAR WARS TIME, AGAIN: Has the franchise become that unpleasant uncle you have to see each December?

HOW THE POST Became the Hottest Screenplay in Hollywood.


SWIMMING with One of the World's Oldest Sharks.

A PLAGUE OF BATS overruns a Queensland town.

...AND THERE WERE EEELS all over the highway. In fact, my hovercraft is full of eels.

THOROUGHBREADS may be trained to run, but not to outrun Califonia's wildfires.

440 Reads

Courtney Barnett + Kurt Vile, King Krule, GbV, Otis Redding, Dog-Sized Lizard   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 11, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE NATIONAL covers Leonard Cohen's "Memories" in Montreal.

COURTNEY BARNETT & KURT VILE play a Tiny Desk Concert.

KING KRULE stopepd by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.

CHRISTMAS JAMBREE: A Vintage Jamaican Yuletide Mixtape.

GUIDED BY VOICES returns with "Space Gun."


OTIS REDDING: In memory of the man and his musical revolution, 50 years later. This 2011 piece from The Atlantic is also on point.

THE GUMMY AWARDS voting is open.

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE: Josh Homme apologizes for kicking a photographer in the face at a KROQ concert.

AEROSMITH's Steven Tyler has opened a women’s shelter for abused girls.

MEAT LOAF, as quoted -- several times -- by the Senate Banking Committee.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Coco threepeats atop the chart with 18.3MM on a leggy 33 percent drop, roughly on a Moana trajectory, but from a lower opening base; it will beat out the Cars franchise, but remain at the bottom end of Pixar pics.  It will likely get crushed -- like everything else -- by The Last Jedi next weekend, but then is a decent bet to pick up steam in the heart of the holiday season.  Justice League places again 9.6MM on a 42 percent drop; it breaks the 200MM mark domestic, but let's recall Wonder Woman broke 400MM domestic.  Wonder shows again with 8.5MM and breaks the 100MM mark (on a reported 20MM budget, as opposed to Justice League's reported 300MM production tab).  The Disaster Artist expanded its screens and took the fourth slot with 6.4MM.  Thor: Ragnarok rounds out the Top Five with another 6.3MM tossed on its enormous pile of receipts.

DUSTIN HOFFMAN was accused of 'abusive' sexual harassment on Broadway.

JESSICA CHASTAIN says a famous actor told her to ‘calm down’ about Harvey Weinstein.

SAMANTHA FOX claims DAVID CASSIDY assaulted her in a bathroom.

ARMIE HAMMER apologized for making comments about the allegations against Casey Affleck.

JESSICA JONES shares a trailer for Season Two.

THE TERROR, Ridley Scott’s new AMC drama, shares a trailer online.

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, from James cameron and robert Rodriguez, shares a trailer online.

THE HEAD OF THE DISNEY MUSIC GROUP was arrested and charged with abusing two underaged girls.

DISNEY nears a deal for Fox assets, as the curtain draws close on the era of the ‘Big Six’ studios.

A WOMAN, and her dog-sized lizard.

FRANK, a wild turkey popular in Cuyohoga Falls, was struck by an automobile.

PESTS OR PALS: How to live in harmony with urban wildlife.

HELLO, IT'S THE POST OFFICE: Your Chickens Have Escaped.

436 Reads

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