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His Heart Grew Three Sizes That Day!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with CHRIS ISAAK, live at Universal Studios on 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 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.  BONUS:  The late Phil Hartman hosted a documentary on the making of the cartoon classic. (Part 1, Part 2).

DAVID BOWIE & BING CROSBY'S cross-generational duet o­n "Little Drummer Boy."

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.

HOLIDAY BIN:  Your stocking stuffers -- from Sufjan Stevens to James Brown, from Frank Sinatra to the Ramones, from Herb Albert to Slade, plus the Kinks, Lou Rawls, Jan and Dean, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and and more  -- are 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.  BONUS: Bailey backlash from warped, frustrated old people appears at the New York Times and Portfolio.

NOW SHOWING:  The wide Christmas releases are Sherlock Holmes, which is currently scoring 69 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, which is scoring 25 percent, and It's Complicated, scoring 48 percent. Up in the Air expands wide with a 90 percent score.

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 this season's Verizon ad, following last year's Apple ad, (and this one) and even more so 2007's AFLAC commercial.

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

CLASSIC TV CHRISTMAS SPECIALS by the truckload, linked at WFMU.

NAT KING COLE:  His chestnuts are roasting.


100 ANIMALS in Santa hats. You're welcome.

3059 Reads

New Releases, Laura Veirs, RATM, Om Nom Nom   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE RAMONES: "Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)," plus Joey's cover of "What a Wonderful World," for Twofer Tuesday.

NEW RELEASES: Great Lake Swimmers, Nosound and more, plus Christmas albums from the Beach Boys, Neil Diamond, Sinatra and Spector are streaming this week via Spinner.

LAURA VEIRS is advance streaming her July Flame album via NPR.

FREE ENERGY did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, one previously unreleased.

2009's TOP 12 NEW DISCOVERIES, according to KEXP.

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE: "Killing in the Name" breaks Simon Cowell's four-year stranglehold on the UK's Christmas Number One.

YEAR IN REVIEW, courtesy of Aquarium Drunkard, with plenty o' streaming tracks.

NOTES ON THE NOUGHTIES: In this decade of webbed connectivity and media supersaturation, the divide between underground and overground has steadily dissolved.

TOM WAITS talks music and acting with The Globe and Mail.

LIKE A ROCK: Bob Seger's Greatest Hits is officially the decade's best-selling catalog album in the US, according to SoundScan.

THE LEAST ESSENTIAL ALBUMS of 2009, according to The A.V. Club.

BRITTANY MURPHY likely died of natural causes.  Murphy was taking prescription meds for flu-like symptoms she had been experiencing for several days.  Her husband told hospital staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center he did not want an autopsy, but there will be one.  The actress had been fired from her last film just two weeks ago, and had lost consciosuness during shooting. People reports on her "inner demons."

CARRIE UNDERWOOD and Ottawa Senator hockey player Mike Fisher are engaged.

TILA TEQUILA claims she is serving as a surrogate mother for her brother and his wife.

TIGER WOODS has reportedly set sail from Florida.

JESSICA SIMPSON screams through an ear candling. Video at the link.

TOM CRUISE is being sued for allegedly hiring notorious P.I. Anthony Pellicano to illegally wiretap a magazine editor's phone.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES had a wardrobe malfunction on Broadway.

JACK BAUER INTERROGATES SANTA: The following events occurred when not even a crere was stirring.

IRAN's president is dismissing a newly revealed secret document that purportedly shows Iran has been trying to develop a crucial component of a nuclear bomb, calling it a fabrication concocted by the US government. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of mourners turned the funeral procession of the country's most senior dissident cleric into an anti-government protest.

OM NOM NOM: A Brief History.

BILLY THE KID: A goat is behind bars in a German police cell after he was 'arrested' for disrupting traffic.

A BABY BELUGA WHALE was born at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.

HUNTING WILD BOAR dressed in animal skins ends badly.

MEERKATS mocked for the holidays. As if most families don't have similar home pics.

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Dave Stewart, Monsters of Folk, Fun, Riverdance Cat   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 21, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


DAVE STEWART dropped "Christmas is For Lovers" last week for free! BONUS: Annie Lennox (the other half of Eurythmics) and Al Green covered Jackie DeShannon's "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" for the Scrooged soundtrack.

THE MONSTERS OF FOLK play a mini-set for the World Cafe, now streaming on demand.

FUN did three free songs for Daytrotter. And with a name like Fun...

EIGHT CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED ALBUMS from 2009, according to Paste, with links to listen.

THE FLAMING LIPS: Wayne Coyne is interviewed by NPR's All Things Considered. The band's cover album of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon drops Tuesday online.

JAMIE LIDELL, FEIST and NELS CLINE are featured on "War in Peace," the lastest track from Beck's Record Club cover of Skip Spence's 1969 LP, Oar.

THE TOP 25 SONGS and ALBUMS of 2009, according to Rolling Stone.

GRANT HART holds nothing back when talking to Blurt about hsi new album, addiction, his relationship with Bob Mould and the prospects of a Husker Du reunion.

TORI AMOS gives Rolling Stone a track-by-track tour through her 1992 debut, Little Earthquakes.

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE: Tom Morello of RATM has just announced a massive free gig if they beat out the X Factor candidate for the UK Christmas Number One.  Apparently, the sales are coming right down to the wire! 

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: To the surprise of absolutely no one, Avatar dominated cineplexes to the tune of 73 million. It was not the biggest December debut evah (that was I Am Legend's 77.2 mill), most likely to blizzards on the East Coast.  Avatar will have 3-D screens and young audiences to itself for a few weeks, so this should rake it in through mid-January at least.  Though it likely cost about 300 million to make, it could gross as much as 750 million worldwide. The Princess and the Frog dropped to second -- and it was a nasty 50 percent drop for a Disney movie -- bringing in 12.2 million.  The Blind Side continued on strong in the third slot, making another ten million.  Did You Hear About the Morgans? Not too many people did, as it opened in the fourth slot with only seven million on a lot of screens. Ouch.  New Moon rounds out the Top Five, though another big drop to 4.4 million means it will be a stretch to break 300 million domestically.

AVATAR: I will be in a very small minority, but I almost walked out on this thing.  I could have overlooked its trite, ham-fisted politics and its cliche-ridden plot if there had been any characters to care about, but they too were all cardboard stereotypes.  The screenplay makes Titanic seem downright Shakespearean. The protagonist, Jake Sully, is actually set up with a big conflict at the outset that is resolved without more than an ounce of drama by Act II.  If you hear someone joke about this movie being "Dances with Wolves meets Ferngully," it's no joke -- or a bad one on its audience. Technically, the CGI is gorgeous, the motion-capture well-done and the 3-D is occasionally stunning.  And in every one of those moments I couldn't help but be annoyed at that all of that technical talent was so completely wasted.

THE PHANTOM MENACE gets a devastating and funny, 70+ minute deconstruction from Red Letter Media (language warning).  The first segment also doubles as a good guide to movie criticism.  And Avatar suffers from almost all of the problems identified in that first segment.

BRITTANY MURPHY died of a heart attack. She was 32. Whoa.

TIGER WOODS is reportedly staying at his second home in Orlando.

AMY WINEHOUSE is re-engaged to ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, and they want to have kids. What. Could. Go. Wrong?

JON and KATE: Divorced.

KATE HUDSON tried to avoid a Blue Christmas without Alex Rodriguez.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES nominations went to these folks.

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD nominations went to these folks.

CLASH OF THE TITANS has a second trailer online. Release the Kraken!

THE RUNAWAYS has a trailer online that does not relieve my anxiety.

ROGER EBERT lists his Best Films of 2009, both mainstream and inependent, though most will not have seen many of the mainstream ones, either.

BREAKOUT STARS of 2010, according to Film.com.

DAN O'BANNON, the creative force behind the enduring 'Alien' franchise, has died at the age of 63 in Los Angeles after a short illness. Dark Star was fun, too.

IRAN acknowledged Saturday that at least three people detained in the country's postelection turmoil were beaten to death by their jailers. On Friday, the regime's nuke chief said the country has started making more efficient centrifuge models that it plans to put in use by early 2011. And the regime is on alert following death of dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri.

AFGHANISTAN and IRAQ: Turns out that insurgents can see through the eyes of all kinds of US combat aircraft, not just drones, as previously reported.

RIVERDANCE CAT: Let's go to the video.

FROGS plague Christmas trees in Alaska.

HEY, IS THAT A KING COBRA IN YOUR MOUTH, or are you just... oh.

COWS stare unamazed as they take over Clark County, Wisconsin.

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Aimee Mann, Daisy Kitty & Lewis, Cutout Bin, Cowboy Monkey   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 18, 2009 - 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.

FANFARLO did a Tiny Desk Concert at the offices of NPR.

KITTY, DAISY and LEWIS did the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, including a cover of "Going Up the Country."

VAMPIRE WEEKEND are streaming another advance track, "White Sky."

FLORENCE and the MACHINE stopped by WFUV for a chat and mini-set streaming on demand.

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

THE TOP ARTISTS OF THE DECADE, based on review data compiled at Metacritic, along with an analysis and compilation of album lists from various magazines. (Thanks, TV's Andy Levy.)

THE TOP 50 ALBUMS of 2009, according to Pitchfork.


IDOLATOR is getting refocused on pop music. Not shocking I guess... owner Buzzmedia already has Stereogum to cover the indie scene.

CUTOUT BIN: From the Crystals to the Buzzcocks, from James to Ted Nugent, from Billy Bragg to Billy Squire, plus M Ward, the Flirtations, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, the Clash, the 5,6,7,8s and more -- this weekend's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING:  This weekend's wide releases are Avatar, which is currently scoring 82 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and the rom-com Did You Hear About the Morgans?, which is scoring nine percent.

TIGER WOODS: Elin Nordegren is taking the kids and traveling to Sweden for the holidays, as divorce rumors mushroom.  Nordegren reportedly hired a celebrity divorce attorney.  Meanwhile, Theresa Rogers may be getting a payoff.

JESSICA SIMPSON denies a tabloid report connecting her to Tiger Woods.

KATE HUDSON, upset by her breakup with Alex Rodriguez, found a sympathetic ear from Madonna.

ROBERT PATTINSON and KATY PERRY up close and personal Wednesday night at a supper club in Burbank.

IRON MAN 2: The first full trailer is unlocked.

TOM-KAT UPDATE: David Beckham dishes about an uncomfortable dinner with the couple.

BRADGELINA: New baby rumor.


IRAQ: Iranian-backed insurgents have used cheap, off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor US military operations. Bonus: The US has known about the security hole since the 1990s, but assumed local adversaries wouldn't know how to exploit it.

WHIPLASH the COWBOY MONKEY: Okay, it's an old Taco John's ad, but still awesome. More Trumpet!

A COW has been caught jumping six feet on to a roof, after the owners thought they had been burgled. Pic at the link. Maybe it was chasing reindeer.

KUNG FU MONKEYS turn on their master. Pic at the Link.

SANDI the CAT took the ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao, Spain. He has been brought back to Britain, but can't come home for up to six months because of quarantine rules.

2977 Reads

Yo La Tengo, Har Mar Superstar, Tom Waits, Cats and Dogs   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


YO LA TENGO kicked off Paste's new "Live at Moog" series, and a set from White Rabbits is up now, too. Each also offers a free MP3.

THE 50 WORST SONGS OF THE DECADE are getting a countdown at the Village Voice, with plenty of clips.

HAR MAR SUPERSTAR did three free songs for Daytrotter.

BEST MUSIC OF 2009, according to NPR's Bob Boilen, Carrie Brownstein, Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and more...

FUNKY CHRISTMAS: A vintage twofer from Egon, via NPR.

THE WHO is getting a tribute benefit concert at Carnegie Hall, with a lineup including Bob Mould, Bettye LaVette, Mose Allison, Frank Black, Robyn Hitchcock, The Smithereens, and... Bobby McFerrin?

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

THE HOLD STEADY's Craig Finn talks to New York magazine about the stories in his Lifter Puller songs.

R.E.M.: Bill Berry appears on this year's Christmas single.

JASON ISBELL drinks with American Songwriter.


SPANDAU BALLET may be the first band to play in outer space. Yes, it's "True."

TIGER WOODS: Elin Nordegren is taking the cubs and moving to a new den. Sources tell People that she plans to leave the golfer. And in news too good to check, she may sign a deal with Puma. Us claims that Woods and Rachel Uchitel "are not over," while another of his women may appear in an adult video.  Plus, one of Tiger's doctors is reportedly under investigation for HGH distribution.

COURTNEY LOVE got slapped with a restraining order, prohibiting her from having any direct or indirect contact with her daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL and REESE WITHERSPOON: The splitsville story goes wide.

KATE HUDSON and A-ROD: More on their split, including the claim that she always wanted to be on camera. That would be a shock.

LINDSAY LOHAN has been ordered to step up her alcohol education program classes.

TIM BURTON'S ALICE in WONDERLAND has photos and a trailer online.

PRINCE OF PERSIA has a behind-the-scenes clip online.

THE WORST FILMS OF THE YEAR, according to The A.V. Club.

MR. SKIN unveils his annual list of the top celebrity nude scenes of the year.

IRAN test-fired an upgraded version of its most advanced missile, which is capable of hitting Israel and parts of Europe, according to state media. The US is planning an unprecedented missile defense test against an Iranian ICBM.

PAKISTAN: Newsweek reports that Pres. Obama believes that widening the scope of the drone attacks into Quetta would be risky and unwise.  The WaPo reports that Pakistani Pres. Zardari has resisted a direct appeal from Pres. Obama for a rapid expansion of Pakistani military operations in tribal areas and has called on the US to speed up military assistance to Pakistani forces and to intervene more forcefully with India.

IRAQ: Dozens of Iraqi security force members were involved in attacks that killed up to 112 people in Baghdad last week, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Wednesday.

CATS and DOGS, laying together...  Mass hysteria!

FLATULENT TURTLES plague the Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre at the holidays.

AN INJURED SWALLOW is taught to fly again with a special harness. But will it be able to carry a coconut?

OCTOPUSES have been observed stacking coconut shells and carrying them around as portable shelters. But they have no air speed velocity.

2994 Reads

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