THE NEW YEAR'S WEEKEND STARTS HERE (see y'all next Wednesday):
...with THE BEAT FARMERS! Making a tradition of this more sober than usual, professionally-shot, early BF gig recorded at Universal Studios, including "There She Goes Again" (VU); "Road to Ruin," "Bigger Fool," "Reason to Believe" (Springsteen), "Powderfinger" (N. Young), "Happy Boy," "Big Ugly Wheels," "Bigger Stones," "Gun Sale at the Church," "Dallas Blues," "I Wanna Be Free," "Lakeside Trailer Park," "Death Train," and "Seven Year Itch." If you're new to the band, my picks would be "Bigger Stones," "Happy Boy" and the cover of your choice. BONUS: Now how much would you pay? But wait... there's more! If you really want to see someone put the "bar" in "bar band," watch these NSFW clips from Houston, TX of the late Country Dick Montana leading the band through "Lucille" (K. Rogers) -- complete with his favorite beer bottle stunts -- followed by "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Wino," "Are You Drinkin' With Me, Jesus?" and "Mondo." SUPER-SPECIAL BONUS: Country Dick rolls out "California Kid" and "Anarchy in the UK" (Language warning).
DIVINE FITS plays Morning Becomes Eclectic in this end-of-year encore link.
DIRTY PROJECTORS plays Morning Becomes Eclectic in this end-of-year encore link.
AC NEWMAN plays The Current in this end-of-year encore link.
ALABAMA SHAKES play SXSW in this end-of-year encore link.
FATHER JOHN MISTY plays Morning Becomes Eclectic in this end-of-year encore link.
THE dB's play World Cafe Live in this end-of-year encore link.
MAYER HAWTHORNE plays Morning Becomes Eclectic in this end-of-year encore link.
U2: Crushingly obvious, I know.
NICK CAVE & SHANE MacGOWAN: "What a Wonderful World."
ABBA wishes you a "Happy New Year," but it doesn't sound anywhere as celebratory as "Take A Chance On Me."
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS perform "This Year" at the M-Shop in Ames, IA.
OTIS & CARLA have a "New Year's Resolution."
CLAUDE PATE: Don't forget you can stream a live version of "New Year" at PateSpace, or a fan-made video on the Tube, which has comments from a member of The Eclectics and Friend of Pate Ken King.
JOE JACKSON: Pate frequently attempted "One More Time" to hilarious effect, so today I stick with Joe's early material, including "Sunday Papers" live on the OGWT, "Kinda Kute" on the Kenny Everett Video Show, a Beat Crazy-era run of "On Your Radio" the official clip for "It's Different For Girls" and a bracing live take on "I'm The Man." That last one is taken from the Rock Goes To College show, which also boasts this pulsing version of his signature "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" BONUS: The appropos finale, "Got The Time?"
IN MEMORIAM: Musicians who passed in 2012, courtesy of NPR, while Stereogum has band breakups.
THE 50 MOST ANTICIPATED LPs of 2013, according to Stereogum.
ALL SONGS CONSIDERED has a 2013 Winter Music Preview.
FONTELLA BASS, a great R & B and jazz singer, best known for the 1965 hit "Rescue Me," died in her hometown of St. Louis after suffering a heart attack. She was 72.
RAY COLLINS, singer and co-founder of the Mothers of Invention, has died at the age of 74.
CUTOUT BIN: and more -- this year's final fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.
THE ZOMBIES: "This Will Be Our Year."
NOW SHOWING: There are no new wide releases this post-Christmas weekend, but Silver Linings Playbook platforms to 745 screens, scoring 91 percent on the ol' Tomatometer. I also liked it.
BRITNEY SPEARS is on her way out as a judge for the X Factor.
KATE WINSLET secretly tied the knot with Richard Branson's nephew; Leonardo DiCaprio gave her away.
MILEY CYRUS: Married?
TOM CRUISE: Dirty Dancing on a date in NYC.
EMMA STONE & ANDREW GARFIELD adopted a dog together.
NATALIE PORTMAN & KRISTEN STEWART: Hollywood's best actors for the buck, according to Forbes.
GEN. NORMAN SCHWARZKOPF (Ret.), who commanded coalition forces during the Gulf War, died Thursday, a U.S. official said. He was 78.
SYRIA: UN envoy Brahimi proposed a peace plan that included a transitional government with executive powers until new elections could be held. The National Coalition said it would agree to any plan that excludes President Assad. Russia sought to revive an earlier peace plan without the stipulation.
ISRAEL's internal security service arrested 10 members of an armed cell of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Two suspects are charged with plotting to kidnap an Israeli soldier; the other eight face related terror charges.
EGYPT: Prosecutors ordered an investigation into opposition leaders over allegations that they planned to overthrow the government. An Islamist group in Sinai threatened to launch a crusade against drug use and cigarette smoking. Two ministers resigned over economic reforms.
IRAQ: Thousands of protesters from Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority kept up a week-old blockade on a key highway on Thursday and readied mass rallies for Friday to demand concessions from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
A DOG loves "Auld Lang Syne." (Or does it?) All my life, I don't know what this song means...
ABBY, A BLIND DOG, was rescued after a week in the Alaskan wilderness.
THE MOOSE SEX PROJECT: The program is aiming to raise 35000 to buy a narrow strip of the Chignecto Isthmus - a strip of land between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick -- for moose hookups.
ENDANGERED TIGERS are making a comeback due to better law enforcement, protection of habitat and strong government partnerships, a U.S. wildlife group says.