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Our Purple Mountain Majesties Request   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


...with THE BEACH BOYS!  It's Pate Reunion Weekend and time to "Do It Again."  Because folks my age will always remember their mammoth July 4th concerts at the Washington Monument -- as with this 1980 take o­n "Good Vibrations."  Their "Lost Concert" from 1964 includes "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Long, Tall Texan," "Little Deuce Coupe," "Surfer Girl," "Surfin' USA," "Shut Down," "In My Room," "Papa Ooh Mow Mow," and "Hawaii." Their take on "Dance, Dance, Dance" from Shindig! later that year is like a slice of Christmas in July.  There's also a nifty twofer of "I Get Around" and "'When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)" from their first UK TV appearance o­n Ready Steady Go!  The Andy Williams Show serves up "Help Me, Rhonda," while The Jack Benny Hour produced these quick takes o­n "Barbara Ann" and "California Girls."  There's a primitive video for "Wouldn't It Be Nice" that starts with a cameo from Brian Wilson's dogs (Banana and Louie), who appear at the end of the Pet Sounds LP.  And I'll finish with a live version of "God Only Knows" from the 1967 European tour -- one of the last Brian would do for a decade or so.

RAY CHARLES performs "America The Beautiful" like no one else.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: Bruce Springsteen, circa 1978, before it came out on The River.

AMERICAN MUSIC: The Violent Femmes, circa 1992.

DAVE ALVIN: Hey, baby, it's the "4th of July."


THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER: As performed by Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Smokey Robinson, members of the Grateful Dead, and Umphrey’s McGee.

THE UNITED STATES prepares to celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4, 1776. As the Wikipedia notes, this is a little arbitrary: New Englanders had been fighting Britain since April 1775; the first motion in the Continental Congress for independence was made o­n June 8th; and the Congress voted 12-0 for independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain o­n July 2, 1776. Even so, the publication of the Declaration was momentous .  If you're not in DC, the best way to see and learn about the Declaration may be through the Charters of Freedom website. Or you can watch Mel Gibson, Michael Douglas, Renee Zelleweger, Kevin Spacey, Wynona Ryder and other Hollywood folk read the Declaration.

Of course, the holiday more broadly celebrates the American Revolutionary War, and the Founders' unlikely victory. People with the highest standard of living and the lowest taxes in the Western World fought a sometimes unpopular war for our freedom. Early o­n, the Revolutionaries (also known as "Americans" or "Patriots") had the active support of about 40 to 45 percent of the colonial population. By 1779, there were more Americans fighting with the British than with Washington, which is why Washington needed help from the French, the Spanish and freed Blacks. You can separate fact from fiction regarding the sacrifices and fates of the Founders at Snopes. You can hear two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough read from the first chapter of his 1776 via NPR. Or watch a nifty clip on the passage and public reading of the Declaration from the John Adams miniseries.

NOW SHOWING: This long weekend's wide releases are Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is currently scoring 93 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and Midsommar, which is scoring 82 percent.

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME has most of what made its predecessor, Homecoming, a blast, which is to say it still has the trappings of a teen comedy (including the 80s music) wrapped up in superhero action -- and its backed up by most of the cast returning and adjusting to life after the events of Averngers: Endgame. The movie's biggest flaw is that the tricky part of the plot recalls another movie and made a bit more sense in that movie. Nevertheless, the performances are winning (including Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck), the European setting is charming and the action is well-staged. The film also uses today's controversies about "fake news" as grist for its mill without getting political about it. There is a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene; both are good, but you definitely do not want to miss that mid-credits scene.

MYSTERIO: Big Spidey Spoilers in this interesting take.

ELVIS PRESLEY: Baz Luhrmann is testing a top group of young actors for his film about the legendary singer and his manager Colonel Tom Parker.

TAYLOR SWIFT: Scott Borchetta tells his side of the story of their label's sale; there are many issues.

DAISY RIDLEY talks revisionist Shakespeare, Star Wars: Episode IX and why she understands the intense online backlash to 2017's The Last Jedi.

THE FLASH: Andy Muschietti, the filmmaker behind the hit Stephen King adaptation It and the upcoming It: Chapter Two, is in talks to direct the film. Ezra Miller remains attached to star, but they're not using his script.

RUSSELL CROWE went a little Russell Crowe in defense of the late Roger Ailes.

COMEDIANS IN CARS GETTING COFFEE has a trailer online for the next season, which includes eddie Murphy and Seth Rogen.

TWIGGY: Another Fourth of July tradition, the water-skiing squirrel. She retired last summer, but it remains a great story. Compelling and rich.


COCKROACHES are becoming even harder to kill.

A RETICULATED PYTHON is on the loose in Cambridge.

1348 Reads

Raconteurs, Pure Bathing Culture, Mega Bog, Belle & Sebastian, Beagle   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 02, 2019 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


GARY WRIGHT will always be known as the "Dreamweaver," but add "Love is Alive" (with More Cowbell) and you have Twofer Tuesday.

THE RACONTEURS visit Morning Becomes Eclectic.

PURE BATHING CULTURE plays a Stereogum Session.

MEGA BOG covers Yukihiro Takahashi, Lady June and Kate Bush for a Lagniappe Session.

BELLE & SEBASTIAN return with "Sister Buddha."

TY SEGALL shares "Radio."


COURTNEY BARNETT joined WILCO for "Handshake Drugs" at the Solid Sound festival.

SLEATER-KINNEY: Janet Weiss leaves the band on the eve of a tour for their new LP.

A NEIL DIAMOND musical is headed for Broadway, according to the chair.

MITSKI is profiled by The New Yorker.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at The Eagles' country-rock ballad "Best Of My Love," their first-ever No. 1 hit.


AVENGERS: ENDGAME will not beat Avatar for now (though I wouldn't rule out another re-release nearer the end of the year).

SANDMAN: Neil Gaiman's beloved Vertigo comic is coming to Netflix.

AZIZ ANSARI is making a return to Netflix with a surprise special.

UTTERLY GOOPED:  Inside Gwyneth Paltrow's wacky wellness weekender.

THE LITTLE MERMAID:  Melissa McCarthy Jacob Tremblay, and Awkwafina are in talks to go under the sea for Disney's live-action remake of its animated classic.

OVERALL BOX OFFICE is down almost 10 percent at mid-year.

THE TALENT AGENCIES & THE WRITERS' GUILD are suing each other for alleged antitust violations.


THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963), as performed by a beagle.

WHEN YOU PICK UP YOUR DOG from the vet and he gives you that look, you know you're in trouble.

SPIDER-BEAR: A bear makes an impressively athletic leap from the deck of a British Columbia home to a tree before shimmying its way down.

1296 Reads

Busy pre-holiday weekend, but I have a few Things.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, July 01, 2019 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Toy Story 4 tops the chart with 58MM on a 52 percent drop from its debut; its domesic haul, boosted by strong weekday numbers, stands at 237MM, ahead of Toy Story 3's 226.8MMin its second frame. The long holdiday weekend should be good to Pixar.  Annabelle Comes Home places with 20.3MM, the lowest opening of The Conjuring universe; it will still profit against a reported 27MM budget, but look for this franchise to either slow its realeases or cut back on its budgets. Yesterday shows with 17MM against a 26MM budget; despite meh reviews, this could be Danny Boyle's most successful film after Slumdog Millionaire.  The Aladdin reboot breaks the 300MM mark domestically, grossing another 9.3MM in the fourth slot on a 29 percent drop.  The Secret Life of Pets 2 rounds out the Top Five with another 7MM on a 31 percent drop; it's vastly underperforming the original, but is still likely to profit.

TAYLOR SWIFT's catalog has been sold and she's none too happy about it.

SOPHIE TURNER & JOE JONAS had a second wedding ceremony in France.

ZOE KRAVITZ and Karl Glusman also had a second marriage ceremony in France; this one was at Lenny's pad in Paris.

TINA TURNER talked to CBS Sunday Morning about her voice, finding serenity and losing a son.

GAME OF THRONES' George R.R. martin is concerned about toxic fandom.

LORI LAUGHLIN is reportedly second-guessing a decision to turn down a plea deal in the college admissions scandal despite her belief that this is all a “huge misunderstanding.”

Should be back tomorrow with the regular portion, barring the unforeseen.

1322 Reads

Power Pop (Slight Return), Thom Yorke, BOCC, Metric, Skate Cats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, June 28, 2019 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with POWER POP (REDUX)! For whatever reason, I have considered Summer the ideal season for gems like Badfinger's "No Matter What" (which Pate covered on occasion) and "Baby Blue", and even Todd Rundgren's "I Saw the Light" and Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me."  Ditto for more obscure tracks like The Rubinoos "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" (see also their vintage cover of "Please Please Me"), Off Broadway's "Stay In Time" and "Full Moon Turn My Head Around," and Pezband's "Baby It's Cold Outside" and "Close Your Eyes."

THOM YORKE is streaming ANIMA.

BETTER OBLIVION COMMUNITY CENTER: Phoebe Bridgers & Conor Oberst visit KEXP.


LIAM GALLAGHER shares a new song, "The River."

THE SOFT CAVALRY shares “Never Be Without You.”

THE ISLEY BROTHERS: "Shout." Shindig. Friday. A little bit louder now.

THE BEST ALBUMS and SONGS of 2019, according to the NPR Music staff.

BOB MOULD, on coming out late in life: ‘Why didn't I do this a little sooner?’

RANCID, ranked by Brooklyn Vegan.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Linda Rondstadt's country-rock version fo the 1963 oldie "You're No Good."

NOW SHOWING:This weekend's wide realeases are Annabelle Comes Home, which is currently scoring 67 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and Yesterday, which is scoring 63 percent. Avengers: Endgame boosts screens and adds an end credits scene in hopes of dethroning Avatar as the all-time domestic champ.

IDRIS ELBA is the cover story at Vanity Fair.

AMANDA BYNES may have graduated from  fashion school, she continues to seek treatment at a facility for her mental health struggles.

PAUL RUDD joins the Ghostbusters reboot.

SPIDER-MAN: Premiere Night at the Roxbury.

ONE DAY AT A TIME, canceled by Netflix, will get a fourth season at something called Pop TV before it airs on CBS (the network that aired the original version of the show).

ZOMBIE TIDAL WAVE: The Sharknado team is getting back together.

MAX WRIGHT, best known for playing patriarch Willie Tanner on the sitcom Alf, died Wednesday. He was 75.

CATS, skateboarding into a parking garage, presumably for some ramp action.

DUKE THE DOG is tubbing for the weekend.

SAY HELLO to my little friend...

A UTAH WOMAN was charged with letting her cat lounge on the front lawn.

1386 Reads

Betty Who, Ben Dickey, Faye Webster, Scooby Snack Theft   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE BLACK HOLLIES with the grainy, garagey "Tell Me What You Want".

BETTY WHO plays a Tiny Desk Concert.

BEN DICKEY visits World Cafe.

FAYE WEBSTER visits The Current.

NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS & MAVIS STAPLES share The Staple Singers’ classic “What You Gonna Do?"

REDD KROSS shares "What's a Boy to Do?"

THE DRUMS share "Try."


KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD share the thrashy "Organ Farmer."

TOM WAITS on His Dream Dinner Party, His Legacy, and More.

SHEARWATER's Jonathan Meiberg talks to Goatpalace. (Thx, Frank Yang.)

THE BEST of 2019, according to renowned Chicago (via NJ & NY) music critics Greg Kot and Jim Derogatis.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at the Ohio Players' nasty funk workout "Fire."


EMMA STONE slipped and fell, spinning off big rumors.

BRITNEY SPEARS' conservatorship is suing the "Free Britney" movement's leader.

KATY PERRY & ORLANDO BLOOM are full speed ahead on wedding plans.

TOM HIDDLESTON on Life Before and After Loki.

TOM HOLLAND talks about being cut from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.

DANNY BOYLE on Yesterday, Bond 25, and The Beatles.

KEVIN SMITH responds to his critics, perhaps surprisingly.

BILLY DRAGO, who often played the charming but evil villain role and appeared in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables and Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider, died Monday in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke. He was 73.


SCOOBY SNACK snatch and grab.

TARANTULAS can swim.

ZOMBIE CICADAS: A fungus that is infecting cicadas, causing them to lose their minds, and their limbs.

THE ARIZONA BARK SCORPION carries her young on her back for the first few weeks of life. Like a schoolbus with pincers.

1402 Reads

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