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Another week of Christmas Staycation here.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, December 21, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



... with CHRIS ISAAK, live at Universal Studios. 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!

THE CURRENT's Rock the Cradle stream is holiday-themed.

LIT UP LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE, Vols. 1 & 2:  A Vintage Holiday Mixtape.

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)." There's more reflection at Aquarium Drunkard. The WaPo has reflections from producer-director Lee Mendelson.  And Caitlin Flanagan asks what gives the special its power.

DARLENE LOVE & RONNIE SPECTOR duet on "Sleigh Ride" and "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree."

THE POGUES:  It's not Christmas Eve in the drunk tank (or even St. Patrick's Day) without a "Fairytale of New York."  From 2012, here's the backstory. And at The Week, Michael B. Dougherty argues that it's the greatest Christmas song of all time. NME has 25 Things you didn't know about the tale.

ANTON BARBEAU, an occasional collaborator of the late Scott Miller, crafted his own "Xmas Song."

THE 10 BEST PUNK CHRISTMAS SONGS, according to L.A. Weekly.



NORAD will be tracking Santa, per usual. CNET has a history and behind-the scenes story.

THE 50 BEST HOLIDAY SONGS, according to The Ringer.

THE 25 BEST CHRISTMAS ALBUMS, according to Complex. BONUS: The L.A. Times rounds up the Merry and the Meh, including the evolving Christmas Time Again, by The dB's and Friends.

15 BIZARRE CHRISTMAS ALBUMS, courtesy of Mental Floss.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY of Christmas Songs.

2020's BEST HOLIDAY MUSIC, according to The AV Club

EIGHT HOURS of vintage department store holiday music.

BILLY MACK: Because "Christmas Is All Around."  ALSO: Is Love Actually is an awful movie? Or a rom-com masterpiece? PLUS: We now know for sure what happened to Harry and Karen.

THE FLAMING LIPS perform "White Christmas" as only they can.

WHITE CHRISTMAS: A Snapshot Of The Most Successful Song In Music History.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: "The Gift That Keeps Giving."  Not to be confused with "The Gift," which is not Christmasey at all.

THE COURTEENEERS drop a video for "Winter Wonderland" that's not that Winter Wonderland.

CALEXICO: Speaking of presents, here's their "Gift X-Change."

THE MUPPETS: "Ringing of the Bells." Not to be confused with Super Furry Animals.

MICHAEL CAINE looks back at The Muppet Christmas Carol.


AN XMAS FLASH MOB from the Berklee College of Music broke out into an impromptu performance of the classic Christmas carol “O Holy Night” at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

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.

HALL & OATES: "Jingle Bell Rock," reduced to its molten kitchy essense.

THE MOST COVERED CHRISTMAS SONGS, according to FiveThirtyEight.

HOLIDAY SONGS, showcased by Brooklyn Vegan and Salon.

16 WEIRD FACTS About Big Christmas Hits.

MARIAH CAREY's “All I Want For Christmas Is You” tops the chart again.

WHY Are There No New Christmas Songs

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, online. Also, a 5-year-old called 911 on the Grinch.

DAVID BOWIE & BING CROSBY'S cross-generational duet o­n "Little Drummer Boy." This historic event was recreated by Will Farrell and John C. Reilly. Plus, Jack Black and Jason Segel have done a cartoon cover

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, complete.

A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOU...FROM PHIL SPECTOR: Essayed by Aquarium Drunkard and NME.

THE TRON 1982 HOLIDAY SPECIAL, courtesy of Funny Or Die.

THE SEX PISTOLS & THIN LIZZY played "A Merry Jingle" for Top of the Pops.  BONUS: The Pistols' final UK show was a Christmas benefit.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Pate even had a song titled "Rope Around The Moon," so watch the whole thing. BONUS: Vintage Bailey backlash from warped, frustrated old people at the New York Times and Portfolio. DOUBLE-BONUS: 22 TV variations on It's A Wonderful Life.

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 2009's Verizon ad, following 2008's Apple ad, even more so 2007's AFLAC commercial, and AT & T bringing in Rudolph, Bumble, and Santa for 2015.BONUS: NPR has a piece on the original manuscript.  DOUBLE BONUS: Don't Subject Your Kids to Rudolph.

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

SCARY GHOST STORIES: I overheard Andy Williams crooning "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" in a store a few years back, and the lyric about "scary ghost stories" never really struck me before.  Took me a second, but I supposed he was referring to Dickens.  It turns out -- as noted by a coworker -- that this was a thing in Victorian England...  and the modern day. BONUS: Krampus, which has now inspired a major motion picture, and a Nativity set. DOUBLE BONUS: NME rounds up 10 Deliciously Scary Christmas Movies. TRIPLE BONUS: 18 Killer Santas From Film and TV.

LIAM NEESON auditions as a mall Santa.

TEN UNFORGETTABLE Musical Christmas Moments On Film.

THE 30 BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES, according to Empire magazine.

FIVE REASONS Why Die Hard is a Christmas movie, not including the ornament.

HOME ALONE: Did Kevin McCallister grow up to become the Jigsaw Killer?

DRECK THE HALLS: A Holiday TV Specials Retrospective.

23 TV EPISODES based on "A Christmas Carol."

A CHRISTMAS HAM: CNN's Mary Katherine Ham and Commentary's John Podhoretz break down the Hallmark Christmas movie genre.

NAT KING COLE:  His chestnuts are roasting.

MAYMO THE BEAGLE gets 210 bottles for Christmas.


27 DOGS That Do Christmas Better Than You Do Christmas.

17 WEINER DOGS make the perfect Christmas photo.

THE DOGGO who stole Christmas.

SHELTER DOGS are more than happy to choose their own Christmas presents.

29 CATS Trying To Figure Out This Whole Christmas Thing.

A SHETLAND PONY in a Christmas foursie.

CHRISTMAS ON CHRISTMAS ISLAND involves millions of crabs.

AN AUSTRALIAN FAMILY shot into the Guinness Book of Records in 2011 after decorating their home with an astonishing 331038 Christmas lights. If the video at the link doesn't work, try this one.

342 Reads

Elton John and our way to the weekend.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 18, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with ELTON JOHN! Half of a live show captured by the OGWT on Christmas Eve, 1974.  Your setlist includes: "Grimsby" (incomplete), "Rocket Man," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Daniel," Grey Seal,"  "Bennie And The Jets," "I Saw Her Standing There," "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me," "Honky Cat," "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting," "Crocodile Rock," "The B^tch Is Back," "Your Song," and "White Christmas."



THE BESNARD LAKES share “Our Heads, Our Hearts On Fire Again.”


WEAPON OF CHOICE, but with Fred Astaire instead of Christopher Walken.

SMOKEY ROBINSON took a do-over at pronouncing Hanukkah for a fan on Cameo, the celebrity greeting service.

THE 25 BEST EPs of 2020, according to Paste.

THE BEST REISSUES & BOX SETS of 2020, according to NPR.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Madonna ackshually singing on "Live to Tell."  (Somehow I missed this earlier in the week.).


JEREMY BULLOCH, who played Boba Fett in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died aged 75.

IAN McKELLEN gets vaccinated.

COMING 2 AMERICA: EW has your first look.

TOM CRUISE and... Hayley Atwell?

PEDRO PASCAL talks Wonder Woman 1984, The Mandalorian, Nicolas Cage and more.

DENISE RICHARDS is opening up about her public split from Charlie Sheen — and the toll it took on her career.

THE BEST MOVIES of 220, according to Uproxx.



FROSTY the Snow-Rat.

OPOSSUM vs SKUNK: Who You Got?

A BOBCAT, sighted on the Bronx River.

AN EXPEDITION IN THE ANDES revealed 20 species new to science, including the ‘lilliputian frog.'

A WHALE had enough of the dolphins.

331 Reads

Thursday Things after the Holiday Mix is complete.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


EURYTHMICS'. Dave Stewart declares "Christmas is For Lovers".

THE WATERBOYS' Mike Scott visits World Cafe.

ASHLEY RAY plays a Tiny Desk Concert from home.

DJANGO DJANGO plays "Asking For More" and "Hail Bop" for NME.


FLEET FOXES' Robin Pecknold Reviews 2020.

AQUARIUM DRUNKARD's 2020 Year in Review.

LED ZEPPELIN is getting their own pinball machine.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Billy Ocean's Motown-pastiche ballad "There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)."


THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Newly surfaced behind-the scenes footage.

LILY JAMES & SEBASTIAN STAN are on board to play former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in a new limited series for Hulu.

GAL GADOT and Fallon try new foods.

NIGHT COURT is back in session?

SETH MacFARLANE is developing a reboot of the seminal '80s comedy “Revenge of the Nerds.”

SOUL: Inside Pixar's trippy Christmas offering.

THE MANDALORIAN has a Christmas present for you.

THE BEST MOVIES of 2020, according to The Ringer.



A PIGLET and a calf.

A CAT, working a Chrismtas tree like Rocky Balboa.

PAPA found a home.

308 Reads

Wednesday Things, while I put my Holiday Mix together.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


DARLENE LOVE's final "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)" for Letterman.

LIT UP LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE, Vols. 1 & 2:  A Vintage Holiday Mixtape.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED features lovely Ludwig Van.

LANA DEL REY sings “Let Me Love You Like A Woman” for Fallon. And sports a big ring.

THE 35 BEST ROCK LPs of 2020, according to Pitchfork.

THE TOP 20 DEBUTS of 2020, according to NME.

MEGXIT: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have signed a multiyear deal with Spotify to host and produce podcasts for the streaming platform.

TOM CRUISE enforces the COVID rules on set.

DAVID CHAPPELLE now has HBOMax pulling his show off the service.

JEFF BRIDGES shares a health update following his lymphoma diagnosis.

SHARON OSBOURNE is recuperating from COVID away from Ozzy.

MICHAEL JACKSON's estate won an appeal that allows it to pursue arbitration after claiming the creators of Leaving Neverland violated a non-disparagement clause.

GEORGE LUCAS defends the prequels' dialogue.

A CHEEKY BABY ELEPHANT tries to hide behind a light pole after being caught eating sugarcane in a field in Thailand.

THIS GUIDE DOG is a sneak.

THIS CROCODILE is all of us getting through 2020.

426 Reads

Kim Wilde, and Tuesday Things among the holiday crush.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


KIM WILDE drunkenly warbles "Kids In America" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" on the subway.

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III visits with World Cafe.

BRUCE HORNSBY also visits with World Cafe.

LOU BARLOW covers Kacey Musgraves' "Glittery."


BLOODSHOT RECORDS at the crossroads. (Thx Scott)

THE BEST LPs of 2020, according to Discogs.

THE TOP 40 POP SONGS of 2020, according to Stereogum.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald's wailing breaking duet "On My Own."


JUSTICE LEAGUE: The Snyder Cut will also be shown theatrically, with Batman dropping an F-bomb.

MEGXIT: Meghan Markle has prompted fury from the palace by enlisting Oprah Winfrey to help flog a vegan coffee she has invested in.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: Star-Lord is bisexual and polyamorous... in the comics.

DAKOTA JOHNSON is fueling rumors that she's engaged to boyfriend Chris Martin.

THE SOPRANOS' surviving cast will read a new sketch for charity.

CHER is profiled at The Guardian.


ANN REINKING, the Tony Award-winning actor, dancer and choreographer who is perhaps best known for playing the role of Roxie Hart in 1977's Chicago, has died at 71.


DON'T ARGUE with a goat.

ROCKY (1976).

MORNING WASH-UP for the pup.

A FALCON -- or is it a hawk -- has head stabilization skills.

306 Reads

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