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Mid-week, already.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 02, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


U2 cover "Merry Christmas, Baby (Please Come Home)."

THE BETHS visit World Cafe.

OWEN PALLETT visits World Cafe.

THE NATIONAL's Matt Berninger covers The Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting For The Man."

THE HOLD STEADY returns with "Family Farm."


MARGO PRICE covers Joni Mitchell's "River."

THE TOP 50 LPs of 2020, according to Gorilla vs Bear.

THE 50 BEST LPs of 2020, according to Stereogum.

JOSE FELICIANO talks to Stereogum about 50 years of his holiday classic "Feliz Navidad."


ELLIOT PAKE, formerly Ellen Page.

THE OSCARS plans an in-person ceremony for 2021.

RHIANNA & A$AP ROCKY are an item.

HELENA BONHAM CARTER says the producers of The Crown have a "moral responsibility" to tell viewers that it's a drama.

DAVE CHAPPELLE got Netflix to stop streaming his old TV show. And he's sorta going to war against Viacom over it.

JASON BLUM, founder of Blumhouse productions, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

THE GODFATHER CODA: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE -- Uproxx catalogs the changes to Part III.


ONE DOGGO, Two Smiles.


DOGS rescued from China's meat trade.

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Jon Pratt, and the kickoff of the season.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, December 01, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


JON PRATT returns with "Setting Suns and Englishmen."

BEABABADOOBEE plays for World Cafe from her childhood bedroom.

CORDOVAS play for (and frontman Joe Firstman visits with) World Cafe.

COURTNEY BARNETT & PHOEBE BRIDGERS cover Gillian Welch's "Everything is Free."


FOUR SHERYL CROWS cover Tom Petty's "You Don't Know How It Feels."

ELVIS COSTELLO shares the soundtrack of his life (and, being EC, takes a few digs).

NICK CAVE is not a fan of censoring The Pogues.

15 80'S PUNK LPs that shaped the 90s and 00s.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Falco's German-language synthpop novelty "Rock Me Amadeus."

GLAM XMAS:  Wizzard's awesome "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" and Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" (1973's UK Xmas No. 1) are your Twofer Tuesday.


ROSARIO DAWSON and Dave Filoni talk all things Mandolorian.

THE RISE OF SKYWALKER made the Prequels better?

KELLY CLARKSON gets physical custody of the kids in her divorce.

FELICITY HUFFMAN is headed back to the small screen.

JOHNNY GALECKI and Alaina Meyer are going their separate ways.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE performances, raned by Vulture.

ONE SECOND's commercial release concludes a fraught journey through China's increasingly repressive censorship system.


JAPANESE WILD BEARS are comin' to town.

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO... this doggo.

GIRAFFE MANOR, in Nairobi.

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Dave Prowse RIP, and Monday things.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 30, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE WHO: "I'm A Boy."

NEW RELEASES: Pitchfork wil point you to Smashing Pumpkins, Bad Bunny, and more.

BILL'S INDIE BASEMENT has Young Marble Giants, Cindy, Jarvis Cocker, and more.

PHOEBE BRIDGERS covers Merle Haggard's “If We Make It Through December.”


THE GRAMMYS nominations went to these folks.

THE 10 BEST STEELY DAN SONGS, accoring to Stereogum.

THE 100 BEST SONGS of the 21st century, according to The Guardian.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Mr. Mister's dramatic, ambiguously Christian synth-rocker "Kyrie," Heart's first chart-topper, "These Dreams," and Starship's gloopy and awful soft-rock anthem "Sara."  And there's a Bonus Track: Foreigner's Mutt Lange-produced power ballad "Waiting For A Girl Like You," the single that set the record for most weeks stuck at No. 2.


WEEKEND BOX OFFICE?  The Croods: A New Age tops the chart with a 5-day total of 14.2MM, good by 2020 standards, awful any other time.  Freaky places with 1.1MM (on a 40 percent drop over the 3-day weekend).  War With Grandpa shows with 892K (on a 14 percent drop over the 3-day weekend).

DAVE PROWSE, the British former bodybuilder best known for playing Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died aged 85Mark Hamill paid tribute.

GODZILLA vs KING KONG looks likely to be the latest big franchise movie to head to a streamer.

SEAN CONNERY died of pneumonia, heart problems and “old age,” according to his death certificate.

ANNE HATHAWAY talks about pandemic parenting and playing the villain.

HUGH GRANT never wanted to be Hollywood's ‘romantic Englishman.' So he gave it up.

CHER went to Pakistan to help save the world's loneliest elephant.

COURTNEY COX put a turkey on her head again.

THE CROWN: Facts vs Fiction in Season 4.

THE 50 BEST HBO SERIES, ranked by Paste, controversially.


A STRAY DOG runs up to strangers so they'll rescue her and her best friend.

CENTRAL PARK OWL sighting sighting.  ALSO: An owl and pussycat.

CLAIRE, a Scottish deerhound, was named best in show at the National Dog Show.

ALL GROWN UP, still wants to be cuddled.

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If everyone's already doing Black Friday, let's do Faves 2020 now   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 23, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND STARTS HERE... with FAVES 2020.  I occasionally hear from folks who want to know what music -- from among all of the posts I do here -- I recommend.  To some degree, I recommend all of it, unless I expressly write otherwise (e.g., it's not my thing, but it might be yours).  With the holiday shopping season upon us, I have tried to make a list of reasonable size.  It's an unordered list. I likely will have overlooked something that I really dig. 

And note these are my faves; I'm not purporting to list the "Best" albums of the year.  To be frank, the pandemic has probably skewed this year's list.  Working from home for most of the year, the albums that gained purchase with me have tended to be those that reward a close listen, but do not necessarily demand it.  For those Friends of Pate who go all the way back to the Music Works (for the rest of you, think the record store in High Fidelity), albums like the Meat Puppets' Up on the Sun or Danny & Dusty's Long Weekend could play on repeat all day long and those hanging out at the store could tune into or dial back on them mentally throughout an afternoon in between conversations, errands, meals and beer, alternately serving as inspiration and soundtrack.

THE REPLACEMENTS, TOM PETTY, NEIL YOUNG, AND PRINCE:  Wait a minute, didn't I pick a Replacements super-deluxe reissue last year?  Sure did!  But first off, it's the Replacements.  Second off, another side effect of pandemic lockdown is the tendency for people do do things like binge watch their old favorite movies; consider this the musical version of that.  Pleased to Meet Me may not be as revelatory as last year's Dead Man's Pop, but still awfuly good.  Similarly, Tom Petty's posthumous Wildflowers & All the Rest and Neil Young's Homegrown provide a full listen into chapters of two legendary careers that at best could be heard in fragments before.  And I'm tossing the deluxe version of Prince's 1999 here because it came out too late for last year's list and even though I've genrally always liked Prince, I have only grown to appreciate Prince more over time.  It's all good enough to make me feel less bad about the fact that most of these special reissues now cover material for which I was around the first time.

PHOEBE BRIDGERS:  Punisher is a popular sort of pick, not least because it is probably the album of 2020 in terms of capturing its mood without being obviousabout it.  But Bridgers might not have had the right release for the moment if she had not grown in terms of her lyrics (which were already quite good) and her arrangements (now more ambitious).  People who know me won't be surprised that songs like "Kyoto," "ICU," and "Graceland Too" are the ones that grab me the most, but this one also very much falls into that category of putting it on and letiingt it seep in the back of brain through multiple plays.

PERFUME GENIUS:  Absent the pandemic, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately might have been the album of 2020, less over-the-top than Mike Hadreas has been in the past and generally more effective.  I don't think it's just my personal musical biases that lead me to think the more uptempo pop here works better than the slower material, which is a bit hit-and-miss.

EARLY JAMES:  I would have thought that being produced by David Auerbach would have garnered more attention for Singing For My Supper  (I bet James thought so too). Yet this truly nifty debut largely fell through the critical cracks, which is a shame.  Although labeled as roots rock, this album is so much more, very much a type of classic pop/rock that would have come out in the mid-to-late Sixties, comfortable among Bacharach, Webb, Davies, and Walker without paying obvious homage to any of them (not an easy thing to do).

FLEET FOXES:  After releases like Helplessness Blues and Crack-Up, the more uplifting Shore was probably destined to get the "return to form" treatment from critics.  Certainly, Robin Pecknold seems to emphasize the more uplifting mood of this LP.  But musically, it's as much a consolidation or reconciliation of everything the band has done, including some of the more adventurous turns of the two prior, more fraught albums.  Their is a density and majesty in this production that comes closest to suggesting the more powerful sound the band has live, yet with layers and attention to detail that reward multiple listenings.

BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN:  Perhaps this century's iteration of Fairport Convention, Bonny Light Horseman puts an indie rock spin on traditional British folk, neither too stuffy and formalistic nor destructive of the delicacy of the underlying form.  A fresh breeze whenever it enters your space.

ANDY SCHAUF: The Neon Skyline is what might be called a micro-concept album; the protagonist meets an old friend for drinks, reminisces about an ex-girlfriend, then runs into her.  The intimate scale prevents the conceit from becoming too conceited. Also not as noir as I might have guessed from the title.  Previously, I thought I detected a streak of early Rundgren in Schauf musically, but here he tends to remind me a little of early 70s Paul Simon in both its strummy acoustic guitars and in its observational lyrics.

THE JAYHAWKS: I'm always going to miss Marc Olson, but as with the dB's when Chris Stamey isn't around, the band effort usually remains quite strong, and XOXO is an impressive reminder of this.  It's the sort of album that can fit right in among albums from The Band and the Flying Burrito Brothers-- or any of the artists and bands that picked up that vibe back in the day, like early 70s Van Morrisson or Volunteers-era Jefferson Airplane.  XOXO may comment on the moment as well, but with a relatively deft touch (certainly more deft than the Airplane, for sure).  Great music for an overstuffed couch in your coziest room on a rainy afternoon.

THE LEMON TWIGS:  Songs for the General Public doesn't quite get this duo into the team photo with Redd Kross or the Hoodoo Gurus, but they're getting there, and I will take what I can get for now.

CORNERSHOP:  I've put a couple of their tracks on Summer mixes, and England is a Garden is another slice of light psychedelic pop from a band that may not be prolific but is remarkably consistent.

THE JAMES HUNTER SIX: If you've been visiting here for a while, you know I'm a sucker for what some call retro but I would call timeless, very often in the soul genre.  Nick of Time is not a big departure from the combo's Sam Cooke-meets-Sixties Van Morrison formula, and it's produced by Daptone Records' Bosco Mann, which is a pretty good marriage.

HAZEL ENGLISH has acksually been around a few years, but has not really sounded like she does on Wake UP!  Here, she has perhaps a bit of early Dusty Springfield and some self-harmonizing that oddly recalls lighter songs by the Cranberries.  Works for me, obvsly.

THE PRETENDERS:  As with the fictional pitcher Orlando Rojas, it's always a bit uplifting to discover that a talent still has some fuel in the tank.  You probably didn't know that Chrissie Hynde put out an album in 2020 that recalls the band's first three LPs and is nearly as good.  But she did, and it's called Hate for Sale.  My runner-up here would be The Psychedelic Furs' Made of Rain, which doesn't quite match the band's first three or four albums, but sheds the rot and bombast that began to set in by the time they were playing the big barns in days of yore.

ANDREW CARROLL is someone I became aware of through the Lodge 49 soundtrack.  Though I have yet to watch the show, Carroll curated some nifty but largely obscure baraoque pop whle adding some of his own instrumentals.  Then he released the You Are Here EP, which is short, but sweet.

TAYLOR SWIFT:  You may have heard of her.  You might be surprised that she makes my list because while I've always respected her talents as a songwriter, much of her oeuvre is not really in my wheelhouse and the personal drama that would filter back into much of it never really did much for me.  Her surprise collaboration with The National's Aaron Dressner, folklore, could have been a pretentious trainwreck, a stab at indie-rock cred that revealed her limitations.  Instead, Swift got out of her own head and into more a more writerly storytelling approach with delightful results, particularly "the last great american dynasty."  Having mentioned The National, I'll note that the late-arriving solo LP from Matt Berninger, Serpentine Prison is also a likely fave, perhaps harkening a bit back to the band's earlier work.  And while in the mainstream pop vein, I'll tip my imaginary cap to Haim, whose Women in Music Pt. III shows growth (if less surprsing than Swift's) and whose "Summer Girl" obviously apes Lou Reed (always steal from the best).

Anyway, that's a fairly representative sample. Were I able to muster my outrage on a more regular basis, Drive-By Truckers and Jason Isbell and Bob Mould would have been further up my mental chart.  Many people love this year's Fiona Apple, tho she's never really done much for me.  On another day, maybe it would be The Dream Syndicate or Destroyer or Angel Olsen.  Or Margo Price or Courtney Marie Andrews.  Or Thurston Moore or Laura Marling or Idles.  Or...

A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING:  It's always somewhere on the net.

WKRP: "Turkeys Away," in its entirety. And here's the turkey giveaway by itself. There's a WKRP purist backstory for this episode as well.

THANKSGIVING:  George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation (1789).  It was controversial at the time.

LIVING COLOUR gets almost two and a half hours of discussion and analysis on Political Beats with Steve Singiser, which I heard early via their new Patreon.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE?  Freaky repeats atop the chart with 1.2MM on a 66 percent dropWar With Grandpa places with 733K on a 44 percent drop.  Let Him Go shows with 710K on a 59 percent drop.  Jackie Chan's Vanguard opened in seventh place.  Last year, Disney’s Frozen II opened with 130.3MM.

THE HOUSE OF MOUSE is looking at launching a number of its upcoming tentpole family films on Disney+ instead of the theatrical release bows that were envisioned when the films were developed and green lit.

COMING 2 AMERICA is coming 2 Amazon on March 5, 2021.

BEN AFFLECK & ANA de ARMAS were caught canoodling while taking a break from filming for their upcoming movie Deep Water.

MARTIN FREEMAN finds love with a French actress 21 years his junior

ALEX TREBEK was cremated.

ALAN RICKMAN'S DIARIES are being published as a book and it's so sad that it's not an audiobook.

ROBERT ENGLUND (Freddy Krueger) is joining the cast of Stranger Things.


CHECK OUT THE CRITTERS big and small who are using Utah's first wildlife overpass to cross Interstate 80.

A CROW with knowledge of physics.

A SQUIRREL, drunk on fermented pears.

RESCUE BEAVER: More about the Beave.

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The Replacements, and Friday, as promised by the Gods.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 20, 2020 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with THE REPLACEMENTS! The original quartet, opening for X in Mpls in October '83.  Your setlist includes: "I'm In Trouble," "Kids Don't Follow," a lounge version of "F*** School," "Color Me Impressed," and "Sixteen Blue."  BONUS: The A.V. Club's primer to Paul Westerberg and the Replacements.


SOMETHING TO DO advance streams Give Me Attention.

STEVE EARLE covers his late son Justin Townes Earle's "Harlem River Blues."


LANA DEL REY covers George Gershwin's "Summertime."

MIKE CAMPBELL, the legendary Heartbreakers guitarist, talks to Stereogum about working with everyone from Bob Dylan to Stevie Nicks to Don Henley, his memories of Tom Petty, and his new band the Dirty Knobs.

THE POGUES' "Fairytale of New York" is being censored by the BBC, but the band seems okay with it.

THE TOP 15 NEW ORDER SONGS, according to PopMatters.

ELEKTRA RECORDS in the alternative era: an oral history.


BOBBY BROWN JR dies at 28 after experiencing flu-like symptoms.

JENNIFER GREY will retain her Dirty Dancing earnings in her divorce from Clark Gregg.

MICHAEL J. FOX recalls a nightmare meeting with Princess Diana.

VANESSA KIRBY is profiled by Harper's Bazaar.

A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING will air on PBS in addition to AppleTV.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY reacts to famous McConaughey impressions.

DAZED AND CONFUSED was a hotbed of horny future stars.


A VET convinces an abused dog to eat.

THE WORLD'S ONLY KNOWN WHITE GIRAFFE gets a tracking device.

FELIS NEGRIPES, an adorable serial killer.

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