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Black Friday week is here. And so are Faves 2021.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND STARTS HERE... with FAVES 2021.  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 may have overlooked some things that I really dig. 

And note these are my faves; I'm not purporting to list the "Best" albums of the year.  And unfortunately, for me 2021 in music echoed the year itself as a bit of a disappointment, as the delta variant took away the promise of a Hot Vaxx Summer for so many.  Moreover, my year turned into quite the whirlwind as Summer drew to a close, so I'll be doing this list in vintage full-on Christgau blurb style.  Let's get to it.

Obviously, I'm going to dig the super-deluxe version of THE REPLACEMENTS' debut LP, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, which sadly isn't on Spotify.  But it's even sadder that we've reached the point where Sorry Ma, gets the super-deluxe treatment and still beats a lot of new releases.  Eventually, there will be a super-deluxe version of Stink, and yes, I will be there for it.  Similarly, while I'm less of a fan of NEIL YOUNG, his recent archival releases have been strong, most notably Way Down in the Rust Bucket, which features Crazy Horse circa 1990.  TOM JONES claims to be Surrounded by Time on this covers album, but you know that someday we will wish we had more time with him.  Among albums of new material, my actual fave this year has to be LORD HURON's Long Lost,with that Fleet Foxes-by-way-of-The Byrds sound dipped in Phil Spector's echo chamber that anyone who knows me knows I dig hard.  But for those more upbeat moment's there's POM POD SQUAD's Death of a Cheerleader, which crams 14 songs into just over 30 minutes, including a cover of "Crimson and Clover," for all of which I am the target demo.  Almost as good is Comfort to Me from AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS, a sophomore album with no slump, just young, loud and snotty vintage-sounding punk from Down Under. A couple of notches more chill was the latest from COURTNEY BARNETT's Things Take Time, Take Time, which still features sharp lyrics and vocals reminiscent of Liz Phair, but easing laconically a few degrees toward Lou Reed.  While I'm still near the subject of sophomore non-slumps, NATION OF LANGUAGE returned with A Way Forward, which finds the band sounding a little less OMD and occasionally a little early New Order.  THE WAR ON DRUGS continues to prove classic rock need not be old on I Don't Live Here Anymore.  It wouldn't be one of my Faves lists with out some retro-R & B albums, and the one everyone's listening to right now is the Bruno Mars/Anderson Paak side joint, An Evening with SILK SONIC, which is winking hard but utlimately kidding on the square with its soulful grooves (it certainly doesn't hurt to have Bootsy Collins and Thundercat guesting).  Less heard, but as rewarding is Introducing... AARON FRAZER, which was co-written with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach.  Sort of adjacent to those would be ST. VINCENT's Daddy's Home, which filters Annie Clark's signature guitar stylings through 70's glam and R & B. And Clark is someone whose work I started liking and more recently found myself only respecting, so it would be condescending to call this a return to form beyond my personal tastes, but there it is.  LANA DEL REY released two strong albums this year, Chemtrails Over the Country Club and Blue Bannisters, even as backlash against her became more fashionable.  I dunno that I like either as much as NFR, but maybe in the fullness of time.  LOW is a band that tended to fall into my respected box, but I found Hey What to be quite arresting once I got past the opening track.  THE HOLD STEADY's Open Door Policy didn't seem to get the attention it deserved, may because the concert scene was still pretty moribund, or maybe because the album is pretty low-key compared to their median album.  I tend to feel the same way about TEENAGE FANCLUB's Endless Arcade, perhaps surprisingly strong given that Gerald Love left the band.  Home Video from LUCY DACUS and Little Oblivions from JULIEN BAKER found ther way into regular rotation and have me a littly hyped for a new album from boygenius (their group with Phoebe Bridgers) that should be coming soon.  Speaking of should-be supergroups, did you know that THE FLATLANDERS -- Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock -- put out Treasure of Love, their first LP in 12 years?  Because if you like Americana, you should.  Anyway, that's a fairly representative sample.

A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING has been relegated to AppleTV+, as the IP gods decreed.

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.

A BUNNY crashes the gate.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, with a cat, and a pupper.

494 Reads

It's like the Monday of a short week.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 22, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS play "Birdhouse In Your Soul" with the Doc Severenson Orchestra.

NEW RELEASES: Paste will point you to Adele, Beach Fossils, Robert Plant and Alison Krass, and more.

BILL'S INDIE BASEMENT has Elbow, Kelley Stoltz, Fine Place, and more.

BOYGENIUS performs "Stay Down" at a benefit show.

WARREN ELLIS on the past, present, and future of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

CHVRCHES is profiled in the New Haven Register.

THE TOP 75 ALBUMS of 2021, according to Uncut.

KEITH ALLISON, who performed with Paul Revere & The Raiders, has died, a family spokesperson has confirmed. He was 79.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Wilson Phillips "You're In Love," the final chart-topper of the trio's brief but dominant run.


WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Ghostbusters: Afterlife topped the chart with 44MM, and even ticked up over the weekend, which bodes well as we enter a holiday period with schools out.  The Eternals places with 10.8MM on a 60 percent drop that's probably among the steepest in the MCU for a third weekend in release.  Clifford the Big Red Dog shows with 8MM on a 53 percent drop, which is what happens when big competitioner rolls in and you're already streaming the pic at home.  Below the fold, the much-promoted Will Smith vehicle King Richard debuted in the fourth slot with only 6.5MM.

JASON REITMAN, avoiding talking about Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

BRITNEY SPEARS: Preparing for a wedding?

KIM KARDASHIAN & PETE DAVIDSON want their budding romance to remain “low-key” for now. You laughed. You know you did.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE, blazing up on set.

JEREMY RENNER is boasting two very different streaming TV roles.

ARCANE has already replaced Squid Game as Netflix's most-watched series.

ART LaFLEUR, the actor who was best known for playing Babe Ruth in The Sandlot, has died after a 10-year battle with A-typical Parkinson's. He was 78.


A BABY ARMADILLO, playing with its toy.

JUST a happy pupper.

A DOG and his boy, sort of.

517 Reads

The Replacements, Dave Frishberg RIP, and Friday.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, November 19, 2021 - 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.

COURTNEY BARNETT plays The Current.


THE WAR ON DRUGS live debuts "Harmonia's Dream" and "Victim" at Desert Daze.

EDDIE VEDDER shares "The Haves."

KILLS BIRDS - who count Dave Grohl and Kim Gordon among their famous fans - dissect their new LP.

ELBOW's Guy Garvey talks almost being on Game of Thrones, meeting his wife at Benedict Cumberbatch's wedding, and more.

HOW PETER JACKSON used AI to uncover private Beatle talk


DAVID FRISHBERG, who wrote the well-known "Schoolhouse Rock!" song "I'm Just a Bill," died Wednesday in Portland, Ore., at 88

PAM & TOMMY has a trailer online.

SOUTH PARK: POST-COVID has a trailer online.

THE GILDED AGE, the long-awaited period drama from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, has a teaser online.

NIGHTMARE ALLEY from Guillermo del Toro, has a trailer online.

HAWKEYE: A Primer (Mild spoilers.)

KIM KARDASHIAN & PETE DAVIDSON are officially dating.

JONAH HILL will play Jerry Garcia in a biopic about the Grateful Dead, directed by Martin Scorsese.

THE EVOLUTION of Will Smith.


A BABY ELEPHANT, chasing birds.

A CONURE, trying to cuddle.

STINGRAYS, riding a wave.

532 Reads

Thursday, and Philip Margo RIP.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


BILLY PAUL: "Me and Mrs. Jones." Got a thing going on.

THE ANTLERS stream a surprise EP with four 'Green To Gold' reworks.

KIT SEBASTIAN covers Sezen Aksu and Stereolab for a Lagniappe Sessions.

SPOON covers The Beatles' "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)."


NATION OF LANGUAGE's Ian Devaney gives a track-by-track tour of A Way Forward.

PHILIP MARGO, a member of the close-harmony group the Tokens, which earned enduring pop-music fame with the No. 1 hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in 1961, died on Saturday in a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 79.

WHY ROD STEWART didn't play Live Aid.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Londonbeat's spirited soul-dance hybrid "I've Been Thinking About You."


BRITNEY SPEARS addresses the end of her conservatorship.

MEGXIT: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have no plans to jet back to the UK for the holidays — despite the fact that it will be Queen Elizabeth II's first Christmas without her husband, Prince Phillip, who died in April.

TOM HOLLAND is profiled at GQ.

GREASE: Canceled Down Under. Tell me more.


QUENTIN TARANTINO is being sued by Miramax over his plan to release non-fungible tokens based on Pulp Fiction.

ALEC BALDWIN is among those being sued by Rust script supervisor Mamie Mitchell for assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and deliberate infliction of harm.

DOG has a trailer online.


A DEER claims sanctuary inside a southern Michigan church on opening day of the state’s firearm deer hunting season.

ROBIN HOOD and Little John.

FINDING that matching sock.

515 Reads

Mid-week already.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


MARTI JONES & TIM LEE (The Windbreakers) cover The dB's classic, "Neverland." With Beatle Bob cameo.

ALL SONGS CONSIDERED features Big Thief, Pinegrove, Maia Friedman and more.

SUSTO plays World Cafe.

AEON STATION shares "Fade."

DURAN DURAN: Simon Le Bon talks about Bond themes and Pavarotti and side projects and more.

THE TOP 10 DAVE GROHL SONGS, ranked by Paste.

THE TOP 75 ALBUMS of 2021, according to MOJO.

HOW AL STEWART met the Beatles.


SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME has a trailer online.

HARRY POTTER: The cast is reuniting to ring in 2022 on HBOMax.

GHOSTBUSTERS: The surviving cast reunited on the Tonight Show.

JAMES BOND: Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have had a hand in every script this century, know that No Time to Die's secret weapon in Ana de Armas (and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, most likely).

DON'T LOOK UP, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, has a trailer online.

BABY YODA is in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

SHANG-CHI, fact-checked by a bus driver.

WHAT'S IN THE BOX?: The Terrifying Truth of ‘Se7en'.


THE MASSIVE FUNNEL WEB SPIDER has fangs capable of piercing human fingernails.

A ZEBRA, breaking in.

A CAT, thinking outside the box.

509 Reads

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