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MLK Jr Day, Phil Spector, Sylvain Sylvain, Monday Things.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, January 18, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


U2: "Pride" and "MLK." Crushingly obvious. Have a dream.

PHIL SPECTOR, convicted murderer and one of the most influential and successful record producers in rock ’n’ roll, who generated a string of hits in the early 1960s defined by the lavish instrumental treatment known as the wall of sound, died of COVID complications on Saturday. He was 81.  My recollection is that in the 80s -- outside of The Ramones and (indirectly) Springsteen --  Spector was quite out of fashion; I had to pick up a single-LP compilation of his greatest productions as an import.  He eventually got back into the critical lexicon after the release of the Back to Mono box set.  But in that NYT obit, perhaps the most telling quote comes from Jimmy Iovine: “Making dark records and pop records are separate things. When you can combine the two worlds, you’ve achieved greatness. He not only achieved it, he basically invented it.”  Spector could occasionally be ebullient (“Da Doo Ron Ron”), but the darkness was never far away, even in the undertone of desperation in songs like “Be My Baby,” “Walking in the Rain” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.”  His trademark Wall of Sound embodied drama and romance, but also loneliness and isolation.  That Spector would produce "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss" before quickly pulling it off shelves certainly hinted at the person apparently rightly savaged in ex-wife Ronnie Spector's memoirs. And few people generate internet listicles about the artists he held at gunpoint, all of which happened before he killed actress Lana Clarkson (Fast Times at Ridgemont High).  I would say that Spector's legacy in pop musis is not entirely unlike O.J. Simpson's legacy in pro football, except that canceling Spector would also partially cancel the artistry of so many others, including Ronnie Spector, Darlene Love, Tina Turner, John Lennon, The Ramones, and perhaps most of all the Wrecking Crew, none of whom deserve it.  BONUS: Here's Darlene Love on Spector at length. And Ronnie Spector's statement.

SYLVAIN SYLVAIN, a key member of the New York Dolls, the influential though short-lived proto-punk band whose outrageous shows at Max’s Kansas City and other venues paved the way for the era of the Ramones and the Sex Pistols, died on Wednesday of cancer at his home in Nashville. He was 69.

DAVID BOWIE's career from Let's Dance through Blackstar gets over three hours of discussion and analysis in Part 3 on Political Beats with guest Damon Linker.  It should drop this morning, though I heard and greatly enjoyed it last week through Patreon. UPDATE: Apparently, the holiday has delayed it a day on other platforms.

CHRIS FRANZ (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club) has stories and songs for World Cafe.

BEACH BUNNY streams their Blame Game EP.

ARIEL PINK's ex-girlfriend has made claims of physical and sexual abuse as part of a court case in Los Angeles.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at "Human," the flukey late-career dance-pop hit that the Human League recorded with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

DION: A vintage performance of "Abraham, Martin & John."

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE? The Marksman tops the chart with a 3.2MM debut. Croods: A New Age places with 2MM an a 13 percent increase. Wonder Woman 1984 shows with 2.6MM on a 13 percent drop.

GODZILLA vs KONG is moving up to premiere on screen and HBOMax on March 26 instead of May 21.

JUSTICE LEAGUE as a four-hour movie instead of a mini-series?



ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD: What was originally crafted as a paean to late-1960s Hollywood now serves as an elegy for pre-2020 America.

BETTY WHITE turns 99.

NICOLAS CAGE is in Willy’s Wonderland.

JAMIE LYNN SPEARS Implicates Elon Musk in the Death of Her Cats.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT takes up a knife.

ELECTRIC EELS Hunt in Packs, Shocking Prey and Scientists.

BALI'S THIEVING MONKEYS can spot high-value items to ransom.

230 Reads

Echo, and Friday Things.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, January 15, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



...with ECHO and the BUNNYMEN!  Live at the Royal Albert Hall, circa July 1983.  Your setlist includes: "Going Up," "With A Hip" and "All That Jazz"; "All My Colours (Zimbo)" and "Silver"; "The Cutter" and "The Killing Moon"; "Rescue" and "Never Stop"; and "Over the Wall." Your encores are "Crocodiles" and a wide-ranging take on "Do It Clean."


FOO FIGHTERS share "Waiting On A War."

HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER shares "Sanctuary."

MENAHAN STREET BAND shares "The Duke."

NATION OF LANGUAGE shares "Deliver Me From Wondering Why."

DESCENDANTS share “That’s The Breaks.”

RYAN ADAMS  has been cleared of "sexting" an underage fan following an FBI investigation.

CLASSIC ALBUMS turning 50 this year.

THROBBING GRISTLE: Chris and Cosey reflect on their legacy.

TOM CRUISE has shelled out “huge sums” for two high-tech robots to enforce coronavirus safety protocols on the set of “Mission: Impossible 7” – and also administer spot tests to the crew.

JEFF BRIDGES shared a positive health update on his website, following his lymphoma diagnosis last year.

ARMIE HAMMER's  latest ex-gal pal says their romance was like dating a wanna-be Hannibal Lecter.

CHRIS EVANS has reportedly been approached about playing Captain America again.  Evans responded via Twitter.

SIGFRIED FISCHBACHER,  the surviving member of the duo Siegfried & Roy, has died in Las Vegas at age 81.

JOANNE ROGERS, the widow of TV’s Mr. Rogers, has died at the age of 92.

A RACING PIGEON  has survived an extraordinary 13000-kilometer (8000-mile) Pacific Ocean crossing from the United States to find a new home in Australia. Now authorities consider the bird a quarantine risk and plan to kill it.

WILDLIFE RESCUERS were summoned to a Florida home where a bobcat attempted to chase a squirrel into a birdhouse and became stuck.

SCIENTISTS announced the discovery of a new bat species in Africa that has a striking mix of fiery orange and black colors.

DOUBLE Trouble.

A BEAR, bringing back your trash bin.

152 Reads

Thurs. Things. A Few of Them, Anyway.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE BOOMTOWN RATS:  "Someone's Looking At You."

THE AVALANCHES visit with World Cafe.

ARLO McKINLEY visits with World Cafe.

JULIEN BAKER shares "Hardline," the opening track from her new album.

SHAKIRA has become the latest big name artist to cash in on her catalog of hits, selling the publishing rights to the London-based music royalties investment firm Hipgnosis.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Boston's years-in-the-making comeback hit "Amanda."

MARY-KATE OLSEN and estranged husband Olivier Sarkozy have reached a settlement in their divorce.

ARMIE HAMMER  will exit his upcoming movie amid a brewing scandal involving alleged leaked messages from the star about his sex life.

BRUCE WILLIS now says not wearing a mask inside a Rite Aid this week was an error in judgment.

LORD OF THE RINGS: The Amazon series synopsis is revealed.

THE SAG AWARDS has been rescheduled to April 4, a week after the Grammy Awards moved to its previous date of March 14.

JESSICA CAMPBELL, the former actress best known for her role as Tammy Metzler in “Election” — died suddenly and unexpectedly last month.

BETTY WHITE preps for her 99th birthday.

MALCOLM & MARIE, starring John David Washington and Zendaya, has a trailer online.

THERE ARE two types of dog.

DOGS are the best.

INSIDE a kangaroo pouch.

159 Reads

Wed. Things.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



ALL SONGS CONSIDERED shares Courtney Barnett and Vagabon, Shame, Buke and Gase, and more.

ANDREW BIRD & JIMBO MATHUS share “Sweet Oblivion.”

WEYES BLOOD shares "Titanic Risen."

THE NATIONAL's Scott and Bryan Devendorf share “Brace Yourself.

MATT BERNINGER talks to American Songwriter.

HISTORY PERSONIFIED: Lenny Kaye's Life in Music.

DAN WILSON (Trip Shakespeare, Semisonic) has become the latest in a string of stars selling their song catalogs.

PSYCHOBILLY: Qu'est-ce Que C'est?

NO TIME TO DIE is bound to move from its Easter weekend release of April 2 to some time in the fall.

MORBIUS, starring Jared Leto, has been delayed to late 2021 by Sony in the US. 

BRUCE WILLIS was asked to leave a Los Angeles Rite Aid on Monday after he refused to wear a mask.

VIN DIESEL shares an exclusive new look at the highly-anticipated F9, a.k.a. Fast & Furious 9.


A STRAY DOG greets devotees outside the temple.

LOOK, LOOK, a tiny human...

THE FAST & FURIOUS: Doggo edition.

More tomorrow, probably.

151 Reads

Some Things. On a Tuesday. Let's call them Tuesday Things.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES: "Tears of a Clown." Originally released in 1967, but it didn't become a hit until 1970. Sometimes, a hit takes time.

RICHARD SWIFT: Live at SXSW, March 20, 2009.

STEVE EARLE sings two songs from his late son Justin Townes Earle on 'Kimmel.'

THE HOLD STEADY shares "Heavy Covenant."

THE BLACK CROWES share the previously unreleased "Charming Mess."


LANA DEL REY talks diversity on the cover of her new album, Wednesday's riot at the US Capitol, and shares "Chemtrails Over the Country Club."

BEACH SLANG's James Alex has been accused of emotional abuse, he's in treatment and the band is dissolved.

THE 25 BEST PUNK LPs of 2020, according to Paste.

QUEEN's Brian May launches a badger-scented perfume.

THE NUMBER ONES looks at Cyndi Lauper's warm, reassuring, softly anthemic ballad "True Colors."


ZENDAYA is profiled at GQ.

MARVEL's Kevin Feige on ‘Black Panther 2' Post Boseman, ‘Black Widow' Release, and Why Streaming Plans Won't Burn MCU At The B.O.



GERARD BUTLER: The Ordinary-Guy Action Movie Lives On.

SEAN BEAN looks back on Game of Thrones.

1971: Cinema's Annus Mirabilis.

MICHAEL APTED, a versatile director whose films were as varied as the James Bond picture “The World Is Not Enough” and the biographical dramas “Gorillas in the Mist” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” and who made his most lasting mark with the “Up” documentary series, which followed the lives of a group of British people in seven-year intervals for more than a half century, died on Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 79.


EMBRACE Animals.


NO, you can't eat a whole capybara.

282 Reads

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