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Thingsday, despite being verrry busy.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


A QUICK DEADLINE CAME UP, but I have a few things...


THE AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR has a trailer online.

MATT LAUER was fired from the TODAY show following a claim of sexual misconduct. Lauer allegedly sexually assaulted a female NBC staffer during the Rio Olympics. More complaints followed.

GARRISON KEILLOR, fmr host of A Prairie Home Companion, was cut loose by Minnesota Public Radio after allegations of “inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.” MPR's even changing the name of the show.

ANDREW KREISBERG, showrunner for Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, has been fired by Warner Bros. Television following allegations of sexual harassment.

JOHN LASSETER:  People who had regular contact with the executive say his behavior extended well beyond uninvited kisses or a hand that would stray to the leg during staff meetings. And Disney may have known.

RIDLEY SCOTT talks about replacing Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in a matter of weeks for All The Money in the World.

MEGHAN MARKLE was written out of Suits as long as a year ago.

JENIFER LAWRENCE & DARREN ARONOFSKY split in part due to their age gap. This is my shocked face.

ADAM DRIVER would like to know about emo, which is amusing given that Kylo ren is basically Darth Emo.


...I should be back tomorrow with a full boat.

1076 Reads

It's Wednesday. So... Things, including a full Wilco concert.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



DJANGO DJANGO shared a video for “In Your Beat.

WILCO plays over two hours at the Palace Theater.

DHANI HARRISON stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

JACK JOHNSON played a mini-set at World Cafe.

CALEXICO shares "Voices In The Field."

CHARLY BLISS covers "All I Want For Christmas Is You."


CAT POWER: "New York, New York."

GRAMMY NOMINATIONS went to these folks. Congrats.

THE 50 BEST ALBUMS of 2017, according to Paste.

RICHARD HELL talked to The Creative Independent about the importance of collaboration.



PRINCE HARRY & MEGHAN MARKLE's wedding will be in May at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the palace announced on Tuesday.

MARVEL STUDIOS' Kevin Feige talks to Vanity Fair about the looming farewell to some of its founding superheroes, and the rise of a new generation.

GAL GADOT & KUMAIL NANJIANI talk to each other at Variety about their parents' expectations and name mispronunciations.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE & ADAM SANDLER talk to each other at Variety about not reading their reviews.

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS talks to W magazine about retiring from acting after his next film.

AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO (Gilmore Girls) talks to Vulture about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

ANGELA LANSBURY said women must accept some blame for sexual harassment.  Then again, she's over 90 years old.


A TIGER SHARK has taken its talents to South Beach.

A CHICKEN joyrides on a fire truck.

A DOG was rescued after chasing a cat into a 5-foot deep hole dug by a tortoise.

MALE DOLPHINS trade sponges for sex.

1064 Reads

If it's Tuesday, it must be Things, including Wayne Cochran RIP   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



WAYNE COCHRAN, the blue-eyed crooner best known for his towering white pompadour haircut, wild outfits and signature song “Last Kiss,” died in Miramar, Florida, on Nov. 21 at age 78.

BECK stopped by World Cafe for a chat and mini-set.

LUNA, Live at Brooklyn Steel, Nov. 18, 2017.

PHOEBE BRIDGERS played a Tiny Desk Concert.

BLITZEN TRAPPER covered Pink Floyd and Lady Gaga for Aquarium Drunkard.

THE HOLD STEADY shares "Entitlement Crew" and "A Snake In The Shower" in time for Twofer Tuesday.


JASON and the SCORCHERS cover "Absolutely Sweet Marie" and play "Harvest Moon" for Twofer Tuesday.

TOMMY KEENE: An appreciation at MAGNET contains Keene's list of the Top 40 Bands.

NME Created an Indie Scene Out of Thin Air in 2002 and Made It Stick.

STEELY DAN co-founder Donald Fagen is suing the estate of Walter Becker, his artistic partner for over 50 years, over a contract signed on Halloween 1972.

THURSTON MOORE, HOLLY HEARNDON & MORE talk about today's musical underground.


PRINCE HARRY & MEGHAN MARKLE confirmed their engagement, as you've probably heard.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN had two sexual assault claims filed against him yesterday alone.

HOUSE OF CARDS extended its production hiatus for another two weeks on Sunday as an investigation continues into Kevin Spacey’s alleged sexual misconduct.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE is finally taking some time off.

JAMES CAMERON talks Titanic and the impact of a sale of the Fox studio.

WALTER HILL (48 Hours, The Warriors) reflects on 50 years of filmmaking.


TOILET TERROR: Iguana Shocks Florida Woman.

A BOBCAT was struck by a car, became lodged in the grille, and survived a drive to Virginia.

A BEAR is on the loose after stealing a hapless hunter's shotgun and automatic rifle during a cabin break-in.

HILTON THE SHARK returns to Nova Scotia.

1126 Reads

Tommy Keene RIP, Wilco, Neil Young, Chris Stapleton, Frogfish   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, November 27, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


TOMMY KEENE, a veteran singer-songwriter of the new wave and power-pop eras best known for his 1984 alternative-radio hit “Places That Are Gone,” died Wednesday, according to a post on his website.  He was 59.  The Washington Post also has a nice obit, noting that he "melded the gentle melodies of early Beatles records with the hard-driving guitar rock of the Who."  Matthew Sweet, Ted Leo, and Peter Holsapple were among those paying tribute.

WILCO is advance streaming the bonus disc from the deluxe Being There.

NEIL YOUNG & THE PROMISE OF THE REAL is advance streaming The Visitor.

CHRIS STAPLETON is advance streaming From a Room: Vol. 2.

IKE & TINA TURNER: "River Deep, Mountain High," live and de-Spectorized

NME announces its albums and tracks of the year.

PRINCE: Dig if you will these previously unseen pictures.

R.E.M.'s Mike Mills talks about "Man on the Moon" as it turns 25.

JARVIS COCKER will narrate an exhibition on the legacy of Abba.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:  Coco dominated the holiday chart with 49MM, and 71MM over the five-day frame; not quite Moana numbers but fine given that this one doesn't have either the Rock or Lin-Manuel Miranda.  Justice League placed with 40.7MM (59.5MM over five days), on a 57 percent drop that is starting to look like a worst-case scenario for the studio (see below),  Wonder showed with 22.3MM (32.2MM) as the surprise hit (69.4MM against a reproeted 20MM budget) takes a very leggy 19 percent drop. Thor: Ragnarok took the fourth slot with 16.8MM (24.2MM) on a leggy 23 percent drop as the Asgardians close in on 800MM worldwide.  Daddy's Home 2 rounded out the Top Five with 13.3MM (18.7MM) on a mere 8 percent drop; this still has an outside chance of cracking 100MM, but the original made it to 150MM.  Below the fold, Murder on the Orient Express was verrry close to edging into the Top Five on a verrry leggy 6 percent drop.  BTW, no wide releases next weekend, traditionally one of the worst weekends of the year.

JUSTICE LEAGUE may lose money; not as much as some bombs, but it may be the worst corporate disaster in Hollywood.

UMA THURMAN taunted Harvey Weinstein (and others) via Instagram.

WHO WE DON'T TALK ABOUT When We Talk About Weinstein

JENNIFER LAWRENCE & DARREN ARONOFSKY have called it quits after about a year.

PRINCE HARRY & MEGHAN MARKLE engagement rumors are rampant.

EMMA WATSON and boyfriend William “Mack” Knight have split after dating for nearly two years.

JUDE LAW has been cast as the male lead opposite Brie Larson in Marvel's Captain Marvel.

JURASSIC WORLD director Colin Trevorrow tweeted some sequel footage.

TOM BAKER briefly returns to Doctor Who.

EDGAR WRIGHT (Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver) shares the soundtrack of his life.

FROGFISH are concentrated lumps of oddity waddling around the ocean floor, flipping their lures and gulping up prey.

FIONA THE HIPPO is profiled by The New York Times.

GETTING A DOG may prevent heart attacks.

WILD TURKEYS besiege a Bay Area neighborhood.

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Faves 2017 (and David Cassidy, RIP)   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND STARTS HERE... with FAVES 2017!  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.

THE REPLACEMENTS:  Why would I start this list with For Sale: Live at Maxwell's 1986, aside from my enduring love of the band?  Is it a nostalgic impulse, a escape from the fierce urgency of now? This year's list probably features more familiar names than usual, the consistent and steady in turbulent times.  But it's also because I'd still take last year's Drive-By Truckers LP, American Band, over most of this year's tide of topical tuneage (there are exceptions, as you'll see).  And here, it's mostly that this is a terrific set of songs from a favorite band that was notoriously erratic onstage. It's a worthy memoir of what this band could be, when the mood struck them. (I also like the fact that it's recorded at the now-defunct Maxwell's.  I never saw a show there, but Friends of Pate know that everyone's fave record store manager was from Hoboken and introduced everyone to the "college rock" universe for which Maxwell's was a touchstone.  The Feelies are on this year's list and were a part of that scene, as were Yo La Tengo, the dB's, the Bongos, Glenn Morrow's many bands, etc.  So it's kinda nice that one of top bands of that era's Mpls scene obliquely pays tribute to Jersey here.  Hoboken, no jokin'!)

THE MAGNETIC FIELDS:  If you're Stephin Merritt and you've been successful with something as ambitious as 69 Love Songs, it's almost more audacious to produce a project like 50 Song Memoir, in which songs represent years.  And Merritt largely pulling it off with his signature style and wit again is all the more impressive.  A tour de force of wry and melodic storytelling.

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS:  To know me is to know Soul of a Woman was almost certain to turn up here despite having been released only last week.  But even if it were not my last chance to lavish praise on the late and fabulous Ms. Jones, I would still be writing that this may be my favorite from the band in years, even years before the Christmas LP and the documentary soundtrack.  Jones and the band reach a new level by more completely integrating their vintage soul and R & B influences -- Stax, Motown, etc.-- into a whole that rarely sounds completely like any of them.  They make it sound effortless, though we know it almost certainly was the opposite.  The production is also lovely, often putting me in mind of one of my all-time faves, Dusty in Memphis.  An album as long on grace as it is on soul.(Also in my vintage soul faves are Curtis Harding with Face Your Fear and Mavis Staples with If All I Was Was Black.)

FATHER JOHN MISTY:  Pure Comedy is a title clearly meant in the manner of Watchmen's Comedian declaring "It's a joke... it's all a joke," but meaning the opposite.  Musically, J. Tillman retains the orchestrated, early Elton John feel he brought to I Love You, Honeybear, but lyrically he moves from the personal to the sociological, casting a gimlet eye upon a dystopia marked by infotainment, social media and personal branding.  I prefer the personal, but as big as a jerk as Tillman can be, I admire his his authenticity.  Of course, if he was an employer, his willingness to offend would be no excuse, but it works within the context of an album.  (And if you have not acquired a taste for Misty, his former band,  Fleet Foxes, delivered a lovely album this year, Crack-Up, which puts some of the power of their live performances behind their tight, yet ethereal harmonies. Though I once saw a great FF show in summertime, the LPs always strike me as well-suited to the colder half of the year as cozy, cocooning music.)

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS:  I suppose if you already did a concept album about pro wrestling last year, following up with another concept album about Goths makes a certain amount of sense.  Given the subject, I suppose it's worth noting that the largely piano-driven tracks here (with horns, yet) strike me more as groovy than goth.  And if I'm feeling a bit nostalgic this year, so is John Darnielle, lyrically speaking.

SPOON: It's a very strange comment on the way that the internet has atomized a formerly mass culture that Spoon is a Top Ten artist, but there it is and I'm certainly not complaining about it in this case.  I tend to judge Spoon albums by how well they do that sparse, funky thing Sppon does and they they do it really well on Hot Thoughts.  There are a couple of tracks that represent that core sound, more that are a little looser while still being funky, and and afew where their sound lends itself well to dabbling in the sort of EDM thing the kids dig these days. Even when they're flirting with elements of EDW or disco, they'll throw in a vibraphone, or toss an electric piano on top of an acoustic one, because that's what Spoon does.  Only the jazzy saxes on the closer fail to move me; the rest is delightful.

THE FEELIES: The cover art for In Between seems to overtly echo The Good Earth, still my favorite from this seminal cult band of the late 70s and 80s.  There's also much on this album that echoes it musically, though some of Glenn Mercer's lead guitar squalls are more reminiscent of Time for a Witness.  All very solidly in the wheelhouse of a band whose musical poles are the Velvet Underground and Neil Young and fueled by their signature crazy rhythms.  All quite welcome to hear again.

THE NATIONAL: A common take on Sleep Well Beast is to salute it for evolving into a new groove, not unlike the turn Wilco made with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. And yet I have always thought of The National as a band unafraid to experiment and evolve, because that's pretty much what they did before Boxer.  Nevertheless, I suppose it would be tempting to stay in the general space they've occupied since and should get some points for not doing that. I prefer to give them points for the quality of the songwriting here, for a personal approach ringing so true that Matt Berninger had to assure people his marriage wasn't in imminent danger.  For those who want to read larger meanings into this collection, I also credit it with perhaps refelcting the mood of the times without commenting on them directly.

RAY DAVIES:  The legendary songwriter and frontman for The Kinks -- who defined that band by its Britishness and its devotion to observational and theatrical storytelling  -- returns with Americana, a more autobiographical work focused on the States. Muswell Hillbillies notwithstanding, it might be simultaneously the most and least Ray Davies thing ever. Of course, that he frequently enlists the Jayhawks for musical backing here gives the album bonus points in my book.

WOLF ALICE:  Visions of a Life avoids the sophomore slump, a stylistically diverse treat.  Some might be put off by its genre-hopping, the sometimes uneasy way thrashing punk sits next to softer indie pop.  But I started this list with the Replacements, so that would be an odd criticism from these quarters.

FOXYGEN:  Hang is another in that genre of orchestrated rock.  But this one makes the list because it is -- as any number of reviewers observed -- grandiose.  Of course, it's also very melodic, but I will carry the flag for grandiose when it's also as purposeful as this album is (and its much shorter than its predecessor).  Hang is a mixmaster, with Van Morrison, ABBA. the jauntiness of a British music hall,Todd Rundgren, the Rolling Stones (Jagger anyway), Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, and a seeming legion of other musical refernces all becoming grist for the mill.  The band gets valuable assistance from The Lemon Twigs (one of last years faves) and Flaming Lips multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd in executing on these dizzying arrangements.

LANA DEL REY:  I'm not going to write anything about Del Rey, Lust For Life and 2017 that Katherine Miller of BuzzFeed News didn't already write better.  So you should read her essay; I'll be here when you're done.

ARIEL PINK:  Dedicated to Bobby Jameson does not seem particularly influenced by the obscure pop singer-turned-blogger.  Indeed, it seems very much like the distinctive blend of psych and prog pop filtered through 80s synths for which Ariel Pink is best known.  The songwriting and execution here may be his best since Before Today.

MARK LANEGAN BAND: He's had many incarnations and my fave Lanegan remains his work with Isobel Campbell.  But Gargoyle finds Lanegan and his band mining a sound that would have found a home on Factory Records with bands like New Order back in the day.  Lanegan's voice sometimes seems a bit out of place in this genre, like a bouncer at the dance club, but overall it struck me as a fresh-sounding album in a stultifying year.

FILTHY FRIENDS:  The thing about friends is that you meet their kids or their parents and you get the fun thing of noticing the way the offspring borrow from the gene pool in some obvious ways and yet have some features that are unexpected.  Such is the case with Invitation, the debut LP from a "supergroup" centered around R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker.  You can hear elements of both of those bands intertwined here, occasionally sounding like one or the other, but then suddenly reminding you of Television or Patti Smith.  In this way, it's both confortable, but just fresh enough to keep things stimulating, whiich is what you usually want out of your friends.

THE WAR ON DRUGS: A bunch of reviewers describe A Deeper Understanding as influenced by mid-80s Springsteen and Petty, and I suppose that's true enough, although this album is less pop and more contemplative than most of its influences.  Having lived through that period, it strikes me as very meta.  TWoD is considered classicist for drawing on second generation rockers / first generation classicists, at some of their less classicist moments?  Fortunately, the subtlety, maturity and cohesiveness of the tracks are such that I never get the audio version of the "uncanny valley" phenomenon.

SHEER MAG: Technically, Need to Feel Your Love shouldn't be on my faves list.  I so wanted it to be when I first heard about this band that promised a fusion of 70s swagger and Punk energy.  As a Friend of Pate, how could that not intrigue me?  Personally, I like the riffs, but find Tina Halladay's rougher vocals don't really mesh with them successfully enough of the time.  Perhaps ironically, her more conventional rock stylings on the "softer numbers" like "Suffer Me" and "Pure Desire" are a better match. All of that said, I decided to blurb it to remind Friends of Pate that they may want to listen and judge for themselves.

NEW PR0NOGRAPHERS:  I really can't call Whiteout Conditions a return to form, given that I'm a fan of the band's entire catalog.  I can say that I like it significantly more than Together, and more than Brill Bruisers.  Not surprising, given my love for power pop, as this album has more of that pop energy than its two most recent predecessors.

DESTROYER:  Dan Bejar skipped participating in the New Pron LP just mentioned, explaining he didn't think he had any material that would fit.  His latest, ken, would seem to bear that out.  Yet this album also finds its way onto my faves.  Bejar goes a little more electronic here than I might normally like, but he's also still channeling the softer 70s references that marked Kaputt and Poison Season.  As a result, the electronics tend to give me a vibe in the ballpark of late 70s Bowie or Scott Walker, with a whiff of New Order, if New Order were fronted by Lou Reed.  Which is a solid vibe.

BLONDIE: Sure, Pollinator is one of those projects where an old band gets help from the younger generation of musicians that loved them. And yes, the result is largely derivative of Blondie's salad days on the charts.  But it's a lot of fun.  If you like Blondie, why wouldn't you want another fun Blondie album, even if what they're doing isn't particulary innovative anymore?

THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN:  The Reid brothers returned with Damage and Joy, an album that fits very comfortably withing the JAMC universe without sounding exactly like any of their prior efforts.  One of their less savage albums, but maybe one of their snottier ones.  Rock 'n' Roll can always use snotty.  Besides, someone who loves guitar rock as much as I do can't sit around listening to the sedate, orchestrated stuff all year.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:  Mount Eerie, Paul Weller, LCD Soundsystem, The xx, Robyn Hitchcock, The Sadies, Thundercat, Elbow, and Japandroids are just a few of the others who did fine work but miss my list for reasons ranging from genre to laziness.

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.

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

TURKEYS pardoned in 2015 are living their best lives.

DAVID CASSIDY, the musician, actor and Partridge Family teen idol, died Tuesday at 67, following hospitalization for liver and kidney failure.  I won't make you click through for "I Think I Love You."

GWYNETH PALTROW is engaged to Brad Falchuk after more than three years of dating.

JOHN LASSETER, the prime force behind Pixar and head of Walt Disney Animation, is on a six-month leave  after acknowledging "painful" conversations and unspecified "missteps," he wrote in a memo to staff on Tuesday. He was the subject of a women's whispering network for decades.  However, Rashida Jones has denied the report she left Toy Story 4 as a writer, along with writing partner Will McCormack, over an unwanted advance from Lasseter.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include Coco, which is currently scoring 96 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and Roman J. Israel, Esq., expanding wide at 58 percent.

1397 Reads

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