From the desk of Il Capo:
Pardon the potentially mawkish tone of this.
So, every year I do the Letters to Santa charity thru the Sun-Times. I get a few letters from kids asking for Bratz dolls, barbies, trucks, cars, Hot Wheels and the like. I make a harrowing run to Toys R Us or wherever, wrap them up, and send them away.
Two years ago I got a letter from a girl who asked for a warm hat. She was SIX and was asking for A HAT. A toy or a stuffed animal didn't even make her radar. Since then the few letters I do hasn't seemed like enough. Even in these tough times, most of us are doing pretty ok comparatively. I find it unconscionable that any kid in this country, a country of so much, should be wanting for something so basic as a stuffed animal at this time of year (or any time, really).
Thus, I'm reaching out to you all, our friends and fans in Chicago, to perhaps spend this weekend going thru back closets, or overloaded toy boxes and shelves for gently used stuffed animals or books. Hell, even I have a few too many toys and stuffed animals.
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Graham Parker ignites the stage with mighty backup from The Figgs in this rip-roaring show celebrating the release of his 20th album. Join an enthusiastic audience as Parker and company tear through 21 songs including “Life Gets Better,” “Mercury Poisoning,” and “My Love’s Strong,” all in spectacular 5.1 audio!
Two-Disc PACKAGE INCLUDES THE DVD as well as CD of the show!!
In addition to the full concert, you also get a fascinating career-spanning interview with Parker about his life and music, unavailable anywhere else! Featuring all of Graham Parker’s trademark musical virtuosity, unforgettable hooks, and dazzling wit, this essential performance captured on April 23, 2010, in Fairfield, Connecticut at FTC’s StageOne is a major music event you can’t afford to miss!
Full Color; 100 minutes of rock and roll fun.
Released by Image Entertainment
Yes, it's that time of year. You're all running out the clocks at work, waiting for the few precious days off that the holidays bring. Or, you are so sick of those damn dogs barking "Jingle Bells" or hearing "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" that you wonder what's it all about?
Thus, we thought we'd answer the burning questions you have regarding what do those folks at Bloodshot love/hate about Christmas music? Hopefully it'll add some levity and/or insight to your day, and pass a few more minutes until the boss lets you go home for the day...Read full piece
It's starting to be that time of year when pointy-headed scribes pull together their faves.
#15 on Paste Magazine's Best of 2010
#7 Top 10 Country Albums of 2010 on Amazon
#40 Top 100 Songs of 2010 on Amazon for "One More Night in Brooklyn"
Set your TiVos or VCRs or whatever it is you use to record programming on the TV so's you can catch the WACO BROTHERS on WGN at 12:55pm Central time.
Those of you in Chicago can see it on Channel 9, and the rest of you can find the mighty WGN on cable. It's a superstation, they tell me.
Also, there's the annual Waco holiday two-fer at Schubas this weekend, Saturday and Sunday.
He took some time from his busy schedule foisting merriment upon the masses to talk to the Onion AV Club about good cheap wines for the holidays, over priced champagne and tries to cement the term "breakfast wine" as a legitimate category.
Read it HERE
A few weeks ago we put out the word that we were gathering stuffed animals and children's books for some local charities.
We're happy to say that over 200 stuffies and almost 300 books were donated.
The recipients were Inner Voice, an organization that does outreach to homeless families, the Chicago Sun-Times Season of Sharing fund (letters to Santa) and Nicholson Technology Academy. NTA is pre-school thru 8th grade school in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Our friend Katie Tuten of the Hideout works with them and took enough stuffed animals so that EVERY child in the program will be getting one this Christmas. Here's how she described the drop off:
"They LOVED the stuffed animals. The 8th graders wrapped all the animals for the pre school kids and in that short period of time the 8th graders became very attached to those stuffed animals. Of course the teacher made it a lesson in 'how to properly wrap a gift.' The 8th graders were hugging and playing with the animals before they wrapped them—it was all very sweet."
So thanks to all of you who found some time to help us bring a bit of holiday joy.
In this time of joy and fellowship, the blog Muzzle of Bees asked our resident lo-fi seemingly always bummed Ben Weaver about his favorite sad songs in a recurring feature of theirs called Sad Songs and Waltzes. Check out his thoughts on the Replacements, Randy Newman, Townes Van Zandt and more HERE
Keeping up with the Kardashians? Psssshhhffft. The hottest thing in TV these days are Bloodshot bands! Just check out some of what's turning up Bloodshot on the boob tube:
In the December 27 episode of the History Channel show, "American Pickers," Antique Archaeology's office manager Danielle is seen wearing a Whitey Morgan and The 78s t-shirt!
And how cool is this? Anthony Bourdain went down to the Ozarks to film an episode of his show, "No Reservations," and Ha Ha Tonka was a featured guest! The boys cooked with and played for Tony on this episode, which is due to air in March 2011. We'll, of course, remind you to set yr DVRs. :)
And finally, we just got word that Justin Townes Earle will be the musical guest on Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday, January 5! Check back here for the clip (if available)!