Friday, November 16, 2012

Teaser for new Doctor Who Christmas special: The Snowmen

Pop culture roundup: Flaming Lips cover King Crimson; Paul McCartney works with Adele producer; Peter Blake's Sgt. Pepper collage sells at auction; the other Abbey Road

The Flaming Lips are following up their song-by-song cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon LP with a take on King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King.
The release comes as the Oklahoma psych-rockers put the finishing touches to The Terror, their 15th studio LP. As with their Pink Floyd covers album, Wayne Coyne and co gathered a group of like-minded collaborators – in this case New Fumes, Linear Downfall, Spaceface, and Stardeath and White Dwarfs, who are led by Lips singer Wayne Coyne's nephew, Dennis Coyne. The Flaming Lips only directly contributed to one song.

Paul McCartney is reportedly recording a new LP, with sessions produced by Adele producer Paul Epworth.


A collage by pop artist Peter Blake used to create the cut-out inserts included in the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album has sold at auction for £55,250.


More Beatles: Apparently a new East London railway transportation is causing some confusion amongst Beatles fans aiming to make a pilgrimage to the famed crosswalk where the Beatles shot the cover for their final LP.
One fan, asked what he would say if he knew he was an hour-and-a-half away from the site the Beatles made famous, said, "I would wonder why they named the station Abbey Road. Pretty crazy."

Instead of the tree-lined avenues and mansions in one of the most expensive parts of London, visitors are met with a train depot, industrial parks, and run-down neighborhoods.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Marvel Comics February 2013 solicitations

Highlights from Marvel's February 2013 offerings.

Cover by GIL KANE
The adventures of inventor and Avenger Tony Stark take a turn for the extraordinary as his ESP-empowered fiancée, Marianne Rodgers, is tormented by visions of Iron Man’s death. Joined by the Guardsman, Iron Man faces a host of enemies as each hero’s abilities are pushed to their limits — with tragic consequences. As if that wasn’t drama enough, the Board of Directors vies to force Tony from his own company; protesters riot at the gates; and Firebrand, the Super-Adaptoid and the Cyborg-Sinister strive to make Iron Man’s death a reality. Also featuring Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith’s stunning retelling of Iron Man’s origin, this volume is a Masterworks must for every Iron Man fan. Collecting IRON MAN (1968) #39-53.

Look out! Captain Marvel, the space-born super hero, is coming at you with scintillating super-hero sci-fi adventures! Branded a traitor by the vicious Colonel Yon-Rogg for defending the people of Earth, Kree Captain Mar-Vell assumes the human identity of Walter Lawson and becomes our planet’s protector against an awesome array of interstellar enemies. The massive Sentry #459, the savage Super-Skrull, Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner and Quasimodo the Living Computer all wage war against Captain Marvel here in his first adventures. Of course there’s plenty of drama, too, with the lovely Medic Una and Carol Danvers each catching the Kree Captain’s eye. Crafted by top talents of the Marvel Age, this one’s certifiably out of this world! Collecting MARVEL SUPER-HEROES (1967) #12-13 and CAPTAIN MARVEL (1968) #1-9.

Captain Marvel goes truly cosmic as Jim Starlin takes the reins! Mar-Vell takes on the Super-Skrull, the Thing, the Controller and a horde of his own insecurities — but it’s all orchestrated by the mad Titan Thanos! To stop Thanos’ plan to become a god, Mar-Vell will need to gain cosmic awareness — and team with the mighty Avengers! Then, it’s an explosive clash with Nitro that will have far-reaching consequences, a trip to the moon to attend the Watcher’s trial and battle the Kree Lunatic Legion! Plus: When Drax attacks, Mar-Vell will have to use all his power to survive! And it all leads to a final showdown with Ronan the Accuser and the Kree Supreme Intelligence! Collecting CAPTAIN MARVEL (1968) #22-35 and #37-46, IRON MAN (1968) #55, and MARVEL FEATURE #12.

Watch new BBC documentary on Squeeze

Coming up: Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (Unrated Edition)

Out Feb. 19, 2013.

An all-new chapter in the Battlestar Galactica saga, Blood & Chrome takes place in the midst of the first Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, the sentient robotic Cylons, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, a young, talented fighter pilot, William Adama (Luke Pasqualino, The Borgias), finds himself assigned to one of the most powerful battlestars in the Colonial fleet: the Galactica. Though Adama quickly finds himself at odds with his co-pilot, the battle-weary officer Coker (Ben Cotton, Alcatraz), the two men must set their differences aside when a routine escort mission with an enigmatic passenger (Lili Bordán, Silent Witness) turns dangerous and becomes a pivotal one for the desperate fleet.

The DVD features a special Unrated version of the film and bonus features including deleted scenes and the featurette “Blood & Chrome: Visual Effects,” where you can discover how the ground-breaking use of visual effects brought the world of Battlestar Galactica to life like you’ve never seen before!

Coming up: Days That I'll Remember: Spending Time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

Out Feb. 12, 2013

Jonathan Cott met John Lennon in 1968 and was friends with him and 
Yoko Ono until John's death in 1980. He has kept in touch with Yoko 
since that time, and is one of the small group of writers who 
understands her profoundly positive influence on Lennon. This deeply 
personal book recounts the course of those friendships over the decades
 and provides an intimate look at two of the most astonishing cultural 
figures of our time. And what Jonathan Cott has to say and tell will be
 found nowhere else.

Beatles' sanction documentary focusing on touring years

The Beatles' Apple Corps. is cooperating in a planned documentary focusing on the band's touring years from 1963 to 1966 and has put out a call for fan footage, recollections and memorabilia from the era.

An official site for the Beatles Live Project is online here.

The Beatles Live! Project is a collaborative global quest to find and reveal hidden films, sound recordings, stories, photographs, and other media artifacts that were captured during The Beatles' concert tours. The best media and stories that we find will be showcased in a planned feature film about The Beatles’ concert tours. This project provides a one-time opportunity for the fans to collaborate with The Beatles in a planned feature film.

This is a project of OVOW Productions Inc., a feature film production company working with the support of The Beatles’ company Apple Corps Ltd. OVOW Productions has assembled a global team of archivists, collectors, information specialists, artists, social media strategists, amateur media groups, The Beatles fan clubs, writers, academics, and film restoration experts to support the activities in the field. The research will be active through December of 2012.

New poster for Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins, Scarlett Johansson, Helen Mirren,

Video find: Frank Sinatra and group of kids sing "High Hopes"

BBC Radio this week - Rolling Stones; James Bond; Doctor Who; Goon Show; Journey to the Center of the Earth - stream to listen!

Click the links to stream the following shows.

Rolling Stones on the BBC. Classic performances and interviews.

From Station to Stadium: The Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood discuss their history on the road, from early days in the pubs and clubs of London to the stadium shows of the present day.

Bond Songs are Forever. Before Adele's latest theme to Skyfall, the 22 songs have received more than 80 million plays in the UK, so it's no wonder they become standards.

The Seven Wonders of Bond. To mark the 50th anniversary of Britain's greatest movie export, Chris Evans celebrates the seven wonders that have helped James Bond become one of the most popular movie franchises of all time.

 Doctor Who: The Whispering Forest. The Time Lord, Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa run into a group of hygiene-obsessed settlers.

The Goon Show: The Sahara Desert Statue. What is Eccles doing with a cement sack and an imaginary piano?

Jules Verne: Journey to the Center of the Earth. Ancient runes spark a geologist's exploration of an impossible realm. Jules Verne's adventure stars Nathaniel Parker.

Rare James Bond: You Only Live Twice pictures

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Beatles Magical Mystery tour and documentary to air on PBS

PBS will air the recent BBC making-of documentary about the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" film, plus the film itself on Dec. 14 as part of its "Great Performances" series. The film was released in remastered form on DVD last month.

From the press release:
The documentary chronicles the behind-the-scenes story of the making of the film and provides context for “the summer of love” era that set the scene for its production. This greatest Beatles story never told is packed with unseen footage and features contributions from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Martin Scorsese, Peter Fonda and Terry Gilliam, among others.


Rare James Bond: Thunderball pictures

Pop stuff: What I'm reading, watching, hearing, etc.

James Bond: Skyfall. My son and I had a chance to see this (in Big-D!) last weekend and it was a blast! Not as grim as Daniel Craig's first Bond outing, not as silly as those of Roger Moore, this serves up everything in the proper  proportions: Action, humor, suspense and -- still something a bit new for Bond -- deeply felt emotion. More than any Bond film, we get under OO7's skin as he copes with problems he can't simply shoot away (although, he can still dispatch with many of his challenges that way). We also get a better sense of what makes him tick.

Along the way we get a wild opening chase sequence that I won't ruin by trying to describe, other to say it's hilarious, jaw-dropping and goes on and on (in a good way); a new Moneypenny; great performances by Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney; and a delightfully creepy villain played by Javier Bardem, who seems to adopt a new, weird hairdo in every film he's in these days.

Everyone likes to list his or her favorite James Bond actors. On my list, I'd put Sean Connery first, followed closely by Craig. He's great in this role and has many of the same characteristics that made Connery so attractive: He's funny, charming, tough and lethal.

"Skyfall" is also among the better Bond films I've seen. It's certainly one of the best post-Connery entries in the series.

Seeing as how this is 007's 50th year on screen, it was also nice to see a few tributes to the old films in this new one. I won't spoil those, either.


Russ Cochran's Sunday Funnies. I'm sure you can all  relate: What with being a husband and dad and having a full-time job and other projects on my plate, it sometimes takes a while to get around to reading some of the great stuff that piles up around here. But lately, I've had a chance to dive into these bundled treasures of vintage Sunday comics compiled by famed comics historian and collector Russ Cochran.

This is great stuff that really gives one a sense of what it must've been like to be a kid in the 30s and 40s, when the Sunday newspaper delivered beautifully illustrated adventures and humor in the form of Tarzan, Frank Goodwin's Connie, Buck Rogers, Alley Oop, Frank King's Gasoline Alley and more.

Drawing on the legendary Bill Blackbeard archives and other sources of vintage comics, Cochran has printed well-chosen selections from these strips and more in a huge broadsheet format. If you sit in a chair and open up these pages, you'll disappear behind them. And that's what's so cool, you really get enveloped in the strips and can appreciate, say Hal Foster's Tarzan art, up close as never before.

Each "issue" of the Sunday Funnies includes three broadsheet sections bundled in plastic. The paper is durable and the art and colors are nice and clear, yet shot from original newspapers. I have two issues, not sure if the third is out, yet, and I've purchased them online via my comics retailer.  But you can order directly from Russ here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Coming up: Steve Canyon Volume 3: 1951-1952

Out March 12, 2013

336 pages.

Coming up: Fall Guy For Murder And Other Stories by Johnny Craig

Out April 20, 2013: The first collection to ever showcase the chronological run of Johnny Craig’s crisp, elegantly drawn Crime SuspenStories adds noir to the EC Comics library.

Surrounded by the ornate, retro, proto-splatter horror graphics of Jack Davis and Graham Ingels and the slick, futuristic sci-fi stylings of Wally Wood and Al Williamson, EC Comics superstar Johnny Craig stood out with his elegant, crisp, contemporary graphic style. And nowhere did this style work more beautifully than in the dozens of superb crime comics he wrote and drew for EC, mostly in Crime SuspenStories (for which he handled the cover and lead-story duties for most of its run).

Featuring escaped convicts, murderous husbands and wives, blackmailing maids, scheming nurses, executioners, time bombs, private dicks, and the occasional hatchet killer, the 22 stories in this book—all written and drawn by Craig—comprise a perfect encapsulation of the very best kind of noir writing, stunningly executed (in more than one sense of the word!) by one of the great cartoonists of his (or any) era. And all in eight pages per story! Fall Guy For Murder and other Stories is the first collection to showcase the chronological run of Craig’s Crime SuspenStories tales in one criminally convenient package, supplemented with several fascinating essays and informative historical notes on the stories.

BBC specials highlight Kinks and Stones radio appearances

The BBC is presenting some of its vintage recordings of pop groups performing, and being interviewed, live in the studio. Click the links to listen. The Kinks show is available now, but will vanish in a couple of days. The Stones show isn't up yet, last I checked.

Kinks on the BBC.

Rolling Stones on the BBC.

And now a word from Captain Marvel

Rare James Bond: From Russia with Love pictures

New comics 11/14/12: Classic Iron Man figure; Crime Does Not Pay Archives 3; Savage Sword of Conan 12; Fantastic Four Masterworks 14; Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking; Fantagraphics Mickey Mouse; Donald Duck Christmas for Shacktown

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

Dark Horse Deluxe Classic Marvel Characters Statue #3: Iron Man

Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 3

The Savage Sword of Conan Volume 12

Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four - Volume 14

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: Vols. 3 & 4 Collector's Box Set (Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse)

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 4: "House Of The Seven Haunts!" (Vol. 4)  (Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck Vol. 2: "A Christmas For Shacktown" (Vol. 2)  (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library)