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Filtering by Category: audio

B-Boys & B-Sides: Presenting (the first quarter of) my Lucky 13th Yulemix, "Blue Wave Christmas"

Chris Klimek

 I’ve only gotten better at this.

I’ve only gotten better at this.

Have mercy! This is just getting ridiculous now. For the lucky thirteenth iteration of my Yuletunes Eclectic and Inexplicable series, I thought that instead of releasing it in two indefensibly long parts, as had been my habit since I stopped burning and printing physical CDs of this thing—a nice bauble to thrust into some unsuspecting person's hand, but expensive—I thought I would do a sort of podcast limited series of four episodes, released weekly, counting down to the Feast of Christmas. Because four is more than two—one hundred percent more, from a numerical perspective. And I believe in always giving one hundred percent, Christmaswise. 

2018-Blue-Wave-Christmas-Superman.jpg

So this is merely the first twenty-five percent, right here. And I daresay this is the most eclectic Yuletunes Eclectic entry yet. Do they know it’s Christmastime at all? Do you? Is Santa a B-Boy or a B-Man? Sure, you’ve heard Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”; that’s entry level. But have you heard the flip? These are cuts so deep they’ll give the bends, and yet so Prime that Jeff Bezos would be delivering them to you with free two-day shipping if I hadn’t already dropped ’em on ya instantaneous.

Strap in. Turn on. Light up. Get down. Because to paraphrase Ben Grimm, it’s hall-deckin’ time. Again!

Yulemixed Messages: Presenting (the first half of) My 12th Annual Christmas Mixtape, Noel Means Noel

Chris Klimek

I started making these goofy holiday-themed mixtapes in 2006, inspired by the yule-mixologist Andy Cirzan's annual appearances on the great WBEZ radio show and podcast Sound Opinions. I was honored to interview Andy for a Washington Post piece about my mixtape several years later, and to appear with him on a Minnesota Public Radio segment that I'm glad to tell you did not involve Garrison Keillor in any way. 

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Putting the "All" in All Things Considered: Can Wonder Woman find a superhero theme that sticks?

Chris Klimek

 Chris Pine plays the sidekick to Gal Gadot in  Wonder Woman.  (Warner Bros.)

Chris Pine plays the sidekick to Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman. (Warner Bros.)

Here we are in Year Ten of the Marvel Cinematic Era, and not one piece of music has emerged from any of the two dozen films based on Marvel characters (released by Marvel Studios and others) that can rival John Williams' mighty score for Superman: The Movie or even Danny Elfman's brooding Batman theme.

For years I've wondered why this is. But only two days ago did I at last get to ask someone who might know. On today's All Things Considered, I speak with Rupert Gregson-Williams, who composed the score for director Patty Jenkins' fine Wonder Woman. You might even hear a cameo by one of the most venerable heroes of the National Public Radio universe, the great Bob Mondello. Then I got the unexpected-but-welcome opportunity to re-adapt my radio script back into a prose version, allowing me to reanimate a whole bunch of my freshly-slain darlings. Lucky you!

I've posted the audio file of the piece on this page for archival purposes, but I implore you to listen to it over at NPR. I love that the audio is right there for you to stream or download right there with the web version. They're similar but not the same, a consequence of how what works on the radio doesn't always work on the page, and vice versa. Bob spent a long time drumming this lesson into my head. Like I said: lucky me. Listen and/or read, please. 

 

 

Pop Culture Happy Hour No. 298: X-Men: Apocalypse and Supervillans

Chris Klimek

On this week's Pop Culture Happy Hour, I join host Linda Holmes and regular panelist Stephen Thompson — and, I am excited to tell you, fellow guest-star Daoud Tyler-Ameen, who sounds and is smarter than any of us — to search or feelings in RE: X-Men: Apocalypse. It's Bryan Singer's fourth X-Men movie and third X-Men prequel and second trilogy capper. (For more of my feelings, please see my NPR review of the film. And for a much longer discussion of do-overs in long-lived franchises, see this essay that I published on The Dissolve last year. I believe that The Dissolve shall, like Jean Grey, rise again.)

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Hark! The Christmas Force Awakens Is Now Fully Armed and Operational

Chris Klimek

Side B of my 2015 yulemix, The Christmas Force Awakens — Yuletunes Eclectice & Inexplicable Perfect X: Final Sequence, is posted below!

I might’ve cheated a little to make Side B fit a 55-minute cassette side. There are always a few outtakes, but this one had more than a few. Cutting the mashup of The Pretenders’ “2000 Miles” and Chrissie Hynde’s controversial Morning Edition interview from two months back about her new memoir was a hard call, but the right one. The others may surface if I can summon the resolve to do this for an eleventh time.

May your days be shiny and chrome, and may the Christmas Force be with you. Merry Christmas.

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Hark! The Christmas Force Awakens is now streamable for your hall-decking merriment.

Chris Klimek

Hark! The tenth installment in my indefatigable Christmas mixtape series, entitled The Force Awakens — Yuletunes Eclectic & Inexplicable Perfect X: Final Sequence, is upon us. Side A is, anyway. Side B shall appear like the clanky ghost of Jacob Marley upon Ebeneezer Scrooge's doorstep in one week's time.

In the unlucky event your computer or personal electronic device is not equipped with a tape deck, you can stream Side A below. May the Christmas Force be with you.

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Presenting my 2014 yulemix, The Yule Analog, compiled with respect and affection for you, the listener.

Chris Klimek

Ooooooh, D'Angelo just returned from exile with a surprise album dropped online in the back half of December! Big deal; I do that every year. This one, The Yule Analog, is my first release in twelve months. Kindly react with due awe.

One thing remains as apparent as ever: I am obsessed with old shit. The Yule Analog – Vol. 9 in my apparently unkillable Yuletunes Eclectic & Inexplicable series, subtitled Cowboy Santa Claus – is imbued with the music and radio and pop culture of the 1940s through the 1970s. The last song I chose – a song I loved the first time I heard it on KCRW in 2001 and then forgot about for years until I heard John Hodgman play it at Aimee Mann's Christmas show at The Birchmere last night – is just barely from the current century. My mixtape makes a few reluctant sops to the present day, but only a few. I am The Ghost of Christmas Long, Long Past.

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