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The [Monday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

1. Our very own Jim Coffman on a "neat little microcosm of why the Bears are where they are and the Vikings are where they are heading into this evening's 2009 Soldier Field finale."

2. Bikers Meet Thomas Kinkade And It Ain't Pretty.

3. "Bob Clark was an exceptionally unlucky filmmaker whose career degradation came about mostly thanks to his association with the crass hit Porky's (1981), leading to some truly embarrassing late career work, almost but not entirely erasing the genuinely eerie and cinematically innovative work he did as a horror director in the '70s, like his uniquely atmospheric Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper epic Murder by Decree (1978), and his very different Yuletide classic A Christmas Story (1983)," our very own Roderick Heath writes at Ferdy On Films.

"A favourite of Scrooges of all ages, Clark's Black Christmas is justly regarded as a seminal English-language horror film of the '70s. Released four years before Halloween, it beat that film to the punch in laying down the template for the type of genre film that would be so endlessly popular in the '80s and echo through to the likes of Scream 2 (1997) and beyond to an execrable remake."

4. Yes, but what about the city's backyards? Don't get me started . . .

5. "Mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants is increasing in Illinois even as it declines nationwide, a troubling trend for the state because emissions of the toxic metal tend to fall back to earth close to the source," the Tribune reports.

"The amount of mercury blown into the air by the state's coal plants jumped by 7 percent last year, according to a Tribune analysis of newly released federal data on industrial pollution. By contrast, mercury emissions from all U.S. power plants declined by 4 percent."

If the coal plant in Pilsen was instead located at Michigan and Randolph, it would have had a culturally transformative moment by now.

6. "This country must promote socioeconomic cultural awareness by promoting income-based affirmative action to the best public and private educational facilities," Esther Cepeda writes in the Sun-Times today. "Only then can children from all points on the income spectrum 'see how the other half lives'."

7. "Lower prices, in turn, may attract larger crowds, making up lost revenue," the Sun-Times's editorial page argues today in calling for a boycott of the Wrigley Field ice rink because of its obscenely high prices.

Funny, I repeatedly used the same argument when the Sun-Times kept raising its own price.

8. Outwitting Facebook.

9. Outwitting diners.

10. Stop, please. The continued focus on Michelle Obama's fashion choices is offensive on at least three different levels.

11. The Shady Mainstream Media Payday Of Flight 253 Hero Jasper Schuringa.

12. Cook County Wars.

13. "We had this very elaborate release plan for 'Crimson and Clover,'" Tommy James tells Songfacts.

"I had gone into the studio and done a real rough mix, it was like I said, about 5 1⁄2 hours, I just ran it. I just put the faders up and did a rough mix right off the board. No echoes, nothing. Just what we had done on the tape. It was okay, and I took it and I put it in my briefcase.

"We played Chicago the next day, and I went up to WLS, which just happened to be the greatest station in the country at that time, and John Rook was program director, and I played it for him. He says, 'Tommy, that's great.' He said, 'Play it again, will you?'

"And he played it for Larry Lujack, who was a big jock who had just come on at that moment. And unbeknownst to me, they taped it. And as I'm getting back into the car downstairs, we had WLS on. And as I'm getting into the car, I hear, 'World exclusive! Tommy James and the Shondells!' and I go, Oh my God, they're playing the rough mix. They are playing the rough mix.

"And that rough mix ended up being the record. Because I couldn't mix it. There was no way. They broke the record so fast, it exploded out of Chicago. And they broke the record so fast that I was never able to do a final mix. So the record we know as 'Crimson and Clover' was a rough 7 1/2."

14. Vic Chesnutt was one of the great songwriters of our time. A good place to start is actually not with one of his own records but with these folks' interpretations. I'm particularly fond of "Dodge."

Programming Note:
Light posting will continue this week, then back at full speed next week.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Crimson, clover.


Posted on December 28, 2009

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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