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Now in our fifth calendar year!

PCR #248. (Vol. 5, No. 52) This edition is for the week of December 20--26, 2004.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! Many safe and happy holiday greetings to everyone. Shall we begin?

Will and Karen's Cabbage Key and Key West Kraziness, Part One
 by William Moriaty
"The Phantom of the Opera"
 by Mike Smith
"The Aviator"  by Drew Reiber
Life After The Fall...."Love Shack" Burns....Holidays Under Attack...."Mandatory Guidelines" for the Week
 by Andy Lalino
The Couch Potato, 2004 Year-End Issue
 by Vinnie Blesi
Concert Review: GUIDED BY VOICES
 by Terence Nuzum
'Tis The Season
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Uma - Ulla....Rock and Roll Notes....Number One - 8 Months Early....Holiday Thoughts....Meet The Beatles, Part 48
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2004
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Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
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UMA - - - ULLA
Uma Thurman has been signed on to replace Nicole Kidman in the film version of the Mel Brooks' Broadway musical, "The Producers." Kidman, who was to play the beautiful Swedish secretary Ulla, had to drop out as she could not find the time to rehearse the necessary choreography.

I apologize for not covering last week the fatal shooting of guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and three others by a "fan." Abbott, former leader of the band Pantera, was on stage with his new band, Damageplan, when he was shot in the forehead at point blank range by a former Marine, Nathan Gale. Gale had been observed hanging outside of the Columbus, Ohio club where the band was playing. As Damageplan took the stage, he rushed into the club, climbed on stage and shot Abbot. He then began firing into the crowd, killing three others. Though not confirmed, it is thought that Gale blamed Abbot for the breakup of Pantera. Jesus! What is it with these fucking fans? Sadly, the shooting took place on December 8, the 24th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon by one of his "fans."

Former Free and Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers will be the front man this summer when Queen begins it's first tour since the death of Freddy Mercury. The idea was proposed by Queen guitarist Brian May after he backed Rodgers on "All Right Now" at the 50th Anniversary party for Fender guitars. May states that he and Rodgers found chemistry during the performance and later discussed the plans to tour. Both Queen classics and Rodgers hits will be featured. The show will begin in April 2005 in the UK and Europe, with a possible US leg added later.

B-52 band member Kate Pierson has assured fans that the cabin that burned down this past week in Athens, GA was not THE "Love Shack" featured in the group's hit 1990 song. Pierson stated that "The song "Love Shack" is not based upon a specific place but rather a series of down-home, throw-down disco juke joints that you would find in the rural South. It's a place where you can let your hair down - or put a wig on - and just be yourself." That said, the cabin was the place that "Private Idaho" and other early songs were written in.

Though it won't even be released until July 16 of next year, the number one book, by sales, in the country is "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." It has set a record of presale orders on Amazon.com less then a week after the final manuscript was turned in to the publisher.

Well, as the year comes to an end most of the world is embraced in the spirit of the holidays. Whether it's Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa or something else, this time of the season gives us all a chance to reflect on our lives and, if possible, be a little nicer to everyone. I sincerely wish all of the members of the PCR family, readers and writers alike, the best of wishes and a prayer for a safe and happy holiday! And please pray for Matt to get that damn Famous Monsters #3 he's been whining for since 1976!

December 24, 1960 - Playing their first public concert after returning from Hamburg, Germany the band shares the bill with Derry and the Seniors at the Grosvenor Ballroom. As Stuart Sutcliffe decided to fall in love and stay in Germany, bassist Chas Newby fills in. He will play bass until the New Years Eve show at the Casbah. When the New Year begins, Paul McCartney buys his trademark Hoffner violin bass and takes over.

Well, all for now. Next week, my top and bottom 10 films of the year, my favorite movie lines and I make everyone else weepy with my annual thank you list. Until then, have a very Merry Christmas. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.