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by Rafer Guzmán / Newsday (MCT)

1 Dec 2009


The busy holiday season is here, which means you have shopping to do, dinners to prepare and in-laws to avoid. Somewhere in there, the studios hope, you’ll find time to see a movie.

Which to choose?

Fox is hoping it will be “Avatar” (opening Dec. 18), the sci-fi adventure from James Cameron with a reportedly humongous budget of $500 million. It’s already the most-talked-about film of the year, though whether it will connect with audiences remains to be seen. Its star, Sam Worthington, is a relative unknown, and its reliance on computer-animated actors could be a liability rather than a draw — just ask Robert Zemeckis, who replaced humans with pixels in “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” and “Beowulf,” both box-office disappointments.

That means there’s room for competition. Also on Dec. 18 comes “Nine,” a musical from director Rob Marshall (of the Oscar-winning “Chicago”) with an A-list cast that includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz. On Christmas, Warner Bros. will unleash “Sherlock Holmes” with Robert Downey Jr. sexing up the fusty fictional sleuth. And Fox will go up against itself Dec. 23 by releasing “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel” five days after “Avatar.”

For more serious-minded filmgoers, the studios are also rolling out several movies based on novels, including Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalypse drama “The Road,” Walter Kirn’s semicomedic “Up in the Air” (Dec. 4) and Alice Sebold’s thriller “The Lovely Bones” (Dec. 11). Even long-dead writers Christopher Isherwood and Tennessee Williams have new movies coming out.

In case you find a few spare hours this season, here’s a list of major movies to choose from through January.

by Tyler Gould

30 Nov 2009


Spoon
Transference
(Merge)
Releasing: 19 January

Spoon follows last year’s beloved Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga with Transference. Check out a video teaser and two early live versions of a couple tracks below. “Written in Reverse” will be the first single, coming out digitally tomorrow.

SONG LIST
01 Before Destruction
02 Is Love Forever?
03 The Mystery Zone
04 Who Makes Your Money
05 Written In Reverse
06 I Saw The Light
07 Trouble Comes Running
08 Goodnight Laura
09 Out Go The Lights
10 Got Nuffin
11 Nobody Gets Me But You

Is Love Forever? (Live) [MP3]
     

Written in Reverse (Live) [MP3]
     

by Tyler Gould

30 Nov 2009


Ted Leo and the Pharmacists dispel rumors that Sully Sullenberger is the Highlander with “Even Heroes Have to Die” from their upcoming album, The Brutalist Bricks, which we’ll get a look at in March of the new year. This song and “One Polaroid a Day” are enough to get you in a Ted Leo mood, all digging up his back catalog and throwing it on repeat all day.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Even Heroes Have to Die [MP3]
     

by Andrew Martin

30 Nov 2009


1. Jay-Z - “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)”

by Allison Taich

30 Nov 2009


Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh joined forces with John Kadlecik (Dark Star Orchestra), Joe Russo (Benevento/Russo Duo), Jay Lane (RatDog), and Jeff Chimenti (RatDog, The Dead) to create the next chapter in Grateful Dead history. The band unleashed their craft at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California this past September. After much hype and anticipation the band is finally hitting the road, playing limited cities across the U.S. Stream some music over at their site, and check out the tour dates after the jump.

 

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