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TV

The Year In TV: November 2010

Continuing our look at the year’s most notable television events, here’s what happened in November 2010.

TV schedules were packed with holiday specials as newsworthy events happened behind-the-scenes.

Months after NBC canceled The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien O’Brien returned to late night television with his new TBS show, Conan.

 

New York’s annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was officially broadcasted on NBC for the 55th year. CBS also aired parts of the event, which included appearances by Arlo Guthrie, Gladys Knight, Kanye West, the cast of Elf, Sesame Street characters, and a brand new Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon.

 

NBC would air the Taylor Swift: Speak Now special against ABC’s I Am… World Tour Beyonce concert special later on that night, but a rerun of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving beat both of them in the ratings.

 

The major networks began airing their annual Christmas specials, with CBS’ Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, ABC’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas and CMA Country Christmas, NBC’s Merry Madagascar, Christmas in Rockefeller Center, and the Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special, and FOX’s TV’s Funniest Holiday Moments: A Paley Center for Media Special.

 

After Sonny With a Chance star Demi Lovato enters a treatment facility for undisclosed issues, the Disney Channel announces that the show’s second season will continue on without her.

 

ABC broke the news that there will be no eighth season of Supernanny, due to star Jo Frost’s decision to leave the show. The star plans to devote her time between a similarly styled show in Britain, and starting her own family.

 

Movie critic Gene Shalit left The Today Show after 40 years of on-air reviews.

 

The host of MSNBC’s Countdown With Keith Olbermann is temporarily suspended for violating network policy by donating to the election funds of three congressional candidates. Olbermann would later criticize the network on his show, stating that he wasn’t told about the rule.

 

Several new reality shows made their TV debuts, including ABC’s Skating With The Stars, FOX’s Million Dollar Money Drop, MTV’s I Used to Be Fat, TLC’s The Next Great Baker, and A&E’s The Hasselhoffs.

 

Among the television personalities who left us in November 2010 were Dirty Sexy Money’s Jill Clayburgh, Police Squad!’s Leslie Nielsen, producer Alfred Masini, The Bachelorette contestant Julien Hug, sportscaster Dave Niehaus, American Bandstand announcer Charlie O’Donnell, and TV baseball commentator Sparky Anderson.

Music

The Best Indie Rock of 2017

Photo courtesy of Matador Records

The indie rock genre is wide and unwieldy, but the musicians selected here share an awareness of one's place on the cultural-historical timeline.

Indie rock may be one of the most fluid and intangible terms currently imposed upon musicians. It holds no real indication of what the music will sound like and many of the artists aren't even independent. But more than a sonic indicator, indie rock represents a spirit. It's a spirit found where folk songsters and punk rockers come together to dialogue about what they're fed up with in mainstream culture. In so doing they uplift each other and celebrate each other's unique qualities.

With that in mind, our list of 2017's best indie rock albums ranges from melancholy to upbeat, defiant to uplifting, serious to seriously goofy. As always, it's hard to pick the best ten albums that represent the year, especially in such a broad category. Artists like King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard had a heck of a year, putting out four albums. Although they might fit nicer in progressive rock than here. Artists like Father John Misty don't quite fit the indie rock mold in our estimation. Foxygen, Mackenzie Keefe, Broken Social Scene, Sorority Noise, Sheer Mag... this list of excellent bands that had worthy cuts this year goes on. But ultimately, here are the ten we deemed most worthy of recognition in 2017.

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From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.


60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

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Music

The Best Country Music of 2017

still from Midland "Drinkin' Problem" video

There are many fine country musicians making music that is relevant and affecting in these troubled times. Here are ten of our favorites.

Year to year, country music as a genre sometimes seems to roll on without paying that much attention to what's going on in the world (with the exception of bro-country singers trying to adopt the latest hip-hop slang). That can feel like a problem in a year when 58 people are killed and 546 are injured by gun violence at a country-music concert – a public-relations issue for a genre that sees many of its stars outright celebrating the NRA. Then again, these days mainstream country stars don't seem to do all that well when they try to pivot quickly to comment on current events – take Keith Urban's muddled-at-best 2017 single "Female", as but one easy example.

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Wars of attrition are a matter of stamina, of who has the most tools with which to keep fighting. A surprising common tool in this collection? Humor.

The name of the game is "normal or abnormal". Here's how you play: When some exceedingly shocking political news pops up on your radar, turn to the person next to you, read them the headline and ask, "is this normal or abnormal?" If you want to up the stakes, drink a shot every time the answer is abnormal. If that's too many shots, alter the rules so that you drink only when things are normal—which is basically never, these days. Hilarious, right?

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Music

The Dear Hunter: All Is As All Should Be EP

Jordan Blum
Publicity photo via Bandcamp

Although All Is As All Should Be is a tad too brief to match its precursors, it's still a masterful blend of songwriting, arrangements, and singing that satisfies the Dear Hunter anticipation.

The Dear Hunter is undoubtedly one of the best—and consequently, most egregiously underappreciated—bands of the last decade or so. Aside from 2013's Migrant LP, every one of their major releases featured an ambitious hook; for example, 2011's The Color Spectrum presented nine EPs (consisting of four songs each) that individually represented a different sonic tone (in order: Black, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, and White), whereas the five-part (so far) Act saga, with its genre-shifting arrangements, superlative songwriting, narrative complexity, and extraordinary conceptual continuity, is a cumulative work of genius, plain and simple.

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