Here are the album releases, TV appearances, anniversaries and other events coming up in the next seven days. Mark your calendars and pre-order your favourites — but don’t blame me if things change at the last minute:
TOP NEW ALBUMS
This is what happens when your biggest claim to fame is finishing fifth on The X Factor in Spain. But before you feel too sorry for her, just think about how bad the person who finished sixth is doing.
Erase the Pain
Because if there’s one thing the kids want to do in the days after Christmas, it’s buy some New Jersey post-hardcore. Then again, after a few hours with the folks, any excuse to get out of the house probably sounds pretty good.
Almost two months after being released digitally, the superstar producer’s first album in more than a decade finally gets a physical release. Better late than never, I guess.
MUSIC ON TV
Ashley McBryde | CBS This Morning
How Does It Feel?: A Life of Musical Misadventures by Mark Kermode
In Britain, the bassist, broadcaster and critic is a fairly big deal. Here, he’s just a guy whose memoir happens to be the only music-related book coming out this week.
BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES
Monday, December 24
Christmas Eve 1973 was not a happy day for Doobie Brothers singer-guitarist Tom Johnson — he was busted for marijuana possession in California. That’s good police work, Lou. The day also brought bad tidings in 2016, when Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt died at age 68 in a Spanish hospital due to complications and infection following a shoulder injury. On the plus side, Motörhead singer-bassist Lemmy was born on this day in 1945, while Ricky Martin‘s vida loca began when he was born in 1971.
Tuesday, December 25
Christmas can be a killer: In 1954, Johnny Ace accidentally shot and killed himself backstage in Houston while playing with a revolver between sets — when someone told him to be careful, he replied, ‘It’s OK, the gun’s not loaded, see?’ and pointed it at himself with a smile on his face. Also dying on this date: Legendary crooner Dean Martin, who passed away in 1995 at age 78; Godfather of Soul James Brown, who died at 73 after being hit by severe pneumonia; singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt, who died in 2009 following an overdose of muscle relaxants that had left him in a coma; and pop icon George Michael, who died at home in England at age 53. Thankfully, there have also been plenty of artists who came into the world on this date: Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding in 1945; Margaritaville mixologist Jimmy Buffett in 1946; Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox in 1954; Pogues frontmumbler Shane MacGowan in 1957; and Black Velvet singer Alannah Myles in 1958.
Wednesday, December 26
And so it begins: In 1963, Capitol Records released The Beatles‘ first single I Want to Hold Your Hand backed with I Saw Her Standing There in America. Within five weeks, the record would rise to No. 1, where it would stay for seven weeks. Just three years and a musical revolution later in 1966, Jimi Hendrix wrote the lyrics to Purple Haze in his dressing room at a London club after playing an afternoon show. And just one decade and another musical revolution later in 1976, The Sex Pistols recorded God Save The Queen. Other Boxing Day highlights: Famed Wall of Sound creator and murderer Phil Spector was born on this date in 1939, while Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich arrived on time in 1963.
Thursday, December 27
Another deadly day: Blues guitarist Freddie King died of heart trouble and ulcers at age 42 in 1976; Big Star singer-songwriter and guitarist Chris Bell was killed when his car crashed into a telephone pole in 1978; and singer-guitarist, Delaney Bramlett passed away in L.A. after gall bladder surgery in 2008. The good news: Elvis Presley guitarist Scotty Moore was born in 1931, while Paramore vocalist Hayley Williams turns 30 today.
Friday, December 28
Rolling Stone magazine named The Rolling Stones‘ Some Girls its Album of the Year in 1978. That was a good call. Perhaps not so good: In 1993, singer Shania Twain married superstar producer Mutt Lange. On to the inevitable list of celebrity death: The Beach Boys‘ Dennis Wilson died while diving in the Pacific Ocean near Marina Del Rey in 1983; and four days after turning 70, Lemmy died at home in L.A. after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. Arriving on this day: Roebuck (Pops) Staples was born in 1915, Box Tops and Big Star frontman Alex Chilton was born in 1950, and EGOT winner John Legend debuted 40 years ago in 1978.
Saturday, December 29
My favourite story of the week: In 1999, three ferrets named Beckham, Posh Spice and Baby Spice were used to lay power cables for a rock concert in a London park. Workers were not allowed to dig up the turf and rods could not be used to push the cables through tiny tunnels set in the ground below the stage — so the ferrets were outfitted with wee nylon harnesses attached to the cables and sent through the tunnels, enticed with smelly meat. The New Year’s Eve concert featured Simply Red, Eurythmics and Bryan Ferry. Hope they appreciated it. While you marvel at that, marvel at this: Marianne Faithfull turns 73 today.
Sunday, December 30
It’s a big day for The Monkees: Mike Nesmith was born in 1942, while Davy Jones was born in 1945. And in 1969, Peter Tork quit the band after buying himself out of his contract — which supposedly left him broke. Other non-Monkees events: Bo Diddley was born in 1928, Del Shannon arrived in 1934, Patti Smith showed up in 1946 and ELO and Traveling Wilburys member Jeff Lynne was born a year later in 1947. (Wait; Patti Smith is older than Jeff Lynne? Mind. Blown.) Anyway, speaking of the Wilburys, fellow traveler George Harrison and his wife Olivia were attacked when an intruder broke into their home in 1999. He was stabbed in the chest while she beat off the attacker with a poker and heavy lamp. Meanwhile, in 2009, Neil Young was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Is it too late to cancel that? Asking for a friend.