This Week in Pop Culture Roundup (4 Dec. 2011 Edition)

In case you have been preoccupied having seizures from watching The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 — or you have been preparing to suspend you campaign for president — or if you were busy writing a speech for a governor apologizing to a teenager, here are some of the pop culture stories you might have missed.


—— Music ——

Don McLean revealed where he wrote and first performed “American Pie,” refuting a local legend.

In Grammy news, Adele, Kanye West, Bruno Mars, and Foo Fighters led the Grammy nominations. In other Grammy news, some pondered whether or not the Beach Boys will reunite at the Grammys. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane was nominated for two Grammys and will compete with Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand. Finally, Sugarland joined Lady Gaga for a rousing performance of “You and I” at the Grammy Nominations Concert this week.

In another cool collaboration, Bruce Springsteen appeared on stage with Bob Seger last week for some old time rock and roll. Blogness has the story and video.

John Lennon’s to-do list went up for auction. All you need is . . . more marmalade.

Andrea True, singer of “More More More (How Do You Like It?),” passed away earlier this month.

You may listen to the new CD from the Roots, “undun,” on NPR’s website.

Hanson (i.e., The Hanson Brothers) are developing a beer named. . . “MMMHop.” I’m guessing the beer will stay with you for a long time in the same way the catchy song does.

The Los Angeles Times reviewed Willie Nelson’s new CD, “Remember Me, Vol. 1.”

In touring news, George Michael cancelled the remaining dates of his tour to recover from pneumonia. Meanwhile, The Red Hot Chili Peppers announced their first U.S. tour in nearly five years, starting Jan. 25.

It’s “either a misprint or a satire.” — Elvis Costello, commenting on $339.98 box set of a Costello performance.

The New York Times
reviewed a new biography of Ahmet Ertegun, the great founder and president of Atlantic Records.

Watch the ten films for the ten songs on Bon Iver’s self-titled album, released this week in a deluxe edition.

—— Movies ——

The Sound of Music has found a new life in movie theaters as a sing-a-long event.

This week, Retraunaut posted some cool behind-the-scenes photos from Planet of the Apes (1967) of the “apes” hanging out.

Firstshowing.net reviewed Cameron Crowe’s new movie We Bought a Zoo.

In honor of the director’s latest film, Salon featured a slide show of Martin Scorsese’s greatest films.

A new book recounts how actress Hedy Lamarr contributed to the cell phone technology we use today.

The New York Times
reviewed the new DVD and Blu-ray of the classic and controversial film, Birth of a Nation.

Ken Russell, the director of Tommy, The Devils, and Altered States passed away. Watching each of those films in the movie theater were memorable events for me. RIP Mr. Russell.

New pictures were released of the fictional Mars in the upcoming John Carter.

Fans discussed how the possible Before Sunrise/Before Sunset sequel should go.

I was sorry to hear that Roger Ebert’s recent incarnation of At the Movies is going on hiatus. I enjoyed the show.


—— Other Pop Culture News ——

The Waltons reunited on The Today Show for their 40th Anniversary.

In The Office news, now you may buy Dunder Mifflin copy paper. Also, Stanley from The Office (Leslie David Baker) made a music video. In sadder Office-related news, comedian Patrice O’Neal, who also appeared periodically on The Office, passed away last week from complications of a stroke. RIP.


The Fantastic Four
are turning 50.

The inventor of the Jenos pizza roll and Chun King canned Chinese food, Jeno Paulucci, died on Thanksgiving. Chun King was the only time I encountered Chinese food as a kid, and, well, I have enjoyed several meals of nothing but pizza rolls. RIP Mr. Paulucci.

What were your thoughts on the pop culture stories of the week? Leave your two cents in the comments.

  • This Week in Pop Culture Roundup (Nov. 12, 2011)
  • Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen “Shout” In Their Third Performance Together
  • Weird Al Summarizes “The Phantom Menace”
  • The First Song Loretta Lynn Ever Wrote
  • Jennifer Nettles Covers Springsteen: “I’m On Fire”
  • Don McLean Live at Glastonbury
  • (Some Related Chimesfreedom Posts)