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In Memoriam 2020: Remembering Those We Lost In Entertainment
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In Memoriam: Public figures who died in 2020

With 2021 finally dawned upon us, it brings a new beginning to what was for sure one of the most tumultuous years in anyone’s recent memory in the year 2020, with a plethora of events that occurred (and many still recurring) that need no repeating. We all know of what went down and what’s going on, things which have spilled over and are still extreme challenges in this new year. In short, 2020 was a year most of, if not all, of us would soon rather forget.

However, what shouldn’t be forgotten are the names of the many luminaries in entertainment that we lost last year, also a stunning amount of creatives and well-knowns of seemingly every type and stripe. While in a lot of ways an “in memoriam” list seems rather arbitrary and irrelevant considering the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the United States alone last year during the pandemic and of people who became global martyrs by way of insurrectional behaviors by authoritative figures all across America, a list like this becomes in a way necessary, as it’s important to give the proper respect and final send off to some of the individuals who touched our lives in so many ways, especially during last year, when all forms of entertainment became not only entrenched in its typical “escapism,” but also became a healing balm in a sense, something that helped people push through during the darkest times of necessary state and governmental-enforced bondage on us all. And it is for that reason, that we present some of our heroes, guiding lights, inspirations, and illuminations who left us in 2020.

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Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2020: Music
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Holiday Music Gift Guide 2020

To say that the year 2020 has been chaotic at best is an understatement of the highest order. Between an ongoing world pandemic to civil unrest, a “we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore” stance of all things racist and unfair, to a domestic Presidential election that left many flummoxed and drained and finally relieved, 2020 will be a year for the ages in the collective memory and history of the planet. And as always, music has acted as an almost collective balm for healing, inspiration, guidance, and direction during these unprecedented times. The beauty of music is that it always serves some sort of a purpose for the listener, giving forth to them a multitude of sonic choices and ultimately solutions within and without. Now more than ever, with a holiday season of uncertainty just on the horizon and one filled with an imposed and rightfully so global bondage on all of us, there’s still the divine union of giving gifts to loved ones and friends. And what better gift to give than the timeless gift of music? So, as is our annual wont, here’s the latest installment of musical selections and suggestions to help guide your choices, as always, served up with a little tequila in the eggnog.

Check out our 2020 Holiday Geek Gift Guide for Music.

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Metalhead’s Holiday Gift Guide 2020
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Marissa Bergen   |  
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Holiday Metal Gift Guide 2020

Well metalheads, it’s Christmas time again. And no matter how much you profess to worship the devil, no matter how hard you go in the pit, no matter how tall your spikes are, no matter how long your hair is… admit it, you love Christmas. Come on, we see you headbanging to “White Christmas” and laying out cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve… even if you do eat them yourself the next day.

Well, the cool thing is, Christmas is a great time for metalheads. Know why? Because right around the holidays, there’s always tons of new cool shit for metalheads to buy. Here are a few gifts that will be ideal for your Christmas list, whether you’re doing the giving or the getting.

The 2020 Metalhead’s Holiday Gift Guide

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Neil Peart, Legendary Drummer and Lyricist Of Rush, Has Died
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Neil Peart Rush drums

Neil Peart, the legendary drummer and brilliant lyricist of Canadian rock trio Rush, died in Santa Monica, California on January 7, 2020 of glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was 67. After going strong for over 40 years and releasing 19 studio albums, Rush retired at the end 2015. Peart, meanwhile, reportedly had been quietly battling his illness over the last three and a half years.

Here’s the official statement, which was posted to Rush’s official social media accounts, from bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.

It is with broken hearts and the deepest sadness that we must share the terrible news that on Tuesday our friend, soul brother and band mate of over 45 years, Neil, has lost his incredibly brave three and a half year battle with brain cancer (Glioblastoma). We ask that friends, fans and media alike understandably respect the family’s need for privacy and peace at this extremely painful and difficult time. Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil’s name.
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Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2019: Music
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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Holiday Music Gift Guide 2019

Here are just some of the offerings released this year which will satisfy any music aficionado, young or old, regardless of personal music taste. Music forever remains in perpetuity as not only a great go-to gift, but one that is long lasting and forever. Check out our 2019 Holiday Geek Gift Guide for Music“¦

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Cream Drummer Ginger Baker Has Died
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Ginger Baker

Ginger Baker, the highly influential and irrepressible drummer, who gave the backbeat to bands such as Cream and Blind Faith not to mention adventurous side projects, died today. He was 80. The news was posted to his social media account today, where his family announced that he’d “passed away peacefully in hospital this morning.” No cause of death was given. The family had posted on September 25 that Baker was critically ill in the hospital.

Born Peter Edward Baker in Lewisham, South London in 1939, red hair not withstanding (hence the nickname Ginger), the drummer was a fiery tour-de-force on the drumkit, one of the first of his peers, starting and ultimately trailblazing in a late 1960s electric blues boon that found him toe to toe with other contemporaries, like the equally incendiary Keith Moon, Carl Palmer, Mitch Mitchell, Ian Paice, and John Bonham.

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Music Review: Fear Inoculum By TOOL
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FunWithDeadTrees   |  @   |  
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Fear Inoculum by TOOL

Tool
Fear Inoculum
Digital
Label: RCA Records
Release date: August 30, 2019

I’m not going to lie and tell you that I’m a diehard fan of TOOL. Sure, I really got pretty hot and heavy into the band’s 1993 debut LP, UndertowBeavis & Butt-Head can have that effect on a young mind. Plus, it’s a fantastic freaking album that holds up really well even to this day. But I only got into subsequent releases on a marginal basis. I listened to them if I could find them legally without paying for them. And considering their last studio album released was 13 years ago, I couldn’t even tell you what that legal method was. Probably CD loaners from friends or the library.

But this year’s Fear Inoculum was one that my circle of music peeps was very heavily anticipating. This includes my IRL friends, my co-workers, my online friends… we were all looking forward to it very, very much.

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Ric Ocasek, Co-Founder and Front Man Of The Cars, Dead At 75
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Ric Ocasek The Cars

Ric Ocasek, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and frontman for the rock group The Cars, was found dead today in his Manhattan townhouse, per the NY Post, who confirmed the news with an NYPD spokesperson. The musician reportedly was found unresponsive in his bed by his estranged wife, the model/actress Paulina Porizkova, and appeared to have died of natural causes. He was 75.

Born Richard Theodore Otcasek on March 23, 1944, the singer, guitarist, and songwriter grew up in Baltimore, Maryland before moving with his family at 16 to Cleveland, Ohio, where he went on to meet future Cars bassist/singer Benjamin Orr. After several musical projects together after relocating to Boston, the duo formed The Cars in late 1976 along with lead guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes, and drummer David Robinson.

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Getting The Knack and “My Sharona” 40 Years Later
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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The Knack

The Knack‘s driving power pop tune number one smash “My Sharona“ celebrated its 40th anniversary recently, without nary a pomp and definitely no circumstance.

But make no mistake, to be in the summer of 1979 back then, there was nothing bigger on radio or arguably on the music scene at the time than The Knack, with their brash unapologetic attitude, and a sexism in their music that would be all but forbidden if released today. By 1979 punk music was starting to ebb in terms of curiosity and shock value and the later named “yacht rock” was beginning to bubble up, evident in bands like Ambrosia and the solo works of Kenny Loggins and Christopher Cross, all with a sonic kind of pullover sweater over the speakers sound to it and all beginning at the end of the 1970s.

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New ‘Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark’ Trailer Features Lana Del Rey’s “Season Of The Witch” Cover
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

A new trailer has been released for the much-anticipated adaptation of Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell‘s hit Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books, which comes from director André Øvredal (Trollhunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe) and producer Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth).

The trailer, which can be found below, will be of interest to anyone excited about the movie, but especially to fans of Lana Del Rey as it features the musician’s cover of the 1966 Donovan song “Season of the Witch.”

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