Dec 142011
 

Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.

In “Extraordinary Merry Christmas,” Artie (Kevin McHale) is offered the chance to direct McKinley’s glee club in a televised Christmas special. Little do the other club members know he takes his Christmas inspiration from some bizarre sources.

“Extraordinary Merry Christmas” is not the first Christmas special to air on television this year. It’s not even the first Glee Christmas special to air, thanks to the irreverent, genius and criminally unpopular NBC sitcom Community, which last Thursday dedicated its entire Christmas episode (entitled “Regional Holiday Music”) to spoofing the Fox musical juggernaut. The staff behind Community probably couldn’t have predicted that they’d get payback for spending a half hour in Glee‘s shoes; this week, Glee decided to live in Community‘s world with an episode you’d expect to see on that show or, really, anywhere but Glee. The Christmas special Artie ends up producing is a (directly referred-to) mash-up of the much-maligned 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, Judy Garland’s classic 1963 Christmas special, and at the end some Charlie Brown Christmas for good measure. The result basically ends up a cover of a TV show. Though Glee certainly likes to allude to existing pop culture, even going so far as to recreate certain music videos shot-for-shot, it has never lived in another universe for two acts before. That’s Community territory, but Glee pulls it off marvelously. Continue reading »

Jun 282011
 

Take one part punk, mix in one part glam, one part heavy metal and a whole lot of teenage sass and you get the perfect rock’n’roll band: The Runaways. Remarkably young – the oldest members of the band were 17 upon the release of their eponymous first record – the band dissolved amongst a haze of drug abuse and musical differences after four studio albums. Joan Jett continued to hold the punk torch post-breakup, building a successful career backed by the Blackhearts. Now indie rock’n’punk connoisseurs Main Man Records have compiled an extensive two-disc tribute celebrating the music of the Runaways.

The release is not without controversy. Jett and singer Cherie Currie have sued to block the release complaining that the label has used their names to promote the album without permission. Somewhat fitting given that in their time the stories that swirled around the band often overshadowed the music they made. Continue reading »