Christmas in Rockefeller Center. It’s one of the country’s favorite kick-offs to the holiday season, the lighting of the giant Christmas tree in New York’s Rockefeller Center. This is the 82nd year of the tradition. The lighting ceremony will be emceed by the hosts of the Today Show and will feature holiday performances from Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper, Sara Bareilles, Idina Menzel, LeAnn Rimes, Pentatonix and Trisha Yearwood. However the star of the show is 90 years old and weighs nearly 13 tons. No, not a Gabor sister. It’s the 85 foot tall Norway Spruce Christmas tree that will turn into a symbol of the holidays for the whole country. Christmas in Rockefeller Center is Wednesday, December 3rd. Coverage starts locally in New York at 7 pm et and the nation joins the party at 8 pm et on NBC.
A Charlie Brown Christmas. Anyone who grew up in this country knows it’s the holiday season as soon as they hear “Christmas Time Is Here”, the song by Vince Guaraldi written for “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. It’s the television Christmas special everyone waited for as a kid. The cartoon first aired in 1965 and began the conversation about the over-commercialization of Christmas. We’ve come so far since then. Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Violet and of course, Snoopy make up the Peanuts gang searching for the true meaning of the holiday which Linus nails with a reading from the New Testament. The digitally re-mastered animated classic airs on Tuesday, December 2nd on ABC.
Antarctica: A Year On Ice. If you’re considering taking a year of your life and living and working in Antarctica, you might want to watch this new documentary first. Directed by Anthony Powell, this is one year in the life of the people who choose to live at the bottom of the world, which took a decade to film. It’s filled with amazing footage of the physical beauty of the most isolated place on Earth that’s never been seen before. The documentary not only looks at the physical hardships of the frozen environment, but also the mental toll it takes on the very real people who make this commitment to a continent that may be well on the brink due to climate change. Antarctica: A Year On Ice opens in select cities on Friday, November 28th. It rolls out across the country after that.
Remote Area Medical. In a stunning look at the state of health care (or lack of it) in America, the new documentary Remote Area Medical puts a spotlight on people who get a very rare opportunity to see a doctor. Remote Area Medical is a group that goes to parts of the country where there is no medical access and sets up shop to see as many patients as possible for free. In the film named after the organization, volunteer medical doctors, x-ray techs, optometrists, dentists and other medical personnel gather in the massive Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee to treat patients. Thousands arrive looking for medical attention. Some, including babies, have never seen a doctor before in their lives. It shows how even the simplest things like getting a cavity filled or a new pair of glasses can make an impact in someone’s life who’s been denied treatment in past because of cost and availability. Remote Area Medical opens in New York City on Friday, November 28th and rolls out from there.
ESPN 30 For 30 Short: The Arnold Palmer. This new short in ESPN’s 30 For 30 series, looks at one of the greatest accomplishments of the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer…the drink named after him. Long after all the championships have been won, the Arnold Palmer will still be around. But how did the drink which is a combination of lemonade and iced-tea get its start? And what does it have to do with the 4 time Masters champion? 30 For 30’s “The Arnold Palmer” answers all the questions. The short features Will Arnett, Peter Jacobsen, Fuzzy Zoeller, Jim Thorpe, Fred Funk and Brad Faxon helping to unravel the mystery of the Arnold Palmer. ESPN’s 30 For 30: The Arnold Palmer is available on ESPN.com on Friday, November 28th.
Seeds by TV on the Radio. The commercial and critical success of their 2011 album Nine Types Of Light was marred by the sudden passing of bassist Gerard Butler from cancer. Butler’s sparked an extended hiatus for the Brooklyn based group as well as notable changes: Tunde Adebimpe and Dave Sitek re-located to L.A., with Sitek establishing his own home studio to meet his growing demand as a producer. They also changed labels, moving from Interscope to the EMI imprint Harvest Records. Grieving, a change of scenery and an optimistic look forward for the basis of their fifth album, Seeds. It marks a back to basics approach for TVOTR, recalling, yet updating the loose, freewheeling style of their earlier work. Running the gamut for straight pop to punk to anthemic arena rock, Seeds marks a creative second wind for one of rock’s most diverse and adventurous bands. One of the year’s best.
Seeds is available now through Amazon and all major music retailers.
You can also go to www.tvontheradioband.com for tour dates and additional information.
Brothas Be, Yo George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You? by George Clinton. As the co-founder of Parliament-Funkadelic and one of funk’s founding fathers, George Clinton’s place as one of the most influential musicians in American popular music is undeniable. Now Dr. Funkenstein has released his long awaited memoir and, as expected, it’s as entertaining and captivating as a P-Funk show. It tells how a kid went from processing hair in a New Jersey barbershop to becoming a staff writer for Motown, to setting the music world on its ear with his brand of uncut funk. Clinton pulls no punches about his struggles with drug abuse, the dramatic fall of his musical empire and his recent battles to regain copyrights to his classic material. Featuring appearances from all of the movers and shakers from doo wop to hip hop, George Clinton has been penned one of the most intriguing and outrageous music bios of recent memory. A must have for fans of the funk.
Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?: A Memoir is available now through Amazon, and major book retailers.
Jeter Unfiltered by Derek Jeter & Christopher Anderson. Derek Jeter’s on-field accomplishments goes without saying: In the Top 10 All-time in hits, key member in 5 World Series Championships. All-Star and World Series MVP, it goes on and on. But few know Derek Jeter off the field and the preparation that he undertook to becoming one of baseball’s all-time greats. As part of the launch of his new publishing company, Jeter teamed up with acclaimed Magnum and New York Magazine photographer Christopher Anderson to give the ultimate look inside the life of The Captain. There’s exclusive photos of Jeter at home, working out, and undergoing his 20th and final season in pinstripes. There’s also archival material – most of which is from Jeter’s personal collection that traces his rise to baseball immortality. Fans will a rare look inside of sports most reclusive athletes. Essential reading for any baseball fan.
Jeter Unfiltered is available now through Amazon and all major book retailers.
NEW YORK CITY: The Cruise: Special Screening with Bennett Miller and Ira Glass. In 1998, director Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) launched his film career with an amazing documentary called “The Cruise”. The film showed New York City through the eyes of eccentric NYC tour bus guide Speed Levitch. Shot in black and white and screened on 35 mm, “The Cruise” offered a unique and captivating look at New York City along with the fascinating story and commentary of Levitch. The IFC Center is hosting a special screening and conversation with Bennett Miller who talks about his film with Ira Glass. The two sit down to talk about “The Cruise” on Tuesday, December 2nd at 7:30 pm at the IFC Center.
Rent The Cruise on Amazon.com.
WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA: Symphony On Ice. This winter extravaganza will feature the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and the Wheeling Figure Skating Club along with regional and national skaters. Maestro Andre Raphel will conduct as skaters perform to the music of Handel, Leroy Anderson, Tchaikovsky and more. Featured this year will be Ryan Bradley, 2011 U.S. Champion. Also highlighted will be Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus, 2011 U.S. Junior Dance bronze medalists. The show is Tuesday, December 2nd at 7 pm. Ice side dinner is available is at 5:30.
NEW YORK CITY: Arlo Guthrie and The Guthrie Family Annual Thanksgiving Concert. Arlo Guthrie and his clan are returning to the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York City for the family’s holiday performance which has become a Thanksgiving tradition for 40 years now. Expect plenty of storytelling to go along with the music from this American original and his entire family. Arlo Guthrie brings his unique sound and social commentary to Carnegie Hall on Saturday, November 29th at 8 pm. Share the holiday with one of America’s first families of music.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: Chrissie Hynde. A true rock star for 30 years, Chrissie Hynde is out on tour promoting her latest solo work. The founder of The Pretenders has put out her very first solo project, “Stockholm” and she is taking the stage performing her new songs from the album as well as her Pretenders classics. Chrissie will be in concert in one of the country’s most unique venues, the California Masonic Temple in San Francisco. It sits at the top of Nob Hill and is known for its incredible artwork and sculptures that decorate both the inside and outside of the temple. Chrissie Hynde plays the Masonic in San Francisco on Tuesday, December 2nd at 7:30 pm.
NEW YORK CITY: Living Colour at Irving Plaza. Living Colour has been shattering the boundaries between rock, funk, metal and all genres in between for over 25 years. Now, as the band preps for the release of their new album, Shade, the band behind the iconic hit ‘Cult Of Personality’ will be kick off a short East Coast tour with a hometown show at Irving Plaza. Expect to hear material from their classic albums Vivid, Time’s Up and Stain, a couple of surprise covers and, as often the case with a hometown show, a special guest appearance or two. Living Colour will be at Irving Plaza on Friday.