Van Dyke Parks compiles his early works

Somehow, this slipped under my radar: Famed record producer/arranger and Brian Wilson collaborator has released a compilation of some of his 1960s productions. It's out now and titled Arrangements Vol. 1.

Here's a look at the track list:

1. Donovan's Colours (mono) - George Washington Brown
2. Come to the Sunshine - Van Dyke Parks
3. The Eagle And Me - Van Dyke Parks
4. Friends and Lovers - Sal Valentino
5. Alligator Man - Sal Valentino
6. Farther Along - Van Dyke Parks
7. Valley to Pray - Arlo Guthrie
8. Out On The Rolling Sea When Jesus Speak To Me - Van Dyke Parks
9. Sittin' Here in Limbo - Dino Martin
10. Wha She Go Do - Bonnie Raitt
11. Sit Down I Think I Love You - The Mojo Men
12. One Meat Ball - Ry Cooder
13. Cheek To Cheek - Lowell George
14. Spanish Moon - Little Feat
15. Moog Music ('67) - Van Dyke Parks   

Vintage Man from U.N.C.L.E. promo pictures

Check out Batman: From Alfred to Zowie!

The Batcave Trophy Room presents art from this fun 1960s kids book.

Details on 2011 Doctor Who Christmas Special

From the BBC:

Production has started on the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas Special in which the Doctor (Matt Smith) finds himself in war-torn England embarking on a magical and mysterious adventure with a young widow and her two children.
A stellar guest cast including Claire Skinner (Outnumbered), Bill Bailey (Black Books), Arabella Weir (The Fast Show) and Alexander Armstrong (Armstrong & Miller), join Matt Smith in the emotional festive special, packed full of Christmas thrills and chills.
Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, commented: "The Doctor at Christmas – nothing is more fun to write. Maybe because it's so his kind of day – everything's bright and shiny, everybody's having a laugh, and nobody minds if you wear a really stupid hat. Of all the Doctors, Matt Smith's is the one that was born for this time of year – so it's the best news possible that he's heading back down the chimney."
The special, set during the Second World War, sees Madge Arwell and her two children, Lily and Cyril, evacuated to a draughty old house in Dorset, where the caretaker is a mysterious young man in a bow tie, and a big blue parcel is waiting for them under the tree. They are about to enter a magical new world and learn that a Time Lord never forgets his debts.
Claire Skinner said: "I am thrilled to be in Doctor Who playing Madge who is a bit of super-mum. It's a magical part."
This marks Matt Smith's second outing as the Doctor at Christmas time and will follow hot on the heels of the successful 2011 series, currently airing on BBC One until October.
The Christmas Special was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama and Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One. Steven Moffat is Lead Writer and Executive Producer with Piers Wenger and Caroline Skinner, also executive producing.
Filming on the Christmas special will continue until mid-October 2011.

Movie promo picture: Kim Novak and James Stewart in Vertigo

DC Comics December 2011 solicitations

Highlights from DC's December releases.


One-Shot * On sale DECEMBER 21 * 80 pg, FC, $6.99 US * RATED T

In this sensational, giant-sized one-shot spinning out of BATMAN INCORPORATED, Batman realizes to his horror that he's been outwitted as the true identity of Leviathan continues to elude him. Is his deadly adversary an old foe with a grudge to settle, a new face of evil…or something completely different? Only one thing is certain: You won't soon forget the shocking ending!


Written by VARIOUS
Montage cover
On sale FEBRUARY 22 * 320 pg, FC, $39.99 US

The classic Silver Age titles are collected in hardcover for the first time, including SECRET ORIGINS #1, MORE SECRET ORIGINS #1, EVEN MORE SECRET ORIGINS #1 and WEIRD SECRET ORIGINS #1! Don't miss the origins of Wonder Woman, the Superman/Batman team, The Challengers of the Unknown, Martian Manhunter, the Justice League of America, Aquaman, The Flash, The Atom, Bizarro and more!


Written by LARRY IVIE, WALLY WOOD and others * Art by WALLY WOOD, MIKE SEKOWSKY, GIL KANE, GEORGE TUSKA, REED CRANDALL and others Cover by WALLY WOOD * On sale JANUARY 4 * 248 pg, FC, $29.99 US
The first four issues of the sensational adventure comic originally published by Tower Comics are collected in this new series presenting the 1960s adventures of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents in chronological order for the very first time!


Cover by APARO * On sale JANUARY 18 * 592 pg, B&W, $19.99 US

Don't miss these grim tales of vengeance from the pages of SHOWCASE #60, 61 and 64, THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #72, 75, 116, 180 and 199, THE SPECTRE #1-10, ADVENTURE COMICS #431-440, DC COMICS PRESENTS #29 and GHOSTS #97-99.


Art and cover by FRANK QUITELY
On sale FEBRUARY 1 * 112 pg, FC, 7.0625" x 10.875", $22.99 US * MATURE READERS

Once he was Hero of the Beach...and of the Doom Patrol. Now Flex Mentallo, Man of Muscle Mystery, returns to investigate the sinister dealings of his former comrade, The Fact, and a mysterious rock star whose connection to Flex may hold the key to saving them both.
Don't miss this deluxe hardcover collecting the four-issue miniseries from the team behind ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, including a special sketch section and recolored art.

Hear the new Wilco album The Whole Love: Streaming on NPR

Wilco's new one sounds pretty good to me. Check out it here. Amazon is offering a deluxe version, featuring a second CD with four extra tracks:

BBC Radio this week

Click the links to hear streaming shows from the Beeb:

BBC Radio 2

They Did It Their Way: The Story of Reprise Records Paul Gambaccini looks at the history of the record label set up and owned by Frank Sinatra

Tony Bennett Presents The Great American Songbook Tony Bennett presents his selection of 40 defining songs from the Great American Songbook.

BBC Radio 4 Extra

A Murder Is Announced Agatha Christie tale, with June Whitfield as Miss Marple

Absolute Power Satirical comedy starring Stephen Fry and John Bird

Acropolis Now Sitcom set in Ancient Geece, written by Lynne Truss

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll dramatisation with Sarah Jane Holm and Roy Hudd

The Attractive Young Rabbi Comedy about the collision between old and new in the Jewish community of Hillfield

Charles Chilton: Journey into Space Classic 1950s science-fiction, set in the far-flung future of the late 20th century

The Darker Side of the Border Three Scottish 19th Century tales of terror and mystery, dramatised by Marty Ross

Doctor Who  Time-travelling adventure series

Fear on Four  Series of horror and suspense tales, hosted by the Man in Black

The Flight of the Conchords Rob Brydon narrates an improvised comedy about a novelty band

The Goon Show Classic material from one of the all-time radio comedy greats

Mind Your Own Business  Sitcom starring Bernard Cribbins

A Murder Is Announced, Agatha Christie tale, with June Whitfield as Miss Marple

Noel Coward - This Happy Breed  Tracing the Gibbons family's suburban life, from the inter-war years up to when they move.

Stanislaw Lem's Solaris Based on the sci-fi novel about a psychologist who tries to communicate with aliens

Steptoe and Son  Audio broadcasts of the classic BBC sitcom about a father-and-son rag and bone team

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves  Adaptation of P.G. Wodehouse's novel featuring Jeeves and his master, Bertie Wooster

Terry Pratchett's Nation  South Seas adventure read by Matt Addis and Charlie Norfolk

BBC Radio 6

Punky Reggae Party  Tom Robinson celebrates the unlikely alliance between punk and reggae.

The Live Music Hour  6 Music presents gems from the vast BBC archive including concerts and live sessions.

New comics and other items Sept. 21, 2011

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon:

Things I might try:

Batman #1

DC Comics Presents #1

Legion of Superheroes #1

Other items of interest:

Blue Beetle #1

Captain Atom #1

Catwoman #1

Green Lantern Corps #1

Nightwing #1

Supergirl #1

Wonder Woman #1

Showcase Presents All Star Comics Vol. 1

Archie's Joke Book Volume 1: A Celebration of Bob Montana Gags

Marvel Ghost Stories

Archie Christmas Classics (Archie Comics)

The Art of Joe Kubert

Dark Horse Deluxe Classic Marvel Characters #1: Spider-Man Statue

Creepy Archives Volume 11

Dark Horse Deluxe Disney Comics And Stories Characters #1: Donald Duck Statue

Hellboy Volume 11: The Bride of Hell and Others (Hellboy (Graphic Novels))