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Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2016: Music
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Holiday Music Gift Guide 2016

Just like that, it’s that time again, where the holiday season is upon us and the mad scrambles down store aisles to find just the right gifts for friends and loved ones commences. It’s a yearly ritual that always seems to come sooner than later. It’s also a sign that the year is coming to a close, and of course there’s no question that 2016 will remain in memory and history as one of the most turbulent, challenging, and painful times ever seen. It is for that reason that the holiday time should hold even extra special positive emotional weight, as community and solidarity run high among people during this time, acting as sort of metaphoric concrete that fills in the gaps that division among many created. And music too, is an eternal, external, and ultimately internal healing agent for the soul, regardless if times are happy or sad, joyous or maudlin. Music also reflects those aforementioned emotions and more. Here’s some of the best released this past year that will for sure excite even the most hardened by the whirlwind of the times and warm someone’s soul like kindling a hearth on the coldest December nights.

Check out our 2016 Holiday Geek Gift Guide for Music

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Benedict Cumberbatch Sings “Comfortably Numb” With Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour (Video)
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Benedict Cumberbatch Sings "Comfortably Numb" With Pink Floyd's David Gilmour

During a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London earlier this week, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour surprised fans with a special guest: Benedict Cumberbatch, star of Sherlock, The Imitation Game, and the upcoming Marvel title Doctor Strange.

But Cumberbatch wasn’t just there to hang out and enjoy the show. He was there to sing. After Gilmour began playing “Comfortably Numb,” the actor took the center stage spotlight to sing Roger Waters’ parts of the song.

You can see a video of Cumberbatch singing with Gilmour here below.

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Begotten Antichrist: Did Marilyn Manson Synchronize ‘Antichrist Superstar’ To The Movie ‘Begotten’?
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Begotten Antichrist - Begotten and Marilyn Manson

Synchronicity is not a recent concept in the realm of pop culture, and has become quite well known with regards to the eerie pairing of The Wizard of Oz and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. A long time ago though, I discovered an even more eerie pairing that synchronized in an unnerving fashion: The film Begotten and Marilyn Manson’s Antichrist Superstar

Long ago, I stumbled across references to a film called Begotten. The images that I had seen online from the movie gave haunting and disturbing impressions. Curious, I began looking into the movie, and eventually watched the film. I was always interested in viewing challenging films, particularly those considered to be within the horror genre.

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Alejandro Jodorowsky and ‘Dune’: The Story Of The Greatest Sci-Fi Film Never Made
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Jodorowsky's Dune

The long and storied history of cinema is one to be studied, admired, and treasured for the many timeless classic feature films it has brought to our astonished eyes. But beneath that history lies buried a mass grave of unrealized films that were either killed at the treatment or script stage or were permitted to proceed in front of the cameras before being shut down and virtually forgotten about for the remainder of time infinite. In an alternate universe many of those unmade movies completed the journey from random idea to the new release section of your neighborhood Target and irrevocably changed the face of cinema forever.

This is the story of one of those great unmades. This is the story of Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s Dune.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when my fear is gone I will turn and face fear’s path, and only I will remain.”

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The Drill Down 283: Fifteen Seconds Of Fame
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This week, more updates in the Edward Snowden/NSA case, Instagram adds video, the FAA relaxes rules on gadgets during travel, Barnes & Noble quits making the Nook, is Pandora ripping its artists off?…and much more.

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Storm Thorgerson, Designer Of Iconic Rock Album Covers, Dies
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Storm Thorgerson

Storm Thorgerson, one of the key figures in album art graphic design, and who created some of the most iconic album covers in rock history, including ones for Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, died today at the age of 69. The artist died peacefully after having battled cancer for a long time, according to The Guardian.

The English-born Thorgerson had a storied career with the many album covers he created, but the signature one that may be the standout is the simple, yet stark and highly memorable triangular prism, emitting a rainbow of colorful lines set against a jet black background which made up the cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, an album which became one of the biggest sellers of all time and just recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.

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Happy 64th Birthday To Pink Floyd ‘The Wall’ & KISS ‘Destroyer’ Producer Bob Ezrin
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Bob Ezrin

Bob Ezrin, who has produced some of the more seminal music records of our age, Pink Floyd‘s The Wall and KISS Destroyer to name a few of the more higher profile ones, celebrates his 64th birthday today.

The Canadian-born Ezrin, employs a style which is mired in a magisterial, booming, bombastic one, which gives a larger than life sonic quality to the records he produces. Kind of a cross between Sir George Martin and producers who have made opera house acoustically styled classical albums, Ezrin has taken many genres, mainly the rock and roll one and turned it on its collective ear, bringing a kind of aural respect to the genre, and the result of which has spawned some of the all-time great albums.

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Legendary Pink Floyd Album ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary
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Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon

Today marks the milestone of being 40 years ago that one of the great rock records of our age was released in America, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. The record from the British quartet, who created sonic platters of transcendent and translucent sights and sounds, psychedelic rock done multi-tracked and highly adventurous, was a concept album which quadrophonically reached the entire universe on a collective level, both on the mainstream and the cult, creating genres and subgenres of lifestyles and became one of the greatest selling records of all time in the process.

By the time Dark Side of the Moon was released on March 1, 1973, Pink Floyd had already been a sonically swinging juggernaut, a blues unit mixed and melded with drug-laced and addled sounds and flavors of the late 1960s, utilizing jams and instrumentations that when played, created aural emotional tunnels within its listener to be pushed and lifted to different planes within themselves. They became out-of-body experiences in a metaphorical and even literal sense, even more so if one ingested many narcotics that were on hand and in a strange way, like Bob Marley’s work, came to be associated with Pink Floyd by that proxy, something that the band, however, had never consciously promoted.

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Listen To ‘The Jean Genie’ Cover Off The All-Star ‘West Of Memphis’ Soundtrack
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Peter Jackson's West Memphis Three Documentary

Since it opened in limited release on Christmas Day, the Peter Jackson-produced documentary West of Memphis, which tells the harrowing tale of the arrest and conviction for the murder of the “West Memphis Three” – Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin – and how forensic evidence led to their release from prison after more than 18 years, has garnished rave reviews and has been hailed by many as one of the best films of 2012.

Next Tuesday, a soundtrack album titled West of Memphis: Voices for Justice will be released by Sony’s Legacy label that features an all-star line-up of musicians and longtime supporters of the West Memphis Three. Today, we have for you the full track listing as well as the premiere of the first single off the album, a cover of the David Bowie classic “The Jean Genie” performed by Camp Freddy, a cover band featuring Dave Navarro of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction on guitar and Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses on drums.

West of Memphis is currently playing in select theaters across the country. Voices for Justice will be released on CD and MP3 on Tuesday, January 15, 2013. You can check out the full track listing for the album here below, along with a video of the band performing the song in concert.

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Holiday Gift Geek Guide 2012: Music
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Holiday Gift Geek Guide 2012: Music

Lots of sonic platters of joy are ready to be served up this holiday season, and what better gift to give someone than the universal appeal of music? During this festive time, when credit card debts mount up, layaway plans become way too unmanageable, and the stress of owing money takes charge over one’s soul and wallet as the new year turns, it’s still worth the feeling one gets when one sees someone’s eyes light up when they tear the wrapping paper off a gift, positively effused with sincere delight at its contents. We all still do it, we all get by, we grumble as the new year rolls in, but it’s all worth it; gifts are cool, no doubt, gifts never go out of style, and the end result of giving someone a gift makes it all worth it. Music was no exception this year. There were some great collections for one to gnaw on, collections which run every genre and will turn even the most hard hardened curmudgeon of a Scrooge into the softest teddy bear imaginable, even if it’s only for one holiday. My holiday box set picks are below, this one goes to eleven:

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