TV an' the radio
Your festive fortnight's guide to music broadcasting (radio programming in red), like a music only Christmas Radio Times only with a less smug editor ("yeah, right" - everyone):
10:25 C4 4Music Top Tunes Of 2008
16:25 Sky Arts 1 Johnny Cash In San Quentin
The original Granada documentary talking to guards and inmates alongside concert footage, which they then lost for years.
17:30 ITV1 Britannia High Finale
Say you put on a High School Musical cash-in and nobody watched it... Because it was relegated to Sundays and so didn't get the family audience, we suspect, but even so for a big final episode that's not a winning timeslot.
20:00 BBC7 Selected Radiophonic Works
Richard Coles, man of the Communards keyboard turned man of the cloth, presents three hours about the workings and legacy of the Workship, along with several radio classics that used its effects, from The Goons to the enticing sounding Bath Time, and 1971 documentary The Electric Tunesmiths.
20:10 BBC4 Judy, Frank & Dean
Garland, Sinatra and Martin do the lounge do.
20:55 ITV1 For One Night Only
ITV's other great failure tonight has Tom Jones and Myleene Klass presenting and Cerys Matthews singing. Yeah, you remember, she used to sing before all the reality show whoring and the Bannerman unpleasantness.
21:00 Sky Arts 1 Thin Lizzy Live & Dangerous
There's a clip on YouTube of the first Top Of The Pops to use Phil Lynott's Yellow Pearl as its theme, and right at the start Sir Jimmy is being his usual self with Lynott sitting right behind him looking embarrassed, and before he gets far Jim turns round, pulls him up and says "Mister Thin Lizzy, thank you for doing our new sig tune!" This is the film of Mister Lizzy and band's 1978 live show.
21:00 NME TV Esser Takeover
Whatever did happen to Liz Neumayr? Her former Ladyfuzz colleague selects an hour's music.
22:00 Sky Arts 1 The Beach Boys: Nashville Sounds
There are certain Beach Boys albums you want to see a full insight into the creative process behind. Stars And Stripes, their 1996 country collaborations album (the last with Brian and Carl Wilson and Al Jardine), is not one of them.
23:00 Radio 2 Bob Harris
Calexico in session.
12:20 C4 Mobile Act Unsigned
Envy & Other what, sorry?
14:30 Radio 2 Pick Of The Pops
Dale covers 1963 - Beatles 1 and 2, I Only Want To Be With You, I Wanna Be Your Man, Glad All Over, You'll Never Walk Alone and, ooh, The Singing Nun - and 1988, wherein Cliff beats Kylie & Jason to number one and Inner City are carefully ignored. He'll play Loco In Acapulco, though.
16:00 Radio 1 The Chart Show
The all important Christmas number two is revealed.
19:00 4Music Noddy Holder's Big Christmas 50
21:00 NME TV Master Shortie Takeover
The not at all cliche-handled latest in a long line of The Man/Woman Who Will Finally Become The UK's Big Hip-Hop Star candidates selects.
21:30 BBC4 Ten Best Sacred Christmas Classics
Billy Bragg, Kathryn Jenkins and David Soul, together at last, pick their favourite festive theisms.
23:05 FX A Colbert Christmas
Genius Comedy Central O'Reilly satirist makes very untraditional Christmas special with guests Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, Feist, John Legend and Toby Keith.
23:15 TCM Pink Floyd - The Wall
Alan Parker and Roger Waters make existential soup of Dark Side, with Bob Geldof stirring.
00:15 C4 Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Rufus Wainwright
The beloved entertainer's got this series running at the moment where he talks to people he admires about, oh, stuff after an Inside The Actor's Studio fashion, and Channel 4 are throwing them out there over this period. Kate McGarrigle and Bill Frisell turn up too, but mostly it's the pair of them singing and shooting the shit.
16:00 Sky Arts 1 Johnny Cash At Montreux
From 1994, so from the American Recordings era and Cash at one with his back catalogue.
16:00 MTV2 Vintage 300
Running over three days and nights.
17:30 4Music Paddy McGuinness' Xmas Dink Dank Do! Top 50
Oh, fuck off.
19:00 Radio 1 The In New Music We Trust Christmas Party
Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens take good care of the vol-au-vents. Glasvegas, too cool for school, hardly able to see a thing through those shades. Florence And The Machine rushing around, a blur of woodland colours acting up in everyone's face. Friendly Fires, inscrutable, near enough glowing in the dark. Chase & Status in the corner, waiting for the moment to speed up the BPMs. Grime MC Chipmunk pensive, waiting for his chance to rhyme. Golden Silvers, cowering in the corner.
19:00 6 Music Cerys Matthews
She used to be a singer etc.
20:00 Radio 2 Mark Radcliffe & Stuart Maconie
Their songs of the year.
20:00 Sky Arts 1 Ballads Of The Book
We're presuming, although we never knew there was one, this is film of the compilation last year of collaborations between Scottish artists and poets, including Vashti Bunyan (who's from London, but never mind), Idlewild, Emma Pollock, Sons and Daughters, King Creosote, James Yorkston, Norman Blake, Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton.
21:00 BBC4 Comedy Songs: The Pop Years
Now here's an idea for a genre that we can subscribe to - the history of the comedy pop song from Goons via satire, Python and, er, Black Lace to the present day.
21:00 ITV2 Katy Brand's Big Ass Songs 2008
Which we hope doesn't mean this. You can't wait to see her hilariously rewrite Hallelujah, can you?
21:00 Sky1 All Star Don't Forget The Lyrics
With Cerys Ma...alright, we'll stop. But she is an' all, and alongside David Gest to boot.
22:00 Sky Arts 1 The Story Of The Clash
This could be any number of documentaries from recent years, although fiver says cuttings job.
23:00 BBC2 TOTP2
Eight of these throughout the period, taking a random selection of party classics and contemporary sounds.
23:00 BBC4 The Comic Songbook
This seems to be more of a general genre overview, from Noel Coward to Mitch Benn, with the likes of Neil Innes, Michael Palin and Bill Oddie contributing.
23:35 BBC1 BBC One Session: Duffy
01:25 C4 Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Lou Reed and Julian Schnabel
"Elvis introduces Lou "beat poet" style", it says here, as well as that Elvis, Lou and Steve Nieve do Perfect Day. Schnabel is an artist and film director.
20:00 Radio 2 Radiohead Live
Well, they were live when they recorded it earlier this year.
19:30 BBC2 TOTP2 Christmas Special
Ninety minutes of everything you'd expect.
20:00 Radio 2 Mark Radcliffe & Stuart Maconie
The Christmas special with, obviously, Noddy Holder, but more enticingly Rachel Unthank and the Winterset singing carols.
20:00 Sky Arts 1 The Soul Of Stax
The history of the best 60s soul label YES IT WAS, with contributions from Isaac Hayes, Booker T, Otis Redding and Rev Jesse Jackson.
21:00 Sky Arts 1 Bob Marley Live At The Rainbow
The legendary 1977 Exodus Tour gig that sealed Marley's international status. The Rainbow Theatre is now owned by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. A million jokes write themselves.
22:30 Radio 2 Malcolm McLaren And The Great Jukebox Racket: A Radio Movie
Every so often someone will give McLaren the opportunity to spread his wings over far too great an area in the name of documentary. This to all intents and purposes is an hour about the creation of jukebox culture and the three minute rock'n'roll song. In McLaren's mind it's bound up with mob crime and outlaw culture. But then what isn't?
19:10 BBC3 The Most Annoying Pop Songs...We Hate To Love
That title doesn't even make sense. This will annoy you.
20:00 Radio 2 A Christmas Gift To You: The Phil Spector Christmas Album
Amanda Holden - well, obviously - celebrates the album Spector saw as his lasting legacy, only to release it on the day Kennedy was shot. Wrecking Crew drummer Hal Blaine is among the guests explaining how it transcended even that.
20:00 Sky Arts 1 Johnny Cash Christmas Special
Let's save Tony Orlando's house! The 1976 special for CBS brings the family and a few friends round to Johnny's Old Hickory Lake home.
22:00 Sky Arts 1 From The Basement
Series 2 of Nigel Godrich's studio based baby comes to TV this month. If you've only just found this out you've missed The Fall, the Stooges Sparks, My Morning Jacket, Gnarls Barkley and CSS among others, but you're just in time for a Radiohead set. More than decent support bill too, Fleet Foxes and Andrew Bird.
23:15 BBC2 TOTP2
00:00 Radio 1 Huw Stephens' Weird And Wonderful Christmas
Basically some old Christmas records he's found. We hope he doesn't try and claim the Waitresses' Christmas Wrapping is an overlooked record.
00:00 6 Music 6 Music Plays It Again - John Peel - My Top Ten
From 1984, Peel and Peebles chew various favourite song related fats.
10:00 6 Music Lily Allen
Hardly a prime slot, but when you're gearing back up for a make or break album you take what you're offered. Martin Freeman, Seasick Steve and Mark Ronson are the in no way familiar guests; George Lamb acts the party nuisance.
11:00 Radio 2 Junior Choice
It's not as interesting as you'd imagine.
11:00 5 Live Adrenalin Anthems
Colin Murray plots a course between sporting achievement and anthemry with the aid of Victoria Pendleton, Jermaine Jenas and James Toseland on one side and New Order, Glasvegas and Judge Jules on the other.
14:00 BBC1 Top Of The Pops Christmas Special
Back back back, the greatest festive regular of them all finally returns after a gap of, ooh, one year. Seriously, if the BBC's idea was to make everyone forget the Christmas special's never actually gone away, and they commissioned last year's at about the same distance from broadcast as they did this, they've succeeded in spades. Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates host, which we believe to be the definition of getting back on the horse that threw you.
15:00 6 Music King Of Leon Special
Steve Lamacq helps them talk through the year, in very great detail at low speed.
15:00 MTV2 Queens Speech/Kings' Speech
Yeah, we see. Josh Homme's the former, not Brian May or whoever.
17:00 Radio 2 Mark Lamarr
The traditional proper live Lamarr Radio 2 Christmas afternoon obscurity show.
18:00 6 Music Don Letts' Xmas Reggae Party
For even more festive reggae than above.
19:10 TCM Elvis: That's The Way It Is
The 1970 documentary of Presley's summer in Las Vegas, the glittering beginning of a very long slope down.
20:00 Radio 2 The Best Of The Ken Bruce Sessions
20:00 Sky Arts 1 Johnny Cash Christmas Special
By 1977 Elvis had died, so Johnny and June rounded up the surviving other members of the Million Dollar Quartet, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, and invited Roy Orbison round too.
00:55 BBC2 TOTP2
15:00 6 Music Elbow Special
Guy Garvey affects humility - not difficult for him, true - as he interviews his bandmates and drags out unheard archive material.
17:00 Radio 2 Noel Gallagher's Line Of Enquiry
They did this last year with David Beckham, being guided through questions from listeners with kid gloves by Kate Thornton. You imagine Noel might be less showbizzily amenable.
22:00 BBC4 Quincy Jones: The Many Lives Of Q
Originally shown in June, an extraordinary two hour delve into the life of a man so multi-faceted that not even many of the other interviewees are across it all, from jazz to Sinatra to The Italian Job to Thriller.
20:00 Sky Arts 1 Sinatra: A Song For The FBI
Everyone now knows Sinatra consorted with the Mafia, but it wasn't known until recently that the FBI dossier on his activities, partly about his Communist leanings, spanned 1,275 pages. This is what they found, sensationalised just for you the television audience.
22:00 Sky Indie Quadrophenia
From here, Parklife.
00:00 Radio 2 Mark Lamarr
Another best of the year's sessions deal, but in Lamarr's case they're usually eclectic enough for further investigation.
00:40 BBC2 TOTP2
Westworld! And the Associates with Alan Rankine's Thornton's chocolate guitar. That's not a euphemism, he had a guitar made out of chocolate which he ended up feeding to the audience.
18:15 Radio 4 Loose Ends
Elbow, Glen Campbell, Sergio Mendes and Mavis Staples among the year's best guests.
19:00 Radio 2 Pacific Ocean Blues - The Life And Death Of Dennis Wilson
Pacific Ocean Blue made the top ten on reissue; Roger Daltrey explains its author's story.
21:00 C4 Bring Back...Fame
No, Justin, no.
21:00 Radio 2 Best Of The Dermot Sessions
21:00 Sky Arts 1 Talk Talk Live In Montreux
The 1986 synthpop version rather than the later minimalist, influential stuff. Well, that wouldn't have gone down well in the Swiss enormohalls.
00:15 BBC2 TOTP2
14:30 Radio 2 Pick Of The Pops
1969, which means Two Little Boys at number one ahead of Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town, Sugar Sugar and Suspicious Minds, and if he doesn't play either The Liquidator or Roger Whittaker we're writing to Ofcom. Then the somewhat less auspicious 1989, featuring Band Aid II, Jive Bunny, Donald Where's Your Troosers? and Jeff Wayne's Eve Of The War. Electronic's Getting Away With It and De La Soul's The Magic Number will hopefully provide relief.
18:00 Absolute Absolute Xtreme
Had to get them in somewhere - Geoff Lloyd spends four hours introducing us to next year.
22:00 Sky Indie Tenacious D in The Pick Of Destiny
Directed by Liam Lynch. And indeed, whatever.
10:45 C4 Twenty Biggest Selling Singles Of The Last Ten Years
14:00 Radio 2 Michael Jackson: 30 At 50
For the following four days at this time the station celebrates musical institutions that turned fifty this year - Jacko, Madonna, Prince and Motown - by playing their thirty best selling songs alongside interviews and blah. Buy a compilation.
19:00 Radio 1 In New Music we Trust
Steve Lamacq does three hours of the year's new music, and the Pigeon Detectives too. Inscrutable, Lammo. Westwood does the same on Tuesday.
21:00 Sky Arts 1 Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out
Stewart Copeland bought a Super-8 camera in 1978 and filmed everything as his band ascended from chancers to enormodomes and eventually fell apart. A bit later, he pieced it together.
23:20 BBC2 TOTP2
The Strokes and the Goodies - together at last!
22:00 BBC2 All New Shooting Stars
Or you could have new comedy ideas, Vic and Bob. Just a thought. Dizzee Rascal's a guest, anyway.
22:30 Radio 2 The Wonderful Sound Of Woolies
Ah, timing. This is about Woolworths' contribution to music, not the shared memory of buying your first single from there but the "popular music on a budget" they made up until the 70s.
23:30 BBC2 TOTP2
NEW YEAR'S EVE
17:35 BBC1 Top Of The Pops New Year's Eve Special
"The year in music" is the wideranging scope, which allows this to be less new TOTP performances and more festival and one-off occasion film.
19:00 BBC1 Celebrity Mastermind
Featuring Mick Hucknall, Comic Relief Mel & Kim's Mel Smith, St Winifreds School Choir's Sally Lindsay and musical actress and Hollyoaks plant Summer Strallen.
21:00 Sky Arts 1 Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii
Elvis dons the white jumpsuit for the first time and gives 99.9% of the world's stack of impersonators a point to look no further back than. Fact: as it was part of a cancer charity fundraiser, the studio audience were invited to pay what they liked to attend. Don't look so smart now, do you, Radiohead?
22:00 Sky Arts 1 From The Basement
The series prides itself on the clarity of its sound, which we suspect might not be of the utmost when Seasick Steve performs. The Raconteurs and Band of Horses have their own takes on American traditions.
22:55 BBC2 Jools' Annual Hootenanny
That bloke they pay to stand around with a clock over his head fails to see any of Martha and the Vandellas, Dizzee Rascal, Annie Lennox, The Ting Tings, Dave Edmunds, Duffy, Adele, Sam Sparro, The Hold Steady, Kelly Jones, Lily Allen, Jools' Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and Svang, a Finnish harmonica quartet. But of course.
23:15 ITV Elton's New Year Party: Live From The O2 Arena
A somewhat more auspicious setting for a somewhat less auspicious performance. The set's designed by David La Chapelle, for one thing against it.
NEW YEAR'S DAY
12:00 Radio 2 6 On 2: Adam & Joe
There's a few 6 On 2 programmes over the week but this is the only one really worth your while. Only two hours, though.
19:00 Radio 1 New For 2009
On last year's evidence, very little of this five hour show will actually include naming the songs played.
21:00 Sky Arts 1 Elvis '68 Comeback Special
Forty years gone back on December 3rd, and Colonel Tom Parker wanted it to be a schmaltzy set of carols. Parker apparently didn't know what it actually was going to entail until rehearsals. Oh, and the director and at least one confidante have claimed Elvis put so much into his performance that his black suit had to be cleaned mid-shoot as during one of the sit-down performances he'd ejaculated. (Sorry.)
09:00 Radio 1 10 Hour Takeover
For, we think, the fourth time most of the day is handed over to requests from the entire BBC music library. Great in principle, thousands and thousands of requests for current Super A-listed tracks in practice.
14:00 Radio 2 Rob Brydon's New Year's Resolutions
Do the whole three hours in your Ken Bruce voice, Rob! Go on!
19:00 Radio 2 Motown Record Producers
Smokey Robinson and Holland Dozier Holland help chart the changing sound of the Motor City.
21:00 Sky Arts 1 The Who - The Vegas Job
Here's a weird old story we've only just come across. In October 1999, the golden age of the dot com bubble, a company called Pixelon, promising technological advances in online video streaming, threw a $16m party at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and hired the Who to headline a stellar bill. Shortly afterwards, Pixelon's MD did a runner and it turned out he was a massive fraudster, among other things failing to actually webcast that gig. Obviously, however, had the thing not been professionally filmed someone would have said something earlier, and so we have a document of the greatest hits set, the last officially documented performance of John Entwhistle's life to boot.
21:00 BBC4 Prog At The BBC
22:00 BBC4 Prog Rock Britannia - An Observation In Three Movements
Whey-hey! "The first comprehensive, feature-length documentary about progressive music" says the blurb, which it isn't as they did one a few years ago. As the title of the second programme (the first is a collection of archived performances) suggests it's the first in a three parter, dealing with the genre's birth and ambition. Contributors include Robert Wyatt, Mike Oldfield, Rick Wakeman, Phil Collins and Ian Anderson.
22:30 Sky Arts 1 The Kids Are Alright
From slightly younger days, a document of TV appearances and interviews from The Who's golden age alongside documentary filming and performances from the late 70s, Keith Moon dying just after completion.