The 10 Best Adaptations of A Christmas Carol

Page to Screen is a regular free-form column in which Matt Melis explores how either a classic or contemporary work of literature made the sometimes triumphant, often disastrous leap from prose to film. This time, he soars alongside the Ghost of Christmas Past to revisit the very best adaptations of A Christmas Carol. Check your humbugs with the girl at the door. “In everybody, there is a thing that loves children, fears death, and likes sunlight, and this thing enjoys Charles Dickens.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton “Okay, kids. That’s enough Dickens for one day.” — Mr. Garrison, South Park “I’m up to my chestnuts in Dickens.” — Me Most people know the gist of Alice’s tumble down the rabbit hole and are familiar with the basic itinerary of Wendy’s red-eye to Neverland. Thanks to Judy Garland, even more can probably recount Dorothy thumbing her way across Oz with three strangers. However, I’d be surprised if any tale in the Western literary canon has been embedded in our cultural DNA more thoroughly than Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The phrases “Bah, humbug!” and “God bless us, every one” jokingly pass our lips as shared allusions, and the name Scrooge itself (whose etymology traces back to an obscure verb meaning “to squeeze” or […]

Shining a Light on Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante’s Decade Out of the Spotlight

The Red Hot Chili Peppers came close to breaking the Internet on Sunday by suddenly announcing a shakeup of their current lineup. For fans of the band, this wasn’t particularly surprising. The band has had over a dozen members in its lifetime, with over half of that coming from guitarist turnover alone. What made this announcement particularly newsworthy is that the band were welcoming back the guitarist who led the charge on their most celebrated records and during their most successful periods. John Frusciante is back. It’s still difficult to believe considering the semi-reclusive nature the prolific musician enjoys. In fact, fans wondered if the announcement was even true at first, with many speculating the band’s Instagram had been hacked by an overzealous fan. But it’s true: John Frusciante is in and Josh Klinghoffer, the band’s guitarist since 2009, is out. This return will be Frusciante’s third stint with the band as he previously joined in 1988 after the death of Hillel Slovak and recorded Mother’s Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magik with the band before departing amidst the band’s rocket to stardom and his own descent into troubled drug addiction. He would rejoin in 1998 and become a major […]

10 Progressive Rock Concept Albums Every Music Fan Should Own

Crate Digging is a recurring feature in which we take a deep dive into a genre and turn up several albums all music fans should know about.  Released in late November 1979, progressive rock pioneer Pink Floyd’s eleventh studio LP, The Wall, was a creative triumph. In a nutshell, it’s a semi-autobiographical rock opera — mostly conceived and written by bassist/vocalist Roger Waters — about an insecure and reclusive musician whose childhood traumas and rock star excesses force him into complete psychological and physical isolation. True, its largest themes and inspirations (loneliness, insanity, mortality, war, fatherlessness, classism, totalitarianism, and, of course, the tragic departure of founding frontman Syd Barrett) were previously investigated on classics like The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and Animals; however, The Wall saw the quartet tackle it all at once within their sole narrative sequence (that is, unless you count its follow-up, 1983’s The Final Cut, as a pseudo sequel). (Read: 40 Reasons We Still Love Pink Floyd’s The Wall) Commercially and culturally, The Wall — their last album to feature founding keyboardist Richard Wright as an official member until 1994’s The Division Bell — fared just as well. For one thing, […]

Dirty Honey’s Marc LaBelle on Topping the Rock Chart, Touring with Slash, and More

Dirty Honey made music history this year when the Los Angeles-based band became the first unsigned act to top the Billboard Mainstream Rock songs chart. For Dirty Honey vocalist Marc LaBelle, the record-breaking moment came as a surprise. “It’s insane!” he tells Heavy Consequence. “Honestly, we never thought that would be the case. That was never something we talked about.” He adds, “I think it’s a credit to our team and our booking agent for putting us on bills with bands that have fans that maybe we’re not right in their wheelhouse, but hopefully they fall in love with the band. That’s been the case more and more. It’s exciting.” In a few short years, Dirty Honey have not only topped the charts, but also toured this past summer with Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, and opened for Guns N’ Roses during their two-night stand in Las Vegas earlier this month. With the band set to embark on a headlining US tour in the new year, LaBelle spoke with Heavy Consequence about the band’s rise to success, what it was like touring with Slash, the current rock revival, and more. Read the full interview below. On Dirty Honey’s […]

Ranking: Every Lollapalooza Lineup from Worst to Best

Rank and File finds us sorting through an exhaustive, comprehensive body of work or collection of pop-culture artifacts. This time, we celebrate Lollapalooza by determining which installment of the festival was the greatest of them all. The dog days of summer mean that Lollapalooza is just around the corner, and thousands of music fans are about to descend upon Chicago’s Grant Park. It’s hard to believe that, in 1991, Perry Farrell created the festival as a showcase for Jane’s Addiction‘s last hurrah. Of course, many things have changed since its initial heyday in the ’90s. In the US, Lolla has grown and evolved drastically from its touring festival roots, having survived a hibernation from 1997 until 2003, in addition to its canceled 2004 installment. Since then, Lollapalooza has settled down in the Windy City, gradually expanding from two to three to four days. (Though, one could argue the fest’s touring spirit lives on through its international counterparts, which have sprung up in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, and Sweden.) Throughout its history, some of the most iconic acts in music have performed at the festival, from Paul McCartney to Kanye West to Arcade Fire, in addition to up-and-coming talent that have […]

32 Years Ago, Guns N’ Roses Blow Up the Rock World with Appetite for Destruction

Guns N’ Roses’ debut album, Appetite for Destruction, was the darker, grittier response to Sunset Boulevard’s glam-rock scene. The LP’s unique sound helped move it away from the sea of spandex and hairspray in which it was spawned and make it a staple found in nearly every hard rock fan’s collection, alongside classics like Led Zeppelin II or Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. Released on July 21st, 1987, Appetite for Destruction features the bluesy hard-rock ethos of Aerosmith blended with an aggressive punk undertone amid splashes of metal and ’70s bar rock — a concoction that owes itself to the unique blend of musicians who made up the band. While not as technically proficient as some his contemporaries, Slash’s guitar playing was fluid and full of feeling; Axl Rose’s unique voice and amazing range was unlike any other singer at the time; Duff McKagan’s punk-inspired bass playing gave the music a raw sense of urgency; Izzy Stradlin’s rhythm guitar cleverly weaved in and out of Slash’s leads; and Steven Adler’s workmanlike drums let the other members shine. Amazingly, Appetite for Destruction was not a huge success out of the gate. In fact, the album took more than a year to top the […]

Why It’s Finally Time to Get Rid of Music Charts

I discovered record charts in junior high school. Trying, yet again, to be cool, I started listening to Z-100, the local New York City Top 40 station. I was shocked to learn that all of pop music could be reduced to 40 songs. It seemed way too small. At the time, it felt like Madonna must have had 50 top-10 hits all by herself. I eventually found my way off of Top 40 into the heavy metal parking lot that was suburban Queens in 1988, but I remained fascinated by the idea of record charts and how something as personal and as expansive as music could be distilled to a chart position. It’s why I read with interest about Rolling Stone delaying the launch of their own music chart, which was supposed to use an algorithm to figure out and weight what people are actually listening to nowadays. Music charts used to be simple things. (And they sure as hell didn’t get sued by pissed-off DJs.) People either bought a single/album, or they listened to it on the radio. Now, as Rolling Stone has learned, it’s gotten more complicated. There’s streaming. There are online radio stations. There are podcasts. And […]