Goodbye LDB game, Hello Whamageddon

For the past five holiday seasons or so, a group of my friends and I have been (somewhat reluctantly at this point) playing the LDB game.

"LDB" stands for "Little Drummer Boy."

To win, you must survive the holiday season without hearing any version of "Little Drummer Boy." There are no prizes, just bragging rights that you successfully dodged another year of "Pa rum pum pum pum."

Now I've learned there's a new game in town. It's called Whamageddon.

To play this game, you just have to avoid hearing Wham!'s 1984 Christmas hit "Last Christmas" from December 1 to midnight on December 24. If you hear it, you're out. Grab the hashtag #whamageddon and enter "Whamhalla" by admitting your defeat on social media.

Want to win? Do NOT watch this video:

The good news? It's finally ok to watch Pee-wee's 1988 Christmas special during the holiday season. Go ahead, click on Grace Jones' "Little Drummer Boy":

(Lifehacker)

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Watch George Michael and Morrissey discuss breakdancing and Joy Division

In May 1984, George Michael and Morrissey, promoting respectively “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and The Smiths' "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now," appeared on the BBC program Eight Days A Week. They discuss such urgent matters as the film Breakin' (released as Breakdance outside the US) and Mark Johnson's book An Ideal for Living: A History of Joy Division.

(via Dangerous Minds)

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Listen to Wham's "Careless Whisper" before George Michael fixed it

This is Wham's "Careless Whisper" (1984) before George Michael took matters into his own hands. (The visuals are from the music video we know and love.) From Wikipedia:

The song went through at least two rounds of production. The first was during a trip Michael made to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where he went to work with producer Jerry Wexler at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. Michael was unhappy with the version that was originally produced and decided to re-record and produce the song himself, this time coming up with the version that was finally released. The version Wexler produced did, was released later in the year, as a (4:41) B-side "Special Version" on 12" in the UK and Japan.

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Frank Sinatra to George Michael on coping with fame: "Swing, man"

After he became a global phenomenon, George Michael considered retirement to get away from the demands of fame, telling the L.A. Times' Calendar magazine that he planned to reduce the strain of his celebrity status. One Frank Sinatra wrote in, exhorting him to continue cultivating his talent... Read the rest

George Michael, 1963-2016

English singer-songwriter George Michael died December 25 at his home in Oxfordshire, reports the BBC. His publicist said he died peacefully. Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, Michael rose to fame as part of the duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley, and sold more than 100 million records worldwide, specializing in soulful mainstream pop.

Thames Valley Police said South Central Ambulance Service attended a property in Goring in Oxfordshire at 13:42 GMT.

Police say they were treating the death as unexplained but there were no suspicious circumstances.

In a statement, the star's publicist said: "It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period.

"The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."

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Smoking weed "gave George Michael a west-country accent"

After an accident, British pop singer George Michael began smoking heavily and "has joked about the time he talked in a regional voice totally unconnected to him, saying: 'There’s nothing wrong with the West Country accent. It’s just weird when you’re from north London.'" [Western Morning News] Read the rest