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March 21 - April 19 Aries
The Roches started out as a duo (Maggie and Terre) who backed Paul Simon on There Goes Rhymin’ Simon after Maggie, then 19, brazenly introduced herself to him in a building lobby at NYU. Simon later produced a track on Maggie and Terre’s first album, Seductive Reasoning, in 1975. Disenchanted with the music biz circa mid-seventies (and who could blame them), the two sisters moved to Hammond, Louisiana, becoming waitresses for a time (which later inspired their signature track The Hammond Song). Long story short, after moving back to New York, sister Suzzy joined the group, they became a Greenwich Village club scene favorite, were signed to Warner Bros. in 1978 and Robert Fripp produced their 1979 debut, The Roches, proclaimed Best Album of the Year by The New York Times. They disbanded in 1997, but still perform occasionally, usually around the holidays, like now. They’re playing tonight (Friday, Dec. 5) at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, at the Christmas Tree lighting in Battery Park Wed. December 10, and on Thurs. Dec. 11 at Tarrytown Music Hall with Loudon Wainwright. Tap into that famous Aries initiative and go, go, go if you can. And if you can’t, do yourself a favor and go to iTunes and download My Sick Mind and Factory Girl, both from their 1980 album Nurds: Factory Girl (the stunning lump-in-yer-throat reworking of a traditional Irish song) and My Sick Mind (a Terre Roche original and my favorite of all their songs). Watch a clip of them performing My Sick Mind here (Nobody knows, nobody knows, not even your best friend knows the bind you’re in). Oh hey, don’t forget their magnificent version of the Hallelujah Chorus. Visit their website and their MySpace page.April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Swing on by to WFMU Free Form Radio tomorrow (on your radio dial at 91.1 or online), when Terre T hosts Fleshtone Peter Zaremba and co. for some egg-noggin’, stocking-jamming holiday festivities live in the WFMU Studios Saturday, December 6th, between 3 and 6 PM on Cherry Blossom Clinic! They’ll be playings tunes from their new Yep Roc CD Stocking Stuffer” and rocking around the Xmas tree. Being a Taurus myself I know how much you love your Christmas cheer and your garage rock. And Hitsburg U.S.A.’s Fleshtones serve it up like nobody’s business. Their new CD is the perfect gift for music fans who hate run-of-the mill Christmas music, because, hey, The Fleshtones just want to rock and they’re not about to let peace on earth or good will towards men get in the way. Check out these sound samples on amazon. I don’t know about you, but I need to hear Christmas with Bazooka Joe right now.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Speaking of Egg Nog, put Ruth and Esther’s Egg Nog Revue on your calendar now for next Sunday December 14: Everybody’s favorite southern belles return to Ars Nova at 54th St. and 10th Ave. in NYC to spread some Bulls Gap, Tennessee holiday cheer. Scandalous single gal Ruth (Marya Grandy) and retired schoolteacher Esther (Mark Blankenship) will share their signature blend of neighborhood gossip, candid advice, and estimable dance moves. If things get wild enough, Esther might just reveal her secret egg nog recipe. Bring both your good and bad Gemini twin selves and be there or be square on December 14 at 7pm. Ruth and Esther sold out the house in August so don’t delay, get your tickets now.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
I tell you this now because I know yon moonchild loves to plan ahead. So if you’re in Gotham on Dec. 26 and 27, save those dates for the Fab Faux. Never seen ‘em? OK, I know what you’re saying – Beatles tribute band, no thanks. But it’s not like that. Believe me; you can’t be more of a skeptic than me. Give me JPG&R or nothing. And then I saw them. This gang of top-notch TV-show-band musicians from both The Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O’Brien quite obviously worship at the foot of the four-headed godhead that was the Beatles. They are note for note perfect and not in an obsequious way. They are – simply put – marvelous. I went as a skeptic and ended up wiping tears of joy and amazement from my eyes. Now I try never to miss them as they weave their sonic magic with the best music in the world. At New York’s Terminal 5 on Dec. 26 they’ll perform Abbey Road and Let It Be from beginning to end in their entirety, and Dec. 27 they take on the formidable White Album. And yes, they do Revolution No. 9. You’ll dig a pony, I guarantee you.


July 23 - August 22 Leo
I know how you Leos like your viral videos; funny, topical, and sarcastic, and with Jack Black if at all possible. Submitted for your approval, Prop 8 – The Musical (a Funny or Die exclusive). Says The New York Times, the comedic song-and-dance diatribe about the California ballot initiative to define marriage as existing only between a man and a woman stars a cast of dozens, including John C. Reilly, Neil Patrick Harris, Maya Rudolph, and Jack Black as Jesus Christ. Of course anything with Maya Rudolph is a must see. Composer Marc Shaiman (composer of Hairspray) told the newspaper of record: In my credit, it says,“Written (six weeks too late) by Marc Shaiman.” I mean, yeah, it’s totally bittersweet . . . We were thinking of how to film it, and I said, “Well, maybe that first section should be all of us on a hill, with poppies, and it snows and we’re put to sleep, and then the Proposition 8 people are looking through the crystal ball, like the Wicked Witch of the West in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’” Because that’s what happened. We stupidly allowed ourselves to be lulled into a sense of, everything’s fantastic now, look – everything’s changing. And this couldn’t possibly be voted into law. This is just like some little peskything that we’re swatting at, and it will go away immediately. All I can say is; don’t miss this one.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Our Virgo brothers and sisters will no doubt enjoy a visit to The Hungarian Pastry Shop. Conveniently located across the street (1030 Amsterdam Ave. between 110th and 111th Streets) from the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, this cozy café serves up pastries, tea and coffee all day long. At one table you’ll find Columbia students reading textbooks and writing papers, at another table you’ll hear a gaggle of upper west side liberal hippies discussing Obama’s latest cabinet choices, and at yet another table you’ll see youngsters a-cuddlin’. The walls are covered with original artwork and you’ll feel like you’re either in Europe or perhaps the Greenwich Village of the Fifties. How many great ideas were born in this very room? Order your coffee, and discuss.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Thanks to mediabistro’s galleycat column, I found this tasty item about indie bookstores: Random House sales rep Ann Kingman offers 11 reasons indie bookstores should consider blogging as a way to improve their business, from increased visibility on Google and community engagement to promoting in-store events and showing off employees’ authoritative passion for books….We’ve seen a few indie bookstore blogs, from Powell’s in Portland, Oregon, to Riverrun in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but we’re always on the lookout for more—feel free to mention your favorites in the comments section.(And booksellers may want to keep an eye on Kingman’s blog for additional advice…) Pull up a chair, Librans, and let’s talk about independent bookstores and how we need them in this country. Chain stores are for coffee and clothing……not books!

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
‘Tis the season, am I right Scorpio? I mean the season for getting sick, for people coughing on you in buses and trains and germs taking up residence in and on you. Thanks to Rafat Ali’s paidcontent email newsletter, I learned this week of Johar Joshanda, a magical energizing and healing Pakistani black tea potion. Ali extolled its virtues on The Daily Beast: Johar Joshanda, a Pakistani black tea concoction, is the best natural energizer you will ever have. It works like magic on your cold and flu, and also great after a long tiring day or flight. Time Asia has called it “chicken soup for the Pakistani soul.” …Try any Pakistani neighborhood store in London, or New York. Note to self: find this stuff and drink it down.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
I know how Sagittarians love to plan ahead. So I’m telling you now to make sure and get MOJO’s special 1969 tribute issue, coming out in early 2009. The redoubtable Harvey Kubernik has contributed both feature articles to this issue as well as interviews with Graham Nash, Robby Krieger, Kim Fowley, and Merry Clayton. And speaking of Harvey the K, he’ll be a  featured interview subject in the nine week episodic series, Pacific Coast Sound, for the U.K.’s Smooth Radio network starting in March 2009. The series is produced by Vince Hunt for the indie production company Smooth Operations, which also creates music-related content for BBC radio and television. Among other musicians and authors to be heard on the hour-long weekly shows will be Van Dyke Parks, Hal Blaine, Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady, Luis “Louie” Perez from Los Lobos, Canned Heat’s Fito de la Parra, Carol Kaye, Chris Darrow, Alec Palao, Joel Selvin, Charles Cross, and Don Wilson of the Ventures. Alas, only our English friends can hear Smooth Radio, so fingers crossed the series gets distributed elsewhere also.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Later this month, the most popular Capricorn of all time celebrates his birthday. To quote Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice in Jesus Christ Superstar: Hosanna Hey Sanna, Sanna Sanna Ho, Sanna Hey, Sanna Hosanna. How about a holiday trip to Christmas, Florida located east of Orlando - the town is basically an area on Highway 50 known chiefly for a very big post office and the largest alligator-shaped building (200 feet) in the world.  The alligator building is the home of Jungle Adventures, the largest gator farm in Florida. Frozen alligator meat is available in the gift shop. And nothing says Christmas like barbequed alligator, n’est-ce pas? You can also visit Fort Christmas, built in 1837 during the Second Seminole Indian War.  Tangentially speaking of Florida, check this out: Miami’s favorite son, Jim Osterberg (AKA Iggy Pop), becomes a CNN commentator for the series My City_My Life. Watch the trailer here and check it out this weekend on CNN.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
For most of 2008, I’ve checked the website of the Huffington Post several times a day. It began early this year when I became obsessed with the soap opera-American Idol democratic primary race (who could have predicted that it would end up with HRC as the next Condoleeza? Certainly not me). And when politics get too boring, I check out the Entertainment section to see what famous person did something stupid, or go to the Living section where there’s always something interesting. Like Gretchen Rubins piece 12 Surprising and Productive Brain Exercises. Rubin, whose own Happiness Project is also worth a visit, writes here of Dorothea Brande’s 1936 book Wake Up and Live. The book contains 12 mental exercises meant to make you keener and more flexible. Fascinating stuff that Aquarians will enjoy. Here’s one: Think for 30 minutes a day about one subject exclusively. Start with five minutes.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
I don’t mean to be unkind, but the biggest lushes I know are Pisces-born. So therefore I offer you a hangover cure in these holiday times, courtesy of Divine Caroline. Divine Caroline is an oasis on the wonderful world wide web providing counsel on relationships, food, parenting, travel, style, careers, et al. Stories on their home page today include How to Save $500 in a Month; Milk - Does it Really Do A Body Good?; and a recipe for Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles (um, sign me up). Divine Caroline is the flagship site of Real Girls Media, a digital network created by women for women.

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