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  • Glen Campbell’s Ghost on the Canvas came to my attention over the summer when his fight with Alzheimer’s became public. We don’t know how we missed it for our best albums list. It’s his best ever.

    It’s also one of the best packages that I have ever heard. It literally resonates with honesty like no other. Several reviewers have mentioned the strong, almost religious overtones. And, I would agree.

    I went on amazon.com the other day and began to read some of the several hundred reviews.

    They were all positive, something I had never seen on the site before.

    I’ve always like Campbell; his collaborations with writer Jimmy Webb are legendary. But this album, written and produced by Julian Raymond is stunning. Without question: the year’s best.

    Top Artists Join on Hunger Games

    Taylor Swift, Win Butler, T Bone Burnett, the Civil Wars, the Decemberists and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire have contributed songs to the companion album for the upcoming film “The Hunger Game.”

    Swift collaborated with the Civil Wars and Burnett to write and perform the lead single “Safe and Sound,” which launched on iTunes last Friday. It became their top download.

    Butler and Chassagne have written a song with Burnett entitled “Horn of Plenty,” and the Decemberists have contributed an original one called “One Engine.”

    Almost makes the movie worth watching just to hear the music.

    Saturday Night Live’s Stellar Season

    I just watched, for the second time, the “Saturday Night Live” Christmas show from two weeks back with Jimmy Fallon hosting. It was the funniest episode of that long-revered show in quite some time.

     Zach Galifianakis was brilliant in his opening monologue capping one of SNL’s strongest seasons in years. Alec Baldwin, Coldplay, Florence + The Machine, Emma Stone, The Black Keys and Anne Hathaway all added their brilliance on other shows.

    The thing about the Fallon episode, which I noticed during my first viewing and confirmed on my second, was Canadian crooner Michael Buble‘s terrific comedic. He killed in a sketch about a new album of celebrity-Christmas duets.

    Fallon played Sting, Justin Bieber and Russell Brand. All three drove Buble crazy with missed cues and sour notes. The singer played along and was just sensational.

    Also, during his opening monologue, Fallon ran throughout the studio with his guitar singing a Xmas song, and when he sang the verse, “Michael Buble is doing cocaine,” the singer wiped his nose at precisely the right time.

    The man’s got good timing, no question. The show also featured a who’s who of past performers, including Tracy Morgan, Horatio Sanz, Chris Katta, Tina Fey and Amy Pohler. Instant classic if you ask me.

    Names in the News

    Lou O’Neill; Jacqueline Boyd; Tom Silverman, James Edstrom, Andrew Saffir, Tom & Lisa Cuddy, Freddy Bastone, Larry Yasgur, Mark Ronson, Pat Lynch, Al O’Leary, Steven Zee, Claire O’Connor, Ahmed Zmed, William Schill, Rebecca Bruder, Julian Sundby, Ron Wolfson, Chuck Pulin, Robert Milazzo, Scott Shannon.