By Rich Heldenfels
Beacon Journal pop culture writer

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This undated publicity photo provided by AMC shows Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in a scene from AMC's TV show, "The Walking Dead," Season 3, Episode 5. The show airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on AMC. (AP Photo/AMC, Russell Kaye)


Dead Zone. In case you missed the news, tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. today for The Walking Dead LIVE, a touring discussion of the popular AMC series, coming to PlayHouseSquare’s State Theatre on Feb. 14. (Yes, Valentine’s Day. Imagine what this crew would do to a heart.)

Norman Reedus (Daryl), Steve Yeun (Glenn) and Lauren Cohan (Maggie) join Greg Nicotero, an executive producer and “special effects guru” for the event, which also includes a Q&A, a showing of previously unseen footage and a look behind the scenes at the zombie drama. Tickets are $35, or $100 for a package that also includes a meet-and-greet with the Walking Dead folks. They’re available at the State box office, via playhousesquare.org or by phone at 216-241-6000 or 866-546-1353. For more information, visit the website or call 216-771-8403.

The Walking Dead begins airing new episodes on Feb. 10.

Photo Play. For close to 40 years Janet Macoska has been taking photos of rock royalty and she now has a website, www.janetmacoskaphotoarchive.com, with her pictures available for viewing and purchase.

In a Facebook note, Macoska said that with the site “I hope to promote my photos to record labels and documentary makers, etc. as well as sell a print now and again.” She even has a holiday special, until Dec. 31, where selected 11-by-14 prints are $85, including shipping, or $75 apiece when you buy two or more.

The site includes several portfolios of images and an index of available artists. The portfolios are also great for browsing, full of shots like Devo in Akron in 1978, Devo with the Black Keys in 2008, David Bowie in a 1983 show, Paul McCartney in 1990, Michael Jackson in 1988, Joan Jett in 1977, Stevie Nicks that same year, and more.

Christmas Rocks. The combination of the season and the announcement of the new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees had me wondering whether the musicians in the Class of 2013 had done Christmas songs. And the answer is yes.

Consider, for example, Christmas Spirit, a 10-song set by Donna Summer (also available as The Best of Donna Summer: The Christmas Collection), Then add Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ by bluesman Albert King, Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson on Here Is Christmas or Quincy Jones conducting a rendition of Hallelujah (on the wonderful 1992 CD, Handel’s Messiah: Soulful Celebration). Then there’s Randy Newman offering Christmas in Capetown, a raw 1983 song from the point of view of a white, racist South African. Not holiday cheer, but very Newman.

King Honored. Singer-songwriter Carole King will receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in a ceremony in spring 2013. The prize honors artists “whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin, by bridging musical styles, bringing diverse listeners together, and fostering their mutual respect and appreciation.” Previous recipients include Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and the writing team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

King is best known for her classic album Tapestry, and — as singer and/or writer — songs including You’ve Got a Friend, A Natural Woman, It Might As Well Rain Until September, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, The Loco-Motion and, well, just check out the immense discography on www.caroleking.com.

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including the HeldenFiles Online blog, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter. You can contact him at 330-996-3582 or rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com.

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