Saturday, November 05, 2005
Every once and a while I like to make a mix tape of the best songs out there to listen to in the car. Here’s what you should be listening to.
1. Gold Digger – Kanye West & Jamie Foxx (Check out my album review - You Gotta Love it Though, Somebody Still Speaks From His Soul)
2. I Got a Woman – Ray Charles (Of course Gold Digger was built around this Ray Charles classic)
3. The Corner (Remix) – Common, Scareface, & Mos Def
4. So High – John Legend
5. I’m Feeling You – Santana, Michelle Branch & the Wreckers (See my album review - Your Fire Fills My Soul)
6. Dreamgirl – Dave Matthews Band (See my album review - Bring That Beat Back to Me Again)
7. The Mixed Tape – Jack’s Mannequin (See my album review - I'll Send This Message Through the Speakers)
8. Good Times – Tommy Lee (See my album review - I'd Rather Play You on My TV)
9. Breakdown – Jack Johnson (See my album review - We Drew Our Own Constellations)
10. Bad Day – Daniel Powter (Another good iTunes free Single of the Week)
11. Do it Again – Nada Surf
12. Last Getaway (ReAct Now: Music & Relief) – The Radiators (These next three song came from Connect.com with proceeds going to Katrina Relief)
13. Home (ReAct Now: Music & Relief) – Marc Broussard (Although the song is taken from the Connect set, if you follow this link it will take you to the iTunes store with another live version with proceeds also going to Katrina relief)
14. Wake Me up When September Ends (ReAct Now: Music & Relief) – Green Day (Again, this link takes you to iTunes version with proceeds of the song going to charity)
15. All These Things That I’ve Done (Live 8) – The Killers (Look for the Live 8 DVD coming out next Tuesday)
16. Behind These Immigrant Eyes – Led Zeppelin vs. Kelly Clarkson (Another mix tape and yet another Kelly Clarkson mash-up. I still have a couple more on my iPod)
17. In the Rough – Anna Nalick
18. Who We Are – Hope Partlow (Check out my album review - Hope Is What I'm Hoping to Find)
19. The Theme to Fame (Emmy Idol) – Kristen Bell (What should have been the winner at this year’s Emmys, check out my review - We on Award Tour - 2005 Emmy Awards)
20. They Don’t Know (World Series Remix) – Paul Wall (Thanks to some shaky umpiring, the World Series didn’t go they should have, but Astro’s fan and Houston native Paul Wall made the best pre-championship song since the Superbowl Shuffle and was able to name drop each player on the roster and front row ticket holder George Bush, that is the real one, not the pale imitation that is his son)
Friday, November 04, 2005
I need to make an amendment to the previous Santana review (scroll down for that) much like my post Dave Matthews Band review. And just like that amendment it has to do with copy protection. Now first off, at least the Stand Up CD had a sticker stating so and warned of it glitches and even gave a website for customer support. Of course the support told me, and anyone who asked, how to circumvent the protection rendering it meaningless, and really nothing but a minor pain. But once I put All That I Am, up came a special player for the disk. And when I tried ripping some songs to iTunes, but the songs I chose came out funny making me realize that this was a copied protected. Upon further review, there was a very small box on the back of the CD case talking in computer speak that you an only rip songs into the Windows Media Player. Then they also print that there were “Limited Copies.” How many? It doesn’t say so basically one day you will run out of copies. Granted you can make unlimited copies of your copies so again, this feature is useless and just alienates the people who buy the album, yet still has no deterrent for those who don’t.
Then to add injury to insult, I found this article after trying to rip the Santana CD, Sony unit to distribute software patch. What this article boils down to is that Sony has put spy ware that automatically uploads to your computer when it is put into your computer's CD Drive. And if you try to delete the files, it will disable your CD drive. This has to be illegal. If there any lawyers out there, this may be a good time to fire up a class action lawsuit. This is an easy case of invasion of privacy. You cannot install files on someone’s computer without his or her permission.
So do not put this, or any copy protected music in your computer. In fact, don’t buy the CD's at all and if you are interested in it, buy it through iTunes instead (check my link). So join my boycott of all copy protected music or those communist music companies will win and succeed to destroy music.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Going with the “If it isn’t broke don’t fix it” is Santana who is back with his third installment of his duets series entitled All That I Am. Santana has always been the best idea for collaboration because unlike such efforts in the last decade from singers like Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles, Santana is more of an instrumentalist who has always had a revolving door of singers, so why not just bring in high profile singers to accompany him.
For All That I Am, Santana brought back two artists who were responsible for his biggest hits off his last couple album. Michelle Branch once again gets the lead single honors with the upbeat I’m Feeling You that could be easily mistaken for her last collaboration with Santana, The Game of Love. Both songs were much more poppy than any of Santana’s older stuff or Branch’s music for that matter, but somehow overcome cheesy lyrics, this time replacing “A little bit of this and a little bit of that” with “I’m riding the highs and digging the lows,” and are able to make a extremely enjoyable song. The other returning face is Rob Thomas who wrote and sang the first song that made Santana relevant again, Smooth. This time around Thomas is relegated to just writing duties on the Mary J. Blige sung My Man. The song also features a very unnecessary rap from Big Boi of Outkast that takes away from the song.
Other guests include Steven Tyler of Aerosmith who is rescued from the rut his band has fallen recently with the onslaught of Diane Warren ballads and poorly veiled sophomoric lyrics. Just Feel Better is the best song Tyler has been apart of since the hey day of his band in the seventies. Los Lonely Boys make an argument against being one hit wonders with I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love which best reflects the Santana of old with its south of the border flavor and part of the lyrics sung in Spanish. Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas also show up in an almost salsa type song I Am Special which would be great at any party, but the song could get old quickly. Things slow down with the arrival of the smooth Anthony Hamilton on Twisted.
There are also some head scratching pairing on the album too, some with better results than other. First is the generational guitarist showcase with the old guard, Santana, trading licks with the heavy metal veteran, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, and the new kid on the block Robert Randolph. It's fun as a music fan to sit and try to pick out who is who on the appropriately titled Trinity. Then there is the reggae singer Sean Paul along side the soulful Joss Stone on Cry Baby Cry which combination actually sounds good. What doesn’t do as well is the inclusion of American Karaoke castoff Bo Bice on Brown Skin Girl who tries to channel the southern rock Gods of yesteryear, but comes off as exactly what he is, a pale karaoke imitation.
There are a few old Santana Mexican standards most notable Hermes that utilizes the organs, percussions, and horns just like every great Latin song. If would be hard for anyone not to dance when this comes on. In fact all of the songs without a name singer stands up to those that do on this album.
Song to Download – Just Feel Better
All That I Am gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Subtle comedies like Swingers and Garden State have more appeal to me these days compared to the over the top, “Dude, you just drank someone’s man juice” type of comedies. So on the surface, In Good Company looks right up my alley. The movie stars Dennis Quaid as a guy who just found out that his wife was pregnant and he was demoted following corporate takeover all within 24 hours. His new boss, played by the dude from That 70’s Show not currently married to Demi Moore, is young enough to be his kid and not necessarily qualified for the job. Then his new boss promptly hooks up his daughter completely on the down low.
Here inlays the problem with the movie, it doesn’t know if it wants to be a family drama, a romantic comedy or a social commentary on today’s corporate world. Each upon itself would make a good movie are even a combination of two would be find, but having all three storylines weighs down the movie bringing to a running time to a very long running time of two hours which is too much for this type of movie. And looking at the amount of deleted scenes, it could have gone even longer closing in on three hours. Needless to say, avoid any potential Director’s Cut that may be released in the future.
With that said, the acting almost makes up for the movie’s flaws. Dennis Quaid easily transitions himself from tough guy to family guy seamlessly while Topher Grace does a good job of walking the tightrope between being the hate-able boss and likeable boyfriend for most of the movie. Scarlett Johansson shines in the first part of the movie as the daughter/love interest, but like most everything in the movie, her character falls fall in the third act.
In Good Company gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Adam Sandler was the best reason to watch Saturday Night Live for me in the post-Dana Carvey era. The best was whenever he’d show up at the Weekend Update desk to sing his silly little songs. Then I was introduced to his first comedy album, ironically at church camp. Aw, good old church camp where we would listen to Sandler albums, make out with chicks and get into fights. Then there was the sect that would wonder off for a smoke break. I think church camp was more immoral than regular camp. But anyways. Sandler’s They’re All Gonna Laugh at You! had us on the floor all weekend and is still good for a laugh today. And as we start November and head to Thanksgiving, the album makes a great addition to the Scooter Hall of Fame with my daily spin of the Thanksgiving Song.
The album starts off modest enough with Assistant Principal’s Big Day as the namesake in the title making some new rules as regulating smoking. Of course this takes a turn for the worse as me matter of factly orders the girls shower into his office which then disturbingly includes the men’s gymnastics team. And the album rarely slows down from there and really earns his Parental Advisory sticker as if any good parent would let his or her child listen to this.
Next we are introduced to the Buffoon who shows up multiple times throughout the album as he makes outrageous statements like telling his Dean of Admissions, played by Conan O’Brien, “I bet you got really hairy (expletive deleted),” only for the person he’s talking to, such as the Valedictorian, respond to the Buffoon in almost scientifically. The best of the Buffoon’s statement was when he told his girlfriend, “My dog has a four inch (expletive deleted).”
Another theme on the album is the severe beating of various high school employees such as the janitor, bus driver, science teacher, and Spanish teacher. These all got multiple spins when I was in high school in particular the Spanish teacher because, even though I too French, it was nice to see a foreign language teacher be taking down and try to get out of her beating by saying things such as “Me casa, su casa.” And to this day, I still sing “Mop, mop, mop, all day long…” whenever I clean stuff.
There are a couple of missteps on the album as I find nothing funny in a dude taking a monster piss and the mother repeating the album title repeatedly during Oh Mom… get tired quickly. And hearing the dial tone go on forever during Mr. Spindel’s Phone Call gets annoying. But none of these skits drag down the album too much.
The best parts of the album are the songs. There was the previously mentioned Thanksgiving Song was originally conceived for SNL. There’s also Lunchlady Land that was brought to life hysterically by Chris Farley. But the best of the best would have to be At a Medium Pace that starts out as a cheesy Michael Bolton type love song with lyrics like “Put your arms around me baby, can’t you see I need you so.” But that quickly changes as he order’s his lover to “Spit on your hand and stroke my (expletive deleted) at a medium pace. This build up to a crescendo until he again requests “Now pull up my (expletive deleted) and take the shampoo bottle out of my (expletive deleted).” If you ever want some extra hilarity, perform the song yourself as if you were reading from a Shakespearian play.
To this day, the album is still very quote worthy as I still say “You suck” like it was performed in The Cheerleader and still look for appropriate times to say “I’m coming out of the booooooth.” And whenever I play with drunken idiots I always pull out, “Look at my hand, it’s moving, but it’s not moving.” Sandler also brought in an all-star voice talent to help him out. Aside from O’Brien, there are other SNL alums such as Rob Schneider, David Spade, Tim Meadows, and Robert Smigel. And with the other holidays coming up, make sure you also pick up The Chanukah Song and The Chanukah Song, part 2.
Monday, October 31, 2005
Last week during my Fall Music Preview I mentioned that the Beastie Boys were coming out with a single disk Solid Gold Hits, not to be confused with their double disk Sounds of Science anthology that was released before their most recent record. But since I own all the studio albums by them I decide to make my own Best of the Beastie Boys CD which happens to have eight more songs than the new Greatest Hits package that will be released next week and mine clocks in at 76:33.
1. Fight for Your Right – Licensed to Ill (1986)
2. No Sleep Till Brooklyn – Licensed to Ill (1986)
3. Paul Revere – Licensed to Ill (1986)
4. Girls – Licensed to Ill (1986)
5. Hey Ladies – Paul’s Boutique (1989)
6. Shake Your Rump – Paul’s Boutique (1989)
7. Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun – Paul’s Boutique (1989)
8. Gratitude – Check Your Head (1992)
9. Pass the Mic – Check Your Head (1992)
10. So What’cha Want – Check Your Head (1992)
11. Sabotage – Ill Communication (1994)
12. Sure Shot – Ill Communication (1994)
13. Root Down – Ill Communication (1994)
14. Get it Together (with Q-Tip) – Ill Communication (1994)
15. Intergalactic – Hello Nasty (1998)
16. Super Disco Breakin’ – Hello Nasty (1998)
17. Body Movin’ (Fatboy Slim Remix) – Sounds of Science (1999)
18. Three MC’s and One DJ – Hello Nasty (1998)
19. Ch-Check it Out – To the 5 Boroughs (2004)
20. Triple Trouble – To the 5 Boroughs (2004)
21. Right Right Now Now – To the 5 Boroughs (2004)
22. Time to Build – To the 5 Boroughs (2004)
23. An Open Letter to NYC – To the 5 Boroughs (2004)
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Just in time for Halloween, I picked up a DVD in hope of a good scare. Constantine is yet another movie based on a comic book that even most comic book nerd hadn’t heard of. So they take the story of John Constantine on the pursuit of riding the world of demons because of something long ago that bars him from the gates of heaven. It’s extra important to get in now because a large chunk of the residents of hell were put their by him.
In the role of the title character is Keanu Reeves who will forever conjure up the thoughts of Theodore Logan no matter how serious the role. Needless to say, the slacker surfer persona doesn’t mesh well with the demon hunter. On his quest in the movie, Constantine crosses path with the chick from The Mummy movies as a detective trying to prove that her twin didn’t commit suicide. And because ever good comic book character need a sidekick and Constantine has a cab driving apprentice played by the dude from one of the Disney Channel shows that I won’t admit to watching.
One of the few entertaining elements of the movie is the unintentional comedy most notable being every moment where Reeves tries to act, and be sure to watch out for Constantine’s rubber ducky. Equally questionable casting choice was the dude from Bush showing up as the bad guy. It was extremely hard to be scared of him because whenever he comes on the screen I fell off the couch laughing.
The only redeemable aspect of the movie was the scenes of hell. They really captured what I assume hell to be, a very hot version of Earth with weird demon ready to rip the flesh. The only part missing from my version of hell would be the members of the Backstreet Boys raping me for eternity while singing their songs. In fact all the special effects were all well done. Now if they can figure out to make a CGI Keanu Reeves and the movie might have been a lot better.
The biggest crime of the movie is that they cut out what could have made the movie. If you role through threw the delete scenes you find out about Constantine’s tryst with a very hot half-demon who was cut out of various scenes in the movie. If I were to ever make rules of making a good move, number one would be “Never leave out the token hot chick.” Because of that, this movie deserves to fail.
Constantine gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.