Saturday, April 28, 2007
We are not even halfway through the first round and there are some great moments in this year's NFL Draft. Most notably being the Detroit Lions taking a Wide Receiver in the first round (all top ten overall picks) for the fourth time in five years. I don't care if Calvin Johnson was supposedly the best overall talent in the draft, you can't make that move if you are Matt Millen. I have a feeling all GM's got together and made a pact not to trade up to force Millen to draft Johnson. The other enjoyment this year is trying to figure out who looks more disappointed, Brady Quinn or his girlfriend. You can tell she is visualizing her engagement ring shrink smaller with each passing pick.
As for my team, the Cleveland Browns, like I said earlier this week, with a playoff drought (one appearance in over a decade), the Draft is pretty much the Super Bowl for us. Here a look at their picks (will be updated throughout the weekend as they pick):
1st Round (3rd Overall): Joe Thomas - OT Wisconsin: First I'd like to say thank you to the Browns for taking my advise to pass on Quinn, although I wouldn't be against trading up to get him at this point. Great pick with Thomas to help sure up one of the worst O-lines in the league. The reason why the Browns are near the bottom in passing and rushing is not because of the personnel (totally), but the defense gets to the ball too quick. This should plug one of the many holes.
1st Round (22nd Overall from Dallas): Brady Quinn - QB Notre Dame: I'd like to say I called it and thought it was a good move, until I heard the terms of the deal. The Browns gave up the 2nd round pick and their first round pick for the 2008 draft. Bad decision considering that the Browns most likely won't be picking 22 or higher next season. I guess when you were heavily thinking about picking Quinn at three, it is worth giving up next year's number 1 unless we end up with a top 2 pick next year.
2nd Round (53rd Overall from Dallas): Eric Wright - CB UNLV: After they traded away their second round pick to Dallas in the Quinn deal, I though the Browns first day was over but checking out the draft this morning I saw they made another trade with the Cowboys this time giving up their third and fourth round pick and swapping six rounders. I was hoping the Browns would focus on the aging front line because the more pressure you get on the QB, the better the backfield gets. And not surprisingly a dude named after Eazy-Z comes with characters issues stemming from an alleged rape, charges that were later dropped but led him to transfer to UNLV from USC. But looking on the bright side, in the two years he lived in Las Vegas, he not once made it rain at a strip club, so he has that going for him.
Now I understand that many of my readers are not big sports fans and for those that are may not care about the Browns, so here is a little something extra for you and Reason #69 to watch Veronica Mars: Dick Casablancas. Enjoy (and don't forget to tune in May 1st).
Thursday, April 26, 2007
With Rage Against the Machine, Tom Morello help create the hard rock/rap mash up genre that got ruined by lesser bands in the late nineties. Then he took a step back in time with the seventies arena rock of Audioslave. Now he is going even further back in time musically with his latest outfit, The Nightwatchman. As the one man band, Morello is channeling such folk heroes as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. The Nightwatchman came to fruition during the Audioslave era when Morello needed an output during the Bush administration with lead singer’s Chris Cornell’s moratorium on political songs.
So between Audioslave gigs, Morello would go to local coffee houses and sign up for local mike nights under the moniker The Nightwatchman with songs about the war. And with Audioslave on indefinite (and it looks now like a permanent) hiatus, Morello had time on his hand to make an album of these songs called One Man Revolution. And just like Audioslave was pretty much how you expected a combination of Rage Against and Soundgarden, The Nightwatchman is pretty much what you would expect Morello would sound if he unplugged and did his best Bruce Springsteen circa Nebraska impression.
With his weapon of choose, the guitar, rendered useless by going acoustic, Morello has to rely on his voice and lyrics to get his point across without a front man to do it for him. To hear him sing is at first a little jarring with the deep baritone. The lyrics are hit and miss as Morello isn’t adept to writing folk songs yet and even clumsily steals the line, “three times I shot the sheriff, but I did not spare the deputy.” And with the little background noise, you will notice Morello’s out there political views, which is something you can overlook with Rage because, well, the rock.
Though hearing anti-war songs from Tom Morello are much more palatable than ill-advised ones from Maroon 5 or Sum41 who just seem like jumping on the “Yeah we hate Bush too” bandwagon because it is in vogue. Although oddly enough the only administration aide Morello calls out by name is Colin Powell who is long gone but Morello never cared about letting the lesser of two evils off the hooks as Rage famously protested the Democratic National Convention. But as anti-war albums, Neil Young’s Living with War is still much better than One Man Revolution.
Song to Download - The Road I Must Travel
One Man Revolution gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form so here they are courtesy of YouTube. I advise you to watch them before you read my reviews if you don’t want me to spoil things. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available, if not the link goes to YouTube where you can watch the video in full screen). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.
Another week, another video from Snow Patrol. Even though the song is much better than Signal Fire, the Spiderman themed video is much better than the, um, whatever this video is supposed to be. But at least there aren’t any scenes from a crappy television show intertwined with the performance. You can check out my review of the album at The Final Word in the Final Sentance.
Apparently when not providing the soundtrack to Zach Braff’s life, the boys in The Shins are doing their part to make the world a better place by releasing balloons back into their natural habitat. This video may actually funnier than anything Braff has ever written. You can check out my review of the album at Born to Gaze into Nigh Skies.
Really, who needs treadmills when you have friends in multicolored shirts? Certainly not Canadian songstress Feist. And just a reminder, her album, The Reminder, comes out next Tuesday, May 1, which just happens to be the day that Veronica Mars come back with all new episodes.
My favorite song from the latest album Evanescence not titled Call Me When You’re Sober (see I Want to Stay in Love with My Sorrow), but does anyone else think of Alice in Chains Them Bones when watching this video?
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Nobody in recent years had a bigger buzz leading up to the release of their album than Arctic Monkeys. Then the album was released and they were met with general indifference. Yeah, not even the Beatles could have lived up to that kind of hype, but Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not was a good album (that landed at number 14 on my 50 Best Albums of 2006). Who know why the band was ignored, my guess is that, even though most people lose their accents when singing, Alex Turner’s vocals still sounds very British.
And if the British thing is what kept Americans from jumping on the bandwagon for the first album, it’s doubtful the second will change their mind, right down to the extra British “U” in the album’s title, Favourite Worst Nightmare. The disk may even be less palatable to the general audience here as the disk is distinctly harder and faster as evident with the album opener first single, Brianstorm, a jarring sound of guitars that will command your attention right from the start.
But much like on the last album, the band is at its best when it goes into the mid-tempo area with quirky lyrics that cleverly rhyme and nowhere on Favourite Worst Nightmare is that displayed than of Florescent Adolescent a song about a girl gone wild who is wild no more as she, “used to get it in your fishnets now you only get it in your nightdress.” With two good albums in as many years, the Arctic Monkeys may be providing those who like real music for years to come, long after the current crop of dudes wearing eyeliner are resigned to VH1 reality shows.
Song to Download - Florescent Adolescent
Favourite Worst Nightmare gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Monday, April 23, 2007
There are three different reasons why someone would watch VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club: 1) For good heath tips, 2) Like other “celebrity” reality shows, to see has-been’s try for one last chance at the spot light, 3) to watch addicts go through withdrawal. As much as I’d like to say the reason I occasionally check out the show if for reason number one, the third is more realistically the reason. And lets face it as much as America wants to deny it, food has become an addiction.
Now it’s fifth season, Celebrity Fit Club for the first time will be split between Men and Woman. It is somewhat surprising the show has lasted this long as when it started I doubted they could continually find even C-Listers that would be willing to come on a show that basically is meant to show how fat they have become. But you really have to admire anyone who would come on a show like this because it shows they are willing to overcome the humiliation in order to try to live a healthier life. This years cast includes:
Maureen McCormick: I’m not sure what is more surprising, that Marsha Brady (the third Brady to be featured on a VH1 reality show) has packed on the pounds or that she is fifty. Although I have a feeling that news is worse for people actually alive when The Brady Bunch was on the air.
Tiffany: The former Mall Rat is just four years removed from appearing in Playboy (seriously? Her?). Just goes to show everyone how quick you can gain weight.
Da Brat: On her second tour of VH1 reality shows. How soon until she drops in on the Hogan family?
Kimberley Locke: I’ve never heard of her before this show but how bad of a karaoker do you have to be if you lose to Clay Aiken?
Dustin Diamond: Every season has their obligatory psychotic jackass, see Daniel Baldwin (his appearance makes his brother’s recent phone call seem reasonable) and Jeff Conaway, and it looks like Screech will be this one.
Warren G: There’s always a contestant every season where you go “No not him/her” and Warren G is that for me this season. Regulate is one of the Top 10 greatest rap songs of all time.
Cledus T. Judd: Apparently the country version of “Weird Al” Yankovic. Never heard of him.
Ross the Intern: Again I have no clue who this is but I’m surprised that Ant would let someone on the show that is gayer than he is.
Somewhat of a lackluster cast, c’mon, where are all the morbidly obese “celebrities” this time around? For people who watch the show for the second reason, some of the most entertaining moments, and most weight lose, come from these people like seeing Bruce Vilanch doing the long jump are seeing Big Pussy take as much time to run a quarter of a mile as it does for some people to run a whole mile. And there was a little shake up with the judges as Linda Papadopoulos and her too much makeup is released and is replaced by the seemingly more no-nonsense Stacy Kaiser. Luckily Harvey Walden IV, the best token grumpy judge in all reality television, is back as the trainer. Hopefully he will literally smack Screech around this season.
Verdict: Not really must see TV, but I always get some good helpful hints on how I, myself, can live a healthier lifestyle, even if I tend to be eating potato chips whenever I turn the show on. Celebrity Fit Club: Men vs. Women airs Sunday at 9:00 on VH1.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Quote of the Week: “That explains your low sex drive, and why you rented Memoirs of a Geisha last night. Man, that was the worst kung-fu movie ever.” (Earl Hickey, My Name Is Earl)
Song of the Week: Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd (as sung by Earl Hickey, My Name Is Earl)
Big News of the Week: Only nine days until the return of Veronica Mars. Now there are conflicting reports to just how safe the show is for returning next fall. Granted the people that say it is already canceled are hiding behind unnamed “sources” while the people who actually work with the show say they haven’t heard any such thing. Either way, the upcoming episode may be a make or break one. So if you do not currently watch, this is me begging, I’m on my knees, please tune into The CW May 1st at 9:00, or sometime afterwards, stream the episode at CWTV.com, and you can even download an episode over at iTunes for the low price of $1.99. You can’t even fill up your lawnmower for that low of price.
As for all of you already on the Veronica Mars bandwagon, this is the time to do some blanket marketing because, lets face it, The CW only likes to promote its reality shows. Remind people of the show on a blog, message boards, post a bulletin for all your friends at MySpace. If you have free time and are near a college, you can print out the flyer below (click to enlarge) and post them around high traffic areas on campus. And for more ideas check out SaveVeronicaMars.tv.
Scooter Update: Here are a couple of banners promoting the return of Veronica Mars. Feel free to put them on your own blogs as you wish as the fit nice and cozy on the sidebar. Many thanks to Jonathan P. for creating them.
RW/RR Challenge: The Inferno III: During my First Impressions on the show I said that the only way the Good Guys would win a challenge would be if the Bad Asses implode and it didn’t take them long to do so with infighting and Danny going insane. Can we put money on another person getting the boot for throwing a punch? Check out the latest episode over at MTV.com.
Lost: Yeah, this whole, will Charlie live or die thing is getting old quick. Hopefully this gets resolved by the end of the season because I was already hoping Charlie actually got hit with the arrow just so the whole thing isn’t drug out like typical Lost fashion. I guess how long this will go on will be determine by whether Desmond truly believed it would have been Penny on the other end of the parachute had he let him die. Back in camp I loved how Sawyer felt obligated to make Kate a mixtape because she was nice enough to give him another go around. Check out the latest episodes over at ABC.com.
Survivor: After a slow start, this season is turning out to be one of the more entertaining seasons in recent years with three great tribal councils in as many episodes. The look on Alex’s face when votes started to come in for Eduardo after strutting up to Probst with the idol was priceless. Check out the latest episode on Innertube.
Smallville: About half way through this episode I realized that I could care less about Chloe’s mom. I think she has only been mentioned twice and there was no lead up to this episode about her. And from the ending, it looks like we won’t be hearing from her again. But we did get the huge shocker that Lex faked Lana’s pregnancy. I totally didn’t see that coming. But I guess that explains why she never once was showing even though she had to be pregnant for awhile. Should be interesting how this plays out.
My Name Is Earl: After Our Cops Is On, I didn’t expect to see a funnier half hour of television this season, then enter Norm MacDonald and his, um, melons. And what better role for Norm to play than Burt Reynolds son as he was the best contestant ever on Celebrity Jeopardy. Then the scene where he steps in front of the pitching machine is the most cringworthy thing ever that made me laugh at the same time. It is probably too late to get him on later this season (unless he has already filmed then), but please have more Little Chubby next season. Norm aside, the opening scene hit very close to home for me because I too just kept my ties tied because I never learned how to do it myself until a college classmate forced me to learn after I asked him to tie my tie for me one too many times. Check out the latest episode over at NBC.com or download the episode on iTunes.
Check out my First Impressions of Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School.
Promo of the Week: Another great fan made promo, this time thanking Veronica Mars sponsor MasterCard for supporting the show. Although I can’t help but wonder where the Aerie Girl thank you is:
Next Week’s Pick: NFL Draft, Saturday and Sunday at 12:00 on ESPN: For those of us who’s team we root for haven’t sniffed the playoffs in years, this is our Super Bowl. And as an added bonus, tune in to see if Matt Millen takes yet another Wide Receiver with the Lions pick at number two which would be their fourth WR taken with their top pick (all in the overall top ten) in five years. As for the Browns at number three, please, please don’t take Brady Quinn. In fact, don’t take anyone, trade down and stockpile draft picks. But whatever you do, do not take Brady Quinn.
In completely unrelated television news, today is Earth Day and in honor of it Home Depot is giving away 1,000,000 Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs. I switched over to energy efficient light bulbs a year ago and there is really no reason not to switch if you haven’t done so yourself. It is a win-win situation, it is good for the environment (Hope Depot says that the million light bulbs will save enough energy it is the equivalent of removing 70,000 cars from the road), plus you will save a lot of money on your electric bill. And despite the extra cost, you will be able to make back the difference from regular light bulbs within a month and after that it is extra money in your pocket (plus they last longer). So if you are still unconvinced, stop by your local Home Depot and pick up a free one to see for yourself, but be sure to get there rarely because it is only why supplies last.