Saturday, July 14, 2007

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XXVII

Pirate Master: Well thanks to CBS forgetting to mention that they were moving the show to a different night and time I missed it this week but luckily I was able to catch this week’s episode on their Innertube broadband channel. Actually after viewing the episode luckily might not be the right work. This episode highlighted another major flaw in that both crews have the exact path to the treasure so whoever is behind really doesn’t even need to read the clue, they just have to follow the leader much like the black crew did this week when they couldn’t decipher the clue and just followed the red crew giving them a not well deserved win in the end. But at least we got our first whispers of mutiny this week even though there were no mutiny votes cast. If the pirates had any sense they would have offered to nominate Jupiter to captainship if she mutinied with them.

Rescue Me: After a rare weak episode two weeks ago the show comes back with strange one. Not strange: bad, but not necessarily strange: good. The strangest of the episode was the weekly house call where the crew just wandered around an office building and really I was just as lost during this scene as the rest of the crew. One scene that wasn’t at all confusing was the hilarious shrink scene where the dude just got up and called his buddy thinking this was a prank.

Lil’ Bush: I hope the creators and everyone involved in this show have fun getting audited for the scene this past week where George and his crew do their best Red Hot Chili Peppers impressions wearing nothing but socks. Download this and previous episodes on iTunes.

Check out my First Impressions of Greek or download the first episode for free on iTunes (and even though it does not start until tomorrow you can also download the first episode of Scott Baio is 45... and Single for free now).

Promo of the Week: As I have mentioned many times before I have been less than impressed with this year’s crops of new shows aside from Pushing Daisies. Then during NBC’s Live Earth telecast last week they showed a promo for a new show, Chuck and there is absolutely no way you are going to get me to watch this crap. Fast forward to 55 seconds (or 2:30 if it is counting down) to see why:

For years whenever I saw a hot chick I would routine say to a friend, “Stop the press, who is that?” (although in recent years I have worked in “she’s walking around like some brand new chicken about to be plucked” into my rotation) and if someone ever said that to me I would instinctively respond “Vicky Vail” and it is hurtful that they would mock me like this on network television. Okay, truth be told there is one way they can get me to watch this show and that is the chick the nerds are refereeing to whom is what I like to refer to as uber-hot. And having Jayne from Firefly doesn’t hurt. Oh and for you youngin’ who doesn’t understand this whole conversation, check out one of the greatest movie tie-in videos of all-time:

Pick of the Week: ESPY Awards, Tomorrow (Sunday), 9:00 ESPN: Sure the show already happened and if you wanted you could check out the results somewhere on the internet but if there were a reason to turn in it would be LeBron James channeling Bobby Brown. And unlike last year, hopefully the show actually starts on time instead of being delayed because the baseball game on before it goes into extra innings.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Despite All My Rage I Am Still Just a Rat in a Cage

Zeitgeist - Smashing Pumpkins

During the mid-nineties, I was a latecomer to the Smashing Pumpkin; ironically this was just around the time when their fan base started to dwindle. For me, listening to the instrumental title track that opened up Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness that really keyed me into the musicianship of the band. Then shortly after I started digging the band, their drummer Jimmy Chamberlain got booted from the band after his drug bust leading the into a more electronic sound featuring computerized drum loops as the group soldiered on as a trio. Then after a couple more line up changes, including the return of Chamberlain, the group disbanded back in 2000.

After another band (Zwan) and a solo album failed to make a dent in the music scene, Billy Corgan must have realized that the only way he could get people to listen to his music would be to bring back his biggest brand name, the Smashing Pumpkins. Yeah, only Chamberlain returns to the newest line up for the group, but the Pumpkins have always been primarily Corgan’s music and vision so it is hard to complain that he brought in two new musicians who just fill the role of touring band anyways.

Zeitgeist is Corgan’s attempt to regain his rock and roll God moniker he took on in the mid nineties from all the cheap Pumpkins rip-offs of today that wear way too much eyeliner and have littered the Fuse playlist the last couple. And in his attempt to rock so hard it almost becomes self parody (see the guitar at the end of Tarantula), Billy didn’t have any time to write any of his trademark mellow songs so don’t expect any Mayonnaise, Today, or 1979 on Zeitgeist. Unfortunately despite turning the songs up to almost eleven, he fails to come up with anything as intense as Bullet with Butterfly Wings and also has an adverse effect as the guitars drown out any resemblance to a melody, what made the earlier rockers truly great.

As with the missing mellow songs, Billy’s laments of childhood growing up in the Midwest seem to be missing. So instead of whining how he used to be a little boy, Corgan apparently has been watching a little too much of a twenty-four hour news channel just from looking as some of the song names such as Doomsday Clock, For God and Country, and the near ten minute United States where he goes on and on about some sort of revolution. Even the cover evokes the hot button topic of global warning (the band recently played Live Earth) with Lady Liberty up to her waist in the Atlantic Ocean.

It has been over a decade since Billy Corgan declared that despite all his rage that he still is just a rat in a cage and that sentiment doesn’t ring truer than it does on this album. But he can at least rest in the solace that he can still do it better than all the pretentious bands that tried to fill the void in the Smashing Pumpkins’ absent.

Song to Download - Doomsday Clock

Zeitgeist gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Technical Difficulties or 799

Sorry for the lack of posts as my Internet went out sometime yesterday and I just got back online just a couple minutes ago. Nothing like going offline for a couple days to see just how addicted to the Internet with over two hundred posts on Bloglines, over seven hours of postcasts and an outrageous number of e-mail (okay if I discount the spam that's under ten most likely). Apparently I have an extra hour to go through all this stuff because I tuned into Pirate Master tonight only to see a bunch of random people sitting around doing nothing. Um, pass. Was I not paying attention or did CBS actually bothering to mention they were moving the show to Tuesday? Oh well.

Oh, and this is post 799 so the next post will be 800. Hooray me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Live Earth Redux

There were a bunch of great performances at Live Earth but there is one that I have been listening to on repeat the last couple days and that is the new song that Alicia Keys unveiled during her set, That’s the Thing about Love. Unfortunately it looks like we will have to wait until late October until we can hear a more polished studio version when her new album is scheduled to drop, until then here is the YouTube version of the performance at Live Earth:

It popped up over the weekend that there will be a best of the Live Earth album that will be put out in August which you can preorder on iTunes (if you do so you will get the John Mayer track now, also Metallica’s full set is available separately). Although there is currently no confirmed tracks (aside from Mayer’s) so here is my suggestion of the top twenty songs from the event (links go to YouTube):

1. Gimme Shelter - Keith Urban and Alicia Keys
2. Message in a Bottle - The Police, John Mayer and Kanye West
3. Sabotage - Beastie Boys
4. Big Bottom - Spinal Tap and an Army of Bassists
5. That’s the Thing about Love - Alicia Keys
6. Drummers - SOS All Stars
7. Babylon - David Gray and Damien Rice
8. All My Life - Foo Fighters
9. Waiting on the World to Change - John Mayer
10. The Horizon Has Been Defeated - Jack Johnson
11. Bleed it Out - Linkin Park
12. Mercy Mercy Me - Corrine Bailey Rae and John Legend
13. Intergalactic - Beastie Boys
14. By the Way - Red Hot Chili Peppers
15. For the Love of Money/Living for the City, Mercy Mercy Me - Alicia Keys
16. The Blower’s Daughter - Damien Rice and David Gray
17. Bullet with Butterfly Wings - Smashing Pumpkins
18. Hips Don’t Lie - Shakira
19. Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz
20. Jesus Walks - Kanye West

Agree, disagree, well vote or add your favorites to the Unspun widget below:

Okay, now on to what Live Earth was really about, doing your part to saving the environment. You might think to yourself living a green life is a daunting task, well I am certainly no tree hugging hippie, in fact I am extremely lazy, but I realized that I already do some of the things that they suggested thought Saturday’s festivities. Seriously, if this lazy bum can do these things to help out than certainly you can add these to your daily routine. Even if you don’t care about the environment, do these why I do them, almost all of these suggestion will save you money:

- Change to Energy Efficient Light bulbs - Yeah they cost a little more but I saw a noticeable drop in my electricity bill when I switched just three bulbs. Really you should buy any and all energy efficient products, TV’s, toilets, computers, radios, etc.

- Use Sunlight During the Day - Unless there is a storm brewing, all window drapes are open there isn’t a light on from sun up to dun down

- Change the Thermostat When You Leave - In the summer during turn the air conditioning down a couple degrees, turn heat up in the winter. In the winter, I even do this when I sleep so I can bundle up in a couple more blankets

- Boil Only the Water You Need - I was surprised when this was suggested during the telecast because I though it was a no brainier but apparently people boil more than they need. This is just laziest, and that says a lot considering I been called the laziest person some people have ever met

- Flip Off Your Power Strip - Here is one that I have started after seeing it on Live Earth as I have three big power drains with all its accessories plugged into a power strip (computer, two TV sets). I plugged a VCR into the wall because that is my clock in that room, but everything else is plugged into the strip which I flip off when the stuff isn’t in use. I’m not entirely sure how much energy/money I have saved by doing this, but long if it is something it will be worth the one second it takes to flip it on and off.

Monday, July 09, 2007

First Impressions: Greek

A few years back ABC bought the rights to the FoxFamily cable station and obviously renamed it ABCFamily and started to show programs that are hard pressed to put in the category of family friendly including The Bachelor marathons as well as their most watched original program that started off the series with a naked dude. Not even Fox, the most morally corrupt network out there, pushed the boundaries the term family when they ran the network. Now their latest show looks to put their new slogan, “A new kind of family” to the test.

Greek follows freshman Rusty Cartwright (Jacob Zachar), a Freaks and Geeks extra, as he transverse college and his desire to join a fraternity. This doesn’t go over well with his sister Casey (Spenser Grammer) who is next in line to become her sorority’s president and failed to mention to any of her friends that she had a brother. Not too keen on his hopes to join a frat is his roommate Dale (Clark Duke), a religious southern who comes complete with a Confederate flag yet lacks a thick Jeff Foxworthy accent.

The rest of the cast if full with a bunch of actors you have never heard of including Casey’s current (Jake McDorman) and former (Scott Michael Foster) boyfriends who are in rival fraternities and both have interest in having Rusty and his new found friend and not your token black dude (wait for the end of the episode to see why) Calvin (Paul James) rush their respective frats. Although Lonelygirl15 herself Jessica Rose makes a blink and you’ll miss it cameo and yes Spenser’s dad is named Kelsey but luckily it looks like she takes after her mother more than her dad.

The pilot is a tail of shows, the first half being a witty fun look into college life, part Freaks and Geeks, part Undeclared (although not nearly as good as either) with plenty of laughs, the best being at the last house the potential pledges go to. The second half is bogged down with too much drama that gives you the formulaic plot line of should Casey stay with the upper-class douchebag or go back to the low-class douchebag. Um neither please.

Verdict: If the show can iron out the episode so it is evenly spreads out the comedy and drama and Greek will be a nice diversion this summer. Greek airs Mondays at 9:00 on ABCFamily and you can download the episodes after they air on iTunes (you can currently download the pilot for free).

Sunday, July 08, 2007

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XXVI

With the holiday in the middle of the week preempting Rescue Me and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip ending last week there really isn’t that much to talk about this week. I guess that is a good think because I just looked at yesterday’s Live Blogging: Live Earth and it looks like I wrote a thesis paper so short today is a good thing. So here are the little thought I have of the past week of television:

Quote of the Week: “Somebody’s gonna get humped.” (Dave Holmes when it was mentioned Akon was about to perform on Live Earth)

Song of the Week: Mercy, Mercy Me (as performed by John Legend and Corrine Bailey Ray as well as Alicia Keys)

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno III: - This may have been the most boring season yet and there really isn’t much more to say about that except it may be time to bring back Coral. You can download the whole season on iTunes.

Pirate Master: Just mutiny already. It was hinted at it again this week yet not one vote for mutiny. What was really annoying was how Louis said he would never vote for a lady but was torn because he needs Joe Don to give him any chance of winning yet never thought about voting for the creepy deadlock dude.

Promo of the Week: There a few good short films aired throughout Live Earth and below is my favorite, particularly the dating segment.

And in case you were wondering that is Harry Shearer (Spinal Tap), Rip Torn (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) and Lucy Davis (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) under the bear suits:

Pick of the Week: Greek, Monday 9:00, ABCFamily: I have already seen this (and you can too as it is free to download the Pilot on iTunes) and it is actually pretty decent although the second half lags a little aside from the scene where Spencer Grammar (who is surprisingly hot considering Kelsey is her dad) plays pool in a tank top. I should have my full first impression up tomorrow but if you decide to check it out before then, keep yourself even more entertained by trying to count the number of Veronica Mars references.