Saturday, October 27, 2007

Because Tonight the World Turned in Me

Chase This Light - Jimmy Eat World

You may best remember Jimmy Eat World from their huge hit earlier this decade, The Middle. Unfortunately fore some that will be your only memory of Jimmy Eat World even though they are one of the great rock bands of the past ten years. Unlike the fellow emo bands they get lumped in, they are not as uber-depressing enough for the shoe gazers that are into that scene, but haven’t recorded something that has been as accessible to the soccer moms as The Middle.

With their fifth album, Chase This Light, it looks like the group is doing their best to open themselves up to a wider audience by bringing in Butch Vig, who produce some of the biggest alternative albums of the early nineties before becoming the drummer for Garbage, to polish their latest album. And more polished it does sound. The opening song Big Casino is the loudest song on the album with a layered guitar crunch, but doesn’t come close to the bombast of previous rocker like Pain from the last album.

That is followed by Let it Happen which features the head scratching chorus, “I can laugh it off. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.” Jim Adkins has written some deep, introspective, and uplifting lyrics on the previous albums so certainly he could have come up with something better than laughing through a chorus. Luckily that is the only misstep on the album. The finger snapping intro of Always Be and the power pop of all of two and a half minutes of Feeling Lucky could get them back on Adult Contemporary radio stations that made The Middle a hit.

Elsewhere the haunting bassline, the soft vocals, and strings at the end of Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues makes it a stand out track and adds some depth to the album. Here it Goes almost has an underlining techno beat over the guitars and hand claps that could actually make the song danceable. But it is the title track that seems like all their great songs crammed into one song with its driving bass that builds the song into a great uplifting song for any occasion. Then the album closes out with the emotional punch of Dizzy. If you have forgotten about Jimmy Eat World after The Middle faded from the radio, it is time to pick up Chase This Light to get reintroduced.

Song to Download - Chase This Light

Chase This Light gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Feed Your iPod vol. IX: Nothing at All

Earlier this month, Santana released a greatest hits album, Ultimate Santana with an auspicious track list that may or may not have been compiled by monkeys. Seriously, the song with Steven Tyler is included? Two versions of The Game of Love? Two appearances by the dude from Nickleback? But anyways. Unfortunately my favorite song in Santana’s recent grab random singers catalogue was not included on the hits package: Nothing at All with Musiq Soulchild from the Shaman album. Now if I were ever to audition for some lame national karaoke contest, this would be the song I would sing. Fun fact: the song was written by Rob Thomas (of Matchbox Twenty fame, not Veronica Mars).

You know a song is a hidden gem when there is only one YouTube video featuring the song. (Granted there are about five random people singing the song into their webcams.) I have no clue what the video that goes along with the video is for and the song doesn’t actually start until the fourteen second mark. But it is worth the listen.

Nothing at All - Santana and Musiq Santana - Shaman - Nothing at All

Feed Your iPod is meant to highlight songs that may not have been big hits but should be on everyone’s mp3 player. Shoot me an e-mail if there is a song you think should be included along with a short paragraph why and maybe it will be featured in a future segment.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Want My Music Television vol. VIII

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.

I Want You - Common

For a video that features a title sequence and actual actors like Kerry Washington, I except a little more. And what exactly is Kanye West bringing to the whole mini movie thing? It just seems like there was supposed to be an extended cut to this. But you really can’t hate on Common too much if the video was just an excuse to make a fake sex tap with Alicia Keys. I can be down with that.

Big Casino - Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World for some reason has been lumped into the horrible emo scene of the last couple years but they released one of the great rock songs of the decade in Pain and their break out hit The Middle isn’t the wo is me depressing songs of the genre. Yeah the video is pretty boring but Big Casino is up there as one of the best rock songs of the year.

Shadow of the Day - Linkin Park

Not entirely sure what Linkin Park is trying to get across with this video, but the melodic tune of Shadow of the Day is a nice diversion from their hard rock and rap of their other songs. Unfortunately it was covered up by all the riot sounds.

Love Song - Sara Bareliies

Sara Bareilles released her album right around the time Colbie Caillat dropped hers and it is a good thing I am not a betting man because I would have put my money on Bareilles as being more likely to break out of the two. Oh well. At least the video for Love Song is quirky fun.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stop By the Offices of McNamara/Troy

Nip/Tuck returns this coming Tuesday, October 30th on FX and for those in the greater Los Angeles I have a treat for you. Tomorrow (Wednesday, October 25th) is the unveiling of the new Hollywood & Highland McNamara/Troy offices from 6:30 – 8:30pm. Bystanders will see into McNamara/Troy’s waiting room, featuring a live “patient” and will get a voyeuristic view into the plastic surgeons’ exam room as they remove the bandages from a beautiful patient.

Dylan Walsh (“Dr. Sean McNamara”) and Julian McMahon (“Dr. Christian Troy”) will see themselves for the first time in holographic form and will also be available to meet with fans for an autograph signing. Click below to enlarge the official invitation:

Nip/Tuck Invitation

But for those of you like me that are not close to sunny LA (unfortunately it is starting to feel like autumn here as it barely got above 50 today) you can stream the event at (keep in mind I assume the time is PST so take that in account when tuning in). But you can check out the site now as it has exclusive video, an image gallery, and you can even get McNamara/Troy to make a house call to a friend (and by house call I mean they will call them). It also has driving directions to their office for those that can make it in person. And be on the look out for my review of the season opener coming soon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Here’s to You Hairbrush Singers and Dashboard Drummers

Carnival Ride - Carrie Underwood

Despite being a ratings juggernaut, American Karaoke has failed to launch that many careers after the karaokers have to start singing there own music. In six seasons only Kelly Clarkson has been able to produce two hit albums, although two may be her shelf life as her third album has bombed and her concert downgraded due to lack of sales. But on the bright side for Kelly, this moves her one step closer to hanging out with Topanga in the Surreal Life house.

Hoping to join her in the former karaoker two hit club is Carrie Underwood, whose first album Some Hearts (see my review: Oh, There’s Nothing Like Oklahoma) recently overtook Clarkson’s Breakaway as the highest selling post-karaoke album ever. But again, don’t feel too bad for Clarkson because she will soon get to bunk with Skee-Lo. And considering CMT recently devoted six straight hours of playing her new video for So Small, a second hit album is on the way.

Where the first album seemed to alternate between country and pop songs, the follow up Carnival Ride is a strictly honky-tonk affair. That is not a good thing because that means some of the country songs that you listen to and feel your IQ drop sneak onto the album in the form of filler. This no more evident than on The More Men I Meet where Carrie pontificates why the only male for her is one walks on all four and waves his tail. The worst of all though is when Carrie gets back to her karaoke roots with a cover of I Told You So by Randy Travis which would have been best left on the cutting room floor.

Then some of the better songs are just rehashes from the first album. So Small could have been called Jesus Take the Wheel part II with its religious themes. And if So Small is a sequel, then Last Name might very well be a prequel to Before He Cheats telling a tale of how the two met before the dude began to stray. But the problem with that Before He Cheats without the woman scorned angle just isn’t as entertaining with silly lines like, “It started out , ‘hey cutie where ya from?’ and turned into ‘oh no what have I’ve done?’” Maybe you should go back to singing Shania Karaoke.

That is not to say the album is completely lost, Carnival Ride starts off with banjo heavy Flat on the Floor, a ballroom brawler that is good as the Dixie Chicks at their angriest which includes the Led Zeppelin like, “Baby, baby, baby” line. Then there is the emotional roller coaster of Just a Dream seen through the eyes of a military wife at her husband’s funeral. And the powerful I Know You Won’t is the leading candidate of songs that the next batch of karaoker will fight over during Carrie Underwood night.

The highlight of the album though is the album closer Wheel of the World which not surprisingly is the least country song on the album. The song is a better written, lyrically and musically, version of So Small. Hopefully this is the direction Underwood takes for the third album or she just may be playing pool with the dude from My Two Dads not named Paul Reiser before Clarkson does.

Song to Download - Wheel of the World

Carnival Ride gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Carrie Underwood on iTunes

Monday, October 22, 2007

Oddsmakers: Who Is Under the Hoodie

It really isn’t a good sign for Heroes when people are spending more talking about how boring this season is then debating who the black hooded sweatshirt person who shoved Sulu over the building was (is it Adam Sandler, Bill Belichicken, the Unabomber?) which I am assuming is the big whodidit of the season. But with the first appearance of Kristen Bell tonight, of which I am equally excited for (because its Veronica Mars) and dreading (because its Veronica Mars reciting horrible dialogue surrounded by bad actors), I thought I would throw the show a bone and run down the odds of who could be killing off The Company members one by one. Even though anything is possible in this show, I think it is safe to say since they are nowhere near New York City that you can rule out the Bennett’s, the Wonder Twins and Syler, but I think almost everyone else could be a suspect. Go ahead and place your bets in the comment section*.

The Invisible Man (1000:1) - The hooded person seemed to disappear and dude definitely had a grudge against The Company. But that last time we saw him, he seemed content of being left alone, plus that was a long time ago.

Heidi Petrelli/Janise Parkman (500:1) - They both seemed normal but every other Heroes has been linked romantically to another Heroes, so I wouldn’t be surprised that either of them turn out to have one. Both also have been mentioned a couple times so it is only a matter of time before they show up again. But neither really have a motive at this point.

Kristen Bell now on HeroesKristen Bell (100:1) - I was rooting for Bell’s character to be the boogieman but we found that to be Parkman’s dad. Yawn. Being the hooded person seems a little far fetched at this point as from the promo she looks to be in Ireland but the show does have some timeline issues so not out of the realm of possibility that she flew out after the two hits. And maybe her ability is teleportation, which would make both hits probable. Plus I got a distinct chick vibe from the attacker.

Future Hiro (95:1) - Hiro has already come back from the future to warn of eminent danger before and since it is a different future now there may be a different threat. But since Ando is now alive, he won’t be cool Hiro anymore so Future Hiro may be too busy in the future with his man crush with him.

Mohinder (75:1) - It has been established that everyone who is blood related to each other are Heroes also. Well all except Mohinder whose sister is but he isn’t. Or is he and he doesn’t know it? Here’s my theory: when asleep, Mohinder sleep walks and uses his power of teleportation to do the killing.

Takezo Kensei (55:1) - We know that Kensei can heal himself, but what if his true power is more than that and he cannot die ever. It is obvious that his symbol keeps showing up isn’t a coincidence but maybe it wasn’t passed down and adopted by a new generation but he himself imported it and made it the symbol of The Company and now want to destroy the very thing he helped create for whatever reason.

The Field (50:1) - Do you have Micah, the Haitian, Mr. Muggles, or anyone else not mentioned, this is where you place you bets

Jessica (40:1) - We really haven’t seen much of Niki this season and I am pretty sure that we have yet to see Jessica. What if the reason why Niki is sick is that Jessica actually split from her body and she can’t like without her sister. And while on her own she is the one killing the remaining Company members because Linderman arranged that if anything happened to him, she would take the rest out.

A Charter Member of The Company We Haven’t Met (30:1) - The conversation between Sulu and Mama Petrelli made it sound like it was a fellow Company member that was doing it and since the only other members we have met are currently dead except for Mama and the Golden Dude.

The Charter Members of The Company

Mama Petrelli (25:1) - As one of the few Members we have seen alive, it wouldn’t put it past me that she faked her own attack to get people off her trail.

Papa Petrelli/Linderman/Shaft (20:1) - They are also charter members of The Company the only difference is they are all dead. But by my count, Papa Petrelli’s son has come back from the dead about five too many times. And one of my biggest problems with Heroes was they killed off Shaft early in the show. Seriously, why kill off a bad mother… well maybe I should just shut my mouth. But he did show up in what may or may not been a dream sequence late last season and I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t back this season.

Parkman’s Dad (7:1) - He is a member of The Company and has already been revealed as the Boogieman so I wouldn’t put it past the Heroes writers to make him the hooded killer too.

Future Peter (5:1) - It is pretty clear that the hooded person went over the edge with Sulu so either that person can fly, heal from the compact with the concrete or teleport, all of which Peter can do.

The Buckeye State's Own Lauren WiseBefore you go to the comment section to tell me who you are putting your money on* I want to quickly mention another show that premiere today. For those that enjoyed the ABC Family show Greek over the summer, you may want to head over to where six people are competing for a walk on role on the show for an online reality show Rush’d which will follow the six around for a hometown visit, a photo shoot, set visit to meet the cast as well as their audition for the producers. Then during the week of November 19-23 the Virtual Rush community will vote for their favorite finalists. At right is Laura Wise a.k.a. WhiteCup, the contestant who I’ll be voting for because 1) she’s also from Ohio, 2) she’s the most attractive.

* This game is strictly for entertainment purposes only, no money is meant to change hands. Unless of course you would like to donate to the Scooter McGavin Is Poor Fund.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Only Love Can Make it Rain

Reign over Me

When you are given the nickname Scooter McGavin you are required to enjoy anything by Adam Sandler. Sandler has made this easy by making movies that are essentially the same where he plays some sort of buffoon who screams and breaks things while being, or being surrounded by, sophomoric morons. Even his much touted serious role in Punch-Drunk Love didn’t deviate that far from the formula.

On the other hand Reign Over Me was truly Sandler’s chance at a serious role where he plays a former dentist who has shut himself off from the world after his wife, three daughters and dog were on one of the planes that crashed into the Twin Towers. Yeah, the role did call for Sandler to scream a couple times, but instead the screaming came from a place of pain, not for comic effect of a raving buffoon.

But the movie really belongs to Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) as Sandler’s college roommate who has since lost touch with him after graduation even after trying to get in touch with him after September 11th to give his condolences. That is until a chance encounter with Sandler who is now channeling Bob Dylan with unkept graying hair whose mood can change on a dime if he thinks you are even coming close to bringing up the event he has spent nearly five years to forget.

This comes at a point where Cheadle looks to be hitting his midlife crisis. He can’t talk to his wife, Jada Pickett Smith (The Nutty Professor), anymore, he routinely creates a “chance” encounter with a psychiatrist, Liv Tyler (Empire Records), in his building so he can ask her questions about a “friend,” and an off kiltered patient is making his job harder when she makes advantages toward him. Running into an old college roommate who doesn’t talk to anyone, rides around scooter everywhere with his earphones blaring, and spends his free time (which seems to be every minute of the day) either remodeling his kitchen or playing Shadow of the Colossus the most normal thing in his life all day.

Does Sandler shine in this serious role? For the most part. There is a scene at the end where Sandler goes into scream mode where I couldn’t help laughing even though I felt bad because of the seriousness of the scene. But there are two very strong monologues he does give in the film which are up there with Cheadle very strong performance.

Reign over Me gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Download Reign over Me on Amazon Unbox.