Saturday, July 19, 2008

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XXXVIII


Quote of the Week: I’m ironic, not cynical. (Wendy Watson - The Middleman)

Big New of the Week: Emmy Nominations Are Announced: Yawn.

Coalition Links of the Week:
With the Emmy nominations out, Buzz (not surprisingly) had a few rants and raves. (BuzzSugar)

GMMR's summer obsession, So You Think You Can Dance, just went from the Top 10 dancers to the Top 8, but not without a little scandal and drama. Listen to what GMMR & Ducky have to say about it in the latest TV Talk Podcast: SYTYCD Edition. (Give Me My Remote)

Marcia celebrated the return of Project Runway with a thorough look at the first episode -- adult diapers, Oompa Loompas and all. (Pop Vultures)

Infatuation is the only word to describe Rae's feelings about Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and is trying to decide whether she likes Act I or II better while eagerly awaiting the third. (RTVW)

With the Emmy nominations finally out, Vance got his butt in gear and put out his Best of TV for the 2007-2008 TV Season. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace reviewed the laughably bad BBC drama series Bonekickers, from the typically brilliant creators of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, and was shocked and horrified by just how truly awful it was. (Televisionary)

Watch Design Star? Well, Dan wrote a little letter to his favorite contestant -- the bald, bearded Colorado native Matt Locke. (TiFaux)

It's TCA Madness on theTVaddict.com, featuring interviews with Wentworth Miller, Joss Whedon, Sarah Wayne Callies and more! (The TV Addict)


I Love Money: It has only been two episodes, but this show may go down as the guiltiest guilty pleasure ever. The best part of last week was Pumpkin and Toastee thinking that they had some Machiavellian plot to look the weakest when they were easily the weakest. But it was Mr. Boston who is quickly filling the Midget Mac void with his stupidity. And him beating Nibblz may be the biggest upset in reality competition history. You can download episodes of I Love Money on iTunes.


The Middleman: Noser by far is my favorite character on the show, but Stump the Band was the dumbest thing ever. And yes I also knew every song that was suggested. You can download episodes of The Middleman on iTunes.


My Boys: PJ totally missed the best reason why bachelor parties are better the bridal showers, we don’t have to buy gift aside a beer, shot, or lapdance. It’s good being a guy. Catch up on recent episodes over at TBS.com. You can also download My Boys on iTunes.

You can also check out my First Impressions of The Closer or Saving Grace or get a sneak peak of next week The Closer or Saving Grace.


Promo of the Week: Apparently a new Heroes promo hit the intertubes this week, but that isn’t the video involving the show that is getting all the buzz. Nope, it is the new video from Hayden Panettiere called Wake Up Call (not a Maroon 5 cover) which disturbingly sound like Paris Hilton’s Stars Are Blind with slightly better singing (which doesn’t say much). But at least the video is watchable if not only for the highest of high comedy during Hayden’s dance interlude in the black hoodie.

Wake Up Call - Hayden Panettiere




Pick for Next Week: Mad Men, Sunday (7/27) at 10:00 on AMC: My sources tell me the show is decent but for the life of me I couldn’t find AMC on my television until Breaking Bad premiered (which wasn’t very good). Time Warner (whom I am still having issues with) is offering up the first season On Demand and I may give it a try before the second season premiere. Granted I looked for the In Demand channel yesterday and couldn’t find it.



Friday, July 18, 2008

Musings From the Back 9 vol. IX


Bruce Sprinsteen charity EP on iTunes- Today was the funeral of former White House press secretary Tony Snow who lost his battle with colon cancer this past weekend. This year one out of four deaths in America will be cancer related, earlier this year E Street Band member Danny Federici also lost a battle with melanoma. Bruce Springsteen was released a charity EP featuring live songs from the latest Magic tour. The set features Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine on The Ghost of Tom Joad (a song Rage has covered), Alejandro Escovedo on Always Be a Friend and Danny’s very last concert on 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy). The EP is available on Amazon MP3 (see widget below) and iTunes (see banner to the right) where you can also buy the video for each song. For this EP the artists, songwriters, and music publishers are waiving all of their royalties and Columbia Records is donating all of its net profits to the Danny Federici Melanoma Fund.



- People with HD computer screens rejoice, CBS.com is offering most of their streaming episodes in HD now including The Big Bang Theory, The Late Show with David Letterman, and How I Met Your Mother (one would assume Survivor will be added to this list next fall when its first season ever in HD premieres). New summer shows Swingtown and Flashpoint are also available in the format. Now if only I had a computer that played regular definition shows. But anyways. Interesting choose in promo pictures for The Big Bang Theory (click to enlarge):

The Big Bang Theory in HD


- Some news out of FX including the return of show The Shield in its seventh and final season premiering Tuesday September 2nd at 10:00 and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returning for it fourth season Thursday September 18th at 10:00. There is also a new show on the lineup, Sons of Anarchy which is set to premiere Wednesday September 3rd at 10:00. Check out a promo below.

video


- Earlier this week I implemented a new comment system where the comment form is embedded in the individual post page. This currently part of Blogger in Draft so there may be some kinks to be worked out before it becomes official. The only drawback is that you currently cannot subscribe to individual comment pages like before where it would e-mail you anyone that comments after you. But if you look at the sidebar on the right, you can subscribe to all my comments. Hopefully this new method will encourage some of you to comment more. (hint, hint)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Want My Music Television vol. XXX


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.


House of Cards - Radiohead



Consider my mind blown… sort of. New broke a couple weeks ago that Radiohead was filming a new video without any cameras or light, but with lasers and I guess the buildup in my mind hoped for something cleaner. But this is still a contender for best video of the year.


Man-Sized Wreath - R.E.M.



Another visual wonder this time from R.E.M. Not entirely sure what is going on here even after a couple viewing as it seems to be high tech and low tech to cool results.


Gamma Ray - Beck



Is there anyone who isn’t working with Danger Mouse these days? The latest is Beck and the result is his latest album Modern Guilt. Gamma Ray of which sound like an acoustic version of a Gnarls Barkley track that never existed.


Spaz - N.E.R.D.



Here is the song that N.E.R.D. contributed to that, um; actually I can’t remember what they were selling in that commercial actually. Not a very good marketing job there. But anyways. There are not enough cool performance videos these days. Maybe we will start seeing more since the big budget video is basically dead. Bonus: No Lindsay Lohan in this video.



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Walked Like a Hero into the Setting Sun


Life, Death, Love and Freedom - John Mellencamp

There is a good reason why Life and Death become Love in Freedom in the title of the new John Mellencamp album; mortality and preparing for life when no longer on this Earth is abound on Life, Death, Love and Freedom. In fact, really the only time he goes on for a while on the subject of Love in is the aptly titled My Sweet Love, a rockabilly style romp. Not surprisingly the lone upbeat and romantic song is the album’s next single.

As for the other word in the title, considering the politically charged album, last year’s Freedom’s Road, Freedom this time is not as represented. The lone political statement comes on Jena, a song and video that hit the internet late last year dealing with the Jena 6 controversy. Half a year later you have to wonder the impact of the song now and if it has done any good. And what’s with calling people “with paper bag skin”? I would say that could be offensive to African American except I’m not entirely sure he was refereeing to them. But paper bags are to dark to describe Caucasian unless it is one of the tan-obsessed kinds. So is Mellencamp blaming George Hamilton for hanging the nooses?

But it is life and death that really takes up Mellencamp’s time on the album. And that seems like a conscious effort to saying he wanted to write about the darkness in his life for this album and try writing sad songs. And sad and dark songs are abound especially with titles like When I Die and Don’t Need This Body. Or when he states in a growl for John Cockers, “There must be 10 million people but I ain’t got no friends.”

The real MVP of Life, Death, Love and Freedom is producer T Bone Burnett, the guy behind the O Brother, Where Art You? Soundtrack and the pairing of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. That pairing could have inspired bringing in a female to duet on My Sweet Love, A Ride Back Home and For the Children. But it is Burnett help shaping the music where is presence is really feel taking the folk of the last album and fleshing it out more giving this album more of an Americana feel, making it sound classic and contemporary at the same time. Over time, and the more they gel together, T Bone Burnett could be to John Mellencamp what Rick Rubin was to Johnny Cash.

It should be noted that this album is the first album to be released in the CODE format. Think CODE as to CD what Blu-Ray is to the DVD. You will need a standard DVD player to play the format, but the CODE version comes bundled with the CD version at no extra cost. The CODE disk can be copied into most computer music software and is iPod compatible. Please note that I didn’t listen to the CODE version for this review. It should also be noted that Mellencamp didn’t license any of these songs to be played ad nausea for a truck commercial. Because this is arrrrrrrre country.

Song to Download - A Ride Back Home

Life, Death, Love, and Freedom gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lyrics Quiz: Shortest Songs


Last month was a quiz devoted to the longest songs in my iTunes library and this month is about those length challenged songs, each of which clock in at under 2:30. Songs are ranked from shortest to longest. As always you need to put both artist and title in the comments section (or you can e-mail me) and if you are correct I will un-bold it and give you credit. The Lyrics Quiz is for entertainment purposes only so please do not use anything besides your own meandering mind to help you up with the answers. Now onto the quiz:


1. Bobby says its fine he doesn’t consider it cheating. (Fell in Love with a Girl - The White Stripes; guessed by Tony)
2. Wonder this time where’s she’s gone. Wonder if she’s gone to stay. (Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers; guessed by McD)
3. But when I see out and about it’s such a crime. If you should ever want to be loved by anyone. (It's Not Unusual - Tom Jones; guessed by Rebekah)
4. You got mud on your face, you big disgrace, kicking your can all over the place. (We Will Rock You - Queen; guessed by Tony)
5. Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be. (Yesterday - The Beatles; guessed by McD)
6. Don’t bother to choose: if it’s jug band music or rhythm and blues. Just go and listen. (Do You Believe in Magic? - The Lovin' Spoonful; guessed by Rebekah)
7. I feel so lonely I could die. (Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley; guessed by Jo)
8. I got the letterman’s jacket with the letter in front that I got for football and track.
9. I got a song that I sing; I can make the rain go anytime I move my finger. Lucky me, can’t you see I’m in love. (I've Got the World on a String - Frank Sinatra; guessed by Rebekah)
10. But it’s you that I fell into. (Big Me - Foo Fighters; guessed by Tony)
11. She totally confused all the passing piranhas. (Lump - The Presidents of the United States of America; guessed by Tony)
12. See, don’t ever set me free. I always want to be by your side. (You Really Got Me - The Kinks; guessed by Tony)
13. Big soggy tears’ running down her chin and it smears up her makeup. (Wrong Way - Sublime; guessed by Tony)
14. First time I shot her, I shot her in the side. Hard to watch her suffer, but with the second shot she died. (Delia's Gone - Johnny Cash; guessed by Joe)
15. Microphone checka, swingin’ sword lecture, closin’ down the sector, supreme neck protector. (Da Rockwilder - Method Man and Redman; guessed by Joe)
16. I see earthquakes and lightning. I see bad times today. Don’t go round tonight. It’s bound to take your life. (Bad Mon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival; guessed by Tony)
17. He is gonna kiss me if he doesn’t miss me. Ready for it now, already on the ground. Five minutes in the closet with you. (Spin the Bottle - Juliana Hatfield Three; guessed by Dara)
18. Butterflies and zebras and moonbeams and fairytales; that’s all she ever thinks about riding with the wind. (Little Wing - Jimi Hendrix Experience; guessed by Joe)
19. You can rely on the old man’s money. (Rich Girl - Hall and Oates; guessed by Tony)
20. Big hands I know you’re the one. (Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes; guessed by Tony)
21. Black coat, white shoes, black hair, Cadillac. (Time Bomb - Rancid; guessed by Tony)
22. Hey little girl is your daddy home, did he go and leave you all alone? (I'm on Fire - Bruce Springsteen; guessed by Tony)
23. If you are chilly, here take my sweater. Your hand is aching I’ll make it better. (The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson; guessed by McD)
24. Nobody likes you when you’re twenty-three. (What's My Age Again? - blink-182; guessed by Tony)
25. Just get me to the airport, put me on the plane, hurry, hurry, hurry before I go insane. (I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramones; guessed by Tony)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Previewing The Closer


The cast of The CloserFor those that need a refresher to what happened to Brenda Leigh Johnson last season on The Closer get caught up with a rapid recap over at TNT.com. Not that you really need to know all the details of her life to jump into the show. The fourth season of the number one ad supported series in cable history is back tonight at 9:00 as show creator James Duff puts it, “We are going to examine the issue of power, especially how much power we really have over our own lives. We live with the illusion that we are in control of our lives. The season will start with Brenda tracking an arsonist while having a reporter follow her every move.”

Kyra Sedgwick is The CloserThe arsonist in question just happens to be pyromaniac Bill Croelick who first appeared back in season one who just so happens to show up in a crowd during a forest fire. That fire starts the epic start of the fourth season giving the opening almost a cinematic feel to it. The reporter on the other hand is not Brenda’s idea instead that was the brainchild of Assistant Police Chief Will Pope who would like to have a better relationship with The L.A. Times.

J.K. Simmons, yep, the guy from SpidermanSince we are dealing with arson in the first episode, people with weak stomachs (i.e. me) may want to watch with the hands free so they can promptly put them in front of their eyes in certain scenes especially with the way they try to get fingerprints from charred remains. Brenda’s home life is still as frantic as work while here and fiancé Fritz Howard are stuck in an apartment with plumbing problems while they still look for a home to share the rest of their lives in.

The Closer airs Mondays at 9:00 on TNT starting tonight. You can download past episodes of The Closer on iTunes or on Amazon Unbox. If you want to see a sneak peak of season four, you can also find that at TNT.com.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Previewing Saving Grace


The Cast of Saving Grace

For those that missed the first season of Saving Grace or just need a refresher, check out the show rapid recap over at TNT.com. But before you go, if you have not seen an episode yet, be warned that it easily earns its TV-MA rating and gets very dark at time.

Yep, Grace, a cable detective, is a little trigger happyIf you want to know what kind of detective Grace Hanadarko (Raising Arizona’s Holly Hunter) is, she is the kind that, while having coffee with a friend while off duty, will chase down an armed carjacker on foot without any backup or protective vest. And like most cops on television these days, especially the ones on cable, Grace has some demons haunting her most of which she drowns with a heavy dose of the alcoholic beverage. Granted she has some decent excuses including having her sister being one of the victims of the Oklahoma City bombings.

It is Grace and Earl: the angelOh, and did I mention the angel named Earl that visited her when she hit as close to rock bottom. Yeah one can compare to the heavy drinking Tommy Gavin who lost his cousin in the Twin Towers and is visited by Jesus. But with Tommy it is pretty ambiguous whether he was seeing him, with his heavily leaning toward thinking it is a hallucination, Grace, along with some other people in her life think that Earl is really looking over her. All the while with rapper tuned singer/songwriter Everlast providing the score and theme song.

In the first season finale, Grace was last seen with a gun to head of the priest who got a little to hands on with here back in grade school. In the start of the second season premiering tomorrow at, Grace’s longtime buddy Rhetta (Just Shoot Me’s Laura San Giacomo) is worried about Grace going MIA since learning the whereabouts of the priest and it takes a while to find out what Grace did with him, but once we see the body (be it dead or alive) Grace’s consequences to her actions play out through the rest of the episode. Oh and her mother, Lucille Bluth pops in too.

Saving Grace airs Mondays at 10:00 (after The Closer) on TNT. You can check out a preview clip also at TNT.com. You can download previous episodes on iTunes or Amazon Unbox. Also if you are fan of the show you want to check outthe Saving Grace community site Embrace your Grace. Users can blog or use the message boards to share how they "embrace their grace"-- the parts of themselves that are fearless, questioning, and passionate-- like the show's main character. They're also giving away 85 tee shirts every day with Grace-like descriptors like "Hellraiser" and "No filter." And there's a sweepstakes for a Porsche (similar to the one Grace drives in the show) as well.