Saturday, March 07, 2009

Best of the Week vol. XII

Quote of the Week: It’s probably not the best idea to give the “It’s not you, it’s me” speech to a trained assassin wielding a knife. (Casey - Chuck)

Song of the Week: Rocket Man (I Think it's Gonna Be a Long Long Time) – Elton John (My Name Is Earl)

Big News of the Week: I Got Nothing: You know it is a slow week when the most headlines go to the spat between Rush Limbaugh and the White House as they battle to see who can look dumber. I could talk about the World Baseball Classic starting, but like much of the world I just don’t care unless they figure out a way to incorporate fantasy leagues. Or that Jimmy Fallon started his tenure as Late Night host, but dude just isn’t entertaining. Or I can rant on how Daylight Saving should be abolished again (see Daylight Fading). At least it hit 60 this week so I didn’t need to stay inside and find something to occupy my time.

Gratuitous Token Hot Chick Picture of the Week:

Yvonne Stahovski all tied up

Coalition Links of the Week:
Buzz had a blast moderating the Chuck panel at WonderCon in San Francisco — check out her recap of the proceedings! (BuzzSugar)

Vance has his dukes claws up and is ready to totally defend The Bachelor's Jason Mesnick for dumping that harpy Melissa and getting back with Molly. Maybe it's a guy thing (and sees nothing wrong with it), but Vance is totally ready to take this outside. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace took another look back at the New Romantics era by taking second look at BBC America's Ashes to Ashes. (Televisionary)

Dan may have misgivings about musical comedy as a genre -- but even he is excited about the idea of Victor Garber and Kristin Chenoweth on the new show Glee. (TiFaux)

Matt's hidden camera inside the bedroom of Jennifer Love Hewitt proves she isn't actually knocked up - so there must be a little Ghost Whisperer in Melinda Gordan's future. (TV Fanatic)

Special relationship or not, we Brits get to see Lost a week or so later than our cousins across the Pond. And so, better late than never, Ben tries to make sense of The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham. (TV Spy)

Don't miss any of March Sweep's big TV events with our downloadable and printable March TV 2009 Calendar. (The TV Addict)

Free Download of the Week: Oscar Wilde – Company of Thieves; I mentioned this earlier this week when I highlighted the music video, so here is a reminder to pick up the song.

Deal of the Week: Superheroes DVD Sale: DVDs up to 57% Off (Iron Man, Hellboy, Justice League)

Video of the Week: It seems like every funny movie made in the last four years has Judd Apatow’s name on it but those or mostly producing titled and has only also had directing and writing credits for 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. Number three is Funny People which actually looks to ironically be enough the least funny, if not by design (it is about a stand up comic who is dieing). But hey, it has Adam Sandler and Seth Rogan so it should be entertaining.

Funny People Trailer

Next Week Pick of the Week: Castle, Monday at 10:00 on ABC: I am not entirely sure how to gage this show. It looks entertaining but the concept seems like it would have made for a better movie plot than an episodic television show. I guess the good thing about that is I doubt the show will be around for a second season.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Feed Your iPod vol. XXIX: Hitchhicker Joe

I rarely listen to the radio anymore but occasionally will turn it on in the car when I forget the iPod or a CD. Even then I will flip through the fifteen preset stations without finding anything before signing to talk radio. Mostly because the radio playlist are so consolidated but the local rock station for some reason (thankfully) dusted off The Rugburns Hitchhiker Joe which took me right back to college when I played their album fairly often and even saw them in concert one. Fun fact: Rugburn Steve Poltz was the dude in Jewel’s You Were Meant for Me video (not the one directed by Sean Penn) and co-wrote the song. And who knew there was a video for Hitchhiker Joe?

Hitchhicker Joe – The Rugburns Rugburns - Morning Wood - Hitchhiker Joe


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Previewing Kingdom of the Blue Whale

Who knew the biggest animal ever to inhabit the Earth is still around? Not that many people have ever seen a Blue Whale which is longer than a basketball court and weighs as much ads twenty-five large elephants. In fact their heart is the size of a Mini Cooper, their lungs and you could actually walk through their major arteries.

This Sunday at 8:00, the National Geographic Channel takes a closer look at this elusive animal and for the first time get a look at an infant Blue Whale Calf underwater which is getting harder and harder to do as the population dwindles thanks to whaling (which has been banned internationally since1960’s even if Blue Whale meat can occasionally be found in Japanese markets) and shipping lanes crossing their natural migration.

Kingdom of the Blue Whale follows academic teams from Oregon State University tracking the mammals from the coasts of California, where beached whales are on the rise, to Costa Rica, where they are on the look out for a calf. All the while the special is narrated by Tom Selleck. The special is also available in HD. Check out a clip below:

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I Want My Music Television vol. XLIV

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. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Grapevine Fires – Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie certainly likes their depressing cartoons and this certainly is one. But it is a great song.

Blame It – Jamie Foxx

All I have to say about the new Jamie Foxx video is: Ron Howard… him?

Fitz and Dizzyspells – Andrew Bird

One of my favorite songs of the moment is this song by Andrew Bird which gets me thinking there are not enough whistle solos in pop music these days. Granted I figure everyone thinks they aren’t going to top Axl Rose so why try. And the video is as quirky as the song is. Andrew should consider rerecording the song with the live marching band featured here.

Oscar Wilde – Company of Thieves

Had this video sent along to me and it is pretty cool in a Rushmore sort of way, which is not surprising because that film is what inspired the video. Of course I could have used some more dodgeball. If you are interested in downloading the song, chick this link to get it for free courtesy of the band’s label: Download Oscar Wilde. Fun fact about Company of Thieves: they have been featured on Live From Daryl's House. And if you are not sure who Daryl is, his last name is Hall. And if you still need help, he has a friend named Oates.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Let Me in the Sound

No Line on the Horizon - U2

Pop is universally recognized as the worst album in the U2 catalogue. The album was a little too polished and they thought they would be tongue in check with their Village People homage for the first Discothèque but the whole world just never got the joke. Even the accompanying tour when over like a lemon; literally as the band descended onto the stage in the oversized fruit that was more Vegas than arena rock.

The thing about Pop is that it still better than ninety percent of music ever made. If God Would Send His Angels hits the emotional chord the band is known for., Please is a heart wrenching plea, Staring at the Sun is right up there with anything on Achtung Baby. And if you don’t take it too seriously, Discothèque is the most danceable, fun song from a band not known for those traits.

With that said, No Line on the Horizon is not a bad album compared to other music that has been released this decade; it is just not a good U2 album. Part of that is for a band that is constantly reinventing themselves, we have heard some of these songs before. First single Get on Your Boots sounds like the first single from their last album, Vertigo, but with The Edge making his guitar more fuzzy (and a funkier baseline from Adam Clayton) and really sticks out like a sore thumb at number six on the track list. While Magnificent sounds like a couple of songs of off How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

Then when the band tries something new, like on organ, French horn mix of Unknown Caller, it just doesn’t work with the weird chanting chorus. But I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t go Crazy Tonight is one of those absurd idea the band comes up with that actually works when they actually law it down. Stand Up Comedy will be the early stand out live song on their upcoming tour. And Cedars Of Lebanon continues their streak of quasi-religious songs closing out their albums and ends up being one of the album’s best as it is a haunting end to the album especially the last two lines Bono sings. But the rest of the album really misses that emotional investment that every other U2 album has.

Of course this being U2, they do know how to iron out songs on the road with songs like The Fly and Origin of the Species, as well as most of Pop, not the best studio of songs, end up get better in front of live audiences. So hopefully by the end of their upcoming tour, some of these tracks from No Line on the Horizon would make for killer live album additions.

Song to Download – Stand Up Comedy

No Line on the Horizon gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

U2 on iTunes

Monday, March 02, 2009

Previewing Saving Grace

Saving Grace on iTunes

Saving Grace is back for another round of episodes tonight starting at 10:00 on TNT (for those wondering what happened to Trust Me, it has been moved to Tuesdays at 10:00). Christina Ricci (Penelope) pops up for the first three episodes as Grace’s new partner, a uniform cop and single mother making a rotation through the squad while Bobby is on an undercover assignment. Ham then gets teamed up with Butch.

The guest starts don’t stop when Ricci’s run is up F. Murray Abraham (Star Trek - Insurrection) shows up as one of Earl’s fellow angels, Malcolm David Kelly (Lost) turns out to be Leon’s son while Leo’s execution date comes closer, and Kathy Baker (Boston Public’s hook lady) starts dating Grace’s brother in law. Then next week Jessy Schram (Veronica Mars) shows up on a very special episode of Saving Grace as Grace’s niece who is arrested at a Scavenger Party, but the kids aren’t hunting for silly list items, but for drugs.

Tonight the crew is on a fairly gruesome case that is attracting some sickos and may turn out to be the work of a serial killer. Not the funniest subject but the fright does create some funny moments between Grace and her sister and features maybe the least erotic pillowfight ever put to film. For more on the series, check out the clip below:

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Got a Bomb in My Temple that Is Gonna Explode

It is sometimes weird how a premature death alters history. In the late seventies The Beatles were just that band Paul McCartney was in before Wings then they became the biggest band ever with the murder of John Lennon, who himself went from the third most successful artist to its first. Yet had it been Brian Wilson who was gunned down we very may have considered The Beach Boys the most influential band of all time.

In my lifetime it is weird to see the hero worship around Kurt Cobain (how does he crack the top fifty in Rolling Stone's Greatest Singers of All Time?) when Pearl Jam completely overshadowed them in the early nineties. I was one of the million people that bought Vs. the week it came out (which I can prove as it lacks a name on the cover which the first shipment didn’t have) while Nirvana’s sophomore album was pretty much a flop. Then Cobain puts a shotgun in his mouth and he is a voice of a generation.

But it was Pearl Jam that was making the better music and later this month see the reissue of Ten on two CD’s (the original version on one and each song remixed by Brendon O’Brian on the second with bonus tracks) and a DVD (featuring the band’s Unplugged performance). And the album is this month’s Scooter Hall of Fame inductee.

The album starts off with a jolt in the arm, Once featuring Eddie Vedder’s controlled growl that is part scream but never loses its melody. The song even reduces into almost a jam band kind of groove before getting back to rocking. Maybe it was the moody teenager in me, but I cannot count the times I would let loose with the chorus of the second track letting anyone know, “Whoa, I’m still alive.”

The song that got the most play time thanks to an over abuse of the repeat button was Black, a heavy handed song that was a great soundtrack for almost any event for a teenager in the early nineties. But the true stars of Ten were the duel guitars of Stone Gossard and Mike McCready who really shined in that Unplugged setting highlighted by Porch. Yeah the camera focused on Vedder scribbling on his arms, but it is the solo in the song, with help from Jeff Ament, that got full attention from my ear and may be the worth double downing on the reissue when it comes out.