Saturday, June 06, 2009

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. LXXXIII

Quote of the Week: I like it; it makes you sound like a comic book villain. So what’s the deal, why don’t you trust me Evan Chambers? (Cappie, Greek)

Song of the Week: Hello – Lionel Richie (as sung by Olive Snook; Pushing Daisies)

Big News of the Week: I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Returns: A couple months ago I interviewed John Lehr about his show 10 Items or Less and made sure to ask him about his stint as the host of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! And John basically ripped the show to shreds (click here to see the interview) and low and behold, about a month later NBC decided to resurrected the show.

I spent most of the week trying to avoid the show, but sadly caught a few minutes and feel worse for it. This go around seems to be the Heidi and Spencer show as in a week span they have quit the show multiple times and tried to come back both times in a sequence that seems as spontaneous as the Eminem/Bruno incident. The first time they used the befuddling excuse that their cast mates weren’t famous enough for them to hang with. Seriously, they are third from the bottom in terms of Q ratings on the show after the VH1 hosts and Blagoavich’s wife. And for those who want to know who was first to get the boot, check out the video below (now if you excuse me, I need to take a shower):

Coalition Links of the Week:
Buzz gathered up her favorite quotes from the TV season in a mega "Who Said That Line?" quiz. How many do you remember? (BuzzSugar)

This week, Sandie got a chance to interview Stephen Moyer who plays Bill on HBO's True Blood. (Daemon's TV)

Vance chats about the newly announced Season 5 Top 20 So You Think You Can Dance dancers with his new bsytycdff LowResJoe, TwoP Lauren S and ABChau. YAY! It's STARTING!!! (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace offered advance reviews for the first six episodes of Showtime's Nurse Jackie and the first three episodes of Weeds and reviewed the pilots for CW's Melrose Place and ABC's The Middle. (Televisionary)

Pushing Daisies: It is really weird watching this episode after such a long layoff. It almost too me the whole episode to get back into the world of Ned the Piemaker. Or at least it took until Olive broke out singing. You can stream current episodes over at

Pushing Daisies on iTunes

Greek: I could see why Cappie and Evan would fight over Casey, but the chick from their secret society? Not so much. You can stream current episodes over at You can also download Greek on iTunes.

Rescue Me: I think I missed the boat on Conner, I guess it is a hallucination so anything goes, but I don’t get why he is so old and why and how he has a kid. And Tommy is back to shacking up with two woman again. Must be nice to star in a show you produce. You can stream current episodes over at Hulu.

Rescue Me on iTunes

Black Joe Lewis Free on iTunesFree Download of the Week: Sugarfoot – Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears (Amazon MP3) – If they handed out awards for most infectious songs, this song would definitely snag it for 2009. And not only can you grab Sugarfoot for free at Amazon MP3, you can also grab the video on iTunes, just click the banner at right (if the picture isn’t of Black Joe Lewis, you are too late).

Deal of the Week: Save up to 44% in the June DVD Blowout Sale (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Arrested Development, Wonderfalls)

Video of the Week: Last night was the second season premiere of Whale Wars on Animal Planet with The Sea Shepherd crew continuing their fight against Japanese whaling. If you missed it, here is a sneak peak at the new season:

Whale Wars Season 2 Preview

Next Week Pick of the Week: Pushing Daisies, Saturday at 10:00 on ABC: The show just returned last week and just like that, the series finale is next week. Here’s hoping for a satisfying ending.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Previewing Home

It seems like new holidays dedicated to the Earth pop up every month these days and today apparently is World Environmental Day. Who knew? But anyway. In honor of that holiday, filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand is launching his latest film Home on every format: in theaters, on DVD/Blu-Ray and on television, for those of in the United States that will be on the National Geographic (for foreigners, check your local listings because it is premiering all over the globe today in its first of its kind global premiere).

The film is narrated by Glenn Close and is one of those movies with awe inspiring visuals (which are most likely even better in high definition) that’s to the scenes that were filmed in fifty-four different countries and 120 locations over 217 days, all shot from the air looking down on the Earth. There is even an accompanying book Home: A Hymn to the Planet and Humanity that puts those amazing visuals into a single frames surrounded by much of Close’s script put to page.

The film starts off with a half hour of those awe inspiring images set to an inspirational message delivered by Close. But where the movie goes bad is when we first get a look at fire and then for the next hour, the movie turns into Al Gore type tedium with facts we have all heard before. It isn’t until the final fifteen minutes does the film get back on track with a message of hope and words on how we should go from here and stops dwelling on all the bad things that we have done since the discovery of coal. Check out a clip below:

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Previewing Royal Pains

The cast of Royal Pains

As everyone’s pocketbook shrinks, USA is banking on that most of America will sit in their air conditioned suburbs or apartments to see how the rich spend their summers in their new show Royal Pains airs tonight with a seventy-five minute limited commercial premiere at 10:00 (the premiere will be preceded by the season premiere of Burn Notice at 9:00 and Casino Royaleat 6:00). The show centers on a doctor (Mark Feuerstein, Good Morning Miami) who gets fired for caring as much for an average Joe as he does the benefactor of the hospital he works at when the latter dies in his care.

Paulo Costanzo of Royal PainsNaturally a slump ensues, and that is where his brother Paulo Costanzo (Road Trip) comes in and takes Feuerstein to the Hamptons to in order to crash some big wig parties. His doctor abilities come in handy when he saves the life a model which leads one of the bigger wigs to offer him up his guest house so he will be is very on concierge doctor. Of course considering he recently lost a job because he cared equally for the middle class as he did for the uber-rich, this working relationship could create some ethical grey areas.

The need for a personal doctor steams from the inadequacies of the lone hospital on the island (which begs the question why don’t all the rich people dig a million dollars each out of their cushions and build a better facility?) which just happens to be the employer of resident hottie Jill Flint (Gossip Girl). Also along for the ride is Reshma Shetty (30 Rock) who tries to get hired by Feuerstein after word gets out he is the new hot doctor.

Jill Flint of Royal PainsThe problem with Royal Pains is Feuerstein whose character makes it pretty hard to be likeable as he sulks for most of the premiere to the point where you will be prone to yell at your television for him to man up. Luckily the supporting cast saves the day. Costanzo steals most of his scenes as a likeable cad and there already seems to be a good back and forth between him and Shetty. And there is also the easy on the eyes Flint. At its best, the show could be something of a reverse Doc Hollywood with a doctor getting stuck with the rich instead of the boonies (and sadly without any “You can blink now” moments). If in future episodes Feuerstein stops his sulking, Royal Pains could turn into a watchable summer excursion.

Royal Pains airs Thursdays at 10:00 on USA and will be preceded by a new season of Burn Notice at 9:00.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Previewing World's Toughest Fixes

Sean Riley of World's Toughest FixesWorld’s Toughest Fixes is one of those shows you know that there are going to succeed in whatever the task is at hands, but you can’t help but going “there is no what that is going to happen.” Like when the host, Sean Riley, says he is going to move a fully formed five lane highway bridge over a mile you cannot help but think to yourself, “no way.” The show, if anything, lives up to its acronym.

Can Sean Riley fix this satellite?The new season premieres this Thursday at 9:00 on the National Geographic Channel with Sean trying to launch a $250 million communications satellite from the French Guiana jungle. Without a new satellite many of us could be without cell phone or internet service. Scary, I know. And as Sean puts it on the chances of success, “Either this rocket is going to launch … or it’s going to be one hell of a show.” Check out the bottom of the post for a clip of the episode.

Also this season Sean will be looking to fix an Alaskan Pipe Line that could cause a oil spill (6/11), a Giant Wind Turbine that will produce years of clean energy (6/18), a 50-Ton Rudder to move a 100,000-pound beast under 60 feet of water (6/25), move a 300-ton Mississippi River Barge that crashed a levee (7/2). And at a later date look for episodes where Sean tries to position a fully functioning commercial solar energy field; fix a broken dam holding back nearly 2 million pounds of water near Portland, Ore.; replace one of the most powerful magnets ever built in the “atomic racetrack,” a 17-mile-long nuclear research tunnel in Geneva, Switzerland; and the previously mentioned episode with the five lane bridge.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Somebody's Broken Heart Become Your Favorite Song

Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King - Dave Matthews Band

After four albums that didn’t stray very far from their signature sound all produced by Steve Lillywhite (for the sake of this argument, I am including The Lillywhite Session, which would later become Busted Stuff, in this group), this decade, the Dave Matthews Band has teamed up with a new producer for each new album leading to a deviation in their sound. In 2001 they brought in Glen Ballard for Everyday that was very pop oriented. For 2005’s Stand Up they teamed up with Dr. Dre collaborator Mark Batson for a funkier album. For their last studio album of the decade (presumably) Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King, they signed up Rob Cavallo, best known for his work with Green Day, as producer leading to some of the heavier work that band has done since Halloween.

But the biggest change for the band since their last album was the death of founding member LeRoi Moore who died during pre-production. Moore opens the album that is named after him but it is unsure on which other tracks where he plays or if it is his stand in on the saxophone Jeff Coffin of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Also joining the band on the album for the first time Rashawn Ross on, who has been touring with the band in recent years, trumpet and for the first time since Before These Crowded longtime collaborator Tim Reynolds adds some electric guitar.

Aside from the extra rock vibe Cavallo brought, recording the album in New Orleans definitely brings out some Cajun flavor in which you can spot before you even press play just by looking at the cover of the album. But that still holds true as the opening with Moore’s sax highlighted with just some drums to accompany it on Grux. As the gut of the album starts with Shake Me Like a Monkey, Rosson’s brass extends that vibe, but it is Cavallo that gets Carter Beauford to bang on his drums maybe harder than he ever has and Matthews gruff voice that makes the track into a rock song.

In what seems to be a tradition for every album, there in another song where Matthews likes to get his freak on and this album Matthews gets over affectionate on Spaceman (certainly not to be confused by the recent The Killers song as DMB’s title character is just trying to get laid). Other highlights on the album and the epic Squirm, a song that just screams to be heard done by the band live. Then there is Alligator Pie that sounds like a leftover from Stand Up, but still is better than most songs on that set and is Matthews at his best incoherent. And it isn’t all rock, Baby Blue may be the sweetest song the band ever recorded.

Though we don’t know the extent of Moore’s involvement in the album, his presence is felt throughout the album. Matthews claims he is still dancing with the GrooGrux King and will see in heaven or hell when his time is up on Why I Am. And it could be deduce that the line from Funny the Way it Is, “Somebody’s heart is broken and it becomes your favorite song” is about Matthews and his fans when it comes to this album. While You & Me is a fitting end to the album that is in full that was a tribute to their fellow comrade.

Song to Download - Spaceman

Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Dave Matthews Band on iTunes

Monday, June 01, 2009

Love, You Drive Me to Distraction

Crash - Dave Matthews Band

Tomorrow sees the release of the first Dave Matthews Band album in four years and Hulu is celebrating by bringing you a streaming concert starting at 8:00 tonight. I am on the other hand is celebrating by induction another one of their albums into the Scooter Hall of Fame, their third time in. This time around the album at the height of their popularity, Crash, gets the honor.

Most of that popularity culls from the smash single Crash into Me which has disturbing been the soundtrack first dance at a few weddings I have attended of my peers. Of course most of the public mistook the ode to a stalker as some sort of love letter. That is not to say there isn’t any truly romantic songs on Crash as the twelve plus minutes where #41 bleeds into Say Goodbye should help anyone get into the mood and even provides you with a good suggestion starter in, “tomorrow, let’s go back to being friends.”

#41 not only is the romantic high on the album, it is the musical high where each five members are given equal moments to shine on the track. The bridge between the two songs even shows that not only is LeRoi Moore is proficient on all four types of saxophones, but he can even bring out a flute when needed.

Crash showed that they could appeal equally to the pop crowd as well as those drawn into the jam band quality. Aside from Crash into Me, So Much to Say and Too Much were quicker and more accessible to the masses than most on the major label debut. On the other hand, songs Two Step and Lie in Our Graves were sprawling epics that even become grander at their live shows usually going well over ten minutes. The disk also featured crowd favorite Tripping Billies that dated back to their independent releases.

If it is 9:00 or later on the east coast, you can watch the previously mentioned Dave Matthews Band concert below.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Take Rappers on a Field Trip any Day

Troubadour - K'Naan

Looking at the track list on Troubadour you see your typically “featuring” guests like Chubb Rock, Damian Marley, Adam Levine, Mos Def and, wait, Kirk Hammett? Okay, so K’Naan may not be your typical rapper as seen by his biography: Somalia by way of Canada (insert your Snow jokes here). With those roots, K’naan has managed to make an African influenced rap album that actually works that is full with A Tribe Called Quest and The Pharcyde references to satisfy old school fans.

As for the Kirk Hammett appearance, it seems like every time a rapper tries mixing the genre with hard rock, they fail miserably or just come off cheesy (just ask Puff Daddy), but If Rap Gets Jealous actually can appeal to hip hop purists and metal heads the same. Oddly, he follows up that song with his most mellow song on the disk, Wavin’ Flag, a marching song that could do well as a nation anthem somewhere.

For those looking for a club banger, turn to the Adam Levine assisted Bang Bang where K’Naan takes a break from the political themes of the rest of the album, but still doesn’t sound tired like most rap songs on the radio. Other standout tracks are the album opener T.I.A., the shout and stomp along anthem and ABC’s that brings out Chubb Rock out of obscurity for a Jamaican themed jam.

Song to Download – If Rap Gets Jealous

Troubadour gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.