Saturday, July 02, 2011

Around the Tubes - 7/2/11


I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on True blood, Harry Potter, The Lying Game, Three 6 Mafia, Life After Film School, Feherty, Larry David, Garry Morris, and Candyman 187.

- Before you get you grilling on Monday, Sunday sees an all new episode of True Blood at 9:00 on HBO. Below is an advanced preview of what you will see. And if you are fan of the show’s music, a third volume of the True Blood Soundtrack which will include a song by Neko Case, will be out this fall.



- Next weekend will be a Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family starting on Thursday with a new movie from the series airing all weekend. Or if you just want to watch them in one sitting, the channel will be airing the first five movies starting at 7:00 AM on Sunday. And if you think you are the biggest Harry Potter, head over to ABCFamily.com to enter your name for a chance to win the “Harry Potter Ultimate Fan Sweepstakes” grand prize which includes Blu-Rays (or DVD’s) of the first six movies and other Harry Potter swag.

- I found Alexandra Chando highly likable during her short stint on Glory Daze and not only does she have her own show, The Lying Game, we will be getting to see double of her as she plays twins on The Lying Game coming to ABC Family this August. Although isn’t the twins switching lives then one disappears the same plot of the Sarah Michelle Gellar show that got demoted to The CW? But anyway. Check out a promo below:

video


- Academy Award winning Three 6 Mafia (still weird typing that) is back on the scene with a new show, a mixtape and an upcoming album release. Famous Food debuts July 10 and follows the rap duo as they try to start a new restraint with Heidi Montag (huh?), Ashley Dupre (what?), Danielle Staub (who?), Jake Pavelka (seriously, who?) and Vincent Pastore (Big [Expletive Deleted]!!!). You can currently grab DJ Paul’s mixtape Pray for Forgiveness on iTunes while Juicy J’s mixtape Rubba Band Buisness 2 is currently available on livemixtapes.com.

- We are still two weeks away from the premiere of the final season of Rescue Me but this Sunday executive producer Peter Tolan will be on Life After Film School of Fox Movie Channel at 7:30.

- While on this week’s episode of Feherty on Tuesday at 9:00 on the Golf Channel, David will welcome golf legend Tom Watson.

- The New Yorker recently sat down with Larry David where he talks about his less than stellar golf game.

- On this 4th of July weekend Garry Morris is dedicating his new song Faith and Freedom to the men and woman of our armed services and you can download the song for free (right-click the link). The album Faith and Freedom will be released on CD to the general public at a later date.

- More free music alert: get the new track from Candyman 187 Show ‘Em All produced by Candyman 187 & The Havenotz and Skip Saylor or just check out the video below:



Friday, July 01, 2011

Hey I Can't Find Nothing on the Radio, Turn to that Station



Peter Buck once not so affectionately referred to his band’s early nineties records as R.E.M.’s James Taylor period, and sure Out of Time featured the worst song ever by a great artist with Shiny Happy People and included Endgame which sounded like it was lifted from seventies AM radio, but he is not giving the album along with my favorite album by the band Automatic for the People) enough credit. Yes the songs were much mellower than their previous work but the band got out of its comfort zone utilizing different instruments and even included a strings section on multiple songs. So I will be giving Out of Time its due by making it this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame.

The embracing of new instruments by R.E.M. was best exemplified by the album’s first single and band’s biggest hit Losing My Religion where Buck put down his guitar and picked up the mandolin which was a perfect backdrop for Michael Stipe’s haunting vocals. Half a World Away also featured the mandolin, but in a much more upbeat use than Losing My Religion and featured bassist Mike Mills on his new instrument for the album, the organ and remains one of the band’s most beautiful works of art.

Out of Time also so the introduction of guest vocalist, a first for the band. R.E.M. may have been the first alternative rock group (or college rock as it was called back then) to include a guest rapper on the song, and they even started the album off with KRS-One on Radio Song (which should have been a much bigger hit than it was). Their old Atlanta buddy Kate Pierson of the The B-52's adding vocals to Shiny Happy People, Country Feedback, and Me in Honey.

Though Out of Time was the start of the band’s “James Taylor” era, the album still featured a few songs that would not have been out of place on their eighties albums like Low where Stipe gets low on the vocals against a sparse backdrop of staccato guitars and organ. While Belong features the classic harmonies of Stipe and Mills that really sore in the chorus. But Out of Time was just a great primer for what was coming next with Automatic for the People where the band were at their peak musically.



Thursday, June 30, 2011

You a Bad Girl and Your Friends Bad Too


4 - Beyonce

Let’s just get this out of the way first: Run the World (Girls) is one of the worst songs ever in the history of the world (Full disclosure: I’m a guy). With that said, if you chop that song off of Beyoncé’s latest album, which is easy because it is the last track, 4 is her strongest work to date. Dangerously in Love was too top heavy on the hits. B’Day sounded like it was rushed. And I Am… Sasha Fierce was too schizophrenic (which may actually had been its intent). But 4 is her most cohesive album yet (assuming you hit the stop button before you get to Run the World (Girls), seriously that song is horrible).

The album starts off strong enough with the Prince style power ballad 1+1 although once the guitar solo comes in at the end of the song you wonder why it was not there throughout the whole song. That and why didn’t B get the actual Prince to play on the song instead some cheap Prince knockoff. I Care is such a weird RnB meets pop song that you will be reaching for the liner notes to see if Cee-Lo and/or Danger Mouse were involved (nope, it the dude who co-produced Kanye West’s Runaway).

While the Kenneth Edmonds (Babyface get back to making your own music stat! RnB needs you) co-written and produced Best Thing I Never Had is classic woman scorned Beyoncé (where she is at her best) in the tradition of Me Myself and I and Irreplaceable. I am still trying to decide if Rather Die Young is a lost gem from the RnB radio in the eighties or an AM radio hit from the seventies. Disappointingly the Ryan Tedder produced (and Diane Warren??? written) I was Here does not use the same backing track as Halo, the song Tedder famously recycled for five oor so other songs he produced.

The most notable songs on the album is where she dusts off two classic for sample. First there is the soon to be slow burning house party staple Party where producer Kanye West lifts lines from Doug E Fresh and Slick Rick’s old school classic La Di Da Di and sprinkles them throughout the song. While the middle school version of myself totally geeked when Beyoncé lifted the intro of Boyz II Men Uhh Ahh for Countdown. Yeah the song itself turned out to be a letdown, but you got to give her props for resurrected the greatest RnB group of the nineties. Come to think of it, Babyface, how about get back into the studio with Boyz II Men while you are at it.

Song to Download - Party

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



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Live Blogging The Voice Results Show


Dia Frampton and Blake Shelton channel The Blues Brothers

After three months of blind auditions, battle rounds and Grammy production style live shows, the very first winner of The Voice will be crowned tonight winning them a record contract and some driving around money. No word on what the winning coach will receive aside from bragging rights. Before we get to tonight, check out of my live blog of yesterday’s The Voice Finale.

7:59 – I wonder if Vegas is taking bets on Javier Colon winning only to get bum-rushed by Kanye West who grabs the mic screaming, “Yo Javier, I’m really happy for you. I’mma let you finish, but Dia Frampton gave the greatest rendition of a song of all time. OF ALL TIME!!!!” I have money to burn.

8:01 – Well Dia Fampton already wins the award for largest applause. Higher than the judges and guests (how did Ryan Tedder get such a large one though, he is the worst of the bunch). Did she cut her hair even shorter?

8:05 – A Jay Leno recap? Ugg, they are really going to stretch this show out like turkey meat.

8:07 – When the announced the guest performances I went 0-3 guessing which finalist they would sing with. It was like they pulled names out of a hat to see who would perform. It should be interesting to see which will turn out to be the biggest train wreck (my money is on Beverly / Tedder).

8:12 – I love Drops of Jupiter and all, but is Pat Monahan really anyone’s favorite artist? I guess that is a better introduction that “Singing with an artist she sort of likes, but was the only one we could get to say yes.”

8:15 – Mark it: the first gratuitous NBC employee crowd shot.

8:16 - Bring back the V Room!!! Wow, someone actually asked Allison Haislip a question.

8:27 – Javier should sing with artists that wrote that song more often because he actually kept to the melody and did not ruin the song. And amazingly Javier went through the whole competition without singing one song that had higher than 25 beats per minute.

8:27 – Wow, Christina Aguilera just groped herself on live television for no apparent reason. I bet that GIF hits the web in 3, 2…

8:37 – So they paired one of the bolded voices on the show with a dude who makes the most boring music on the planet. Alrighty. At least Beverly weirdness made the performance almost watchable. But to think this could (should) have been Xenia dueting with Norah Jones. Sigh.

8:44 - Ha, they skipped over Dia's Battle Round in the montage, the lowpoint of the series this season.

8:47 – Ugg, the one song I was hoping Dia and Miranda Lambert were not going to sing. Yawn. Why couldn’t they have done one of her ish kicking song?

8:54 - Beverly and Vicci clearly know its not them.

8:58 – Wow, Javier Colon is The Voice.

9:00 – The Voice has a serious credibility problem right off the bat. Every week, Dia topped Javier on the iTunes charts, even reaching number one today, and she did not win. There really needs to be a recount, seriously, it was like Katherine Harris was involved in tabulating the votes or something. If someone like Dia dominates the iTunes charts where people spend their hard earned money and not just set up phony e-mail accounts to vote en mass, there is something wrong with your voting system. Mark Burnett really needs to explain this result because The Voice is now officially a fraud.


(Scooter's Note: I wrote this portion before the live show started) And here is a look at how the all The Voice performances stacked up on iTunes (click to download) just minutes before the show started, I vaguely remember Carson mentioning that only the original songs count as votes so I have bolded those. But keep in mind those bolded count as votes so the list may be a little spoilery (and let’s face it, if the most downloaded contestant does not win, The Voice will have a credibility problem right off the bat).

1. Inventing Shadows - Dia Frampton

2. Stitch By Stitch - Javier Colon

6. Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera

7. Man In the Mirror (The Voice Performance) - Man In the Mirror - Javier Colon and Adam Lavine

12. I Won't Back Down - Dia Frampton

15. Afraid to Sleep - Vicci Martinez

16. Beautiful - Beverly McClellan and Christina Aguilera

34. Lovesick - Beverly McClellan

35. Love Is a Battlefield - Vicci Martinez and Cee-Lo Green

41. Losing My Religion - Dia Frampton

48. Heartless - Dia Frampton

55. Fix You - Javier Colon

83. Time After Time - Javier Colon

84. Dog Days Are Over (The Voice Performance) - Dog Days Are Over - Vicci Martinez

105. Angel - Javier Colon

139. Jolene - Vicci Martinez

148. Price Tag - Xenia

167. The Man Who Can’t Be Moved - Xenia

179. Bubbly - Dia Frampton

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Live Blogging The Voice Finale


The finalist and coaches of The Voice are joined by Road Warrior Cee-Lo

I scoffed at The Voice when it was first announced and here I am live blogging the finale just month’s later. Sure for me the last performance show is just a formality because Dia Frampton locked this with her rendition of Heartless which is now the gold standard for singing competitions. So unless she runs offstage crying during one of her performances, she should take home the trophy (or whatever the winner gets).

8:45 - Currently watching The Voice pre-show, aka Pretty Little Liars. It is weird that everyone killed The Killing for not revealing who killed Rosie Larson yet no one made a peep when Pretty Little Liars ended its first season without giving a definitive answer as to who killed even if the heavily hinted that it was Ian. Not only do we not know who the killer is, the show adds more questions without answering them at a Lostian pace.

9:00 – We start off with the coaches doing Vanilla Ice!!!! Wait, never mind. I thought the Queen medley was a couple weeks ago.

9:07 – One second of it and I already hate Vicci’s song. She is really at her worst

9:10 - Holy TRL reference!!! Carson totally has PTDS.

9:12: I miss the V room. The Social media room just does not have the awesomely cheeky vibe to it.

9:16: It is not a good sign that Up all Night does not premiere for three months and I am already tired of it.

9:21: R&B has been slowly dying for the past decade and though Stitch by Stitch does not hit the highs of the 90’s R&B, it is still decent by today’s standard. Bonus points for wrangling in the vocal gymnastics at the right time, something Javier Colon has struggled with his previous performances. Grade: B- Download Stitch By Stitch on iTunes.

9:30 – It’s the Blues Brothers!!!

9:32 – Dia has hit the right emotional buttons during her solo performances, but goes more for the fun root when singing with Blake, and we have Blues Brothers costumes (though Dia ditched the sunglasses early) and ZZ Top style synchronizing moves. Grade: B Download I Won't Back Down on iTunes.



9:42 – Every Vicci Martinez performance has been the same, take a great song and pale in comparison to the orginal singing in a karaoke style, then start screaming for no apparently reason, and even though there was no orginal artist to underperform, she still follow the same pattern. Grade: D+ Download Afraid to Sleep on iTunes.

9:50 – Pitbull on The Voice. Huh? Everyone that got booted in the battle rounds have better voices than him. And did he just name drop Seacrest? Wrong show buddy.

9:59 - Crap, I meant to put in a bet in Vegas that Christina Aguilera would make Beverly McClellan duet Beautiful with her. That would have been easy money. I actually like Beverly better in this performance. Grade: B- Download Beautiful on iTunes.

10:04 - Katherine McPhee acting again? Did no one see The House Bunny? No? Nevermind then.

10:13 – I am a little disappointed that Dia was not allowed to write a song herself. If you are going to label her a singer-songwriter, how about let her write her own song? The song she did probably went too far into Vanessa Carlton territory than it shoud. Oddly her orginal song was the one song that she did that did not sound like she put her own personal touch on. Grade: B- Download Inventing Shadows on iTunes.



10:21 - Fun fact: Man In the Mirror was the very first song I ever performed in public.

10:25 – I was getting a little worried, how do you perform Man in the Mirror without a choir, but they finally showed up, but it was still too small of a choir. Fill the stage up with a choir during that song. I wonder if they scaled it down this time around because the Team Adam performance was drowned out a couple weeks ago. Grade: B Download Man In the Mirror on iTunes.

10:31 – I am not sure if I am disappointed or relieved that Brad Paisley’s Don’t Drink the Water is not a Dave Matthews Band cover.

10:44 - Beverly may not have deserved to be in the final four when the spot could have gone to Xenia or Nakia, but she may be the most entertaining performer from the top eight. Her original song was a little bland. But then again all the original songs were a little bland (grant none were as horrible as all of the American Kareoke winning songs not named Inside Your Heaven). Grade: C Download Lovesick on iTunes.

10:55 - Cee-Lo singing Pat Benatar in a Legion of Doom costume. No seriously. Can I buy a song with just him performing the song? Vicci may have the coolest looking performances, but the weakest voice in the finals. Grade: B+ Download Love Is a Battlefield on iTunes.

11:00 It’s all over but the voting. So vote early, vote often, vote Dia Frampton. 1-855-VOICE-03. I’ll leave you with the best Dia quote I have read about her: “She's adorable, and looks either like Lyla Garrity or Jessica Alba, depending on the kind of adorable face she's making.” – Rolling Stone.

Check out my Live Blog of The Voice Results Show.

I Want My Music Television - 6/28/11


There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought 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.


TMZ - "Weird Al" Yankovic



Last week “Weird Al” Yankovic released his painful to sit though Lady Gaga parody (I am pretty sure that is what the Nazis say when they opened the Arc of the Covenant), thankfully Al is already cleansing the mind pallet with his new video where a Taylor Swift look-a-like (I am assuming that since I Belong to You is the song getting the Weird Al treatment) gets harassed by TMZ.


Space Bound - Eminem



What the frack Eminem? Is there supposed to be some big deep meaning behind this video that I am not seeing, or did you just film this video as an excuss to hook up with Sasha Grey?


Love You Like a Love Song - Selena Gomez & The Scene



Holy Max Headroom homage! Although if I did the math correctly, Max Headroom predates the birth of Selena Gomez. That really makes me feel old.


Faster - Matt Nathanson



I am getting a strong George Michael / Faith vibe from the latest Matt Nathanson video. The both feature a solo artist in blue jeans and jacket playing an acoustic guitar. Even musically they utilize the same famous Bo Diddley beat.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Previewing Weeds 7.x


Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin getting ready foer some Caged Heat

Last season on Weeds the Botwin Newman family took a great American road trip after Shane killed a very important person taking them through Seattle, Montana, points unknown before ending up on Nancy’s birthplace as a last spot before hopping in a plane to Copenhagen. The season ended with Nancy sacrificing herself to the feds, confessing to the murder of Pilar, after being taken by her husband who was not very happy that she split town his kid, while the rest of her family took off for Denmark.

The seventh season opens three months later when Nancy is up for parole. Yes pervs, there is some Caged Heat action before she is released to a halfway house in Washington Heights where we meet what may be the breakout character of the season in the form of the runner of the halfway house who went to the Don King school of speaking. And by the end of the episode it looks like Nancy happens upon something new to sell.

As for the male members of the cast, the all seem to assimilated well into Danish lifestyle (how is too good to spoil) and even Doug (which has a little something extra to him now) made the trip across the Atlantic even though the last time we saw him he had decided to reconnect with his family. We even get to see the three year old Stevie who was given custody to Nancy’s sister (guest star Jennifer Jason Lee) with both of his parents in jail and other family in another country. But the end of the episode shows that we will be in for an explosive season of Weeds.

Weeds airs Mondays at 10:00 on Showtime followed by a new season of The Big C. You can download previous seasons of Weeds on iTunes.



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Previewing Leverage 4.x


The cast of Leverage

The last image we got of Leverage was Nate sharing a bed with Sophie which adds to plenty of tension when the show returns tonight on TNT. Both Nate and Sophie are quick to jump into a new case to temper the awkwardness as the crew steals a mountain (again) when a mountain climber go missing with foul play being suggested. (Apparently the climber in question is not Eric Stoltz even though I was convinced it was for most of the episode). With many experienced climber dying on this part of the mountain, this is easily the most dangerous mission the Leverage team has taken to date

With Damien Moreau behind bars, tonight’s episode does introduce what looks to be another season long arc when someone turns the table on the Leverage team. Also expected this season the team will target a public relations expert (guest star Michael Gladis) who protects his clients by destroying the lives of anyone who gets in their way; a millionaire who pays to have himself moved up on a heart-transplant waiting list; a woman who profits from people’s grief through a funeral scam; a big corporation out to bury potato farmers; and a group trying to kill a World War II veteran (guest star Danny Glover) who allegedly has a very rare Van Gogh painting. In addition, the team will once again face their nemesis, insurance-investigator-turned-InterPOL-agent Jim Sterling (guest star Mark Sheppard). They will also discover that someone has been spying on their activities, although the nature of the culprit’s agenda is a mystery.

Leverage airs Sundays at 9:00 on TNT and will be followed by Falling Skies in its new timeslot. You can stream recent episodes over at tnt.tv. You can also download Leverage on iTunes.