Saturday, December 10, 2011

Best of the Week - 12/10/11

Quote of the Week: I suck (expletive deleted) and I love it. Yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy. (Saudi Diplomat, Homeland)

Song of the Week: Highway to Hell – AC/DC (How I Met Your Mother)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2012 Inductees Announced: And joining the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year will be Beastie Boys, Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The (Small) Faces, Donovan and Laura Nyro. Well that should make for an interesting jam session. Just the GnR induction should make for an interesting performance. I wonder if voters selected them just to see who shows up an actually plays together. Hopefully it does not turn into another Van Halen situation. And since the event will be held in Cleveland this year, I am availavle to cover it if anyone wants to hook me up with tickets.

Free Download of the Week: When the Bells Start Ringing - My Morning Jacket featuring the Head and the Heart

Deal of the Week: 100 Holiday Albums for $5: For those in need of so holiday cheer, Amazon has a buch of Christmas albums for only $5.00 including ones from Frank Sinatra, Twisted Sister, New Edition and Sarah McLaughlin.

New Album Release of the Week: Red (Vinyl) - Dia Frampton

New DVD Release of the Week: Sledge Hammer! The Complete Series

Video of the Week:

Betty White PSA

Next Week Pick of the Week: Big Cat Week, all week on Nat Geo Wild: Feline lovers clear your schedule this week because Nat Geo Wildwill be running its second annual Big Cat Week starting tomorrow at 8:00 with Stalking the Mountain Lion followed by American Cougar at 9:00 with Cat Wars: Lion vs. Cheetah closing out the night at 10:00, and run ever night until concluding Friday. And who better to introduce Big Cat Week than living legend Betty White (see the above Video of the Week).

Friday, December 09, 2011

Around the Tubes - 12/9/11

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 Boardwalk Empire, Sons of Anarchy, Snowmageddon, Smash, Jasmine Sagginario, Kara McGraw, MTV, Funniest Commercials of the Year: 2011, Christmas in Washington, Dean Martin, Ink Masters, and Castle.

- Boardwalk Empire is ending its second season this Sunday starting at 9:00 on HBO. Check out a clip below:

- My thoughts of the Sons of Anarchy season finale are coming up this weekend, until then, fans can participate in an action over at where you can bid on one of two Ireland Reaper Jackets worn on set by cast members in season three, episode eight. Or you can grab one of five “Chucky’s Chili” t-shirts signed by Chucky himself, Michael Marisi Ornstein. Proceeds of the actions will benefit two charities: Maryvale, which was founded in 1856 by the Daughters of Charity as the first orphanage for Los Angeles, and Operation Homefront, which provides emergency assistance and morale to troops, their families, and wounded warriors when they return home.

- If Snowmageddon is half as awesome as the name suggest, it will definitely be worth tuning into tomorrow at 9:00 on Syfy. Here is the trailer:

Trailer: Syfy Original Movie

- Are you sick of all the Smash commercials NBC has been running lately? No? Well you are in luck because if you become a fan of Smash on Facebook for a limited time you can get a free MP3 of Katherine McPhee singing Beautiful.

- More free music news. Jasmine Sagginario, winner of Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing will be giving away a free download of her new single GYOB (Get Your Own Boyfriend)on Christmas Eve via her Twitter account.

- And for fans of free Christmas music, Kara McGraw recently wrote and recorded a Christmas song to help raise money for the victims of Hurricane Irene in Vermont. Head over to her Facebook page for a name your price download and if you choose to pay, the proceeds to small local farmers in Vermont.

- It is that time of year again when Best of the Year lists start pouring (I’ll be starting mine on the 15th with the best lyrics of 2011) and next week MTV is kicking off theirs on Monday at 8:00 when their editors will be debating all week such lists as songs and album and artists of the year. Right now you can head over to to vote for MTV’s best live performance of the year.

- In other Best of 2011 new, the Old Spice guy Isaiah Mustafa will be counting down Funniest Commercials of the Year: 2011 on December 14 at 10:00 on TNT.

- TNT’s Christmas in Washington does not air until next week, but you can already take a look at the setlist:

"This Christmas" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" – Cee Lo Green, Choir
"Mistletoe" – Justin Bieber
"I’ll Be Home For Christmas" – The Band Perry, United States Naval Academy Glee Club
"Winter Wonderland/Let It Snow" – Victoria Justice, Washington Youth Choir
"Do You Hear What I Hear" – Jennifer Hudson, American Family Choir

Closing Medley:
• "Mary, Did You Know?" – The Band Perry, Washington Youth Choir, American Family Choir, USNA Glee Club, AFTRA Choir
• "Away in a Manger" – Justin Bieber, Washington Youth Choir, American Family Choir, USNA Glee Club, AFTRA Choir
• "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" – Victoria Justice, Washington Youth Choir, American Family Choir, USNA Glee Club, AFTRA Choir
• "Silent Night" – Cee Lo Green, Washington Youth Choir, American Family Choir, USNA Glee Club, USNA Glee Club
• "O Holy Night" – Jennifer Hudson, Washington Youth Choir, American Family Choir, USNA Glee Club, AFTRA Choir
• "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" – Cast
• "Joy to the World" – Cast

- For those in need of some more holiday cheer, Dean Martin’s My Kind of Christmas is available now featuring a duet with Scarlett Johansson on I’ll Be Home for Christmas.

- Tattoo enthusiasts will want to check out Spike’s new series Ink Masters premiering Tuesday at 17 at 10:00 with Dave Navarro as host. The show is looking for the top tattoo artist in the country. Check out a sneak peak over at

- Castle’s Tamala Jones recently opened up to about her past aneurysm scare.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

If There’s a Heaven I Can’t Find a Stairway

How I Got Over - The Roots

Long before Kid Cudi and Kanye West brought ego rap to the mainstream in recent year, The Roots have creating moody rap; songs about the downtrodden for almost two decades now. But last year’s How I Got Over may have been their moodiest album to date, even bring in a bunch of shoe gazing alternative artists they ran into during their day job as the house band of Late Night. So how to you go even darker for the follow up: you create a concept album about the life and death of a street hustler.

undun follows Redford Stevens (named after Sufjan Stevens whose Redford (For Yia-Yia and Pappou) gets sampled on the album) through lots of paranoia, self doubt, anger, and helplessness that is easily felt listening through your speakers. The words on undun are more words from a script than lyrics. But as Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi recently found out with Rome, a soundtrack without a movie just feels incomplete even if The Roots has released more music videos to support their album. And it does not help the album ends with four piano and strings heavy instrumentals across four minutes (as well as starting it off with one also).

But in-between there are plenty of goods songs regardless of how they plug into the greater theme. Make My, featuring Big K.R.I.T. and Dice Raw, may be the smoothest rap song ever made. Despite the heavy material surrounding it, Kool On, with Greg Porn and Truck North, is a club song based upon a great loop. But as a whole, the album is brought down as you spend too much time thinking of how the song fit into the overall album instead of just enjoying individual tracks. Still undun still to be one of the better concept albums in recent memory and shows twenty years later The Roots are the most innovative group in hip-hop.

Song to Download – Kool On

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

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Have You Ever Felt Like Everybody’s Watching

Red - Dia Frampton

Nothing like a little rejection to get your creative juices flowing. After a pair of forgettable album released on a major label, Meg & Dia were dropped and turned that rejection into some of the catchiest songs your ears could hear this year for their album Cocoon. The only problem is without a major label to promote the album it just sat there in the ether of the internet. So the singing half of the group Dia Frampton tried out for The Voice and let’s face it, should have won. But her effort landed Dia her second chance at a major label record contract.

With the release of The Broken Ones, it sounded like Dia might be in for a repeat of her first major label with an uninspired song in the vein of the bore of an “original song” Inventing Shadows that was written for The Voice. Fortunately most of the rest of her debut solo album Red sounds more like the direction she took with her band in the last year. The only other forgettable song on the album is the duet she sang and co-wrote with her coach on The Voice Blake Shelton for I Will which sounds like your run of the mill overdramatic sentimental ballad that populates most country albums these days.

Despite being mentored by the country superstar, there isn’t much country influence on Red unless you count Isabella with its banjos and foot stomping beat, but even that song sound more like the folksy Mumford & Sons filtered through a pop prism than a tradition country song. But much like on the show when she transitioned from the Colbie Caillat to Kanye West to R.E.M. to Tom Petty, there is plenty of genre skipping throughout Red. Aside from the previously mentioned trips into folk rock and country, you can also hear elements of adult contemporary (The Broken Ones), acoustic singer-songwriter (Daniel), alternative rock (Bullseye), and even hip-hop (Don’t Kick the Chair which features a verse from Kid Cudi).

Dia was marketed as the “indie pop” artist on The Voice and she certainly kept that theme for Red bringing in some top flight “indie pop” producers like Greg Kurstin of The Bird and the Bee (Don’t Kick the Chair), Mark Foster and Isom Innis of Foster the People (Billy the Kid), and Isabella Summers who is the Machine in Florence + The Machine (Bullseye). The influence of Foster the People spreads to other songs on Red. Aside from Billy the Kid, which sounds like it could have been a leftover from their album rerecorded with Dia’s vocals with its plucky bass line and vocal effects that accompany the spaghetti western style lyrics, there is Walk Away, a whistle heavy song with a bass line that sounds like a slowed down version of Pumped Up Kicks and also features a chorus about bullets.

And apparently there were an over abundance of catchy tunes because there are a couple of bonus tracks worth hunting down (and could have replaced the sappier I Will and / or The Broken Ones) including Hearts Out to Dry on iTunes which is more adventurous than anything on Red with her spooky vocals and would have rivaled the heartfelt delivery of Trapeze for the best vocals on the album. While over at Walmart there is the exclusive track Love Can Come From Anywhere which could have battled for the best track on Red with its absurdly catchy chorus. With Red, With the release of Red Dia Frampton is living proof that second chances are worth giving out.

Song to Download – Trapeze

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

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I Got a Love that Keeps Me Waiting

El Camino - The Black Keys

It is a shame that rock and roll as a genre is dying out just as The Black Keys are hitting their stride with three amazing albums over the past four. Whereas others bands of the past decade have gone whiney like My Chemical Romance or anthemic like Coldplay, in hopes of breaking into the mainstream, The Black Keys less is more, blues rock routine has slowly forced the mainstream to come to them with their last album Brothers cracking the top five of the Albums chart while lead single Tighten Up dominated the rock and alternative singles charts, netted themselves three Grammys last year (they even beat out Album of the Year winner Arcade Fire for Best Alternative Album) and even nabbed themselves an MTV Video Music Award (even if the trophy actually read Black Eyed Peas).

For their latest album El Camino, The Black Keys have reteamed with Danger Mouse who produced the band’s 2008 Attack and Release and as good as The Black Keys sound when it is just the two inside the booth, Danger Mouse manages to fill the duo’s sound out and gets them more focused. It is not clear if Danger Mouse or Dan and Pat choose this direction, but most of El Camino is actually danceable. No, it is not The Rolling Stones going disco and they are definitely not jumping on the Eurotrash trend that is polluting pop radio these days but you can definitely get your groove on during tracks like Gold on the Ceiling, Money Maker, Run Right Back, Stop Stop and of course first single Lonely Boy which features a dancing security guard channeling a dance style that was someone in-between Vincent Vega and Carlton Banks.

Even with all the dancing that can be had throughout the album, the boys keep their musical styles stuck clearly in the sixties with their mix of garage rock, RnB and soul, but it when the duo skips a decade and wonders into the seventies for the arena rock of Little Black Submarines. In the middle of all these dance rock tracks, The Black Keys go full Led Zeppelin half way through the song (and are able to do it with just two people) turning a mellow acoustic tale into a rock anthem on the turn of a dime. The Black Keys better make a music video for Little Black Submarines quick just so the just resurrected other pair of rock aficionados Beavis and Butt-Head can comment on it because if anyone can bring rock music back to the masses it is the dimwitted duo who managed to turn Rob Zombie into a household name.

Song to Download – Little Black Submarines

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

Monday, December 05, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 12/5/11

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.

Ours – Taylor Swift

We now know what Matt Sarasen has been up to since Friday Night Lights closed up show and I do not think Julie will be happy to learn that he has been passing notes with Taylor Swift.

The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball – The Killers

It is that time of year again: a weird Christmas song and video from The Killers. This year’s installment goes for the western them in moth music and visuals. Usually I find anything Christmas media without snow an epic fail, but a dancing robot makes up for the lack of the white stuff.

How Come You Never Go There - Feist

Wow, that is a lot of hair Feist is sporting these days. And it is nice to see the Smoke Monster from Lost can still find work after the show ended.

Say You Like Me – We the Kings

Sure the latest video from We the Kings is not as creative or entertaining as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, but their video game inspired video is still fairly amusing.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 12/4/11

Once Upon a Time: I am not sure what made me laugh harder: Jiminy managing to grab onto Ted Mosby’s worst girlfriend with his umbrella even though there is no way his umbrella is really that long (or has a good enough grip) or learning that his real world last name is Hopper.
You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time.

The Walking Dead: So we spent six whole episodes looking for Sophia, a character we barely saw in the first six episodes, two other characters get shot while looking for her and another eaten (R.I.P. Otis) and six weeks later she turns up (un) dead. What the frack? It seemed like even before it premiered, AMC was already unhappy with the show and was ready to cancel it except that it did so well in the rating, beating many network shows that there was no way they could possibly cancel it. Now the channel looks like it is trying to sabotage the show with everything that went on behind the scenes between the seasons and with this episode it looks like the writers are in on the sabotage now. Just when you think the characters could not get any more unlikeable, Shane opens up the zombie barn then everyone opens fire on Hershel’s family right in front of him. Sure they needed to be put down, but you do not massacre a man’s family while he is watching. The second half of the season can open next year with Hershel killing everyone else in revenge and I could care less because they really do need to purge the whole cast. And the writers. Basically everyone involved with the show but the makeup artists. If I were to list every show I am currently watching right now in a row, The Walking Dead would rank dead last. And I am still watching Last Man Standing.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Homeland: I guess the biggest question coming out of this episode was who was actually responsible for the bombing: the United States or did Abu Nazir plan it to get Brady on his side? Both are equally plausible. But the show really has been slowing down these last couple episodes. Maybe it is time to get Carrie off her meds.

The Sing Off: What is it whenever America is left to vote for something, be it a meaningless award show or lame reality series; they almost always get it wrong. It is befuddling to me that Antoine Merriweather did not get one hundred percent of the vote. I would suggest he get into the Republican primary, but I am sure Americans will still stupidly nominate Mitt Romney instead. Almost as disappointing as his loss was that Antoine did not also pull the attractive redhead from Delilah onstage during Paradise By the Dashboard Light. If I am lucky the two will join forces for a super group next season. If they need a ringer for the whistling part in an acapella version of Patience, hopefully they will shout me a holla.

You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download songs from The Sing-Off on iTunes.

Parenthood: We moved move step closer to my dream scenario of Julia letting the coffee girl move and raise her baby as one big happy family. And is it just me or were Haddie and Drew getting a little too close during the ED commercial than cousins should be?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

Sons of Anarchy: From the moment after I realized that the bullet went into Clay’s shoulder I knew they would manage to keep him alive now I fear that they will keep him alive another season by carting him off to jail out of the way from Jax. If Jax does not kill Clay this season, we may be in for another Ireland type cumbersome season next year.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Sons of Anarchy on iTunes.

Survivor: South Pacific: Cochran talking about the other tribe mates as a cult brought back bad flashbacks from last season when the six were a legitimate cult. Hopefully things turn out differently this time around, but since they got rid of Cochran first it looks like we may be in for another long final month.
You can stream recent episodes over at

Survivor on iTunes

Beavis and Butt-Head: I was all for the Beavis and Butt-Head movie reviews up until they actually started to show footage from Human Centipede, there are good reasons I have avoided the film and just those clips gave me nightmares. But it was nice to finally see Principal McVicker and Coach Buzzcut.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download Beavis and Butt-Head on iTunes.