Saturday, February 18, 2017
The 59th Annual Grammy Awards: I figured this year’s Grammys would suck because music last year sucked. Except, it ended up not being as bad as I expected. Granted about half of the performers did not actually perform songs that were even eligible this year. By my count The Weeknd, Ed Sheeran, Metallica, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, and A Tribe Called Questall performed songs that were released after this year’s deadline. Which means many of this year’s nominees got the shafted. It used to be if you were nominated in the big four you were automatically got to perform. Rihanna, Drake, and Kanye West all had the second most nominations while Justin Bieber also was up for Album and Song but none performed (I do not think the latter three even showed up; weirdly Rihanna was scheduled to perform last year but pulled out due to illness). Mike Posner, was not seen despite a Song of the Year nomination. Lukas Graham, up for Record/Song and Best New Artist was forced to mash up their song with fellow Best New Artist nominee Kelsea Ballerini which ended up being the worst of the night. Other Best New Artist nominees The Chainsmokers I do not think were even there while Anderson .Paak was barely noticeable in the A Tribe Called Quest set. And I am not a big fan, but twenty one pilots got a bunch of nominations (five, same as Adele), including Record of the Year, yet only hit the stage to accept an award in their underwear. While Bruno Mars, who was not nominated this year, got to perform twice. To put this in context, last year, only Adele performed despite releasing music too late to be eligible (although you can also count Rihanna who pulled out; Justin Beiber also performed Love Yourself but as part of a medley with a nominated collaboration with Skillex and Diplo). Of course not that I am complaining, just next year are they going to ask back all of those six performers if they are nominated? Obviously yes concerning Bruno Mars and probably Ed Sheeran. I just hope Tribe goes on an award tour next year with a bunch of nominations in the major categories.
Mercy Street: That dude was a she, did not see that coming.
You can download Mercy Street on iTunes.
Homeland: After Carrie got that guy out, I figured he would eventually carry out a terrorist attack, except instead he just made a video. TThen just when I thought Quinn was just being paranoid about the guy across the street, he follows him to a shipping yaarrd of whick Saku just happened to woeked. When he turned the key, I thought, oh, this is going to explode. Then when he put it in the reverse, I thought, oh this is going to explode. Then when he turned on the radio I thought, oh this is going to explode. Then when I figured, oh maybe he is just delivering something, the van is not actually going to explode, then it exploded. Okay, this season just got interesting.
The Walking Dead: So Rick heads out to that boathouse and no one was there. He goes back this week and there is a whole hoard of people who, to my knowledge, we have never seen before.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.
Supergirl: Mmm, The Luther’s are easily the most interesting part of the show (of course villains usually are). I would not mind a spinoff. And expect a lot of complaining next week, but why the fork is Mister Mxyzptlk being played by an Abercrombie model? We hear a lot made of cultural appropriation and white washing, but where is the outrage that Mister Mxyzptlk is not being played by an actual imp?
You can download Supergirl on iTunes.
The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions: Cory made an interesting decision this week by offering himself up for elimination. It is the easier way to get to the Oasis, you have a fifty-fifty chance to make it, which is better than one in eight the other way. But if you lose a challenge, you get another shot next week, you lose the elimination, you have to wait a year and hope to be asked back. Of course the easiest way to make it into the Oasis is to go against someone who quits. C’mon buddy, climbing up the mountain seems like the hard part to me. Might as well jump at that point.
You can download The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions on iTunes.
The Path: Wait, did FBI guy really plant a burner phone to set up the doctor? Obviously a great way to get Cal to trust you is to find the mole and obviously you cannot turn yourself in, but that was cold. And the FBI could also try to turn her. Speaking of sadistic acts, harsh for someone poisoning thousands of people (and cows) to increase her company’s bottom line calling someone else sadistic. But what I am interested in is how the social black warrior will figure back into the show. The head guy just did not seem like a one off character.
You can stream The Path on Hulu.
Blindplot: Rich Dot Com is always a welcome site, but him picking Kurt as his date may have made this the best episode in the show’s history.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes.
Powerless: Holy Black Manta sighting!!!!! Finally he gets his first live action appearance. Well even if was just a mention, not actually appearing on screen. But it is a start.
You can download Powerless on iTunes.
Emerald City: So who exactly is the Cowardly Lion? At first I thought it was the boy/girl. Then I thought it was the quit girl. Maybe neither. I still doubt boy/girl who is apparently a princess is really dead.
You can download Emerald City on iTunes.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
2015 Grammy Awards: I had a feeling 2014 was not a very good year for music when I was making my best of the year list and watching this year's Grammy's verified that after seeing Sam Smith and Beck win the top four awards especially considering they were basically the best in very weak fields (well I would have given Haim the Best New Artist Award). But usually in weak musical years, the show can produce great once in a lifetime duets, but all of those fell flat. Really, a week later nothing really stands out to me this year except how boring it was.
The Walking Dead: Hold ghosts of Tyrese past! I have to admit I have enjoyed this season significantly more that the earlier ones, but why oh why had the show killed off its two most entertaining characters in back to back episodes yet Carl is still alive (thee third, Bob literally bit it earlier this season two).
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.
Pretty Little Liars: Oh Spencer, you are a moron. Did she really think that some college hired the dude to make a mural and to do it with spray paint at night? But I really could care less about these girls personal lives, just stick the the overly complex murder mystery of someone who probably is not even dead.
You can download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.
Mavel's Agent Carter: Whoa, they were actually able to catch Peggy, I was a assuming as soon as she went on the lamb she would stay there until she was able to clear her name. And even more shocking it was a kiss from a Russian spy that brought her down. But the most shocking was the Russian scientist ended up being in cahoots with the spy. All this intrige should make for an interesting final two episodes.
You can download Marvel's Agent Carter om iTunes.
Justified: Watching this episode and the previews for next week was a greatest hits of recurring characters past (Loretta McCreary! Dicky Bennett!! Constable Bob!!! Elmore Limehouse!!!!) and that pretty much sums it up because I think the rest are either dead or in jail. Jake Busy is already on the dead list after just one episode with yet another memorable death scene on the show. I laughed through the entire commercial break. But it was nice to see Loretta outsmart Dicky one more time, not that it very hard thing to do.
You can download Justified on iTunes.
The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II: It is time for the annual annoying "To Be Continued" episode. Usually this comes right before the final elimination challenge. So we have to wait a week to see who goes home. But this has been two straight sad challenges. Last week TJ had to admonish all the guys who were too scared to jump out the surfboard contraption challenge and this week half of the teams could not even finish at all and had to institute a mercy rule. Even more sad, Jonna's puzzle was extremely embarrassing (Zach was right to compared it to something a third grader put together which was his second best comment of the evening after his almost correct reference to Of Mice and Men) and Brittany somehow did worse than her.
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II on iTunes.
Hindsight: Of course the show eventually worked in the famous Say Anything boombox scene, but this definitely the first time anyone thought to use KWS as the soundtrack. And it only got better when the batteries ran out.
You can download Hindsight on iTunes.
The Americans: Yawn, another near miss by the FBI. At least there was that bizarre and random scene with Paige finding a picture of their neighbor in a bikini in her brother's room.
You can download The Americans on iTunes.
Nashville: Of course his niece was not a match and his sister does not want to give hers (okay that was a bit of a serve, I just thought she would not be a match), it is beyond obvious that Deacon is going to have to get a new liver from his daughter. I wonder how long they will stretch this until he asks (or more likely she offers).
You can download Nashville on iTunes.
King of the Nerds: Whoa, Moby really takes his nerd culture seriously. But you have to side with him because it is really stupid for someone to pick a fight with a judge.
You can download King of the Nerds on iTunes.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
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.
I always Neon Trees would have fit in well during the pop-rock band of the late ninties (as signified by having a McG directed music video), but the band went full eighties with their latest video and I am not sure if it make me nostalgic or is giving me bad flashbacks.
Who would have guessed the Lilest Lilith Fair music video would be made by Colbie Caillat in 2014. How did Paula Cole not make this video seventeen years ago?
Late last year a video circulated the internets claiming to be every country song of 2013 which features every song which sang about trucks driving down dirt roads, chicks in blue jeans named “Girl,” cold ones and about ten other country clichés. Really the video could have been every country radio hit of the past thirty years. And even though every country song that gets played on the radio sounds the same, Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale somehow managed to come out with the most bland country song possibly ever. Even the music video looked recycled from some Carrie Underwood outtake. It somehow managed to be the most bland country song possibly ever.
I am not the biggest fan of Imagine Dragons or Kendrick Lamar and was weary when it was announced they were going to perform together at the Grammy’s but not only was it was the best performance of the night it also gave up the most GIF-able moments with many cutaways to Taylor Swift dancing and what may have been the first public appearance of Lorde smiling. I got excited when I saw a Kendrick Lamar Remix of Radioactive hit iTunes after the performance. Unfortunately the studio version just sounding like someone cut and pasted a random Kendrick rant that sort of had some time signature and put it in the middle of Radioactive. I never understand why artists do not put their award show performances on iTunes. I would have spent about ten dollars on this year’s Grammy’s alone. Instead I have to debate on whether to hunt down crappy version that someone ripped from their television. It certainly would have been nice to buy a high quality version of this performance without the lengthy bleeps or the Copy of A / My God Is the Sun closer without getting cut off (hey Grammy’s seriously just start at 7:00 and go four hours because that is how long the show overruns every year anyway).
Monday, January 27, 2014
After a lackluster 2013, this year's Grammy's was surprisingly not horrible. Only two performances had me reaching to switch to the Pro Bowl. Of course the no defense game had me back on CBS quickly. Here are some quick thought on the show.
- Beyoncé gave me a serious seizure. Not a very good way to start a show. Plus I do not really like the Grammy trend of opening up the show with someone who is not nominated but just promoting an album.
- LL Cool J has to be the most boring host ever. Seriously, can you get a host next year that will make at least one Justin Bieber joke. Why did they not have Anna Kendrick host? She was more more entertaining in two minutes than he was all night. Or at least have her present with Kendrick Lamar?
- Remember how Best New Artist was a joke but last decade they managed to get it right ever year for almost ten straight year from Alicia Keys to Adele? Well it looks to being back to being a joke.
- Should I know who Hunter Hayes is, that performance was not very good. If that was The Voice, no one would have turned their chairs.
- Oscar winner Juicy J should be brought up at every award show. Katy Perry, not so much.
- Was Pharrell Williams the first interpreter at the Grammy's? I guess it should not be a surprise they did not speak, they are French. He certainly was the first real life human to wear an oversized Dudley Do Right hat.
- Kevin Hart was in the house and still they had LL Cool J hosted?
- So Robin Thicke sings blurred Lines with Earth, Wind & Fire on the nomination special and with Chicago on the big show. Hey Grammy's how about stop double dipping. At least they were both an upgrade over Miley Cyrus.
- Having YouTube performances during the Pop categories was stupid.
- After Steve Hyden of Grantland suggested that a potential Lorde acceptance speech could be a mix between Pearl Jam circa 1996 and Fiona Apple on MTV, her acceptance speeches were a bit disappointing. But she definitely deserved it.
- I have a feeling one day we are going to learn the last twenty years or so of Ozzy Osbourne's life was a Weekend at Bernie's situation.
- I feel bad for Kacey Musgraves for having to follow the Imagine Dragons / Kendrick Lamar song. Whoever sequenced that did a really bad job. I still would have had Kendrick perform a mash up with Anna Kendrick instead. But I did love how Imagine Dragons did not bother to clean up after their performance. And Kacey's boots were awesome.
- Why does Taylor Swift not have her own dedicated dance cam stream? It is 2014 people.
- Mike Ditka on a wrecking ball during the "halftime show": something I will not be able to unsee.
Daft Punk dance party? She could not have been pouting over losing the Best Country Album. Not only was Kacey Musgraves' better, it was an actual country album.
- Does Lars Ulrich really have a mullet?
- Same Love needed more Trombone Shorty and less Madonna.
- It is interesting that Miranda Lambert performed The Everly Brothers song with Billie Joe Armstrong instead of Norah Jones considering they just recorded an Everly's cover album together. Come to think of it I do not even remember them performing together to promote the album.
- Get Lucky is a great song but not great enough to get an otherwise underwhelming rest of the album worthy of Album of the Year. But then again it was a weak category this year.
- A solid closing performance, I really enjoy the Lindsey Buckingham enhanced version of Copy of A better than the original. Get that version on iTunes soon before I have to get a copy through nefarious means.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Quote of the Week: That was my fault. I shoulda been clearer. Standing up ain’t the only way to get me to take this bat to you. Calling her a (expletive deleted) will get us there too. (Raylan Givens, Justified)
Song of the Week: Satellite Call – Sara Bareilles (Pretty Little Liars)
Scene of the Week:
Big News of the Week: Peter Pan Coming Back to the Small Screen: Haters be damned, After The Sound of Music Live! put up monster numbers, the question was not if they would put on another live musical but what would it be. I had my money on West Side Story but NBC instead went with what I thought would be the second most likely: Peter Pan. Of course as soon as the news broke, casting wish lists came flooding in (the NBC president jokingly said he wanted Miley Cyrus as the titular character; at least I hope he was joking).
Ever since The Sound of Music, I have been posting fake musical casts and a couple weeks ago I even did one for Peter Pan that was a little Scott Pilgrim vs. The World heavy. For Peter Pan I had Brie Larson and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Tigerlily. Unlike Carrie Underwood, who has a great voice but limited acting experience, both of my choices are good actresses with singing experience, Larson sang in Scott Pilgrim and actually released a Avril Lavigne type album as a teenage (yes there is a video on YouTube and yes it is awesomely bad and I cannot confirm nor denied I downloaded the song), while MEW supposedly has an album with Dan the Automator coming out sometime this year. Then for Captain Hook, I suggested another actor who dabbles in music, Jack Black.
Of course NBC wants to screw Peter Pan up because after the Miley Cyrus joke, the president said they are actually looking into casting a young male as Peter Pan. Yeah the character is a young male except the role was written for a young woman. That is what the music is written for, a woman’s voice. And more importantly having a grown women pretending to be a teenage boy pretending to be a woman who seduces Captain Hook like in the screenplay is creepy enough, but having an actual teenage boy seduce a grown man may mean Chris Hansen will get involved. Plus what young boy is famous to put on a marquee? The only one that comes to mind is Justin Bieber, but he may be detained for the foreseeable future and may not even be allowed in the country by the time the special is supposed to air in December.
Preview Picture of the Week:
|"Fountain" Switched at Birth, Monday at 8:00 on ABC Family|
Free Download of the Week: Hangout Festival Sampler (Noisetrade): The Hangout Festival is hitting the Gulf Shore of Alabama starting May with headliners The Black Keys, The Killers, and like every other festival in 2014, Outkast. Okay, those three artists are absent from the sampler, but you can still get free tracks from Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers, Los Lobos, and twenty other acts playing the festival.
New Album Release of the Week: B-Sides - The Gaslight Anthem
New DVD Release of the Week: Bonnie & Clyde
Video of the Week: As previously mentioned, before going on to be a critical darling, teenaged Brie Larson was an aspiring pop singer. And there is even video evidence (what would we do before YouTube). At least her participation in Scott Pilgrim redeemed her musically.
Next Week Pick of the Week: The 56th Grammy Awards, Sunday at 8:00 on CBS: I came to the realization while making my list of the 100 Best Songs of 2013 that it was a horrible year for music. Case in point: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are nominated in the Grammy’s Big Four. How Lorde did not get that honor is a bit befuddling especially her omission from Best New Artist especially over James Blake, who garnered no other nominations, and Ed Sheeran, who was nominated for Song of the Year last year (and also nabbed no other nominations this year). Of course that could mean Lorde can grab Best New Artist at the 2015 show. But this year those two will be performing along with Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves, Madonna, and a bunch of duets: Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, Niles Rodgers, and Stevie Wonder, Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar, P!nk and Nate Ruess, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Blake Shelton, John Legend and Keith Urban, Metallica and Lang Lang, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Robin Thicke and Chicago, Sara Bareilles and Carol King, Billy Joe Armstrong and Miranda Lambert will pay tribute to Phil Everly, and the grouping of Dave Grohl, Lindsey Buckingham, Nine Inch Nails, and Queens of the Stone Age closing out the show. So all those, some weird, pairing it may be worth checking out the show despite what may have been the worst year in music since 1999. Well that and to see if Grohl will pick up what will only be Nirvana’s second Grammy ever (Best Alternative Music Album for MTV Unplugged is currently their only gramophone) for Best Rap Song. Seriously. They are listed as songwriters because Jay-Z sang a line from Smells Like Teen Spirit in Holy Grail.
Sunday, December 08, 2013
2014 Grammy Nomination Special: It is odd to have your nominations at 10:00 on a Friday considering the weekend tends to be a wasteland for news. But after the nominations I understand why they had it on a day when most people deliver bad news. After last year when I actually enjoyed all five Album of the Years and was content with most everything in the big four. Well except that Call Me Maybe was was nominated for a songwriting award along with Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) which re-appropriated the Nietzsche saying for the umpteenth time in song.
The biggest shock of the night was Sara Bareilles getting Album of the Year nod for the underwhelming The Blessed Unrest, her weakest album to date. She shares the nomination with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis who somehow ranked up the second most nomination with seven including three of the big four. Not bad for the second coming of Vanilla Ice.
As for the snubs, Lorde seemed like the biggest lock for Best New Artist, yet when the nominees were announced, not surprisingly Macklamore and Ryan Lewis were joined by Kendrick Lamar (who grabbed the same amount of nominations as the duo), and country upstart Kacey Musgraves. The other two were a bit shocking especially considering they took the spot of Lorde who was arguably the most buzzed about new artist of the year and was peaking as the nominations were being decided.
First there was James Blake who is virtually unknown stateside (or very well in his native England) and was getting no buzz at all during awards season. No shots at James Blake because Retrograde will probably make my Best Songs of 2013 list (okay, one irrational shot, whenever I see his name I think of James Blunt which is a big negative), but he does not belong here. But Blake is not even the least deserving artist in the category; that honor goes to Ed Sheeran. Ed even seemed embarrassed when the camera cut to him after announcing he was nominated. Again, no shots at Ed, but he is not new. And not even in the way that Kacey Musgraves is technically on her fourth album kind of way. The guy was nominated for Song of the Year just last year and even performed at the award show. This year, his is up for nothing else (same as James Blake; though technically Ed is nominated for being on the Taylor Swift album) while Lorde is up for four awards including Song and Record of the Year. But I guess you cannot get too upset for Lorde not also getting the Best New Artist nomination, she will probably get one next year.
Once Upon a Time: Thank goodness, we are finally out of Neverland (so what if they did not bother to explain how Prince Charming is allowed to leave without dying). Oh wait, Pan is now in Henry’s body so that storyline will continue. Ugg.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.
Homeland: I actually cheered when the roadside bomb went off. I should have known Brody would crawl out, the guy is a cockroach.
The Walking Dead: My favorite part of the episode is everyone saw Rick skitter behind the bus, and yet the Governor’s whole army marched right past him without even bothing to look to see if he was still there so Rick could tackle the Governor after every passed. There is nothing more entertaining than television characters that are AI video game dumb. My second favorite part was the mom who was so fixated on the water even though someone told her that walkers avoid water, keeping her back on her child and the big wooded area that could actually have walkers in it.
But it is time to say R.I.P. to Hershel. When the Governor captured him and Michonne it was pretty clear one of them would be assassinated by the Governor if not both. And Michonne actually has both of her legs. The Governor also became zombie chow but surprisingly it was not at the hands of Rick, Michonne (though she did leave him for the zombies, presumable, when she had the chance to finish him) but by the mother who we just met two episodes ago. I do wonder if we will see her, or her sister, again. I think they were the only two of the Governor’s army who ended the episode alive. I would not be surprised if they were the ones that took the baby and will raise them as their own until Rick happens across them at some point.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.
Masters of Sex: I was wondering when the study start if they were using any sort of contraception and finally got my answer: apparently only a diaphragm which only has about a 95% success rate. I am not sure I like those odds.
The Blacklist: In an interview with one of the dudes behind Homeland, I remember him talking about how smart viewers are now and you can never surprise them with what happens, you can only surprise them with when it happens. I think about that a lot when watching The Blacklist. Most people had Lizzie being Red’s daughter as early as when NBC released its first trailer. I began to think that maybe Red may be the father of Lizzie’s husband instead when it was revealed her father was alive and well (as far as she knew) in the series premiere. But as time went on, I went back to thinking that it was Lizzie who came from Red’s loins, a fact that was all but confirmed when Red killed Lizzie’s “father” when her “father” wanted to tell her some big secret. So the question is not if Lizzie is Red’s daughter but when the writers let us in on this fact.
Being one of those “smart” television watchers that the Homeland dude spoke of, the winter finale seem like the most logical. Lizzie’s “dad” was killed by Red two episodes and the last promo suggests that the baddie was going to assassinate Lizzie next if Red did not plead for his daughter’s life? Except that “fact” ended up not coming to light and Red got that other dude from Homeland to give up the code. But the evidence was mounting so high that even Lizzie started to suspect that Red was her father that at the end of the episode she straight up asks him if it were true. Her it comes, and his answer was… no. What?!?
So either two things are going on: 1) Red is telling the truth. Then what was this big secret that he killed her father over about (could she be Alan Alda’s kid and she is the big thing Red has over Alan for the last twenty years that has kept him alive)? Or 2) Red is lying and the writers are prolonging the obvious even longer. I am not sure I like either scenario going forward.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Blacklist on iTunes.
The Goldbergs: The second Legend of Zelda game was the bane of my existence as a kid and to this day I never finished it. Now in the age of YouTube, I may have to dig out the Nintendo and see if I can finally conquer it.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Goldbergs on iTunes.
Sons of Anarchy: I have this fear that the show is going to just reset and have Tara get back with Jax. But I really cannot see her go into wtnes protection because then we will just have another season with Jax trying to find his kid. They already did that back in season three which was the worst season of the series. Plus I have a feeling now that Jax has killed Clay, one of the few things the show has left to do is have Tara kill Gemma.
You can download Sons of Anarchy on iTunes.
Survivor: Blood vs. Water: Stupid promo monkeys ruined the surprise that the votes would be deadlocked but I was surprised as who it was flipped. I assumed it was Monica that Hayden got to flip convincing she was on the bottom, but nope, Ciera for some reason decided to flop after making a big deal about not turning on their alliance last week. So not only did she flop, someone she voted with someone who ended up drawing the short straw. Bad move Ciera. So that was only the second tie since the show went to picking rocks and I find it interesting this week Probst clarified on Twitter that at final four if there is a tie, the players make fire. I wonder if we get another tie this season.
You can stream recent episodes on cbs.com. You can also download Survivor: Blood vs. Water on iTunes.
Nashville: Layla is quickly moving up the Nashville Power Rankings with each passing episode and now has positioned herself at number three. And Juliette will probably not be very happy that she is close to being overtaken by Layla. The show this season has been at its best when one storyline focuses on their feud. Hopefully Layla gets upgraded to series regular soon. She could take the place of the gay cowboy who has been worthless since he has joined. Either out him to the general public now or just write him off the show (when Layla called TMZ I actually thought she was going to out him).
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Nashville on iTunes.
The Sound of Music Live!: About an hour in I wrote “I was not expecting Julie Andrews but wow, Carrie Underwood is getting out-acted by a bunch of minor. Hopefully someone falls down the stairs soon.” But really aside from the wooden performances from the two big named leads, it was an entertaining production. Sure I have some complaints: having a live production that is not in front of a live audience just felt weird. Same goes for the obviously taped orchestration. I was expecting applause in-between acts but you could hear a pin drop. It was also a weird that the cast did not get a curtain call (granted it would have been even weird to take a bow in front of an empty soundstage). And of course it would have been a lot more memorable had someone fallen down the stairs. But since it was a rating bonanza (it had two million more viewers than The Big Bang Theory during the same half hour), I suspect another live production will happen again next year and may I suggest A Christmas Carol. Just do it in front of a live audience. I even have the casting: Kelsey Grammar as Ebenezer Scrooge, Ted Danson as Jacob Marley, Neil Patrick Harris as Bob Crachet, and Emma Stone as the Ghost of Christmas Past (just without a bad eighty’s wig).
Monday, February 11, 2013
The Grammy Awards are always the best award shows of the year just because of all the great performances even if it is an off year for music. But a funny thing happened at this year’s Grammy, it was almost as if I programmed it. I loved almost all the performances (who invited Justin Timberlake, I hate when people who are not nominated get to perform unless they are a legacy artist; plus I do not see Suit and Tie getting nominated for anything next year) and it is almost as if I did the nominating. Sure I could nitpick that Call Me Maybe was nominated for a songwriting award or how Norah Jones was shut out despite releases her best single of her career, Happy Pills. But for the first time I actually endorse every nominee in the most prestigious category, each made my list of The Best Albums of 2012 (or 2011 thanks to the Grammy’s wonky eligibility rule). Usually one (or four) stinkers sneak in, somehow Lady Gaga was that past three years. Since it seemed like this year’s Grammys were geared specially towards me, I have a feeling the ratings will be way down and they will be back to nominating unworthy artists next year (maybe Suit and Tie will get a nod... or five), but I definitely enjoyed this year. Here are some thoughts on last night’s festivities.
Taylor Swift, her performer, the carnival meets Wonderland meets Marionettes meets Marie Antoinette was way too much. Hopefully Red is her Pop and she will go back to basics with her next album like U2 did with All That You Can't Leave Behind.
- Of course Adele won the first award, after the great ratings of last year, the show want to continue that even if a live performance off a DVD is a bit cheap way to get nominated. But then again it was not like there was much competition in that category.
- When Fun. performed at the nomination special I figured they would not get invited to the big show because they already burned off their best song. But they did get to perform and we were stuck listening to the fifth best song off their album (same goes for Maroon 5).
- I think the suits Miguel and Wiz Khalifa were wearing broke my HD. And of course they went on to announce the Best Country Solo Performance.
- A couple weeks ago someone pointed out to me that We Are Young is a song about domestic abuse ("My seat's been taken by some sunglasses asking 'bout a scar, I know I gave it to you months ago") I it is weird listening to it ever since. Even weirder is a song that may be about domestic abuse won a songwriting award.
- It was jarring seeing Mumford & Sons perform with an electric bass instead of their trademark stand-up bass. And what was with three of them being clean shaven?
- Alicia Keys playing the drums = awesome.
- Should I know who Micky Echo is?
- Best acceptance speech of the night, maybe ever: "I would like to thank the swap meet for his hat." - Jay-Z.
- I really like the aesthetic of the two The Black Keys, but I would like them to make a full band album at some point, preferably with Danger Mouse producing.
The Police, of course Bruno Mars had to bring in Sting for his performance. But I wish the Bob Marley part was much longer.
- I am not sure if there is such a thing as male groupies, but if there are, I am thinking about becoming one for the chick from the The Lumineers.
- Do someone slip me some acid or was Carrie Underwood's dress changing shapes and colors?
- How do you invite Prince to an award show and not get him to perform? This may have been the best awards in recent memory, but not getting Prince to sing was an epic fail.
- I guess it should go down as a successful Grammy awards because Chris Brown made it through an entire night without punching anyone.
Saturday, February 09, 2013
Quote of the Week: You're talking about no sense of humor. This is funny. I know I'm laughing. (Raylan Givens, Justified)
Song of the Week: P.S. I Love You – Robin
Scene of the Week:
Big News of the Week: The Super Bowl: As a former referee, I tend to err on the side of officials whenever there is a questionable call, we are all human and we are going to make a mistake or ten even at the highest levels. I do get a bit suspicious whenever the officiating is severely lopsided like it was with this year’s Super Bowl, the second most lopsided championship game I have ever witnessed (sorry Seahawks fans, you are still number one on the losing side of that). The most notable (no) call was the final play when there was clear pass interference that ended the 49’ers chance to tie the game. Add that to plays like the 2-point conversion when Ed Reed obviously crossed the line before the ball was snapped, which is only more glaring when the 49’ers got called doing the exact same thing during Baltimore’s next offensive series. Then there was also the time when, instead of a personal foul for running into the kicker, that would have given the 49’ers a drive extending first down, it was ruled incidental five yard penalty which only resulted in a re-kick. But the most jaw dropping moment was when a Baltimore Raven actually shoved a referee in the first half of the game. Not only did the guy not get thrown out, like he should have, he did not even get flagged on the play. What is worse the league have not even given the guy any sort of admonishment after the game. There is no way any player should get away with putting their hands on a referee. So the fix was clearly in, but the question is why. I have two working theories; 1) The NFL did not want the 49’ers to win so everyone would blame the blackout on the Ravens losing the biggest lead in Super Bowl history, or 2) the refs have a massive stake in deer antler stock.
Preview Picture of the Week:
|Switched at Birth "Human/Need/Desire" Monday at 8:00 on ABC Family|
Free Download of the Week: Same as Blood – Lee Koch (NoiseTrade)
New Album Release of the Week: Authentic Hip Hop - LL Cool J
New DVD Release of the Week: Weeds: Season Eight
Video of the Week: Enough of the shame of a football game, lets talk about commercials. Again the big loser again was Doritos who for some reason wants to flush millions of dollars down the drain on the dumbest ads of the year. But they were edge out on the single worst ad by the uncomfortable Go Daddy commercial. As for the winners, only two come to mind a week later, M&M’s singing Meat Loaf just losing out to the Budweiser Clydesdale advertisement.
Next Week Pick of the Week: 2013 Grammy Awards, Sunday at 8:00 on CBS: I am not happy that other channels are counterprogramming the Grammy’s tomorrow as there are new episodes of Once Upon a Time, Revenge, and the return of The Walking Dead. But the Grammy’s are a priority as for the very first time that I can remember, I fully endorse all the nominees in the Album of the Year category. Plus there will be performances by Fun., Frank Ocean, The Lumineers, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Jack White and collaborations featuring The Black Keys with Dr. John, Elton John and Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars with Rihanna and Sting, as well as a tribute to Levon Helm featuring Mumford & Sons, Zac Brown Band, Elton John, and T Bone Burnett.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
The Grammy’s hit primetime again to announce next year’s nominations, or at least to the categories that anyone cares about (you will have to hit the internet to see if you were nominated for Best Hawaiian Album) with some performances by artists not good enough to perform on the actual show (sorry Ne-Yo, no major nominations for you). Oddly one of the big four (Song of the Year) was relegated to search the internet. The big news this year is they unsegregated the categories by genre which did not favor male pop performers (all chicks), RnB or country chicks (only one nominated in each). Here are the categories that were televised:
Pop Vocal Album
Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
Ceremonials – Florence + the Machine
Some Nights – Fun.
Overexposed – Maroon 5
The Truth About Love – P!nk
Should Win: Some Nights
Will Win: Stronger
Should Have Been Nominate: Little Broken Hearts - Norah Jones – Norah Jones
Kind of a boring category, but pop has been boring lately so I guess it is apropos because I had a hard time think something else that deserve to be nominated, maybe Norah Jones who I do not think qualifies as pop anymore, or possibly Kimbra, but she did not have much success except for singing with Gotye.
Record of the Year
Lonely Boy – The Black Keys
Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson
We Are Young – Fun featuring Janelle Monáe
Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye featuring Kimbra
Thinkin Bout You – Frank Ocean
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
Should Win: Lonely Boy
Will Win: Somebody That I Used to Know
Should Have Been Nominated: Ho Hey – The Lumineers
Just throw out Clarkson and Swift for being extremely cheesy and the final four is extremely competitive category, any of which are deserving of winning. The only way they could have made it tougher had they added the much deserved Ho Hey or Norah Jones Happy Pills.
Best New Artist
Should Win: The Lumineers
Will Win: Frank Ocean
Should Have Been Nominated: Gotye
Best New Artist is the only category that seems to have quotas so Hunter Hayes took the token country spot that should have gone to the more deserving Gotye who got the shaft because Fun. took the token pop slot probably because they were able to score a second hit (sorry teen girls, no love for the crappy Carly Rae Jepsen and / or One Direction). The big surprise was the inclusion on Alabama Shake who put out a good album but it was little listened to outside of rock critics. And since this is always the most shocking category, do not count them out.
Best Country Solo Performance
Home – Dierks Bentley
Springsteen – Eric Church
Cost of Livin' - Ronnie Dunn
Wanted – Hunter Hayes
Over – Blake Shelton
Blown Away – Carrie Underwood
Eh, do not care.
Album of the Year
El Camino – The Back Keys
Some Nights – Fun.
Babel – Mumford and Sons
Channel ORANGE – Frank Ocean
Blunderbuss – Jack White
Should Win: El Camino
Will Win: Babel
Should Have Been Nominated: Handwritten – The Gaslight Anthem
Over the last couple years the Grammy’s usually likes to throw in some crappy pop artist to make them seem cool (see Katy Perry) so it was shocking that they actually nominated five really good albums. Really any of them deserve to win, I think Mumford and Sons have a slight edge because they are the biggest artist right now not named Adele. But aparently rock is not dead with three of the five come from that genre, four if you count Fun. because they do play their own intraments.
If you go through all 100 plus categories, six artists tied with six nominees each: Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys (he also got nominated for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical along with all his band’s nominations), Frank Ocean, Fun, Mumford and Sons, while Jay-Z and Kanye West racked up all theirs in the not cool enough for prime time. You will have to head over to Grammy.com for the full list, but here is the other big catergory that was missing from the live telecast.
Song of the Year
The a Team - Ed Sheeran, songwriter (Ed Sheeran)
Adorn - Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
Call Me Maybe - Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen & Josh Ramsay, songwriters (Carly Rae Jepsen)
Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin & Ali Tamposi, songwriters (Kelly Clarkson)
We Are Young - Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe)
Should Win: We Are Young
Will Win: Stronger
Should Have Been Nominated: Anything but Call Me Maybe
I now understand why they did not televise this category: Call Me Maybe was nominated. Keep in mind this is a songwriter’s award. “I just met you, and this is crazy, so here's my number, call me maybe.” Seriously. You know there is something wrong when Kelly Clarkson quoting Nietzsche is not the most absurb nomintion for a songwriting award.
Monday, February 13, 2012
It seems like the Grammys always get a major chunk of their awards wrong, but in 2011 there was no denying Adele and even with the Grammys track record, it is still no surprised that she hauled in the most awards this year. Here are some other thoughts on the night:
- I am a little shocked that Bruce Springsteen went with the new song that most people won’t even remember by next year instead of a song that highlighted a Clarence Clemmons sax solo.
- Can’t say I was ever a Whitney Houston fan (a grand total of two songs made it on my iPod), but it is also sad to see someone go that quickly and unexpectedly. But once again it shows, just like Whitney said it was: crack is wack. Another example as to never start using the stuff and if you do, it is time to get yourself help.
- Why even bring in LL Cool J as host if his entire monologue consists of a prayer and then shouting out people in the front row?
- It is never a good sign when they mentioned Bruno Mars is up for Album of the Year and I completely forgot he was. Granted the category was always Adele and the four other people since they announced the nominees.
- I can’t believe they actually brought Chris Brown back to the Grammys considering the last time the two were in the same sentence he had to cancel an appearance after brutally beating Rihanna. What’s worse (aside from not even bother to sing) was that he totally ripped off Rihanna’s We Found Love for the song he lip-synced.
- It is nice to see after sporting bad mom hair for the last couple months, Kelly Clarkson decided to actually do something with her hair tonight. Unfortunately she passed on her bad hair to Taylor Swift.
- Couldn’t they just give an entire half an hour block to The Beach Boys? That just did not seem long enough.
- Paul McCartney, Diana Krall and… Joe Walsh?
- It was enough that they were snubbed for Best New Artist, which they should have won, but only sixty seconds for The Civil Wars?
- It is ironic that Taylor Swift performed Mean on the Grammys considering the song was inspired by the critics who had some mean things to say following her performance with Stevie Nicks on the show a couple years ago.
- Katy Perry fooled me; I thought she pulled an Ashlee Simpson, although maybe she should have lip synced because it was pretty poor performance.
- After a year of hearing everyone butchering the song, it is weird hearing a great performance of Rolling in the Deep.
- Bon Iver, your Best New Artist of 2009.
- Roy Orbison’s widow gets mentions in the In Memoriam package but not Jani Lane?
- You really have to be high to enjoy electronic music.
- Can we please end the Nicki Minaj era please? Seriously, did she really work Oh Come All Ye Faithful into her abomination of a performance?
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Quote of the Week: You know what they say: getting old ain’t for pussies. (Raylan, Justified)
Song of the Week: Burnin' for You – Blue Öyster Cult (How I Met Your Mother)
Scene of the Week:
Big News of the Week: Super Bowl XLVI: Darn you New York Giants, for the second time in five years you just had to win the game late, but still leaving enough time for a potential last second drive. Remember the good old days when the Super Bowl would be a blowout and you could just sit back, relax and enjoy the party and commercials? Oh well, at least they still ended up beating Bill Belechicken and his merry band of cheater so us Patriot haters can still hang our hats on that they have yet to win a championship since Spygate.
As for those previously mention commercials: yawn (except of course all the ones that featured Adriana Lima). A week later an none really stick out to me except the Clint Eastwood one (and of course Adriana Lima) which was stupidly decried as pro-Obama. The ad was pro-America and anyone who thought it was pro-Obama or even anti-Obama as other talking heads insisted need to leave America. But as un memorable the ads were once again this year, at least none of them features some fifty year old pretending that she was still in her twenties. No one needs to see that.
Free Download of the Week: Celebrity - The Escape Club (Amazon MP3): Remember two hit wonder The Escape Club. You know Wild Wild West; “Heading for the nineties living in the eighties” and those weird arms / legs things in the video? Well they are still together and surprisingly this song is not bad. You got to feel bad for two hit wonders, not enough hits to be remembered in the annuls of time and one hit too many for the novelty of being a one hit wonder.
Deal of the Week: Blu Rays Under $10 (Forrest Gump, Batman Begins, Groundhog Day)
New Album Release of the Week: As The Crow Flies - Amos Lee
New DVD Release of the Week: Beavis & Butthead: Volume 4
Video of the Week: As lackluster as the ads during the Super Bowl were, the best one actually came after the big game when Betty White congratulated the New York Giants before teling America who will be lifting the Lombardi Trophy in 2013. I have lived through the Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, The Blown Save, The Decision, and an inferior city stealing our football team only to win the Super Bowl four years later so I have been content that I would never see a championship in Cleveland in my lifetime. But now that we have the backing of Belly White, not only to I know I see one in my life time, I believe Betty will see one in her lifetime. Mark it down: Josh Cribbs will be your Super Bowl XLVII MVP. (Please note that I will delete this post and deny I ever typed it when the Brown picks up Donovan McNabb in free agency.)
Next Week Pick of the Week: Grammy Awards, Sunday at 8:00 on CBS: It is the biggest night in music tomorrow and once again they are giving us quite a few great collaborations including Coldplay and Rihanna, Tony Bennett and Carrie Underwood, Glen Campbell with The Band Perry and Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys is teaming up with Bonnie Raitt to honor Etta James, and the reunited The Beach Boys with fellow Southern Californians Maroon 5 and Foster the People. Plus the return of Adele to live performing and the first performance of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band since the passing of longtime saxophonist Clarence Clemmons. They may even pass out an award or two (I am going to go out on a very short limb and say they all go to Adele).