Saturday, February 04, 2006

Car Mix - February 06

Every once in a while I like to compile a list of songs that I’m currently listening to onto a CD to listen to in the car. So here’s some suggestion that you should be listening to. The CD comes in at 78:15.

1. Ohio (Come Back to Texas) - Bowling for Soup
2. I Wish My Doorbell Rang (Sam Flanagan Mix) - Skee-Lo vs. the White Stripes
3. Boulevard of Broken Songs (Dean Gray) - Green Day vs. Oasis
4. Breakdown - Handsome Boy Modeling School (This essentially boils down to a remix of the same song that appears on the Jack Johnson album)
5. Original of the Species - U2
6. Don’t Give Up (Africa) - Bono & Alicia Keys (This is a remake of the old Peter Gabriel song with proceeds going to the “Keep a Child Alive” charity)
7. Adelaide - Old 97’s ( This song was featured at the end of the episode where Duncan rode off with his daughter into the sunset; you can either buy the song from iTunes or if you are a cheapskate, the band has the song available for free on their website
8. O’ Sailor - Fiona Apple (See my album review - I Promise Everything Will Be Just Fine)
9. I Wasn’t Prepared - Eisley (See my album review - You Humor Me Today)
10. Talk - Coldplay (See my album review - All That Noise, All That Sound)
11. Landing in London - 3 Doors Down & Bob Seger (See my album review - If I Get Boring, Would You Still Call Me Superman?)
12. U Been Throwing it Away - Kelly Clarkson vs. Genesis (The great Clarkson mash-ups just keep on coming)
13. Me Plus One (James Iha Remix) - Annie
14. Be Without You (Remix) - Mary J. Blige & Stat Quo (See my album review - Anyone Who’s Ever Loved You Know What I Mean)
15. Heard ‘Em Say - Kanye West & Adam Levine (See my album review - You Gotta Love it Though, Somebody Still Speaks From His Soul)
16. Keep Doin’ - 2 Skinny Dorks (A local band, I even had a class with one of the dorks in college; you can check out their music and download this song at their website
17. Get Out Of My Mind - Hootie & the Blowfish (See my review - State Your Peace)
18. Nice Talking to Me - Spin Doctors (See my review - The Longer We Talk the Less We Say)
19. Lazy Sunday - Chris Parnell & Andy Samberg (Best SNL skit in ages)

Friday, February 03, 2006

First Impressions - Survivor: Exile Island

The latest SurvivorsEver year since Africa, like to tinkle with the rules just to keep the contestants on their toes, but no shake up is bigger then the two big changes on the most recent Exile Island edition. First is the look of the tribes, now there are four teams of four that were divided by age and gender. One of the young bucks even labeled the female groups “The Spice Girls” and “The Golden Girls.” I loved how two of the “older” contestants complained about their labeling. The other big shocker, and by shocker I mean it was when they unveiled it at the reunion show, is the inclusion of an exile island. One person will be banished their, it seems like if their team loses the reward challenge, and will have to stay there until the immunity challenge.

If there was one thing that really stuck out at the beginning of this season it was, well, Danielle’s breasts. Not since Eliza from Vanuatu has a contestant utilized the push-up bikini to its fullest potential. And the cameramen, who I think work for Club MTV in the early 90’s bringing the up-shirt shot to cable, were more than happy to focus in on her every time she bent over. And I’m sure they were happy when her team picked her to do the running in the first challenge.

Okay, who cares about the whole tribe, here are the Spice GirlsBut Danielle lost for her team and Misty got the short end of the stick and ended up having to be the first to stay on Exile Island. This didn’t bode well for me as Misty was my preseason pick to win this season. But one thing that Misty had on her side was that there is an immunity idol, which the finder can use at anytime, even if they are voted off, hidden somewhere on the island. Apparently Jeff gave her a hint that totally went over my head but somehow Misty was smart enough to read into the “fate left you behind” statement. And even if you don’t find it, it’s a good thing to let everyone else think so, much like Misty seemed to do when she rejoined everyone. If people think you have the idol, they may not vote you off think you will use it. Of course this could backfire if there is anyone smart enough to force someone to use their idol early, so they can vote them off early. This new twist should make the physiology of the game more interesting.

The early loss along with Misty being exiled didn’t seem to hurt the as they ended up coming in first in the immunity challenge while the came in last and voted off the stronger Tina. Brilliant move on the Golden Girls’ part as with the small groups it is safe to assume it won’t be long until there is some sort of merge (and if you paid attention to the preview, it isn’t hard to figure out when that will happen; or if you read the new evil TV Guide, you will even learn how. I really hate the new evil TV Guide). So it won’t really hurt too much to get rid of the strong player early.

Now on for some predictions and observations:

Most interesting day job: Logging Sports Promoter/Performer
Most Likely to Pull a Judd: Shane
Will be most loved: Bruce
Most likely to quit: Cirie
Most likely to hook up: Nick & Danielle
Most Likely to be Stuck on Exile Island the Most: Bobby
Girl whom I still have dirty, dirty sex with even if she hadn’t showered for a month: Danielle
Next to be voted off: Aras (Seriously, what’s with that yoga stuff?)
Winner: I’m still going with Misty (but if I were to revise things I’d go with Terry)

Verdict: Much like a crack addict, I just can’t stop. I will still be watching this live while taping Smallville and Everybody Hates Chris.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Toss Up: Lost vs Veronica Mars week 9 1/2

Last week blew out of the water with one of the best hours on television this year while Lost once again was seen dragging its feet in revealing anything. This week Lost was on hiatus by showing one of the better episodes from last year in the lone Hurley-centric one. On the other hand, with little competition, Veronica Mars had its first drop off of the season.

The drop off could be attributed to how great last week’s episode was and this week things seemed to slow down a little. That’s not to say there weren’t a lot of great things about last night’s episode, I loved when the lead singer of serenaded Veronica with the song appropriately called . Yeah, I never seem to find any Costello music at my local karaoke bar asides from (What’s So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding, (granted it's technically a cover of a song) but it was still a nice touch. Plus the best line of the night, “Do either of you have any experience being a horse’s ass?” was uttered during this scene.

Plus I’m having some timeline questions after watching the episode too. If my memory is correct, Sheriff Lamb closed the case and ruled it as a suicide by the bus driver. Then after the case was closed Curly Moran was found dead. So why would Lamb be questioning those didn’t take the bus home about him? Speaking about Curly, it was hinted at earlier this season, and we get video evidence that Weevil gave the dude a beat down before his death.

Earlier this season I suspected that Woody Goodman was the target of the bus crash going after his daughter but after Keith heard the tapes it turns out that Goodman may have been in on the bus crash after Gia told Lamb that her father insisted that she not get back on the bus. Also implicated was Terrence Cook who apparently was hooking up with Ms. Dumass (you know the one Dick wanted to call him Ree-chard). Apparently Lamb also has something on him because he brought him in for questioning about the now open bas crash case.

But as for the main storyline of the week, again there were some holes. First and foremost, if Rashard is the second coming of LeBron James, there is absolutely no why he would at a recruiting trip to UCLA because dude’s not going to college. Also having the returning Jackie in on the plan the whole time wasn’t as cool as finding out Veronica and Duncan had the whole thing planned out last week. But it was a nice turn to see Wallace has rebounded with Jane, the chick who had a crush on Wallace and was last seen on crutches.

Next week, due an extremely annoying scheduling decision, the Grammy’s will be on versus new episodes of Lost and Veronica Mars. I think I’ll watched the scripted shows on Wednesday and save the Grammy’s for later that way Toss Up will still be on Thursday and do a Grammy review on Friday, but schedule is subject to change. The Grammy’s should be really good this year and the with duet should be worth the price of admission. Plus it should be interesting how the proposed duet between and the (yes the cartoon band) turn out. But I don’t know why the show isn’t on it’s usual Sunday when there’s nothing else worth watching on.

With this week’s Hurley-centric re-run I assume there will be another one coming up soon on Lost or possibly a Libby one to confirm my current theory (see it here - Toss Up… ). While on Veronica Mars Jackie learns how to cope with her dad being an accused murderer. Hey she should talk to Logan about that. Also Dick’s ex-flame, Madison Sinclair will make an appearance too. Here is the official press release from the good people at UPN/Warner Bros.:


Jeffery Sams ("Soul Food") Guest Stars as Jackie's Dad Terrence Cook [Scooter's note - they said this last week, but only pictures of Cook appeared in the episode], and Tina Majorino ("Napoleon Dynamite") Returns as Mac

"Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough" -- When all of the proceeds for the senior class trip disappear while in her possession during the Neptune High Winter Carnival, Veronica must identify the clever thief among them and surprisingly finds herself defending Jackie as accusations fly, on VERONICA MARS, Wednesday, Feb. 8 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on UPN. Guy Bee directed the episode from a script written by Diane Ruggiero. Tina Majorino guest stars as Mac.

Meanwhile, Keith confronts his baseball idol and client Terrance Cook (guest star Jeffery Sams) with questions about his past and the bus crash. Later, Dick tries to humiliate Beaver in front of his carnival date as Logan sets his sights on a sophomore.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Best of What's Around

This month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame is by a band I love so much, I devoted a whole week to celebrate the band’s latest album last year. But SHoF honor goes to the album that started it all, . The band of course is the . The band came from the south just as grunge was dying and rock fans were looking for something new, and things don’t get much more different than having a full time violinist and sax man.

It took me a while to be sold on DMB because I really didn’t care too much for the first single, What Would You Say as I found it a little too odd. But as each subsequent single was released, Ants Marching followed by Satellite, the band grew on my more. Eventually a buddy of mine got me the album for my birthday and I was blown away. The interchanging of the different instrumentation was refreshing and the melodies were so well crafted you never realize that most of the songs clock in at over five minutes.

The album starts off with what still remains as one of my favorite songs, The Best of What’s Around. The song start what seems to be the common theme of the album, no matter how bad things get, you still have me, and I still have you so let’s live life to the fullest. And whenever you want to go a little further with a lady friend, you can always bust out the line, “See, you and me have a better time than most can dream, have it better than the best.” Further along on the album is Dancing Nancies, a clever ditty pondering your life as someone else then realizing the one you have is good enough.

Ants Marching is a great song that I would always put on whenever my life got too monotonous. It always reminds me never to get in a rut or I’d become another marching ant on the sidewalk. Jimi Thing is just on of those songs you need to play in the summertime blaring in your car with the windows down. The song was the highlight of my first ever DMB concert. Then near the end is the best song on the album, Warehouse, a song that has only gotten better with age. If you are lucky, they will play this the next time you go to one of there concerts so you can go “woo” at the beginning. The album caps off with the instrumental #34, which is also the track number, a song is a light, moving song, that plays as a lullaby to the album.

Dave Matthews Band has gone on to make many more album, all of which I own, including most of there live ones, although Under the Table and Dreaming still remains their best. To look a look back at my special DMB Week here are the links to those pages:

Ranking the Albums
My History
Best Songs
Best Live Albums
Stand Up Album Review

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Days Are Better, the Nights Are Still so Lonely

For You, it's Me - Train

Back in 1998, it was safe to say that Train were headed towards One Hit Wonder land with their very catchy, if not somewhat odd, Meet Virginia. But just around the time everyone forgot about them, they surfaced three years later with what could be one of the best songs this decade, Drops of Jupiter and landed at number two of my Best of 2001 list. That song along warranted the band to release a couple more albums.

After the somewhat disappointing 2003 release of My Private Nation, the band is back with the stronger effort of For Me, It's You. The album starts off with All I Ever Wanted a song about realizing maybe a little too late what you want and is highlighted by the line “You gave me everything I ever wanted except for you.” The album also features the band’s best song since Drops of Jupiter in Cab another piano driven song with a backing orchestra but where Drops captures that summer feel, Cab does a great job catching the essences of being in New York City in the dead of winter.

Sadly Train goes back into bland rock radio clichés for most of the rest of the album. “Skyscraper, you define the skyline,” could be one of the most boring lines ever written and shows the band should stick with the more inane lyrics featured in Meet Virginia or Drops of Jupiter. Pat Monahan’s amazing voice is able to salvage some of the songs from going into Nickelback type triteness and the additions of Bandon Bush on keyboards and Johnny Colt of The Black Crowes on bass help re-energize the band somewhat, but there is still a few songs that should have never made the cut.

Stuck in the middle of the routine rock songs is the funky Shelter Me. Also stick around for the title track that is stuck at the end of the album. The romantic song, with lines like, “Everybody got something that they want to sing about, laugh about, cry about, it's true, for me it's you,” is a jazzy song that Monahan’s voice shines on. Maybe in another album or two, Train will have compiled enough great songs to put together must own “Best Of” package.

Song to Download - Cab

For You it's Me gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, January 30, 2006

I So Love the Drama

Finally my constant emails have been answered and now I can actually download my favorite episodes of Laguna Beach into iTunes. Okay that opening was a bit of sarcasm but sadly for those that can’t get enough of the drama, MTV, along with Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, are starting to put up selective show in iTunes at $1.99 an episode. It should be interesting to see if any of the shows sell well because these channels are known for showing the episodes ad nausea. If someone misses The Gauntlet 2 tonight, are they really going drop two dollars when the show will be repeated about twenty times before the next episode air? And most of the shows are already available on DVD and I’m not sure who would want to buy a specifics episode instead of buying a whole season of the show on DVD except if you are a fanatic of someone who was Punk’d. Comedy Central actually seems to try to combat that by having episodes of Drawn Together up on iTunes days before they debut on the channel. Here’s a list of new shows available threw iTunes (to access, click the SNL ad in the sidebar and click on the TV Shows tab)

Comedy Central:
South Park Seasons 1&2
Drawn Together Seasons 1&2
Best of Comedy Central Stand-Up

Spongebob Squarepants Season 1
Dora the Explorer Season 1
Zoey 101 Seasons 1&2

Beavis and Butthead (selections from the Mike Judge Collection vol. 1)
Laguna Beach Season 1
Wonder Showzen Season 1
Gauntlent 2
My Super Sweet 16 Seasons 1&2 (possibly the worst show ever to air on TV)
Jackass vol. 1
Punk’d Seasons 1-3

The N:
South of Nowhere Season 1

Speaking of iTunes I was surprised last week when I opened up my feed that tells me what the top 25 most downloaded songs were when it had multiple songs by people I’ve never heard of. So I opened up the music store to investigate only to find all of the songs were part of a made for TV musical on the Disney channel. Over a week later, half of the top ten downloaded songs are still from the soundtrack, and as a whole, has had a stranglehold as the number one most downloaded album. I think it’s safe to say the music business is still in a downswing if a made for TV musical from a cable channel is dominating thing. For those interesting in discovering real music, iTunes is offering a video from The Today Show of new artist who has an album, Eyes to the Telescope, coming out next Tuesday. It's somewhat hard to find, but if you wait in the main music store page, there should be an ad that comes up at the very top of the page.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

No Wind or Waterfall Could Stop Me

The Greatest - Cat Power

There is nothing more annoying then the musical snobs that drop their end of the year “Best of” list chock full of bands you’ve never heard of. So I’m stuck reading reviews of because you’re too stuck up to admit that the could put out a good album just because they’ve been played on the radio in the last ten years. (Feel free to check out mine - Best Albums of 2005) Another act that keeps coming up in year end lists is , whom I never heard a song from yet the musical snobs always wax poetic about since she started recording back in 1995.

So after ten years of ignoring her, I’ve decided to give her new album, a listen. First off, to avoid any confusion by the title, I must mention that this is and album of all new material, not a greatest hits package. The album itself was recorded in Memphis with many of the cities greats including members of , but doesn’t sound much like a soul record instead it’s more of a folksy country album centered around a piano. If anything, the soul musicians are able to beautifully add different instruments around the piano building up grandeur to the songs.

But the music never overshadows the voice of Cat Power, or as her parents call her, Chan Marshall. She has the haunting voice that commands attention and you can tell she’s been through her share of heartbreak. The Greatest is just one the albums you need to play driving on a warm summer night with all your windows down on a country road to fully appreciate especially the breezy, whistling inducing After it All. And even though there isn’t much deviation between songs, just like a album, they are different enough that the album will never get old. Maybe now that I’m a Cat Power convert, I should finally check out that Sufjan Stevens album. Nah, I’ll just wait another ten years to check him out too.

Song to Download - After it All

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