Saturday, June 17, 2006

This Is Not Your Island, This Is Our Island

Lost 2.x

Last season, Lost started out the gate as the show with the most buzz. This fake Survivor type show was full of interesting and diverse characters, intertwining flashbacks, and a mysterious island that was a character unto itself. All along the journey first season, we were surprised and shocked at all the twists and turns in the flashbacks and on the island, the biggest being that Locke was in a wheelchair at the time of departure. But something happened last season that too most of the wind out of the Lost sail, namely the finale. If the first season moved at breakneck pace, the finale slogged along for three hours as we sat and said, “Just go down the hatch already.” We had to put up with boring flashbacks of the survivors as the prep for the plane along with a long and boring montage of them actually boarding the plane only to have the last image of the season being a group looking down the hatch.

So after a summer of complaining, the people over at Lost gave us what we wanted right off the bat, not that we knew what we were looking at. When the castaways finally descended into the hatch, we got to see it in three straight episodes, once from Jack’s perspective, along with Locke’s and Kate’s. I was surprised we didn’t get to see it for a fourth time in Desmond’s flashback. And since this was the season of see the same thing over again. We also got to see the second confrontation with Zeke, Jin reuniting with Sawyer and Michael on the beach, and the token hot chick’s death scene more than once.

Unfortunately season started off much like the season one finale ended where we sat around waiting for something to happen as we sit threw flashbacks that are not all that interesting. Then when something actually did happen, it was either was pretty obvious like the token hot chick dieing, or I just stopped caring a long time ago like learning how the plane crashed. And now that characters are getting their third and fourth flashbacks, they just seem less interesting. Then there was the Rose and Bernard flashback which had to be the most boring one yet. Yeah, the island has healing powers; I got that with the first Locke flashback. C’mon, couldn’t we have a Rousseau, Libby, or even an Others flashback?

But as the season progress, it did get a little better and that was all due to the inclusion of Not-Henry Gale. Yeah, it was pretty obvious from the get go that Not-Henry was an Other, but that didn’t stop his character from being interesting as he tried to drive a wedge between Jack and Locke. And who knew that when he reunited with Zeke and the boys that they could be so funny but I find it interesting as the Other’s revealed each other’s names, we still didn’t learn Not-Henry’s. And even though he looked to be in charge on the pier, I’m still not sold on Not-Henry being Him.

The second finale seemed like a new show onto itself as we learn more about Desmond, a character we barely got to know before he left. Then we get longer glances at the Others and we see them interact as well as new setting including the giant foot that I’m surprised why everyone is so hung up on the four toes thing. Then there was the last scene, where we got the first look at the outside world with the Artic station and the call to Desmond’s former girlfriend. But with Lost, we were left with many unanswered questions as well as the answers (well, at least my speculation):

- Why did the Others want Jack, Kate, and Sawyer? (They were the one’s who went after Michael, but they don’t want Locke because of his former paralysis)

- What’s with the giant four toed foot? (It was built by Polynesians that lived, or still live, on the island and only put four toes because they are lazy.)

- Who is Him? (Penny’s daddy)

- What was with the bright light and loud noise? (The island resetting large electrical charge.)

- What are the fates of Locke, Eko, and Desmond? (Alive, alive, and alive.)

- Why was Libby in the mental institution? (The death of her husband sent her into a deep depression.)

- What happen to Cindy, the flight attendant? (Was captured by the Others)

- What’s up with the Hanso Foundation and Dharma Initiative? (I think I need to watch the orientation films again.)

- Who’s Sun’s baby daddy? (Artificial inseminated, sperm donor - Zeke)

- Who did Carol Vessey leave Jack for? (Um, Ed maybe?)

- Why did the others let Walt leave after doing so much to get him? (Much like Desmond, they know he will be back.)

- Who eyeball was in the tailies’ hatch? (Some one we haven’t met)

Oh and course, there are still these unanswered questions from last year (with some revised answers from what I originally thought at the end of last season; see - Guys (Dramatic Pause) Where Are We?):

- How did Locke get in the wheelchair? (Shot by his dad after stalking him.)

- What is the monster? (A Hanzo experiment gone wrong.)

- Why did the fortune teller change his mind about Claire keeping her baby? (He was paid off by the Others.)

- How did Jack single handedly beat up Ethan Rom after be beaten like a red headed step child days earlier? (Ethan let him win.)

- Why would Sayid hook up with Shannon after being so close to finding his true love? (I, personally forget about any past loves if I had a chance with Shannon.)

- What's with the numbers? (Just a way to connect everyone and everything.)

- What did the French chick say to Hurley to calm him down? (Gave him some French lovin’)

- Why did Claire name here kid Aaron? If she lost all her memory, what could the significance of this be? (I think the writers screwed up.)

- What did the Others want with Walt? (He can control the monster.)

I may add more to this list later. Feel free to leave any unanswered question in the comment section and if I add it, I’ll give you credit and even try answering it for you.

Lost 2.x gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale. It also won two STA’s.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Musings From the Back 9 vol. X - Sports Edition

- For those who watched the season finale of Everybody Hates Chris, you saw a hilarious montage about how people go all out for Mother’s Day, but Father’s Day is basically an afterthought for most of us. But it looks like Major League Baseball, after going all out with their breast cancer awareness on Mother’s Day (see - Think Pink), are not forgetting the less fair sex. This Sunday at all MLB games they will be holding the 7th Inning Stretch an inning early. Why you ask, it’s to point out that one out of every six male will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Granted not as cool as pink bats, nor is it getting the same amount of press (I couldn’t even find anything about it on, but it is something.

- Much like many of March Madness brackets where I knew I was out of it after the first weekend, I think you can put a fork in my World Cup picks. After the first full week of games I’ve gotten ten of twenty games right putting me in almost in the fortieth percentile. Of course I doubt I’m not the only one that had Equator advancing. But I did have the four other teams that have already punched their tickets in (Germany, England, Argentina, Netherlands, see the rest of my picks - Are You Ready for Some Football?). Hopefully the USA can pull out a win against Italy so I can salvage that pick of them advancing.

- To protect his strained oblique muscle, Big Head Barry has taken to wearing a girdle. The oversized dome is now officially gone from laughable to sad. I don’t even know what else to say.

- Lastly, I would like thank everyone who participated in yesterday’s Lyrics Quiz as it was one of the rare quizzes where I didn’t have to go to the hints to get some guessed. Granted the power ballad is a pretty narrow subject as most of them hold a soft spot in our hearts. I’m not too surprised that Guppyman came out triumphant because the theme seemed right up his alley and now he is firmly planted on my Lyrics Quiz Winners list on my sidebar. If you would like to join him, or move higher up the list, be sure to stop back July 15th for the one year anniversary of the Lyrics Quiz on the 9th Green when I may have an extra special edition. Well most likely not.

- And on an non-sports related topic (if ESPN is showing the dominos championships, the lyrics quiz can fall in that category too; it’s a competition) my sister site, Scooter McGavin Takes Pictures, has an interesting story that may just give some insights into season three of Veronica Mars that involves Deputy Sacks. And who wouldn’t want more Sacks? So be sure to check that out.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Lyrics Quiz: Power Ballads

Nothing I like better in the summer is head down to the local amptheater, lie on the grass, and some moron pour some bear on me. Fun times. After the beer bath, the next best thing is when the band pulls out the stools and acoustic guitars, dims down the lights, all that tells us that it’s time to bring out the lighters. I don’t, and have never smoked, but I still bought a lighter solely for this purpose. That and it’s has some great uses for annoying your roommate in college, but that’s a story for another day. And the previous reason for the lighter is the basis for this month’s lyrics quiz, as these are all songs that would inspire me to break out my lighter whenever I hear them, whether it’s a concert, reunion, or bar mitzvah. As always, put both the song title and artist in the comment section and if you are right, I will un-bold the song and give you credit. Now onto the quiz (feel free to raise your own lighter while participating):

1. You know I don’t like being stuck in the crowd, and the streets don’t change but maybe the names. (Patience - Guns 'n' Roses; guessed by Medium Large Phill)
2. Baby, baby, baby, when all your love is gone, who will save me from all I’m up against out in this world? (Bright Lights - Matchbox Twenty; guessed by Medium Large Phill)
3. She’ll tell you she’s an orphan after you meet her family. (She Talks to Angels - The Black Crowes; guessed by duckyxdale)
4. I can’t stop now I’ve traveled so far, to change this lonely life. (I Want to Know What Love Is - Foreigner; guessed by Guppyman)
5. You say you’ve cried a thousand rivers, and now you’re swimming for the shore. You left me downing in my tears and you won’t save me anymore. (I'll Be There for You - Bon Jovi; guessed by Guppyman)
6. You’re such a secret, misty eyed and shady. Lady how you hold the key. (Bringing on the Heartbreak - Def Leppard; guessed by Guppyman)
7. She loved him. She don’t want to leave this way, she feed him, that’s why she’ll be back again. (Betterman - Pearl Jam; guessed by Kristi)
8. I listen to her favorite song playing on the radio, hear the DJ say love’s a game of easy come and easy go. (Every Rose Has its Thorn - Poison; guessed by Guppyman)
9. Tears stream down your face when you lose something you cannot replace. (Fix You - Coldplay; guessed by Russ)
10. I know I never meant to cause you no pain and I realize I let you down, but I know in my harden hearts, I know I’m never gonna hurt you again. (I Wish it Would Rain Down - Phil Collins; guessed by Bone)
11. I know it’s everybody sins, you got to lose to know how to win. (Dream On - Aerosmith - guessed by Guppyman)
12. I got a pocket full of money and a pocket full of keys that have no bound. (Can't Get You Off of My Mind - Lenny Kravitz; guessed by Bone)
13. Never cared for what they said, never cared for games they play, never cared they do. (Nothing Else Matters - Metallica; guessed by Russ)

14. When you cried I wipe away all of your tears, when you scream I fight away all of your fears. (My Immortal - Evanescence; guessed by Kristi)
15. Time to take a ride; it leaves today, no conversation. (Big Empty - Stone Temple Pilots; guessed by Kristi)
16. So you think that it’s over, you figure love has finally reached the end, any time you call, night or day, I’ll be right there for you if you need a friend. (Love Song - Tesla; guessed by Guppyman)
17. You played dead, but you never bled, instead you laid still in the grass all coiled up and hissing. (Keep on Loving You - REO Speedwagon; guessed by duckyxdale)
18. As we die, both you and I with my head in my hands I sit and cry. (Don't Speak - No Doubt; guessed by Presentstorm)

19. I just made one mistake; I didn’t know what to say when you called me baby. (High Enough - Damn Yankees; guessed by Guppyman)
20. I don’t need to be the king of the world as long as I’m the hero of this little girl. (Heaven - Warrant; guessed by Guppyman)
21. Cause all of the stars have faded away, just don’t try to worry, you’ll see them someday. (Stop Crying Your Heart Out - Oasis; guessed by Kristi)
22. Now maybe, didn’t mean to treat you bad, but I did it anyways. (Far Behind - Candlebox; guessed by Kristi)
23. You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be and I don’t want to go home right now. (Iris - Goo Goo Dolls; guessed by Russ)
24. What day is it and in what month? (You and Me - Lifehouse; guesssed by Angie)
25. My heart’s like an open book for the whole world to read, sometimes nothing keeps me together at the seams. (Home Sweet Home - Mötley Crüe; guessed by Guppyman)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Am I Throwing You Off?

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. I advise you to watch them before you read my reviews if you don’t want me to spoil things. (If you want to buy the video, the title goes to iTunes if available, inside the description goes to the song where you can buy.)

Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado featuring Timberland

Before I talk about the video, let me say little word about the song first. It seems like every time someone mentions this song they make a My Humps or Hollaback Girl comparison, but I think that’s totally unwarranted. With the He Said/She Said back and forth, Promiscuous the song is actually an off shoot of the 90’s rap classic I Got a Man. Now about the video I could talk about how hot Nelly Furtado is or the inexplicable appearance, but instead I want to talk about Timberland. If rap had a drug policy, Timberland would be slapped with a 50 day suspension by now. Dude makes Big Head Barry look like Barry Bonds circa when I Got a Man was popular. Oh and Nelly: I’d repect that if you let me hit it (I love the wiggle she does when she says that line) and what’s with JT being in the video?

I Will Follow You Into the Dark - Death Cab for Cutie

This video hasn’t made its way to YouTube yet, so you will have to click over to Yahoo’s video section to see it. I Will Follow You Into the Dark is quite possibly the most romantic song ever about death. As for the video, I’m sure there is some deep meaning into the hole in the floor, oh, wait, it’s the “dark” referred in the song. I get it now.

Boston - Augustana

There was some confusion when I added this song to my latest mixtape. Boston is the song name, not the group that brought us More Than a Feeling. The video is pretty cool too and I love how the tide coming in syncs up to the crescendo of the song.

Rollin' with Saget - Jamie Kennedy

I have been meaning to check out , but I somehow always seem to miss it as MTV because they have been showing the least interesting chick from Laguna Beach new show ad nasium. But after see the video for Rollin' with Saget, I may have to hunt it down. I hope you caught cameos by Uncle Jesse, George Lucas, and Tara Reid as Paris Hilton (and no, I won’t be showing her horrible new video anytime soon).

Crazy - Gnarls Barkley

Yeah, I could have shown the uber-cool Rorschach Test version of Crazy, but c’mon, it’s Chewbacca on the drums.

And just a reminder, Lyrics Quiz tomorrow, and as a hint, have you lighters ready.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Don’t Stop Doing What You Believe In

Move by Yourself - Donavon Frankenreiter

One crime against humanity two years ago is how the general public ignored one of the catchiest songs in recent years with Free by . For most people, sadly they just thought it was written for a car commercial. Granted I’m as much to blame as I overlooked his album. But that isn’t the case the second time around as I gave a listen to his follow up . This time around he’s no longer on fellow surfer tuned musician ’s Brushfire label and goes with more of a seventies vibe.

The album starts of with the one two punch of the title track and The Way it Is. Move by Yourself is a funky dance track with keyboards that sound right off the , and I don’t mean that in a bad way because Donavan’s laid-back silky vocal compliment the track. The Way It Is may slow it down just a slight, but the keyboards will still be able to keep you moving. Either song would do well to get any party started this summer.

Unfortunately when Donavon slows things down real slow starting with By Your Side, the songs lose the intensity of the upbeat tracks and are too mellow to the point they almost put you to sleep. This is most noticeable on Fool, a long jam, that may play a lot better live, under the stars at a concert, but on an album, I kept looking to see when it would end. Things get back on track at the end when Donavon bring some gospel singers to help him out on All Around Us and he also finally masters the slower song when he closes the album with the most simplistic song on the album, Beautiful Day. And no, it’s not a cover.

Song to Download - Move by Yourself

Move by Yourself gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Car Mix - June 2006

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 suggestions of songs that you should be listening to. The CD comes in at 76:58.

1. Black Horse and the Cherry Tree - KT Tunstall (see my album review - Her Face Is the Map of the World)
2. Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
3. Hips Don’t Lie - Shakira & Wyclef Jean
4. Touch the Sky - Kanye West & Lupe Fiasco (see my album review - You Gotta Love Though, Somebody Still Speaks from His Soul)
5. Number One - Pharrell & Kanye West
6. Crazy Times (Team9) - Gnarls Barkley vs. Prince (For those keeping track at home, this is a mash-up of Crazy and Sign 'o' the Times)
7. Drive Slow - Kanye West, Paul Wall, & GLC
8. Cash Machine - Hard-FI (Another great Single of the Week)
9. Walk Away and I’ll Wait (Aggro1) - Kelly Clarkson vs. Van Halen (What mix tape would be complete without a Kelly Clarkson remix, this time with Van Halen getting the mash-up treatment)
10. Dani California’s Last Dance (Laptop Punk) - Red Hot Chili Peppers vs. Tom Petty (Apparently someone pointed out that Dani California sound similar to Mary Jane's Last Dance, even though I really don't hear it, but that didn't stop an unknown mash-up artist from putting the two songs together)
11. World Wide Suicide - Pearl Jam (I hope you got this back when Pearl Jam had it up for free on their website, if not, it is worth the .99)
12. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall
13. Steady, As She Goes (Acoustic) - The Raconteurs (This and the next song were both Free Singles of the week on iTunes, but instead of getting the album versions, we get acoustic versions of their latest songs. Hopefully this tread continues)
14. Put Your Records On (Acoustic) - Corrine Bailey Rae
15. Not About Love - Fiona Apple (see my album review - I Promise You Everything Will be Just Fine)
16. Boston - Augustana
17. Brand New Way - Rhett Miller (see my album review - Sex in Wartime Is Sweeter than Peace)
18. Over My Head (Cable Car) - The Fray (I always find it interesting whenever a former Free Single of the Week makes it into the top 25 downloaded list on iTunes, luckily, I got this song back when it was free)
19. Sway - The Perisher (This was featured during the Sadie Hawkins dance episode on Veronica Mars and it sounded familiar and lo and behold, I downloaded it back when it was a Free Single of the Week)
20. You’re Pitiful - “Weird Al” Yankovic (For those that made it to the end of my lengthy MTV Movie Awards recap saw this gem where Al is letting you download his latest parody on his website. Get it before he takes it down before you have to pay .99 for it by clicking on the song name)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sometimes You've Got to Die to be Born Again

Songs from Black Mountain - Live

If there was such things as a one album wonder, then Throwing Copper by the band Live would be one. Yeah, they have had a couple good songs since, but they have since been unable to release a complete album that rivals the intensity of their breakthrough album. It is almost surprising to find out the band has recently released their fifth album since with the release of Songs from Black Mountain.

The new album follows along the line of the last couple Live albums in that it has one or two decent song while the rest is pretty much you standard modern rock filler. This album’s decent song is The River, not that it’s too easy to distinguish from last album’s Heaven. Both have that bland, maybe it sound better live (no pun intended) vibe. Then it takes to the end of the album before something else comes close to making an impression on me with Night of Nights where the band actually mixes things up reminiscent of songs on Throwing Copper.

In between is your run of the mill modern rock that has bored true rock fans since the death of grunge and alternative rock but has given careers to such throwaway bands as and (granted Ed Kowalczyk is a much better singer than those frontmen). During Get Ready, it sounds like Ed is even bored with the song until the choir shows up and he picks things up. Home is your token anti-war song even though they say they are putting “politics aside” in the song. Sophia is the token love song, well, that’s if you like being told that you are needed “like a junkie need a vein.” Yeah, that’s romantic.

Then for some reason, they threw in the subtitle A Song for My Daughters about God for Love Shines. Did we really need this clarification? Could this been something revealed in interviews or in the liner notes? Basically it looks like a desperate attempt to crack into the Christian music market. Overall Songs from Black Mountain is mediocre, which sometimes is worse than being bad for a band that used to write classic songs.

Song to Download - The River

Songs from Black Mountain gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.