Saturday, September 09, 2006

Don't Download These Videos

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 in art form. So here they are courtesy of . I advise you to watch them before you read my reviews if you don’t want me to spoil things. 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.

Don’t Download This Song - “Weird Al” Yankovic

Ladies and gentleman, it’s the return of . Now, unfortunately the video for the song isn’t a direct parody, but I’m sure everyone out there should get a We Are the World vibe. I finally got a look at the track list and you can expect parodies of Chamillionaire’s Ridin’ (who apparently liked White and Nerdy so much he put it on his page), Green Day’s American Idiot (Canadian Idiot), Usher’s Confessions part II (Confessions part III), Taylor Hick’s Do I Make You Proad (Do I Creep You Out, in a word, yes, that’s Hicks not Weird Al), and R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet (Trapped in the Drive-Thru at ten plus minutes this should be great, hopefully Al will come out with more Chapters and a DVD like Kelly did). And of course there is the prerequisite polka featuring songs by , and many more. Oh, and even though the song says not to, check out to do just that.

Maneater - Nelly Furtado

Whoever decided to released Maneater as a single should be fired as it was easily the worst song off of ’s latest album. But on the bright side the song did produced this extremely cheesy video with its pseudo-vampire theme. The best part is the inexplicable beginning with the dog as if they needed to set up the absurdity that followed because whenever I lose my dog I end up doing a dance off with the undead before I end up finding her.

I Call it Love - Lionel Richie

We all know for as great Lionel Richie is as a singer, he’s as equally as bad a parent. And here those too aspects of his life collide with Nicole showing up in papa’s video. Feel free to insert your own “Nicole’s too skinny” joke here. Speaking of which, ’s first foray into music, Dandelion leaked to the net this week and, well, it’s better than anything by former BFF . But that’s not saying much, click on her name to give it a listen (warning bad 7th grade poetry ahead). As for daddy dearest, check out for a review of his new album next week.

Play with Fire - Hilary Duff

Speaking of chicks with no redeemable talent to go with their dramatic weight loss, has a new video out. It’s nice to see she is as bad at dancing as she is at acting, singing, and choosing boyfriends. But to be honest, the song is actually kind of catchy. For those keeping track at home, that’s two songs the Duffster has conned me into liking (the Theme to being the other). It may be time for an intervention.

Ring the Alarm - Beyonce

I really don’t want to talk too much about the song itself as I will cover that in my album review of ’s B-Day coming up in the next couple days. But I wonder if the video, especially when she’s being interrogated in the white dress is homage to , but without the best part. Then there is the hallway scene which is a blatant rip-off of No Doubt’s It’s My Life.

There are a couple of cool contests on the web that I’d like to point out. First I slipped this into my post a couple hours after I originally posted it, so I thought I give it another plug. The newest addition to my Blogs I Read list, Culture Bully, is giving away a free CD for every day in September. So head over to his site to see what three albums you have to choose from today and the complete rules.

Then there is A Yoga Coffee Outlook who is giving away a free iPod Nano. Yes a free iPod, and no you don’t have to buy something else to get it like all the other “get a free iPod” advertisings on their site. There is a bunch of different and easy ways to enter so check out her site to see how.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sing a Little Bit of these Workingman Blues

Modern Times - Bob Dylan

For those that think I’m a musical snob, here’s an admission for you: I’m not a guy. His voice is just an acquired taste I’ve never acquired. I will concede he’s a great songwriter but his songs are always better when performed by others like with All Along the Watchtower, with Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door and with Mr. Tambourine Man. But for those that are Dylan guys, then I have the album for you with his just released .

The album is a follow up is essentially the third in a trilogy of albums dating back to 1997’s Time out of Mind and also includes 2001’s Love and Theft (which had the unfortunate release date of 9/11) but I think that since I hadn’t heard the previous two, it won’t be like watching Return of the Jedi before the previous Star Wars movies. Modern Times starts off with the great Thunder on the Mountain that inexplicably name drops multiple times to much effect and the song comes off like a folksy version of Johnny B. Goode. When the Deal Goes Down is a heart touching song which is heighten but the beautiful video with .

In the hands of lesser lyricist, When Levee’s Gonna Break would come off as a cheesy indictment of Katrina, but in Bob’s hand it instead invokes early last century folk songs. Then there is the actual last century folk song, Rollin’ and Tumblin’ that updates to much success (but not as good as Clapton’s version for his MTV Unplugged set). Be warned that the album clocks in at just over an album with only ten song (the shortest song comes in at 4:55), but Dylan is able to craft long song without making them tedious. Now if only Capton will cover some of the songs.

Song to Download - Thunder on the Mountain

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

Bob Dylan on iTunes

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Are You Ready for Some Football: 2006 Edition

Night is the kick-off of the 2006 NFL season so you know what that means; it’s the return of fantasy football. Being a degenerate gambler, you know I have my team; well actually I have two, but the second one was an auto-pick league and I picked eighteenth out of eighteen with the computer wasting my first two picks on wide receivers. Yeah, I don’t think I have much of a change. As for my other team, the aptly titled Scooter McGavin, here’s is the breakdown o my team:



Even though I also drafted late in this draft, eighth out of ten, I should have a chance as my bench has a potential of having breakout season which could make great trade break to beef up my soft running back tandem (cheesy pun intended). As for actual football, it seems that it gets harder year from year to pick the winner. Aside from the natural parity from the salary cap, it also comes down to how has the least amount of injuries at the end of the season. But here’s my picks for the playoff and feel free to come back and mock me in January:

East: New England
North: Pittsburg
South: Indianapolis
West: Chargers
Wild Card: Miami, Kansas City

East: Giants
North: Chicago
South: Carolina
West: Seattle
Wild Card: Philadelphia, Minnesota

AFC Championship Game: Indianapolis over Miami
NFC Championship Came: Chicago over Giants
Super Bowl: Indianapolis over Chicago

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Scooter McGavin's Fall Preview

One of the many reasons why the music industry is crumbling around itself is that all the record labels hold off the big name releases for the fall leaving the other nine months with albums that the labels have no faith in. To that point, the highest selling album of the year so far is the Soundtrack to with a dismal just over two million copies (my data is a little old so it may not be totally accurate). Then when the labels get around to releasing all their big names over a three month span hoping to capitalize on the holiday season leading to a few big hits, but even more albums with disappointing sales because the consumer just can’t afford to buy them all. Then of course the record labels don’t blame the slump on their stupidity instead point to downloads as the problem. With that said here are a few albums that I am looking forward (or dreading) to this fall season, many of which you can look forward to me reviewing (click on band name to find music on iTunes, click on the album name to pre-order from Amazon and feel free to tell me what you are looking forward to in the comment section):

5th - Revelations: I just review this album yesterday, scroll down to check that out.
- B-Day: Like I mentioned in my VMA post, it’s not a good sign when you have to rush out a second single before the album drops. Beyoncé and her group were always good for two or three great songs per album, but after the last Destiny’s Child tanked, and two poorly received singles the Beyoncé era may be over. At least her movie Dreamgirls is getting good buzz. Look for a review shortly.

12th - Continuum: I’ve already heard the album and it features studio versions of a few songs from his live Trio album and a Hendrix cover. Where Heavier Things was his decent into the blues, Continuum is Mayer’s stab at soul music.
- FutureSex/LoveSounds: From the two songs he performed at the VMA’s, it look like this will suck like his previous work. Although Rick Rubin produced one track, the album closer Another Song and that has me intrigued a little bit. (Okay, just heard the album, it's not Paris Hilton bad, but one of the worst I've heard lately, look for a review next week.)
- Coming Home: Richie has always been better at producing hits than child rearing, and from what I’ve heard from the album, he’s back to top form except when lesser producers bring down the album.

19th (A Thousand Different Ways) and (Dutchess) both release album, place your bets now on which one will suck more.

26th - Straight Outta Lynwood: Look for a “Weird Al” themed Lyric Quiz this month in honor of the album.

3rd - Sam’s Town: Lofty expectation considering how lead singer Brandon Flowers brought out the Bruce Springsteen comparison. For the songs I’ve heard so far it sounds like more of the same.
- The Open Door: Word has it that the departed Ben Moody was the driving force behind the band, so it will interesting where Amy Lee takes the band. By the sound of the new single, it doesn’t sound like the band will deviate from past success.
- Shine On: yet another band trying to avoid the sophomore slump after their first disk delivered some of the best rock songs of 2004.

10th - Colorblind: One of the best guitarists of the current generation looks for his breakout hit. Look for guest spot from Dave Matthews and a decent guitarist in his own right Eric Clapton.

17th - Wintersong: One of the few Christmas albums that I’m aware of that will be released this season. Look for Christmas standards like Little Town of Bethlehem and The First Noel as well as John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over).
- Press Play: Diddy says he named the album because it is an album you can press play and never have to skip a song. But after hearing the first single with the chick from the Pussycat Dolls there will be at least one song I’d skip.

24th - Once Again: Legend put out on of the few R&B records of this decade worth listening to. But since then he won the dreaded Best New Artist Grammy. To prepare for the new album, Legend listened to a lot of The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Sufjan Stevens and brought back Kanye West to produce the album along with Raphael Saadiq.
- Undiscovered: I really hope this is a joke and won’t happen. This will essentially Paris Hilton take 2.

31st - Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose: You know you’ll like it even if you won’t admit it.

TBA Natalie MacMaster - Yours Truely: I really don't know much about this artist, but it comes reccomended by Russ.

7th - Hip-Hop Is Dead: Although a legend in the rap game, Nas rarely gets the commercial respect he deserves. This may be the album that gets him back on the radar with production by Kanye West and Dr. Dre.
Talib Kweli - Ear Drum: An hopefully an album that will prove that rap is actually not dead. Look for for production from Kanye West and Just Blaze as well as an appearence from Grammy winner Norah Jones.

21st - Red Carpet Treatment: Snoop is always good for a club banger or two so hopefully this album will have a few

TBA - : The band’s first album was top-heavy with a bunch of hits but the rest was basically filler, will have to wait to see if the band can make a whole album this time.

For all you karaoke fans, this is your season for crappy music as aside from the previously mentioned Aiken, you can expect bland albums from (The Return 9/26), (TBA 11/7), (TBA 11/14), and (late November) and even though the band hasn’t even chosen a singer yet, Supernova has a release date of 11/21. And for my readers that have yet to go through puberty yet, there is not one, but two High School Musical alums (Vanessa Ann Hudgens - V 9/26; Ashley Tisdale - TBA) that will be releasing albums in time for Christmas. Start bugging your parents now.

Also for all you music fans out there, the latest edition to my "Blogs I Read" list, Culture Bully is hold a CD giveaway for everyday in September. For those keeping track at home, that thirty CD's up for grabs (but you can only win once), so hop over there to see what albums you can choose from today and the complete rules.

Some television shows have already started but my Fall TV season doesn’t start up until the 14th. Here’s a revised look at what I’ll tentatively be watching this year since some shows have since switched times or days since I last made my schedule, including their premiere date (feel free to tell me what you're watching in the comment section).

8:30 - How I Met Your Mother (9/18 CBS)
9:00 - Heroes (9/25 NBC)
10:00 - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (9/18 NBC)

9:00 - Veronica Mars (10/3 CW)
9:00 - Kings of Prosperity (10/17 ABC)
11:00 - Ice-T’s Rap School (10/17 VH1 - most likely will catch repeats)

8:00 - Jericho (9/20 CBS)
9:00 - (10/4 ABC)

8:00 - : Jim Crowe Cooke Islands (9/14 CBS)
8:00 - (9/28 CW)
8:00 - (9/22 NBC)
9:00 - (9/28 CW)

7:00 - (10/1 CW)
9:00 - America’s Next Top Model (9/20 CW)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Original Fire has Died and Gone but the Riot Inside Moves On

Revelations - Audioslave

was always a band that I was hesitant about. I was a huge fan of fan and the only rap/metal band worth listening to with Zach de la Rocha’s great delivery and Tom Morello’s eccentric guitar as a backdrop. But things reportedly fell apart when bassist Tim Commerford bum rushed the stage at the 2001 Video Music Awards after the band lost out the best rock video to embarrassing de la Rocha to the point that he quit the band to work on a yet to be released solo album. The other three members, including drummer Brad Wilk did not rest on the laurels, instead recruited Chris Cornell of to form an entirely new band that luckily didn’t involve Cornell rapping. Instead it sounded exactly what people expected, Soundgarden’s melodies mixed with Rage’s raucous guitars. But I was still hesitant as I still wanted more Rage.

Much of the same can be heard on Audioslave's third album Revelations, that you heard on the first two. But as the band progresses, the more it sounds like dark seventies rock with Morello’s signature guitar licks only coming out during his solos as Cornell channels his inner . This is prevalent right off the bat with the opening title track. Until We Fail plays very similar to I Am the Highway off their self titled debuted but loses its momentum unlike the previous song. Original Fire is an upbeat romp that can be the first song in either band member’s history that calls for you to hand-clap thought the song and has a soul music through a rock filter to it. Broken City is a bluesy song highlighted where Cummerford shines with the bass groove. When the band it at full throttle on Shape of Things to Come, it’s one of the greatest rock sounds in recent times. The album closes with Moth, a haunting song that is the closest the band has gotten to sounding like Soundgarden.

Each of the songs on the album could become a rock radio staple like previous songs but as David Fricke of put it best calling the band, “a supergroup that keeps making good records that fall shy of great” and Revelations is no exception. And Revelations is the most average of their outings. But then again I’m still holding out for a Rage Against the Machine reunion.

Song to Download - Shape of Things to Come

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