Saturday, November 11, 2006

Go Tell that Long Tongue Liar, Go and Tell that Midnight Rider

Usually I wait until I have a couple music videos to share for my occasional “Don’t Download These Videos” posts, but this here is a video that need to been seen right away nor shouldn't have to share the spotlight with lesser videos or artists.

God's Gonna Cut You Down - Johnny Cash

Yeah, the video could be a little pretentious with all the celebrity cameos, and you can sense early on that Bono would show up eventually, plus the into Kate Moss transition was befuddling as well as the dude I didn’t recognize who is air humping in the middle of the video (I’m thinking John Leguizamo and if anyone know for sure who this is or the black dude reading the bible in the limo near the beginning, let me know in the comments section please), you are wonder why Owen Wilson gets the last appearance with Rick Rubin, and it’s not quite as great as Hurt but nonetheless it still gave me chills. I do find it interesting that there are more rappers in the video than modern country music singers. But then again much like the only modern country act in video, the , got blacklisted from country radio turned their back on him a long time ago. Now even though it’s more than a month until I unveil my “Top 100 Songs of 2006” list, but God's Gonna Cut You Down is a lock to make the top ten, and if there was one recommendation you take from me, it’s to download this song. And as an added bonus here’s the video for Hurt (another song that should be in your library) courtesy of . You can download the video for God's Gonna Cut You Down here.

Friday, November 10, 2006

If You Can't Hear the Music, Turn it Up Loud

The Road to Escondido - J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton

Back in 2000, there was collation of epic proportions, in one corner you had the greatest blues player ever to pick up a guitar, in the other was the greatest rock guitarist ever. And in a dream made in music history, the two greats decided to team up for an album Riding with the King. Those two were of course and . The album was a classic in its own right and the only complaint anyone could have was that they didn’t do it earlier or more often. Well Clapton is back at it again, this time with another hero of his, .

Cale may not be the household name that Clapton is but you have undoubtedly have heard his songs before including a couple of Clapton’s biggest hits, Cocaine and After Midnight. One of the reasons Clapton reached out to Cale to make a record together is that he has for a while tried to make a Cale sounding album but could never get it right so the best way to accomplish that feat would bring in the man himself which culminated in the album . And the session musicians the pair brought in to help them are no slouches which including Steve Jordon, Pino Palladino, , , and and also featured the last songs ever played on.

Cale naturally took over most of the writing for the session writing all but three of the tracks. Clapton then had credits of two of the song, one of which, Hard to Thrill, he co-wrote with Mayer that turned out to be the albums most bluesy song. The rest of the songs are harder to pin down as they blend folk, blues, country, bluegrass, and rock but never focus on a specific genre for any given song. The duo even get political on When the War Is Over where the sing that even if we bring the boys home that still doesn’t help the ones already dead from the war.

The pairing on the album also seems to help Clapton. On his last couple albums it sounded as if he was struggling with being the guitar god he once was and the elder statesman he was becoming now that he’s in his sixth decade. With King Cale’s guidance and more laid back approach to music, maybe Clapton’ next solo outing will finally make that transition complete.

Song to Download - Ride the River

The Road to Escondido gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Toss Up: Lost vs Veronica Mars week 6

is hitting .500 when it comes to finales. The first season finale was cumbersome and left most everyone upset that we didn’t actually get inside the hatch. The second season finale was much better as we learned why the plane crashed (maybe), what happened when the buttons aren’t pushed, and we even got a glimpse of someone off the island for the first time not via flashback. Even though last night’s Lost wasn’t a proper finale, we will have to wait three months until the next episode which is about the time of the summer break. But due to the hiatus, this will be the last Toss-Up until February. Well maybe longer depending how long the break takes when it goes on hiatus at the conclusion of the first mystery arc. Well onto the Toss Up:

Love Triangle
Lost: Kate, Jack, Sawyer
Veronica Mars: Harmony, Keith, Harmony’s Husband
Winner: Lost

Crappy old shirt or bowling shirt?Wardrobe Decision
Lost: Kate had to decide between wearing a sack over her head or not
Veronica Mars: Ronnie had to decide between and Earnest bowling shirt or a crappy old shirt with a stupid saying
Winner: Veronica Mars

Lost: Dick, Mac, Weevil, Lamb
Veronica Mars: Claire, Charlie, Sun, and Jin
Winner: Lost

Admitting Their Crimes
Lost: Not-Monica admitted to her husband that she killed her father
Veronica Mars: Wallace admitted to cheating on his test
Winner: Lost

Kate and Sawyer having dirty, dirty sexDesperation Sex
Lost: Sawyer and Kate getting it on when it looks like Sawyer will die
Veronica Mars: Keith and Harmony get it on after Keith’s near death experience
Winner: Lost

Machiavellian Plot
Lost: Everything The Others do seem way too complicated then they should be
Veronica Mars: Not-Lucky went too far out of his way to get Ronnie to find out Landry was a horn dog
Winner: Veronica Mars

That's 2/3's of a turkey bitchesNot Their Type
Lost: Kate is not Zeke's type
Veronica Mars: Parker is not Piz's type
Winner: Lost

Surprised to See You
Lost: Jack was surprised to see Kate when she begged for Sawyer’s life
Veronica Mars: Ronnie was surprised to see the Dean’s wife when looking for who was behind her term paper
Winner: Veronica Mars

Mrs. O'Dell gets aroundAlmost Caught Doing It
Lost: Jack sees Kate and Sawyer lying in the cage naked presumably after sex
Veronica Mars: Ronnie sees Landry and the Dean’s wife at the hotel presumably before sex
Winner: Lost

Lost: Jack was jealous that Sawyer got Kate before him
Veronica Mars: Piz is jealous of Logan for landing Vee.
Winner: Veronica Mars

Captain Mal ReynoldsWhy You Should Boycott Fox
Lost: For canceling staring Kate’s husband
Veronica Mars: For not renewing which guest starred the Dean sans eyebrows
Winner: Veronica Mars

Lost: Not-Henry has an incision in his kidney, Sawyer has a gun to his head, and Kate has to decide with running and staying with Sawyer
Veronica Mars: Logan says he’s Mercer’s alibi for the rape that happened over the summer but can’t tell Ronnie what that alibi was
Winner: Veronica Mars

Next Time On
Lost: We get a Juliet flashback, but that is in February
Veronica Mars: Ronnie gets drugged, which will be seen next week
Winner: Veronica Mars

The Jesus stickAnother squeaker for Veronica Mars. But had Lost had been exciting for the whole episode as it was the last fifteen minutes, it may have won by a landslide as it went on hiatus. The Locke scenes were basically useless and I have a feeling I missed a scene in-between the one where Locke and Sayid got the shovels and the funeral where Locke and Sayid talked about where they were actually going and why. Presumably it was to get the Jesus stick but I bet there was a scene cut somewhere. Then throw in some boring flashbacks (of course are there any other kind recently).

It's raining, Kate must be cryingBut the big story this week was in Otherville, especially the last couple minutes. Yeah it’s safe to assume that Sawyer and Not-Henry will survive and Kate won’t leave Sawyer, but it still had me on the edge of my seat mostly because of Jack’s actions. It’s surprising that he would jeopardize his own escape just to get Kate away from Sawyer. And just how many times have we seen Kate cry in the rain? There was also what could be a very important line that many people may have missed in passing that I really need to hear again when the vengeful Other said something to the effect that, “Shepard wasn’t even on the original list.” And weren’t only good people “on the list.” Does this make Jack not a good person?

In other Otherville news, it looks like Alex take after her mother in the crazy department when she started to attack gun-toting people with a sling-shot. Just who is the guy she is looking for, is he an Other? A Tailie? And just where is her mother? I don’t believe we have seen her since she shot Not-Henry. And why did Juliet lie to Not-Henry when he asked if Alex asked for him. I really hate you Lost. Oh and see you in February.

Then on Veronica Mars we had an episode that was very reminiscent to last season when Vice Principal Clemmons sent Ronnie on a wild goose chase that ended in the then principal getting canned. This time around Not-Lucky laid a plan to have Vee find out her possible mentor is nailing the Dean’s wife, who seems to get around. Remember Chip Diller got 300 points for hitting that. Not-Lucky also informed us that there has been no DNA evidence found in any of the rapes that lends even more credence to my “The Lilith House Did It” Theory. Granted Not-Lucky’s serial killer bulitin board officially puts him on my list of suspects.

But the Dean’s wife wasn’t the only one getting their creep-on, as Keith finally acted on his feelings after a near death experience. That scene was really shocking, just when you think the show was about to do another musical montage with I’m Not in Love, BAM. But in an episode entitled Hi, Infidelity, Ronnie and Logan’s was the only one that went unharmed despite it highly being alluded to in last week’s preview. Another trouble in paradise preview this week, but with the ending, it may come to fruition next week. And I know a certain Clash lover who won’t be sad to see that breakup.

Julie GonzaloSpeaking of the Clash lover (but really, who doesn’t love the Clash), Piz if defiantly growing on me especially after asking Ronnie out on a date that isn’t a date debacle as I been through such awkwardness myself. Then there is someone who grew on me a long time ago Parker who was giving me a Meg circa pre-Duncan vibe last night. And despite obviously crushing on Ronnie, how can Parker not be Piz’s type, Parker’s everyone’s type, well as long as she keeps her wig on. Speaking of the wig, does anyone else think Parker’s “wig” looks more real than her “real hair”? Of course if you look at the picture of Julie Gonzalo it’s pretty obvious that Parker’s “wig” is Julie’s real hair.

Also growing on me is Dean O’Dell. At first I though he would be a poor man’s Principal Clemmons, but his part dick, part moron is starting to be very entertaining in not a rip-off of Clemmons sort of way. And speaking of Dicks, where was he this week? I can’t go without my weekly fill of Dick for two weeks in a row. And for those keeping track at home, Dean O’Dell has been in more episodes this season than both Mac and Weevil.

Next week obviously no Lost, but instead we get Day Break. Of course the irony would be that it gets canceled early and ABC ends up having to put Lost reruns in it’s place. Then on Veronica Mars it looks like Ronnie will come face to drugged up face with the rapist. Or maybe not, I have a sinking suspicion that this is Nish’s revenge, remember she told Vee she would regret getting her fired. Then again, maybe it really is the rapist which begs the question who will come to her rescue. My money’s on good ol’ Chip Diller. Either way, at least there will be a Veronica Mars next week.

Oh and check out the prices of the first two season of Veronica Mars at Amazon to see if you can still get them at half price which they are as I write this.

Download Lost

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Best of Dave Matthews Band

Along with all the thumpin’ the Democrats laid yesterday (President Bush’s word not mine) yesterday also saw the release of the first retrospective for the Dave Matthews Band, The Best of What’s Around. The set democratically takes two songs off each of the band’s major label studio album, but much like most greatest hits packages there is plenty of my favorite songs from their catalog missing. So since I have all of the band’s studio albums (and most of their live ones too), I made my own Best Of album that clocks in at 78:40 and feel free to let me know what I left out and what you would replace in the comment section (I’m sure whatever you say I missed will show up on vol. 2 whenever I get around to posting that):

1. Recently (Edit 2) - Recently - EP (1994)
2. The Best of What's Around - Under the Table and Dreaming (1994)
3. Jimi Thing - Under the Table and Dreaming (1994)
4. Warehouse - Under the Table and Dreaming (1994)
5. Say Goodbye - Crash (1996)
6. Crash Into Me - Crash (1996)
7. The Stone - Before These Crowded Streets (1998)
8. Don't Drink the Water - Before These Crowded Streets (1998)
9. When the World Ends - Everyday (2001)
10. The Space Between - Everyday (2001)
11. You Never Know - Busted Stuff (2002)
12. Grace Is Gone - Busted Stuff (2002)
13. Bartender - Busted Stuff (2002)
14. Old Dirt Hill (Bring That Beat Back) - Stand Up (2005)

But if there were a reason to pick up The Best of What’s Around vol. 1 would be the companion second disk with over an hour’s worth of live performances chosen by the fans that includes a rousing version of Don’t Drink the Water, Louie, Louie finding its way into Warehouse. Also Robert Randolph pops up on Louisiana Bayou. And if you check out the iTunes release of the album, you will find two bonus tracks not on the CD release. Unfortunately you have to buy the whole album to get some of the live tracks from the iTunes store.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote Early, Vote Often

To be honest I wasn’t planning on voting today but after receiving phone calls lately from Rudy Giuliani and Laura Bush I have changed my tune and will vote against anyone who called me or whatever candidate they were endorsing. Sorry Ken Blackwell, had your wife not ironically interrupted Pardon the Interruption yesterday, I totally would have voted for you. Granted good ol’ Kenny has the power to void, or outright change my ballot so it’s not like voting against him matters to him (Fun Fact: Blackwell replaced Jerry Springer as mayor of Cincinnati). Hopefully some other state has a major voting scandal so Ohio is now longer the poster child for voting fraud. Can’t Florida bring back the butterfly ballot? Now say what you want about the God-hating, baby-killing, terrorist-sympathizing, -watching Democrats, but at least they have yet to interrupt my television watching schedule.

In all seriousness, Election Tuesday is one of my favorite days of the years to the point where I treat it like a sporting event, grabbing a case of beer on my way home, lounge on the couch all night and cheer and boo appropriately. Luckily my class tonight is supposedly ending early so I should be getting home just in time for the early results to start pouring in. If the races are as close as the media would have us to believe, I may even tape Veronica Mars as not to miss anything. And long time readers know it takes a lot to drag me away from my favorite show on television.

On a non-political note, since it is Tuesday, we do get a few new albums released today, but looking at the lineup of releases today, it looks like the record companies are avoiding competing with the election with the collaboration between being the only new release of note today (look for a review later this week). In other music news, this week iTunes is giving away one of my favorite songs in recent memory, Smile by for free. If you remember I featured the video for the song a couple weeks ago (Don’t Download These Video vol III) and now if you click on her name, you will be directed to the page in iTunes where you can download the song at no cost. A great song for free, what more can you ask for? Just don't hold it against Lily that her song Take What You Take is the soundtrack to The CW's Aerie Tuesdays.

Lily Allen

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Best New Shows of Fall 2006

Recently of few television bloggers including myself put together a list of the best new shows on television the season. And here is what we came up:

Apple iTunes1. Heroes - NBC (3)
2. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - NBC (1)
3. Friday Night Lights - NBC (1)
4. The Nine - ABC (1)
5. Ugly Betty - ABC

numbers in parentheses denote first place votes
Also recieving votes: Brothers and Sisters; Men in Trees; Ice-T’s Rap School; Dexter; Justice; Jericho; Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Ducky, Raelee, Scooter McGavin, Sheila, Tube Talk Girl, TV Fan

First off I guess I should mention that none of the voters are on the NBC payroll. But looking at the list, it looks like it’s a down year for new shows at least compared to recent years. Last year saw the return of the sitcom with My Name Is Earl and Everyone Hates Chris. The year before there was the debut of the two best shows this decade in Veronica Mars and Lost. And even the summer before those two aired was when Rescue Me started its run. Now keep in mind the list above does not reflect my personal tastes because I see enough ugly people in my everyday life that I have absolutely desire to see ugly people on my television, so in a measure of full disclosure here’s my ballot:

Apple iTunes1. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC)
2. Friday Night Lights (NBC)
3. Ice-T’s Rap School (VH1)
4. Dexter (Showtime)
5. Heroes (NBC)

As evident of the four different number one votes on the above poll, our television tastes vary a little, but if there is something that all of the voters can agree on is that you should be watching Veronica Mars if you are not already. And as I am writing this Amazon has both season of the show for for half price which is under thirty dollars (see bottom of post for ads). If you do the math, that’s just over a dollar per episode which is less than you can purchase an episode of a show on iTunes so here is your chance to get into the show at a low price or if you already watch the show, it would make a great Christmas present for someone who doesn’t (or for yourself if you haven’t picked them up yet). And to show you how great the show is, here is my personal favorite scene in the show’s history courtesy of :

One last television note, Linda Blair will be appearing on this week's installment of Supernatural and I have some exclusice pictures of the upcoming episode courtesy of The CW. So maybe this Thursday at 9:00 you can catch quality programming instead of a General Hospital in primetime ripoff, whatever city CSI is in this year, or the dude from Little Monsters saying "Deal or no deal" for an entire hour:

Linda Blair on Supernatural 1

Linda Blair on Supernatural 2

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Musings From the Back 9: VH1 Reality Albums Edition

Earlier this summer, MTV had two of its reality stars release albums in the same week (see and ) and now MTV for old people, VH1 tries to outdo it with the release of three albums by its reality stars in a two week period. And let’s face it, Vh1 shows some of the guiltiest of the guilty pleasures. The channel started its reality empire when it fleeced The Surreal Life from the now defunct WB in its third season. That was the season that brought us the very first reality show for the greatest hype man in the business, Flavor Flav, who would later go on to star in two spin-offs, and , whose two finales garnered VH1 its two highest ratings in the channel’s history.

And I was one of the seven million that say New York get rejected not once, but twice. The main reason why I sat there week in and week out was because I am a long time fan of and will support the group no matter how trashy the venue is. Okay so the main reason I watched Flavor of Love was I find woman degrading themselves just to get on television entertaining and will stoop so low to hook up with a midget, crack-head on the wrong side of forty just to get screen time. But anyways.

To coincide with the finale of his show, the former William Drayton has released his first solo album that has been in the works for a while. The problem though with a Flavor Flav solo album is that he as his best as the hype man and not the center of attention and just making an occasional comment to Chuck D’s political words. Yeah 911 Is a Joke is a classic, but do you really want to hear a whole album full of those types of song? Listening to Flavor Flav answers that question with a no. The bright spot on the album is the production which Flav does most of as well as play most of the instrumentation himself (young Drayton was a trained classical pianist). But really the only song of any interest would be for those that have wanted to get the Flavor of Love theme song that shows up on the album as Flavor-Man.

New to the reality game is who has been biding his time in recent years on the set of one of the Law & Order shows. But he got recruited by VH1 to turn eight middle schoolers at a prep school into a rap group. The show is surprisingly heartfelt and okay for the whole family with the Iceman actually doing a good job teaching the kids. But don’t bring the kids to listen to his latest album that definitely lives up to the title. The album is the first by Ice-T in seven years and still sounds like vintage Ice which is not necessarily a good thing. I’m sure if I was still a youngster who memorized every gangsta rap album I could get my hands on, this album would be right up my album. Unfortunately I have matured in my old age so nothing really strikes me on the album. And Ice replaces he usual tracks about various women with one about his wife Coco (whose appearance on the cover has gotten the album banned in a few stores) which show a softer side of the man that we haven’t hear on an album yet. But for any of you that love the watered down rap that finds its way to the radio, you may want to check out the album to here what real gangsta rap sounds like.

Then in a completely different musical direct there is the debut album from better known as Hulk’s daughter. The Hulkster has been quite open about the reason he signed up for a reality show and that was to advance his daughter’s music career using the VH1 connection to get tickets to various award shows. It eventually paid off when Brooke was the first artist signed to producer Scott Storch’s record label. Storch was also responsible for the production on Hogan’d debut . The album is filled with your token R&B songs over rap beats that oversaturated the market two years ago. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the voice that appears on this album sounds suspiciously like the one that appears on Paris Hilton’s album considering Storch was involved in both projects. This begs the question who’s voice is it, Brooke’s or Paris’, or could it be a third singer all, together? Either way, I smell something fishy and that fish looks strikingly like .

Flavor Flav gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

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

Undiscovered gets a Terror Alert Level: Low [GREEN] on my Terror Alert Scale.