Saturday, February 03, 2007

Rules of Engagement Preview

I’m not sure if I am going to watch the new show Rules of Engagement which premieres this Monday, Feburary 5th at 9:30 on CBS. On one hand the show is a Happy Madison production (Adam Sandler’s production company). On the other hand I’m not the biggest fan of David Spade. Then add that to Monday not being the best time for me as I have a late class and Everybody Hates Chris, How I Met Your Mother, Heroes, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and The (White) Rapper Show already on my schedule that day. Seriously, can’t any network put something worth watching on Tuesdays or Sundays beside Veronica Mars? But anyway. Here is the show synopsis, some promotional pictures (click to enlarge) and some clips from the show:

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, a comedy about different phases of the male/female relationship as seen through the eyes of a newly-engaged couple Adam (Oliver Hudson, Kate’s brother) and Jennifer (Bianca Kajlich, Boston Public), a long-married pair Jeff (Patrick Warburton, Seinfeld) and Audrey (Megyn Price, Grounded for Life) and a single guy on the prowl, Russell (David Spade, Saturday Night Live). As the five find out, the often confusing stages of a relationship can seem like being on a roller coaster. People can describe them to you, but to really know what its like, you have to take the ride yourself.

Cast of Rules of Engagement Patrick Warburton and Megyn Price Oliver Hudson and Bianca Kajlich Oliver Hudson and Bianca Kajlich 2 David Spade Cast of Rules of Engagement in bed

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sun Is in the Sky, Oh Why, Oh Why, Would I Wanna be Anywhere Else

Alright, Still - Lily Allen

For years the British have tried to break into the American market, some that have lived up to the hype (Arctic Monkeys), some have haven’t (The Darkness), but one thing they all have in common is that none have really made any impact stateside. And the ones that are able to score a hit (James Blunt) fall back into obscurity once that one song has run its course. But even though there hasn’t been many breakout stars from England since the second British Invasion back in the eighties, they continue to come, the latest import being Lily Allen. The sassy Brit has seen her album Alright, Still hit the top of the charts across the world except the largest market in the world.

The album was released across Europe back in July of last year and the buzz here in America started coming in not too long afterwards thanks to a mention in Rolling Stone’s Download Now section long before most American’s knew her name and the globalization of the internet with sites like MySpace and YouTube (I mentioned her here at the 9th Green back in October). And anyone who watches Aerie Tuesdays on The CW (and if you aren’t watching Veronica Mars, you should be) have already been introduced Ms. Allen whether you knew are not as her song, Say What You Say, is the song that plays in the Aerie commercial.

After all the hype, we Americans were finally able to get our hands on the full length album and it definitely was as advertised. The album opens with one of the best piss off songs of all time, Smile where Allen ends up getting the last laugh when the guy that broke her heart comes crawling back and she can turn him down this time. She’s not done with the dude as later on the album there is Not Big about, um, well I’m sure you can figure that out and being not big is actually one of the nicer insults slung throughout that song. But the funniest stuff is reserved for her very own little brother Alfie who gets a song named after him where Lily, in true big sister mode, rags on him for sitting around all day smoking weed and playing computer games.

Ladies, Allen has you in her crosshairs too. On Friday Night, she takes on the Queen B’s and Wannabe’s that hang out in clubs and warns them, “Don’t try to test me ‘cause you’ll get a reaction.” Look out old people because you are on her list too because after hearing a list of cliché’s like “All that glitters is not gold” on Say What You Say, Allen shoots back to who she referenced to as a horse with, “What the (expletive deleted) do you know? Just ‘cause you’re old you think your wise.” Her own friends aren’t above ridicule either as seen in the hilarious bonus track on the American release, Nan You’re a Window Shopper, a send up of the 50 Cent song (watch out “Weird Al”). Allen actually shows her softer side on Littlest Things where she actually fondly reminisces on a past relationship that borrows a little too much from Radiohead’s Karma Police at the start of the song.

Allen’s wordplay is refreshing and you’ll spend a good chuck of your first listen going “Oh, snap” at the things to say, the best of the worst being, “Oh my gosh you must be joking me if you think that you’ll be poking me” in Shame for You as well as everything in the stop hitting on me song, Knock ‘Em Out. Plus she gets extra points for being to rhyme “al fresco” during LDN. Every once in a while some British slang seeps in, but unlike most other foreigners (Lady Sovereign), the way Allen delivers them, it more enduring than annoying like when she talks about the filth (cops), and feel free to insert your own Grey’s Anatomy joke regarding the line, “She looks in her bag, takes out a fag, tries to get away from the guy on a blag.”

What sets Allen apart from the long list of white girls ripping off black music (see Fergie, Gwen Stefani, their many copycats) is all in the delivery. Each lyric play off the music brilliantly, thanks in part to producer Mark Rondon. This isn’t more evident than on LDN that bounces along with happy horns and Allen singing “Sun is in the sky, oh why, oh why, would I wanna be anywhere else” in the chorus, but at heart, the verses deal with pimps, crack whores, and hooligans robbing old ladies. A close second is the brother bashing Alfie but the track is backed by an upbeat brass section that wouldn’t sound out of place in a musical.

Song to Download - LDN

Alright, Still gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Want to see what all the hype is about, be sure to check out Ms. Allen tomorrow on Saturday Night Live. Also with all my take about chicks with ugly looking bangs (see Public Service Announcement), if you want to see how bangs can look good on a woman, check out how Lily sports them.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dearly Beloved, We Are Gathered Here Today

Prince - Purple Rain Soundtrack

… 2 get through this thing called life. Electric word life, it means forever and that's a mighty long time but I’m here 2 tell u there’s something else… The afterworld. A world of never ending happiness, u can always see the sun, day or night. So when u call up that shrink in Beverly Hills, u know the one - Dr Everything Will Be Alright. Instead of asking him how much of your time is left, Ask him how much of your mind, baby. ‘Cuz in this life things are much harder than in the afterworld. In this life you're on your own. And if de-elevator tries 2 bring u down: Go crazy.

And with those lines starts the greatest movie soundtrack of all time. And unlike other soundtracks that cherry pick the best from multiple artists, the only one who wrote and preformed all the songs on the soundtrack to Purple Rain was Prince, along with The Revolution who get their first billing on the album, which is why it is this month’s induction to the Scooter Hall of Fame. Even over twenty after the fact, that opening, Let’s Go Crazy can kick start any party into high gear with its infectious beat and sing along lyrics. I Would Die 4 U which morphs effortlessly into Baby I’m a Star is another great dance track that is sometimes lost amidst all the classic songs on the album but still hold up to this day.

But without the classic tracks on the album, there is still one song that stands above the rest, be it this album or the broader range of eighties songs: When Doves Cry. The song actually does a much better time conveying the message of the movie in six minutes than the actual movie does itself. And you have not lived until you have heard my drunken karaoke version of When Doves Cry. The Beautiful Ones is in the same vein as When Doves Cry but instead of family the song deals more with other personal relationships but is just as funky as well as delivered in Prince’s trademark falsetto. Plus “the beautiful ones always seem to lose” is one of my favorite lines to quote. The album closes with the title track which doesn’t get the deserved credit of being one of the greatest epic songs of all time up there with Free Bird, Stairway to Heaven and November Rain.

Aside from being one of the best albums of all time, the Purple Rain Soundtrack is historic in a different way. You can thank it for the Parental Advisory stickers that sporadically pop up on album covers. As the legend goes, Tipper Gore, as in Al’s wife, and her young girls enjoyed Let’s Go Crazy that they kept on hearing on the radio, she decided to buy the album. Apparently Tipper didn’t like her young children hearing the opening line to Darling Nikki, “I knew a girl named Nikki I guess u could say she was a sex fiend. I met her in a hotel lobby (expletive deleted) with a magazine.” Instead of placing the blame on herself for being a horrible parent who didn’t fully monitor her children’s life, she instead got her senator husband to call a Congressional Hearing on the matter which led to the stickers. If only Tipper had listened to the song backward she would have heard the subliminal message, “Hello, how are you? I'm fine, ‘cause I know that the Lord is coming soon. Coming, coming soon” playing at the end of the song.

Prince will most likely be playing one or two songs from this album during the Super Bowl halftime show this weekend even though he said he was retiring his old hits a couple years back. I really doubt the Super Bowl committee signed him up to play the song from Happy Feet. Anyways, it is someone an odd choice to have Prince play considering I believe the last time CBS held the Super Bowl the term “wardrobe malfunction” was coined even though the first “wardrobe malfunction” I ever remember seeing on television was during Prince’s performance of Gett Off during the MTV Video Music Awards. Hopefully this time around he doesn’t have any holes in his pants.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I Like This Show, it’s Tawdry week 5

The return of Madison Sinclair, bangs and allExcuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. Holy Madison Sinclair sighting! If you haven’t seen Poughkeepsie, Tramps, and Thieves, or you are like me and need to see it again, you can check out Veronica Mars two different ways; first you can download it at iTunes are stream it over at For those that did see it, let’s start with the most important news of the week, the return of Madison Sinclair and boy has time not been good to her. Serious ladies, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the uber-bangs make you look horrible, just stop it.

Madison and Logan?But it wasn’t how bad she looked that made me have to scrap my jaw off the floor, no it was the revelation that she and Logan hooked up in Aspen. When she first showed up (and finally realized that it was her) I was fully expecting she was going to turn out to be a hooker. But the Logan thing was way more shocking. And even though we didn’t actually hear it this episode, it is safe to assume this is what Ronnie just can’t get past that was alluded to in last week’s promo. I really can’t blame her because if I were a chick I wouldn’t want to date someone who hooked up with someone that has both Dick and Lamb on her résumé. Granted having sex with Kendall while I was in the very next room would have been a deal breaker for me, but I’m silly like that.

Lamb doubfounded like usualThe shocking return of Madison Sinclair aside, this episode possibly had the best one-liners ever when Dick was MIA. Yeah they laid on the Battlestar Galactica references a bit too much (I don’t speak geek, although I’m semi-fluent in nerd) but at least they ended the conversation with the best line of the night, “and then you frakked.” Then Lamb spotting Keith in his sheriff outfit was just another classic scene. And after Keith’s visit to the Lilth’s Girls I’m beginning to think that maybe who Dean said, “What are you doing here?” may not be the same person that killed him and he may have had multiple visitors that night.

Why can't I find hookers this hot? Um, not that I lookAs for the case of making the happy hooker not so happy, this was one of the better mysteries of the week and does good paralleling the Logan/Vee relationship where the dude was willing to look past her, um past, as long as she is truthful. And of course we know how that turned out. Plus the scene where Ronnie was searching for the hooker on the escort website with the friends was again classic Veronica. I wonder who the lucky writer that got to do the research for that scene was. But I was a little surprised that Vee seemed sad for the guy for spending all the money on the girl just for her to leave him when she knew that he got money from his term paper business though I loved their discussion about cheating for an Ethics class.

And to anyone who thinks that Ronnie is really pregnant: You, my sir, are a moron.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Love in the Time of War Is not Fair

Not Too Late - Norah Jones

It’s not even May yet but the best Mother’s Day present was just released today. And if you are a mother, I hate to spoil what you will be getting, but there is a good chance if you don’t get the standard bouquet or chocolates in four months, you will be unwrapping Not Too Late, the latest album from Norah Jones, to complete your set of the singer’s albums. The previous two of which sold an astounding thirty million copies and garnered her eight Grammy Awards solely on the strength of just one hit. Of course back in 2002 the slow jazz feel of Don’t Know Why was a breath of fresh air back hip-pop and pseudo-punk ruled the radio. Well maybe not that much has changed in the five years since.

Norah rarely deviates from her trademark, insomnia curing sound for most of the album. But there are some signs that she is breaking out of the mold and going back even deeper into Americana. My Dear Country does a much better job at making a speakeasy ditty than anything from the Outkast movie set in the same timeframe. Thanks to some cellos and bowed bass Sinkin’ Soon also has an old-time feel to it while at the same time sounding like it wouldn’t have been out of place on the latest Fiona Apple. Even though it still sounds more like her pervious work, The Sun Doesn’t Like You drives along like a summer afternoon. Well maybe drives Miss Daisy along like a summer afternoon.

The biggest change on the album though is that she has a writing credit on all thirteen tracks; for those keeping track that is six more than on her previous two albums combined. And from the lyrics it seems she’s not that happy with titles like The Sun Doesn’t like You, Not My Friend, and Broken. She’s not too happy about our government either as seen in the biting My Dear Country with lines like, “’Cause we believed in our candidate, but even more it’s the one we hate.” Is she talking about Bush? Kerry? Gore? Does it really matter because we always seem to lose either way? The song opens up with the irony that our elections are held not that far away from Halloween.

The war also gets mentioned as Jones plays the role of a consoler for a wife who has lost her husband in the opening track Wish I Could. With some of the political leaning in other songs it easy to assume that Sinkin’ Soon could be a metaphor about the botched post-Katrina cleanup effort. And again, choose your favorite scapegoat to play the captain in the line, “With a captain who's too proud to say that he dropped the oar.” Do we really need Norah Jones on a soapbox? Not really. But no one’s really paying attention to the lyrics anyways, so just put the album on and relax. Well until you pass the album onto your mother in May.

Song to Download - The Sun Doesn’t Like You

Not Too Late gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Norah Jones on iTunes

Monday, January 29, 2007

I Don't Know About Friends but Partners, Definitely


So just how far down do you wanna go where we can talk it out over a cup of Joe and you can stare deep into my eyes like I was a Supermodel. Oops, that’s the opening to The Refreshments Banditos. That’s not to be confused with the little seen Bandidas. Of course the team of Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz don’t really scream comedy gold. But oddly this buddy flick works being at the very least entertaining. Although this asks the question, if the two leads are female, should it instead be called a gal pal flick? Obviously the name “chick flick” is already taken for a different genre.

The film takes place in the turn of the century Mexico where an evil land baron (is there any other kind), played by Dwight Yoakam (Friday Night Lights, the movie not television show), is doing everything he needs to do get a railroad built across the country. He also did some nefarious deeds to get control of the local banks for us Yankees. Two of his targets include a farmer and the owner of various properties who both get shot by his hand. This leads the daughter of the farmer (Cruz) and property owner (Hayek) to rob the same bank in revenge not knowing the other had the same plan. But under the tutelage of famous bank robber Sam Shepard (The Notebook) they learn to trust each other (don’t they always).

With comedy not being their forte, the girls bring in Steve Zahn (Sahara) to play up the laughs as a clumsy but brilliant criminal investigator (is there any other kind) brought in by Yoakam to catch the Bandidas. Unfortunately Zahn is responcible for the only nude scene in the movie despite the massive amount of cleavage throughout. And it’s that cleavage that helps them take Zahn a hostage not as if any red blooded male wouldn’t willing go with Hayek and Cruz. Hilarity ensues, much of which is predictable and clichéd but the movie still is worth the time f you have an hour and a half to spare.

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

Sunday, January 28, 2007

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. IV

Quote of the Week: “Listen, I’m gonna break it down for you alright. If you switch over to my side I’ll give you my solemn word of honor I will have sex with you.” “I long to see the sunlight in your hair and tell you time and time again how much I care. Hello.” “Please, stop singing at me.” “Hello” (Rockefeller Butts trying to change the Token Hot Chick’s vote, Knights of Prosperity)

Song of the Week: One Week - Barenaked Ladies (Veronica Mars; see the scene below thanks to YouTube)

Big News of the Week: The Knights are on the move. Starting this week, ABC is switching the funniest new show of the season, Knights of Prosperity with According to Jim so be sure to turn in a half an hour earlier this Wednesday at 8:30 to see if the Knight get closer to robbing Mick Jagger. Unfortunately this conflicts with Friday Night Lights and Beauty and the Geek but all three are available for streaming on their respective websites so no excuses to miss any of them.

This week should be another instant classic when Eugene has to decide whether he will take one for the team when one of Jagger’s bodyguards comes on to him. I’m not sure if this will be a weekly occurrence but you can catch an extra episode this Tuesday at 9:30 featuring the one where the Token Hot Chick gets the guys some self defense training. And you can always check out the latest episodes of the show over at

Surreal Life Fame Games: I’m not sure what I find more disturbing: Brigitte Neilson hooking up with Chyna or Brigitte Neilson hooking up with Ron Jeremy.

How I Met Your Mother: I really didn’t like how they depicted Barney in the past couple week almost humanizing him, but it was nice to see the original Barney back this week.

Everybody Hates Chris: Chris hauling around an egg brought back some painful memories. Needless to say I failed. Luckily there aren’t any little Scooters running around… that I know of. Hopefully I don’t get a call from Montell or Maury anytime soon. Check out this episode at

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: After a week opening segment, the show gets back into fine form where it is hard to decide which storyline was the best this week, Jordan’s battle with the new VP of Illiterate Programming, Simon battling the new writer, Chandler battling to win the E-bay action, or Ed Asner battling the board. Granted I’m not entirely sure what he and Jack are up to with the Asian deal. Check out this episode over at

The (White) Rapper Show: I loved how the dude from Brand Nubian grilled Jon Brown on that silly Ghetto Revival crap. I guess when you are an entity you don’t need to fully think your catchphrases.

The State of the Union: I peeked in on it during the commercial breaks of Veronica Mars and I love how they show you the name when they do reaction in the crowd shot like it’s the Oscars. I’m just waiting for when one of the networks brings in Joan Rivers for a red carpet before one of these things because who doesn’t want to know where Nancy Pelosi got her pantsuit from.

Veronica Mars: Check out my thoughts of this week’s episode over at I Like This Show, it’s Tawdry week 4.

Friday Night Lights: After the opening scene of this episode, I’m ready to call the Taylor’s the best nuclear family on television. Then I don’t know what was funnier, when coach used the same motivational speech the radio host used or that his offensive coordinator loves that show. One of the great parts about this show is how each character, big or small, is pitch point, but after two episodes, Tyra’s mom is the one misstep. Also two weeks without Landry is two weeks too long. Check out this episode over at

Smallville: Mmm, a superhero who after hit with something then all of the sudden wakes up in a mental institute where the last five years was all a dream. Yeah this was a complete rip off of a season six episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And totally inferior as Normal Again was one of my favorite hours of television ever.

Pick of the Week: Super Bowl XLI - Sunday, 6:25 CBS - Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Prince at halftime, Billy Joel does the anthem, and the best commercials of the year including one moron who dropped $2.5 million to propose to his girlfriend during the game. If you are like me and want to make a day of it, Road to the Super Bowl starts at noon.