Saturday, June 23, 2007

You're a Baseball Glove, Get on that Truck

Yesterday I had to do some research on animal testing for a presentation in a class I had today and since I was responsible for obtaining information for the con, I figured would be the best place to grab some information. Now I think PETA members are clinically insane and do more harm for animal right the help them in the process. But the group can be thoroughly entertaining at times most notably with their ingenious “I’d rather go naked than wear fur campaign.”

Now I say they do more harm then good because of imbecile actions like dousing people who wear fur with blood. Now there are much more effective, and entertaining, when they go the passive aggressive root like when they called NBA players sissies because they were complaining about cuts on their finger from the new synthetic ball resulting in the league to go back to the leather balls. You can read that whole thing here: A Letter to the NBA (warning, this is a PDF file).

While visiting their website yesterday, I found the groups latest passive aggressive attack was on Michael Moore. For those that are unaware, Moore has a new documentary coming out called Sicko (see below for a trailer) which focuses on the health care debate in America. Well someone inside PETA decided to write to Moore, who is described in the PETA blog as, “a fat, bearded dude who makes political documentaries and occasionally angers conservatives.” Nice. Why attack Moore you might be thinking, well as Ingrid Newkirk put in her letter to Michael:

“Although we think that your film could actually help reform America’s sorely inadequate health care system, there’s an elephant in the room, and it is you. With all due respect, no one can help but notice that a weighty health issue is affecting you personally. We’d like to help you fix that. Going vegetarian is an easy and life-saving step that people of all economic backgrounds can take in order to become less reliant on the government’s shoddy healthcare system, and it’s something that you and all Americans can benefit from personally.” (Read the entire Letter to Michael Moore, again it is a PDF file)

As for someone who has been without health care for most of his adult life, I fully understand the need for a national health care system and cannot imagine anyone with a soul being against it either but I applaud PETA what they call the elephant in the room. Now I have no problem paying some extra so someone in a car crash gets the medical attention they deserve and not get denied because they don’t have insurance or just as worse, have insurance but not the right HMO. But I have absolutely no desire to pay extra taxes for diabetes and heart disease medicine for someone too lazy to get off their butt and do thirty minutes of exercises a day. In that same vain, I don’t want my taxes going to that moron who smoked a pack a day for forty years. So before we get a national health care plan, we really need to regulate health so we aren’t paying half or salaries to help people who obviously have no desire to help themselves. Now as promised, here is the Sicko trailer:

One more thing I found over at the website, PETA is again conducting their sexiest vegetarian alive poll so feel free to take part in that. Unfortunately you have to vote in both the dudes and chicks categories and since I am really now one to decide who the sexiest dude is, I just went with RZA, because, “If you want beef then bring the ruckus because Wu-Tang Clan is nothing to (expletive deleted) with.”

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Don't Download These Videos vol. XXI

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 so here they are courtesy of YouTube. 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 not the link goes to YouTube where you can watch the video in full screen). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Working Class Hero - Green Day

I’ve never been much of a John Lennon guy, but this Samuel Bayer directed clip of Green Day’s version of Working Class Hero is a must see. The song is featured on Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, an charity that benefits Amnesty International with money going to stop the violence and disease that has killed over a half a million over the past four years. Although I think it would be best to just grab this song and U2’s Instant Karma on iTunes (where there are ten songs you won’t find on the CD) and donate the rest of the money directly to AI because I’m not sure if anyone really needs to hear Avril Lavigne’s take on Imagine.
Girlfriend (Dr. Luke Mix) - Avril Lavigne Featuring Lil Mama
Speaking of Avril Lavigne, she a yet another new video out. For those who found the original version of Girlfriend disturbing you may want to avoid this one because it is even more disturbing. This is mostly thanks to Lil’ Mama, most famous for her Lip Gloss song. And if you have never heard it, you are luckier than I.
For Reasons Unknown - The Killers
Four videos deep and The Killers are still holding on to that Spaghetti Western persona. And with each passing single I am warming up to Sam’s Town more and more. Maybe within five years I may actually begin to like the album. (Scooter's Note: his is the first time I attempted AOL's snag feature so hopefully it works. Scooter's Update: Well that failed miserably, back to YouTube.)
Before He Cheats - Joe
This may be the most entertaining thing I have heard in a long time or at the very least since Kanye West remixed Throw Some D’s. You may or may not remember Joe as the guy who implored that he wasn’t a player and had a girl who stuttered. But this is by fair his best work. Gotta love how he flipped the line to, “She’s probably singing some ghetto version of Mariah Careyoke.” Seeing Joe take on Carrie Underwood harkens back to the day when R&B and country artist would mix where Ray Charles would release a country album and Kenny Rogers would show up on the R&B charts. Aw the good ol’ day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I Was a Starling, Nobody's Darling

Wld Hope - Mandy Moore

Whoever had Mandy Moore back in 1999 being the most successful of the blonde pop princesses in the office pool eight years later would have made a lot of money as she started out fourth in the pecking order. But out of her contemporaries, she seemed to make the most chances being the first to go brunette as well as the first to give acting a shot, and remains to be the only one to be successful at it. She even recorded two of the best songs among her peer with In My Pocket and Crush, though Genie in a Bottle still ranks as the gold standard.

After three albums chalk full of the overproduced teen pop fair, Mandy released an album of cover tunes that reflected more of her new love of folksier music which included one of my favorite songs of all time, John Hiatt’s Have a Little Faith in Me. Now four years later at the age of twenty-three, Mandy has written an album worth of songs very similar to those she hand picked for Coverage with some help from the indie-folk acts like The Weepies, Rachael Yamagata, Chantal Kreviazuk, and Lori McKenna on the just released Wild Hope.

The lyrics are everything you would expect from Mandy for her first go a round putting pen to paper with some introspective lyrics and laments to lost loves. The problem though is unlike other artists of the genre she is trying out where you tend to relate the songs to your own experiences, you cannot help but wonder which songs are about that that tennis player and which ones are about that dude who wrote Garden State. Although until I learn otherwise, I will assume the line, “I hope you burn in hell” (Nothing that You Are) is about that annoying dude from Yo Momma. Despite the vengeful lyric, Mandy never come across like Kelly Clarkson-like bitterness.

Instead throughout the album, Mandy takes a low key approach to her vocal, content instead of letting the well produced music performed by actual musicians, no synthesizers in sight, share the spotlight until she turns up the dial on the album closer Gardenia where she belts it out with only a piano to accompany her and lines like “I’m the one who likes to make love on the floor”. No word yet on if she likes taking walks in the rain. Elsewhere on the album, Most of Me, with its driving acoustic guitar, is one of those songs you should be required to play while driving on a country road on a clear summer night. Whether the girl Moore is talking about in the song is her or someone else, the way she presents the female in Can’t You Just Adore Her? The answer is a resounding yes.

Wild Hope certainly isn’t the best folk album you will here this year, nor any of the songs as catchy as her poppier past, but the album is a step in the right direction creatively for Ms. Moore. And this album shows that Mandy could have a great album in her if she put more time into it.

Song to Download - Most of Me

Wild Hope gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Hills Are Pretty and Rollin'

Icky Thump - The White Stripes

At the end of the nineties with the resurgence of teen pop had enough stranglehold on music of the day, even respectful rock acts made over polished music with the songs loosing their emotional edge in the process. Then as the new millennium started, along came The White Stripes like a breath of fresh air with their credo of only recording songs that they would be able to play live which for the most part limited the band two just two instruments, Meg White on drums and Jack White on either guitar or piano, per song. Fell in Love with a Girl even closed out Rolling Stones 40 Songs that Change the World which was listed in chronological order.

Now on their sixth album, Icky Thump, the duo again doesn’t stray to far from their mission statement as the cover is draped again in their trademark red, white, and blacks although the band does bring in some extra instruments this time around. Conquest, made famous by Patti Page, features mariachi type trumpets while Prickly Thorn, but Sweetly Worn, which bleeds into St. Andrews (This Battle Is in the Air), gets a Scottish feel to it thanks to some bagpipes. Despite the small departures, the album is exactly what you would expect from the group with influences of folk, blues, and seventies arena rock but still sounding fresh and new.

But the album isn’t a starter kit for recruiting new fans. Even though it comes close with the album opener, the title track that will get your toes tapping, and closer, Effect and Cause, with a nice sit in a circle and jam type a vibe to it, the disk doesn’t feature anything as easily accessible as Fell in Love with a Girl, Seven Nation Army, or My Doorbell. But I am sure true music fans do not care and will enjoy the album anyways.

Song to Download - Effect and Cause

Icky Thump gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XXIII

Big News of the Week: Apparently the Sopranos Finale Sucked: Now I am not really a The Sopranos expert because of my aversion to mobsters and premium cable channels and only have seen a couple episodes early in the show run. But it was hard to escape everyone’s unequivocal distain for how the show ended. Personally seeing how it ended I have to say it was brilliant. There was absolutely no way to please everyone, some people would have been unhappy if Tong got gunned down while other would have been unhappy had he ridden off into the sunset with his family, so why not just go ahead and piss off everyone. That’s an ending I can get behind (mostly because I didn’t invest eight years in the show).

Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School: Just when Pumpkin Brooke could have a less classy exit than the one from Flavor of Love, she sure came close with her drunken propositions, profanity laden, exit from Charm School. My jaw just dropped to floor at how horrible of a person she is. Her parents should be in jail for raising a child that turned into that. I can’t believe there is only one episode left. Hopefully they rush into production a second semester of Charm School and maybe do a chicks vs. dudes as the cast offs of Flavor of Love take on those from I Love New York. Or maybe a Hood Rat vs. Hair Metal (from the upcoming Rock of Love) season. You can download the whole season on iTunes.

Pirate Master: It is always a sad day whenever a reality show votes off the token hot chick which will make this show even less watchable next week. What’s worse is the captain change somehow made the show even more boring. I may be time to jump ship (really bad pun intended).

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: A little better than last week, but not much. It would have been a lot better had they just devoted one episode to the flashback of Matt and Danny getting fired instead of stringing it out over three episodes along with the two useless storylines of Jordan’s baby and Jeter’s brother. Check out the latest episode over at

Apple iTunes

Check out my First Impressions of Rescue Me.

Ever wondered what Scooter sounded like (yes I used the elusive third person nickname)? Well if you download the latest Duckyxdale / GiveMeMyRemote podcast you canhear what I sound like as I ask them one of the most important question of recent times. So be sure to check that out to here my question and their answer.

If you remember back during the episode of Veronica Mars, I Know What You’ll Do Next Summer, the show featured the non-profit organization Invisible Children. Well Rae, who is also featured in the podcast mentioned above created a couple t-shirts to sell with $5 of each shirt sold going to the worth wild charity. You can find the shirts, available in all different types, sizes and colors, over at I know what my sister will be getting for Christmas despite My Pretty Pony not making a trip through northeast Ohio (and for anyone who was wondering, I prefer long sleeved shirt). Below are examples of the two different designs:

My Pretty Pony Front My Pretty Pony Back

Lily Front Lily Back

Next Week’s Pick: Live from Abby Road, Thursday 10:00, Sundance Channel: If you are like me and have about 1000 channels of which about 990 of them you watch, you may want to dig out your TV channel guide to find out if you have the Sundance Channel and if so, what channel is it on because of the new music show live from the classic Beatles recording studio. The inaugural episode features performances from John Mayer, Norah Jones and Richard Ashcroft.