Saturday, August 11, 2007

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XXXI

Big News of the Week: More Rumors: If there is one think I hate about the internet it is how rumor become facts almost instantly. There was another one that popped up this week that will go unmentioned because it doesn’t deserve any more ink (or virtual ink as you may). When on the internet I rarely stray from big name site like ESPN or MSNBC yet I saw this rumor just spread like wildfire everywhere else. Just to show you how bad it was, my mom actually mentioned it this week. The actress at the center of the rumor was even on the Late Late Show Thursday and the rumor wasn’t even mentioned wasn’t even mentioned in the part I saw (my tape cut off because an unannounced half hour Master special pushed back the show, stupid CBS). So to all that posted about this and like rumors, when the next one inevitably makes the rounds, just think of the Timex Social Club song before you spread it.

Greek: Wow, they actually gave Lonelygirl15 more than one line. He character is easily the most entertaining on the show so hopefully she continues to get more screen time, but they hooked her up with Rusty a little too soon. He did a little too quick of a U-turn from trying to get far away from her just minutes earlier. And hopefully his roommate makes more appearances at Kappa Tau because he trying to convert Spitter’s brothers could be great. Not so great continues to be Casey and Evan. Why should we root for a couple who cheated on each other when we first met them? Download the current season of Greek on iTunes.

Rescue Me: Well I was wrong that Lou would end up getting the baby, but it is doubtful that Janet will let Sheila keep the kid so he may get it eventually. But that was a really creepy start of the episode with the fire in Tommy’s head although the chief was conspicuously missing. I wonder if he will ever show up again after his vocal comments out the door. And does the fire mean that is the last we will see of his brother and cousin?

Rescue Me on iTunes

The Knights of Prosperity: Oh Rockefeller Butts, how have I missed you? The gang was still in fine form, but who knew Ray Romano was funny. Had I known this maybe I would have watched Everybody Loves Raymond. His “serious” acting was classic. Coming in a close second though was Gary sing Summergirls in his cab (see below) and you can still watch the whole season at

Pirate Master: I’m definitely ready for this to end. I am getting to the point of not caring who wins. Watch the current season of Pirate Master on Innertube.

Pick of the Week: Trapped in the Closet, All Week, IFC: It has been too long since the last installment of Trapped in the Closet leaving us pondering such questions as how does the cop know Chuck and Rufus? Who send the Midget that he didn’t want to give up even though the cop had a gun in his face? How does the narrator fit into all of this? Why was Twan in jail? Where did R. Kelly get the inspiration for the overweight southern white woman (which is the highest of all high comedy)? But for the next two weeks we get a new chapter debuting everyday over at I am a little worried that Kells will be going overboard as he already plays two characters, Sylvester and the Narrator, and from the preview it looks like he raided Eddie Murphy’s closet and will be playing even more characters this time around. But really as long as the next chapters are just half as good as the previous one’s I’ll be happy. Over at the website you can currently review the previous chapters and check out the character map (should I know who Roxanne is?). And once again here is the recap/preview Chapter 12.5 to hold you over until Monday:

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Best of Public Enemy

As I mentioned when I inducted Fear of a Black Planet (see My Home Is Your Home So Welcome to the Terrordome) into the Scooter Hall of Fame, it is a shame that anyone born after 1985 probably thinks of Flavor Flav as some reality television lifer instead of the greatest hypeman ever for the seminal rap group Public Enemy. That most likely won’t change anytime soon with the announcement that Flav is currently casting even more hood rats for the third season of Flavor of Love as well as being the guest of honor at the latest Comedy Central Roast (which hasn’t been all that entertaining in recent years) airing this Sunday at 10:00. So to show those youngsters just how great his group was and to remind those who where born before 1985, here is a list of the greatest Public Enemy songs ever that fit nicely on a Mix CD clocking in at 78:45. If you think I left something out feel free to tell me what you would have put on and what song it would replace.

1. Bring the Noise - Less Than Zero Soundtrack (1987)
2. Don’t Believe the Hype - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
3. Rebel Without a Pause - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
4. Night of the Living Baseheads - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
5. Fight the Power - Do the Right Thing Soundtrack (1989)
6. Welcome to the Terrordome - Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
7. Brothers Gonna Work it Out - Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
8. Burn Hollywood Burn (featuring Ice Cube and Big Daddy Kane) - Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
9. 911 Is a Joke - Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
10. Can’t Do Nuttin’ for Ya, Man! - Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
11. Can’t Truss It - Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)
12. Shut ‘em Down - Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)
13. By the Time I Get to Arazona - Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)
14. Bring tha Noise (featuring Anthrax) - Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)
15. Give it Up - Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age (1994)
16. He Got Game (featuring Stephen Stills) - He Got Game Soundtrack (1998)
17. Son of a Bush - Revolverlution (2002)
18. MKLVFKWR - Bring That Beat Back (featuring Moby) - Unity: the Official Athens 2004 Olympics Games Album (2004)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I Want My Music Television vol. I

As I mentioned in the last Don’t Download These Videos, I have retired the name to avoid any confusion on the quality of the videos featured. I had actually planned on calling this feature I Want My Music Television until the “Weird Al” Yankovic inspired me to go with something different. And I promise that I Want My Music Television will be a Chocolate Rain free zone. I won’t even feature the John Mayer Remix. Even though there is a name change I advise you to watch the videos 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.

D.A.N.C.E. - Justice

When the nominations for this years VMA’s were released there were very few surprises because MTV in recent years has traded nominations in exchange for the big names to perform, present, or at the very least walk the red carpet. Really the only big shock this year was this video from Justice which after watching it definitely deserved it. Granted I doubt the song will be getting an award anytime soon.

Young Folks - Peter Bjorn and John

The only other surprise this year, to a less extent was this wacky song and video by Swedes Peter Bjorn and John for Best New Artist. When I first heard the song I though we had this year’s Crazy, but alas the song has yet to catch on despite anyone who has heard it has inevitably found themselves whistling the song including Kanye West who sampled the song on a recent mix tape. Mmm, sounds like a great surpise guest performance at this year’s festivities.

Hold On - KT Tunstall

In the two and a half years I have been reviewing albums, there have only been four that have gotten the prestigious Extreme on my Terror Alert Scale. KT Tunstall scored one of them with Eye to the Telescope (see Her Face Is the Map of the World). So she has a lot to live up to with her new disk Dramatic Fantastic coming out in September. Unfortunately the first single really isn’t as good as anything on her first album. Maybe the song will grow on me and there are better songs coming. As for the video, I guess I was too harsh on her choice of wardrobe for Live Earth because it was much better than her futuristic getup here.

During my discussion on the Monster Single of the Year for this year’s VMA’s I mentioned that Rockstar by Nickelback should have been nominated and mentioned I would talk about it later. This was because I was saving my thoughts for this post so I feature the video. Except between then and now Roadrunner Records has taken down all the videos down. Just another case of Record People being Shady. Of course the big irony is Roadrunner Records being all uppity on copyright infringement considering that they stole their name from a cartoon. Hopefully Loony Tunes takes that irony even further by suing the record company. But anyways. If you want to catch out the video you can view it at iFilm (unfortunately they won’t let you embed it) and here are my original thoughts on the video:

Let’s get this out of the way first: Nickelback sucks massively. They are everything that is wrong with rock music today. They pander to bored housewives who at one time tried to get a hand on a member of Poison and now resign to driving their hoodlums to their soccer games but listen to Nickelback now because they are safe enough to listen around those hoodlums or at PTA meetings. With that said, despite being played every time I have turned on the radio for the past two months, I still chuckle every time I hear Rockstar. And the video makes me like the song even more. I don’t know why but whenever band get other people to lip sync their songs it is always entertaining, especially when they thrown in a token old chick, yet the dude from ZZ Top reprises some of his lines. Then the video even throws in random cameos from Wayne Gretzky, Paul Wall, Chuck Liddell, Kid Rock, Nelly Furtado, Grant Hill, Ted Nugent, and even Faith the Vampire Slayer makes an appearance (Eliza, where have you been, we miss you). But the best cameos are the semi-ironic ones with Gene Simmons, who embodies the sarcastic tone of the song as well as Hef’s girlfriends as the song doesn’t put the Playboy bunnies in such a good light.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Big Head Barry and the Monsters: 756

Barry's AsteriskIt is hard to write something on a day like today so I will just man up and congratulate Big Head Barry on his asterisk. One of my heroes, Michael Wilbon was actually able to write something on the subject, so head over to his column to read that: Tarnished Records Deserve an Asterisk. Now if you excuse me, I have to go pray Alex Rodriguez hits 257 home runs tonight.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

We on Award Tour: 2007 MTV Video Music Awards Nominations

The MTV Music Video Awards: once was the cream of the crop of all awards show now it is barely the most entertaining award show on its own network. Yeah this could be because of poor choices of hosts. No host announced for this year (yet?) but Timbaland has been named the music maestro whatever that means. There were some huge shake ups in the categories this year with a significantly less number of them than before including the category that were voted on by the fans, Viewers Choice and the MTV2 Award. Also gone are all the genre categories, so no rap, hip-hop, r&b, rock and pop. Although this year you can vote for the Best New Artist here. Also it looks like this year most of the categories are more about a portfolio of work rather than a specific video by an artist, a change I hate because it puts more focus on the artist instead of the video. But anyways.

The show airs September 9th and as part as being the music maestro Timbaland got to picvck the performers that will include himself (naturally), Chris Brown, Fall Out Boy, Foo Fighters, Rihanna, Kanye West, and Amy Winehouse. Lily Allen is also scheduled to perform but considering her work visa got yanked she may have to do so via satellite. Also Mark Ronson with be the house DJ this year. Now here are this year’s nominees:

Video of the Year
Amy Winehouse - Rehab
Beyoncé - Irreplaceable
Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around ...
Kanye West - Stronger
Rihanna (featuring Jay-Z) - Umbrella

Who Will Win: What Goes Around…
Who Should Win: Stronger
Should Have Been Nominated: Signal Fire - Snow Patrol

Timberlake and Beyoncé so conventional wisdom says one of them will take home the biggest prize, not that either deserve it. Yeah What Goes Around… was entertaining in a they were actually taking it seriously kind of way but it doesn’t even rank in the top ten of the past year. But to look on the bright side, if either win Kanye just may storm the stage.

Male Artist of the Year
Akon - Don't Matter, I Wanna Love You (featuring Snoop Dogg), Smack That (featuring Eminem)
Kanye West - Can't Tell Me Nothing, Stronger, Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been - DJ Premier remix, featuring Nas, KRS-One and Rakim)
Justin Timberlake - Let Me Talk To You/ My Love, SexyBack (featuring Timbaland), What Goes Around ...
T.I. - Big Things Poppin' (Do It), You Know What It Is (featuring Wyclef Jean), What You Know
Robin Thicke - Can U Believe, Lost Without U, Wanna Love You Girl (remix, featuring Busta Rhymes and Pharrell)

Who Will Win: Kanye West
Who Should Win: Kanye West
Should Have Been Nominated: Common

Here is my big complaint on the multiple videos thing; if Akon were to win do Snoop Dogg and Eminem get an award too or even allowed on stage? They may just give this to Kanye to appease him from getting too upset.

Female Artist of the Year
Amy Winehouse - Rehab, You Know I'm No Good
Beyoncé - Irreplaceable, Beautiful Liar (featuring Shakira)
Fergie - Big Girls Don't Cry (Personal), Glamorous (featuring Ludacris), Fergalicious (featuring Will.I.Am)
Nelly Furtado - Maneater, Say It Right
Rihanna - Umbrella (featuring Jay-Z)

Who Will Win: Beyoncé
Who Should Win: Beyoncé
Should Have Been Nominated: Lily Allen

It is a shame that Lily Allen isn’t included here because her trio of videos are more entertaining than any other anything else on this list, most of which are downright boring. Of course MTV would rather nominate the bigger stars in exchange for them to show up at the awards to perform or present. And did MTV run a test to make sure Fergie belongs in this here?

Best New Artist
Amy Winehouse - Rehab, You Know I'm No Good
Carrie Underwood - Before He Cheats
Gym Class Heroes - Clothes Off, Cupid's Chokehold/ Breakfast in America
Lily Allen - Alfie, Smile, LDN
Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks

Who Will Win: Gym Class Heroes
Who Should Win: Lily Allen
Should Have Been Nominated: Cold War Kids

It is odd that Underwood only has one video listed because she has released five videos off here album. Of course that is almost as odd as here getting a nomination at all because 1) her album was released a year and a half ago, 2) she doesn’t appeal to MTV’s core demographic. I wonder if she has ever been played on the channel. Again, you can vote for the Best New Artst. I am not going to say who you should vote for, but be sure you vote for Lily Allen

Best Group
Fall Out Boy - This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race, Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
Gym Class Heroes - Clothes Off, Cupid's Chokehold/ Breakfast in America
Linkin Park - What I've Done
Maroon 5 - Makes Me Wonder
White Stripes - Icky Thump

Who Will Win: Gym Class Hero
Who Should Win: Linkin Park
Should Have Been Nominated: Arctic Monkeys

This will most likely come down to Fall Out Boy and Gym Class Heroes but I think it will go to the latter signifying the end of the Fall Out Boy era. Hooray. As for quality it comes down to Linkin Park and the White Stripes, with LP having a slight edge.

Most Earthshattering Collaboration
Akon (featuring Eminem) - Smack That
Beyoncé and Shakira - Beautiful Liar
Justin Timberlake (featuring Timbaland) - SexyBack
Gwen Stefani (featuring Akon) - The Sweet Escape
U2 (featuring Green Day) - The Saints Are Coming

Who Will Win: Beyoncé and Shakira
Who Should Win: U2 (featuring Green Day)
Should Have Been Nominated: Mark Ronson (featuring Lily Allen) - Oh My God

In an attempt to remain cool we get lame category names like Eathshattering. Yawn. You are showing your age MTV. And don’t ask me why all the videos are “featuring” someone except the Beyoncé and Shakira one.

Quadruple Threat of the Year
Justin Timberlake
Kanye West

Who Will Win: Justin Timberlake
Who Should Win: Bono
Should Have Been Nominated: Scooter McGavin

What does this even mean and why should we care?

Monster Single of the Year
Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend
Daughtry - Home
Fall Out Boy - Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
Lil Mama - Lip Gloss (No Music)
T-Pain (featuring Yung Joc) - Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin')
Timbaland (featuring Keri Hilson, D.O.E. and Sebastian) - The Way I Are
MIMS - This Is Why I'm Hot
Plain White T's - Hey There, Delilah
Rihanna (featuring Jay-Z) - Umbrella
Shop Boyz - Party Like A Rock Star

Who Will Win: Umbrella
Who Should Win: Hey There, Delilah
Should Have Been Nominated: Rockstar (Nickelback)

Just to show how out of touch I am with the current MTV generation (keep in mind I was part of the original generation), six of the ten nominations have a very good chance of showing up on my Worst Songs of 2007 list. And the other four won’t be charting very high on my 100 Best Songs of 2007 list either if at all. And can the Fall Out Boy single really be considered a “Monster” single? And why are the Video Awards honoring single? Well I guess it is better than the ring tone catagory last year. I could easily rattle off at least ten song that were bigger hits this past year. As for Nickelback, I am going to talk more about this song tomorrow (or by Friday at the latest).

I am not really one to comment on the technical awards but here are those:

Best Director
Beyoncé and Shakira - Beautiful Liar (director - Jake Nava)
Christina Aguilera - Candyman (directors - Matthew Rolston and Christina Aguilera)
Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around ... (director - Samuel Bayer)
Kanye West - Stronger (director - Hype Williams)
Linkin Park - What I've Done (director - Joseph Hahn)
Rihanna (featuring Jay-Z) - Umbrella (director - Chris Applebaum)

Best Editing in a Video
Beyoncé and Shakira - Beautiful Liar (editor - Jarett Figl)
Gnarls Barkley - Smiley Faces (editor - Ken Mowe)
Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around ... (editor - Hollee Singer)
Kanye West - Stronger (editors - Peter Johnson and Corey Weisz)
Linkin Park - What I've Done (editor - Igor Kovalik)

Best Choreography in a Video
Beyoncé and Shakira - Beautiful Liar (choreographer - Frank Gatson)
Chris Brown - Wall To Wall (choreographers - Rich & Tone and Flii Styles)
Ciara - Like A Boy (choreographer - Jamaica Craft)
Eve - Tambourine (choreographer - Tahesha Scott)
Justin Timberlake - My Love (choreographer - Marty Kudelka)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Feed Your iPod vol. 2: Bad Reputation

Back in the mid-nineties, when alternative and grunge were dying out and gangsta rap was starting to get stale (how that sub-genre is still popular is disturbing) VH1 one came out with a new video show called Crossroads that featured up and coming rock artists as well as some well season vets all of which had a more classic, organic sound to it. Some artists featured on the show when onto bigger and better things (see the Dave Matthews Band) while some whet back into obscurity after being featured on the show (anyone remember Deep Blue Something?). If you can find it, I recommend the accompanying CD that came out with the show.

One song that has stuck with me from this era was Bad Reputation by Freedy Johnson. The song is a brisk acoustic number with a melody that will have you singing along after the first listen. The song did slip out of my conscious for a little while, it was even erroneously emitted from my five disk, Ninety Best Songs of the Nineties mix tape that I made at the turn of the century. But a couple years ago I actual heard the song at the grocery store of all places (I guess they were getting tired of playing Matchbox Twenty and The Temptations constantly) and rushed home to see that that the song was in fact actually on my iPod already.

The lyrics are great and on occasion I have been know to tell people that “I now I have a bad reputation and it isn’t just talk, talk, talk.” And once I even quoted the whole song to a girl who insinuated she liked bad boys. I think it worked for the first verse, but as I went on I think I moved out of sensitive bad boy territory into eccentric. And I am not the only one who loves the song as Death Cab for Cutie and John Mayer have both put their stamp on the song in concert. So give it a listen below and if you like it, go ahead and download it and come one song closer to filling up your iPod.:

Bad Reputation - Freedy Johnson Freedy Johnston - This Perfect World - Bad Reputation

Got a song you think everyone should feed their iPods? Send me an e-mail (see sidebar) along with a short paragraph why people should download it and/or what it means to you and maybe I will feature it in a future post. This segment is meant to highlight songs that may have slipped thought the cracks when released or maybe album tracks that you think should have been released as a single. So no Stairway to Heaven, Nuthin But a G Thang, or Umbrella needed.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I'm the Voice to Offend

Underclass Hero - Sum 41

There are some bands that would be better off as one hit wonders. Most notable the Bloodhound Gang fits this category. Fire, Water, Burn would have fit pretty well into the moniker one hit wonder with its suburb rap and hilarious way they bleeped out the naughty words. Then years later the group just had to have another hit with The Bad Touch forever diminishing Fire, Water, Burn by knocking it out of the realm of one hit wonderdom because, really, who cares about two hit wonders? But keep in mind sometime history distorts hits as Vanilla Ice is routinely considered a one hit wonder even though Play that Funky Music was almost as big as Ice Ice Baby at that time.

Along those lines of bands that would be better off as a one hit wonder is Sum 41. Fatlip was catchy as the first rap-rock hybrid sifted through the pseudo-punk filter. But when the band should have been resting on their laurels, they instead kept at it churning out fifth rate Green Day knock-offs. That continues on their fifth studio album Underclass Hero (not to be confused with the John Lennon song Working Class Hero recently covered by Green Day).

Taking the Green Day route even further, they are now a trio (did anyone else notice they were down a member) going for a more political writing style. This is no more present than on March of the Dogs which starts off by announcing the president of the Unites States is dead. Yawn. Do we really need political commentary by a bunch of Canadians one of which who has Paris Hilton as one of the notches on his bedpost? Well we need it about as much as a love song about that same dude (see Avril Lavigne’s When You’re Gone) or a power balled about Avril Lavine (see Sum 41’s With Me).

The only interesting songs here is when the band gets away from Green Day lineage and sounding like ninety percent of the bands that have ever showed up at the Warped Tour like on the short, as in under a minute, French Ma Poubelle. Or on So Long, Goodbye where the band sounds like it is trying to recreate Wonderwall to a slower beat. Granted it ends up like sounding like a mash-up between the Oasis classic and Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).

Song to Download - So Long, Goodbye

Underclass Hero gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Sum 41 on iTunes