Saturday, August 18, 2007

I Just Wanna Ride, Just Ride, Sally, Ride

Wild Hogs

When an actor hits the wrong side of fifty, there are very few choices for him; he could continue trying to be an action hero while trying to hid his wrinkles (see Sylvester Stallone), move behind the camera (see Clint Eastwood) or out of the business all together (see The Governator). But the most popular option is for an actor to make light of his oldness in some sort of mid-life crisis flick. Sometimes it is executed successfully (see city slickers) and then there is Wild Hogs.

The premise is paint by numbers; four buddies are hitting middle age and things are not working out the way they thought it would. John Travolta (Welcome Back Kotter) is in the middle of a divorce from his sugar momma. Tim Allen (Home Improvement) is too obsessed with his job. Martin Lawrence (Martin), is married to his former arch nemesis from his sitcom who want him to give up his dream of making a How To book to get back to work. And then there is William H. Macy (Pleasantville) the token klutz of the group.

Once they all decide they need more adventure in their lives, they all decide to take their motorcycles all the way to the Pacific with no maps, GPS, or cell phones. But it is when the group ends up in a New Mexico biker bar does the movie goes into movie cliché overload. If you cannot write the ending of the movie when the antagonists show up, led by Ray Liotta (Field of Dreams) and Zeke from Lost, you must not have seen too many movies.

The film does manage a few laughs throughout, none of which include the numerous naked dudes (seriously how is this PG-13), but it is never a good sign when the best ones are reserved for the afterthought that runs during the credits. And don’t expect to care about the big surprise guest appearance at the end of the movie unless you yourself are over fifty. In fact if you are under fifty, just stay away from the movie and its inevitable sequels.

Wild Hogs gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Wild Hogs on iTunes

Friday, August 17, 2007

Feed Your iPod vol. 3: Passin' Me By

Whenever creating a list of songs to include in a Lyrics Quiz I try to run a fine line of songs or lyrics that aren’t so easy that the first person can answer all of them and song or lyrics that are so obscure no one would get them. Every once and a while I’ll throw in one of my eclectic favorites to see if anyone will get it. So I was happy to see that Doug was able to pick out Passin' Me By from the Pharcyde during the latest Lyrics Quiz (which still has a couple left, plus some hints I added). I was so happy to see he get it that I was willing to overlook he somehow was also able to get Iesha and Live and Learn, two songs that probably should be forgotten by history.

In a time when gansta rap ruled, the Pharcyde were the rare old school cats that came out of South Central. And among all the braggadocios, they managed a minor hit about not getting the girl, something I was familiar with at the time. I even pulled out the line, “the only lying I would do is in the bed with you” to no avail. I even got to see the troop live when they came to my campus (and really, you have never lived until you heard the like version of Gangsta’s Paradise) where I picked up one of my favorite tour shirts with a dog having its way with a fire hydrant.

Passing Me By is easily in my top five rap songs of all time with its love lorn lyrics over a mix of Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix tracks. Take a listen for yourself below (sorry for the poor quality of the song, you’d think the record company would put up a much higher quality version):

Passin' Me By - The Pharcyde The Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride II - Passin' Me By

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 Born in the U.S.A., Big Pimpin', or Your Body Is a Wonderland needed.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

You’re Part of My Entity

For most of the summer I have decried Umbrella by Rihanna as one of the worst songs ever in the history of recorded music. Back in May I said “Rihanna is good for at least one good song per album. But Umbrella definitely isn’t going to be that one for her upcoming release.” (see Don't Download These Videos vol. XVI) Then in June after calling the chorus annoying I added, “Seriously, how could no one, from the writer, producer, anyone at the label or Rihanna herself not hear that chorus and think, ‘yeah, that doesn’t work.’” (see Now That it's Raining More than Ever) But my hated for the song started to loosen up as I mentioned last week about the absurd rumor that the song is a euphemism for a lady’s kootchiepop.

Well it may be time to break out some crow because I am beginning to straight out like this song. Well not Rihanna’s overproduced version with her grating vocals, over exaggerated hip-hop beat and an unnecessary cameo from Jay-Z, but instead two cover versions that are currently floating around cyber space.

Yesterday I received a message from my good friend Mandy Moore suggesting I check out her version of the song that she did for Yahoo’s Cover Art. And since I’d certainly like to stand underneath her Umbrella (ella-ella-eh-eh-eh) I went to check it out. Ms. Moore takes everything wrong with the original and fixes them, so gone is Jay-Z, the hip-hop beat is replaced with a soothing acoustic sound that brings out the romantic lyrics to forefront (well assuming that the songs isn’t actually about, um, you know what), and softens the annoying ella-ella-eh-eh-eh part. Oh, and Mandy has a much better voice. Check it out for yourself below:

And Mandy isn’t the only one reworking Umbrella. Earlier this week in my normal Tuesday routine of checking out what’s new in the iTunes store I came across some chick named Marié Digby who has a new song that happened to be called Umbrella. I had to check out the 30 preview to see if it was in fact the same song, which it was. And after some research it turns out she is one of those annoying YouTubers who upload them singing other people song which I avoid because, much like I avoid American Karaoke, if these people were any good they wouldn’t need the internet, or reality show, to get a record deal. But even though Digby certainly won’t be winning any singing competitions anytime soon, her version, slightly faster than Mandy’s, is much better than the original. Check out her performance on Carson Daily (sorry you have to sit threw some Carson taking first) and you can download Marié Digby’s version of Umbrella here:

And in a completely unrelated note last week I got an e-mail about a new documentary by Leonardo DiCaprio called the 11th Hour about the impending climate crisis. So if you wanted to see An Inconvenient Truth but were like me and had absolutely no desire to see Al Gore talk about a bunch of slide for ninety minutes, this may be the film for you. The movie opens tomorrow in New York and Los Angeles, next week in selected cities and August 31 nationwide. Below is the trailer and you can check out the website at

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: Back to School

Over the next couple weeks some of you will be heading back to school, sending your kids off to school, or laughing at those that will ushered onto a school bus (all the while secretly wishing you were back in college where you actually had the time for eight hour Madden sessions all the while drunk on the cheapest beer you could find). So here are some lyrics that should get you back into the learning. And for those going off to school or sending the little ones, you will need to something to carry them in and Jansport, in conjunction with Facebook are giving away a backpack every day through September 19 with a grand prize of a trip for four to the Grande Canyon (see below for a press release).

Win a backpack from Jansport

As for the Lyrics Quiz, please post your guesses, title and artist, in the comment section (or e-mail me) and if you are correct I will unbold the lyric and give you credit. The Lyrics Quiz is for entertainment purposes only so please do not use anything besides your own meandering mind to help you up with the answers. Now onto the Lyrics Quiz:

15. There is a good chance that the members of this band got sand on their letterman jackets.
16. This person has made two albums, with a third on the way, with themes on higher learning.

1. Hook me up with new evolution because this one is a lie. (Learn to Fly - Foo Fighters; guessed by Dara)
2. Well I never lived the dream of the prom kings and the drama queens. I’d like to think the best of me is still hiding up my sleeve. (No Such Thing - John Mayer; guessed by Dara)
3. Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell.  (We're Going to Be Friends - The White Stripes;  guessed by Chris Fields)
4. Mama looked down and spit on the ground ever time her name gets mentioned. The cop said, “Oy, if I get that boy I’m gonna stick him in the house of detention. (Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard - Paul Simon; guessed by KK)
5. B boys and girls listen up: you can be anything in the world, in God we trust. An architect, doctor maybe an actress. But nothing comes easy, it takes much practice. (I Can - Nas; guessed by Doug)
6. No dark sarcasm in the classroom. (Another Brick in the Wall part 2 - Pink Floyd; guessed by Dara)
7. I was just guessing at numbers and figures, pulling your puzzles apart. (The Scientist - Coldplay; guessed by Dara)
8. Brenda and Eddie were the popular steadies and the kind and queen of the prom. (Scenes From an Italian Restaurant - Billy Joel; guessed by Dara)
9. At the playground, ya know, that’s where I saw this cutie. This girl was swingin’ and she looked so fly. On the monkey bars, we climbed up to the top and she touched my hand that's when I fell in love. (Iesha - Another Bad Creation; guessed by Doug)
10. Young teacher the subject of schoolgirl fantasy. (Don't Stand So Close to Me - The Police; guessed by Dara)
11. Some drop science well I’m dropping English. (Express Yourself - N.W.A.; guessed by Doug)
12. My Best friend took a weeks vacation to forget her. This girl took a week’s worth a Valium and slept. (The Freshmen - The Verve Pipe; guessed by Dara)
13. Egypt was troubled by the horrible asp. Mr. Charles Darwin had the gull to ask. (Man on the Moon - R.E.M.; guessed by R.E.M.)
14. When I went to school I carried lunch in a bag with an apple for my teacher ‘cause I knew I’d get a kiss. Always got mad when the class was dismissed. (Passing Me By - The Pharcyde; guessed by Doug)
15. I got a letterman’s sweater with a letter in front I got for football and track. I’m proud to wear it now. When I cruise around the other parts of the town I got my decal in back.16. The concept of school seems so secure. Sophomore three years ain’t picked a career.  (All Falls Down - Kanye West;  guessed by Chris Fields)
17. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are the branches of the learning tree. (ABC - The Jackson; guessed by KK)
18. I think of all the education that I missed but then again my homework was never quite like this. (Hot for Teacher - Van Halen; guessed by Dara)
19. Next day’s function, high class lunch-in. Food is served and you’re stone cold munchin’. (Bust a Move - Young MC; guessed by Dara)
20. The ends justify the means, that’s the system. I learned that in school then I dropped out. (New Jack Hustler - Ice-T; guessed by Doug)
21. It’s late September and I really should be back to school. (Maggie May - Rod Stewart; guessed by Dara)
22. You raise a little kid, he turns out bold. It may be from the way you treat him cold. I guess that's how the story’s told. (Live and Learn - Joe Public; guessed by Doug)
23. You didn’t know what rock ‘n’ roll was until you met my drummer on a grade school bus. (Once Bitten, Twice Shy - Great White; guessed by Dara)
24. Inevitably the first day of school came. I thought I could get over, I tried to play sick. But my mom said, “No, no way, uh-uh forget it.” (Parents Just Don't Understand - D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince; guessed by Dara)
25. I had a friend who was a big baseball player back in high school. He could throw that speed ball by ya, may you look like a fool boy. (Glory Days - Bruce Springsteen; guessed by Dara)

Enter to Win The Big Student Fall Break Sweepstakes

SAN LEANDRO , CALIF. (July 23, 2007) – Meet the Big Student: A pack designed to fit your style and all your stuff, with more colors, more patterns and more capacity. What more could your backpack ask for? The JanSport ® Big Student is available in 14 different colors and patterns as individual as you and wins technical points for its two large main compartments for versatile storage, front utility pocket with audio electronics organizer and a quick -find cell phone pocket.

JanSport is giving everyone a chance to win this pack and a much needed Fall Break trip with their Big Student Fall Break Sweepstakes . Grand prize is a trip for 4 to the Grand Canyon , including flight, lodging, entrance fees, ground transportation and meal costs. Runners up can bag a prize too with JanSport's Big Student Pack Giveaway —giving away one Big Student pack a day through September 19th.

Now, how to enter: JanSport has partnered with to launch their Big Student Pack. To find out more about this awesome pack and enter to win the Big Student Fall Break Sweepstakes, log onto, then click the Facebook logo and log in or sign up for Facebook and join the JanSport: Go Big group —it's that simple!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Listen to Me, You Pull Me Apart

Combinations - Eisley

When reviewing the full length debut Room Noises from the family band, four siblings and one neighbor on bass, Eisley, I closed out my review, “I expect big things from Eisley in the future.” (see You Humor Me Today) The album then went on to land at number four of the Best Albums of 2005. Since the release of the album, the band has been touring, getting married and completed the DuPree only lineup by replacing the neighbor with a cousin to play bass.

But those expectations of big this is what makes the follow up, Combinations a let down. Where Room Noises was a breath a fresh air with melodic songs as a backdrop of plush melodies of the two lead singers, Combinations is just a rehash of the first album with songs only as good as the middle of the road ones on the debut. Not one song here comes close to the emotional punch of Marvelous Things or Telescope Eyes. Not to mention it is hard to ask put down over ten dollars for an album that barely breaks the half an hour mark.

With that said, Combinations isn’t a bad album. It starts off with Many Funerals, a driving song where the all dudes rhythm section on drums and bass add to the darker theme that the band didn’t explore on previous albums. Taking Control is a bouncing ditty which could be an instant sing-a-long at concerts. While Come Clean concludes with a family chorus.

The group did look like they took a different approach to writing this time around. Where the first album was littered with mythical themes about Sea Kings and bats with butterfly wings, it looks like all the marriages and engagements in the band has taken them in a more personal subject matter this time around touching on death (More Funerals) and a lot about love (I Could Be There for You, the title track). For those that prefer the more out there lyrics, there is Invasion that has a very celestial feel to it.

Even though the band didn’t seem to live up to the potential of the first album, hopefully Combinations is just your patented sophomore slum and the big break out album will be coming shortly.

Song to Download - Taking Control

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

Monday, August 13, 2007

You Know What Time it Is

From the first inception of the Roast, there hasn’t been an easier target than Flavor Flav. If fact the only easier targets out there would be Paris Hilton and George Bush (who was mentioned three times last night, my favorite: “You treat birth control like George Bush treats the constitution - you pretend it doesn't exist”). So naturally the Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav was the funniest in recent year, not that it had much competition after the Pamela Anderson and William Shatner failed to deliver any laughs. I guess some of the credit goes to Flav himself who laughed at ever single joke like he was sitting through a Richard Prior concert film. He was even the only one laughing when Jimmy Kimmel made his Chris Benoit comment. Hopefully ABC took note of this and yanks his show, seriously, is this any worse than Bill Maher comments that got him canceled?

And really you know a Roast is going to be good when even Greg Gerardo can get a laugh. Um except for went he went after Ice-T. I don’t care if it is a Roast, you don’t make fun of Ice-T. If Greg is conspicuously absent from next year’s Roast, I think we all know what happened. Well not that anyone would notice he was missing. But even though everyone else killed, well except for Brigitte Neilson, Lisa Lampanelli who once again remained unfunny even with the easiest target. And seriously, someone needs to teach that girl how to cross her leg. And whenever someone made fun of her, she actually laughed harder than Flav.

Even though this was one of the better Roasts that most lately it was still bogged down a little by things that brought down previous Roasts. First and foremost is that each Roaster tries to out ranch the previous one. You really don’t need every other word bleeped to be considered funny. Also the Roasters again spend way too much time on each other than the actual Roastee. There may have been more jokes about Neilson than Flav this year just like in past years when Sulu, Bea Arthur and Andy Dick took more abuse than the person they were supposed to be Roasting.

If you missed the Roast or would just like to see it again, head over to to see uncensored clips included the unaired Lil’ Bush segment which was actually funnier than anything that was on his show. You can also download The Uncensored Roast of Flavor Flav in its entirety from iTunes.

And I would be remised if I didn’t bring up Chapter 13 of Trapped in the Closet. I have to admit after waiting a year and a half it was a bit of a letdown. Maybe it is just because it is a transition chapter before Sylvester and Twan get to wherever they are going, but I think we may have to brace ourselves just in case Trapped in the Closet takes a Lost season two type nosedive in terms a quality. But at least Kells did have one great line which my censors won’t allow me to repeat here but I will say it was the one when he brought up a fish.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Slacker Cats: Press Release

Slacker Cats

BuckleyIf you are like me, tomorrow you will be glued to the computer screen watching the latest installment of Trapped in the Closet on a loop all day. But for those that can pull themselves away from the Balled of Rufus and Chuck (or Bridget and the Midget, couldn’t R. Kelly at least give a hint of who the next chapter will focus on) Monday also sees the debut of the latest show from ABC Family, Slacker Cats which debuts at 10:00. But don’t expect to watch this show during breakfast as the show looks to be more Adult Swim than the Saturday morning one we remember from our youth. And really, I can’t imagine how elated Pat Robertson will be to finally have a original series lead into his 700 Club instead of the usual Mary-Kate and Ashley movie of the week.

Ingrid and LatoyaAs for the show itself, I’m not sure if I can get into a show that features cats with belly button rings. Now I try to stay as far away from cats as much as possible, but I am pretty sure cats do not have belly buttons. Plus the cast is pretty hit or miss, on one hand you have Emo Phillips (UHF) and on the other is Sinbad (A Different World) And adult cartoons are pretty hit (South Park) or miss (Lil' Bush) in general. I guess I’ll give it a try because I will be tearing myself away from Kells (hopefully) newest masterpiece to watch out the latest episode of Greek and I’ll give Slacker Cats a chance afterwards. You can check out the official Slacker Cats website here, download Slacker Cats on iTunes, and below is the press release for the show and a promo:

DooperABC Family makes its first foray into animation with “Slacker Cats,” an outrageous and decidedly grown up series about a group of cats and the humans from whom they free-load. Buckley and Eddie are two buddy felines who hilariously slack their way through various unimpressive adventures in the town of Wendell. All the cats can talk to the humans and vice versa, and no-one in this universe thinks that at all strange.

The half-hour primetime animated comedy series “Slacker Cats,” features the voices of stand-up comic Harland Williams, actress Kiersten Warren (“Desperate Housewives”), legendary cult stand-up comic Emo Philips, actress/comedian Nicole Sullivan (“MADtv”), actress/comedian Niecy Nash (“Reno 911!”), actress/comedian Alex Borstein (“MADtv,” “Family Guy”), actor/comedian Greg Pitts and renowned actor/comedian Sinbad.