Saturday, September 01, 2007

Just Them Good Ol' Boys

The Dukes of Hazzard

As September starts, we will be inundated with new televisions shows none of which will doubtfully be as great as the benchmark of great television, The Dukes of Hazzard, the latest induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame. In my youth when bed time was promptly 8:00 but was allowed to stay up for one show a week and this was the show that was always chosen. The show definitely stood the test of time because years later, thanks to TNN (now the unwatchable Spike channel) would rerun the show in the afternoon and would routinely become a staple around the dorm in college. And The Dukes of Hazzard Playstation game got its share of playtime during that time. I actually had a roommate who would start up the game to hear the theme song.

As the song goes, the show stared two good ol’ boys, Tom Wopat and John Schneider. Schneider of course would go on to play Clack Kent’s dad while Wopat would go on to, well, guest on Smallville. The cousins in one large family tree also had a female cousin and an Uncle Jesse who fathered none of them. Now I was way too young to understand the greatness of Daisy Duke during the first run of the show but definitely appreciated her in the nineties when the daisy dukes came back in style.

Yeah the Dukes were an entertaining crew but the most entertaining characters were the bad guys led by Boss Hogg, who pretty much owned all of Hazzard County and was always trying to get the Duke boys arrested for something. And that is where Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane came in with his trusty basset hound Flash (full disclosure: I had a stuffed animal Flash that I think is packed away in a box awaiting for me to knock up some chick to give to that offspring). And down the power chain, the dumber the police were as Deputies Enus and Cletus were even more inept than Roscoe.

Filling out the cast were Cooter (greatest nickname ever), the Dukes mechanic and Waylon Jennings who served as the narrator and sang the theme song. But the real star of the show was the General Lee, a 1969 Dodge Charger. It is a good thing I was way too young when the show was on to drive otherwise I would have had tried jumping rivers and other things that were featured on the show. But I did go threw a phase where I refused to use a car door, instead entering and exiting solely threw the window.

Now I could do a whole post on how the Theme to Dukes of Hazzard is the greatest theme song ever (seriously, I won’t hear an argument for anything else), instead I will lent you see for yourself below coutesy of YouTube:

Just for the record, just like many building do not have thirteenth floors, there was never a fifth season of The Dukes of Hazzard. Along those same lines there was never a feature film version featuring a blonde Daisy Duke.

Download the first two season of The Dukes of Hazzard on iTunes.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Feed Your iPod vol. V: Paper Bag

Recently I scanned my iPod for potentials songs for this running segment and ended up with a playlist of over fifty potential songs for future Feed Your iPods (that is not to say I don’t want to hear from you, if you have a suggestion that fits the bill, write up a short paragraph and shoot me an e-mail and maybe I’ll feature it later). But there is something to say that amongst all these great songs, there is one that went into instant repeat mode.

I can’t say I was ever much of a big Fiona Apple fan in the beginning, there were a few good songs, one great song, one great speech (ah, remember when the VMA’s were interesting) but nothing really kept my interest. Like most people I ignored her second album mostly because I didn’t finish reading the album title until sometime last year. That was a shame because I missed a great song Paper Bag.

I have Zach Braff for introducing me to the song as it was included in the soundtrack to the otherwise forgettable The Last Kiss. I guess I shouldn’t have expected more from the hack who wrote Crash. But enough about pretentious movies. The song is full of quoteworthy lines thanks to Fiona not being afraid to let everyone know of her eccentricities (full discloser: I like my woman a little off kiltered), there is just something about the way she says, “I went crazy again.”

But the best lines are saved for the chorus: “Hunger hurts and I want him so much I would kill. But I know I’m a mess he don’t wanna clean up.” And you get the sense that Fiona knows of all these eccentricities when she sings, “He said ‘It’s all in your head’ and I said ‘so is everything’ but he didn’t get it.” There is also something to say about the pitch point production that hits every right note thanks to Jon Brion who has gone on to help out with Kanye West’s two most recent albums.

When looking to see if there was a video on YouTube so I could highlight the song I was surprised to see there was a proper music video produced for Paper Bag. It is disturbing that a song of this quality couldn’t get any airplay especially considering the song was released in 1999, the worst year in recorded music ever. Seriously, look it up, worst ever. The video makes the great song even better with the pseudo-musical feel to it, reminiscent of the McG videos from the mid-nineties (before he went off to make crappy movies and television shows) without the exaggerated color.

Paper Bag - Fiona Apple Fiona Apple - When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He thinks Like a King... - Paper Bag

Thursday, August 30, 2007

2007 Fall Music Preview part 2

Yesterday I covered part one of my 2007 Fall Music Preview, and before I get to part two I have to remind you that somewhere in part one you can find a free iTunes download from not one, but two musical legends. And I want to look back at the summer before going into the fall real quickly. I have made it known my displease of Umbrella by Rihanna until I heard the Mandy Moore version (see You’re Part of My Entity) and I didn’t think I could like the song anymore until I heard the DJ Top Cat mash-up with UB40’s Red, Red Wine which you can download over at Mashup Town. Now we at the 9th Green in know way condone illegally download music so if you like either song be sure to use the links below to buy the songs from iTunes.

Rihanna - Umbrella

UB40 - Red, Red Wine

October 16

Chase This Light - Jimmy Eat World: Despite that last album being wrongfully overlooked, Pain is one of the great full out rock songs of this decade. Hopefully this album is as great as their previous ones and gets some success they received for The Middle back in 2001. Preorder Chase This Light on iTunes. If you preorder the album you will get a Ticketmaster code that will allow you to purchase Jimmy Eat World concer tickets before the general audience.

Chrome Dreams II - Neil Young: Some of you might be thinking to yourself, when was Chrome Dreams I released? Well, despite being recorded a couple decades ago, it was never released, but releasing a follow up to an unreleased album still isn’t in the top five strangest things Neil Young has ever done.

Ultimate Victory - Chamillionaire: Okay to be honest, the only reason I am spotlighting thing album is just in case there are any songs worthy of another great “Weird Al” Yankovic parody. And the album features hip-hop legend Slick Rick.

October 23

Carnival Ride - Carrie Underwood: Underwood easily put out the best post karaoke album ever with Some Hearts and unlike other former karaokers, she is smart not to change the formula too much like demanding that she write all her own songs so you can expect some more country pop.

Black Fingernails, Red Wine - Eskimo Joe: I know absolutely nothing about this band or album except their name for some reason gave me a few laughs when they played the Australia venue of Live Earth. Granted I shouldn’t laugh too hard in case they become the next INXS, but then again they could become the next Men at Work.

October 30

The Cool - Lupe Fiasco: In the lead up to his debut, Lupe had been labeled the savior of rap, and himself even said in one of his songs, come in Hip-Hop, we’ve come to resurrect you” yet never quite completely lived to the hype. Hopefully he builds on the last album and finally lives up to the hype on this one.

Long Road out of Eden - Eagles: Someone said this is their first studio in almost three decade, but didn’t they put one out not too long ago with the Hole in the World song on it? When Hell Freezes Over came out I was completely on The Eagles bandwagon, but I can’t say I really care that much anymore.

November 6

I Am Me - Alicia Keys: After Graduation, this is my most anticipated upcoming album. Yeah her first two album were just good, but there is definitely a great to classic album in Alicia Keys and this may be it and my sources tell me that John Mayer may make an appearance. I have been playing the song she debuted at Live Earth constantly since.

Saturday Nights, Sunday Mornings - Counting Crows: The Counting Crows are in the discussion of the best first two albums ever. But you can also argue that they had one of the steepest drop-off in music history. Adam Duritz stated that he has rededicated himself to his craft so maybe this will be a comeback of sorts. The album also may be a double album divided into songs about Saturday Nights and the other surprisingly being about Sunday Mornings

You can also look for a re-release of the inaugural induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame, August and Everything After on September 18. It features six bonus tracks and a bonus live disk recorded on the last date of the tour to support that album.

The Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant - Wyclef Jean: It has been ten years since Clef released the first Carnival. Coincidentally, it has also been a decade since he had a hit (granted Two Wrongs should have been one) aside from when he rode Shakira’s coattails. The album will feature your usual cavalcade of token rap guest spots including Akon, Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Wayne, T.I. and, um, Paul Simon?

November 13

8 Diagrams - Wu-Tang Clan: A wise man once told me that Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nuntin’ to (expletive delegated) wit. Expect an ODB tribute song (who will appear courtesy of previously record material), guest spots from Q-Tip, some dude from System of a Down and John Frusciante who appears on a song based around George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Frank - Amy Winehouse: Many of you man not realized that Back to Black was not Winhouse’s first album, instead Frank was her debut, but hasn’t been released stateside until now. Although this album does predate her work with producer Mark Ronson who helped develop the cool retro vibe of some of the best songs on her current album.

November 20

Untitled - Mariah Carey: Some would call The Emancipation of Mimi her comeback album; personally I don’t think anything post-Honey is worth listening to. One of the main reasons she has become unlistenable, Jermaine Dupri, will be back to produce some tracks.

No dates have been confirmed yet, but you may also expect albums from The Roots (Rising Down), Gnarls Barkley, Q-Tip (The Resistance), Mary J. Blige, and Duran Duran (The Red Carpet Massacre). There are also some live albums coming from R.E.M. (their first ever), Daft Punk, and Brian Setzer Orchestra. And being the holiday season, of course there are the prerequisite greatest hits albums from Nas, Santana, The Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox Twenty, Faith Hill, Spice Girls (seriously?), and Eric Clapton which, despite being called The Complete Clapton, does not include Layla or anything pre-1980.

And for those out there who like horrible music, you can look forward to albums from Ashlee Simpson, Ja Rule, Nelly, JC Chasez, Backstreet Boys, current karaoke queen Jordin Sparks, karaoke loser Jennifer Hudson, The Pussycat Dolls (solo and together), and, oh please God no, Britney Spears.

Rumors abound that there will be albums from Michael Jackson and Eminem (yawn) and a music preview wouldn’t be complete with the obligatory, maybe this is the year Chinese Democracy comes out.

Like I said in part 1, if I left off your favorite upcoming album or just want to say what you are most looking forward to the fall, drop me a comment.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

2007 Fall Music Preview part 1

To get you to read this whole post, somewhere I tell how to get a free song from a major artist with an album coming out.

September starts up this weekend which means record companies are stacking their release schedule in hopes for your Christmas dollars. Well the first Tuesday is pretty bleak with nothing but a reissue of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn headlining the week, but after that it is nothing but big names until Thanksgiving. Much like every Fall Music Preview past I have to give my obligatory the three quarters of the year sucked massively with only a few bright spots, most notably from English chicks with problems (i.e. Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse). But the few bright spots were overshadowed by some monumental disappointment (i.e. Kelly Clarkson, Fall Out Boy, Maroon 5, Smashing Pumpkins, Trapped in the Closet, rap music in general).

Here is a look at some artists who hope to turn the record company’s success around, many of which will have their albums reviewed here. If you are interrested in preordering the albums from Amazon, the link on the album name will take you their, the links on artists names will take you to their iTunes page. If I left one of your favorite artists off the list with an upcoming album feel free to drop me a comment or feel free to wax poetic in the comment section on which albums you are looking forward to. (Note: release dates subject to change)

September 11

Graduation - Kanye West: As mentioned earlier, rap music in general hasn’t been very good this year, but if there is someone who can change that it will be the guy who released the two best rap albums this decade. Although I am a little worried about the T-Pain and Lil’ Wayne cameos. See the side bar to preorder Graduation on iTunes.

Curtis - 50 Cent: Nothing says I completely sold out more that a Justin Timberlake appearance. 50 said he would retire if Kanye out sold him which should be enough reason to pick up Graduation this week. Preorder Curtis on iTunes.

September 18

Drastic Fantastic - KT Tunstall: Tunstall is one o four artists that can boast they receive a Severe rating on my Terror Alert so my expectations are high for her sophomore outing. Granted after hearing the first single my expectations dropped just a little. Preorder Drastic Fantastic on iTunes.

Last of Seven - Pat Monahan: The dude from Train with a solo album? Well the dude from Matchbox Twenty had a few hit so I guess why not.

Playlist - Babyface: Remember when Babyface was the biggest R&B songwriter. I won’t a correlation that the genre has pretty much sucked since he went out of demand. Now ‘Face is trying out other’s material with a cover album including the James Taylor classic Fire and Rain.

September 25

Echo, Silence, Patience and Grace - Foo Fighters: I can’t say I have bought a Foo Fighters album since the first one, but that is not to say they don’t have plenty of songs I love. And the first single, The Pretender definitely rocks hard. Preorder Echo, Silence, Patience and Grace on iTunes.

Songs About Girls - I was a big Black Eyed Peas guy back in the day. Then the Fergie era was ushered in and they have sucked ever since. So this should be interesting to see if Fergie is like good music kryptonite and take her out of the equation and Will be entertaining again or has she tainted him forever.

October 2

Magic - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Remember at the top of the post you could get a free song from a major artist, well that is from none other than Bruce and company. Click on Radio Nowhere and download the first single off the album for free on iTunes. Yeah this is cool but it is a safe assumption I am going to buy the whole album anyway, but will be able to jam to the song for a month before the album comes out but you can always pre-order the album while you are picking up the single now. Get song now because it stops being free at the end of this week

As an added bonus, you can also get the new Paul McCartney single, Nod Your Head as well as the video (which is prett cheesy) for the song for free too.

Revival - John Fogerty: October 2nd is like September 11th for old white dudes with the Boss taking on the Creedence Clearwater Revival front man. Well accept it is obvious who will take the top spot this week.

Live Earth: Interesting that the track listing hasn’t been released yet so I bet there are some licensing issues which may leave some great performances off the disk (are the Rolling Stones trying to get too much money for the Gimme Shelter performance?). The only confirmed song is John Mayer’s Waiting on the World to Change. Preorder Live Earth on iTunes.

October 9

Rock and Roll Jesus - Kid Rock: My sources tell me this album, his first in four years, six since anyone cared, will be more rock than rap. The first single, So Hot is pretty forgettable. Maybe he should hook back up with Sheryl Crow and target the soccer mom again.

Heroes and Thieves - Vanessa Carlton: I’m a little torn on her comeback. On one hand I love her first album (indifferent to the second) but they she went and signed with The Inc (formerly Murder Inc) and Irv Gotti is helping produce the album.

The Black and White Album - The Hives: The group may have recorded one of the best one hit wonders of the decade but it looks like this is their attempt to wipe that title from their résumé.

Click the link to see part 2 of my 2007 Fall Music Preview. And again if I missed anything let me know or just comment on what you are looking forward to.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dance with Me to the Colors of the Dusk

Lifeline - Ben Harper

When we last saw Ben Harper, he dropped a pretty decent double album last album, half filled with funky grooves and the other with mellow tunes, which may have been better off as one single disk. The whole album barely went over an hour so conceivably it could have. Now Harper is back with his Innocent Criminals for a new album, Lifeline, recorded right after coming off his last tour straight to analog tape in a studio in Paris.

My guess it would be hard to be putting out album for fifteen years and only have one hit, yet it never seems to faze Harper who has never tried to recreate the funky Steal My Kisses or its limited success. The latest songs here on Lifeline sound like a mish mash of the two disks of Both Sides of the Gun into a singular not so rock, not so mellow disk. Most of the songs sound like a striped down version of seventies soul classic, very little flashes of horns, instead mostly acoustic guitars and pianos fill out the music.

On Needed You Tonight, Harper goes back and forth effortless from contained shouting to smooth vocals as if he were channeling Otis Redding. But the closest Harper comes to recreating that classic soul sound is on Heart of the Matters (not to be confused with the Don Henley song), a classic slow building song that culminates with the arrival of some backing singers to get across the great chorus and bridge at the end of the song.

Recording right off the road may have contributed to keeping the juices flowing in the Innocent Criminals because they haven’t sounded better; they even come close to reaching the climax of the great Stax house band Booker T and the MG’s. The groove created by the piano, electric and acoustic guitars for Put it on Me should have your toes tapping until the next time Ben and the boys go back into the studio.

Song to Download - Heart of Matters - Lifeline

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

Monday, August 27, 2007

Drivin' Herself Crazy Like the Astronaut Lady

A very rare two post day (so if you have not already be sure to scroll down to see my exclusive clip of Reaper)...

...but if there were a reason to have a special post it would be because of a video that includes Lily Allen (in an astronaut suit!), production from Kanye West, Jeremy Piven (of PCU fame), a rare Dame Dash sighting, an OK Go shout out, dissing dudes who appear half naked on their MySpace page, a reference to the greatest show on television Pardon the Interruption (heads on sticks!) and the hottest token hot chick in a hip-hop video ever. Oh, and I think Common is in there somewhere. And how cute is Lily in the scene with the cut out heads (hear that music folk, it's time for a little Role Play, I'll give and you will receive). Seriously, is it too late to write into the Justice Department to get her visa issues resolved in time for the Video Music Awards?

Download Drivin' Me Wild Here.

Reaper in Under Five Minutes

Reaper has been one of those shows that the more I learn about it the less interested I become. Hearing that Kevin Smith was directing the pilot first got excited for it. Then when I saw a picture of the lead characters in those silly outfits made me hesitate. Then when they switched out the Token Hot Girl with the shape shifter from Heroes I was starting to get discouraged. Then last week I mentioned that I saw a five minute synopsis of Reaper I lost all interest in see the show in its entirety.

Of course whoever saw that post just had to take my word for it, but since then and today Blogger has added the ability to upload video, so here now, courtesy of The CW, is that five minutes I saw so you can see for yourself if I was correct in saying the show, "looks like it has not decided if it wants to rip off Ghostbusters or Army of Darkness more (but fails to do either very well)." Be warned, major plot points from the first episode are revealed within the promo below so watch at your own risk of being spoiled. Reaper premieres Tuesday September 25 at 9:00 on The CW.

I wonder if the dog abuse scene will be cut by the time the episode airs.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XXXIII

Big News of the Week: Friday Night Lights 1.x out on DVD Tuesday: Surprising NBC, in all their infinite wisdom didn’t decide to release the DVD on a Friday to avoid confusion. But anyways. If you were one of the way too many who skipped hands down the best new show of last year, here is your chance to check it out before the second season begins October 5 at 9:00. Of course for those that saw the first season in its entirety you may want to pick it up to relive the greatness that is Landry Clarke and the Dillon Panthers as the DVD is currently only $19.99 on Amazon, see right. Also if you are FNL fan or football fan in general, come join my fantasy football league, appropriately title Dillon Panther Football League, and take on my Landry’s Revenge. Drop me an e-mail for the League ID and password Draft is Tuesday September 4 at 9:00 PM EST.

One thing I try to avoid is to say things that have already been said. But on the other hand I am a big fan of beating a dead horse (note to self: start trying to convince people that I am bringing sexyback) so here is my obligatory “Kristen Bell signs up for a couple episodes of Heroes” comment. Certainly all the uber-nerd got way too excited about the news, but I am going to take the opposing view. As much as I would like to see Kristen again, one of the last places I want to see her is on Heroes. If I wanted to see her recite horrible dialogue surrounded by people who can’t act, I would have bought Pulse on DVD.

But one of the reasons I hadn’t dropped the show from my viewing list last year is because it always had the potential to be great but have been dogged by poor writing and even worse acting and the addition of Bell can help half of that. (Helping that even more would be if absorbing dude stays dead and kill off hearing guy and split personally chick.) Granted the other half may actually get worse as I assume Brian Fuller, who wrote by far the best episode of last season Company Man, will not be spending as much time around the show as he will be launching Pushing Daisies in the fall.

Oh and guess for my obligatory story I need a title: Kristen, Now There’s a Hero that Can Ring My Bell

Greek: The candy bar trick could quite possibly be the greatest thing ever, well assuming you have a teacher that will let you eat in class. But that brought me back to the good old days in high school when the English teacher didn’t realize why we would want to use our graphing calculator on the tests. And I have said it since the first episode, and I still don’t care at all for the Cappie/Casey/Even love triangle. Download the current season of Greek on iTunes.

Rescue Me: It is nice to see Tommy made it down off the fire escape okay. The show like to put him peril at the end of episodes only to have him safe and sound at the start of the next with little explanation a little too much. And what is Lou thing contemplating revenge sex with that ugly chick. Revenge sex is only applicable if the chick if at the very least half way decent or it is basically you losing twice.

Rescue Me on iTunes

Pick of the Week: LiveStrong Candidate Forum, Monday and Tuesday, MSNBC: I would like to pass along a time but I looked at MSNBC’s schedule and this wasn’t listed at all. I do know that the democrats meet Monday while the republican have theirs Tuesday with Lance Armstrong and Chris Matthews as your moderators. Consipciously absent although will be cancer survivors Rudy Guiliani and John McCain as well as Barak Obama who lost his mother to the disease. If anyone knows when these are airing, please drop me a comment or e-mail.

We are less than a month away from the start of the new fall schedule and every new show not named Pushing Daisies has yet piqued my interested. But I am interested on what new shows are making you excited and below is an Unspun widget you can play with. You can either give up or down votes to different show or click “Add an item to this list” to do just that or you can click here to go to the page and rank the shows yourself.