Saturday, June 21, 2008

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XXXIV

Quote of the Week: Profanity cheapens the soul and weakens the mind. (The Middleman, The Middleman)

Big News of the Week: Grey’s Anatomy Writing Sucks: Katherine Heigl confirmed what I have suspected for the past three years, that the Grey’s Anatomy writing staff isn’t very good. This stems from Heigl pulling herself from Emmy consideration as she says, “I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination” and followed that up with, “In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials.” Anyone want to play a game of Over/Under on how many episodes before those writers come up with a way to kill off her character? Of course this is not the first time Heigl has bitten the hand that feeds her calling Knocked Up, “a little sexist.” Heigl as of when I am posting this has no comment on the quality of 27 Dresses yet. (Scooter’s Note: I actually wrote this last week before bigger new broke late last week so I am posting it this week because nothing really that interesting happened.)

Coalition Links of the Week:
It may be the Summer hiatus, but Buzz still has a few questions for Grey's Anatomy. (BuzzSugar)

If you know the significance of the 'bench dance', understand the genius of Mia Michaels, and secretly want to be on the Hot Tamale Train then you should check out GMMR & Ducky's So You Think You Can Dance podcast. (Give Me My Remote)

Marcia found herself thoroughly underwhelmed by The Middleman. (Pop Vultures)

On the set of Burn Notice, Rae discovers that Jeffrey Donovan's just as cool as his alter-ego Michael Westen. (RTVW)

Vance video recaps The Tony Awards since apparently, no one watched it on TV. By the way, go see In the Heights, Passing Strange and Xanadu (for real!)! All fantastic! Take a look at the clips for proof! (Tapeworthy)

Dan didn't see the mid-season finale of Battlestar Galactica coming -- that's for dang sure. This week, he mulled the twist ending as well as the concept of merging our world with Battlestar's. (TiFaux)

Jennifer thinks the Oscars and Emmys should take a cue from the TV Land Awards. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter, Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie, and Doc from The Love Boat dressed in their trademark costumes flying through the air, or the paparazzi catching a panty-free crotch shot of Mama from Mama’s Family. Add in the cast of The Office, Wilhelmina Slater, Justin Timberlake and a Lionel Richie concert, and the TV Land Awards were just about perfect. (Tube Talk)

This week, the TV Addict posted his theory on the highly anticipated spin-off of The Office and visited the set of Burn Notice. (the TV Addict)

Raoul talked to loudmouth Jen from Hell's Kitchen. (TV Filter)

Also, check out my preview of The Middleman and Black Gold.

Pick for Next Week: Rescue Me, Tuesday at 10:00 on FX: Sadly the season hasn’t been pushed up and we won’t get full episodes of Rescue Me until next year, but this is the first of ten five minute minisodes. For those that don’t see the reason to stay around the television for just five minutes, FX will run all ten together later this summer in one episode.

Friday, June 20, 2008

She Learned to Shake Her Thing In Between My Toes

Yeah, I did my semi-regular I Want My Music Television yesterday, then I cam across this, quite possibly the greatest thing ever in the history of YouTube:

Toe Jam - B.P.A.

I cannot stop watching this video and surprisingly has nothing to do with naked chicks. Seriously Boob Pong could be the greatest thing ever. B.P.A. is just another alias for Norman Cook (if I am not mistaken, that is him, um, twirling) whom you may know better as Fatboy Slim with some help from David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal. Enough technical stuff, they make an eye ball complete with eyebrow their boobs. If I do not post tomorrow it will most likely because I am still watching this. I should not be this entertained with black bars.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Want My Music Television vol. XXVIII

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.

My Medicine - Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg singing country music. Words cannot do this video justice.

Dance with Me - Old 97’s

Okay, some real country music courtesy of the Old 97’s and the hot chick from Battlestar Galactica. I actually had a chance to meet her but unfortunately had a charity event that weekend. All for the best as I probably would have said something stupid, or worst nothing at all while I starred wide-eyed at her.

Hollow Man - R.E.M.

Just a cool video and another great song off of Accelerate from R.E.M.

Sneakerlights - Vanessa Hudgens

I have a soft spot for Vanessa Hudgens because my review of her album quadrupled the record amount of hits for one day at that time. Now there is no way to gauge it, but I also think that day I had the highest percentage of people disappointed to find the 9th Green. But anyways. It is odd that her singing voice in this song sound very little like her talking voice and her singing voice tends to change from song to song. Just thought I’d point that out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Previewing Black Gold

Black gold in a white plight, won’t you fill up the tank, let’s go for a ride. I don’t care ‘bout no wheelchair, I’ve got so much left to do with my life.

One of the rigs of Black GoldBlack Gold is no longer just a rocking Soul Asylum song; it is now a reality show on TruTV. Excuse me, it is not reality, it is actuality as the slogan for the former Court TV goes. Of course both refer to oil. Now I am not sure if a show following a bunch of Texas millionaires drilling for the natural recourse when the national average for a gallon of gas just broke four dollars, but the show premieres tonight at 10:00.

The show follows three drilling rigs in close proximity in West Texas that all set up shop at the same time looking to find a pocket of oil two miles under the surface. The process takes about fifty days and despite the millions of dollars it costs to drill in each location, each rig is not necessarily guaranteed to find any oil. Yep, on of the reasons why oil costs so much because it is still a gamble to fins anything.

Peanut and the diller with no thumbThe Longhorn is the veteran rig, both in terms of the rig, it is sixty years old, and the men drilling. The Viking is the new kid on the block in its first dig but it is complete with new technological advances. The Big Dog is by far the most powerful of the three by twenty-five percent, but is also manned by the least experienced driller.

There is plenty of action on each of the rigs as they drill in extreme heart, high winds, and nasty rain storms. And there is also action that isn’t supplied by Mother Nature with a loitering company guy hanging out at one rig and one driller and most of his crew getting canned within the first episode.

Rooster McConaughey, yep, Matthew's brotherThe oil men have plenty of great stories, like the driller with hands that looks like your high school shop teacher who is in a club of only eighteen other people (ones who survived falling off the top of the rig), with as many bleeps per episode as The Osbornes. My personal favorite being Peanut, a worm (least experiences guy on the rig) who almost gets himself killed or fired multiple times in his first week on the job.

The show comes from the guy that brought us Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Trucker so if you are a fan of either; Black Gold should be right up your alley. But just some things you should know first, there has been a lot made of Matthew McConaughey’s brother Rooster being on the show, but Rooter is one of the guys on the rig but just a pipe salesman. Also no one promises to drink another driller’s milkshake up. But here is a fun fact: Black Gold isn’t the first time cameras descended on Odessa, Texas; the city is where the movie and book Friday Night Lights were based in.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

But That Was When I Ruled the World

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends - Coldplay

Okay, Coldplay never actually ruled the world like the character in the song Viva la Vida, but they were on schedule to do so after the amazing Rush of Blood to the Head put them on the cusp of being the biggest band in the land. The only problem was the follow-up X&Y crashed under its own weight, instead of sounding like the greatest band out there, the album came off sounding like a Coldplay cover band.

Knowing they missed a golden opportunity, Coldplay scrapped the idea for the band and started anew; the result is Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends is much less piano, lead singer Chris Martin discovering his voice can do more than falsetto, and more experimentation than their first three albums combined. That experimentation could be attributed to Brian Eno who is the go to producer when you are trying to mix up your sound.

The change is ever-present from the beginning with the instrumental opener Life in Technicolor featuring a Persian santur. And it seems the band picked up even more influences on their world tour aside from the album title, cover and their poor man’s French soldier get-ups they have been sporting everywhere lately. Cemeteries of London features clapping straight from Spanish flamingo dancers while Yes has a distinctive Middle Eastern fell to it. A bagpipe sound even creeps into the Beatlesque Strawberry Swing. But despite its title, Chinese Sleep Chant, the song doesn’t have much in common with the Far East and is really the only song on the album that sounds close to classic Coldplay with its crushing guitars. Even then, Martin’s falsetto is almost completely hidden under the rest of the band.

The writing gets a major overhaul on the album too with Martin’s main go to of relationship topics are rare, instead were get songs about politics like the first single Violet Hill. But the majority of the album deals goes into U2 territory of religion and mortality with such lines peppered throughout the album like, “God is in the houses and God is in my head” (Cemeteries of London), “You didn’t get to heaven but you made it close” (42) “I know St. Peter will call my name” (Viva la Vida) and “I don’t wanna follow Death and all his friends.”

All these changes for the band collimate in Lost! a foot stomping anthem complete with organs straight from a church playing under some crazy percussion instrument. One change that is a little off is all the combination of songs, three of which have two distinctive songs complete with their own titles on the same track. Then there is 42, one name but with three section; the first that has an early Pink Floyd vibe, the middle sound like Radiohead circa OK Computer while the last is something completely new.

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends may not give Coldplay biggest band in the world status (especially with a new U2 album coming out in the same year) but the album is the band’s reapplication for that title. We will have to wait until album number five until we find out if they are finally accepted as such.

Song to Download - Lost!

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Coldplay on iTunes

Monday, June 16, 2008

Previewing The Middleman

The cast of The MiddlemanFrom the promo, it is hard to tell if The Middleman would end up thoroughly enjoyable or just head scratchingly bad. The acting is not in contention for ant awards and the production value looks like, well, the production value for an ABC Family show. But the lead character seems watchable. And it certainly helps that she looks like Rosario Dawson and Brittany Murphy were somehow able to create a child together and was raised a nerd.

The premise is simple, unbeknown to anyone; comic book supervillains are real and are maniacally trying to take over the world with harebrain plots. That is where The Middleman comes in; he foils the plots all the while keeping the mindless public from realizing the true danger that is out there. Yeah it sounds like Men in Black but no one has had their mind erased (yet). Keeping with the Men in Black theme, The Middleman recruits and new partner to help him in his dogoodary.

Matt Keesler as The MiddlemanThat is where are snarky heroine comes in, and really aren’t all the female protagonists since Buffy Summers snarky, who joins up because she has become so jaded with life she isn’t even fazed when she gets attacked by a science experiment gone (the CGI of which looked to take up about 95% of the episode’s budget). And in true comic book fashion, she even comes with alliteration, Wendy Watson. And she has good reason to be jaded, she stuck temping while dreaming of being an artist, her boyfriend is an ambiguously gay douche, her roommate is a activist looking for a cause, and of course her mother is nagging her about it all.

The highlight though is the afro-ed, guitar playing hippie who hangs in the hall of Wendy’s apartment spouting inane comments and obscure pop references. Seriously, it is hard not to down with a character whose first words onscreen are quoting Shaft. Rounding out the cast is The Middleman’s cranky secretary who really is not that fond of Wendy.

Natalie Morales as Wendy WatsonThe first episode deals with a bunch of mobsters being killed off by, well, I don’t want to spoil it for you because, one, it is a hilarious concept (a good sign for the rest of the series), and two, I’m not sure you would believe me without seeing it for yourself. But I will say, the case involves the chick from 24. The show is chalk full with great one-liners and absurd monologues (it is a real life comic book). Aside from the low production value, being a comic book brought to life, it could have been more stylized, there really isn’t much downside. The sub par acting just builds into the campy feel to the show. Granted being from a writer of Lost there are some holes in the back-story like who sends The Middleman his weapons and dispenses him on his jobs. Hopefully we get these answers quicker than his last writing job.

The Middleman premieres tonight at 8:00 on ABC Family and repeats at 9:00 and midnight. For those that do not want to wait for tonight or want to watch it on the go (or just missed it), you can download the first episode of The Middleman for free on iTunes.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lyrics Quiz: Longest Songs

This month’s Lyrics Quiz is pretty simple, I sorted my iTunes library by time and these are the twenty-five longest songs I have. Well, these are all album versions; I took out all the live songs, remixes and obscure songs. Each of these songs clock in at more than six and a half minutes and are ranked starting with the largest. As always you need to put both artist and title in the comments section (or you can e-mail me) and if you are correct I will un-bold it 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 quiz:

1. If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me? (Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd; guessed by Dara)
2. Who's up for game three? I can barely see the bourbon drowning next to me and I just lost it all. (That Was a Crazy Game of Poker - O.A.R.; guessed by Lauren fm NC)
3. I never wanted to be your weekend lover. I only wanted to be some kind of friend. Baby I could never steal you from another. It’s such a shame our friendship had to end. (Purple Rain - Prince and the Revolution; guessed by Dara)
4. Did you write the book of love? And do you have faith in God above if the Bible tells you so? (American Pie - Don McLean; guessed by Dara)
5. There are days when outside your window. I see my refection when I slowly pass. Then I long for this mirrored perspective when we will be lovers, lovers at last.
6. And though they could not produce the gun the DA said he was the one who did the deed. And the all-white jury agreed. (Hurricane - Bob Dylan; guessed by Dave Faulkner)
7. The grass was greener. The light was brighter. The taste was sweeter. The nights of wonder. With friends surrounded. The dawn mist glowing. The water flowing. The endless river. Forever and ever.
8. It’s crazy I’m thinking just knowing the world is round and here I’m dancing on the ground. Never right side up or upside down. Is this real or am I dreaming. (Crush - Dave Matthews Band; guessed by Dara)
9. I dream that I never know anyone at the party and I’m always the host. If dreams are like movies than memories are films about ghosts. (Mrs. Potter's Lullaby - Counting Crows; guessed by Dara)
10. Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn. If your girls starts acting up then you take her friend. (Rapper's Delight - Sugarhill Gang; guessed by Curtisleefarmer)
11. Things are okay with me these days. Got a good job, got a good office. Got a new wife, got a new life and the family is fine. (Scenes from an Italian Restaurant - Billy Joel; guessed by Dave Faulkner)
12. Is this the way it’s really going down? Is this how we say goodbye? Should have known when you came around that you were gonna make me cry. (What Goes Around... / ...Comes Around - Justin Timberlake; guessed by Dara)
13. Where were you while we were getting high? (Champagne Supernova - Oasis; guessed by Dara)
14. I thought I told you to meet me, but I walk down o the beach. Tell me how does it feel when your heart goes cold? (Blue Monday - New Order; guessed by Dara)
15. I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are. You make it hard.
16. But this girl was ugly. I mean her body was threw. But after four drinks of more she looked like Paula Abdul.
17. For that mean, mean, mean, mean green.
18. And when he died all he left me was alone. (Papa Was a Rollin' Stone - The Temptations; guessed by Paul)
19. I’ll be loving you until the rainbow and stars aren’t in the skies. Loving you until the oceans cover every mountain high.
20. Remember to let her into your heart, then you can start to make it better. (Hey Jude - The Beatles; guessed by Dara)
21. In this great future you can’t forget your past. So dry your tears I say.
22. Like a fool I fell in love with you. Turned my whole world upside down. (Layla - Derek and the Dominos; guessed by Dara)
23. Right about now, the funk soul brother. Check it out now. (Rockafeller Skank - Fatboy Slim; guessed by Paul)
24. It’s four o’clock in the morning, damnit. Listen to me good, I’m sleeping with myself tonight. (Someone Saved My Life Tonight - Elton John; guessed by Paul)
25. The Surgeon General says it's hazardous to breathe. I’d have another cigarette, but I can’t see. (Paradise City - Guns n' Roses; guessed by Dara)