Saturday, July 12, 2008

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XXXVII

Quote of the Week: There's acing it, and there's what you did. Kind of like shooting a cow with a Howitzer. (The Middleman, The Middleman)

Big New of the Week: A Melancholy Happy Trails to Tony Snow: Former Bush spokesmen died early this morning after losing a second bout with cancer at age 53. He lasted only seventeen months as the press secretary before stepping down to have chemotherapy. I remember hearing a fact recently (I know I am messing up the exact number, but you will get an idea) that we since President Nixon declared war on cancer, we have spent less on cancer research that what we do in one week in Iraq. That is just an embarrassing. Tony Snow and the millions of other that have died or are suffering through the disease, including Eric Shanteau who learned just a week before qualifing to the Olympics that he has testicular cancer, deserve better than that. For more on the life of Tony Snow check out the article at MSNBC.

Coalition Links of the Week:
Buzz was pretty delighted by her first glimpse of NBC's Kath and Kim. (BuzzSugar)

This week, Sandie shared her visit on the set of The Closer. (Daemon's TV)

Getting ready for Burn Notice's second season, Rae shares her talk with Props Master Charlie Guanci, Jr. (RTVW)

Vance is looking forward to getting burnt all summer with a new season of Burn Notice! (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace gave a rare second chance to HBO's upcoming vampire drama True Blood (from Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball), taking a look at the pilot installment's revised version and the series' second episode, kicking off this September. But did he change his tune about the series this time around? (Televisionary)

In his quest to find something -- anything -- to watch on TV, he uncovered an internet music series based out of France. And, believe you me, the clip he found by Menomena is probably the cutest thing he has seen all year. Honest. (TiFaux)

The TV Addict has the scoop on Grace Park's first post - Battlestar Galactica project. (the TV Addict)

Petrozza from Hell's Kitchen badmouthed Matt and Jen and we kinda loved him for it. (TV Filter)

The Middleman: Here is a case of the promo monkeys ruining a show. Knowing that Dr. Phil did it before the show even started just made the reveal less interesting. At least the witty dialogue saved it a little. You can download episodes of The Middleman on iTunes.

The Bill Engvall Show: Great juxtaposition of how cheesy and lame Bill is and really that is what is endearing about the show. Just a half an hour each week to turn off my brain and enjoy. Catch up on recent episodes over at

The Bill Engvall Show on iTunes

Pick for Next Week: ESPY Awards, Sunday (7/20) at 9:00 on ESPN: Yeah Justin Timberlake hosts, but hopefully the show can overcome that because the awards has been pretty solid in recent years. Expect Lance Armstrong, David Beckham, Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell to show up. Speaking of the former Ms. Veronica Mars, Amazon is having a sale on Crime Shows up to 50% off including all three seasons of Veronica Mars for under $20.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Musings From the Back 9: Music Edition VII

Two Men with the Blues - Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis

Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis may seem like a weird pairing because, well, it is. But after Willie hooked up with Snoop Dogg on his country song My Medicine, every other pairing just seems a little less odd in comparison. Recorded live at Lincoln Center with Marsalis’ backing band, the two blend the jazzy songs with the country vocals seamlessly with Willie knowing just when to step back and let Marsalis and his band go on extended solos. And if the two genres weren’t enough, Two Men with the Blues live up to the title, because really, who better that Willie Nelson to sing the blues, and even a little New Orleans flavor seeping into a couple track. Most novice music fans will most likely only recognize Ray CharlesGeorgia on My Mind on the album, but that just means more for them to discover on the album.

Two Men with the Blues gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Forgiven - Los Lonely Boys

It is pretty safe to call the Los Lonely Boys a one hit wonder. Heaven was just one of those songs that just doesn’t go away and is hard to top. There was nothing close as good on their second album Sacred, and same for their third outing, Forgiven. And if you heard Sacred, you have already Sacred then you have already heard Forgiven as the band doesn’t deviate from the brand of south of the border blues. There are some great riffs like on the album opener Heart Won’t Tell a Lie, and current single Staying with Me is somewhat catchy, that suggest that they could go on to be this generation’s Santana without the revolving door of singers, and maybe even get a second hit, but that hit won’t be coming off this album.

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

Have Another Ball! - Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

You really have to try to dislike Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. They take pop, R&B, and country songs and turn them into punk anthems. Their seventh album Have Another Ball! is a bunch of outtakes from their first album covering songs from the sixties and seventies from artists like Hall and Oates and Diana Ross. Yeah that can get old quick and the entertainment value decreases exponentially with each listen, but for that first listen these songs are thoroughly entertaining especially the Blitzkrieg Pop-ified version of Carol King’s You’ve Got a Friend. Too bad the band did not bring in a George Michael to help them out with the Elton John classic Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.

Have Another Ball! gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Feed Your iPod the CD vol. I

Feed Your iPod was created to highlight songs that may not have been hits, or even released as singles, but deserve a much bigger audience. Hopefully of the first nineteen I have posted you have a least found a couple that you may not have heard before but have made it into your regular rotation. Of course Feed Your iPod is just a catchy title and any of these can be for any mp3 devise, just your computer and now you can make a CD out of them as the first set comes in at 78:24. You can even help create volume two by emailing me (or use the comment section) song suggestions and a short description on way everyone should have it on their iPod for me to post. Click the links below to be taken to iTunes where you can download the songs or use the widget below to go to Amazon MP3 to get them DRM-free (and sometimes a dime cheaper) or use the label function to scroll threw what I had to say about these songs and full song previews.

1. The Seed (2.0) - The Roots and Cody ChestnuTT
2. Bad Reputation - Freedy Johnston
3. Passing Me By - The Pharcyde
4. School Spirit - Kanye West
5. Paper Bag - Fiona Apple
6. You Never Know - Dave Matthews Band
7. Nightswimming - R.E.M.
8. Award Tour - A Tribe Called Quest
9. Nothing at All - Santana and Musiq
10. Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing to F’ Wit - Wu-Tang Clan
11. Tell Him - Lauryn Hill
12. Summertime - The Sundays
13. Catalyst - Anna Nalick
14. Devil Town - Tony Lucca
15. Have a Little Faith in Me - John Hiatt
16. I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love with You - Tom Waits
17. Someday We’ll All Be Free - Donny Hathaway
18. Sunny Hours - Long Beach Dub All-Stars
19. Adelaide - Old 97’s

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I Want My Music Television vol. XXIX

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.

Cath... - Death Cab for Cutie

The more I listen to Narrow Stairs (see: And They Carried on Like Long Division) the more Cath… becomes my favorite song on the lattest Death Cab for Cutie album. The video is about as odd as the four and a half minute bass groove that started off I Will Possess Your Heart. Half, a fairly literal version of the song about a lady marrying someone she could have done better than with the other half with the whole band lip syncing in a backstage area with grass. Arighty then.
Hero - Nas & Keri Hilson
The latest album from Nas is no longer called the word I am not allowed to say without receiving a beatdown, indeed is now named, well, nothing. The song has to be in the running for beat of the year so far with it Neptunes meets Timbaland feel, granted the video itself just looks like another Hype Williams retread.
Oxford Comma - Vampire Weekend
In what could be the most profound question of the year, Vampire Weekend ponders, “Who gives a (expletive deleted) about an Oxford Comma”. Indeed. But my pretentiousness aside, you got to like any video that is all one shot. Just don’t ask me what the whole chapter thing is about.
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) - Amanda Seyfried
Yes that is Lily Kane singing… singing Abba from the theatrical version of Momma Mia, a movie there is no way anyone can get me to see unless Lily Kane herself invites me and involves some extracurricular activities afterwards.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

You Got Me on My Knees Begging Please

Rockferry - Duffy

In what could have been an acknowledgement to comparisons to Amy Winehouse, in her debut single Mercy, Welsh singer Duffy succumbs to temptation chanting, “Yeah, yeah, yeah” as apposed to Winehouse who would say, No, no, no” to rehab. We have seen that it would have been in the best interest of Winehouse to say yes, but only time will tell if Duffy made the right decision to beg for mercy.

The comparison to Winehouse of course comes from the fact that both are riding the retro bandwagon, but where Winehouse, with the help of producer, made that retro feel sound new again putting them up to contemporary themes. The songs on Rockferry are straight up retro, without any hint of modern indulgence, the songs sound like they could have been taken right from albums of girl groups from the sixties if they had been fronted by Dusty Springfield.

The sound gets the retro feel thanks to the plucky bassline of Mercy, the saxophone of Distant Dreamer, and the wall of sound thanks to orchestras that back many of songs. And with lyrics that do not stray from the topic of love, whether it be pro or con to the idea, is right out of the girl group playbook. But it is the stripped down, softer Warwick Avenue, with more emotional lyrics than anything out of Motown in the sixties, is where Duffy really shines and just lets loose on some idiot that did her wrong, again. When so many people are starting to say, “No, no, no” to the antics of Amy Winehouse, it is time to start saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah” to Duffy.

Song to Download - Warwick Avenue

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

Monday, July 07, 2008

First Impressions: I Love Money

Midget Mac aka Torrey Samuels aka the greatest reality star everDarn you VH1. I avoided I Love New York and Rock of Love like the plague and only watched the first episodes of Flavor of Love as well as the reunion specials, yet I could name each and every contestant of I Love Money right off the bat thanks to chatching seconds here and there while flipping channels. Of course the reason for watching I Love Money was after the Charm School and saying that a show with the three would be even better. And apparently someone at VH1 was listening. Granted no Charm School, but instead we get I Love Money, which is basically the MTV Real World/Road Rules Challenge for ugly people.

One of the big things of Charm School was burning the name that Flavor Flav gave them and reverting back to their given names. Well that didn't last long as most everyone, including the guys, are even calling themselves by their nicknames. There really isn't anything funnier than reality stars referring to themselves in third person nicknames. And by funnier I mean sadder.

Mr Boston aka Lee Marks aka the whitest white guy everHeadlining I Love Money is my boy Torrey “Midget Mac” Samuels, quite possibly the greatest reality star ever in the history of the world. Last fall I even found myself flipping off Heroes just to see what Midget Mac was doing this week on I Love New York 2. Unfortunately Mac didn’t stay too long has his bark turned out bigger that his bite by alienating half the cast, including team captain Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander (who I have a feeling will end up being the Ruthie of the crappy VH1 shows). Mac even got picked over Brandi Cunningham (who still goes by Brandi C. despite the lack of another Brandi on the show) who just twisted her ankle and has the IQ of even the lowest primates.

Wait, wasn't Megan Hauserman on Beauty and the Geek?With Midget Mac no longer around, Lee “Mr. Boston” Marks and his mix of self deprecation and bravado will turn out to be the star of the show. As for a frontrunner, it is hard to pick anyone who could pull off a win. Granted when you pool your contestant from people who tried to hook up with Flavor Flav, New York, and Brett Michaels, you are not getting the smartest, most mentally stable people in the world. If forced to pick I will go with Cindy “Rodeo” Steedle lucking into the 250,000 grand prizes with Frank “The Entertainer” Maresca as my fall back pick.

Verdict: Much like with MTV’s Challenges where I don’t watch the feeder shows anymore, I Love Money has that competitive angle that should make it watchable even in a passing a car crash kind of way. I Love Money airs Sundays at 9:00 on VH1. You can also download I Love Money on iTunes or Amazon Unbox (see below):

Sunday, July 06, 2008

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XXXVI

Quote of the Week: The ring of fire, when a man comes around, that your daddy called you Sue, the fact that God’s gonna cut you down, that your in the jail house now, the Folsom Prison Blues, that road that goes on forever. (Wendy Watson, The Middleman)

Big New of the Week: A Melancholy Happy Trails to Jesse Helms: Yeah he was straight up raciest, simple and plain, but much like Mac McGill, I find old racist dudes somewhat entertainment, in a dude is senile sort of way.

Coalition Links of the Week:
With the Emmy nomination shortlists out for the comedy and drama series categories, Buzz wondered which five shows would make your ballot. (BuzzSugar)

This week, Sandie shared her interview with Kyra Sedgwick from TNT's The Closer. (Daemon's TV)

In this week's TV Talk podcast we talk about our recent turnaround on Swingtown, what BSG's Tricia Helferis up to, a preview of our upcoming trip to Comic Con and our first impressions of the upcoming Fringe. (Give Me My Remote)

Plattie reviewed the BBC's search for the nation's top disabled model. No, really. Britain's Missing Top Model is an actual show. We're not making this up. (Pop Vultures)

While meeting Dulé Hill last week, Rae learned a little of what to expect for the upcoming third season of Psych and which of Gus' nicknames is actually the given name of one of Dulé's aunts. (RTVW)

Vance celebrated Canada Day with a shout out to all our favourite Canadians on our favourite TV shows. (Tapeworthy)

While he's always happy to host giveaways on TiFaux, Dan had an ugly flashback to his history as an awkward teen as he introduced a new contest for an X-Files compilation DVD. Click the link to enter! (TiFaux)

M*A*S*H’s Alan Alda (Hawykeye) and Wayne Rogers (Trapper) reunited for an interview, and Jennifer was excited to share the video of the event. Among some of the topics covered, was the fact that M*A*S*H and The West Wing, were both recently chosen as two of the top ten smartest TV shows of all time by the chair of MENSA. (Tube Talk)

The Middleman: Same pacing issues as the last issues, but it is hard not to be down with any show that does multiple Johnny Cash references. Maybe that is a sign that The Middleman needs more Noser. You can download episodes of The Middleman on iTunes.

The Bill Engvall Show: If you are going to have characters go to a The Killers concert, either pony up for the licensing fee or just create some faux band name to go with the random background music at the concert. Catch up on recent episodes over at

The Bill Engvall Show on iTunes

My Boys: I’m sure I would have laughed at Dr. Brando had I don’t do the exact same thing even when I have health insurance as I just really hate doctors and hospitals in general. Plus Dr. McGavin thinks NyQuil is a cure all for pretty much anything. Catch up on recent episodes over at You can also download My Boys on iTunes.

Promo of the Week: Found this over at AICN. Finally some synergy that doesn’t completely suck.

Pick for Next Week: Generation Kill, Saturday at 9:00 on HBO: Since I am too cheap to buy pay channels, I’ll have to wait for the DVD’s, but for those that do, this seven part miniseries, from the creators of The Wire, is a based on a book written by an embedded journalist from the early days in Iraq.