Saturday, August 23, 2008

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XLIII

Quote of the Week: You're a total medal (expletive deleted). (Tiki Barber, Olympics Recap)

Big New of the Week: The Return of The Banana Splits: I may be showing my age, but my favorite show as a kid is returning to television courtesy of The Cartoon Network. For those too young to remember the show, that is what YouTube is for.

Coalition Links of the Week:

Buzz got a great interview out of the young actor Tristan Wilds on moving from The Wire's Baltimore to 90210's, well, 90210. (BuzzSugar)

My favorite comedy, The Office will be returning in just a few short long weeks. I'm passing the time by watching season 4 on DVD. You can too. GMMR is giving away a copy of Season 4 of The Office on DVD. (Give Me My Remote)

Vance checks out the new contestants on The Amazing Race (Season 13) and makes gloriously uneducated preconceptions about all the teams. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace reviewed Season One of the adorable, charming, and wickedly funny British comedy Gavin & Stacey, which launches on Tuesday evening on BBC America. (Televisionary)

Is Dan overreacting? He was a bit put-off by the teaser for CBS's The Mentalist which employs some gay stereotypes. (TiFaux)

Raoul gave you his honest take on America's Greatest Dog...and so did Beth Joy. (TV Filter)

I Love Money: Megan's power is so great now, that she can just make everyone beg to her dog in order to stay and use that as her way to choose on who she would send packing. I am not sure if this is genius or the dumbest thing ever in reality history. You can download episodes of I Love Money on iTunes.

The Middleman: If this wasn't the best episode since the pilot, than it was easily the funniest thanks in no small part to evil puppets. Evil puppets rule. And the episode begs the question, who is The Middleman's other true love? My money is on the succubus. You can download episodes of The Middleman on iTunes.

Free Download of the Week: This Is the Life (Acoustic) - Amy MacDonald (Amazon MP3): Actually there were plenty of great free stuff over at Amazon MP3 including free songs from Sarah McLachlan and Goo Goo Dolls. For you football fans, iTunes have season previews for each NFL team.

Apple iTunes

Pick for Next Week: Greek, Tuesday at 9:00 on ABC Family: Let the fall season begin. Greek starts right after Spring Break and I should have a preview in the next couple days. And for those that fear going through Olympics withdrawal, try switching over another wall to wall coverage this time of the Democratic National Convention which goes from Monday until Thursday on all the cable news networks as well as an hour a day on the major networks at 10:00.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beijing Olympics Update #3

- The clear winner of the NBC coverage team this year has been Jenna Wolfe who has been part of the Olympics roundup show everyday on MSNBC. This is really because she obviously doesn’t know anything about sports and doesn’t even bother to pretend. And if you have to be good if you are able to your co-host, in this case Tiki Barber, call you a word on television that George Carlin told me you couldn’t say on television. See you in London Jenna.

- Poor Ping Pong player, not only do no one actually come to see them play, even in a country that is supposed to big on the sport yet couldn’t fill out the area, the sport doesn’t even have ball boys and the athletes have to chase down their own balls like they were playing in my basement.

Susanna Kallur- As a former huddler myself who also tasted rubber, my heart goes out to Susanna Kallur of Sweden who tripped over the first hurdle of her preliminary race and American LoLo Jones (who should have Rashida do a bio pick on her) who couldn’t quite make it over the eighth hurdle dashing each hope for a medal. If either needs a shoulder to cry on, shout me a holla.

LoLo Jones- Do they really need to say it was a clean start on every sprint?

- The gymnastics announcing team has been announcing and I couldn’t quite figure out why until I was flipping back between the competition and Monday Night Football to realize why. The football announces spent three quarters with the second and third strings and treated them with respect though many would be cut within a week or two. Yet the gymnastics would crush these sixteen year old girls saying things like they have “absolutely no chance to medal.” If they have no chance why should we bother to watch? They are dashing the hopes of young girls and their families and friends watching at home, acting like judges on some crappy Bravo reality show caring themselves with no class or professionalism and should be fired on the spot. They didn’t even know the rules and we didn’t even learn what a tie breaker was until Bob Costas broke in and told us. Which begs the question, why wasn’t Béla Károlyi commentating?

- And if we are firing NBC personal, add Andrea Kramer to that list, not only did she suck the life out of the swimming competition, she made a fifteen year old diver who failed to make the finals cry and then just stood their and watch her cry. Andrea, there is this thing called a hug, try it sometime.

- There is no cooler camera use in sports than the diving cam that follows divers into the water.

Nastia Liukin in red white and blue
- Back to Gymnastics, it was nice to see Nastia Liukin actually where a red white and blue get up in the individual competition.

- The Beach Volleyball final in the rain is the reason HD was created. Or so I assume, I am too cheap to buy one.

- Who knew guys played Field Hockey?

- Just to show you how far Boxing has fallen, when it was being shown on CNBC, I chose to watch Synchronized Swimming on Oxygen. And where was all the programming on Oxygen, it seemed like almost every time I flipped on the channel it was always showing Tori and Dean. Which begs the question, who is sitting around all day watching Tori and Dean? Who is watching one episode of Tori and Dean?

- Let the Michael Phelps backlash begin, and naturally it was Best Week Ever who led the charge asking, Is Michael Phelps a Douche?

- Speaking of douches, did anyone else notice that Usain Bolt does the same hand spasms complete with finger kisses that Flavor Flav does? Next thing you know dude will be racing with a Vikings cap on.

- Those not on Michael Phelps overload be sure to head over to to purchase Michael Phelps: Greatest Olympic Champion...The Inside Story. Also available are 2008 Beijing General Highlight DVD and 2008 Beijing Opening Ceremony 2-Volume DVD.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Melancholy Happy Trails to LeRoi Moore

There is no band that shaped my formative years more than the Dave Matthews Band. A high school buddy bought me Under the Table and Dreaming back in 1996 and since than I have amassed over thirty of their albums. In the post grunge era they were a breathe of fresh air and that was due in large part to LeRoi Moore, the multi instrumentalist who added an extra level of musicianship with his classical jazz background to the band. His presence was sometimes subtle on the studio albums but it was the live shows where he really shined and thanks to Dave Matthews Band gracious live releases, there is plenty to choose from (I listed my Favorite Live Dave Matthews Band Albums a couple years ago). Below are three of those songs where Moore really shines:

Dave Matthews Band - Folsom Field - Bartender


Dave Matthews Band - #41

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Want My Music Television vol. XXXIV

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 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.

Champion - Kanye West

As seen in this Kanye West video and the most recent episode of The Middleman, puppets fraking rule.

Mr. Rock and Roll - Amy McDonald

In a story I broke yesterday (see And You’re singing a Song Thinking This Is the Life) Amy MacDonald has invaded the United States shores with her debut album. Here is the first single.

Clocks - Coldplay and Alicia Keys

Lucky Japanese, they go to a Coldplay concert and out comes Alicia Keys. Although all she does is play some piano, chords that I can play (no, seriously, I can), and it sounds like she played an octave too high. Great nonetheless.

Sunday Bloody Sunday - Colin Munroe

First it was Kanye West and Flashing Lights and now Colin Munroe has dipped a little further back in history putting his mark on a U2 classic.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

And You’re Singing a Song Thinking This Is the Life

This Is the Life - Amy MacDonald

There has been a retro renaissance coming out of Great Britain as heard from the voices of Amy Winehouse and Duffy. In the northern part of the British Isles there seems to be a rock resurgence from the lasses of Scotland. First there was the Bo Diddley honoring KT Tunstall with her Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. Now the land of kilts and bagpipes brings us Amy MacDonald, another guitar toting singer with her debut This Is the Life.

Unlike Tunstall, whose formative years were spent in New England, MacDonald is Scottish born and bread leaving her with a thick accent that can even be heard in her singing voice that hasn’t been heard since the chick from The Cranberries. The differences to Tunstall also draw a line in musicianship where MacDonald really has only one gear, where Tunstall could craft many different tunes, each as good as the previous.

But that one gear is pretty good, the showstopper being the title track, an upbeat Celtic folk song about going down to your local pub for some ale and a band. That same esthetic goes the same for Mr. Rock and Roll and the ode to Pete Doherty Poison Prince. The slow, strings laden Footballer’s Wives also get a sarcastic song on their behalf.

Also on the disk is the Mexican horns opening for Let’s Start a Band that conjures up images of the previously mentioned small town pub that quickly morph into stadium with Amy telling Rolling Stone and Glastonbury to get ready. It could make any Guitar Hero to put down a plastic toy and pick up a real ax. The variety may not be as wide on This Is the Life but keep in mind Tunstall has more than a decade on the twenty year old, with age, maybe MacDonald Rolling Stone cover premonition could come true before she hits thirty.

Song to Download - This Is the Life

(You can currently download This Is The Life (Acoustic) over at Amazon MP3 for free.)

This Is the Life gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Beijing Olympics Update #2

- How does the Women’s Team Sabre team grab a Bronze after sweeping the individual medals? But anyways. The most interesting thing that came out of the Bronze Medal match was that actually have redo. Not only was there was a redo, it was for the deciding point and this is even with instant replay. Imagine if that happened in the Super Bowl, fourth quarter, less than ten seconds and they review a touchdown where the receiver may have been out of bound and the referee comes out of his little viewing station and announces, “Yeah, I have no clue, why don’t we just do that play over.”

- The only rule that may be more silly, and by more silly, I mean secretly brilliant is the baseball rule that if the game goes to eleven innings, both teams start off with runners on first and second. Too bad Bud Selig couldn’t have thought of this instead of that stupid Home Field advantage in the world series crap for the All-Star Game.

- If there were an anti-Michael Phelps it would have to Kate Hoff who seemed to rack up the fourth place finishes. Okay, I may have been a little bitter because she was on my fantasy Olympics team.

- In the rare moment when they were at the Water Cube and not crushing on Phelps, all the inner dating that is going on in basically every country but ours. The most salacious being the tale of Laure Manaudou who left France after winning Gold in Athens, making her a national star, to be with her swimmer boyfriend only for him to break up with her, date one of her rivals, and post the types of pictures to the internet that are typically reserved to beauty queens and Paris Hilton.

Heather Mitts doing America proud- I turned on the television the other day to a soccer game between the United Stated and Canada, the problem being it took me way too long to figure out who was who. Ever since the beret debacle of the Opening Ceremonies, there has been some questionable wardrobe choices for what should be the red, white and blue. But there was no hint of blue in the soccer uniforms. Then there is Nastia Liukin who opted for a pink number in the all around competition. Okay, this was all a ruse just to post of pictures of Heather Mitts and Liukin in that pink leotard.

Nastia Liukin in pink- Pardon the Interruption had an interesting discussion on if she would become the next America’s Sweetheart. The easy answer is no as it is hard to be America’s Sweetheart with a name like Nastia. Name aside she certainly has the looks; the biggest problem though is that American hasn’t had a real sweetheart since Reece Witherspoon circa Legally Blonde. Sadly the only way females today can get America’s attention for more than one day is for being infamous as seen in the past five years with the parade of Paris, Britney, Nicole, Amy, Lindsay and the chicks from The Hills. Even the Disney stars these days have problems keeping their cloths on.

- Watching the Women’s Marathon I was struck that near the twentieth mile mark, the commentator said that the top woman were running 5:30 mile. I’m not sure I could run just a single mile at that time.

- Nothing says it is time to go to bed than it is 2:00 AM and they are showing the 20K Walk Race. Isn’t a speed walker an oxymoron?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cleaning Out My Inbox vol. V

A plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Into the Unknown, Sons of Anarchy, The Closer and House of Paine marathons, Eli Stone, Greek, Samurai Girl, and Raising the Bar:

- Discovery’s new show Into the Unknown starts tomorrow at 10:00. The show is described as, “International explorer Josh Bernstein travels the world on epic quests for knowledge and discovery. Inspired by deep mysteries and burning questions, he takes a series of unforgettable journeys into the unknown; no location is too remote, no culture too exotic, no goal too ambitious. Each quest sparks new revelations and incredible insights as Josh takes us on a thrilling hunt for answers.” Below is a promo:

- More video is coming out of FX’s new show Sons of Anarchy, debuting September 3, here is a behind the scenes look:

- When I got a press release from the Turner networks of their Labor Day plans I thought that was a little early. That was until I looked at my calendar and saw that it is in two weeks. Boo. But anyways. TNT will be running thirteen episodes of The Closer starting at 9:00 AM capping with the series premiere of Raising the Bar at 10:00. Over on TBS, a ten hour, twenty episode marathon of House of Paine starting at 10:00 AM.

- In a story I broke yesterday, is hosting Starter Kits for their returning shows, here is the one for Eli Stone:

Eli Stone Thus Far: Starter Kit

- ABC Family is getting a jump on the new fall season with the season premiere of Greek on its new day and time of Tuesday, August 26 at 9:00. Then there is also the network’s mini-series Samurai Girl starting September 5 starting the moderately attractive Stacy Keibler (not as the title character, that is instead goes to Real World alumni Jamie Chung). I should have a preview of both in the next couple weeks as well as the previously mentioned Raising the Bar.