Saturday, October 25, 2008

Best of the Week vol. II

Quote of the Week: I am 90% certain you just got served by the lead singer of The Spin Doctors. (Barney, How I Met Your Mother)

Song of the Week: Let it Be Me - Ray LaMontagne (Eli Stone)

Big News of the Week: Right Wing Nut Jobs Love Rock of Love; Liberal Communist Prefer Flavor of Love: As mentioned many times before on the 9th Green, I hate polls. There are too many ifs that you need to believe to find polls true, did the pollsters get the right sample size, are the questions misleading, did people answer truthfully, are the polls presented properly, is the margin of error too large to take seriously, etc. And polls are pretty offensive if you know how they are at the heart sexist, racist, ageist, and basically every kind of -ist you can think of as each poll if they pick you assumes that the closest1,000 people (depending on the sample size) of your gender, age group, race, income think the exact same way you do.

But there was one poll that caught my eye this week so absurd I had to pass it along even if like most polls I question the validity of the findings and considering the source, Nielsen, is the least reliable of all polling. The poll tracked the cable viewing habits of partisans like when it comes to FX, the Dems watch the morally bankrupt It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia while the GOP would rather watch the corporate corruption of Damages. Yeah, that sounds right. But the funniest finding was expressed in the title. When it comes to MTV, both parties can agree on The Hills, while those that don’t identify themselves to either party can agree that both political parties are filled with morons in legalized cults.

Gratuitous Token Hot Chick Picture of the Week:

Yvonne Strahovski in a sports bra

Coalition Links of the Week:
This week, Sandie shared an interview with Daniel Gerroll from The Starter Wife. (Daemon's TV)

The return of Roy (ok really David Denman) on The Office made GMMR very happy. As did Kristin Chenoweth's gut busting prank on Ellen. (Give Me My Remote)

Disappointed by the lack of a good directory of online web series, Rae wants to know what you're web series you're watching. (RTVW)

Vance is totally sweet on the Top 16 dancers on So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Plus appearances by Benji Schwimmer and High School Musical director Kenny Ortega! (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace once again fell under the spell of Pushing Daisies and its goose down goodness, but wishes that more people were actually tuning in to watch this winsome series before it gets prematurely culled by ABC. (Televisionary)

Not watching Friday Night Lights so far this season? Well, Sara has a bit of a recap for all you stragglers. (TiFaux)

The TV Addict took a closer look at Simon Baker and The Mentalist. (The TV Addict)

Coming to you all the way from foggy ol’ London town, Ben and Gareth dip their bread soldiers into the hard-boiled Curate’s egg that is Heroes, only, again, to find they are left with more questions than answers. (TV Spy)

Free Download of the Week: Make You Crazy - Brett Dennen (Spinner): Earlier this week I featured s week and now you can get the song for free. Even though it is not free to download, you can stream the season premiere of 30 Rock for free over at Actually you can download the episode for free if you are the first person to e-mail me (subject: 30 Rock) asking for a free iTunes code I have burning a hole in my hard drive. Only people with valid US iTunes accounts are eligible to win.

Promo of the Week: I feel honored because recieved an invitation to Andy and Angela's Wedding yesterday (you can get one too by clicking the link). In return, here is a deleted scene from The Office:

Next Week Pick of the Week: Greek, Tuesday at 9:00 on ABC Family: The mid-season finale of the show that hasn’t really been worth taking about much this season, but solid nonetheless. Hopefully they leave us with something to talk about for the next couple months we will have to go without the show.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It Is Easy Being Green

Generation Green

I started going green a couple years ago mostly because it saves you money and helps you live a healthier lifestyle, the whole saving the Earth thing is just an added bonus. So I am always on the lookout for ways to better myself which is why I picked up Generation Green (even if the subtitle The Ultimate Guide to Living an Eco-Friendly Life puts me a little out of the target demo). The book comes from the mother-son team of Linda and Tosh Siversen.

As someone that goes out of his way to learn about living green, there really isn’t much in the book that helps me, but the book is perfect for those who are just getting into the Green movement no matter the age even if the book skews young with how to balance the new technology with living healthy so people of any age can come away with plenty of good practices to lower their carbon footprint with moving into a shack and growing their own organic food.

The book is also well arrange with plenty of attention grabbing blurbs and interviews for those that only have little spurts of time to read or just short attention spans. And if you do end up buying the book, be sure to pass it around to anyone who could learn something from it so it doesn’t just end up in a landfill when you are done.

And to start you novices on the right foot, here are five of my favorite hints:

1. Change Your Lightbulb: You don’t have to exchange all your bulbs now, but when they start burning out, replace them the energy efficient kind and even jungle them around so the lights you use the most are changed first. You can make back the extra price of an energy efficient back in one month for bulbs you use the most.

2. Turn off the Water when You Brush Your Teeth: Same goes for shaving and washing the dishes. In the summer when it is warm, I even turn off the shower when I wash myself to conserve water.

3. Turn the Thermostat Down When You Leave: Natural this is a suggestion for the upcoming winter, but when summer comes around again, turn the thermostat up when you leave. No need to heat/cool you habitat when you are not there.

4. Unplug Things You Are Not Using: Everything associated with my computer is plugged into one power strip and when the computer isn’t on, the power strip is turned off. Same for the TV (my cable box keeps the correct time, if your VCR keeps the time you may want to plug that into the wall so you don’t have to continually set it). These are called vampire appliance that still run even if they are turned “Off.”

5. Run Your Dishwasher at Night: Nighttime isn’t just for sunglass wearing anymore. But again, this is more for the summer as the heat from the appliance will make your air conditioner run harder and longer. Same goes for your washer/dryer. Then in the winter use the extra heat to your advantage. I even leave the oven open after I am done baking to use the extra heat.

Five easy way to cut your energy bill (and help the environment), four of which won’t cost you anything.

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

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Want My Music Television vol. XXXVII

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.

Human - The Killers

If I were to make a list of the most disappoint things about the 00's, Sam’s Town by The Killers would have to make the list. Most of that was thanks to Brandon Flowers’ own Bruce Springsteen comparison. After that backlash, you would think Flowers would cool it on that, but he is on the record of calling Human a mix between Johnny Cash and the Pet Shop Boys. Um, yeah, okay. But looking at the video it is nice to see the band has ditched the silly Spaghetti Western look, but I have no idea what is with the feathered shoulder pads. Look for Day & Age out November 22.

Move - Q-Tip

Yeah Snoop Dogg just did the retro video a couple months ago, but what I have heard from The Renaissance, color me excited about the new Q-Tip album dropping on November 4.

Make You Crazy - Brett Dennen

What do you do when you’re a singer-songwriter and everyone ignores your first album? Well if you are Brett Dennen you find yourself a famous fan like Mandy Moore and put her in your video where you do your best Al Bundy impression. Works for me.

Lovebug - The Jonas Brothers

Mock me all you want but the new Jonas Brothers song is catchy in a still not as catchy as anything in the Hanson catalog kind of way.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One Hot Angel, One Cool Devil

Black Ice - AC/DC

At this point it is almost silly trying to review a new AC/DC album because they haven’t changed their formula in thirty years and seventeen albums, even with a major line up change half way through. So on Black Ice there will be no power ballads, no political statements, no keyboards, no harmonica solos, no symphonies, no choirs.

But there is Angus Young in a school boy uniform. And songs about rocking (four of the fifteen song titles have some form of “rock” in them) and chick with innuendo and metaphors so blatant you start to wonder if they if they even count as literary devises. Except for War Machine which is a biting commentary on the War on Terror. Just kidding, the title is a loose metaphor of a man’s manhood (naturally). And there is Brian Johnson’s spot on Bon Scott impression. And all the songs are verse-sing a long chorus-verse-bridge and/or guitar solo-sing a long chorus.

So it is pretty silly to try to review Black Ice on its merits because if you have heard any AC/CD album before, you have heard this one. But what is remarkable is that despite doing any retooling, the band manages to sound fresh (maybe the eight year lay-off has something to do with that) even if some of the songs sound similar to past tracks, it is hard to listen to Money Made without thinking of Back in Black. It should be noted that the album is the band’s longest to date at just shy of an hour which makes the album a bit long for one that doesn’t deviate. And don’t look for Black Ice anywhere but at WalMart where it is being exclusively sold.

Song to Download - Considering the album isn’t being sold online and it is basically a pick ‘em on which one is best, picking one would be silly.

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Previewing Frank TV

Now that the Rays have beaten the Evil Empire part Deux, TBS can finally stop running all those Frank TV ads and actually air the show itself with its second season debut tonight. Certainly the show isn’t breaking any new ground of sketch comedy that Saturday Night Live has since cornered the market for the last three decades. But what Frank TV does is eliminate all the run the mill sketches that have been more miss than hit and sticks almost exclusively to the impersonation. Because really, SNL isn’t hitting record numbers this season because people are tuning in to hear characters call each other Fart Face And it doesn’t hurt that the show only has to fill up thirty minutes so it is easier to trim the fat.

All of Frank Caliendo’s most notable impressions all show up early in the season with John Madden and Charles Barkley making appearances and George Bush even hosts a special election night special with Dick Cheney. And don’t worry, even though Frank skewers John McCain a couple times, he doesn’t try on Barack Obama, leaving that to new castmember Freddy Lockhart who does a much better impression of the Democratic candidate that Fred Armesen (although his Ice-T could use a little work in that he should never do it again in hopes that Ice-T never finds out he did it in the first place).

It isn’t just the real people that get parodied as there is a funny take on off duty Jedi and a look at who Congress is going to summon next to testify in a steroid abuse scandal. Other new characters in Frank’s arinel this season is James Gandolfini and a trio of Tom Brokaws. For more on the new season of Frank TV check out my interview with Frank Caliendo or watch the clip below or on Frank TV airs Tuesdays at 10:00 on TBS and can be downloaded on iTunes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Musings From the Back 9: Music Edition IX

There are very few voices in music these days than that of the raspy mountain man Ray LaMontagne and the whiskey soaked quiet yell of Nikka Costa. Their respective third albums seem like a departure from their pasts as both sound as if they are listen to classic Stax albums, with Costa going so far as to have her record being distributed by the label.

The influence on LaMontagne comes and goes throughout Gossip in the Grain but is collimated in the opening track You Are the Best Thing with all its upbeat horns and back up singers which would lead you to look at the album cover to make sure you popped in the right album if it weren’t for the distinctive voice that you swear was singing a Sam Cooke cover. Then there is the jug band groove of Hey Me, Hey Mama. And really, there just isn’t enough use of jug bands in pop music these days.

Maybe most bizarre is the ode to The White Stripes drummer, Meg White, a marching love letter that sounds like something right out a bad western movie, yet disturbingly works in a Meg better get a restraining order soon kind of way. But don’t worry, there are plenty of heart felt, heart wrenching, and love lorn songs sung over sparse piano, acoustic guitars and string section that surrounds that voice perfectly and led you to discover the bearded wonder in the first place.

Gossip in the Grain gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

On the other hand, for Pebble to a Pearl, Nikka Costa completely drenches herself into soul with little of the dance funk that she made a name for on her previous solo album. Costa’s horns infused Aretha Franklin moment comes on the second track Can’t Please Everybody. Elsewhere on the album she effortlessly blends that sound with jazz (Love to Love You Less), eighties R&B (Without Love) and even some Marvin Gaye type social responsibility (Bullet in the Sky). Few artist can successfully transition from a wild child to a more mature sound, but count Nikka Costa as one of the few.

Pebble to a Pearl gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. LI

The Big Bang Theory: Another reason this should be an all Sheldon all the time kind of show, whenever an episode focuses on Raj it just isn’t entertaining, except for Sheldon tying to smile. You can stream current episodes over at Innertube. You can also download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes.

Chuck: Chuck really needs to stop going to the Bryce Larkin well because the stories always suffer when he is around. Speaking of storyline suffering, I was really hopping Michael Strahan was going to pummel Morgan out of the show. Why can’t Strahan be Chuck’s new best friend. And speaking of Strahan, did they really need all those gratuitous close up of his gap teeth? You can stream current episodes over at You can also download Chuck on iTunes.

Heroes: Like the show really need help ruining it’s own storylines, but the promo monkeys really ruined the episode by revealing the Papa Patrelli pulling the strings. And what the frak was with Hiro killing Ando. Being Heroes he certainly won’t stay dead, I’m sure Future Hiro will go back in time and tell Ando to put a steel plate and exploding ketchup packages under his shirt, but still this is extremely lame. You can stream current episodes over at You can also download Heroes on iTunes.

Eli Stone: The whole Nate gets the aneurism thing was also fairly lame. I am glad they corrested that fairly early in the season. On the bright side it gave us the great line about being stalked by the other dude in Wham! And it was odd that the mother sided with Eli while the daughter decided to fight it so vigorously. Seemed a little out of chachter. But with that out of the way hopefully the show gets back to the stride it was hitting last season. You can stream current episodes over at You can also download Eli Stone on iTunes.

Pushing Daisies: After a pair of episodes that took way too much time trying to explain to people who haven’t seen the show before, this was the first episode that really clicked like last season. Maybe it was because the gang was all together trying to figure out. That and it was the first who did it that I didn’t figure out before hand (something I don’t think I did at all last season). That is what the show does best is coming up with this completely absurd explanation that actually makes sense in the context of the plot. You can stream current episodes over at

Pushing Daisies on iTunes

Survivor: How do you not out the Immunity Idol when you have the chance? The longer one has the Idol, the harder it is to get that person out. Best case scenario Sugar gets voted out and the Idol is put back in play. Worst case scenario Sugar plays it, GC is voted out and the Idol again is put back in play. It just blows the mind how stupid some of these Survivors are sometime. You can stream current episodes over at Innertube.

Survivor on iTunes

2008 Presidential Debates: Saturday Night Live right in that the winner was whoever you thought was going to win. And the post-debate coverage is the most bizarre thing ever. They actually interview people from something called “The Spin Room” which is like saying, “Let’s interview someone who will straight up lie to you and we won’t bother to call them out on their blatant lies. While all the pundits blow hard about who won, it is safe to say who the loser was: anyone who watched any of the debate. What is sad is that the very next night, John McCain and Barack Obama had this to say about each other:

Imagine how much more entertaining the debates would have been if that was how they went after each other.

Everybody Hates Chris: The guy who was trying to do Bill Cosby wasn’t very good. And wasn’t he Chris’ teacher at one point?

Everybody Hates Chris on iTunes