Saturday, February 26, 2011

Best of the Week - 2/26/11

Quote of the Week: We could also stop using the letter “M” but I think that idea is isguided and oronic. (Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory)

Song of the Week: Angel of the Morning – Juice Newton (as “sung” by Gloria, Modern Family)

Big News of the Week: Muammar al-Qaddafi Back in the News: If he wasn’t one of the worst’s dictators, you would almost have to feel bad for Muammar al-Qaddafi. Growing up in the eighties, all us school children hated him and his anti-American rants as he was the reigning craziest dictator but in recent years he has been outshined even crazier rulers like Kim Jong-Il, Saddam Hussein, and the nutjobs in Iran. But Qaddafi came back in a big way this week when his country Libya seems like the next Muslim country to fall which had led to classic Muammar being Muammar moments that leave some nostalgic for his heyday in the eighties. And the cause of the unrest in his country is even more humorous: Mariah Carey. Apparently Libyans are not happy that Muatassim Qaddafi, Muammar’s son, had paid the songstress, as well as Beyoncé and Usher, millions of dollars to perform as little as four songs for the ruthless dictator. So the next time you are downloading one of their songs illegally, do not feel bad because they support terrorists.

Gratuitous Token Hot Chick Picture of the Week:

Yvonne Strahovski with wings

Free Download of the Week: Blue Skies Again – Jessica Lea Mayfield (iTunes)

Deal of the Week: Save up to 59% on Oscar Nomanees (The Dark Knight, Toy Story 3, Sound of Music)

New Album Release of the Week: The Valley - Eisley (Head over to to download to tracks for free and stream the whole album)

New DVD Release of the Week: Bambi

Video of the Week: I have never received any greater advise ever than to never trust a big butt and a smile. And the great thinkers that gave us that pearl of wisdom have recently reunited and we on Late Night this week, backed by The Roots. And since one Bell Biv DeVoe song is not enough, the trio filmed a second performance exclusive to the interwebs and I bring it here for you. You’re welcome.

Bell Biv DeVoe – Poison

Bell Biv DeVoe – Do Me!

Next Week Pick of the Week: The Cape, Monday at 9:00 on NBC: Poor Summer Glau, she cannot seem to get anyone to watch any show she is on. Her most successful show to date is one and a half seasons. At least her latest outing The Cape was her first not regulated to the Friday Death Slot. But the show is coming to a close for the season (most likely ever) tomorrow after just nine episodes.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Around the Tubes - 2/25/11

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on The Oscars, Film Independent Spirit Awards, Lights Out, Portlandia, The Voice, The Sing-Off, Oprah, and Hulu.

- Could James Franco and Anne Hathaway break out a little Grease during their hosting duties at the Oscars this Sunday? The video below suggest it may just happen.

- A day before then (that would be Saturday) the Film Independent Spirit Awards will be handed out and you can watch the live arrivals over at Livestream starting at 2:30.

- Lights Out hit is midseason point this week and here is a sneak peak of what you can expect the rest of this season.

- Just a reminder that tonight is the season finale of Portlandia, but do not fret, the show will return to IFC second season next year and an encore of the first will begin next Friday.

- I could copy and paste on how you can audition for The Voice online, but why not just have host Carson Daily (hey, at least it isn’t Nick Lashey) tell you how in the video below. Or just click the link. Hurry up, the casting period ends March 1.

- NBC also picked up its other vocal show earlier this week, The Sing-Off. No word though if they have taken my suggestion and turn it into a weekly series. Also returning next season is more unscripted episodes of The Biggest Loser and Who Do You Think You Are.

- Seal recently sat down with Oprah for her Breaking Down the Bars series on OWN Tuesdays at 9:00. Check out a clip below where the singer talks about why he let his song be used for the woman in prison show.

- For those that prefer the Big O in written form, the March issue of O, The Oprah Magazine will feature Amy Poehler who shares her aha moment and Regina King dishing on her Best Life.

- Think there are too many commercials on television? So does Hulu’s CEO Jason Kilar who is profiled in this month’s issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Feed Your iPod vol. LV: (There You Go) Tellin' Me No Again

For last week’s Lyrics Quiz (there are plenty of songs left) I included Macy Gray’s line about “feenin’” and went to my iTunes library to do a spell check because apparently Word is still twenty years behind in adding it into its dictionary only to find the Jodeci song was sorely missing. While scouring my boxes of randomly forgotten CD for Diary of a Mad Band copy I posted the video onto my Facebook page wondering whatever happened to the group. As my buddy Doug pointed out the group was trying to mount a comeback on Keith Sweat’s Platinum House on some channel called TV One; I have never heard of the channel let alone the show. Seriously, how is that show on some network I have never heard of when VH1 hasn’t aired anything watchable since the last season of Tool Academy? But anyway. This only led me to realize that Keith’s Keep it Comin’ is another CD hiding in one of my boxes that needed to be added to my iTunes library. After some scavenging it turns out that I also own his self title, which I completely forgot I had.

The one track of my scavenging weekend that stuck out more than any other was Sweat’s (There You Go) Tellin’ Me No Again (seriously, what did early nineties R&B acts hate about the letter “g”?). Yesterday I mocked so many artist using cassette tapes in their music videos, but I first heard the song on cassette for the New Jack City Soundtrack. I played out the cassette so much because of the song; I had to buy it again on the more durable CD format. It’s sad that modern R&B has morphed so much into rap music that smooth R&B from the nineties has all but disappeared, but as long as I keep finding gems like this in my myster box of lost CD, it will soften the blow.

(There You Go) Tellin’ Me No Again – Keith Sweat (There You Go) Tellin' Me No Again - Keep It Comin'

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 2/23/11

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought 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 you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

All of the Lights – Kanye West

My eyes hurt now, thanks Kanye. Odd that Kanye can get twenty different singers to go all the way to Hawaii to sing one line or less, but could only get two to show up in the video.

Mine Smell Like Honey - R.E.M.

Speaking of headache inducing music videos, here is another one from R.E.M.

Bodies – Cee-Lo Green

A creepy theme to begin with but the showing the video via pictures just makes it creepier, and I mean that as a compliment Cee-Lo. And poor Common, gets killed for his shades and doesn’t even get a mention in the opening credit.

Single Girls - Laura Jansen

Weird chalk outline boyfriend aside, I find this song by newbie Laura Jansen very sweet and melancholy even if Bruno Mars did the cassette tape outline a couple months. What is with the cassette comeback? I haven’t used one in about a decade.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

There's a Fire Starting in my Heart

21 - Adele

Adele has the kind of voice that all her contemporaries on the pop chart would kill for and couldn’t come close to with all the auto-tune in the world. But let’s face it; her debut album was a bit of a bore. The music she was singing over was so bland it might as well have been Musak. And so when the first single off her sophomore outing, Rolling in the Deep was released it instantly became her best song. The voice remained unmistakable, but production went to another level thanks to Paul Epworth (Florence + The Machine) with opening strumming of a guitar which adding a driving bass drum a couple lines later and turning into a full on foot stomping clap along by the bridge. Even her phrasing gets betters, when she says, “Don’t underestimate the things that I will do” you can’t help but believe her while chills go up your spine.

And that sophomore album 21 (she is keeping with the age of when she recorded the record theme from 19) continues the promise of Rolling in the Deep. After the album kicks off with the first single, it goes straight into Rumor Has It which could have been the most haunting song from the girl group era of the sixties. Then out of nowhere the song slows down for a even more haunting piano accompanying part before picking right back up again.

Aside from Rolling in the Deep, Epworth helped write two of the best songs on the album. I’ll Be Waiting opens with an Elton John flair on piano before being joined by some horns and is easily the most fun you will have listening to Adele and listening to the song makes you wonder why she doesn’t go up tempo more often. He Won’t Go starts off with the beat and piano riff from The Roots version of Dear God before morphing into a soft rock R&B song from the eighties without managing to sound cheesy.

Rick Rubin, who produced four of the tracks, goes for the less is more approach he took when guiding Johnny Cash’s American records. Don’t You Remember and One and Only are the songs on the new albums most reminiscent of her previous album. And where Rubin made an art of picking cover songs for Cash, having Adele cover Love Song by The Cure with an acoustic bossa nove twinge just doesn’t reach the highs she had when she reworked To Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan on her last album which is the only advance 19 has over 21.

Song to Download – I'll Be Waiting

21 gets a Terror Alert Level: Severe [RED] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Previewing Blue-Collar Dogs

Blue-Collar Dogs

George Washington owned a dog, ten in all, Abraham Lincoln owned two of them himself. In fact the seventeen last presidents had a four legged friend to keep him company all the way up to Bo who currently resides in the White Dog House. But tonight on Nat Geo Wild, the channel will premiere a show that highlights dogs that go even further than being the best friend of the Leader of the Free World.

Blue-Collar Dogs follows dogs are more than man’s best friend but help their owners do some tough jobs. And tonight starting at 8:00 Nat Geo Wild will air three straight episodes starting with Canine MD. Sure we are all familiar with Seeing Eye dogs for the blind, but some do even more than guide their owners. Watching a dog open the refrigerator , grab a Sprite, give it to his owner with a degenerative muscle disease, then close the door is a sight to be seen. And the medical field is also putting a dog’s nose to good use by having them sniff out cancer and one dog that helps her owner by predicting her blood sugar crashes.

At 9:00 is Border Hounds which views like the best dog segments from Border Wars on its sister station but goes deeper into the training that goes on to making a drug sniffing dog. And the “Don’t Touch My Junk” guy may want to skip this episode because one of the dogs smells something a suspect’s crotch area as we get to see an agent go in and fish it out of the hiding area. But the best visual is a dog training to be dropped out of a helicopter getting strapped to an agent’s back and repelling down a six story structure (as seen above).

Rounding out the night is New York Police where dogs are trained to protect the world’s busiest city by sniffing out bombs, which they did to keep the scene safe during the Times Square Bombing attempt, attacking criminals in the subway, and as part of a search and rescue squad. Some of New York’s finest four legged officers went down to Haiti to find people stuck in the rubble after last year’s earthquake. And how New York is it that even police dogs need to be issued credentials just to sniff for bombs at the US Open tennis tournament? The most interesting part of the episode doesn’t even take place in New York, but across the river at a woman’s prison in New Jersey wear inmates actually help train puppies to become bomb sniffing dogs and even lives in the inmate’s cell. Check out a clip of that below:

Puppies Behind Bars

Sunday, February 20, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 2/20/11

Chuck: If Chuck were not to be renewed for next fall, here is hoping they pick up a prequel spin off featuring the C.A.T. Squad, I’d totally watch that over the proposed Charlie’s Angels reboot. Now if only they could work Casey into the series. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Chuck on iTunes.

How I Met Your Mother: Finally Marshall is back in New York, his dad’s death storyline went on for far too long. And what is with Barney dating a British chick? You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: So that is why the swimmer was acting so weird last week. I totally did not see that coming. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Greek: I thought this show took place in Ohio? As someone who has lived in the state for his whole life, we have had plenty of snowstorms that bad or worse, that couldn’t have been the first one they have witnessed. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Greek on iTunes

Castle: Of course Castle and Beckett both had to be right, his buddy didn’t murder his wife, but she was right that he was involved with his father’s murder. I saw that ending coming a mile away. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Parenthood: I can’t believe I just watched Lyla Garrity talk down Ben Linus. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

Mr. Sunshine: Hopefully they find a way to keep the pyromaniac secretary around because she was my favorite part of the show after Allison Janney. Certainly her son won’t be able to help out Matthew Perry. You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Mr. Sunshine on iTunes.

Justified: Interesting that weed lady lied to the girl about her daddy dying instead telling her that he went on a business trip. What is she going to tell the girl when he doesn’t return? I guess he will “die” on the trip if she doesn’t find out the truth in the meantime. Here’s hoping she goes Hit Girl on the family if she does find out. And what was with Ava and Boyd? Did they hook up or is that the only place he thought he could go after getting beat up? But this episode featured my third favorite scene with the apricot line coming in just after the series opening and “Use it or throw it away.” You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Justified on iTunes.

The Big Bang Theory: I don’t really think we really needed that “previously on segment.” You can stream recent episodes over at

Outsourced: It’s a shame we only got to hear three seconds of karaoke Sister Christian, hopefully there is an extended version unleashed on the internet in the near future. You can stream current episodes on Hulu. You can also download Outsourced on iTunes.

You can also check out my First Impressions of Survivor: Redemption Island.