Saturday, May 07, 2011

Best of the Week - 4/7/11

Quote of the Week: I'm making it rain Canadian style. Which is technically making it snow. Dolla dolla, coins y'all! (Lester, Chuck)

Song of the Week: Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car – Billy Ocean (Chuck)

Big News of the Week: Osama bin Laden Dead: Almost ten years ago I awoke to find the world a different place. And earlier this week it almost felt as if that chapter of American history is over though it probably will not officially be closed until we are out of Iraq and Afghanistan. After nine and a half years Navy Seals finally found and killed the guy who came up with the plot to bring down the twin towers and attach Washington by hijacking plane. Though no attacks the rival that kind of scale has happened since, you still have to feal a little more safer this week.

Gratuitous Token Hot Chick Picture of the Week:

Yvonne Strahovski taking a bubble bath

Free Download of the Week: Two Against One – Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi featuring Jack White (iTunes): Very high on my most anticipated album list is Rome, a collaboration between the American producer and Italian composer. Danger Mouse as an amazing battering average, from mash-up artist to producer to Gnarls Barkley to Broken Bells and from a listen to the first single from Rome he is going to continue the streak. Rome is set to be released May 17.

Deal of the Week: Over 1,500 Albums $5 Each Through May: Yes you read that right, big discounted MP3 albums this month for about the price of an extra value meal. Here are some albums I highly recommend: Mumford and Sons, Raphael Saadiq, Beastie Boys, and Weezer.

New Album Release of the Week: Stone Rollin' - Raphael Saadiq

New DVD Release of the Week: Webster: Season Two

Video of the Week: One hidden gems I found while sifting through Amazon’s 1500 albums was The Best of P.M. Dawn. My first thought was who knew the psychedelic rappers had more than two songs. Then scanning the track list I saw a song I completely forgot about, the George Michael sampling Looking Through Patient Eyes. I probably forgot after blocking L.L. Cool J’s disturbingly bad Father from my memory that also sampled Father Figure.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Community, Thursday at 8:00 on NBC: Very few things are better the second time around and I cannot say I was excited for another round of paintball at Greendale, let alone an hour long two parter. How wrong as I was as the spaghettis western theme actually outshone the action parody of last year in no small part to Annie Edison who showed she really needs to be the focus more often next season. And from the look of the final scene, next week looks like they will switch gears and go sci-fi, possibly alien invasion themed for the season ender.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Around the Tubes - 5/6/11

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 Game of Thrones, America's Got Talent, Shark Men, The Wild Thornberrys, Big Morning Buzz Live, Mancations, Conan, Chrysler, Dan Rather Reports, Trip Your Face, Almighty Thor, Con Con, reality television, Turner Classic Movies, Steven Tyler, and the Republican Primaries.

- HBO’s new series Game of Thrones is still rolling around (for those that subscribe, I am still patiently waiting for the Blu-Ray release) and below is a clip entitled “Tyrion and Theon in Wonderfell” from episode four which airs this Sunday at 9:00.

- If you are an American and think you have talent, you can upload an audition tape to YouTube for the new season of America’s Got Talent from now until Monday. Producers will chose twenty entries for everyone to vote on with the top vote getter will advance to the quarterfinal broadcast.

- On this week’s episode of Shark Man, the boys head down to Guadalupe Island where tag their biggest shark to date: a 17-foot, 9-inch great white.

Shark Men get their biggest catch

- If you grew up in the late nineties, you may be glad to hear that The Wild Thornberrys: Season One will be hitting DVD shelves later this month. Check out a clip below:

- Starting this Monday, VH1 will be airing their new daily entertainment show Big Morning Buzz Live with host Carrie Keagan which will talk the day’s biggest headlines, celebrities, music and other hot topics.

- It’s about time The Travel Channel got into the comedy game. Mancations “will follow comedians, Evan Mann and Gareth Reynolds as they travel the country in search of the perfect testosterone getaway, where guys get together in search of laughter and bonding to reunite with their manhood, giving men ideas for those perfect vacation spots and giving women a glimpse inside guy-only retreats.” Starting this Sunday , the boys will experience Navy Seal Training in Virginia, Ninja Camp, Space Camp in Alabama, Civil War Re-enactments, crab boat fishing in Alaska, firing automatic weapons while doing extreme watersports in Arizona. Head over to their website Evan and Garth to get introduced before the show.

- Not sure what to put on your Facebook wall today? Well let Conan O’Brien come up with something for you via F*card.

- Chryslers Imported From Detroit Super Bowl ad was universally praised and now here is their latest in the series featuring Lions’ beast Ndamukong Suh.


- In other Detroit news, this Tuesday at 8:00 Dan Rather Reports will present a special two hour expose on the Detroit Public School System on HDNet.

- Nothing like a subject “Party with Celebs: Vanilla Ice and Dennis Rodman on Trip Your Face” to grab your attention. Trip Your Face (presented by lets you upload pictures of you and/or your friend to make it look like you are parting with the Surreal Life legends.

- For those that would like to see Thor this weekend but do not want to slap down over ten buck to sit in a theater to watch it, Syfy has an alternative for you: Almighty Thor airing tomorrow at 9:00. Below is a trailer:

- Just a reminder if you wanted to go to Con Con, the Leverage Convention, the deadline to buy tickets is today.

- Fans of reality television will want to check out Kelefa Sanneh’s latest article in the recent New Yorker.

- For those that like cruises and old movies, you are in luck. Turner Classic Movies recently announced their first ever TMC Classic Cruise which will set sail December 8-12 2011. Presale begins Monday. Head over to for more information.

- Billboard recently sat down with karaoke enthusiast Steven Tyler to talk about his new book, Does The Noise in My Head Bother You?: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir, got some inside scoop on the future of Aerosmith, and Johnny Depp.

- We are nine months before primaries start up but that did not stop potential Republican nominees from having a debate last night. While in New Hampshire, Suffolk University of Boston polled likely voters and of the eighteen Republican possibly on the ballot, Mitt Romney topped them all with 35 %. Birther blowhard Donald Trump did not do very well receiving a 56% unfavorable rating among likely voters in the primary. The margin of error for their poll is +/- 4.9.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I Can Still Arrest People You Idiot

Raylan Gibbons comes to the aid of Loretta McCreary

The first season of Justified was as good as a television season gets, it kept building and building until the payoff of the season finale. Season two switched thing up almost ditching stand alone storylines completely with most episodes devoted to Hatfield’s and McCoy’s type relationship between Raylan and the Bennett clan, the area’s top marijuana export or to Wynona’s money problems thanks to her estranged husband poor business practices. (It should go without saying what the better storyline was this season.)

Cue up It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday and pour out some apple pie for Mags BennettWhat was amazing, as great as the Crowder family, The Bennett’s managed to one up them this season in no small part thanks to Margo Martindale who commanded every scene she was in this season. She was blessed with the Larry, Curly and Moe of sons which makes you wonder whatever happened to Papa Bennett. When the police chief is the smart one, who you can actually see wheels spinning whenever he is around Raylan as he tries to figure out how he could kill the marshal and get away with it, you are in trouble. This is probably she took the spitfire Loretta under her wings, so she could pass down her legacy to someone who was not a complete moron.

Without too many stand alone episode, there were much more peaks and valleys this season unlike last season that kept building with ever new episode. First things built to Winona’s bank robbery, then to the Black Pike Mountain whoop-di-do, then to Coover’s demise, and the last couple episodes built up to the finale for the biggest showdown between the Gibbons’ and Bennett’s with Boyd stuck right in the middle.

Going into the season finale, the question was not who was going to die, but how many, and by whose hand. So many permutations going into the episodes and many more were added as it went along. Loretta finally exacted some sort of revenge of her father’s killer by putting a hole in Mags. Surprisingly the only Bennett to survive was the one with the biggest bullseye on his back, Dicky, who got a bit of his own revenge on Raylan in the form of a baseball bat. More surprising was that Mags drank some of her own apple pie upon learning a second son died by the gun thanks to her actions.

So as we go into season three both Raylan and Ava have a bullet each in them. And I have sinking suspicious that will not sit well with their significant others for different reasons. It is hard to think after putting bullets in both girlfriend and wife and aunt of Boyd, Arlo and Raylan respectively, the lone remaining Bennett may not be long for season three even in police custody, though he may not want to be sprung this time around. And with child Wynona may rethink her relationship with Raylan seeing him with a sizable flesh wound after telling him not to go down to Harlan. Should make for an interesting third season as long as Raylan does not get transferred to gun training.

Justified 2.x gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale. You can stream episodes on Hulu. You can also download Justified on iTunes.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

In That Dream I'm as Old as the Mountains

Helplessness Blues - Fleet Foxes

Hearing the Fleet Foxes for the first time was one of those musical milestones: Mykonos came on the radio sounding like Bruce Springsteen fronting a seventies band from San Francisco that out of nowhere in the middle of the song switched gears turning into a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Springsteen song with sweeping harmonies. As luck would have it, a scan of my iPod would reveal that I had actually downloaded the song via a sampler some weeks before letting me listen the song on a loop for the next couple days and telling anyone who would listen about the song (see Feed Your iPod vol. XXXX: Mykonos).

Fleet Foxes continue their folk attack with their sophomore album Helplessness Blues. Though more melancholy than their self titled debut with less harmonies this time around, the new album continues the grandiose folk of the first but still enough beautiful harmonies that harkens back to the sixties with groups like The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, and the previous mentioned Crosby, Stills, Nash and sometimes Young. Helplessness Blues is Sunday morning music at its best.

Even though they excel at lush harmonies and soothing folk music, but the acoustic guitar and singular voice of Blue Spotted Tail is just as beautiful as anything on the album. And lead singer finally unleashes vocally at the beginning of The Shrine / An Argument that ends with a more frantic sax burst than we have heard from the group. But Helplessness Blues hits its highpoints when the band goes with its strength like on the strumming glow of the title track and the driving Battery Kinzie which lets some Irish Folk influence drip into it. Then there is the hymnal opening of The Plains / Bitter Dancer, before switching into a soundtrack of a drive in the countryside. We seem to be in a boon for great folksy music and Helplessness Blues is worthy addition to the list of some of the best this decade.

Song to Download – Battery Kinzie

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

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

We Gonna Party for the Right to Fight

Hot Sauce Committee Part Two - Beastie Boys

For all the kiddies out there wondering what us old people talk about when we talk about being “Old School,” check out the Beastie Boys catalogue. They were Old School even when they were the new kids on the block. And though their musical leaning have evolved over the years, their flow has remained old school, interplaying with each other as MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D trade off lines even though posse albums died around the time of the West Coast-East Coast feud. So Old School, there have been no vanity projects, just the three of them releasing albums together.

It took a while for Hot Source Committee Part One to see the light after the diagnosis of MCA with cancer (who now has a clean bill of health) which delayed the album which was originally supposed to come out in late 2009. In traditional Beastie Boys fashion, who never miss chance to make a joke, retiled the album Hot Source Committee Part Two, with almost the exact track list as Part One. Now the tracks originally set for Part Two will be released as Part One at a later date. Maybe.

Hot Source Committee Part Two is reminiscent of the electric vibe of Hello, Nasty but with more live instrumentations at points throughout the album like on the guitar fuzz of Say It or the punk drive of Lee Majors Come Again, their snottiest work since Sabotage. But aside from the opener upbeat seventies porn groove of Make Some Noise, most of the tracks lack the weird fun of tracks off of Hello, Nasty. And when all the other current rappers are over abusing auto-tune, the Beastie Boys over did it a bit on the vocoder especially on Tadlock’s Glasses.

But when their voices do come through it is classic Beastie Boys, whether they giving nods to the olden days shouting out rotary connection, John Salley and implore the listeners to be kind and rewind while Mike D calls himself the Jewish Brad Pitt. And it is about time someone put Kenny Rodger’s Roasters on blast (even if Kenny Rogers’ Gambler is my gambling theme). And Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament may be their funkiest instrumental to date. Though Part Two may not stand up to the rest of their catalogue, here’s hoping Hot Source Committee Part One makes it out before the end of the world next year.

Song to Download – Make Some Noise

Hot Sauce Committee Part Two gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Feed Your iPod vol. LIX: Super Disco Breakin'

What better way to start your day, let alone an album, than with the line “Well its 50 cups of coffee and it’s on”? And that is how we were introduced to the Beastie Boys’ Hello, Nasty and showed the boys shying away from their traditional guitar heavy riffs of their earlier albums to a more electronic sounding album full of 808 beats. Though I would recommend paranoid druggies to avoid this song thanks to the multiple sirens throughout the album. Hello, Nasty may be the groups best party album and Super Disco Breakin’ can get any party started off right.

Super Disco Breakin’ – Beastie Boys Super Disco Breakin' - Hello Nasty (Remastered)

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Now Here’s a Little Story I Got to Tell about Three Bad Brothers You Know so Well

Licenced to Ill - Beastie Boys

In honor of its twenty-fifth anniversary, the Beastie Boys commemorated the event with Fight for Your Right Revisited to answer all the unanswered questions like did your mother kick them out of the house for not cutting their hair. My initial thought when this came out was, “wait, Fight for Your Right is a quarter century old?” Nothing makes you feel older that hearing about the twenty-fifth anniversary of an event that happened when you were in grade school.

But Licensed to Ill, this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame, was the perfect album for a pre-teen with a number of great sing-a-long primed for boys on the playground. Sure we didn’t know much about them at the time (and arguably still do not), but Girls got sung over and over again back in greade school (and middle school, and high school, and college, and reunions). But (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!) was an anthem for a generation even if we did not know how to fight or party just yet.

Most rap album would be happy with two songs of that quality, but Licensed to Ill is wall to wall jams: No Sleep to Brooklyn is a road trip staple that is required listening at high speeds with the windows rolled down; Paul Revere is the ultimate posse track with Scenario that only song that comes close to matching it in that category; Brass Monkey remains an instant sing-a-long; all of which I could spit verbatim to this day.

And the production from Licensed to Hill was off the hook and is now the definition of old school. The production is so crisp it is a shame that Rick Rubin does not produce more rap record that he does these days (listening to 99 Problems clearly shows he still got it). Rhyming and Stealing sets the table perfectly with samples from Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and The Clash especially with Kerry King of Slayer shredding a couple of tracks. While Paul Revere remains one of the most classic beats in the history of rap and a prerequisite beat for any freestyle rapper to spit on. And let’s not forget the “mmmmmmmmm… Drop” from The New Style which is one of the most iconic moments in rap history. With the release of a new Beastie Boy album finally being released this week, do not forget to go back and listen to how the group got to this point.