Saturday, June 04, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 6/8/11

Quote of the Week: She kinda looked like Alanis Morrissette when she was better looking. That’s why she stood out. (Cabbie, The Killing)

Song of the Week: I'm Not In Love – 10cc (as sung by Zach Morris, Franklin and Bash)

Big News of the Week: Start of the Summer Television: The spring television season just ended but summer is almost already in full swing. Here is the shows that will keep me inside when the sun is shining and when they premiere.

9:00 – Leverage (6/26 on TNT)
10:00 – Falling Skies (6/19 on TNT; premieres at 9:00 before moving to 10 the next week)

8:00 - Pretty Little Liars (6/14 on ABC Family)
9:00 – The Nine Lives of Chloe King (6/14 on ABC Family)
10:00 - Covert Affairs (6/7 on USA)

10:00 – Rescue Me (10:00 on FX)

10:00 – Wilfred (6/23 on FX)
10:30 – Louis (6/23 on FX)

The Killing: It seemed like the assistant guy had a complete personality adjustment in between episodes. It was as if the writers went up to the actor before the episode and say, “oh yeah, we are going to make you a suspect now so we want you to act emotionally stunted so it fits with the story we now want to tell.” Would it been to hard to tell the actor to act a little creepy from the beginning? You can download The Killing on iTunes.

Friday Night Lights: Holy Matt Saresen sighting! I did not see that coming, at least she did not make a u-turn to Tennessee. But I am beginning to fear for Coach Taylor because he has lost his cool multiple times over the past two episodes. He should not even threaten to bench Vince he should have done it after the stunt he pulled at the end of the game with the Panthers and the Oklahoma Tech visit should have put it over the edge. Hopefully Coach can get QB1 under control and quick. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Friday Night Lights on iTunes

Free Download of the Week: Tripping Billies (Live At Wrigley Field) - Dave Matthews Band (Amazon MP3)

Deal of the Week: 100 Albums for $5 Each: It is not the 1000 plus albums that Amazon had on sale last month, but during the month of June you can get the new album from Death Cab for Cutie, Kanye West, Alicia Keys and the Shaft Soundtrack, which I hear is a bad mother… maybe I should just shut my mouth and let you listen for yourself.

New Album Release of the Week: The Book of Mormon - The Original Broadway Cast

New DVD Release of the Week: Just Go With It

Video of the Week: I hope you have a half an hour of free time today because there is a new Gathering of The Juggalos infomercial for 2011 has just dropped (of course they waited the week after Saturday Night Live wrapped up their season to release it). This should go without saying, but this video is not safe for work, children, pregnant woman, the elderly, Ass Dan or just about anyone.

2011 Gathering of the Juggalos Infomercial

Next Week Pick of the Week: Covert Affairs, Tuesday at 10:00 on USA: The first season was decent summer fluff (or so I think, I do not remember much of what happened during the first season) so hopefully the second season is as enjoyable (and maybe more memorable).

Friday, June 03, 2011

Around the Tubes - 6/3/11

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, Rescue Me, The Voice, Ice Road Truckers, HBO Summer Series, Mancations, concert apps, City and Colour, British television DVD's, The Good Wife, and Mitt Romney.

The eight episode of Game of Thrones airs this Sunday and here is a description of The Pointy End: "The Lannisters press their advantage over the Starks; Robb (Richard Madden) rallies his father’s northern allies and heads south to war." If that is not enough for you, here is a clip from the episode:

- Update your calendars, the seventh and final season of Rescue Me will now premiere on Wednesday, July 13 at 10:00 and will run Wednesday nights.

- In other programming news, in addition to the start of the live episodes of The Voice next Tuesday at 9:00, there will be a bonus episode Wednesday June, 22 starting at 8:00. NBC has also scheduled the season finale for Wednesday June 29.

- The new season of Ice Road Truckers returns this Sunday at 9:00 on History and to celebrate the premiere, there will be a special online chat with trucker Alex Debogorski immediately after the episode airs at 11:00. Head over to Facebook to RSVP.

- Ever Monday this summer starting June 6 HBO will be airing a new documentary at 9:00 for an eleven week run ranging from Bobby Fisher (which is the first documentary) to an undercover sex crime unit in Manhattan. Check out a promo below:

- Just a reminder that this Sunday is the premiere of Mancations on the Travel Channel.

- The summer season has just begun so that means it is time to go out to your local concert hall to see a show. And making it easier including top apps like Concert Finder (free for Android) where you can find specific artists or browse what concerts are going on in a particular city or Concert Rat (free for iPhone) which lets you live blog text and photos from your music event.

- Fans of City and Colour should head over to Grooveshack where they can stream the band’ s new album Little Hell before it is released June 7. Look out for the band this summer at Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits.

- Acorn Media has a new batch of British television show set to hit American shelves this month including New Tricks Season 4, Robin of Sherwood, Set 1, Agatha Christie’s Marple: The Pale Horse, Wired, Under the Hammer, Weapons Races, George Gently Series 3, and The Far Pavilions.

- Is The Good Wife’s Alan Cumming the first post-Jewish Jewish politician on television? In Tablet magazine, Rachel Shteir examines the subject.

- In this week’s random political press release of the week, the Tea Party has launched a Stop Romney campaign because, “On issues like gun rights, gay rights, abortion, immigration, and health care, Romney has flipped more than John Kerry flopped.” This message has been brought to you by the good people of But my favorite part of the press release is how they patted themselves on the back for supporting candidates that had “impressive primary victories” all of which lost in the general election. So enjoy another four years of Obama because you would rather nominate nutjobs like Michelle Bachman then someone who could actually beat Obama.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

If You Feel Just like a Tourist in the City You Were Born Then it’s Time to Go

Codes and Keys - Death Cab for Cutie

When John Mayer released his last album I panned it because nobody wants to hear a concept album about dating Jennifer Aniston. And a first listen to the new Death Cab for Cutie album Codes and Keys, one could make an argument about Zooey Deshanel, the quirky actress that lead singer Benjamin Gibbard married since the release of their last album Narrow Stairs. Gone are the stalkery songs and tales of woe which are replaced by positive songs and grand views of the future.

First single You Are a Tourist could very well be about Gibbard’s feelings about his previous moodier songs and may be the “villain in the story you have written.” And for a guy who made a song about a Twin Size Bed sound so depressing he turned around in short time to make a real peppy song about a different inanimate object on Portable Television. While Stay Young, Go Dancing is their most upbeat and hopeful song to date by far.

Lyrics are not the only drastic change for Codes and Keys as the band when for a decidable less guitar-based sound for the new album(save riff-tastic You Are a Tourist). With more focus on piano, keyboards, and drum beats, this album has a more electronic feel (though not as electronic as Gibbard’s side project The Postal Service) but still manages the warmth that some electronic acts lack. The only song missing the wall of sound of the rest of the album is Stay Young, Go Dancing which ends the album with an acoustic guitar and well placed strings.

But is hard to wonder if this would have been a better album if Ben never met Zooey. Here is hoping Ryan Adams’s eventual concept album about Mandy Moore bucks this trend.

Song to Download – Stay Young, Go Dancing

Codes and Keys gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale. Note the $5.00 price in the Amazon widget below which is what the album will be priced at all this month.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

When I Was Young I Didn’t Think About it and Now I Just Can’t Get it off My Mind

The Lillywhite Sessions - Dave Matthews Band

The good people over at Simon and Schuster were nice enough to send me over a copy of So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band 20 Years on the Road (look for my review next week to coincide with the book hitting bookshelves) and in honor of the book’s release, this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame is the band’s unreleased gem known as The Lillywhite Session.

Naturally So Much to Say dedicated a whole chapter to the time period. As legend has it, the Dave Matthews Band went into the studio with longtime producer Steve Lillywhite and recorded a batch of songs only to ditch them to go back on the road. When the tour was over, instead going back to the Lillywhite songs, Dave hooked up with Alanis Morrisette producer Glen Ballard for an album of much tighter and poppier songs the band had ever done called Everyday. Months after the released, songs from The Lillywhite Session hit file sharing site where anyone could hear the album that might have been.

Mortality has never been a shy subject for the band, but Before these Crowded Streets took a decidedly darker turn from their previous work and The Lillywhitte Session took them deeper into the rabbit hole with songs like Grey Street, Digging a Ditch, Big Eyed Fish and maybe their saddest song to date Grace Is Gone. The latter of which Dave himself references to as the sad bastard song and still is in my repertoire of songs I go to when I am in my drunken sad bastard mood.

The standout track of The Lillywhite Session, and quick live performance staple, was Bartender. If there is one thing the band does best is sweeping epics that they can jam on for over ten minutes such as Warehouse and Two Step, and Bartender is where it all came together in a sweeping ode to a priest stand in that serves beer on the side. By the time the track hits the midway point, Mathews is wailing vocally like a one man choir before giving way to LeRoi Moore, one of his finest moments in the studio, who take the song home before ending it with a sweet pennywhistle.

The songs of The Lillywhite Session would later be revived a year later as the band convened in the studio but without Steve Lillywhite this time around for the proper release the appropriately titled Busted Stuff which despite sharing nine songs sounded lighter and more hopeful in spirit (thanks in part to new songs Where Are You Going and You Never Know). Grace Is Gone got turned into full country bar tune, a couple minutes were shaved from Bartender, Kit Kat Jam was stripped of lyrics, and JTR, Sweet Up and Down, and Monkey Man were cut from the final version. Though Dave Matthews Band songs are never fully realized until they are road tested for an entire summer, the release of Busted Stuff must have been cathartic to the band and fans alike after the tumultuous two years from the start of The Lillywhite Session to the release of Everyday, to the leak of the unfinished tracks.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Previewing Franklin & Bash

Zack Morris back on television

One could argue that you can judge a lawyer show by its cases and in the first season of Franklin and Bash the lawyers will take up cases like death by vagina (the defendant in question being Justified’s Natalie Zea which begs the question who would be against that kind of death?), a woman who thinks she was fired from a men’s magazine for being too attractive (despite barely being a five), a Robin Hood in the form of Jason Alexander (Listen Up) who has a change of heart when his terminal diagnosis turns out to be not as terminal as he thought), and Bash’s ex-girlfriend’s current fiancée asking him to get him off on a solicitation charge (yes, woman twenty-five to forty, Zack Morris will go head to head Dawson Leery, start rummaging for your old Tiger Beat issues now).

And what better way to start a series that a scantily clad guest star Mircea Monroe (Nobody’s Watching) trying to sell you mattresses on a video billboard (do not worry ladies, Zack Morris shows much more skin than Mircea later in the episode). Naturally a car accident happens and Franklin and Bash were staking out the intersection for just an occasion. Breckin Meyer (Road Trip) is the quick witted Franklin while Zack (Dead Man on Campus) plays the suave Bash.

Their ability to win unorthodox cases catches the eye of Malcolm McDowell (Easy A), the senior partner at a big law firm that brings the duo in and gives them free reign to continue taking on their typical cases. And since every man child needs a straight laced antagonist, Franklin and Bash has McDowell’s nephew at the firm, Reed Diamond (Journeyman) who just so happened to have dated Garcelle Beauvais (Wild Wild West) who Franklin just so happens to also have eyes for.

Along for the ride are Franklin and Bash’s associates from their pre-big time days are Dana Davis (Prom Night) as the duo’s paralegal slash private investigator and Kumail Najiani (Michael and Michael Have Issues), their researcher and writer who has come down with a case of agoraphobia and never leaves Franklin and Bash’s apartment which used to serve as their law office until their upward mobility.

Neither of the two characters really add much to the story while Diamond and Beauvais seemed as if they were written straight from the stereotype character handbook and McDowell is not always convincing as the aloof boss while Meyer and Morris do not have the strongest comic rapport, and some the writing is not that clever (the resolve of the Natalie Zea case is practically slap your head stupid) yet there is plenty to laugh at, as this was originally developed for TNT’s less serious sister station TBS. Maybe because it is summer and bar is considerably lower in terms of quality, Franklin and Bas is a good summer escape.

Aside from the previous mentioned, there is a slew of notable guest stars stopping by the law offices the first season and TNT’s press releases hypes the appearances of Fred Ward, L.A. Law’s Harry Hamlin, Tom Arnold, Beau Bridges, Tommy Chong, Kathy Najimy, and Trisha Helfer. What the press release does not tell you is the show will also be graced by Tomas F. Wilson. Yes, Biff Fracking Tannen. And since he is playing McDowell’s spiritual adviser, here’s hoping he will be making more stops by the show.

Franklin and Bash airs Wednesdays at 9:00 on TNT. You can stream episodes after they air on You can also download Franklin and Bash on iTunes. Fallowing the show will be the remaining episodes of season two of Men of a Certain Age (see my preview here).