Saturday, June 11, 2011

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

Quote of the Week: We are the cops (expletive deleted)-wipe. (Holder, The Killing)

Song of the Week: Heartless – Dia Frampton (The Voice, more on this tomorrow)

Big News of the Week: Anthony Weiner’s Umm…: No comment.

The Killing: Did they really spend a whole episode, the third to last at that, searching for Linden’s missing son, who just turned out to be with his father? Really!?! You can download The Killing on iTunes.

Switched at Birth: I basically tuned in because I wanted to see how two families explained how they could go sixteen years without realized they were raising a child of a different ethnicity and the closest thing to an excuse was that Lea Thompson’s mother is Italian. Alrighty. I had to laugh when they mentioned the guest house early in the episode because I thought to myself, there is no way they are actually going to have the poor family move it, that would be too sitcomy (note to self, pitch My Two Moms to a studio). But of course they did by the end of the episode. And here is a fun fact, the deaf girl’s very first acting gig: the episode of Veronica Mars where Mac learned she was switched at birth with Madison Sinclair. You can stream the show on Hulu. You can also download Switched At Birth on iTunes.

Covert Affairs: I think maybe this show was better than it was actually was because I was quite bored for most of the show. You can stream the show on Hulu. You can also download Covert Affairs on iTunes.

Franklin and Bash: I would just like to state on record that Natalie Zea can kill me with sex anytime. You can stream the show over at You can also download Franklin and Bash on iTunes.

Men of a Certain Age: This episode hit home with me because in my only organize softball appearance I turned a female catcher into my own personal Buster Posey for the game winner and promptly retired on top (well the guy I was playing for showed up for the second half of a double header which ended my softball career). You can stream the show over at You can also download Men of a Certain Age on iTunes.

Free Download of the Week: Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair – Arctic Monkeys (iTunes)

Deal of the Week: Up to 58% Off Father's Day Gifts on DVD and Blu-ray (The Walking Dead, Saving Private Ryan, Drive Angry)

New Album Release of the Week: Marc Broussard - Marc Broussard

New DVD Release of the Week: Red Riding Hood

Video of the Week: HBO’s Summer Series will continue Monday at 9:00 with A Matter of Taste: Serving up Paul Liebrandt. The documentary will follow the cutting-edge chef over the course of nine and a half years. Check out a promo below:

Next Week Pick of the Week: The Nine Lives of Chloe King, Tuesday at 9:00 on ABC Family: Last summer ABC Family launched the guiltiest of guilty pleasures with Pretty Little Liars and now it is pairing it another new show which could claim that crown.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Around the Tubes - 6/10/11

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 Alphas, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Jon Benjamin has a Van, Happily Divorced, Tsboo, Locked Up Abroad, Conan, Chrysler, Castle, The Firm, It's Worth What, and Who's Still Standing.

- Nothing like, it’s like Heroes, to make me tune out, but I may still give Alphas a try because it cannot be as poorly written or as poorly acted as Heroes. Can it? Here is a first look of the Syfy series that premieres July 11.

- Curb Your Enthusiasm returns exactly a month from today to HBO and the show has released its official Season 8 poster, take a look:

Curb Your Enthusiasm poster

- Jon Benjamin (who you may know better as the voice of FX’s Archer) has a van and a new show appropriately called Jon Benjamin has a Van which is premiering on Comedy Central next Tuesday at 10:30 and may do for news magazines what The Daily Show does for the nightly network news. Head over to for some clips.

- In other premiere date news, the very next day on Wednesday is the debut of Happily Divorced at 10:30 with Ron Abel playing Ron Abel in a recurring role beating out James Van Deer Beek playing James Van Deer Beek by a couple months.

- In this Sunday’s episode of Taboo, the show is tackling ‘Forbidden Love.” No, not Romeo and Juliet or even Lolita and Humbert Humbert. The episode will feature dudes and a wall or cars or other inanimate objects. And yes there is a technical term: objectum sexual. Here is a clip:

In Love with the Berlin Wall

- In other National Geographic Channel news, they now have their own Locked Up Abroad app that you can find on iTunes.

- Very things go better together than summer and live music and this summer Conan will be commandeering the largest soundstage at Warner Bros. Studios for its first ever Conan Concert Series Presented by Kia Motors. Expect performances by KT Tunstall, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Pitbull and Ke$ha to air throughout the summer on Conan and for online viewing over at

- This week on Fox Movie Channel’s Life After Film School, Mark Waters, director of the upcoming movie Mr. Popper’s Penguins, will be field questions from the film students.

- Chrysler latest Imported From Detroit ad is actually coming straight outta Compton with Dr. Dre cruising the streets of Los Angles because his Beats by Dr. Dre audio system is available with the all new 2012 Chrysler 300S.

Chrysler 300 Commercial / Beats by Dr. Dre – “Good Things”

- If you missed Castle when it first ran or want to watch it again but do not want to purchase the DVD’s, TNT has acquired the cable rights to the show and will start airing them in summer 2012.

- During the Upfronts, NBC announced a televised version of The Firm without filming a frame. Now they can start now they have found their new Tom Cruise: Josh Lucas of another lawyer book turned major motion picture The Lincoln Lawyer.

- A sooner approaching show for NBC that has also found a leader is new game show It’s Worth What which will be hosted by Cedric the Entertainer. It is a new game show premiering July 12 that features two contestants making their way through six challenges by estimating the value of items ranging from collectibles stowed in an attic for years to classic antiques. So Antique Roadshow meets the Price Is Right. Also coming to NBC soon is Who’s Still Standing? which will be hosted by Ben Bailey of Discovery Channel’s Cash Cab. The show will offer a single contestant the chance to win a cash prize of up to $1,000,000 by taking down each of their opponents (literally, you will fall through a trap door if they answer a question incorrectly) in fast-paced trivia battles. Now debut date is set yet.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

My Twenty Favorite Dave Matthews Band Songs

While reading and writing my review of So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band – Twenty Years on the Road (see my review: You and Me and All Our Friends, Such a Happy Human Race) I also spent the time listening to my DMB albums and I thought I would revise my list of the best songs from the band which I originally published right before the release of Stand Up (see DMB Week: Ranking the Songs) but upped the number to twenty to commemorate the number of years the band has been touring. This could also double as my fantasy set list (although I may throw in a cover like Long Black Veil in there) and tinker with the sequencing.

1. Bartender (The Lillywhite Sessions / Busted Stuff)

2. Warehouse (Recently / Under the Table and Dreaming)

3. Jimi Thing (Under the Table and Dreaming)

4. Grace Is Gone (The Lilywhite Sessions / Busted Stuff)

5. You Never Know (Busted Stuff)

6. Funny the Way It Is (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)

7. Halloween (Recently / Before These Crowded Streets)

8. The Stone (Before These Crowded Streets)

9. Out of My Hands (Stand Up)

10. Ants Marching (Remember Two Things / Under the Table and Dreaming)

11. You and Me (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)

12. Don't Drink the Water (Before These Crowded Streets)

13. The Best of What's Around (Under the Table and Dreaming)

14. Granny (Listener Supported)

15. Stay (Wasting Time) (Before These Crowded Streets)

16. Crush (Before These Crowded Streets)

17. Say Goodbye (Crash)

18. Recently (Recetnly)

19. Spaceman (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)

20. So Much to Say (Crash)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Previewing Locked Up Abroad 5.x

Henry Hill, the inspiration for Goodfellas, tells his tale on Locked Up Abroad

Locked Up Abroad is taking a few liberties with its name when it returns tonight for its new season. Sure Henry Hill has been locked up more than a few times, but technically never abroad unless you count a New Yorker doing time in Washington State. For those that wonder why the name Henry Hill sounds familiar, he was the real life counterpart of Ray Liotta in Goodfellas.

Though not arrested in a foreign land, the format of the show remains the same with Hill giving a first person account of being incarcerated and what led up to the arrest, or arrests in his case with reenactments sprinkled throughout (but no clips from the movie, all the reenactments were reshot, the actor replacing Robert De Niro was particularly entertain as he was clearly doing a bad De Niro impression the whole time). Listening to Hill’s account it is clear that Martin Scorsese paid a lot of attention to detail, but ended up leaving some aspects of Hill’s downfall on the cutting room floor as Hill goes into much more detail about his involvement in the drug world than the movie did. Also the last part of the episode deals with Hill’s time after the movie ended with his time in witness protection and his arrest while under federal protection. Check out a clip below:

Henry Hill Speaks

Next week’s episode may not have been made into a major motion picture, but has all the elements of one: forbidden love, adultery, stranger in a strange land, unplanned pregnancy, bribery, guns, and a daring escape attempt. After meeting a Filipino online, a British man falls in love and when he comes to visit her, she gets pregnant (note to self: next time you meet with National Geographic executive, pitch new show Knocked Up Abroad). Problems arise when her estranged husband gets them both arrested on adultery charges than could land them up to fourteen years in prison. The couples only choices: do the time or flee the country (which could almost double their sentence if caught).

Locked Up Abroad airs Wednesdays at 10:00 on National Geographic Channel. You can also download Locked Up Abroad on iTunes

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

You and Me and All Our Friends, Such a Happy Human Race

So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band - 20 Years on the Road

Back in April, the Dave Matthews Band celebrated the twentieth anniversary of their very first performance together. Ironically to commemorate the occasion, the group decided to take the summer off for the first since that very first show in the band’s hometown of Charlottesville. Dave and the boys are playing four festival shows in Atlantic City (June 24-26), Chicago (July 8-10), New York), August 26-28), and their annual Labor Day weekend at The Gorge in Washington (September 2-4). Head over to DMBCaravan for more details for full lineups (act ranging from Ray LaMontange to The Roots to The Flaming Lips performing Dark Side of the Moon at different sites) and tickets.

If you cannot make it to one of the show but still need your Dave Matthews Band fix aside from all the Live Trax concerts you own, writer and DMB enthusiast Nikki Van Noy is celebrating the band’s vigintennial with her book So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band – 20 Years on the Road. And if you are going to one (or more) of the festivals, the book makes for a great read in between sets as you brush up on your DMB history before the band writes its next chapter.

After starting off the book with her own history with the band (An Evening Spent Dancing) where she went from a reluctant concert goer to an instant fan, Nikki goes into a chronological history of the band starting with their formation (Getting Started) to the start of heavy touring schedule (The Little Red Van). The book then veers into the studio with their best known music (The Big Three), then the Lillywhite Sessions and the two albums born directly out of it (The Album That Wasn’t), and the following album Stand Up (Searching for the Sound). Then there is the tragic death of the band’s saxophonist (LeRoi Holloway Moore) and the album that was born from his death (LeRoi’s Legacy).

Yes the band’s history is the core of the book, but So Much to Say is as much about the band is it is about the fans of the Dave Matthews Band. Van Noy included personal accounts from every stage of the band’s careers from those that were there at the launch and talk about the shows from their weekly engagement as the now defunct Trax to fans as far flung as Australia where the band has only visited twice in the band’s career. The book even includes more than thirty-five original fan photos.

What really becomes clear throughout So Much to Say is there is no band out there that harnessed the internet better than the Dave Matthews Band and their fans. In the early years, word of mouth traveled easy from the early users of the new electronic-mail: college student. Then came mailing lists, message boards, blogs to today (seriously, type “Dave Matthews Band” in YouTube and see just how many performances have been uploaded); Nikki pulls quotes and talks to users and the people behind the sites frequently in the book. She even makes an apt comparison that the stat heavy national pastime is similar to DMB fans, just go to sites like DMBAlmanac to see just how true it is. Really the final two chapters in the books are pretty much just about the fans.

Some great tidbits throughout the book include a section on how some of the song titles came about (like how Dave liked to number the songs he wrote in order yet #27 was actually the 133rd song he wrote) to a part on wrong names that were dubbed by soundman Jeff “Bagby” Thomas (I’ll Back You Up labeled Let’s Get a Beer and rarity Heathcliff’s Haiku Warriors actually keeping its wrong name). There is also plenty of mythology sprinkled by fans during the book (a couple pages get devoted to the holy grail of DMB songs: Machead) which reminds me of the time my college roommate told me a tale of how his sister who went to Virginia saw Dave Matthews Band and Hootie & The Blowfish at the same frat house on the same night. And of course a good portion of the book is devoted to the band’s taping culture, which may have as much to do with the band’s success than anything else, and how it evolved over the years.

It’s hard to recommend So Much to Say to anyone not already a fan of Dave Matthews Band because there is no deep introspective passages of the band or even any new interviews with band members themselves. So Much to Say is a book written by a fan for fans and about fans. A newbie can read the book and have a deeper appreciation for the band and the fandom while longtime fans will enjoy the trip down memory lane even if they know all of the stories behind the band. Here’s hoping after this summer off we will get another twenty summers worth of shows where we can eat, drink, and be merry.

Full Disclosure Notice: This book was given to me by Simon and Schusters for the purpose of reviewing it.

Monday, June 06, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 6/6/11

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.

Walk – Foo Fighters

Falling Down is one of the great forgotten, only in the nineties, movies and maybe it is the right time for us to revisit it as we inch closer to an American without a WASP majority. But I was a little disappointed that the Foo Fighters did not give a shout out to the also from the nineties highway parking lot, Everybody Hurts - R.E.M. by R.E.M., by adding some subtitles to the other drivers.

Man Down – Rihanna

In other violent video news, Man Down has gotten a lot of flack for her new video. So for those keeping track at home, man on man violence: funny; chick on dude violence: inappropriate. But if Johnny Cash and Jimi Hendrix’s friend Joe can shoot trifling partners down, why not Rihanna. I just do not understand what is with the Drummer Boy chorus.

Back Down South – Kings of Leon

But speaking of nineties influence, I get a strong southern version of Smashing Pumpkin’s 1979 music video from the new Kings of Leon offering.

Home Is a Fire – Death Cab for Cutie

Not to knock Death Cab for Cutie, but didn’t Selena Gomez and the Scene make this exact video not too long ago. (Yes, yes they did.)