Saturday, August 27, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 8/27/11

Quote of the Week: I didn’t kill you, God killed you. I just made sure it took. (Nate, Leverage)

Song of the Week: Poison and Wine – The Civil Wars (Pretty Little Liars)

Big News of the Week: A Melancholy Happy Trails to Jerry Leiber and Nick Ashford: We lost two songwriting greats on the same day this week. Nick Ashford wrote some of Motown’s greatest hits including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough which was made famous by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. But Nick may most be famous for the awesomely cheesy song Solid which he recorded with his wife as Ashford and Simpson. Jerry Leiber was also famous as part of a duo, he and Mike Stoller wrote some of the biggest songs of early rock and roll including Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog and Ben E. King’s Stand by Me, one of the few songs I can play on piano.

The Lying Game: My biggest problem with the Pilot is that there seemed to have all the elements of an underlying conspiracy theory, but there were no clues or hints that there was any. Like I doubt it is a coincidence that the Mercers would adopt just one of the twins but the writers did not throw anything in to back up my suspicions. We finally got some of that this week in spades when the dude from Heroes showed up and mentioned something ambiguously shady with papa Mercer then turned out to be the one that was behind Sutton’s missing laptop. I also like how “The Lying Game” plays into the story. I was so bored after the first episode I did not bother to come up with any theories, but this episode gave me hope that the show may be salvaged. I even came up with a wild conspiracy theory: we learned that that mama Mercer and Char’s mom went to high school together and I bet all the parents go all the way back to school together and they somehow tie into Sutton and Emma’s parents. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Lying Game on iTunes.

Weeds: Apparently Silas is as dumb as he looks. I had Dawn Summers as a double agent right when she talked about how unhappy she was. What I did not see coming was her being the big bad or that she would clean him out that quickly.

Pretty Little Liars: I knew I should have put money on head shrinker dieing before she could tell anyone who “A” is. Why is it in every television show or movie whenever somebody calls someone to tell them a deep dark secret, they do not just tell them there so there is time for whoever is hiding the secret to do something to them? The head shrinker could have easily told Emily, “Hey, I know who “A” is, it is Bob the Bus Driver, tell your friends to meet me in my office to discuss. Oh and call the police just in case Bob the Bus Driver kills me before you get here.” You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Free Download of the Week: Pumped Up Kicks (Chrome Canyon Remix) - Foster the People (Rcrd Lbl): Ever wonder what the summer jam Pumped Up Kicks would sound like if it were reimaged as a early nineties slow jam? Wonder no long, just download this remix.

New Album Release of the Week: I'm With You - Red Hot Chili Peppers

New DVD Release of the Week: Parenthood: Season 2

Video of the Week: When you have George Harrison and Martin Scorcese in the same sentence, you know you are in for something. The former is the subject and the latter is the director of the documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World which will air in two parts October 5 and 6 on HBO. Check out the trailer below:

Next Week Pick of the Week: George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview, Sunday at 10:00 on the National Geographic Channel: With 9/11 tributes I full gear, National Geographic Channel has the biggest get, an exclusive interview with former president George W. Bush taking about the day for the first time since he left office. Look for my full preview tomorrow.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Around the Tubes - 8/26/11

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 Iceland Airwaves Music Festival, How to Make it in America, Indecision 2012, Strike Back, Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Animals, American Horror Story, and TNT's Fall lineup.

- If you are in a band and would like to do some international touring, Reyka Vodka, the first vodka to be distilled and bottled in Iceland, will be taking three American bands to their homeland to perform at the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival taking place October 12-16 2011 to play on the same bill as headliner Björk. All you have to do is upload three orginal tracks, photos, and a biography/website link to the official Breakthrough at Iceland Airwaves Soundcloud Account by September 5.

- HBO has released its first promo for How to Make it in America which returns for its second season October 2 at 10:30. Check it out below:

- Indecision 2012 is creeping up on us and The Daily Show’s Best F#@king News Team is giving you primers on Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, the Tea Party and check out the Two-Party System below:

- New episode of Strike Back tonight at 10:00 on Cinemax. Check out a preview below:

- Bones star Emily Deschanel is the new spokesperson for Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Animals which will be taking place this fall. For more information, click on the link.

- Only one new promo for American Horror Story this week which is entitled Belly.

- TNT has announced its fall schedule which includes the return of Leverage (11/27), The Closer (11/28 at 9:00), Rizzoli and Isles (11/28 at 9:00) and Southland (1/17/12 at 10:00). They have also announced their slate of TNT Mystery Movie Night and here is the rundown (Scooter’s note: this is cut and paste from the TNT press release excepted I changed Kadeem Hardison’s credited work because who actually remembers him from Made of Honor?)

Scott Turow’s Innocent – Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Bill Pullman stars as Rusty Sabich, a judge charged with the murder of his wife, a situation that comes 20 years after he was cleared in the death of his mistress. During this latest trial, a secret affair from Rusty’s r ecent past threatens to hamper his defense and fracture his relationship with his son. Oscar® winner Marcia Gay Harden plays Rusty’s wife, while Alfred Molina is his friend and defense attorney. Emmy® winner Richard Schiff (The West Wing, The Lost World: Jurassic Park), Callard Harris (TBS’s Glory Daze, Intermedio) and Mariana Klaveno (True Blood, While the Children Sleep) also star. Scott Turow’s Innocent is a sequel to Turow’s bestseller Presumed Innocent. The movie is written and directed by Mike Robe (TNT’s HawthoRNe, Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King), with Robe and Frank von Zerneck (We Were the Mulvaneys, Miracle on Ice) serving as executive producers.

Ricochet – Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Two homicide detectives find their careers – and lives – on t he line when they get caught up in a case of murder and betrayal in high-society Savannah. Emmy nominee John Corbett is set to star in this atmospheric tale based on the book by #1 New York Times best-selling author Sandra Brown. Corbett plays Det. Sgt. Duncan Hatcher, who is investigating a corrupt judge (Gary Cole) while also becoming romantically involved with his wife (Julie Benz). Kelly Overton plays Det. Deedee Bowen, Hatcher’s blue-collar partner; Kadeem Hardison (Dwayne Motherfracking Wayne) is Detective Bob Worley; and Haaz Sleiman (The Visitor, Nurse Jackie) is drug dealer Robert Savich. Nick Gomez (Dexter, Drowning Mona) is directing Ricochet from a script by Donald Martin (The Craigslist Killer). Howard Braunstein (The Informant!) and Jim Head (On Strike for Christmas) serve as executive producers.

Hide – Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
In this movie based on Lisa Gardner’s book, Carla Gugino plays Boston Police Detective D.D. Warren, who is called to the grounds of an abandoned mental hospital where a buried chamber is discovered. Inside are the mummified remains of six young women, who have all been missing for years. The case leads D.D. to Annabelle, a young woman who spent her childhood moving from city to city, from identity to identity, hiding from someone or something totally unknown to her. D.D. uses clues from Annabelle’s secret past to unravel the mystery behind her twisted family history. Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Kevin Alejandro also star. Hide is written by Janet Brownell (Eloise at the Plaza), directed by John Gray (Ghost Whisperer, Helter Skelter) and executive-produced by Stephanie Germain (The Day After Tomorrow).

Silent Witness – Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
This legal drama based on Richard North Patterson’s novel stars Dermot Mulroney as prominent defense attorney Tony Lord, who returns to his hometown to defend an old friend, played by Michael Cudlitz. The friend is a teacher accused of murdering one of his students, and the case re-opens the heartache from Tony’s own high school days, when he was a student falsely accused of murdering his first love. Lizzie Friedman and Greg Little, the team behind One Lucky Elephant, Whiz Kids and Sex and Death 101, serve as executive producers along with Howard Braunstein (The Informant!). Peter Markle (Bat*21, Flight 93) is set to direct from a script by Thomas Michael Donnelly (Our Fathers).

Good Morning, Killer – Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Adapted by April Smith from her own novel, this thriller stars Catherine Bell as FBI Special Agent Ana Gray, an undercover operative tracking down a serial kidnapper. As Ana develops a rapport with the kidnapper’s latest victim, the suspect suddenly changes his pattern. Now Ana must race to find him before he strikes again. Cole Hauser (Chase, K-Ville) co-stars as Detective Andrew Berringer. In addition to writing the screenplay, Smith is set to executive-produce Good Morning, Killer with Frank von Zerneck (We Were the Mulvaneys, Miracle on Ice). Maggie Greenwald (Songcatcher, The Ballad of Little Jo) will direct.

Deck the Halls – Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Based on the first book in Mary Higgins Clark and daughter Carol Higgins Clark’s series of holiday mystery novels, this warm-hearted story brings together two of the authors’ most popular characters: Cleaning-woman-turned-pr ivate-eye Alvirah Meegan (Kathy Najimy) and Detective Regan Reilly (Scottie Thompson). The women investigate the kidnapping of Regan’s father and a young female driver just before the holidays. The race is on to rescue the pair and get them home in time for Christmas. Two-time Emmy® winner Jane Alexander plays Regan’s mother, famed mystery writer Nora Regan Reilly. Ron Underwood (Tremors, City Slickers) will direct from a script by Howard Burkons (John Q, TNT’s The Ron Clark Story), who also serves as executive producer with Brenda Friend (Joan of Arc, TNT’s The Ron Clark Story) and Frank von Zerneck (We Were the Mulvaneys, Miracle on Ice).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Don't Call it a Comeback vol. VI: A Tribe Called Quest

It seems like once a week I am listening to my iTunes library and I hear a song that makes me go, this artist really needs a comeback. So I thought I would start a new feature here on the 9th Green highlighting an artist that really needs to reenter the public consciousness. The only criterion is that the artist hasn’t had a legitimate hit in over a decade.

Due for a Comeback: A Tribe Called Quest

Biggest Hit: Award Tour

Last Hit: Find a Way (1998)

Where Are They Now: The group announced their breakup prior to the release of The Love Movement but continues to tour and perform together the past decade. Q-Tip released two critically acclaimed albums and is a successful producer, most recently on the Kanye West / Jay-Z Watch the Throne album. The most recent collaboration from the group was on the recently released documentary Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest.

Why the World Needs a Tribe Called Quest Comeback: Because rap crews are virtually extinct. Remember the good old days when the majority of rappers were in groups and the fun they had playing off each other? Now a day’s every rapper is solo and just has random people jump on ever track (there was a running gag in college of the resident hip-hop head who’s every song on every album he own had “featuring” next to every song). After seven years of reunion tours it is about time the boys get back in the studio and give us some new material. Just do not forget your backpacks when you get back into the studio.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Feed Your iPod vol. LXIII: Hey Stephen

Like I mentioned yesterday, these days I spend most of my days listening to hardcore gangsta rap, Taylor Swift and bands no one’s ever heard of. I cover the latter in yesterday’s post and let me tackle the middle today. I know Taylor Swift is much maligned by pretentious music types and some of their critiques are warranted: her live performances are not always on key, most of her lyrics sound like they came straight from the diary of a middle-schooler, and she has horrible taste in boys. But let’s face it, flaws and all, if you hate Taylor Swift you hate America, and you don’t have America do you?

My favorite song of Swift’s may be the song that sounds the least like her. With every successive album her songs get more and more poppier but still have an underlining hint of country be it the addition of some banjo or fiddle, but there is none of that on Hey Stephen. The song is build on a fun groove and you can tell Swift is having fun herself singing along and the softer and smoother delivery perfectly hides any limitations she may have vocally. It is a perfect template if Swift ever wants to transition into adult contemporary, I for one would not mind if she made an entire album that fits this mold.

Hey Stephen - Taylor Swift Hey Stephen - Fearless (Platinum Edition)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Best of Neo-Folk

Someone recently asked me what kind of music I listen to and I responded, “Hardcore gangsta rap, Taylor Swift, and bands no one has ever heard of.” After realizing I was not kidding, she asked me of those bands no one has ever heard of; sadly I was proven right at least in this case. Later I realized that most of those bands were based in the folksier type of music which has been gaining momentum in recent years and seems to be an evolution of the alt-country of the late nineties and / or Johnny Cash’s Rick Rubin era. So I thought I would make a CD sampler of these bands which I have dubbed Neo-Folk. Hopefully long time readers are familiar with most of these artists because I have been hyping most of them here on the 9th Green, but if not, give them a try.

1. Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars

2. Feeling the Pull – The Swell Season

3. Belated Promise Ring – Iron and Wine

4. Magpie to the Morning – Neko Case

5. White Blank Page – Mumford and Sons

6. Skinny Love – Bon Iver

7. Furr – Blitzen Trapper

8. Lost In My Mind – The Head and the Heart

9. Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

10. Mykonos – Fleet Foxes

11. If It's the Beaches – The Avett Brothers

12. You Still Hurt Me – William Fitzsimmons

13. Little Lovin' – Lissie

14. No One's Gonna Love You – Band of Horses

15. A Little Bit of Everything – Dawes

16. Art Isn't Real (City of Sin) – Deer Tick

17. Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe – Okkervil River

18. Shadow People – Dr. Dog

19. Coney Island – Good Old War

20. The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won't Wrestle the Thistles Undone) – The Decemberists

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 8/22/11

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.

Otis - Jay-Z & Kanye West

When I hear Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Spike Jonzes together I except something legendary, but this may not even be a top ten video of the year let alone of all time. But I have been thinking lately where exactly does the Otis Redding sample ranking in the all time rap samples category. I may have to start doing some research, look for a list sometime in the next five years.

The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Did someone not tell the Red Hot Chili Peppers that when you do a rooftop performance that it is supposed to end with the cops shutting you down? But that is a funky bassline from Flea but I cannot say the same for the new guitarist. Or Anthony Kiedis‘s mustache.

Miracle Worker - SuperHeavy

And the award for most random Supergroup award goes to SuperHeavy featuring Mick Jagger (in the pinkest suit that I do not think even Elton John could pull off), Dave Stewart, Damien Marley, Joss Stone, A.R. Rahman (you may know him better as the guy who did the Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack). It was if Mick put his iPod on shuffle and decided to ask the first four people that popped up to come into the studio with him. Hopefully Eric Clapton does the same because I would love to hear his collaboration with Mandy Moore, Babyface, Q-Tip, and Willie Nelson.

Day Dreams - Raphael Saadiq

Last week Cee-Lo had Urkel lip-syncing his words and this week Raphael Saadiq saw his Urkel and rasied him an Abed. Kimmy Gibler better get her agent on the phone.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Previewing the Liquid Bomb Plot

The Liquid Bomb Plot from The National Geographic Channel

In a measure of full disclosure I should mention that I have a B.A. Baracus type aversion to flying and have only stepped on one airplane (well technically five in one trip) in the post 9/11 era. And I usually reply to anyone who whines about the junk getting touched or the three ounce liquid rule with, “would you rather be blown up?” For those of you that are frequent fliers and wonder why you can only bring three ounces of liquids with you, well you actually have Tang to thank. Yes that horribly powder drink your mom made you consume as a kid.

The liquid limitations came out a terror plot that we would be commemorating the fifth anniversary of its attacks right about now if the terrorist were successful and would have killed more people than in the 9/11 attacks. Due to being unsuccessful, many may not know much about the plot, if at all, but are aware of the fallout because of the three ounce rule that was put in place because of the plan. Now you can learn more about the plot from the mouths of those that prevented it tonight when the National Geographic Channel premieres The Liquid Bomb Plot at 9:00.

It all started when the British found Tang in the suitcase of a friend of a known terrorist which was considered suspicious by MI5 and kicked off the largest surveillance operation ever in the history of the U.K. And the spy operation looked like something out of Alias with camera’s in lighters, agents breaking into a terrorist house to bug it, even replacing a screw in a light switch plate with one with a camera in it and many counter measure by the terrorist who were filling up soda bottles hydrogen peroxide to make bombs to explode in ten different airplanes. I found myself screaming at the television multiple times to arrest somebody and let a real life Jack Bauer loose on them.

The Liquid Bomb Plot is a compelling look at just what our, and governments around the world are doing to protect us and includes interviews from former secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and his U.K. counterpart Lord John Reid, former home security and former defense secretary, as well as arresting officers. My only complaint is that we never get an explanation as to why a three ounces limit. If twenty can take down a plane (we see an experiment of what could have happened if the terrorists were successful), what damage exactly will three ounces do?

The Liquid Bomb Plot airs tonight at 9:00 on the National Geographic Channel. Check out a clip below: