Saturday, September 03, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 9/3/11

Quote of the Week: Does anybody know what tonight is… Lower your hand if you are going to say the season finale of Glee, I (expletive deleted) hate that show. (Captain Dashall, Death Valley)

Song of the Week: Someone Like You – Adele (Video Music Awards)

Big News of the Week: Video Music Awards Still Make Me Feel Old: I actually missed watching the show live because when I tuned in I thought the MTV feed somehow got mixed up with a local access channel airing the worst community theater version of Streetcar Named Desire ever. So I went ahead and watched Leverage instead. I realized my mistake when I watched a re-air of the show. Oops. Here are some thoughts:

- Best performances of the night in this order: Adele, Kanye West and Jay-Z, Young the Giant, Beyoncé.

- Oddest moment of the night goes to Britney Spears who in lieu of giving an acceptance speech for the Video Vanguard Award just introduced Beyoncé.

- I feel as if we failed as a society if Chris Brown is allowed to perform on a national stage. Dude should be trolling in relative obscurity by now; it is not like the guy has much talent to get away with all the crap he has pulled. And who does he think he’s fooling by wearing the drive thru microphone? A four year old could tell he was not really singing.

- The Amy Winehouse tribute was weird all around considering she never once appeared on the show (she was set to appear with the house band during the disastrous Las Vegas experiment but had her visa rejected) and rarely even appeared on the channel and just released one album anyone cared about. Then Bruno Mars chose to perform an obscure (at least here stateside) Mark Ronson cover of a Zutons song that Winehouse sang on instead of one of her own songs.

- Lastly, and this is for all award shows, not just the VMA’s, stop inviting artists to perform if every third word you are going to bleep out anyway. And if you are an artist who curses every third word, either chose a different song or change your lyrics, because it may seem like artistic integrity to perform your song as is, but it just comes off as a really crappy performance on television.

Leverage: Holy Dr. Abbot sighting! But I am disappointed in myself that I did not realize the chick was Sterling’s daughter, they really beat you over the head with those hints. You can stream recent episodes on You can also download Leverage on iTunes.

The Lying Game: The dude from Heroes remains to be the most interesting character on the show (how he was not in the Pilot is befuddling), him showing up in Los Angeles was really creepy. And I am beginning to wonder if either of his kids are his, neither of them look much lke him (but that could just be casting directors not caring). You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Lying Game on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: I cannot believe I just made my first ever Better Than Ezra joke during my mid-season wrap up of the show (see Two Can Keep a Secret if One of The Is Dead). I rally dropped the pop culture ball on that one. I promise when the show comes back, I will make at least one Better Than Ezra joke for every episode he is in. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Rescue Me: I have longed believed that Tommy would not make it to the end of the show and that one other fireman would die this season. But it never crossed my mind that they would kill off the entire crew. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Rescue Me on iTunes.

Free Download of the Week: Ghost on the Canvas - Glen Campbell (iTunes)

Deal of the Week: 100 Albums for $5: This week you can get albums by Mumford and Sons, Coldplay, Eric Clapton, and Carrie Underwood for five dollars.

New Album Release of the Week: In The Grace Of Your Love - The Rapture

New DVD Release of the Week: Community: The Complete Second Season

Video of the Week: Mel Brookes and Dick Cavett have been chatting it up for four decades and now they are doing it one more time for an HBO special to air this Friday at 9:00. Here is a sneak peak:

Next Week Pick of the Week: Rescue Me, Wednesday at 10:00 on FX: It is an end of an era Wednesday as Rescue Me finishes it run just days before the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Around the Tubes - 9/2/11

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 Sons of Anarchy, Border Wars, Fall TV, Community, The Big C, Web Therapy, and TNT Mystery Movie Night.

- Sons of Anarchy returns to FX this Tuesday at 10:00 and if you need a refresher course, below is a recap of season three (though I would personally like to forget most of it). Here are links to recaps of season one and season two.

Season 3 Recap

- Also returning in the next couple days is Border Wars on the National Geographic Channel. This Sunday the show is airing new back to back epsodes starting at 9:00. Here is a sneak peak of what you can expect:

Big Big Bust

- Do not ask me who they surveyed, but Terra Nova, Ringer, and Prime Suspect topped TV Guide’s list of The 10 Most Anticipated New Fall Shows. In fact none of my Five Most Anticipated Shows of Fall 2011 made their top ten.

- Community has promised to be less weird than the first two years and just how do they plan to do that: a song and dance number of course.

Community Is Back

- CBS has recently released their CBS Fall Preview app for the iPad where NCIS’s Pauley Perrette guides you three the networks five new shows hitting the channel this fall. If you are too poor or not pretentious enough to own an iPad, head over to for exclusive content for all of CBS’s new and returning series.

- The Big C fans rejoice, the show has been renewed for a third season. The second season continues to air Mondays at 10:30 on Showtime until the September 26 season finale.

- In other Showtime news, there will be a mini-Friends reunion on Web Therapy when Courteney Cox stops by the show to play an internet psychic who turns to therapy to regain her powers

- Last week I gave you the rundown of TNT Mystery Movie Night and here is one more the network recently added to the schedule. Silent Witness is set to premiere Wednesday December 7 at 9:00 The movie stars Dermot Mulroney (Zodiak, Copycat) as prominent defense attorney Tony Lord, who returns to his hometown to defend the teacher, played by Michael Cudlitz (TNT’s Southland). Tony’s involvement re-opens the heartache from his own high school days, when he was a student falsely accused of murdering his first love. Then on Tuesday December 13at 9:00 they will air Good Morning, Killer. William Devane (24) will play Everett Morgan “Poppy” Gray, the grandfather of Bell’s FBI Special Agent Ana Gray, an undercover operative tracking down a serial kidnapper. Titus Welliver (The Good Wife, Lost) will play FBI Special Agent Mike Donato, Ana Gray’s FBI partner.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Everybody Wants to go Forever I just Wanna Burn up Hard and Bright

Gold - Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams went on an amazing streak during the 00’s releasing an album a year for the first five years then three alone in 2005, all of them managed to be at the very least good. We are currently in his slow period where he has only released four albums in the last six years, with another set to drop next month. Though all of his albums are solid, his first two solo records stand out above the rest with his sophomore outing Gold being, well, the gold standard and this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame.

The album starts off with New York, New York, an ode to a city that was about to change forever, the music video featuring a still intact city skyline was filmed on September 7th 2001. Even though it was recorded months before the attacks, the song became a fitting tribute to the city and its strengths and even without the sentimentality of its release date, New York, New York remains Adams’ best song to date.

Ryan puts the alt in his country on the next song where he breaks out his harmonica for Firecracker, a hoedown for the rock set. Adams mellows out for Answering Bell with his buddy Adam Duretz on backing vocals. Further in the album, Enemy Fire is just straight ahead rock and roll with a tinge of punk. Gold is still Ryan Adams’s most diverse album stylistically and definitely makes for a better listening experience, especially at a full seventy minute album.

But let’s face it; nobody does depressingly sad songs better than Ryan Adams and you can finally break out the Prozac for the fourth track, the drink alone anthem La Cienega Just Smiled. And you really cannot get more pretentious than a balled named Sylvia Plath. Then right around the time Gold hits its halfway point, Adams breaks out the epic almost ten minute Nobody Girl that could have gone on for a half an hour and I do not think any fan would complain.

If there is one depressingly sad song that stands above the rest is When the Stars Go Blue (which has almost become a standard thanks to the cover by The Corrs and Bono). The song should be near the top of every breakup playlist from now until eternity where your heartbreaks with every crack in the singer’s voice. It has been a while since Ryan dams has written any new material (by his standards) but I am sure we will hear more songs like this when Ashes & Fire comes out.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Two Can Keep a Secret if One of Them Is Dead

I am confused. Keep in mind this is a statement I never made in six years of watching Lost (alright I may have said that I was confused that that was the best ending they could come up with). But there I was sitting on my couch going, “huh” at the end of the season summer finale of Pretty Little Liars. I could have sworn that Jenna and the cop outted themselves as Allison’s killer and as the people leading the Liars on the wild goose chase. Yet at the end it was a shadowy figure releasing the headshrinker. Does that mean that Jenna and / or the cop are not “A”? Do they know who “A” is and were copying that person? Were they ones that pulled Emily out of the barn? If I stopped caring about this show months ago, my head might hurt.

Just as confusing with the scene with Allison. I have longed believed that she was “A” but that is getting harder to come up with a good theory of how to explain how she mangaged to make it of having her head cracked by a shovel (unless the show devolves into a Pulse situation; hopefully not because that movie was so bad Jason Segal wrote a joke about it into the script of Forgetting Sarah Marshall making fun of the film to Kristen Bell’s face). Nor do I understand Allison’s reason of not telling Emily who “A” was because if two can keep a secret if one of them is dead, does that not mean that Emily would be able to keep the secret if Allison was dead? Or were subtly implying that Allison is not dead theory if in fact right? Okay, I may have a small migraine.

With that said, after a couple strong episodes going into the hiatus, they may have pulled back in. Of course a good race against time episode and a big reveal goes along way these days (though the show still needs more of the latter). “A” even forced the Liars into their biggest mind game ever, even making Hanna stop her father’s wedding (hopefully the no longer step sister sticks around to exact some revenge because she is making for a more entertaining antagonist than “A” these days). “A” even took a turn for the morbid by leading Emily into her secret wish: a forced suicide. Also here’s hoping that Mrs. Montgomery’s black mail finally gets Ezra out of town and ends that creepy relationship. At this point almost any suitor for Aria would be better than Ezra.

Though I am a bit confused going into the hiatus, I am ready to bump Pretty Little Liars back into the guilty pleasure category after being in just guilty for most of the season. Hopefully they straighten things out when they come back which looks to be for a while because it will be sometime after the special (presumably all flashback) Halloween episode.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'll Take My Words and Turn Them into Sounds, it Will Survive

I'm With You - Red Hot Chili Peppers

It is hard to go into the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album without some reservations. The last time they recorded an album without guitarist John Frusciante it was so bad Tiny Tim could have placed him instead of Dave Navarro and would have been just as poorly received. It seemed as if Dave and the remaining Peppers did not bother to adapt to each other’s style and the fans were left to listen to one hot mess of an album. Thankfully that lasted for just one album and John rejoined the band to record their next three albums.

But then Frusciante up and quit at the end of the band’s last tour leaving the band go on the look for their eighth and this time around they wisely did not fill John shoes instead opting for band friend John Klinghoffer to record their tenth album I'm With You with. Unlike virtuoso Frusciante or frantic Navarro, Klinghoffer is a much more traditional, fading into the background in most songs and really helps transition into a more adult sound the band has drifting towards their last couple albums.

Flea has always been the MVP of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but with a new guitarist in the fold, he really stepped his game up for the album carrying the band on his back on many of the stand out tracks. Like on the first single The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie where he lays one of the best grooves of his career. Almost as good is the album opener Monarchy of Roses where Flea’s driving bass gives the song a very disco feel to it (and Flea must have been listen a lot to the genre because many of the songs on the album would not sound too out of place at a seventies disco).

Even with a reinvitalized Flea, it is hard not to listen to I’m With You and wonder what it would have sounded like with a more proficient Frusciante. Some songs you are just waiting for that one special moment of weirdly awesome riff you have come expecting from a Red Hot Chili Peppers album, and sometimes it just never comes. If this is I’m With You is the start of the new mature era of the band, it is off to a solid start as long as they build on it in subsequent albums. Like more instrumentations like the trumpet on Did I Let You Know. And more songs in the theme of Brendan’s Death March (on their first day of writing the album, the band got word that friend Brendan Mullen had passed away), the band best subdued song to date.

Song to Download – Brendan's Death Song

I’m With You gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 8/29/11

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.

Muppet Show Theme Song - The Muppets & OK Go

I wonder if OK Go was picked to remake The Muppets Theme because of the video because the song is not even close the best Muppets Theme ever. But you have to love the part where the Muppets are revealed to be controlling OK Go.

Up All Night – Blink182

The best thing I can say about the new Blink182 song is that it is a more welcome comeback then the recent Limp Bizkit ateempted comeback. If nobody likes you when you’re twenty-three, I can image what they think of you when you are thirty-three.

Called Out of the Dark – Snow Patrol

I really liked Snow Patrol first album, but it seems like every subsiquant album get a little more bland to the point when their last song was featured in the trailer of a horrible chick flick (see Leap Year, or better yet, do not, it was horrible). And for the sound of their first single, the next album will not break that trend. But at least the video shows off a funny side for the first time.

1+1 – Beyoncé

When I reviewed the latest Beyoncé album (see You a Bad Girl and Your Friends Bad Too) I thought I liked this song, but I did not remember how annoying her pronunciation of “you” was. It is really distracting. But I still like the guitar solo at the end.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Previewing George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview

For my generation, September 11, 2001 is the defining moment that we will be talking about until the day we die the way previous generations talked about the Kennedy Assassination and Pearl Harbor. Everyone has a story about where they were and what they were doing the day the Twin Towers. But there may not be a more compelling story that someone can tell that was not actually in New York that day then of President George W. Bush.

Bush only granted one interview to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the date and that will be airing tonight on the National Geographic Channel at 10:00. George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview, the forty-third president goes into detail of what he did that day, starting with a mundane run and ending with a speech to the nation in the Oval Office. W. goes into detail of what was going through his mind in that classroom, where he went in Air Force One after he left Florida, his decision to shoot down any commercial airline that did not respond, and even his one attempt at humor he made that day.

This interview is not an overview of the entire George W. Bush presidency, so do not expect him to explain Katrina, the economic meltdown at the end of his term, and the wars he waged are just alluded to. Topics remain only focused on that one day and the direct aftermath and ends with Bush famously on the rubble in New York City with the megaphone. There is a quick epilogue where he talks about the murder of Osama bin Laden. The interview is very down the line politically and if worth viewing whatever your political persuasion is and should not elicited cries of soft ball or gotcha questions from anyone unless nutjobs on either side of the aisle.

George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview airs tonight at 10:00 on the National Geographic Channel. Check out a promo below: