Saturday, September 01, 2012

I Never Think, That’s What Makes Me a Good Cop

These days when looking for new shows to watch, I tend to look for actors I like or show creators whose previous work I enjoyed. As a kid I was much simpler, when I saw commercials for Sledge Hammer! I thought to myself, I enjoy the Peter Gabriel song, maybe I should watch this show. And thank goodness for Peter Gabriel because Sledge Hammer! turned out to be one of the funniest half hours ever forged for television which it is why it is this month's induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame.

The show followed Inspector Sledge Hammer of the San Francesco Police Department, who would typically solve cases violently without compassion, and usually by accident. Basically a dumber version of Dirty Harry who carried a .44 Smith & Wesson around with him at all times, even in the shower. Of course when you have amassed as many enemies as Hammer, on both sides of the law, you would be armed at all times too. His straight-(wo)man partner Detective Dori Doreau, was basically everything Sledge was not. Of course their Captain Trunk was your typically uptight boss who sole kelp Pepto-Bismol in business to help him deal with his inept inspector.

Sledge Hammer! was absurdist at its best. And the show saved the best for last. When the show looked like it was going to be canceled, the show decided to blow San Francisco up with a nuclear bomb, accidentally set off by Hammer when he tried to disarm it of course, and then still ended the episode with, “To Be Continued… Next Season?” Surprisingly the show actually did get renewed and the show took place “5 years before” despite numerous contiguity inconstancies which only enhanced the absurdist nature of the show. To this day it still weird to see David Rasche in new endeavors like Burn After Reading or most recently as a mysterious figure on Rubicon because whenever I see him I think to myself, why is Sledge Hammer acting serious? Then I have to go watch an episode or two of the funniest things ever to air.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Around the Tubes - 8/31/12

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 An Animal #$*% My Vacation, Adventures of the Wilderness Family, Mad Monster Party, Ghost Hunters, Dexter, The Wedding Band, Alaska State Troopers, Austin City Limits, Jamie Bendell, Annoying Orange, Dead Sara, Beanie Sigel, Ultimate Fighter, Hunting Season, The New Normal, and Beverly Hills Nannies.

- Nothing like a title like An Animal #$*% My Vacation to grab your attention. The first episode will feature a bear fighting a Prius, a randy dolphin, and a mass baboon ambush. Check out a clip over at the NatGeo website.

- The family classic Adventures of the Wilderness Family trilogy is finally getting a digital high definition make over for the first time. All three films will be available via Video on Demand this Tuesday with the first film in the series will also become available the same day.

- Also hitting DVD shelves next week is the timeless fan favorite Mad Monster Party starring Boris Karloff, Gale Garnett, and Phyllis Diller. Stock up now for your Halloween party.

- Ghost Hunters is returning for a new season next Wednesday at 9:00 on Syfy. Check out a sneak peak below:

A Serial Killer’s Revenge

You may have to wait another month to see Dexter on your television screen, but you can watch the animated webisode series Dexter Early Cuts right now on

- Save the date: The new TBS show The Wedding Band will premiere Saturday, November 10 at 10:00.

- As for returning show, Alaska State Troopers will have a two hour special even Sunday October 7 at 8:00 followed by the season premiere at 10:00 on the National Geographic Channel.

- Then on October 6, Austin City Limits returns for its 38th season with Radiohead taking the stage for a rare full hour. Also slated for this season is Bon Iver (10/13), Bonnie Raitt with Mavis Staples (10/20), The Shins and Dr. Dog (10/27), The Civil Wars and the Punch Brotherws (11/3) and the Americana Music Festival (10/10).

- Jamie Bendell calls herself the “intellectual Colbie Caillat” and she just released her three song EP I'm Not Sorry Anymore and you can download the sweet new single Five Little Minutes for free. Take a listen and download below:

- You probably would not think Danny Trejo and cupcake at the same time , but the actor will be lending his voice to “Cupcake Leader” in Monday’s episode of Annoying Orange on the Cartoon Network.

Danny Trejo as a cupcake

- Dead Sara has hit the road with The Offspring kicking off their tour last night (Neon Trees are set to join next Thursday), and you can check out tour dates here.

- Poor Beanie Sigel, the guy is already going to prison (dude forgot to pay his taxes), and then he was arrested again during a traffic stop. But you can enjoy his incarceration of two years (maybe more after this week) with his new album This Time from the recently resurrected Ruffhouse Records.

- We are two weeks away from the new season of the Ultimate Fighter, September 14, at 9:00 on FX. The two hour special premiere will feature 16 elimination fights while bitter rivals former interim UFC heavyweight champion Shane Carwin and top contender and previous TUF™ winner Roy Nelson will serve as coaches.

- “Hunting Season is a new web series based on the funny and painfully truthful blog of Alex, a single gay 20-something in Manhattan, a smart and successful blogger at Gawker by day who turns the spotlight on himself and his friends when he starts anonymously writing about his social (and sex) life.” You can head over to September 12 when the first three episodes will debut with new episodes debuting every Wednesdays until 10/17. Check out the trailer below:

- For those that want to watch The New Normal early (or at all if you live in Utah), you can head over to to watch the first episode in its entirety.

- Beverly Hills Nannies may only have two episodes left (and a reunion special) but if you need more from the show, you can download the Beverly Hills Nannies Digital Magazine on iTunes.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Want My Music Television - 8/30/12

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.

Mercy – Dave Matthews Band

I am a bit offended that I was not included in the new Dave Matthews Band video. I guess I should have submitted something. And if I learned one thing from the new video, you cannot be clean shaven to be a fan of the band.

Duquesne Whistle – Bob Dylan

I am not sure if this is the greatest romantic comedy idea ever or the worse. And is that Gene Simmons in Bob Dylan’s posse?

End of the Line – Sleigh Bells

An odd clip from the Sleigh Bells, it is as if they started out making a moody dark video, and when they were done looked at each other and though, do you know what this needs: us riding around the suburbs on bike. Done.

Knock Knock – Hand of Horses

“Epic 4:3 Aspect Ratio”. Ha. Well done Band of Horses.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Things Just Went from Worse to Worser

The Liars before the BetrAyal

I came to the realization during this batch of Pretty Little Liars episodes that the show definitely has deep ebbs and flows. The show started on a high with the guiltiest guilty pleasure of four girls being tormented by a mad texter that may or may not have been tied to their friend who was brutally murdered. But after a season, things started to drag on until the second half of season two when they finally were building up to the big reveal of who “A” was. But when the show came back for the current third season it seemed to drag along once again even when they tried to force some manufactured drama with the “BetrAyal”.

Of course these episodes drug on for the same reason most episodes of the show drag on: the writers continue to think that Erza and Aria have some grand love affair, not a creepy, statutory relationship they do. And even though Ezra has been blacklisted from getting any job in the greater Rosewood area because his extra-curricular activities with a student, he has not only stuck around, but the writers doubled down on the creepiness by making him a father. But for some reason, despite the crazy family that has enough money to make you disappear overnight and a baby mama (hello Alex Mack), Aria for some reason has stayed by her man even though it cannot be that hard for her to find someone better than Ezra. At this point even Hermy the Hermaphrodite would be an upgrade.

As for the BetrAyal that the promo monkeys had been pushing for the past month, all signs leading up to this episode pointed to Paige which meant there was no way she would be the betrAyer. By the end of the finale it looked like Nate, or whatever his name is, was going to BetrAy Emily. So dude killed Maya, was annoyed that she love Emily so he returned to Rosewood to get back at Emily by poising as Maya’s cousin, tried to hook up with Jenna even though she may or may not have seen him with Maya, then tried to make out with Emily, and then when all else failed decided to just kill Paige instead while Emily watched. Wait, what? And did he also dig up Allison? I think I missed something. It does not help that I did not care about Nate from the beginning and his evil turn was so bad it looked like he watched Leighton Meester in The Roommate for inspiration (should have gone old school and went with Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female instead).

Speaking of painfully bad acting, just when you thought Nate was going to the BetrAyer, it turns out Toby also has a stash of black hoodies. Except I could not stop laughing at his turn at the camera at the end followed by some sort of weird mad dash around corner. And I thought nothing was going to be more awkward than the least sexy sex scene ever put to film. What is worse is that he makes no sense as a member of The A Team which I always assumed included Jenna (along with Hermy). So I guess if Toby is in and Jenna is out.. But even though the summer finale went out with a resounding whimper (alright the staging in the lighthouse looked cool), I have to say the Halloween special looks pretty coo. And keep in mind the last Halloween special is when the show found its footing again, so hopefully this year’s episode will put it on an ebb upwards again.

Pretty Little Liars 3.x (Summer) gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Breaking Down the 100 Greatest Songs from the Golden Age of Hip-Hop

Like many white suburban kids of the late eighties and early nineties, I love rap music. Whenever I did not have practice afterschool, Yo! MTV Raps acted as my babysitter for years. And like many people of my ilk, I find most rap music today unlistenable aside a select few. I look at some of the biggest names currently in the game like Rick Ross and Lil’ Wayne and shake my head at how they are painfully bad compared the greats from my childhood. Rap music seemed more important back then (Chuck D famously said that rap music was black people’s CNN and now it is their Home Shopping Network). It started out as party music based on dance samples. Then Def Jam came around and based most of its samples on rock licks and exploded from there with conscious rap from New York, gangsta rap out west. You had the Beastie Boys pushing the limits of sampling and then embraced the alternative movement of the early nineties. It was just a perfect storm of great rap music before getting bogged down by commercialization. So I thought I would make a list of my favorite songs from the Golden Age of Hip-Hip (click to see) to represent the best of the best era.

Please note I do consider the best hip-hop songs different from the best rap songs from the era which is why you did not see songs like U Can’t Touch This (which 3rd Bass would call Hip-Pop) on my list. And since I like to have eras bookended by significant events (much like the start of World War I did not just start in 1914 but really started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria) so my list I consider the Golden Age of Hip Hop to start with Def Jam releasing their first records and ended with the death of 2Pac. And for those that want to listen to listen to the list instead of just reading it, I have created a Spotify playlist (please note because of Spotify’s availability, some songs may be missing; seriously, why has De La Soul not upgraded to the digital age yet?).

Song Breakdown by Year
1985 – 2
1986 – 5
1987 – 6
1988 – 12
1989 – 11
1990 – 5
1991 – 14
1992 – 11
1993 – 18
1994 – 8
1995 – 5
1996 – 4

Artists with Multiple Songs (including being featured on other tracks)
Beastie Boys – 7
A Tribe Called Quest – 6
Run-DMC - 5
Ice Cube (N.W.A.) – 5
Wu-Tang Clan (Method Man) - 5
Dr. Dre (N.W.A.) – 4
Eric B. & Rakim - 4
2Pac – 3
Biz Markie – 3
De La Soul – 3
EPMD – 3
Gang Starr (Guru) – 3
LL Cool J - 3
Leaders of the New School (Busta Rhymes) – 3
Nice & Smooth - 3
Snoop Doggy Dogg – 3
Public Enemy – 3
The Pharcyde - 3
3rd Bass – 2
Big Daddy Kane - 2
Das EFX – 2
Digital Underground – 2
Doug E Fresh – 2
Domino – 2
Geto Boys – 2
Heavy D & The Boyz – 2
House of Pain – 2
pete rock & c.l smooth – 2
The Notorious B.I.G. - 2

Monday, August 27, 2012

The 100 Greatest Songs from the Golden Age of Hip-Hop

1. Fight the Power - Public Enemy

2. Mama Said Knock You Out - LL Cool J

3. My Mind Playin Tricks On Me - Geto Boys

4. Award Tour - A Tribe Called Quest

5. Passin' Me By - The Pharcyde

6. Nuthin' but a G Thang - Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg

7. Mass Appeal - Gang Starr

8. Crossover - EPMD

9. The Choice Is Yours - Black Sheep

10. Sometimes I Rhyme Slow - Nice and Smooth

11. Regulate - Warren G and Nate Dogg

12. Children's Story - Slick Rick

13. Express Yourself - N.W.A.

14. If I Ruled the World (Imagine That) - Nas featuring Lauryn Hill

15. Paul Revere - Beastie Boys

16. They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) - Pete Rock & CL Smooth

17. New Jack Hustler (Nino's Theme) - Ice-T

18. Insane In the Brain - Cypress Hill

19. Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince

20. It Takes Two - Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock

21. Gangsta's Paradise - Coolio featuring L.V.

22. Gin and Juice - Snoop Dogg

23. La Di Da Di (Live) - Doug E Fresh and Slick Rick

24. Scenario - A Tribe Called Quest featuring Leaders of the New School

25. Down With the King - Run-D.M.C. featuring Pete Rock and CL Smooth

26. Paid In Full - Eric B. and Rakim

27. Drop - The Pharcyde

28. Jump Around - House of Pain

29. Slam - Onyx

30. Peter Piper - Run-D.M.C.

31. C.R.E.A.M. - Wu-Tang Clan

32. Big Poppa - The Notorious B.I.G.

33. They Want EFX - Das EFX

34. Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F' Wit - Wu-Tang Clan

35. Around the Way Girl - LL Cool J

36. It Was a Good Day - Ice Cube

37. Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A.

38. King of Rock - Run-D.M.C.

39. Follow the Leader - Eric B. & Rakim

40. Bring the Noise - Public Enemy

41. Getto Jam - Domino

42. California Love - 2Pac and Dr. Dre

43. No Sleep Till Brooklyn - Beastie Boys

44. Now That We Found Love - Heavy D and the Boyz

45. Bonita Applebum - A Tribe Called Quest

46. Runnin' - The Pharcyde

47. I Know You Got Soul - Eric B. & Rakim

48. Hip Hop Hooray - Naughty By Nature

49. Hey Ladies - Beastie Boys

50. I'll Be There for You / You're All I Need to Get By - Method Man featuring Mary J. Blige

51. Pop Goes the Weasel - 3rd Bass

52. Shake Your Rump - Beastie Boys

53. Check Yo Self ('The Message' Remix) - Ice Cube featuring Das Efx

54. Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta - Geto Boys

55. Mistadobalina - Del tha Funkee Homosapien

56. Just a Friend - Biz Markie

57. Funky For You - Nice and Smooth

58. Loungin' - Guru Featuring Donald Byrd

59. Case Of The P.T.A. - Leaders of the New School

60. So What'cha Want - Beastie Boys

61. I Used to Love H.E.R. - Common Sense

62. Bring the Pain - Method Man

63. Eric B. Is President - Eric B. and Rakim

64. Let Me Clear My Throat (Old School Reunion Remix '96) - DJ Kool, Biz Markie and Doug E. Fresh

65. It's Tricky - Run-D.M.C.

66. I Get Around - 2Pac featuring Digital Underground

67. I Left My Wallet In El Segundo - A Tribe Called Quest

68. Dwyck - Gang Starr Featuring Nice and Smooth

69. Fight for Your Right - Beastie Boys

70. The Symphony - Marley Marl Master Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane

71. The Gas Face - 3rd Bass

72. Wild Wild West - Kool Moe Dee

73. South Bronx - Boogie Down Productions

74. Electric Relaxation - A Tribe Called Quest

75. Me, Myself and I - De La Soul

76. Because I Got It Like That - Jungle Brothers

77. Wild Thing - Tone-Loc

78. Method Man - Wu-Tang Clan

79. Potholes in My Lawn - De La Soul

80. Check the Rhime - A Tribe Called Quest

81. You Had Too Much To Drink - EPMD

82. Same Song - Digital Underground and 2Pac

83. Vapors - Biz Markie

84. Juicy - The Notorious B.I.G.

85. Going Back to Cali - LL Cool J

86. Ain't No Half-Steppin' - Big Daddy Kane

87. 911 Is a Joke - Public Enemy

88. I Wish - Skee-Lo

89. Fallín' - De La Soul and Teenage Fanclub

90. My Hooptie - Sir Mix-A-Lot

91. B Girls - Young and Restless

92. Sweet Potatoe Pie - Domino

93. Pass the Mic - Beastie Boys

94. Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check - Busta Rhymes and Rampage

95. How I Could Just Kill a Man - Cypress Hill

96. Shamrocks and Shenanigans - House of Pain

97. Nuttin' But Love - Heavy D and the Boyz

98. (Explative Deleted) Wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin') - Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg

99. Wicked - Ice Cube

100. Give the People - EPMD

Honorable Mention: Christmas In Hollis – Run-D.M.C.

For more on this list, check out Breaking Down the 100 Greatest Songs from the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 8/25/12

Quote of the Week: You are not the first girl to fall for Downton Grabby. (Spencer, Pretty Little Liars)

Song of the Week: Rainbow Connection – Weezer and Hailey Williams (Bunheads)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Legitimate Rape: Remember the good old days when the political buzzwords were things like “Aqua Buddha”? Instead this cycle we are forced to debate things like “legitimate rape”. Didn’t we decide in the eighties that “no means no”?

Preview Picture of the Week:

The Great Escape Season Finale

Leverage: When I learned that the Leverage team would be going to Washington, it never crossed my mind that the reason they tried to “steal a congressman” would involve cheerleading. And after this episode I really hope they do a whole season in the capital next season. The storylines are endless.
You can download Leverage on iTunes.

Grimm: We may have learned more about the Captain in this episode than in the entire first season. So he is a bastard prince (charming?) who is barely human and very far from pure at heart who looks kind of like Jonah Hex in his pure form. Alrighty.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Grimm on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: How dare Erza’s brother besmirch the good name of Hootie & The Blowfish? Blasphemy. And how dare Erza defile Alex Mack? Can we just kill off the entire Fitz(Gerald) Clan please?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Free Download of the Week: Year of the Dragon – Busta Rhymes: Yes you can download the entire new album from Busta Rhymes for free. Sure it is essentially a mix tape which means you will delete all but one or two songs after one listen, but hey, what do you expect for free? Quality?

New Album Release of the Week: Welcome To: Our House - Slaughterhouse

New DVD Release of the Week: Homeland: The Complete First Season

Video of the Week: Someone actually made a movie about butter carving. Welcome back Alicia Silverstone.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Pretty Little Liars, Tuesday at 8:00 on ABC Family: After a month of hyping, the BetrAyal is finally happening this week in the summer finale. The last couple episodes have focused on Paige who was found to be in possession of the missing casket earring and even the shady Jenna warned Emily about her. Of course all that means is that Paige is probably just a red herring. Other likely candidates are the growingly violent Maya’s cousin and Erza who could dump Aria and get back with his baby mama Alex Mack. But that would be more of a run of the mill betrayal, not much of a betrayal (unless Alex Mack joined the A Team to get back at Aria for dating her baby daddy). I m still hoping that Aria goes full WWF heal turn, smacks Spencer over the head with a folding chair, rips off her blouse to reveal a t-shirt underneath that reads “I’m the A-Team”. It is really a shame the how has not hired me as a writer yet.