Saturday, October 06, 2012

Best of the Week - 10/6/12

Quote of the Week: Twitter is stupid, and Instagram is Twitter for people who can't read. (Max, 2 Broke Girls)

Song of the Week: Sailing – Christopher Cross (The Neighbors)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: The First Presidential Debate: Supposedly Mitt Romney won the first presidential debate (of course John Kerry reputably won his first debate by 22 points) but it is not a good sign for the “winner” that the next day the only part of the debate that anyone is talking about was how Mitt wants to put Big Bird in the unemployment line. Seriously Mitt, it does not help the consensus that you’re a soulless businessman who likes to fire people to tell Jim Leher on national television that you will put the guy (and Big Bird) out of work right to his face. Personally I cannot vote for anyone who even suggests cutting funding to PBS. How dare they take away my right to watch Bob Ross reruns? And the PBS argument is just silly. Defunding PBS to lower the debt is like trying to pay off your mortgage by searching your couch cushions for change, it is not even worth the trouble.

Preview Picture of the Week:

The League Season 4 premiering Thursday on FX

Free Download of the Week: Quit You – Tristan Prettyman (iTunes)

Deal of the Week: 100 Albums for $5: This month’s discounted albums on Amazon include Bruce Springsteen, A Tribe Called Quest, Audioslave, and Dave Matthews Band.

New Album Release of the Week: Glad All Over - The Wallflowers

New DVD Release of the Week: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Anniversary Edition (Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)

Video of the Week: You know you have a star studded movie when Kristen Bell, Uma Thurman, Jason Sudeikis, and Tony Shalhoub do not even make the trailer. But star studded does not necessarily mean good and usually end up being convoluted (see Valentine’s Day or New Years Eve) so I am hesitant for Movie 43. On the other hand Movie 43 is R rated, and by the red band trailer, it is very R-rated.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Nashville, Wednesday at 10:00 on ABC: I have some good news and some bad news: the good news is that Tami Taylor is back on television. The bad is she is sharing the screen with Claire Bennett. I could go on about the show, but you want watch the premiere yourself right now on Hulu or download Nashville on iTunes for free.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Around the Tubes 10/5/12

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 Chicago Fire, Dexter, Austin City Limits, Sound Tracks: Music without Borders, Caligula: 1400 Days of Terror, The Song that Changed My Life, Liz and Dick, Mad Magazine, Emmanuel Jal, Ari Shine, Rocktoberfest, Smash, and the TNT Winter Schedule.

- Chicago Fire, the new show from Dick Wolf, does not premiere until next Wednesday, but if you want, you can watch it right now and do watch below:

- Can’t get enough Dexter? You are in luck because the show just launched the first ever official podcast, Dexter Wrap-Up. It will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the making-of the series, and featuring interviews with the creative minds and stars of the show. And I that is not enough, there is now a Dexter trivia app for Facebook Dexter’s Disciples.

- Austin City Limits returns tomorrow on PBS (check your local listings) with Radiohead. Hitting the stage in upcoming weeks include Bon Iver (10/13), Bonnie Raitt with Mavis Staples (10/20), The Shins / Dr. Dog (10/27), The Civil Wars / Punch Brothers (11/3), and November 10 will feature performances from the Americana Music Festival.

- While tonight on PBS it is the premiere of Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders featuring stories and exclusive performances by Youssou N’dour, Wynton Marsalis, Julie Fowlis (who sings the title track to the Pixar animate feature Brave), and Of Monsters and Men.

- One man and four years is all it took wreak havoc on the Roman Empire. Caligula: 1400 Days of Terror, premiering Tuesday at 9:00 on History, explores the orgies, incest and murderous acts of this reigning lunatic up until his demise at age 28, while looking beyond the legend and into the anguished life of a notorious leader. Don’t miss this captivating special and check out the latest preview below:

- Howard Jones is the next singer featured on The Song that Changed My Life, coming Monday at 8:00 on BYUtv, where he talks about Your Song by Elton John. Also featured Monday will be Mike Peters of The Alarm and Grammy winner Joe Henry.

- The Liz and Dick Lifetime Movie starring Lindsey Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor and some dude not as famous as Lohan as Richard Burton finally has an air date: Sunday November 25.

- Apple just released the much buzzed about Apple iO6 Maps and of course the people over at MAD Magazine had to say something about it and even put it on their cover. Take a look at it over at the Mad Magazine website.

- Emmanuel Jal recently released his first single and video off his new album called We Want Peace 2012 and the music video features Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys, George Clooney, Richard Branson, President Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan and many more. You can watch the the video on

- New music alert! Ari Shine funded his latest album Songs of Solomon is out now and features Ninety Nine a populist anthem inspired by Occupy Wall Street.

- Promoters of the first annual Rocktoberfest at L.A. LIVE announced that rock icon Gene Simmons will host KISS Army night at the festival on Thursday, October 18. Simmons, along with other KISS members, plans to hit the stage for a jam session at 8:30.

- For those wondering when the first season of Smash will finally be released, mark your calendars for January 8, 2013. The set will include deleted ad extended scenes, a gag reel, and a pair of featurettes. It will also come with an UltraViolet code so you can steam it from the cloud on your various devises.

- Look out for more hijinx from Franklin and Bash because the lawyer show just got picked up for a third season by TNT.

- Speaking of TNT, the network usually saves the bulk of its seasons for the summer, but they are plunging head on into some winter programming this season including the second season of Dallas (which just started production and will premiere Monday, January 28 at 9:00), a new season of Southland (Wednesday, February 13 at 10:00). They will also be launching new shows Monday Mornings, Monday February 4 at 10:00, starring Ving Rhames and Alfred Molina, and Boston’s Finest (working title), Wednesday, February 27. Also look out for the remaining episodes of the current seasons of Rizzoli and Isles (Tuesday, November 27 at 9:00) which will be followed by Leverage.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

I Want My Music Television 10/4/12

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.

Your Body - Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera has a new song out and it is better than Not Myself Tonight. Which I guess does not say much. But thanks to The Voice, Maroon 5 were able to climb back to the top of the charts with mediocre music so this will probably be a hit too. But I am more interested in the video. What is up with the blue goo in the bathroom? Did she just kill an alien? Am I better off not knowing?

Cherry Wine – Nas featuring Amy Winehouse

When I first heard this song on the new Nas album I thought it was exploitive because it did not really fit and really was not that good and doubt if a dead Amy Winehouse did not sing it the song would have never been released. After seeing the video, I have the same feeling.

Kimbra – Come Into My Head

I guess it should not be much of a surprise that Kimbra may be mentally unstable, but it is oh so enjoyable. I actually would like to go inside her head after watching this.

All Your Gold – Bat for Lashes

I do not know what to say about the new Bat for Lashes music video other than I cannot stop watching it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Voice Season 3 Blind Audition Power Rankings

Now that the Blind Auditions are done it is clear that having back to back season in the spring and fall was a bad idea for The Voice, even Cee-Lo has already checked out (and I have a feeling he fell asleep during the Blind Auditions a couple times). Well at least from a quality standpoint because I doubt NBC is looking at the ratings and regretting their decision as it is crushing Dancing with the "All-Stars" and X-Factor. But even though there are bigger teams this season (16 compared to 12 last season, and doubled the amount of season one) I am not sure if five artists this season would have been good enough to have even made it to the Live Shows last season. For comparison, despite having sixteen more singers in the competition, this season only five contestants got all four chairs to turn around (which was a bit inflated because I do not know how Adriana Louise got all the coaches to turn around) while last season there were six with sixteen less spots to be filled.

And they did not do a very good job finding professionals that have not gotten a big break this season with only six who have put out records, two of which did not make it on a team (Liz Davis apparently won a record contract on a previous singing competition that no one watch but never released an album; and I am not even counting the other boy bander who was supposable big in Germany because if David Hasselhoff can be big there how hard can it be to get a hit). Last season there was nine. Thankfully they will be cutting down the number of contestants in half over the next month, and will trim the fat even more with the new Knockout Round with only five contestants from each team making it to the Live Show.

Cassadee Pope front runner on The Voice1. Cassadee Pope (Blake)

2. Trevin Hunte (Cee-Lo)

3. Nelly's Echo (Christina)

4. Nicole Nelson (Adam)

5. De'Borah (Christina)

6. Caitlin Michele (Adam)

7. Avery Wilson (Cee-Lo)

8. Brandon Mahone (Adam)

9. Devyn DeLoera (Christina)

alt10. Lelia Broussard (Blake)

11. Amanda Brown (Cee-Lo)

12. Alexis Marceaux (Cee-Lo)

13. Suzanna Choffel (Blake)

14. Aquile (Christina)

15. Melanie Martinez (Adam)

16. Brian Keith (Adam)

17. Terry McDermott (Blake)

18. Mycle Wastman (Cee-Lo)

19. Benji (Adam)

Nellys Echo20. Liz Davis (Blake)

21. Rudy Parris (Blake)

22. Terisa Griffin (Blake)

23. Brian Scartocci (Adam)

24. Nicholas David (Cee-Lo)

25. MacKenzie Bourg (Cee-Lo)

26. Samuel Mouton (Adam)

27. Diego Val (Cee-Lo)

28. Joe Kirkland (Adam)

29. Julio Cesar Castillo (Blake)

Devyn Deloera of The Voice30. Gracia Harrison (Blake)

31. Michelle Brooks-Thompson (Adam)

32. Jordan Pruitt (Christina)

33. J.R. Aquino (Cee-Lo)

34. Cody Belew (Cee-Lo)

35. Charlie Rey (Blake)

36. Celica Westbrook (Christina)

37. Adriana Louise (Christina)

38. Alessandra Guercio (Adam)

39. Collin McLoughlin (Adam)

40. Kayla Nevarez (Adam)

So let’s go ahead and look who has the strongest team according to my power rankings giving 64 points to number one and so on (though I cut off my list at forty because that is the amount that will make it to the Knockout Round, I did rank all sixty four):

Adam: 569
Cee-Lo: 541
Blake: 529
Christina: 440

The three boys are a bit bunched together but Christina is pulling up the rear thanks to her heavily bland pop team. She has seven (7!) teenage girls that might as well be the same person. She can crawl back into the thick of things after the battle rounds if she chooses correctly because she does have three singers in the top ten of my Power Rankings. Oh wait, the previews show that Nelly’s Eho (#3) will be battle De’Borah (#5) so she will be losing one of them. Hopefully someone will use their Coach’s Save on the loser. That is not the only potential Save possibility because Cee-Lo battle between Trevin Hunte and Amanda Brown should also result in a Coach’s Save (and unless there is some creative editing, it looks like Adam is ready to pounce on the loser).

Sure it is silly to predict who is going to represent each team in the finals this early especial with Team Steals introduced this season which means eight singers will be on different teams after the Battle Rounds, but here are who think will be the finalist for each team based on which team they are on now (with a back up in parentheses):

Adam: Joe Kirkland (Bryan Keith)
Cee-Lo: Avery Wilson (MacKenzie Bourg)
Christina: Aquile (Jordan Pruitt)
Blake: Cassadee Pope (Liz Davis)

altEven though they were not as egregious as some of the omissions last season (seriously, what the heck happened to Ducky), there are a couple of contestants that deserved a spot especially above the onslaught of teen girls this season nd hopefully will get a second chance next season. But none of them former boy band members. Seriously, The Voice, stop it with the boy bander after-rans.

1. Kameron Corvet
2. Yolanda Barber
3. Jessica Sharpe
4. Garrett Garnder
5. Anita Antoinette

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Previewing Animal Intervention

Everyone and a while you see a news story of some dude who keeps an alligator in his New York apartment and think to yourself, who are these wackos? Well that is kind of the idea of Animal Intervention which visits exotic animal owners to find out if they are really a good fit with these unusual pets like lions, tigers, and bears (nope, I refuse to make a Wizard Of Oz joke here).

The show features animal advocate Alison Eastwood (yep, Clint’s kid) and animal expert Donald Schultz as the confront overwhelmed and / or delusional wildlife owners. They assess the animals to see if the owners really are a good fit in their care and if not try to get the wind animals into a sanctuary where they can be better taken care of. In tonight’s premiere the duo travels to Branson to meet with a magician who uses exotic animals in his 300 shows per year. Cue visions of Siegfried and Roy being mauled by a tiger. They also visit a Louisiana couple who has fled their capuchin monkeys to Texas to live in an RV to avoid local authorities who threatened to take the monkeys away due to improper licenses.

Later this season, the par has run in with a family that ran a zoo but due to health can no longer do so but thanks to strict laws about exotic animal trafficking in New York cannot get rid of these animals they cannot take care of; An Ohio woman who rescues large animals but the cost of having sanctuary around, and literally inside her home is getting too much; An Oklahoma man with a bizarre bear breeding program; another none animal activist Bob Barker attempts to visit a controversial bear zoo but is told he is not welcome on the property; A big cat owner in Nevada who lets “V.I.P’s” up close and personal with the animals; The lone bear left in a long closed roadside zoo; as well as other makeshift home zoos.

Animal Intervention airs Tuesdays at 9:00 on Nat Geo Wild. You can check out a clip below:

Animal Intervention Trailer

Monday, October 01, 2012

Are Sins Ever Forgiven?

I loved the original Final Fantasy, half-inch box characters and in all of their 8-bit glory. You got to walk, sail and fly around a world that looked like Middle Earth and fight random creatures as you walk across the world. Of course I picked up Final Fantasy II (which was the fourth installment of the series, but only second released at the time in the United States) for the Super Nintendo. This was the first time we got actual characters instead of stock characters to choose from (and name yourself).

Really one of the few reasons why when it was time to choose a next generation council I went with Playstation despite being a Nintendo guy for the previous half decade or so was because the next Final Fantasy installment released in the states was a Playstation exclusive (that and the Nintendo Cube just looked weird). Even though it was only the third in the series, the newest installment was given its proper Final Fantasy VII name even if it left people like me scratching their heads wondering what happened to III-VI (keep in mind this was in the early days of the internet before we even thought to Google it to find out what was going on, mostly because Google did not exist back then).

Right out the box you new Final Fantasy VII, this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame, was going to be something different and epic. Seriously, you open it up and there are three CD’s. After hours of game play, they would actually ask you to put in a new disk. That is just how grand the game was. And not like today when marketers boast three disks but those three disks turn out to be a blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy of the same movie, this was three disks of gaming content. There was also a big shift of setting, where the first two (American) games looked like olden times Middle Earth type place, Final Fantasy VII opens up in what looks like an industrialized future .

Then there were the graphic. Sure they may look laughably bad fifteen years and two gaming generations later, but they were jaw dropingly beautiful back their compared to their 8-bit counterparts. Even the music was significantly better. There was even a actual pop song included instead of the usual 8-bit blips and beeps. Instead of the block like fighters, there were actual three-dimension characters that actually looked like real people. The game was so expansive that you could actually play the whole game and not even met all the playable characters. Like previous games, these characters had their how skill sets and weapons, but they seemed even more individual in this game. The game also introduced a new way of fighting. You would still go into battle randomly as you walk the world, but during the fights there was a time gauge with different characters and enemies filling their gauge faster than others adding even more strategy into to the fighting.

As great as the graphics were at the time, the real reason to play Final Fantasy VII was a great story line. You first play a Cloud, a mercenary for hire who joins a rag tag resistance group as they try to keep an evil soldier Sephiroth from destroying the planet. The game is also most notable for what is widely considered the most shocking death ever in a video game. Not that I was shock because while playing one day, a friend walked in and asked if I got to part where the chick dies. Although I ended up being shocked that Aerith actually stayed dead. I assumed after she was killed by Sephiroth, Cloud would find a way to resurrect her, but never thought she would actually stay dead until the credits rolled. Despite the dated graphic, Final Fantasy VII is still worth playing by either dusting of the Playstation disks or it is even now available for download on the Playstation Network (but not an HD version that everyone has not been patiently waiting for).

Sunday, September 30, 2012

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 9/30/12

How I Met You Mother: When they were scanning up the mother’s body I though there is no way they are actually going to show us are they? But of course they are not and we were blocked by that stupid yellow umbrella. I guess we did learn that Ted’s baby mama has thick legs. And I take it we will not even get to Barney and Robin’s wedding until the end of this season even though they first teased it at the beginning of LAST season. Hurumph.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download How I Met Your Mother on iTunes.

The Voice: I had to scratch my head when they brought back Daniel Rosa of all people (seriously, what the heck happened to Ducky), but it is even more befuddling that they let Dez Duron back again. He was boring last season and managed to be worse this season. I do not understand how anyone could turn around (the only explanation is that it is fixed). Hopefully Dez does not turn into this season’s James Massone whose hair is more memorable than his voice but still manages to inexplicably advance.

Two things happened this week that I am surprised took three weeks to happen. First off someone finally broke my Golden Rule of Karaoke Show: You are not ADELE so do not sing Adele. But Terisa Griffin was so entertaining will give her a pass. This was also the first week I finally recognized. No not the chick who opened for The Cheetah Girls, but Lelia Broussard (who got relegated to the Battle Rounds fodder package) who actually landed in at #94 on my list of The 100 Best Songs of 2011.

Another familiar face, to me at least, was Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday. It is weird that whenever a contestant I like comes up I hope they choose Blake and f I do not I hope they end up with Christina. When everyone was fighting over her I was resigned she would stupidly pick Adam who only cares about one team member each season and that person is an old dude with a failed record deal in his past and all but ignores everyone else (the promo before the commercial break even made it seem it would be a fight between Adam and Christina). Luckily Cassadee choose wisely and went with Blake where she can basically go ahead and pencil herself into the finals. Keep in mind the first two runners up on The Voice, Dia Frampton and Juliet Simms were veterans of the Warped Tour just like Cassadee (maybe The Voice should just hold tryouts at the Warped Tour this summer). And considering this is a very weak season she could very well win it. Although I am sure twelve year old girls will find a way of ruining this season like they ruin everything with internet voting.

But the highlight of the week was when Alexis Marceaux’s brother(? Boyfriend? Random dude who snuck in from the Napoleon Dynamite convention next door?) kept chanting, “You Want this Adam.” Dude better show up for the Battle Round. In fact can we just have him replace Carson Daly?

You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download songs from The Voice with the widget at right.

Castle: It has been so long; I cannot even remember how Beckett’s mom fits into the whole conspiracy theory thing. It really took me out of the episode racking my brain to how she fit into everything. And I am not sure I am ready for a season of Beckett and Castle hooking up, let along sneaking around.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Go On: The show has been entertaining enough, but I am not sure if I can continue watching now that every time I look at Matthew Perry all I will see is Rachel Maddow.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Go On on iTunes.

Parenthood: Well at least Kristina’s cancer is fairly small and may not need chemo (or so the doctors would have us believe, but this will probably still be a hard watch most of the season.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

Sons of Anarchy: So Opie was brutally murdered this week. Alrighty. I had to scratch my head last week when Opie left his kids with his estranged stripper ex-girlfriend so he could hand out with Jax in jail, but to offer himself up to be killed? Just does not make any sense that he would be willing to die for a club that killed his wife and his father. Hopefully he had a very good life insurance plan so his kids will be taken care of.
You can download Sons of Anarchy on iTunes.

Survivor: Philippines: (In my best Beavis voice): He he he he, she said boobie trap he he he he.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download Survivor: Philippines on iTunes.

Modern Family: I really hope Dylan finds a way back into the Dunfey house because I will be severely upset if we missed his whole time there.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Modern Family on iTunes.

The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons: I am surprised that Big Eazy did not then I went in last week card. Seems like an easy way to decide things. And I wonder if The Challenge producers finally ran out of ideas because oil wrestling was a bit simplistic for a challenge on this show.
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons on iTunes.