Saturday, November 03, 2012

Best of the Week - 11/3/12

Quote of the Week: You’ve dated plenty of men who were better looking and sexier, beefier and brawnier and more cut and darker skinned and longer hair and taller and richer and more successful and funnier and friendlier, who have more summer homes and foreign cars and motorboat and yachts, who are more well-traveled and know more languages than him. (Dalia, Suburgatory)

Song of the Week: Sussudio – Phil Collins (as sung by Tessa, Suburgatory)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Hurricane Sandy: If you can donate, head over to

Free Download of the Week: Ain't Messin 'Round - Gary Clarke Jr. (Amazon MP3)

Deal of the Week: 100 Albums for $5: This month’s five dollar albums include The Black Keys, Willie Nelson, Nas, and Oasis.

New Album Release of the Week: Most Of My Heroes Still Don't Appear On No Stamp - Public Enemy

New DVD Release of the Week: The Amazing Spider-Man

Video of the Week: I do not think endorsements move the needle at all and anyone who does so is really annoying (full disclosure, I have endorsed people in the past but have abstained this year mostly because there is no one worth endorsing) so really, if you are going to endorse anyone, you might as well make it entertaining, like when Avengers director and Buffy creator Joss Whedon endorsed Mitt Romney.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Election Coverage, All Day Tuesday on Most Channels: Yes election day is finally here, or as us Ohioans most care about, the day after the election when we do not have to watch any more of starting Wednesday (for those fortunately to be in a solid red or blue state, commercial breaks have been about fifty percent political advertising since the start of the Olympics). As I mentioned above I am not endorsing anyone this time around but I do know who I am voting for though I can be swayed either way. So I wonder just how much do celebrities care about their candidate because I am willing to vote for the candidate of their choosing. Keep in mind as I am in Ohio, this state has a 51.7% chance of deciding the election and my vote has a 12.3% chance of being the deciding vote. So I could be completely swayed by, say, a personal concert from the Dave Matthews Band. Or maybe Clint Eastwood could put me in his next movie. Or maybe Scarlett Johansson is willing to drive me to my polling place in her Black Widow costume. Or maybe one of the Koch brothers could part with a million dollars (which would be a drop in the bucket of the over billion dollars spent in this campaign on both sides). Mmm, I think I am going to go hit up Scarlett Johansson on twitter.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Around the Tubes - 11/2/12

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 Witness, Henry Rollins, Whisker Wars, Pickers-Pawn Crossover Event, Fire with Fire, Rocket City Rednecks, the Soul Train Awards, and NBC's 2013 Mid-Season Schedule.

- Presented in four parts – Juarez, Libya, South Sudan and RioWitness focuses on three determined photojournalists: Eros Hoagland, who explores the gang- and drug-related violence in both Juarez, Mexico and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Michael Christopher Brown, who chronicles escalating ethnic tensions in the wake of Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster last year in Libya; and Véronique de Viguerie, who follows the “Arrow Boys” and their struggle against General Kony in South Sudan. Between these three, their photos have appeared in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Paris Match, The Guardian and many other publications. Witness: Juarez debuts this Monday at 9:00 on HBO. Take a look at the trailer below:

- Henry Rollins’ Politically-Charged “Capitalism” Tour Stop in Our Nation’s Capital will Live Stream Exclusively on TakePart TV this Monday at 7:00. TakePart TV in association with Participant Media launched Henry Rollins’ “Capitalism” tour at in October. TakePart TV viewers have had exclusive access to the two-month tour as the punk-rock icon and spoken word artist stopped in each of the 50 state capitals, culminating with this live election-eve performance on November 5 in Washington, D.C.

- It is Movemeber (where you do not shave for a month for prostate cancer awareness) and of course the facial hair series Whisker Wars is coming back later this month. Tune into a new hair rising season starting Friday, November 23 at 10:00 on IFC. Until then, watch a preview below, or get caught up when IFC airs a marathon starting Thursday 11/22 at 7:00 AM:

- This Monday History will be airing a Pawn Stars / American Pickers crossover event, appropriately called Pickers-Pawn Crossover Event starting at 9:00. If you watch both hours, you can enter to win one of four prizes by going to after the episodes have aired. Check out a preview below:
- New to DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital download this week is Fire with Fire, the heart-pounding film follows a fireman’s unexpected course of action when he’s threatened by a white supremacist that he’s testifying against in a murder case staring Josh Duhamel, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent D’Onofrio.
- The National Geographic Channel has announced that the second season of Rocket City Rednecks will premiere Thursday, November 29 at 9:00 with back to back episodes.

- The first round of artists added to the 2012 Soul Train Awards hosted by Cedric the Entertainer and Lifetime Achievement Award winners New Edition include John Legend, Charlie Wilson, and Fantasia. The show is set to air Sunday November 25 at 9:00 on BET.

- NBC must not think much of the Mayan calendar because they went ahead and already announced their 2013 Mid-Season schedule. Here are the highlights:

-- New Drama “Deception” (Formerly “Infamous”) Monday, January 7
-- New Comedy “1600 Penn” Thursday, January 10
-- New Relationship Series "Ready for Love" from Eva Longoria Sunday, March 31
-- “The Voice” Begins Fourth Cycle Monday/Tuesday, March 25/26
-- The Season's Newest Hit “Revolution” Returns Monday, March 25
-- "The Biggest Loser" Weighs in Sunday/Monday, January 6/7 with Return of Jillian Michaels
-- “Smash” Dances Back to the Schedule Tuesday, February 5 with Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson
-- “Community” Returns Thursday, February 7
--“The Celebrity Apprentice” Debuts Sunday, March 3
-- “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” Comes Back Tuesday, January 8

Thursday, November 01, 2012

If You Want Beef Then Bring the Ruckus

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) - Wu-Tang Clan

As I pointed out in my review for the Man with the Iron Fists Soundtrack review, if there is one thing I have learned in my life is to never, under any circumstance, trust a big butt and a smile. If there is a second lesson I have learn it is Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nuthin ta (expletive deleted). Just when the Golden Age of Hip-Hop seems likes it was starting to come to the close in the early nineties thanks to gangsta rap and hip-pop, the nine New York collective dropped Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) , this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame.

The album just sounded like New York City (or at least it sounded like that to this teenaged suburban white kid), it was grimy, dirty, and menacing with plenty of kung-fu sounds (of course the guy went on to write, direct, and star in a kung-fu movie). With beats by RZA, the music somehow managed to sound sparse and big at the same time. And the Clan managed to assemble the greatest crew in the history of rap by a country mile. Ghostface Killah and Raekwon are two of the best lyricist in the game. Method Man brought in a commercial aspect, and Ol' Dirty Bastard was just unhinged bringing in an element of anything can happen.

Oh, and the songs. Three of the songs from the album made my list of the 100 Greatest Songs from the Golden Age of Hip-Hop. As the intro would have you believe, the teenaged version of myself ran around chanting the Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nuthin ta (expletive deleted) wit , even the present day version does the same thing occasionally. My favorite line remains, “I’m causing more family feuds than Richard Dawson.” (R.I.P. Richard). C.R.E.A.M. was a stroke of genius, and another chant worthy chorus. And the song is just pure paranoia, and the second most paranoid songs ever after Mind Playing Tricks On Me (with all due respect to Black Sabbath). Then Method Man why the M.C. ended up being the breakout star of the Clan and featured maybe the most memorable opening of any song ever which was hilariously parodied by Dave Chappelle.

Who knows when we will get the next proper full length We-Tang Clan album, if ever? It is not the easiest thing to get these guys at the same place at the same time (I know from experience from the massive delay of the Wu-Tang Clan / Rage Against the Machine concert I went to because the members were too busy playing basketball and started their set a full hour after the opening act finished). But hopefully it gets done soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Previewing Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden

The cast of Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden

The National Geographic Channel made some noise a couple months ago when they announced they would release a movie based on the killing of Osama bin Laden just days before the election. Naturally this made the conservative talking heads explode saying such a movie was a blatant attempt to help President Obama get reelected (or at least they said that right after telling every voter should see 2016: Obama’s America before they vote) because the movie would highlight arguably his greatest (also arguably his only) achievement as president.

Then I heard nothing about the film until the screener for Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden arrived on my doorstep earlier this week. I was a bit surprised is was an actual motion picture and not a documentary with an actual director (alright, the guy who did Into the Blue) and produced by the same guy who produce Hurt Locker ironically the director of that movie has her own bin Laden movie coming out in theaters sometime after the election). It even has recognizable actors although none that really anyone will get too excited for (The eighth most recognizable person from those horrible vampire movies! The dude from that Brittney Spears movie! The guy from Six Feet Under that isn’t Adam Braverman or Dexter Morgan! The Pimp My Ride guy! T-Bag! That chick from Beverly Hills 90210: The College Years! The dude who had sex with Stiffler’s mom! The creepy dude from Invasion!)

The film actually opens in 2002 during an interrogation (sans waterboarding) at Guantanamo Bay but before you think the film is actually ghoing to give any credit to Bush or his administration, they flash forward to 2010 with a CIA operation that looked and felt much like the first two episode of the new season of Homeland but without the crazy operative. The movie spends too much time creating fake back stories for the Seals and keeps the intelligence focused on the mid level employees of the CIA. We never even get to go inside the War Room (aside from the famous picture) and they do not try to recast Obama (the movie does generously feature his speeches and interviews on the subject) or his inner circle; really the only fictionalized version of any recognized figure is a phone call to CIA Director Leon Panetta.

It is hard to watch Seal Team Six without thinking of Zero Dark Thirty, a movie that will probably be much better. It has the director of The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow, with her first movie since winning an Oscar and stars critical darling Jessica Chastain along with Coach Eric Taylor, Tony Soprano, and Bright Abbott. If you are only going to see one Osama bin Laden movie, you will probably want to wait until the end of the year. But for those that cannot wait, the as slowly paced nd thrown together as Seal Team Six is, the actual raid does get you on the edge of your seat even though you already know how it ends.

And for those conspiracy theorist who think Harvey Weinstein released his film two days before his buddy was up for reelection, when it comes down to it, Seal Team Six will probably have the same amount of impact on the presidential elections as 2016: Obama’s America did: zero. If want to rant on something that will actually change the outcome of the presidential race, just look outside and say hello to Sandy.

Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden premieres Sunday at 8:00 on The National Geographic Channel. Check out the trailer below:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Want My Music Television - 10/30/12

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.

Begin Again - Taylor Swift

Begin Again may just overtake Mine as the most Taylor Swift-y video Taylor has ever made. And I know women do not like wearin the same clothes more than once, but Taylor, it is perfectly okay if you wear that purple dress again and frequently. Actually come to think aqbout it, she may have already reused it because it kind of looks like the Speak Now cover dress.

Here Comes My Man - The Gaslight Anthem

It is clear that Elisha Cuthbert found the role of her career on Happy Endings where she plays a half wit whose charm is that she cannot take a joke because trying act serious again in the new Gaslight Anthem is not working.

Stubborn Love – The Lumineeers

Ho Hey is a great song, but a bit of a novelty because it cribs its chorus from Naughty by Nature (or so I assume), Stubborn Love shows that The Lumineers can still write a great song without novelty, just awesomeness. Also, “The opposite of love is indifference” may be the best lyric of 2012.

Let’s Go – Matt and Kim

When Matt and Kim released their first music video for Let Go, I was a bit disappointed because they always release creative videos and it only featured a dude dribbling a basketball. The new video is much more entertaining featuring ever cheesy family portrait that may or may not be taken by Ross Geller.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Voice Season 3 Battle Round Power Rankings

Thankfully The Voice took two suggestions I had and applied them to The Battle Rounds: introduced the Steal and breeze through the lesser Battles via montage like they do during the Blind Audition. Granted it only made the Battle Rounds nominally better this season (it did not help that the coaches wasted six of their eight steals; The next round would have been much better had Lelia Broussard, Brandon Mahone, Nelly's Echo, Benji, Alexis Marceaux, and Emily Earle would have gotten the Steal over anyone aside from Amanda or Caitlin). Before we move to the new and mysterious Knockout Round that starts tonight, here is an updated Power Ranking based on the first two rounds.

Trevin Hunte of The Voice1. Trevin Hunte (Team Cee-Lo)

2. Nicholas David (Team Cee-Lo)

3. De'Borah (Team Christina)

4. Cassadee Pope (Team Blake)

5. Caitlin Michele (Team Adam Cee-Lo)

6. Suzanna Choffel (Team Blake)

7. Nicole Nelson (Team Adam)

8. Terry McDermott (Team Blake)

9. Devyn DeLoera (Team Christina)

Nicholas David of The Voice10. Amanda Brown (Team Cee-Lo Adam)

11. Avery Wilson (Team Cee-Lo)

12. Brian Keith (Team Adam)

13. Diego Val (Team Cee-Lo)

14. Aquile (Team Christina)

15. Melanie Martinez (Team Adam)

16. Adriana Louise (Team Christina)

17. Liz Davis (Team Blake)

18. Cody Belew (Team Cee-Lo)

19. Rudy Parris (Team Blake)

De'Borah of The Voice20. Joe Kirkland (Team Adam)

21. Michelle Brooks-Thompson (Team Adam)

22. Gracia Harrison (Team Blake)

23. Mycle Wastman (Team Cee-Lo)

24. Terisa Griffin (Team Blake Cee-Lo)

25. Alessandra Guercio (Team Adam Christina)

26. Celica Westbrook (Team Christina)

27. Joselyn Rivera (Team (Christina Adam)

28. Kayla Nevarez (Team Adam)

29. Sam James (Team Adam)

Devyn Deloera of The Voice30. Julio Cesar Castillo (Team Blake)

31. Collin McLoughlin (Team Adam Blake)

32. Michaela Paige (Team Blake)

33. MarissaAnn (Team Christina Blake)

34. Sylvia Yacoub (Team Christina)

35. Chevonne (Team Cee-Lo Christina)

36. Daniel Rosa (Team Cee-Lo)

37. Dez Duron (Team Christina)

38. MacKenzie Bourg (Team Cee-Lo)

39. Loren Allred (Team Adam)

40. Laura Vivas (Team Christina)

Wow, three of the top five contestants are on Team Cee-Lo. Cassadee lost her frontrunner status after being demoted to montage in the Battle rounds (I listen to the studio version of her song and it sounded alright, but when I watched her after-battle interview, it did not sound like the performance was all that good, so it was probably good she was relegated to montage). So clearly Cee-Lo is in the driver’s seat, here is how the other teams stack up if you give one point to the singer in last and so on.

Cee-Lo – 239
Blake – 208
Adam – 202
Christina – 171

It looks like Christina may get her third straight last place finish with her bizarre strategy of going with a predominately bland teenage pop singer team which make me fear for the longevity of De’Borah, her most entertaining singer this year. It did not help that I only agreed with Christina’s decisions half the time, and only agreed with the coaches 58% of the time (Adam 2-3, Blake 4-2, Cee-Lo 5-2). It is weird that only one of Cee-Lo’s battles got relegated to montage while three of Adam’s were not shown.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 10/28/12

Once Upon a Time: I am beginning to think that the question of why some characters were sent to Storybrooke while others stayed in the Enchanted Forrest is akin to the question on Lost why some people on the airplane were sent back to the seventies and others were not. Of which the answer turned out to be, there is none other than the writers wanted to split them up to amp the tension. Darn you writers of Lost.

With the curse broken, it is weird that some of the Storybrooke inhabitants have gone back to their fairytale names while others have kept their new monikers. Again I have a feeling that it is at the whim of the writers. But the most surprising change with the curse broken is that Little Red Riding Hood is dressing less slutty, and like most females who do so looks much more attractive.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Revenge: This show really likes its “Oh Snap!” moments and a very pregnant Amanda falling over the balcony was certainly one of them. Unfortunately they lessened the impact of it by telling us someone at the very least would lose a lot of blood (or just dropped a punch bowl) making Amanda an obvious suspect. Although I was waiting for mommy to smother her in the hospital after it was revealed she tried to kill a young Amanda. Maybe that is next episode. But what I really want to know is what is going on with Nolan. It was clear last episode that Rebecca Logan was flirting with him, and the last time we saw him getting intimate with any one was when he was making a sex tape with the rent boy, yet here he is initiating a make out session with Rebecca. Was he just emotionally drained from his father’s death that he needed some human intimacy? Is he really into women? Is this part of some nefarious plot we are unaware of yet?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Revenge on iTunes.

The Walking Dead: An interesting conundrum, what do you do if you find prisoners inside a prison in a zombie apocalypse. Do you kill them because they are in there for a reason or do you give them a clean slate because you need every human that you need? Granted if I am Bernier Madolff type prisoner I would off the bat start screaming I am a white collar criminal. But then again if I am a Jerry Sandusky type I would be saying the same thing. Of course Rick gives you once chance and if you even look like you are crossing him, then it is a machete to the head. Sometimes I wonder if Rick trusts the zombies more than the humans.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

The Voice: And mercifully the Battle Rounds are over. The Steal started out being a good idea and Amanda Brown and Caitlin Michele both got a reprieve, but I had to scratch my head about every other Steal. And it did not help that there was a Steal at the end of every episode ruining any suspense. The next round would have been much better had Lelia Broussard, Brandon Mahone, Nelly's Echo, Benji, Alexis Marceaux, and Emily Earle would have gotten the Steal over the other people who did. I began to wonder if the coaches liked their teams so much; they did not want to Steal anyone who would take a spot on the Live Shows from an original member of their Team (that seems to be the case as Cee-Lo has his stolen Terisa Griffin going up against frontrunner Trevin Hunte in the Knockout Round). I would be surprised is more than one stolen singer makes the Live Shows.

The biggest surprise of the Battle Rounds is that every girl on Cee-Lo’s team lost their battle. The first two seasons, Cee-Lo’s finalist was a strong rocker chick and was so loyal to the fairer sex that he stupidly picked Erin Martin to go to the Live Shows. Worse of all two of his girls, Alexis and Emily deserved to win their battles. Of course both of Cee-Lo’s steals ended up being female (five of the six steals overall were female). Granted, as stated above, Terisa will not be on the team for very long, unless of course that turns out that it is one of the favorites that are not safe that Carson teased.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download songs from The Voice with the widget at right.

Pretty Little Liars: So Mona was faux Caleb (which I guess Grantland would call Faux Faux Riggins) so who was in the clown costume? Was that Toby or another member of The A Team? If it was Toby that would ruin anyone’s theory that Toby infiltrated The A Team to protect Spencer because why would he kill Aria in the process? At any rate, Hanna’s mom and the ghost storyline was pretty worthless.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Sons of Anarchy: When Gemma was talking about loving Jax too much to make up for losing her other son, I thought, oh goodness, they are not actually going to kill off one of Jax’s kids are they (as the last shot of the season finale suggests, Jax is becoming his father and Tara is becoming Gemma)? And it certainly does not look good for Able after the accident. Rally you know bad things are going to happen when the final segment is nothing but a montage. Although I had to laugh when they guys with uzzies could not even wing anyone while Jax was able to hit the guy square with two shots from his handgun.
You can download Sons of Anarchy on iTunes.

Survivor: Philippines: A note to the Survivor: either stop casting beauty queens or figure out a way to make sure they last to the merge because they rarely onto the jury. And how exactly have a mud wrestling type challenge that ends before any of the hot participate? That is an epic fail on Jeff Probst. You know TJ Lavin would not have let two whole teams quit like that.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download Survivor: Philippines on iTunes.

Subugatory: As much as I enjoyed Tessa’s Daphne costume, I am severely disappointed that we did not get to see Kimantha’s slutty skunk costume in action.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Suburgatory on iTunes.

Nashville: What made the first couple episode good is they played to Hayden Painteierre’s strengths: a bratty no talent who sleeps her way to the top. Having her try to emote this week was a bad decision.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Nashville on iTunes.

The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons: Much like TJ Lavin, trivia week is my favorite episode of the show, but I really hope the Insane Games becomes a Challenge staple from here on out. It was if they ran out of idea for challenges so TJ and the producers decided to drop acid and just pick the five most insane ideas, and decided to call it the Insane Games. Brilliant. I really hope fish slapping becomes a thing.
You can download The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons on iTunes.

Mockingbird Lane: It is weird watching a show you know will probably not air anymore episodes. Even though it was Bryan Fuller’s fourth best Pilot, it still managed to be the second best of this season (after Last Resort). It was a lot darker than I expected, I was surprised it started with a “baby bear” destroying an entire Boy Scout troop (okay, as it turned out, no one ended up being hurt). But I did like Grandpa starting up a blood army, and also really enjoyed the Marilyn character. If NBC bothered to put some promotion into it, a Mockingbird Land / Grimm pairing could do really well on a Friday night, but it does not sound like they care. Oh well.
You can stream the episode on Hulu.