Saturday, December 10, 2005

R.I.P. Richard Pryor

Time to cue up It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to YesterdayWe lost one of the greatest comedians today in . Growing up in the eighties, I primarily knew Pryor as a movie star first as the only bright spot in the otherwise horrible . After that I caught some of his great comedies including (I remember begging my parents for a black man that Christmas) and . And then there was one of the first R rated movies I ever saw, where a blind Pryor played opposite of a deaf Gene Wilder.

As I grew older and moved on to college, me and my buddies rediscovered his old comedy albums including His stand-up inspired us enough that we even named our championship flag football team Sexual Chocolate. I also recently learned that Pryor had a hand in write one of my favorite movies of all time, and Scooter Hall of Fame inductee, . And he even passed on writing the lines for the Sheriff Bart, which would have been the obvious chose, he instead focused of the character of Mongo.

Pryor died this morning as a result of a heart attack and had been suffering from multiple sclerosis for twenty year. He won five Grammys, and Emmy, and was nominated for an Academy Award. Pryor was 65. For more on Richard Pryor and his life check out

Friday, December 09, 2005

Toss Up: Lost vs Veronica Mars week 8 1/2

No this week, so it’s all all the time, not that there’s anything wrong with that. After a poor start, the best thing Lost can do is regroup and get ready to builds things up so this years ending rivals last years in quality.

This week on Veronica Mars, we actually start off where we ended last week, unlike recent episodes that seemed to ignore the previous huge cliffhangers, with Veronica confronting Duncan about his love child. This then lead to a discussion led to the first of many wrong speculations I made last week where it turns out the Duncan was indeed the father, whereas my lead candidate, Chris Talley, turned out to be Meg’s aunt, Christine. And while visiting Meg, Veronica promised her that if anything happened to Meg, she would make sure her kid wouldn’t end up in foster care or her parent’s custody. Of course when Meg said that, it pretty much sealed her fate as the one who was going to die.

But unlike on Lost where it was easy to guess Shannon would be the one to die early, and then spend the next fifty minutes following her around like a dead woman walking, thus ruining the episode, last night’s episode didn’t focus on Meg. If fact after that scene, the only time we hear about Meg again was at the end when Keith got the phone call. But then again Lost didn’t have an “alternative ending” the week before Shannon died in which she died. And that’s what really irks me. In last week Toss Up, I mention there was no way they were going to kill Meg after just killing her in the “alternative ending.” This begs the question, why did Veronica Mars show their hand the week before? Why did they not just wait this week to show an “alternative Meg death scene” and let us vote on which was the better way to die? It’s odd for a show that never makes a bad call on screen would make such a horrible folly off screen.

Back to the show itself, we have two major plot lines this week with Veronica on jury duty. This was a great subplot if you ignore that Veronica can easily get out of jury duty as a student. And to they really have trials in-between Christmas and New Years Day? But once you get by this Veronica did a good job as Forman and in a slight twist, she wasn’t the one to have doubts about the 09’ers innocence, but instead it was another juror who prolonged the deliberations. But sadly, elitist juror was right when he said the boys would end up winning on appeal. And they nicely set up a reason for Veronica to stay in Neptune next year with the college recruiter offering some sore of financial aid. But since this storyline seemed to have nothing to do with the major storylines that have shaped this season, I wonder if this isn’t the last we have heard from this case and may turn out to have a connection to something else.

Elsewhere, Deputy Leo returns only to get caught selling the Lily-Aaron sex tapes. Another hole in this storyline would be that I really doubt that anyone would pay half a million dollars for them because remember Lily only had to be 15 or 16 at the time of the tapes so anyone in possession of it could be brought up on kiddie porn charges. Keep in mind you cannot buy the (alleged) R. Kelly tapes anywhere because of the same reason. Sadly this may be the last we see of Leo, as he had to turn in his badge and gun so there is no good reason for Veronica to bump into his. As everyone debates whether Veronica should end up with Duncan or Logan, I have always rooted for Leo, because the other two have glaring flaws in the boyfriend department, Duncan with his mood swings and Logan with his major attitude. But with Leo presumably out of the picture, I may now have to root for a Veronica-Dick hook up.

Where one door closed with Meg’s death, another one opened with the reappearance of Wallace. Granted we were not privileged to her much of their make up session, but at least he finally returned. This was really odd though as Wallace hasn’t returned her calls or e-mails for over a month. My leading theory is that he came back to console her in the whole Meg death thing.

Unfortunately we don’t get a preview as the show will most likely be on hiatus until after the New Year. But when it does come back we have a whole new major storyline starting up with what looks to be a custody fight for Meg’s daughter. And that is added to the other major plot points with who caused the bus crash and who killed Felix. Plus there are a couple other unanswered questions concerning the death of Amelia DeLongpre, why do the PCH’ers seem to be working with the Fighting Fitzpatrick’s behind Weevil’s back, what’s up with Big Dick, and what’s up with the Manning family. The last one has been bothering me of late because if the parents are treating Grace like that, why did it seem as Meg was freer to do thing? Hopeful that and everything will be answered by the season finale, and unlike Lost, I’m sure it will.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

We on Award Tour - 2005 Grammy Nominations

After sitting threw some bad awards show, the big one, the Grammy’s, has finally handed out its nominations. With it brings back questions that still haven’t been answered like what’s’ the difference between R&B, Traditional R&B, and Contemporary R&B or why are collaborations allowed in the Duo, Trio or Group category when there is already a Collaborations category or why are there Latin categories when there is already a separate Latin Grammy’s? But anyways. Of all the awards shows the Grammy’s are the easiest to predict using these three rules: 1) When in doubt, pick the oldest person and if you’re dead that’s even better, 2) If you are nominated in the big three, you will sweep the genre specific categories, 3) If you just performed, you will win the next award. Unfortunately no performers were announced yet so that won’t help with my prediction today. Since there are 108 categories I narrowed down the ones her to those where I knew at least half of the nominees. For a full list check it out here and the awards will be handed out February 8. Now on to my predictions:

Record of the Year

We Belong Together - Mariah Carey
Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz Featuring De La Soul
Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day
Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
Gold Digger - Kanye West

Who Should Win: Gold Digger
Who Will Win: Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Should Have Been Nominated: Landed – Ben Folds

This year’s competition is pretty poor with Green Day and Kanye West being the only three to be here. I could list a good ten songs that should be here including Ben Fold who got the shaft this year.

Album of the Year

The Emancipation of Mimi - Mariah Carey
Chaos and Creation in the Backyard - Paul McCartney
Love. Angel. Music. Baby. - Gwen Stefani
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - U2
Late Registration - Kanye West

Who Should Win: - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
Who Will Win: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
Should Have Been Nominated: Wreck of the Day – Anna Nalick

This was a hard one because it pitted my favorite album from last year, U2, against a contender for this year’s crown, West, which was one of only two album to get the highest rating on my Terror Alert Scale. The sadly overlooked Nalick was the other.

Song of the Year (A Songwriter(s) Award; Artist names appear in parenthesis)

Bless the Broken Road - Bobby Boyd, Jeff Hanna & Marcus Hummon (Rascal Flatts)
Devils & Dust - Bruce Springsteen (Bruce Springsteen)
Ordinary People - W. Adams & J. Stephens (John Legend)
Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own - U2 (U2)
We Belong Together - J. Austin, M. Carey, J. Dupri & M. Seal (D. Bristol, K. Edmonds, S. Johnson, P. Moten, S. Sully & B. Womack, songwriters) (Mariah Carey)

Who Should Win: Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own
Who Will Win: Ordinary People
Should Have Been Nominated: Breathe (2 A.M.) – Anna Nalick

The U2 song is a great relationship defining song, but this award usually goes to the sappiest song which would be Legend. I think the reason behind the extra parentheses for Mariah is that she stole lyrics from other song which, in itself, should exclude anyone from a songwriting award.

Best New Artist

Fall Out Boy
John Legend

Who Should Win: John Legend
Who Will Win: John Legend
Should Have Been Nominated: Anna Nalick

Legend tied for the most nomination so he will, and should walk away with this award. The two glaring inclusions would be Ciara, who can’t sing at all, and Fall Out Boy who should be too sophomoric to be nominated for a Grammy especially with the omission of Nalick.

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

It's Like That - Mariah Carey
Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
Good Is Good - Sheryl Crow
I Will Not Be Broken - Bonnie Raitt
Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani

Who Should Win: Since U Been Gone
Who Will Win: Good Is Good
Should Have Been Nominated: Breathe (2 A.M.)

Never bet against Sheryl Crow at the Grammy’s even though this song and her whole album were pretty bland. But as for me, I can’t go against the guiltiest of all pleasures this year with Clarkson.

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing - Jack Johnson
Fine Line - Paul McCartney
Walk On By - Seal
Lonely No More - Rob Thomas
From The Bottom of My Heart - Stevie Wonder

Who Should Win: Sitting, Wishing, Waiting
Who Will Win: Fine Line
Should Have Been Nominated: Landed – Ben Folds

Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal

Don't Lie - The Black Eyed Peas
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
More than Love - Los Lonely Boys
This Love - Maroon 5
My Doorbell - The White Stripes

Who Should Win: Mr. Brightside
Who Will Win: This Love
Should Have Been Nominated: You and Me - Lifehouse

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals

Gone Going - The Black Eyed Peas & Jack Johnson
Virginia Moon - Foo Fighters Featuring Norah Jones
Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz Featuring De La Soul
A Song for You - Herbie Hancock Featuring Christina Aguilera
A Time to Love - Stevie Wonder Featuring India.Arie

Who Should Win: A Song for You
Who Will Win: A Time for Love
Should Have Been Nominated: Breakdown – Handsome Boy Modeling School & Jack Johnson

For those that are not familiar with it, A Song for You is the Donnie Hathaway (no relations to Anne) classic and shows that when Christina decides not to slut it up, she is actually a great singer.

Best Pop Vocal Album

Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple
Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson
Wildflower - Sheryl Crow
Chaos and Creation in the Backyard - Paul McCartney
Love. Angel. Music. Baby. - Gwen Stefani

Who Should Win: Extraordinary Machine
Who Will Win: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard
Should Have Been Nominated: Wreck of the Day – Anna Nalick

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance

Revolution - Eric Clapton
Shine It All Around - Robert Plant
Devils & Dust - Bruce Springsteen
This Is How a Heart Breaks - Rob Thomas
The Painter - Neil Young

Who Should Win: Revolution
Who Will Win: Devils & Dust

Which one of these is not like the others? If you guessed Rob Thomas, get yourself a cookie.

Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal

Speed of Sound - Coldplay
Best of You - Foo Fighters
Do You Want To - Franz Ferdinand
All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own - U2

Who Should Win: Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own
Who Will Win: Speed of Sound
Should Have Been Nominated: American Baby – Dave Mathews Band

So Mr. Brightside is a pop song and All These Things I’ve done is a rock song. And Do You Want To is too. I always wonder how they decide what is in what genre.

Best Hard Rock Performance

Doesn't Remind Me - Audioslave
The Hand That Feeds – Nine Inch Nails
Tin Pan Valley - Robert Plant
Little Sister - Queens of the Stone Age
B.Y.O.B. - System of a Down

Who Should Win: Doesn't Remind Me
Who Will Win: Robert Plant

Best Rock Song (A Songwriter(s) Award; Artist names appear in parenthesis)

Best of You - Foo Fighters (Foo Fighters)
Beverly Hills - Rivers Cuomo (Weezer)
City of Blinding Lights - U2 (U2)
Devils & Dust - Bruce Springsteen (Bruce Springsteen)
Speed of Sound - Guy Berryman, Jon Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin (Coldplay)

Who Should Win: Devils & Dust
Who Will Win: Devils & Dust
Should Have Been Nominated: Sometime You Can’t Make It on Your Own

I find it odd that U2 was nominated for two different for Best Rock Song and Song of the Year.

Best Rock Album

X&Y - Coldplay
In Your Honor - Foo Fighters
A Bigger Bang - The Rolling Stones
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - U2
Prairie Wind - Neil Young

Who Should Win: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
Who Will Win: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
Should Have Been Nominated: Stand Up – Dave Matthews Band

Best Alternative Music Album

Funeral - The Arcade Fire
Guero - Beck
Plans - Death Cab for Cutie
You Could Have It so Much Better - Franz Ferdinand
Get Behind Me Satan - The White Stripes

Who Should Win: Plans
Who Will Win: Get Behind Me Satan
Should Have Been Nominated: Everything in Transit – Jack’s Mannequin

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

1 Thing - Amerie
Wishing On a Star - Beyoncé
We Belong Together - Mariah Carey
Free Yourself - Fantasia
Unbreakable - Alicia Keys

Who Should Win: 1 Thing
Who Will Win: Unbreakable

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance

Creepin' - Jamie Foxx
Ordinary People - John Legend
Let Me Love You - Mario
Superstar - Usher
So What the Fuss - Stevie Wonder

Who Should Win: Ordinary People
Who Will Win: Ordinary People

Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals

So Amazing - Beyoncé & Stevie Wonder
Cater 2 U - Destiny's Child
If This World Were Mine - Alicia Keys Featuring Jermaine Paul
So High - John Legend Featuring Lauryn Hill
How Will I Know - Stevie Wonder Featuring Aisha Morris

Who Should Win: So High
Who Will Win: How Will I Know

The nominees in the last three categories just show how sad the R&B genre is these day. Sadly most R&B has morphed into more hip-hop flavor thus ruining the genre. In fact most of these nominees were from the Luther Vandross tribute album. Hopefully Alicia Keys and John Legend can resurrect the genre in the next couple years.

Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance

Mine Again - Mariah Carey
Summertime - Fantasia
A House Is Not a Home - Aretha Franklin
If I Was Your Woman - Alicia Keys
Stay With You - John Legend

Who Should Win: If I Was Your Woman
Who Will Win: A House Is Not a Home

Best R&B Song (A Songwriter(s) Award; Artist names appear in parenthesis)

Cater 2 U - Rodney Jerkins, Beyoncé Knowles, Ricky Lewis, Kelly Rowland, Robert Waller & Michelle Williams (Destiny's Child)
Free Yourself - Craig Brockman, Missy Elliott & Nisan Stewart (Fantasia)
Ordinary People - W. Adams & J. Stephens (John Legend)
Unbreakable - Garry Glenn, Alicia Keys, Harold Lily & Kanye West (Alicia Keys)
We Belong Together - J. Austin, M. Carey, J. Dupri & M. Seal (D. Bristol, K. Edmonds, S. Johnson, P. Moten, S. Sully & B. Womack) (Mariah Carey)

Who Should Win: Ordinary People
Who Will Win: Ordinary People

Best R&B Album

Illumination - Earth, Wind and Fire
Free Yourself - Fantasia
Unplugged - Alicia Keys
Get Lifted - John Legend
A Time to Love - Stevie Wonder

Who Should Win: Get Lifted
Who Will Win: A Time to Love

Best Contemporary R&B Album

Touch - Amerie
The Emancipation of Mimi - Mariah Carey
Destiny Fulfilled - Destiny's Child
Turning Point - Mario
O – Omarion

Who Should Win: Touch
Who Will Win: The Emancipation of Mimi

Best Rap Solo Performance

Testify - Common
Mockingbird - Eminem
Disco Inferno - 50 Cent
Number One Spot - Ludacris
U Don't Know Me - T.I.
Gold Digger - Kanye West

Who Should Win: Gold Digger
Who Will Win: Gold Digger
Should Have Been Nominated: Mind on the Road – Rev Run

Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group

Don't Phunk with My Heart - The Black Eyed Peas
The Corner - Common Featuring The Last Poets
Encore - Eminem Featuring Dr. Dre & 50 Cent
Hate It or Love It - The Game Featuring 50 Cent
Wait (The Whisper Song) - Ying Yang Twins

Who Should Win: The Corner
Who Will Win: Don’t Phunk with My Heart
Should Have Been Nominated: You Gonna Love Me – Da Backwudz

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

1,2 Step - Ciara Featuring Missy Elliott
They Say - Common Featuring Kanye West & John Legend
Soldier - Destiny's Child Featuring T.I. & Lil Wayne
Numb/Encore - Jay-Z Featuring Linkin Park
Rich Girl - Gwen Stefani Featuring Eve

Who Should Win: Numb/Encore
Who Will Win: Rich Girl
Should Have Been Nominated: Number One – John Legend featuring Kanye West

Best Rap Song (A Songwriter(s) Award; Artist names appear in parenthesis.)

Candy Shop - Curtis Jackson & Scott Storch (50 Cent Featuring Olivia)
Diamonds from Sierra Leone - D. Harris & Kanye West (J. Barry & D. Black (Kanye West)
Don't Phunk with My Heart - William Adams, Printz Board, Stacy Ferguson & George Pajon, Jr. (Kalyanji Anandji, Full Force & Indeewar) (The Black Eyed Peas)
Hate It or Love It - Curtis Jackson, A. Lyon, Jayceon Taylor & M. Valenzano (Baker, Felder & Harris (The Game Featuring 50 Cent)
Lose Control - M. Elliott, C. Harris & G. Isaacs III (J. Atkins, R. Davis & C. Hudson, songwriters) (Missy Elliott Featuring Ciara & Fat Man Scoop)

Who Should Win: Diamonds from Sierra Leone
Who Will Win: Diamonds from Sierra Leone
Should Have Been Nominated: Testify – Common

Seriously this is for songwriting with Candy Shop, Don’t Phunk with My Heart and Lose Control. Did they read the lyrics? They are defiantly not better than any Common song, who is the best lyrist.

Best Rap Album

Be - Common
The Cookbook - Missy Elliott
Encore - Eminem
The Massacre - 50 Cent
Late Registration - Kanye West

Who Should Win: Late Registration
Who Will Win: Late Registration

Best Comedy Album

The Agoraphobic Cowboy - Rick Moranis
Family Guy Live In Vegas - Various Artists
Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues - Lewis Black
Never Scared - Chris Rock
The Right to Bare Arms - Larry the Cable Guy

Who Should Win: Chris Rock
Who Will Win: Rick Moranis

Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media

Beyond The Sea - Kevin Spacey
Napoleon Dynamite - (Various Artists)
No Direction Home: The Soundtrack - Bootleg Series, Vol. 7 - Bob Dylan
Ray - Ray Charles
Six Feet Under Volume 2 - Everything Ends

Who Should Win: Ray
Who Will Win: Ray

This will be a toss up between Dylan and Ray, but since Charles is dead, he gets the edge. The big surprise – Napoleon Dynamite? There really wasn’t a better compilation that that.

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical (A Producer's Award; Artists names appear in parenthesis)

Danger Mouse
• Demon Days (Gorillaz) (A)

Nigel Godrich
• Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (Paul McCartney) (A)

Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis
• Be Blessed (Yolanda Adams) (T)
• Dance with My Father (Celine Dion) (T)
• Harajuku Girls (Gwen Stefani) (T)
• Never Too Much (Mary J. Blige) (T)
• Nobody Cares (Deborah Cox) (T)
• Pure Gold (Earth, Wind and Fire) (T)
• These Boots Are Made For Walkin' (Jessica Simpson) (S)

Steve Lillywhite
• How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (U2) (A)
• Mr. A-Z (Jason Mraz) (A)

The Neptunes
• Already Platinum (Slim Thug Featuring Pharrell) (T)
• Hollaback Girl (Gwen Stefani) (T)
• Let's Get Blown (Snoop Dogg) (T)
• On & On (Missy Elliott) (T)
• Say Somethin' (Mariah Carey Featuring Snoop Dogg) (T)
• Touch (Omarion) (T)

Who Should Win: Danger Mouse
Who Will Win: Nigel Godrich

Danger Mouse should win just because of the brilliant Gray Album he did a couple years back. And in case you are wondering, I believe “A” stands for album, and “T” stands for track.

Best Short Form Music Video

Lose Control - Missy Elliott Featuring Ciara & Fat Man Scoop
Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz Featuring De La Soul
Feels Just Like It Should - Jamiroquai
God's Will - Martina McBride
World on Fire - Sarah McLachlan

Who Should Win:World on Fire
Who Will Win: Feel Good Inc.
Should Have Been Nominated: The Denial Twist – The White Stripes

Best Long Form Music Video

No Direction Home - Bob Dylan
Trapped In the Closet (Chapters 1-5) - R. Kelly
End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones - The Ramones
Devils & Dust - Bruce Springsteen
Brian Wilson Presents Smile - Brian Wilson

Who Should Win: Trapped In the Closet
Who Will Win: No Direction Home

Would there be anything cooler than R. Kelly winning a Grammy for his opera? I don’t think so.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

We on Award Tour - 2005 Billboard Awards

Carrie Underwood arrives at the Billboard AwardsMuch like the America Music Awards, I have avoided the Billboard Awards because typically not many people show up for fear that they may be overlooked when it came to filling up a performance slot at the Grammys (bbe sure to check back tomorrow for my Grammy nomination special). But even though it conflicted with the number one show on my Best New Shows of Fall 2005 list, My Name Is Earl, I watch the Billboard Awards for one reason, Carrie Underwood. Since giving her album a mediocre review (see Oh There’s Nothing Like Oklahoma) she has grown on me more and more to the point now where I am completely smitten with her and have even changed my stance on Jesus Take the Wheel that I originally found slightly cheesy to the point where I actually enjoy the song. Here are some more observations from last night:

- The show starts off, much like the Video Music Awards, with Green Day. And I’ll just come out and say it; I’m extremely tired with Green Day. Yeah Boulevard of Broken Dreams a good song but the totally done with American Idiot as a whole. Let’s face it; if Kerry won last year, the album wouldn’t have been heralded as it is. Only Michael Moore and Halliburton have made more money off of Bush’s reelection. And what was up with the crutch?

- At the beginning of the show they hyped a performance that everyone was talking about. Okay, everyone apparently except me. Throughout the show they kept on hyping it, but I will save that for later so you are all as let down as I was watching.

- Nothing says, “You’re in for a long night” better than having LL Cool J as host. At least he didn’t try a monologue.

- Lover and Friends by Lil’ John wins Rap Track of the Year. Not bad considering last night was the first time I ever heard it. And I find it extremely disturbing to know I have the exact argyle sweater vest as Lil’ John.

Jessica Alba has a foursome with the Blue Man Group- Always a solid source of entertainment, the Blue Man Group do a cool bit with Jessica Alba, three TV screens, and a Wookie playing a guitar.

- Gwen Stefani wins New Artist of the Year. Did I miss something and warp back to 1996?

- The black Britney Spears strikes again with Ciara doing her best Janet Jackson impression circa the Rhythm Nation era, well, sans the talent. Does she only have a one note vocal range?

- You know you are short presenters why you have to bring on the Hogan’s. You know VH1 only had them at their awards show to promote their show, but for Billboard to have them is just sad.

- Chingy and Larry the Cable Guy come out to battle to see who has the more annoying accent. I think Chingy wins by an "errrr."

- One of the reasons why I hate country music, son titles like Get Drunk and Be Somebody as performed by Toby Keith. Luckily the Barenaked Ladies were on The Tube.

Ashlee Simpson really needs to stay out of the Meth labs- Next up is a performance by Pretty Ricky. Should I know who Pretty Ricky is? And why is there five of them? They for some reason do a duet with Ashlee Simpson where one of the members, presumably Ricky, says of Ashlee, “She’s not a gold digger but she’s not looking for a broke, broke,” while Ashlee does the patented Kanye head nod. That was extremely disturbing, I really hope Mr. West sues them all.

- And needless to say, Ashlee should really go back to lip-syncing. Also it looks like five years after heroin chic went out of style, Ashlee looks like she trying to start a Meth-addict chic phase. Someone please buy her a hairbrush and force her into a shower before she starts hanging out with Kate Moss.

- 50 Cent accepted his award in France. Insert gay Paris joke here.

- Did Gwen Stefani really rip-off Biggie’s Big Poppa - Ready to Die - The Remaster? There should be laws against that.

- To add some credibility to the ceremony, Tom Petty, for some reason without the Heartbreakers, gets the Century Award. Nice touch when he mocks those who care more about their bling.

- Sadly R. Kelly doesn’t do another chapter of Trapped in the Closet. Instead he’s out at the MGM pool with enough breasts and butt shots that I though they brought back Club MTV.

- I had some hate mail when I had some negative comment for Reggeaton back during my VMA recap, and Daddy Yankee didn’t do anything to change my opinion of the genre. For some reasaon his performance was censored even though I couldn't tell a word he said.

Carrie Underwood performs at the Billboard Awards- Next was Carrie Underwood singing Some Hearts. I think I’ll keep my comments to a minimum to avoid a restraining order.

- Kanye West wins the Artist of the Year. Wait a minute, didn’t LL Cool J tell 50 Cent he won the award earlier. Did I miss something again? Was there a tie?

- Oddest intro – playing Gang Starr’s Mass Appeal while Velvet Revolver made their entrance with Jamie Pressly. Of course that stupidity will make sense when you learn who the DJ was.

Someone please put more cloths on Mariah Carey- Mariah Carey waddles from the back to accept another award. Of course she couldn’t sit in the crowd because that dress wouldn’t bend. Someone should really tell her that she should stop wearing form fitting dresses or do some more sit-ups because she no longer has the body to pull off the slutty look.

- And the big surprise performance turned out to be… Wait for it… Wait for it… Another performance from R. Kelly. So the big surprise performance was from a guy already scheduled to perform? After doing research the special performance that “all the blogs were talking about,” as the promo stated, was actually was supposed to be Kevin Federline. But luckily we were spared. Apparently having Nicole Ritchie’s fiancé as DJ filled the talent less husband quota.

- But R. Kelly ended up performing an all-star charity single that apparently just featured Kelly himself and a choir of about a thousand titled Let Your Light Shine. In fact the song in iTunes credits the artist as R. Kelly & R. Kelly. Although I thought I saw Ryan Cabrara’s hair, so maybe it was an all-star choir, it’s just that they didn’t do any close ups of anyone else. The song itself was actually good and Kelly’s best song, aside from Trapped in the Closet, in about five years. So go ahead and buy it, the money goes to charity. But I'm not sure if the charity is for the Gulf Relief or R. Kelly's legal fund though.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

You Turned Something so Good so Bad

A Little More Personal (Raw) - Lindsay Lohan

Ladies and gentlemen, finally has some competition to worst album of the year and her name is who has just released her second album, . For anyone who has had to wait in line at the supermarket and glance and the tabloid rags with Lohan dancing on table with the like of Tara Reid and Paris Hilton could easily tell that Lohan has daddy issues, but that didn’t keep Lohan from writing songs about it including the album opener, Confessions of a Broken Heart which lyrics sheets reads like a diary entry from the annoying moody chick in Middle School who just got grounded for the first time. To add to the agony, the song even stoops to the worst cliché in songwriting, ending the song with exactly the same line which started it. Okay, you’re waiting for the postman to bring you a letter, I get it. Maybe you should check your e-mail every once in a while too.

Thing don’t get much better from there. Where Ashlee Simpson at least sound like she has had some vocal training, not much, but at least some. But for the most of the album, Lohan hits almost every note as if she has never read sheet music before and that’s when she’s not screaming at notes why out of her range as if she was auditioning for Rock Star: . The only time she remotely comes close to reaching the right notes are on the already established cover song in ’s I Want You to Want Me which is the closest to entertaining that this album gets. And it’s only entertaining in the way a drunk chick singing the song at karaoke is entertaining, even was able to do a better version on But Can They Sing? Unfortunately her stab at ’s Edge of Seventeen failed miserable because, for some reason, she tried slutting the song up.

There is also a funny exchange at the beginning, where Lohan says, “No I like when people talk in the beginning of songs I think that kinda rad,” to which someone relies, “I don’t think you should use it.” I had to laugh because they should at least take out the dude because he was right and only made Lohan look foolish. Of all of her own songs, the only redeeming one is Who Loves You which wisely pumps up the techno beat while toning down Lohan’s vocals where she coos the title over and over. At least that is until the ending where she screams it only to coyly says, “Me” afterwards, but that just means it fits in well with the rest of the album.

Song to Download – Save your money, but if you enjoy wasting money feel free to donate to the “Scooter McGavin Is Poor” fund.

A Little More Personal (Raw) gets a Terror Alert Level: Low [GREEN] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, December 05, 2005

We on Award Tour - VH1 Big in 05 Awards

Vh1’s Big in (insert year) Awards have quickly become the most solid award shows even though it brings in less star power than the America Music Awards. And that could be the reason why, where other award shows have just become a vehicle for artists to promote their latest projects (I’m talking to you Video Music Awards), VH1 cares more about putting on a good show rather to pander to get stars. This year’s host, DL Hughley was entertaining enough to make anyone wonder why CBS picked the dude from Drew Carey to replace Craig Kilborn on the Late Late Show and why MTV still invites Jimmy Fallon back to host after bombing every time. Here are some other observations:

- The festivities starts off with a lame pre-show hosted by an extremely gay Ant and the not all that attractive chick from My Fair Brady. She actually won a modeling competition?

- During the pre-show they gave the Old School Triumph Award to who dedicated the award to Michael Hutchence. I’m sure he’s thrill that you guys are trampling his legacy by doing a reality show to replace him.

- The Big show starts off with a parody that was more entertaining than the show has been this season. Of course if the writer of Lost only had to fill five minutes, maybe it would be better.

- Ten years after becoming Playmate of the Year Jenny McCarthy is still hot as ever, granted she’s still as annoying too.

- for some reason wins the Big Stylin’ Awards. I have a feeling that VH1 stuffed the ballot box just so they could have her first post break up apperence. Then after she rambled threw her acceptance speech, including laughing at apparently at what she thought was a joke, I understood why Nick would let her go. I just hope he didn’t sign a pre-nup. Now I ain’t saying he’s a gold digger…

I'll take the one on the right, you can have the one on the left- The chicks from seemed to get lost as they walked right in front of INXS to present them. And after seeing INXS perform with their new lead singer, I can’t believe this guy actually won. I didn’t watch a second of the show, but did everyone else actually suck worse than him. It’s like the chick from My Fair Brady winning a modeling contest. Get that dude a chorographer quick.

- Jeremy Piven rightly wins the Big Breakthrough Award even though I’ve been a fan since the days.

- wins the Big Entertainer Award and he was so big he didn’t bother showing up.

- ’s performance was cool but where was Tom Morello? Is this band breaking up already? Hopefully there won’t be a Rock Star:Audioslave.

- wins Big Download. Funny, I wouldn’t bother stealing this song let along spend .99 cents.

- All I got to say about Dancing with the Star Wars – classic. Funny than anything MTV has produced for their award shows in years.

- Again with the Gotti Boys? They make Paris Hilton celebrity look well deserved.

- Bice Baby wins Big Reality Star. Not bad for being a loser. Say hello to Justin (what’s his name?) in relative obscurity at the Big in 06 Awards.

- stoops low to introduce the Reality All-Star. I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t recognize 90% of the singers. Unfortunately one I did recognize was Johnny Fairplay who is always unwatchable. Can he just overdose already and put us the viewer out of misery.

- Another person who just needs to go away – Kathy Griffin. Although her joke about ’s teeth sure got Lindsay Lohan laughing.

At least Lindsay Lohan has her hair back to red, now let's grow the breasts back- Lohan then picks up the Big It Girl Award and makes some lame joke about the paparazzi. So let’s recap, she can’t act, can’t sing, can’t make a joke, and no longer has breasts – why exactly is she an It girl?

- But this lead to the best shot of the night as they showed the chick from Laguna Beach looking pissed that she didn’t win. Where’s the dude from The Real World who called out his roommate for thinking he was Ben Affleck even though he was only on a reality show.

- Best line of the night, “UPN has better ratings than George Bush”

- Hulk Hogan comes out and say, “do you wanna see big?” and proceeds to take off his shirt only to show us he has bigger breast that Lindsay Lohan.

- You know you a low on stars when you recruit someone from Entertainment Tonight to present, not that I have a problem with Maria Menonous, I just think they should be a law that she must always wear the dress she wore at the Oscars a couple years back.

- That just isn’t entertain without an appearance by the antler boy from the video. But I must admit of all the pseudo-punk bands that have replaced boy bands on the walls of Middle School girls in the last couple years, they suck the least.

- The best part of the show was actually a commercial for the upcoming show, Flavor of Love where picks girls Bachelor style. This has to be good.

- The best dresriuption of during the Big Music Artist, “She’s accessible like the girl who works at Subway kind of way but you don’t have to wash the samwich smell off of her.” Needless to say, I’d totally hit that.

- Of course the Big in 05 Awards ends with a performance by a band that hasn’t been big since 88. Um, yeah.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

What Language Do You Speak if You Speak at All

Oral Fixation vol. 2 - Shakira

came along during the Latin explosion of the late 90’s except unlike many who populated the genre, she wasn’t born and raised in the United States nor was English her first language. Her lack of experience in the language showed on her first English speaking album, Laundry Service, she made up in presentation and was much more experimental than the Latin pop of or whose songs all sounded alike.

After taking a couple years off, Shakira came back this year with two albums, back in July she released the Spanish language (translation Oral Fixation) that featured La Tortura, a song with so much sexual tension even American didn’t need a translation, and more recently she released the English language (translation Fijacion Oral). There are two songs that overlap both albums, the lovely Something and the uplifting The Day and the Time.

Volume 2 actually starts of with some people chanting the Lords Prayer. I think this is the first time chanting was included in a pop song since Enigma scored their only hit with Sadness part 1. But the song, How Do You Do, quickly turns into a rocker about the violence that surrounds religion with lyrics like, “How many people die, and hurt in your name? Hey, does that make you proud, or does it bring you shame?” Apparently George Bush and Osama bin Laden have the answers.

After the opener, Shakira deals with a failed relation on Don’t Bother and Illegal, the later which feature and his trademark guitar and sound like a more somber version Underneath Your Clothes claiming “it should be illegal to break a woman’s heart.” Don’t Bother, on the other hand is a more upbeat kiss-off to a former flame who is trying to reunite.

Even though this time around Shakira seems to master the English language a little better, her strong point is still in the presentation. And it seems as if she has been listening to a lot of American 80’s since her last album. During How Do You Do, there is a guitar solo that song very similar to Edie Brickell’s What I Am, while on Don’t Bother, the guitars seemed to be borrowed from the Cure’s Just Like Heaven. The bouncy Hey You sounds like something out of the Stray Cats catalog had a female been the lead singer. And she even seems influenced by bands who themselves like the 80’s retro sound as The Day and the Time sound much like The Killer’s Smile Like You Me It. But she does go old school Latin music with the inclusion of mariachi horns on Animal City. But in each case she is able to make it her own.

The album ends much like it starts off but instead it’s a children’s choir that does the chanting on yet another 80’s influenced Timor which relays heavy on synthesizers and drum loops. But instead of religion, politics is the topic with the kids asking throughout the song, “How about the people who don't matter anymore?” Taking aim at the apathy that plagues the youth around the wealthy world who care more about what’s on MTV than those less fortunate who are dieing whether it be by war or by hunger.

Song to Download – Hey You

Oral Fixation vol. 2 get a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Shakira on iTunes