Saturday, April 22, 2006
Every Saturday for the past month or so I have plopped down in front of the television at noon and turn on ESPN to watch the NFL draft only to find miniature golf and darts instead. For all the hype this years draft has had starting with the completion of the Rose Bowl, you’d think that it would have happened by now. Now I do have on good authority that next week the draft will finally happen even though my interest started to fade around the end of March. If the NFL was smart, they’d hold the draft between the Super Bowl and the start of March Madness to completely capitalize the sport page as there is nothing worth talking about. Now it has to compete with the start of the NBA and NHL playoff and the MLB is still starting and still has a newness to it. But anyways.
As for the Cleveland Browns, they may have had the best off-season of any team so far by picking up the number one free agent center LeCharles Bentley and one of the biggest names that won’t destroy your locker room, line backer Willie McGinest. But they still haven’t done anything about its biggest question mark, the quarterback position. Both Trent Dilfer and Charlie Frye are serviceable at the position but neither can get the team over the hump to make a dent in the playoffs. Apparently no one was listening to my advise earlier this off-season (see There’s Nothing Wrong with Ohio).
The big question for the upcoming draft is who going number one as to I answer, who cares? Unless you are a Texans fan or another fan of a team with a top five pick, it isn’t worth debating. So I will only concern myself with a team I actually root for. Early on I fully expect the Browns to sure up their front seven with more players more accustomed to their newly instituted 3-4 defense that Romeo Crennel put in next year. But when it comes down to it, I just hope they don’t pull another bonehead move by waiting their first and second round picks on more soldiers like Kellen Winslow Jr. Man, I really glad the Butch Davis era is over.
Friday, April 21, 2006
To the average fan, the pairing of Matthew Sweet, who introduced the non-geek American to anime with his video Girlfriend, and Susanna Hoffs, who taught us all how to walk like an Egyptian, seems a little odd. But they have actually been performing together ever since Mike Myers recruited them to be in Austin Powers backing band Ming Tea for all three of the movies. In fact if you look closely to their album, Under the Covers, vol. 1, you can see their character’s names from the films, Sid and Susie, on the cover.
The title refers to a collection of covers that the psychedelic 60’s Austin would be proud of including songs by major artists of that era’s pop like The Beatles (And Your Bird Can Sing), The Beach Boys (Warmth of the Sun), and Bob Dylan (It’s Over Now, Baby Blue) as well as more obscure tracks like I See the Rain by The Marmalade which Jimi Hendrix once declared the best song of that year. There are even two Neil Young and Crazy Horse tunes for good measure including one of the most recognizable songs on this collection, Cinnamon Girl.
The other song of note is The Mamas and the Papas Monday, Monday which shows exactly where this album falls flat, having two people try to harmonize on a song meant for a quartet. This is also the case for The Beach Boys song too. In fact, whenever they duet, the songs seem to fall flat except for I See the Rain and sound much better when they trade lines or verses like on Different Drum, made famous by The Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt, where Susanna shines reminding us what made The Bangles so big in the 80's. But in the end, unless you love the first three Austin Power’s soundtrack and can’t wait until the inevitable fourth, you would be better off just getting the original versions.
Song to Download - Different Drum
Under the Covers, vol. 1 gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Ohio’s own Saving Jane has had a minor hit with the somewhat cheesy, yet catch Girl Next Door. The song is the female version of all the male dominated emo rock that has polluted Middle Schools everywhere, but the music is in a much more palatable form than the dudes moping counterparts. But the sad lyrics about a chick in the band jealous of the homecoming queen stays with the loner ethos of emo. Much more tales of alienation are found on their album, Girl Next Door.
The most depression of the lot is Happy, where the singer goes on about how she’s so happy she could die. Yeah, that song totally reminds me why I don’t miss the teenage years. And most the album sloshes along with the same recycled track of how much high school supposedly sucked with the exception of Reasons Why where the musicians in the band create one of the catchiest song in the set.
Then as the album continues in mediocrity, that album out of nowhere gets much better starting with The Pretender. The grandiose song reminded me of what a female would sound like if she tried to recreate something from the seventies stadium anthems of someone like Bob Seger with the band driving the song to somewhere you want to go highlighted by the enthused piano. And the album doesn’t let down from there continued with what the previous should have sounded like with Mary. It does hint on moody teenager theme, but the song is mired in the depressing wreck that brought down the earlier songs. Unfortunately the last couple songs aren’t enough to save the album as a whole, but hopefully it’s a sign of good things to come from the band.
Song to Download - Mary
Girl Next Door gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Thanks to no Lost tonight, I will be running a rare Wednesday Toss Up, although since no Lost it’s basically just a Veronica Mars analysis, and what a lot to analyze from last night. Interesting enough, with all the interesting facts learned about the bus crash this episode, the show starts off with Veronica’s deposition for the Aaron Echolls trial and end with the discovery of Aaron’s award buried in the back yard with both Lily and Duncan DNA on it. I have a feeling that the trail will be a big part of next season. As for this season, the suspect list kept on growing and growing, and for those keeping track at home, here’s a scorecard:
Why: To get revenge on Logan (I think this is the first time anyone mentioned Logan was supposed to be on the bus) for beating the rap for the murder of Felix.
How: Built a bomb with his cookbook and called to detonate it while following on his bike.
Suspect: Not-Kendall Casablancas
Why: Stood to gain millions from the death of Little Dick and Beaver.
How: With the Fighting Fitzpatrick’s owing her a favor, she had Liam call her when the bus was close to the edge and she would set off the bomb from poolside.
So with only two episodes since I created my Oddsmakers, it’s really looking like I need to make some updates. First Lucky, who was conspicuously absent last night, could be added and even though they could fit in other groups, Not Kendall and Weevil could get their own lines that would have significantly lower odds than The PCH’ers and the Casablancas Clan. Also with the current odds, The Gay Mafia’s extremely high odds would be a steal after last week’s revelations. But in a show like Veronica Mars, The Field might be the best bet as Aaron came out of no where, at least for me, to turn out to be Lily’s killer.
Elsewhere Veronica was being stalked by someone who only turned out to want her services to find out who killed his dog. And much like every criminal activity this season, the Fitzpatrick’s were behind the wheel. The reason was to send a message to the dude’s brother, a PCH member who looked decidedly non-Hispanic. Apparently Thumper let just about anyone in the gang after Weevil’s untimely departure. I was a little disappointed to see the fake deer utilized (at right) in this story and you can read about that on my sister site, Scooter McGavin Takes Pictures, as it is the picture of the day over there.
Then the mystery of the week collided with the season mystery when Veronica followed the car to a house where a shadowy figure came out saying there was someone inside. It turned out that the dude was Keith and the house belonged to Not-Kendall. And since see was set up with a computer and all, it seemed like she has been there for a while and it wasn’t a house that her and Beaver bought for their company. But the biggest reveal was that Not-Kendall was connected to the Fitzpatrick’s. While in the house, it came to light that Liam is not necessarily the brains of the operation as he was more than ready to kill Keith in Not-Kendall’s house, linking them together and bringing to light her secret pad. Knowing this, Not-Kendall called off the guards when Liam wanted to go after the Mars. But I’m not entirely sold that Kendall is the brains either and whoever is pulling their strings may be the real person behind the crash. Is it Big Dick, Officer Mahoney, or someone else on the growing suspects list? Only three episodes until we find out.
Elsewhere we were treated to great scenes with the Butters and Mac coupling. I loved how Veronica casually forgot to let Mac in on how she was able to get into Clemmons’ office. Although isn’t Butters only a sophomore? He should have to worry about a prom date. Then there is what seems to be the throwaway storyline of Jackie getting a job at Java the Hut. But her financial trouble, which is why she got the job in the first place, could explain why she will not be heading off to Paris after graduation, instead she will most likely sticking in Neptune next year.
If you have not checked it out yet, be sure to catch the only Veronica Mars podcast over at Neptune Pirate Radio. The latest episode has an interview with Sheriff Lamb, but I have to question their interview skill after not his new campaign slogan, “18 - It’s Legal!” I even got sort of a shout out when they crowned their name Woody’s nickname question when they gave my suggestion of Officer Mahoney an honorable mention, even though they didn’t mention me by name. For those who organize your podcast threw iTunes like I do, I quietly added a “Podcasts I Listen To” section on my sidebar so if you want to subscribe to Neptune Pirate Radio threw the service, you can just click that link and it will take you to it’s page on iTunes..
Next week things continue to stay good as someone will capture Veronica and Gia and hold hostage. Interesting as these two were the people I originally thought could be the targets of the bus crash. And it looks like there will be no formal Toss Up next week either as Lost will be running clips show next week.
And with no Lost tonight, there is nothing for me to watch tonight. I can’t even catch the repeat of Veronica Mars as the final Cavs game of the regular season is on tonight, so thankfully the show moved to Tuesday so I didn’t have to wait until Saturday to watch it. Unfortunately I actually wanted to catch America's Next Top Model to see if they really ruined the contestant I most wanted to have dirty, dirty sex with by transforming her teeth to look like Austin Powers. Hopefully this is all a rouse to get back out Tyra’s fake collapse a couple weeks ago, but sadly I don’t think that’s the case. It would bad to see Joanie Dodds get the ax because someone messed up her mouth.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s is pretty easy to judge an album by its cover. If there are bright covers with smiling faces, it’s safe to say it that you will be hearing pop music, if it a bunch of disinterested dudes in muted colors, you more than likely in store for some emo. When I first saw the major label debut of Mat Kearney, Nothing Left to Lose, my assumption without listening to it was that it would be a country album, but I went ahead and gave it a listen anyways. And after listening to to I realize I was extremely wrong.
The album starts off with Undeniable, a typical singer-songwriter vide with a strumming guitar, then all of the sudden dude starts rapping. Okay calling what Mat does rapping is like calling what I do on a golf course golfing; it more like spoken word with a slight cadence. That’s not to say that the rapping takes away from any of the song yet helps builds layers to the songs here. This leads to instant comparisons to Everlast, formally of House of Pain who introduced rap-folk while rap-rock was rising, but Kearney has a much better singing voice that at time sound reminiscent of Chris Martin of Coldplay. In fact, this album could be what it may have sounded like had Martin grown up in the Pacific Northwest listening to hip-hop in fact the piano driven All I Need that builds up to a climax with a strings section sounds like a lost Coldplay track.
The surprise of the sound is almost trumped by finding out that Kearney is classified as a Christian artist. Don’t worry, the former youth pastor doesn’t utilize any preachy lyrics on the album, instead they are more personal and introspective and is much more similar to secular music. Sure you can find Christian themes if you look deep enough, but you can do the same for many other bands most notable U2. Kearney effortlessly blending pop, folk, rap, country, rock should captivate any real music fan.
Song to Download - In the Middle
Nothing Left to Lose gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Monday, April 17, 2006
It’s hard to get away from Daniel Powter these days as he battles with James Blunt for the most overplayed song this year. And even though Bad Day is a better song than You’re Beautiful, any song gets old after hearing it a thousand times over a month. So just time for the song to hit its tipping point, Powter has released his American, self-titled debut to give us something else to listen to.
What’s surprising at first listen to the album is how it sounds nothing like the morose, singer-songwriter on the piano vibe of his first hit. Instead, on most of the other songs on the album, starting with Song 6 (I assume that since he is Canadian, having the first song called Song 6 has something to do with some weird conversion with the Metric System) Powter goes into falsetto while channeling Stevie Wonder with a funky mix of soul and rock. The only problem with this is that Maroon 5 did a much better job doing the exact same thing a couple years ago on their first album.
That’s not to say that Powter doesn’t do a good job at it himself except when he gets overtly sexual on songs like Free Loop (And I will figure out that we can baby, we can do a one night stand) and Hollywood (you could be my star for weekends, do you like your Hollywood?) which come across as more creepy than romantic. But the biggest problem with this album is that, at just over a half an hour, it’s way too short. But of course the record company had no qualms of charging full price for it.
Song to Download - If you’re already sick of Bad Day, go with Lie to Me
Daniel Powter gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.