Saturday, April 29, 2006
It looks like day one of the NFL draft is over for the Cleveland Browns barring a trade. But they were busy on the phones earlier making them. First they conned the Baltimore Ravens in trading up one spot to get and extra late round pick, a sixth. Obviously the Browns still got what they wanted otherwise they wouldn’t have traded with them. Although a couple years ago, the Browns did the exact opposite to get Kellen Winslow but gave up a second rounder instead just show how bad that decision was.
Then later the Browns got rid of yet another first rounder from the Butch Davis era getting rid of Jeff Faine and their second round pick (43 overall) for the New Orleans Saints second (34 overall). So basically they gave up the guy to move up eleventh pick. I think they should have waited for more, either giving up a third or lower or had the Saints throw in and extra late rounder. But in the end they got rid of another Butch Davis bust, no if only they can unload William Green and Winslow. Now lets look at this years draft:
1st Round (13 Overall) - Kamerion Wimbley (DE Florida State) - A great decision, much better chose than the dude the Ravens move up to get, then the Browns stockpile a late round pick to fill holes. The front seven was one of the bigger questions going into the draft so it’s good to see the Browns made it a priority.
2nd Round (34 Overall) - D'Qwell Jackson (ILB Maryland) - Again a good pick, but not sure if giving up Faine to get this guy will be worth it because the depth in the O-Line is another big question mark. But this guy is versatile, which is what you need in the 3-4. If Faine continues his career the way it has gone, on the IR, this could turn out to be a smart move.
3 Round (78 Overall) - Travis Wilson (WR-Oklahoma) Somewhat of an odd pick, but could give some insite on how Brawlon Edwards rehab is going. Was hoping the Browns would deepen the O-Line with this pick, but this was one of the top wide receivers in the draft and may be a steal in the third. Also the guy could be a great addition to special teams.
Looking to tomorrow, the obvious targets are offensive lineman and with two picks in both the four, fifth and sixth rounds. For the first day, I give the Browns a B. Check back tomorrow for the second day thoughts of the Browns and with seven picks there should be a lot to discuss.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Tribute and cover albums are tricky, usually an artist that gets such a treatment are already legend so it’s a heavy burden to try to live up to such greatness. And when it comes down to it, who want to hear flash in the pan groups try to recreate Jimi Hendrix songs when you can just go out and get The Ultimate Experience for the same price. Even with establish artists such as Rod Stewart or the recent collaboration between Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs (see my review - Who Knows Where the Time Goes), I would much rather spend my money on the originals. But on occasions, such tributes work like two years ago when Eric Clapton released a whole album of Robert Johnson tunes. Now you can Bruce Springsteen to that short list.
We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions is full of songs that were written or at one time recorded by the album’s namesake Pete, and for those who initially though Bob, please smack yourself upside your head for me (Plus his last name is spelled Seger). To recreate the classic American folk music, Springsteen recruited about fifteen musicians and vocalist whom then brought along instruments from tubas to banjos to accordions to washboards and of course Springsteen provide the harmonica himself. All of them packed themselves into Springsteen’s New Jersey home over three days.
Springsteen is no stranger to folk music himself releasing acoustic classics like Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad, but where those albums are somber affairs about the darker sides of the American tradition, The Seeger Sessions play more like a party that still resonates in twenty-first century America, whether that be in the north or south, red or blue. Pay Me My Money down can get anyone up and dancing and opener Old Dan Tucker, where Springsteen growls like Tom Waite, is so dirty it’s good.
That doesn’t mean the guy behind the Vote for Change Tour shy away from Seeger’s political side. On Mrs. McGrath, the line, “All the foreign wars, I do proclaim live on blood and mother’s pain” is more poignant today than when Pete Seeger sang it or when it was written in the nineteenth century in Ireland. Then there is the title track, which also became the theme song during the civil rights era and Eyes on the Prize, another protest anthem, that’s name which has also become rooted in civil right.
Also include here are children songs that I probably haven’t heard since before I started school like Erie Canal and John Henry. If there is a problem I could find here is that just over an hour, it may be a little too long. He maybe should have kept three or four songs off and saved them for what I hope will be a second volume to the Seeger Sessions.
Song to Download - Pay Me My Money Down
We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Rihanna burst onto the scene last summer with the ubiquitous club hit, Pon de Replay. After that, none of her singles caught fire and it looked as if you would to the one hit wonder wing of the Hall of Fame. Luckily she didn’t give up because with a little help from Soft Cell she looks like she will pull off the rare feat of have the summer anthem in consecutive. But the question is, will the album, A Girl Like Me, fall into obscurity much like here debut did as everyone seemed to download the hit single as opposed to the whole album?
To keep that from happening, her record company even withheld S.O.S. from the major downloading services in hopes that people would buy the album instead of the single when it came out. And surprisingly A Girl Like Me isn’t absolutely horrible. The album eases you with the 80’s influenced smash hit and I wonder if the Tainted Love sample isn’t the only 80’s thing about that song and the lyrics I’ll be you “Take on me, take me on” are based on uber-80’s anthems by A-Ha (she even says the band's name in the song). The next song, Kisses Don’t Lie, even has an 80’s touch with The Clash lyrics asking “Should I stay or should I go?” That is followed by the strong, piano and strings based Unfaithful a song about, you guessed it, being unfaithful. And even when the song goes over the top when she suggests, to keep him from hurting, to “take a gun and put it to his head” it just makes it that much more entertaining, although sadly she decides she “don’t wanna be a murderer.” Oh well.
But the album quickly goes into some clichés from there with We Ride. Personally I rather have my girls sugar and spice and the such and not hear her say “When we ride we ride, it's ‘til the day we die.” I really don’t want my girl (another 80’s reference alert) going down in a blaze of glory. Have we leaned nothing from When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong? This get back on track with the slow reggae jam Dem Haters with help with some dude named Dwane Husbands. Sean Paul shows up later Break it Off, which is better than anything on his latest effort unfortunately the beat isn’t that good.
Everything else on the album is pretty much hit or miss, the acoustic guitar in Final Goodbye sounds like something Dan Fogelberg, which actually isn't a bad thing. P.S. (I’m Still Not Over You) is as cheesy as the title would suggest. The album caps off with a remix of the failed single off Rihanna’s last album, If It’s Lovin’ That You want with a beat stolen from another rap song that I can’t quite pinpoint no matter how long I play the song and and a rap from Cory Gunz who may or may not be related to Peter Gunz who was last scene being sued by Steely Dan for lifting there hook for the great Uptown Baby. So think twice before Download S.O.S. and maybe give the whole album a chance.
Song to Download - S.O.S. (you think I was going to suggest something else?)
A Girl Like Me gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Clips show on Lost tonight (Veronica Mars really need to utilize this with all their multiple storylines) so another early Toss Up this week and hopefully everyone caught Veronica Mars last night as tonight in its usual spot there isn’t a repeat instead an America’s Next Top Model recap. Although if you did miss it, most markets repeat it on the weekend so check your local listings (7:00 Sunday is you are in Northeast Ohio). And on the show, we inch closer to finding out who was behind the bus crash even as the suspect list grows.
This episode lend more credence to my first suspect, that the crash was intended to send a message to Woody via Gia with her stacker. And the interplay between her and Veronica in their first scene together was priceless, Gia's best performance of the season this episode. This led to the surprise return of Deputy Leo who was following Gia per request of Leo. I want to say it was nice to see him as I much rather had V end up with him over Duncan or Logan, but he seemed a little slimy tonight almost as if he was more acting like his character on Modern Men rather than the ol’ Deputy we knew and loved. And speaking of people who I want to see end up with Ronnie, I was sad to see her turn down Dick at the not-prom. Who doesn’t want to see her in an “I (Heart) Dick” shirt? Oh, just me, nevermind then.
And she wasn’t the only chick to turn down Dick as word has gotten out on Dick and could find a date to alterna-prom. You know you have a bad reputation at your school when you’re a senior and you can’t even score a freshman date. And no matter how much he and his hog tried, he couldn’t get to rekindle the Madison relationship. But at least that led to V finally mentioned her relationship with the sheriff. “You mean took it on the Lamb. Because I can't imagine what that's like, can you, being on the Lamb?” Classic. I wonder if the Shelly Dick went after looking down Ronnie’s dress was the infamous Shelly Pomroy or if Rob Thomas threw her name in there just because of this conversation just to spite me. And the scene in the elevator totally trumped any awkward comedy on The Office and it was great how the capped it off with switched at birth Madison and Mac in unison saying “thank God.”
But the big new this episode is that Veronica seemed to come down with the case of Le Clap. Way to start off the episode. Which begs the question, where did Duncan get it? Did the Manning family favorite Lucky get to Meg before Duncan, and if so could baby Lilly not be a Kane after all? Or did Duncan actually hook up with Kendall even though Rob Thomas specially said it didn’t happen during the Veronica Mars Press Day. Or is it possible that someone other that Duncan got themselves a piece at the infamous Shelly Pomroy two years ago?
Now unto the season arc with Officer Mahoney. At the beginning of the episode, it looked like the theory that Woody was have some extra innings activities with the young boys in Neptune when a half naked hooker passed out in his hotel room. But by the end of the episode it seemed like that was what not so Lucky was going to tell Keith before Lamb interrupted. I’m really hoping it is something else because, if it is true, that would have the two major reveals for the two seasons to be statutory rapist and that’s creepier than not-Henry Gale. And what happened to not so Lucky, the only other time we have seen him, it looked like you typical 09’er tool, but this week he seemed a little autistic. And what was with him saying hi to Veronica and she saying hi back to him? They’ve only met once, last summer, but are on a first name basis.
Something also seems fishy with the outing of Terrence Cook. Why now? Something tells me that it wasn’t the Dumas family that leaked this story. That leaves the only people to know about it, Woody, Keith, and the Fitzpatrick’s. The Fitzpatrick’s would rather have the money than rat him out because they wouldn’t get it if he loses his endorsements. It’s not in Keith’s character to sell Terrence up the river to get back out Woody for throwing him under the bus. So that leaves Woody who wants to keep his name off the front page after all the bad news he’s gotten lately.
And also some who seems to be up to something, I’m beginning to think not-Kendall hooking up with Logan isn’t he’s good in the sack. Why would anyone hook up with a dude who was on trial for murder along with his famous dad who had his own murder trial? This has to be another of her and the Fitzpatrick’s long con, but why? I’m also beginning to think that Big Dick didn’t marry her to be just a trophy wife and was may just be a business arrangement. Remember he didn’t care that much that she was cheating on him, instead cared more that the SEC might be stopping by, which they promptly did. And I wonder if Big Dick, in fact knew about the insurance policy that was taken out on his spawn.
Next week we get the second to last episode of the season and the trial of the century. Something tells me in the end, a deal will be copped and we will see a free Aaron Echolls sometime next season. It looks that the charges related to the Lilly Kane murder will be dropped completely tanks to the plated Oscar and there must be something that helps Aaron in Cliff’s briefcase that we now know was stolen by Aaron’s former cellmate. And don’t mistake not so Lucky’s gun totting bit as your average “very special episode of One Tree Hill” type school shooting. No it a much worse problem with our servicemen coming back a tour of duty and are not able to function in society anymore. Then add whatever Woody did to him and it inevitable was going to turn explosive. And just a heads up, according to the TV Guide, no Veronica Mars repeat again next Wednesday so make sure you see it on Tuesday.
Then on Lost we finally get Michael back in the tribe as he tries to get everyone to mount up to take on the Others setting up the second to last Toss Up of the season, although there will most likely be a season long Toss Up at the end of the season though. So look out for the Toss Up on next Thursday. And in other Lost news, Ana Lucia has chosen to go to jail for five day due to a drunk driving conviction rather than serve 240 hours community service. Seriously, who does this? All you have to do is film a PSA for anti drunk driving and have it shown 240 times and that covers it. And there is something wrong that getting convicted for drunk driving only comes with a five day sentence. That really isn’t much of a deterrent.
Now here is the official press release for next week's Veronica Mars:
TENSIONS RISE AS A VERDICT IS ABOUT TO BE DELIVERED,
ON "VERONICA MARS," TUESDAY, MAY 2 ON UPN
Harry Hamlin ("L.A. Law") Returns As Aaron Echolls;
And Steve Guttenberg ("The Poseidon Adventure") Returns
As Mayor Woody Goodman
"Happy Go Lucky" -- As Aaron Echolls' (guest star Harry Hamlin) trial is about to conclude, tensions rise as Veronica, Keith and Logan take the witness stand to testify against him, on VERONICA MARS, Tuesday, May 2 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on UPN. Steve Gomer directed the episode from a script written by Diane Ruggiero.
Meanwhile, after Veronica finds a suspicious e-mail in Woody's (guest star Steve Guttenberg) computer, Keith turns to Sheriff Lamb with evidence to arrest Woody, but Lamb refuses, believing that Keith is trying to turn him into a laughing stock. Also, to everyone's surprise, Neptune High's janitor Lucky brings a gun into school with the intent to find Gia.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Over a decade ago, The Goo Goo Dolls came to prominence with what many though would be a one hit wonder, Name. But since then the Goos have become the kings of the power balled (well Nickelback may have something to say about that) with lighter inducing anthems like Iris, Black Balloon, and Here Is Gone. Now the band is back with a new album, Let Love In, with help from producer Glen Ballard, best known for launching Alanis Morissette's career, but also ruined albums by Aerosmith and Dave Matthews Band.
Ballard does bring his signature slosh to sleep inducing songs like the title track and Can’t Let it Go and does nothing to come close in quality of pervious hits. In fact the best songs on the album are ones that have been all over the radio for the past year, the Supertramp cover, Give a Little Bit that was on the band’s recent live album and the Christmas tune Better Days. The best new song of the set, and the only one that could possible get people to flick their Bic’s is the album closer Become that comes closest to the intensity that had on Iris, but still fall a little short.
The worst part of the album is they actually let bassist, Robbie Gordon to sing two songs Listen and Strange Love. The dude raspy voice makes Biz Markie sound like a opera singer but at least the Biz was in on the joke as I’m not sure Robbie and band have realized how bad he sounds. There is a good reason why none of the songs he’s sung are released as single. But on the upside it seems like the band has gotton more socially conscience starting with choosing a cover song like Give a Little Bit which carried over to the Christmas themed Better Days about looking out for the children and the universal theme that should be utilized during the holidays, and everyday for that matter, forgiveness. Now if their music could grow like their lyrics, this album could have been a lot better.
Song to Download - Better Days
Let Love In gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Much like the station’s other marquee awards show, the MTV Movie Awards has been in a creative downswing this decade. But unlike the VMA’s, it’s easy to pinpoint were the Movie Awards went wrong, that is when MTV started making movies of there own and the awards show became more of a promotional vehicle for them and nominating movies that don’t deserve it, case in point this year, Dukes of Hazzard. It was a critical and commercial flop yet it garnished multiple nods. The show can save itself with a good host (one hadn’t been named of this post) and a couple good Vince Vaughn skits, but I won’t be holding my breathe, yet I still be watching on June 8th like the MTV lapdog that I am. No musical guest announced yet, but you can vote here. Interestingly enough, there are no gender specific categories this year, which means fewer time spent on handing out awards, and that’s always a good thing. Now on to the nominees:
The 40-Year Old Virgin
Who Will Win: King Kong
Who I Voted For: Wedding Crashers
This comes down to which group of nerds will spend the most time voting. The comic book nerds will split their vote between Batman and Sin City, but in the end the Peter Jackson nerd will overpower the lives with his parents nerd to win. Too bad there isn’t a write in vote for the Lucas nerd. As the agro-pseudo-frat boy, I went with the dumb comedy. Oddly enough no chick flicks considering MTV is now run by fourteen year old girls.
Joaquin Phoenix - Walk the Line
Jake Gyllenhaal - Brokeback Mountain
Rachel McAdams - Red Eye
Steve Carell - The 40-Year Old Virgin
Terrence Howard - Hustle and Flow
Reese Witherspoon - Walk the Line
Who Will Win: Jake Gyllenhall
Who I Voted For: Rachel McAdams
The hardest catergory and weirdest considering Gyllenhall got the nod over Heath Ledger while both Cash’s got one. McAdams is the dark horse because she did sweep the awards last year and her performance here was better than those movies.
BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE
Owen Wilson - Wedding Crashers
Adam Sandler - The Longest Yard
Steve Carell - The 40-Year Old Virgin
Tyler Perry - Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion
Vince Vaughn - Wedding Crashers
Who Will Win: Steve Carell
Who I Voted For: Vince Vaughn
Sadly Wilson will steal Vaughn’s vote leaving the less funny Carell with the popcorn. Remember when only Sandler or Jim Carey won this award? Ah, the good ol’ days.
BEST ON-SCREEN TEAM
Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen & Romany Malco - The 40-Year Old Virgin
Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott & Jessica Simpson - The Dukes of Hazzard
Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd, Chris Evans & Michael Chiklis - Fantastic Four
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson & Rupert Grint - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Vince Vaughn & Owen Wilson - Wedding Crashers
Who Will Win: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Who I Voted For: Wedding Crashers
This category really need to be retired but won’t because it mean more nominations for real actors while better categories like Best Action Sequence and Best CGI Character get dumped.
Cillian Murphy - Batman Begins
Hayden Christensen - Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Ralph Fiennes - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Tilda Swinton - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Tobin Bell - Saw II
Who Will Win: Tobin Bell
Who I Voted For: Cillian Murphy
They totally got this catergory messed up; they have the right actors, but wrong movies. Fiennes should have gotten the nod for Batman Begins because Murphy’s was basically just a bit role and was much scarier in Red Eye and my vote was more for that movie than Batman. Oh and this category is brought to you by The DaVinci Code. No seriously, it is. Almost as silly as he Neutrogena Best Hero Award
Andre “3000” Benjamin - Four Brothers
Isla Fisher - Wedding Crashers
Nelly - The Longest Yard
Jennifer Carpenter - The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Romany Malco - The 40-Year Old Virgin
Taraji P. Henson - Hustle & Flow
Who Will Win: Andre “3000” Benjamin
Who I Voted For: Isla Fisher
Imagine how worst this category would have been if it was still two gender specific ones. As is, it’s still a toss up between people we will forget about by next year, that if you even know who they are now.
Christian Bale - Batman Begins
Jessica Alba - Fantastic Four
Daniel Radcliffe - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Kate Beckinsale - Underworld: Evolution
Ewan McGregor - Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Who Will Win: Christian Bale
Who I Voted For: Ewan McGregor
I still hold an outside theory that people will vote for Jessica Alba solely because she’s Jessica Alba, but Batman will be hard to beat no matter who’s under the mask.
Beyoné Knowles - The Pink Panther
Jessica Alba - Sin City
Jessica Simpson - The Dukes of Hazzard
Ziyi Zhang - Memoirs of a Geisha
Rob Schneider - Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
Who Will Win: Jessica Alba
Who I Voted For: Jessica Alba
This is basically a no contest. If Alba doesn’t win it meand this is fixed worse than a Don King fight.
Kong vs. the Planes - King Kong
Stephen Chow vs. Axe Gang - Kung Fu Hustle
Angelina Jolie vs. Brad Pitt - Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Ewan McGregor vs. Hayden Christensen - Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Who Will Win: Revenge of the Sith
Who I Voted For: Revenge of the Sith
This is a toss up between Star Wars and Kong, but where Kong has already been done and the lava fight definitely live up to the hype and almost made up for the rest of the sequels.
Jake Gyllenhaal & Heath Ledger - Brokeback Mountain
Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard - Hustle & Flow
Anna Faris & Chris Marquette - Just Friends
Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt - Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Rosario Dawson & Clive Owen - Sin City
Who Will Win: Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Who I Voted For: Sin City
Nothing like tabloid fodder to help fuel a win, not that there is much competition in this field. The only real composition in here is the gay cowboy movie, but the comic book nerds that tend to rule the voting process probably aren’t that open minded.
BEST FRIGHTENED PERFORMANCE
Rachel Nichols - The Amityville Horror
Jennifer Carpenter - The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Derek Richardson - Hostel
Paris Hilton - House of Wax
Dakota Fanning - War of the Worlds
Who Will Win: Dakota Fanning
Who I Voted For: Rachel Nichols
This is really disturbing as I though Hilton was descending from the pop culture lexicon, yet here she is with an acting nomination. Unless it is for Best Inanimate Object, she should be nominated for anything. And since it’s expected of me, I’ll go ahead and say it, that Hilton girl gives me nightmare. There, happy? Not so coincidentally, I think House of Wax was produced by MTV. Anyways I think Fanning won last year, but I indeed went with the hottest chick here. Where is Rachel McAdams anyways?
Sunday, April 23, 2006
On May 9th the Red Hot Chili Peppers release their latest album, Stadium Arcadium, of which bassist Flea calls, “the best thing that we’ve ever done…. There’s this weird kind of sublime, subliminal undercurrent that is suggestive, in a spirited way, of our earliest records.” Granted I’m still waiting for something that even comes close to their classic Blood Sugar Sex Magic. And from the first single, Dani California, things look like this album won’t come close either. But Stadium Arcadium was recorded in the same house that BSSM was and Rick Rubin is back on board too.
Even though Dani California as a song doesn’t hold up to previous hits, the video is among their best (view it here, download it here). The band takes the stage and gives the audience a chance to play “Name the Influence.” Here’s my scorecard: Elvis Presley; The Beatles; The Jimi Hendrix Experience; Parliament Funkadelic; Ziggy Stardust; Sex Pistols; The Misfits; Mötley Crüe; Nirvana; and naturally it comes back to the RHCP’s themselves.
As for the album, there are plenty of ways to pre-order it. First, and most likely the coolest is through iTunes (click the above ad) where you can now pre-order the new album, Stadium Arcadium, and automatically receive the new single, Dani California. The pre-order also gives you access to pre-sale tickets for the group’s upcoming tour. And you will be automatically entered to win the band’s complete catalog and an engraved Red Hot Chili Peppers iPod. The money you spend on the album would be worth it solely for getting first dibs on the concert tickets if you are a diehard or just a novice fan.
Or if you are a person who likes to hold their music in their hands and read the CD inserts there is a cool limit edition version of Stadium Arcadium that you can buy through Amazon (see ads below). The Limited Edition includes a 3D-image shadow box containing a 28-page book, velvet bag with marbles, a wooden top, a matchbook notepad and four art notes, one by each band member. You also get an accoupaning DVD that includes the video for Dani California along with a making of documentary and track by track interviews with the band. RHCP fans choose your poison now.