Saturday, October 10, 2009

Best of the Week vol. XXIV

Quote of the Week: I’ve actually been in this situation many times so I’m just going to be upfront: I’m not allowed to date students. Even though you’re an eight, which is a British ten. (Professor Duncan – Community)

Song of the Week: Man! I Feel Like a Woman! – Shania Twain (as sung by Penny, The Big Bang Theory)

Big News of the Week: NBC Cancels Southland: Here is one of the most surprising cancelations ever as NBC has canceled Southland before it even airs. I have heard of networks canceling new shows before they air, but this is the first time I have heard of an already established show getting the ax before the season premiered. But being optimistic guy I am, hopefully this means that Friday Night Lights can return early 2010 instead of having to wait until that summer for those of us without DirecTV. Because it is not like NBC has much left to fill hole left with Day One getting cut to miniseries status; just Chuck and Parenthood (if they ever get around to recasting Maura Tierney(Scooter's Update: Never mind. Lauren Graham just signed up)). Or NBC is going to turn 9:00 into the Dateline NBC hour and only have scripted shows at 8:00.

Coalition Links of the Week:
We keep hearing that the only thing keeping us from an Arrested Development movie is scheduling conflicts, so BuzzSugar checked in on what each cast member is up to now. (BuzzSugar)

Vance agrees with Mia Michaels who said that the remaining Top 4 Girls in the current So You Think You Can Dance Canada Top 8 is the strongest ever. But Vance still loves Vincent best. (Tapeworthy)

Free Download of the Week: Even If It Breaks Your Heart - Will Hoge

Deal of the Week: Buy One, Get One Free Horror Sale (Evil Dead/Evil Dead II, Hellraiser, Creepshow 2)

Video of the Week: Another once in a lifetime performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as Chritopher Cross is joined onstage with Michael McDonald all the while backed by The Roots for Ride Like the Wind. I can die in peace now.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Hip Hop Honors, Tuesday at 9:00 on VH1: I am not sure how I feel with instead of honoring individual rappers this year instead honoring Def Jam as a whole. VH1 could have honored the label on a separate occasion because there are still a lot of artists Hip Hop Honors still need to get around to. Def Jam legends Public Enemy, DMX, Method Man and Redman will share the stage with Eminem, Wale, Kid Rock and many more during the show all backed by house band The Roots. Hopefully Christopher Cross will be nowhere to be found.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Previewing The Dog Whisperer 6.x

It is hard to image that The Dog Whisperer is entering its sixth season because in his hundred plus cases Cesar Millan has yet to come to the McGavin compound to tame my dogs yet. Of course of the episodes I have seen, my terrors (see Ren and Snoopy’s Doghouse) are like angels compared to most of the dogs Cesar has come up against. And for the sixth season premiere of The Dog Whisperer, Cesar is doing a little something different.

Instead of going to our houses to correct problems our dogs have, for the season premiere Cesar is showing us How to Raise the Perfect Dog (there is also a book of the same name out that Cesar has written) so we don’t have to contact him in the future. To demonstrate, adopted for new dogs of different breeds: a Labrador pup Marley, a Miniature Schnauzer Angel, an English Bulldog Mr. President, and a Pit Bull pup Junior. The latter Cesar hopes that he can groom to help him in tougher cases as he number two Daddy gets up there in age.

But after the premiere, Cesar will be back into the field helping with other people’s dog featuring thirty new episodes starting tonight. Cesar will even be heading Down Under to Australia this season as well as to Texas to work with NASA astronauts. And of course visits some well known dog owners in the next couple weeks including The Biggest Loser’s Jillian Michaels and Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum.

The Dog Whisperer airs Fridays at 9:00 on the National Geographic Channel. You can stream select episodes over at Hulu. You can download episodes of The Dog Whisperer on iTunes. You can also buy previous seasons and specials of The Dog Whisperer on Amazon.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Everyday Is a Different Version Of

Draw the Line - David Gray

At the start of the decade, I would have put money on David Gray would at the end of the decade would be one of the biggest. On White Ladder he effortless mixed a singer-songwriter and electronic music with a pop sensibility better than anyone had before. But some tragedy between albums led to a darker A New Day at Midnight and Life in Slow Motion didn’t get much sunnier. So with months until the end of the decade I am glad I am not a betting man.

But that is not to say Gray didn’t deserve to stay in the public consensus as there were plenty of great songs on those two albums. And he has put out another strong effort with Draw the Line, the first album without longtime contributor Craig McClune. Without McClune, the album has a folksier feel to it, dropping the electronic sounds of previous work. Gray also brought in a pair of singing partners, Jolie Holland adds some sweet harmonies on Kathleen. The other being a very angry Annie Lennox, whose voice I first thought was Meat Loaf until I looked at the liner notes, closes out the album with Full Stream.

Draw the Line starts off with the impassioned Fugitive which stands up with anything in the Dave Gray catalogue. And the simplistic Transformation is Gray at his best that starts with just him and the piano. But if there is a criticism to be had with Draw the Line is that as a whole it is a little too melancholy and you just wish he would let go like on Fugitive. Then there is Harder which gets too close like sounding like Run by Snow Patrol. But for those that have stuck with during his dark period will still find the classic David Gray on Draw the Line.

Song to Download – Fugitive

Draw the Line gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I Want My Music Television vol. LXV

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.

You and Me – Dave Matthews Band

Ask me on the right day and I say this is my favorite Dave Matthews Band song off their latest album. And this video just looks cool with all the additions to the band as the song progresses.

How I Got Over – The Roots

When The Roots signed on to be Jimmy Fallon’s house band that we would get less music from the band. But maybe being tied to one place means more albums with How I Got Over coming later this year. Speaking of The Roots night job, one byproduct is some awesome collaborations including the recent one where they backed Christopher Cross and Michael McDonald. I think I can die in peace now.

I and Love and You – The Avett Brothers

I best summed up this song from The Avett Brothers when I reviewed the album yesterday (see If You’re Loved by Somebody You’re Never Rejected), “with all due respect to Jay-Z and Mos Def, I and Love and You is the best ode to Brooklyn since the Beastie Boys refused to sleep until they got there.” You can also the song for free over at

Life Is Better – Q-Tip and Norah Jones

When did Norah Jones become the go to hook singer for rappers? An odd composition from Q-Tip with just one verse that just name drops his favorite rappers that doesn’t even start until a minute and a half of Jones crooning. I like it though.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

If You’re Loved by Some One You’re Never Rejected

I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers

Some music supervisors on television shows care more about breaking bands these days than actually fitting the best song with a scene. And writers are more than willing to write these musical montages because they can no longer fill forty-two minutes worth of dialogue anymore. I even remember reading one silly article about a feud between the supervisors of One Tree Hill and Grey’s Anatomy on whom broke an artist first.

Then you have a show like Friday Night Lights which builds its show around the spacey soundtrack provided by Explosions in the Sky and artfully selects music not base on what is on the radio or some silly chest thumping my a music supervisor that they single handedly broke a band but on what songs would heighten the mood of the scene. This was most notably evident with the Tony Lucca’s version of Daniel Johnston’s Devil Town that bookended episodes in the first season.

Another standout from the musical department at Friday Night Lights was the song the accompanied the official coupling of Landry and Tyra with If it’s the Beaches by The Avett Brothers. I can count the number of times I rushed to my computer to find a song I heard on a television show on one hand of a shop teacher, and that is one of them. The song managed to be heartbreakingly romantic without being sappy and got massive airplay on my iPod since Friday Night Lights helped me discover it.

Now after almost ten years on the indie circuit, the brothers Seth and Scott signed to Rick Rubin’s American Recordings with Rubin producing I and Love and You. And as Rubin shown on his session with Johnny Cash, Rubin has no problem producing great country music even with the Avett Brothers eclectic set up of acoustic guitar, banjo, piano, upright bass, trumpet and cello.

For those that lone introduction to the band is their contribution to Friday Night Lights, start right off with the first single, title track, album opener, I and Love and You (three word that became hard to say) that packs the same emotional punch as If it’s the Beaches and with all due respect to Jay-Z and Mos Def, I and Love and You is the best ode to Brooklyn since the Beastie Boys refused to sleep until they got there. From the title track, move to Heart Full of Doubt where the band prefects the emotional punch of previous work with the brothers vocals soaring with intertwining harmonies.

But the Avett Brothers just don’t settle with battling with Ryan Adams for the title of sappiest artist from North Carolina, there are also have plenty of songs that could kick start any hootenanny that just beg to be heard like Kick Drum Heart, Tin Man, Slight Figure of Speech, and Laundry Room which ends with a killer fiddle solo. The even wraps up the emotional punch and upbeat party into The Perfect Space effortlessly and to great effect.

Song to Download - Heart Full of Doubt / Road Full of Promise

(You can also download I and Love and You for free on

I and Love and You gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, October 05, 2009

If I Sang This Loud Enough, You Would Sing it Back to Me

Brand New Eyes - Paramore

Back in 2007 I called Paramore the band of the year (See The 100 Best Songs of 2007). Granted that isn’t as prestigious as it sounds as I also called 2007 the most mediocre year ever. And Paramore just fit that description, they were nothing to write home about (or a blog about as that was the first and last time I wrote about the band on the 9th Green until today) but not bad enough that you will want to plug your ears. Plus lead singer Hayley Williams is a highly likable person that you really can’t say anything bad about (unless of course you consider being called mediocre an insult).

The band’s formula hasn’t changed much for their third album Brand New Eyes but they do sound tighter as a band and that may be attributed to the band aging (though most of the members are still unable to buy beer) and new producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day). This can be heard most on first single Ignorance that sounds like their breakout hit Misery Business but bigger. Brand New Eyes should be right up the alley the rabid fanbase it garnered with the release of Riot! or anyone who was like Avril Lavigne but wish she was more edgy (but not too much).

For those looking for a primer to get into the band, look for Brick by Boring Brick. And for anyone looking for something difference, check the slowed down The Only Exception and Misguided Ghost which makes you wish the band would go with the, soft, simplistic, acoustic route more often. Or combine the two songs like do on the album closer All I Wanted. If Paramore was able to perfect their sound on Brand New Eyes, hopefully on their next album that can expound their sound.

Song to Download – Brick by Boring Brick

Brand New Eyes gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. C

Tool Academy: That was a morbid therapy session. I’m not sure I would want to teach a girlfriend how to appreciate me. And another week another peak into Leah’s world. Last week we learned she was a stripper and this week she has a kid whom I am presuming is not Dre P’s. I can’t image that the Rebecca-Manscaped Tool will last that long because he was ready to dump her after the challenge even though she was a perfect lady during the date. I can’t image it would last much longer after she sees that footage. Plus as we saw from the dress she wore at elimination, she is way out o his league. You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download Tool Academy on iTunes.

Greek: Holy Olivia Munn sighting! Let’s hope that she stick around a while. As an added bonus, having Cappie and Evan catering may be comedy gold. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Greek on iTunes

The Big Bang Theory: I was really hoping that the Leonard-Penny relationship would flame out because I had the under. Plus the sooner that happens, the sooner we can get the drunken Penny-Sheldon hook-up. You can download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes.

Castle: You pretty much knew there was going to be some sort of draw when they doubled up on the head shaving. Too bad, because the dresses side bet would have been funny. But watching Beckett get in on the action almost made up for it. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes. Also be sure to check out my chat with Stana Katic.

Sons of Anarchy: After some slow burning so far this season, we get to see a boiling point between Jax and Clay. But I get a feeling we will have to wait until the end of the season before something big goes down. You would think Piney would take things into his own hands if Jax doesn’t do something soon though.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Sons of Anarchy on iTunes.

Mercy:I think I may had laughed more during this episode than any of the sitcoms this week. And that wasn’t even because of the dude from Saturday Night Live because I rarely laugh at him when he is on SNL. Although I laughed pretty hard when no one tried to stop him when he cut off his ear only for a delayed tackle from the orderlies. This show may turn out to be watchable after all, but maybe not for the reasons the show wants you to watch. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Mercy on iTunes.

Modern Family: Really the only thing funnier than a racist (Al Bundy calling Superman and Manny’s father illegal aliens had me on the floor), is a racist that is actually married to a minority. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Modern Family on iTunes

Survivor: Samoa: Well that was a letdown. The promo made it seem like Jaison was going to plot against Russell but he just wanted to get Ben out. Hurph. And what is with all the comined immunity and reward challenges? They haven’t done a separate one yet expect for that mini one in the premiere with just the four participants. You can stream recent episodes over at

Survivor on iTunes

You can also check out my First Impressions of Trauma.