Saturday, April 21, 2012

Best of the Week - 4/21/12

Quote of the Week: You’re a grimy little pimp. (Lane, Mad Men)

Song of the Week: Hello – Lionel Richie (Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: A Melancholy Happy Trails to Dick Clark: American Bandstand was a bit before my time but like anyone born in the past fifty years, New Years Eve was not New Years Eve without Dick Clarke counting down the ball. Even after his stroke I still had to check in with him because there was no one better to ring in the New Year with. This year would have been Dick’s fortieth anniversary of Rocking Eve special and it will not be the same without him.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Susan Sarandon on The Big C Tomorrow  

Free Download of the Week: Live to Rise – Soundgarden (iTunes): The grunge gods have recorded their first new song in over fifteen years and you can get it for the low, low price of free.

Deal of the Week: R&B Classics for $3.99: Amazon MP3 has some R&B classics for only $3.99 including The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Lionel Richie.

New Album Release of the Week: Blunderbuss - Jack White

New DVD Release of the Week: The Innkeepers

Video of the Week: A documentary on the history of rap directed by Ice-T? Yes please. Hopefully this is just part one of a hundred. Actually, was is this not a series on VH1 Classic like the recent great Metal Evolution?

Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap Official Trailer

Next Week Pick of the Week: NFL Draft, Thursday at 8:00, Friday at 7:00, and Saturday at Noon on ESPN: For fans of preferential bottom feeders like myself, the NFL Draft is our Super Bowl, three days where hope springs eternal where hopefully our horrible players are replaced by better ones. And with the Browns having thirteen picks and three in the top thirty-seven and with plenty of holes needing to be filled, there will plenty for me to pay attention to this year.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Around the Tubes - 4/20/12

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Frozen Planet, The Ricky Gervais Show, Grimm, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Total Blackout, FX premiere dates, The Franchise, Ready for Love, American Ninja Warrior, MyMusicCloud, and Mob Wives.

- If you have not yet done so, check out my review of Frozen Planet out on DVD now by clicking the link. You can also check out the trailer below:

- The Ricky Gervais Show returns for its third season tonight and here is a clip of what you should expect:

- Of course Grimm will be at Comic-Con this summer and you can too by heading over to the Grimm Facebook page to enter to win a VIP trip to San Diego and much more.

- Something called My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding premieres tonight on TLC at 10:00 and sight unseen, I am going with the assumption that the title is self explanatory. If you are not convinced head over to Vimeo for a clip.

- In other new show news, Syfy will be premiering Total Blackout next Wednesday, head over to for a sneak peak:

- It is comedy night on FX starting June 28 with the premieres of Anger Management (you know, Charlie Sheen back on the small screen) with back to back episodes at 9:00, the second season of Wilfred at 10:00, the third season of Louie at 10:30, and new talk show Brand X with Russell Brand at 11:00.

- It should be an interesting season of The Franchise starting July 11 with the show focusing on the Miami Marlins with coach Ozzie Guillen. I wonder is anything interesting has happened with the team recently for them to use. Here is a promo:

- Are you ready for love? Well, then sign up for the new NBC dating series appropriately titled Ready for Love. Women (sorry guys) interested in being considered by the Ready for Love matchmakers can submit their info using the new Timeline app at the show’s Facebook page until May 18. Granted I would much rather be matched with executive producer Eva Longoria than some random chick. Call me Eva.

- Also coming to NBC this summer is American Ninja Warrior starting May 20. Check out a clip below:

- With hard drives becoming a premium, cloud storing is becoming more popular and you can get 250 MB of additional cloud music storage (up to 3 GB) for every person you refer to MyMusic Cloud.

- With Earth Day coming up says that nearly 40% of Americans say there’s not enough emphasis placed on environmental responsibility in the 2012 presidential election.

- Fans of VH1’s Mob Wives will be happy to learn Big Ang will be getting her own spin-off. Expect the two episode half hour series to premiere this summer.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

These Bruises Make for Better Conversation

Calinfornia 37 - Train

Every once in a while a band comes along and you are convinced will be a one hit wonder and are surprised that they managed to get another hit. Train is one of those bands. Meet Virginia sounded it like one of those songs, a catchy folk rock hit at a time when soft rock was huge with quirky lyrics about a girl who wears high heels while exercising. Then a couple years later they broke any chance of them being relegated to one hit wonder status with the epic Drops of Jupiter that showed they were more than just the quirky lyrics band and could make a grand music statement and have been a permanent fixture on the adult contemporary charts ever since where they have alternated between the quirky of Meet Virginia and grandness of Drops of Jupiter.

They finally made it back on the pop charts with their last album with ukulele assisted Hey Soul Sister and look to continue that success with the first single off of their new album California 37. Drive By is a Hey Soul Sister clone if there ever was one and the band even break out the ukulele again for Sing Together. And Drive By is not the only blatant clone on the album because You Can Finally Meet My Mom sounds like the sequel Marry Me also from their last album (which is odd considering one would introduced their mom before asking their hand in marriage so maybe the song is actually meant to be a prequel). But You Can Finally Meet My Mom also and weird lyrics that go well beyond their typical quirky songs by ending the song with randomly name checking Steve Job and Whitney Houston (it is unclear if the song was written and recorded before both of their untimely demises or not, but still kind of creepy either way).

But lyrics on the album do not get weirder that when the album starts off with This’ll Be My Year where Pat Monahan delivers rapid fire about everything that has happened since 1985 in chronological order like a amendment to Billy Joel’s We Didn't Start the Fire (the newer song even includes the line “Russians leave Afghanistan” which I am going to go ahead and assuming is an allusion to Joel’s “Russians in Afghanistan” line from his song). Train does add a personal flavor to the historic moments but they could have done a better job picking events because I would not consider “Barcelona has the games” a very momentous occasion.

Like almost every other adult contemporary artist of the past decade, Train even goes country for a song on the album with the folksy Bruises, a duet with the severely underrated Ashley Monroe who is probably best known as one third of Pistol Annies. It is songs like this and When the Fog Rolls In where Monahan shows his vulnerability which makes me wish Train would tone down the silly lyrics, because their music is much better when they play it straight.

Song to Download - Bruises

California 37 gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Want My Music Television - 4/18/12

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Payphone – Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa

Lyric Videos are all the rage these days (and we have Adam’s buddy Cee-Lo for that) but Maroon 5 put a new twist on the concept but creating a comic strip with the lyrics as the thought bubbles which is pretty cool. Though I’m am not sure if that is supposed to be Adam Levine or some random dude at the local Abercrombie and Fitch.

My Valentine - Paul McCartney

For his last album, Paul McCartney got Natalie Portman to appear in his video and she is back for another go around for his new album. It is good to be a Beatle. Strangely there are three different versions of the video, one with only Natalie, one with only Johnny Depp but I went with this one that had both because I am an equal opportunity ogler. You’re welcome.

Leave the Lights On – Meiko

I am always a fan of one shot music video and it is interesting how that put a spotlight on Meiko whenever her boyfriend is not touching her (though when I first watched it I was a bit confused because I did not realize the name of the song) but I am not sure I like the disco direction take of the song. Hopefully there are some folksier songs on her upcoming new album.

Disconnected (Acoustic) - Keane

Not really the song I would expect from Keane, they really came close to perfecting the easy listening in the new millennium sound and this is more ethereal than their past work, and I certainly did not expect them to make a horror music video either.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You're as Cold as Ice

Frozen Planet Blu-Ray cover

Whenever BBC Earth debuts a new miniseries it is definitely an event starting with Planet Earth in 2006 and continued with Life in 2009 (see my review: Life Is Sweet). The same team behind those two features is back with their coolest project yet, Frozen Planet. Not surprisingly the documentaries take us to the two extremes of the Earth from the Arctic Ocean to Antarctica to study the animals they live in the harsh conditions and the ever changing terrain.

An icescape from Frozen Planet

The DVD package spreads the seven episodes across three disks with a couple of special features. There is a twenty minute featurette about the scientific exploration at the South Pole. Yes there is a fully insolated science station at the most Southern point of the planet, watching the feature makes me want to find a way to get to visit there. The producers of Frozen Planets are hosting a contest, though not to the South Pole but a six day, five night trip to Manitoba to visit the polar bears of Churchill. Head over to to enter. Other special features include a set of forty-seven production video diaries from those that made Frozen Planet that range from one to four minutes. There is also a special episode of Frozen Planet entitled The Epic Journey that is basically a greatest hits version of the seven episodes.

Polar bears from Frozen Planet

The bulk of the miniseries is dedicated to the four seasons with spring, summer, autumn, and winter getting their own episode. The viewers will get a heavy dose of how polar bears and penguins adapt to the season during these episodes (yes, there is some overlap from the March of the Penguins documentary but Frozen Planet goes into much deeper detail into the year in the life of the animal than the movie) with cameos from other cold weather inhabitants including bison, wolves, whales, seals (there is very graphic love making scene which unfortunately I cannot un-see) and many other. We even meet a caterpillar that actually freezes every winter for over a decade before it transform into a moth.

Killer Whales from Frozen Planet

It is rare to see any human beings in any of these series from BBC Earth, but mankind actually gets its own episode with the episode The Last Frontier that travels to the northern most points of humanity to see how people have adapted in such cold places as Siberia and Alaska as well following the steps of the first explorers they tried to be the first to either Pole. There is even a segment on just how far some Inuit will go to get food including scaling down the side of the mountain with nothing but a rope to collect eggs.

Snow cover from Frozen Planet

Fox New watchers may not want to put in the third disk because the only episode on it is the final one On Thin Ice which looks at how global warming is affecting both ends of the Earth. It show just how a couple degrees is affecting how much ice covers the poles and how the freshwater ice caps are falling into the ocean at a quicker rate (with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking a couple days ago, you will also get to see how icebergs are created). It is also show how the humans that live in the northern points of the Earth are dealing with the warming weather as well as animals at both ends are adapting.

Penguins from Frozen Planet

As would expect based on previous series, Frozen Planet is a visual masterpiece with amazon shots that are even breathtaking in the DVD version (though if you do have a blu-ray player, I would recommend you spend the couple extra dollars to get the high definition version if the visuals are as stunning as they were on Life). This DVD set is based on the version of the series that aired BBC and is narrated by David Attenborough so fans of the version currently airing on Discovery with Adam Baldwin will probably have to wait a couple months for that to come out. But for those not a fan of anyone narrating and just want to take in the beautiful images without comment, you have the option to watch it with just the musical score. Personally I cannot wait to see what the team at BBC Earth has in store for us next, presumably in 2015.

Full Disclosure Notice: This series was given to me by BBC for the purpose of reviewing it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Voice Sweet Sixteen Power Rankings

The eliminations of the first round of the Live Show pretty much when exactly how I thought with the exception of Charlotte Sometimes, who I thought was going to be Blake’s finalist, was not only not saved by America but was not even saved by Blake. It is official, America really hates New Jersey hard right now. I guess it was a good thing Chris Christie did not run for president this year. But anyway. The Sweet Sixteen starts tonight and here is my Power Ranking for the contestants still remaining (change since the Top 24 Power Rankings in parentheses).

Lindsey Pavao singing Somebody That I Used to Know on The Voice1. Lindsey Pavao (+1)

2. Mathai (+3)

3. Jesse Campbell (-2)

4. Jamar Rogers (+3)

5. Ashley De La Rosa (+6)

6. Jermaine Paul (-3)

7. Juliet Simms (+5)

Mathai singing Ordinary People on The Voice8. RaeLynn (+5)

9. Tony Lucca (-5)

10. Erin Willett (+8)

11. Katrina Parker (-1)

12. Cheesa (+2)

13. Chris Mann (+3)

14. Pip (+1)

15. Jordis Unga (+1)

16. James Massone (+7)

And even though the coaches will not be going head to head until the finals, here is how the teams stack up against each other if you have one point for the worst singer and sixteen to the best.

1. Christina (46)
2. Adam (32)
3. Cee-Lo (29)
4. Blake (29)

It looks like The Voice is switching things up yet again introducing Instant Eliminations starting Monday where each coach will have to dump one of their contestants at the end of the show. It should be interesting if anyone eliminated ends up being the highest selling artist from the show on iTunes on Tuesday. So let me go ahead and prematurely predict that Blake Shelton will let Jordis go and in a shocker Christina Aguilera chooses to let Chris go instead of Ashley. Then next week will be a sad day for the monosyllabic as Cheesa and Pip are let go. And since I am in the prediction mode, here is who I think will be in the Elite Eight (America’s Vote in bold): RaeLynn, Jermaine, Lindsey, Jesse, Juliette, Jamar, Tony, Mathai.

Scooter Update: Wow, I did not see Christina giving Jesse the boot. After her versatility comment I was convince she would let go of Chris because he is a bit of a bore and his version of Viva La Vida just did not work. Even with a weak performance I still think Lindsey will get the Viewer Save and without Jesse around Christina will save Ashley. I will stick with my original thoughts on Team Blake. To vote for the remaining contestants via iTunes, click their names above to be taken to the iTunes page. Ashley really is the only one I am considering buying from tonight.

I may or may not update this space with thoughts on who and who not should advance in this space after the shoe airs. Until then, here is a video rundown of who is part of the Sweet Sixteen:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lyrics Quiz: Titanic

100 years ago today, the RMS Titanic sank to the bottom of the ocean (yes kiddies, the movie was based on a real event even though the characters are totally fake). So for this month’s lyrics quiz I plugged the song that sank the ship, My Heart Will Go On, through iTunes Genius function and here are the twenty-five songs the program gave back to me. As always leave your guesses, both artist and song title, in the comment section or e-mail me. If you are correct I will un-bold the lyric and give you credit. Please keep in mind the lyrics quiz is for entertainment purposes only so please only use your own meandering mind to guess them.

1. I want to thank you for giving me time to breathe like a rock you waited patiently while I got it together, while I figured it out.
2. Oh baby, I can’t fight this feeling anymore. Drives me crazy when I try to. So come my way, take my hand. Can you make my wish, baby you are in command.
3. Like anyone would be I am flattered by your fascination with me. Like any hot-blooded woman I have simply wanted an object to crave.
4. I’ve always been in love with you. UI guess you’ve always known it’s true. You took my love for granted, why oh why. The show is over, say goodbye.
5. I wish I could just make you turn around, turn around and see me cry. There’s so much I need to say to you, so many reasons why. You’re the only one who really knew he at all.
6. Oh it’s beautiful, but wait a minute, isn’t this… but I thought the old lady dropped it into the ocean at the end.
7. I am never broken, In the end only kindness matters. I will get down on my knees, and I will pray.
8. Don’t wish it away; don’t look at it like kids forever. Between you and me I can honestly say things can only get better.
9. And then the punches flew and chairs were smashed in two. There was blood and a single gunshot, but just who shot who?
10. No I don’t need your number, there’s nothing left to say. Except I never thought it would hurt this much to be saved.
11. I feel my spirits rise And soar like the wind. Is it love that I am in? I get weak in a glance. Isn’t that what's called romance?
12. I used to dream, I used to glance beyond the stars. But now I don’t know where we are, although I know we’ve drifted far.
13. She’ll promise you more than the Garden of Eden. Then she’ll careless cut you and laugh while your bleeding.
14. Well I hear the music, close my eyes, feel the rhythm wrap around, take a hold of my heart.
15. And there are voices that want to be heard. So much to mention but you can’t find the words. The scent of magic, the beauty that’s been when love was wilder than the wind.
16. I may be mad, I may be blind, I may be viciously unkind but I can still read what you’re thinking.
17. I will be the one to hold you down, kiss you so hard. I’ll take your breath away.
18. Just the other night baby I saw you hanging you were with your crew, I was with mine too. You took me by surprise when you turned and looked me in my eyes, oh you really blew my mind.
19. Her weapons were her crystal eyes making every man a man. Black as the dark night she was, got what no one else had.
20. She can’t remember the time that she felt needed. If love was blind she was color blind. All her friends well they were trialed for treason and crimes that were never defined.
21. I had to escape, the city was sticky and cruel. Maybe I should have called you first, but I was dying to get to you.
22. I really should have known by the time you drove me home. By the vagueness in your eyes, your casual good byes, by the chill in youe embrace.
23. Sergeant O'Leary is walking the beat, at night he becomes a bartender. He works at Mister Cacciatores down on Sullivan Street.
24. My boss is lame you know, and so is the pay. I’m gonna put that new black mini on my charge anyway.
25. Oh, this is the start of something good, don’t you agree? I haven’t felt like this in so many moons, you know what I mean?