Saturday, August 24, 2013

Best of the Week: 8/24/13

Quote of the Week: Digging the whole Erika Badu thing you got going on… turban. (Ray, The Bridge)

Song of the Week: Don't You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds (Perception)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: And Your New Batman Is…: I actually had a long diatribe on the official announcement on the new cast of Survivor and the disastrous return of Colton and Redemption Island but I am going to put that off until the season premieres because a much bigger news item dropped Friday morning. Usually I write my Big News of the Week early on Wednesday or Thursday because traditionally nothing happens of Friday, the day is historically a slow news day because people are too busy preparing for the weekend to care about news. Most people dump bad news on Friday hoping it will disappear without anyone caring.

This makes you wonder why Warner Bros. would hold off the announcement of the next Batman, arguably the biggest superhero on the planet, until a Friday instead of Monday to maximize the impact and news. Well that is until you learn who would be putting on the cowl next: Ben Affeck commonly considered the worst superhero ever (depending on your feelings towards Ryan Reynolds) after the disastrous Daredevil. Naturally the internets almost combusted on itself after the new broke. What makes this worse is that this announcement came after word leaked that Ryan Gosling was on the shortlist (a shortlist that did not even include Affleck). I would have even taken Josh Brolin, who also rumored for the part over Affleck. Sometime I wonder if Warner Bros. and DC Comics do not mind playing second fiddle to the Marvel even though DC has the far superior roster of superheroes.

I am sure Survivor and Grantland, who released their disastrous The Best Song of the Millennium bracket Thursday, which befuddling left Crazy by Gnarls Barkley off the pool of sixty-four (to put things in perspective, the people over at Grantland did think Tik Tok by Ke$ha is one of the sixty four best songs of the millennium; though any longtime reader of Grantland cannot be too surprised that their list is made up of mostly middling rap songs horrible pop songs and pretentious indie music no one cares about), were happy that the announcement was released Friday to pull all the internet hatred away from them and unto Affleck.

Preview Picture of the Week:

"Now You See Me, Now You Don’t" Pretty Little Liars, Tuesday at 8:00 on ABC Family

Free Download of the Week: The Living Room Sessions – Sheryl Crow (NoiseTrade): Get Sheryl Crow’s move towards country with a free EP, but if you are so inclines to tip for being generous, Portions of any money collected from the "tip jar" will be sent to one of Sheryl's favorite charities, St Jude Children's Research Hospital.

New Album Release of the Week: Electric Slave - Black Joe Lewis

New DVD Release of the Week: The Great Gatsby

Video of the Week: If you have watched MTV over the past month, which is to say if you have watched The Challenge in the past month because it is the only programming on the channel worth watching this decade aside the short lived Beavis and Butt-Head revival (which I guess is not coming back), you would be surprised to hear an actual good song being played as No Sleep Till Brooklyn has become the theme of this year’s Video Music Awards since the show will be held in the borough for the first time tomorrow. It is nice that the channel actually is playing a great song for once, but really ruins the sentiment when the ads also feature Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. But MTV recently did an oral history of the Beastie Boys song. Sure it is short and does not feature stories from any of the Boys themselves, but it is still worth a view. The VMA’s airs tomorrow at 9:00 and will feature performances by artists no one over fourteen will want to watch so you may want to go to sleep before the show gets to Brooklyn. Actually all the old people you loved the Beastie Boys back in the day will probably be watching Breaking Bad instead.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Pretty Little Liars, Tuesday at 8:00 on ABC Family: #WorldWarA is upon us and… I cannot say I am all that excited. Is redcoat A? If so why are the Liars calling her buy both names? It gets too confusing. All I know is that CeCe is way too obvious. I am still predicting Allison is Redcoat / A, whether they tell us that in the summer finale or not is debatable. They like to stretch mysteries out like turkey meat.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Around the Tubes: 8/23/13

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 Homeland, FXX, Chicago Fire, Glickman, Fall TV, Real Fear, TBS renewals, Camera Ready, The Legendary Giveback II, Aly Tadros, Ghost Mine, and the VMA's.

- We are still six weeks away from the premiere of the thirds season of Homeland, until then you can just stare at the official poster hoping to find clues.

- FXX launches on Labor Day in 72 million homes and for those that do not want to miss It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, and Totally Biased (which expands to five nights a week) all which premiere on Wednesday September 4, head over to to see what channel the network will be on your cable dial or to request it.

- Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney want to know why you love Chicago Fire. Upload your video to Instagram using the hashtag #ChicagoFireFan and your video could be used on the air.

- Before Marv Albert and Bob Costas, there was Marty Glickman. A gifted Jewish-American athlete who was denied the chance to represent the U.S. at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he went on to become one of the most revered and influential sportscasters in history, pioneering many of the techniques, phrases and programming innovations that are commonplace in sports reporting today. Chronicling his remarkable life and career, Glickman debuts Monday at 9:00 exclusively on HBO. Check out the trailer below:

- Every fall TV season brings hits and misses but NewMediaMetrics has just released the top new shows that are sure to be a success. The brand-strategy and content-alignment company has released today its annual Fall TV predictions via its 2013 LEAP TV Study, which includes its performance predictions for the 2013 fall TV season. For the past seven years, NMM has made these predictions with more than 80 percent accuracy by measuring consumers’ Emotional Attachment (EA) to show concepts – a nod to how the media industry should assess content with an evaluation at the front end of the production process. So according to NMM look for The Lucky Ones and The Michael J Fox Show to succeed and do not get to attached to Sean Saves the World or Super Fun Night (apparently it is easier to predict comedies).

- On Friday, September 6 at 9:00, Chiller presents the second installment of its successful Real Fear franchise with the premiere of Real Fear 2: The Truth Behind (More) Movies. In this two-hour special, paranormal investigators Richard Dolan, Katrina Weidman, John McGarry, Chris Holt and Becky Weingrad explore the terrifying factual stories that served as the basis for some of the scariest horror movies of all time. The team is also joined by renowned psychic Chip Coffey and paranormal researcher John Zaffis, who lend their expertise in analyzing the accounts.

- Last week TNT did their summer renews and this week its sister station TBS has followed suit by renewing its summer offerings Sullivan and Sons, Men at Work, and Deal with It.

- Syfy is expanding its growing slate of reality programming with Camera Ready, an all-new competition reality series from Mission Control Media (Face Off) now in development. On Camera Ready, ten visionary costume designers will stretch imagination and artistry by competing in challenges to create works of costume art for film, television and music videos. Each week, the contestants will realize fantastical characters through their dazzling costume creations, incorporating non-traditional materials and technology – such as fiber optics – into some pieces. The contestants will be judged by a panel of industry heavy-weights - from Oscar-winning costume designers, cutting-edge directors and avant-garde fashionistas – with one designer ultimately taking home the $100,000 grand prize.

- Two Southern icons, Cheerwine and The The Avett Brothers, have teamed up again to share The Legendary Giveback II, a night of music to benefit family-focused organizations, with their Carolina roots. On Thursday, November 14, the Grammy-nominated indie rockers will take the stage at North Charleston Coliseum in South Carolina for one concert, in one town, for one night bringing fans of Cheerwine and The Avett Brothers together to help give back. Proceeds from the event's ticket sales will go to three family-aid organizations that provide services locally: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Operation Homefront and The Children's Hospital of South Carolina at MUSC.

- Golightly Media is proud to announce that Brooklyn based singer/songwriter, Aly Tadros, just released her brand new video on Guitar World. The New York singer/songwriter (by way of Austin) told the mag, "Whim' was intended to be an old folk duet. We originally wrote it on Ben's resonator, but once we got into the studio, my Guild D-55 sounded too crisp not to use. The intricate fingerpicking is on Juanita, my vihuela. She's a traditional five-string mariachi instrument from Michoacan. I'm pretty sure I almost died three times driving across Mexico to get her."

- Syfy’s hit unscripted series Ghost Mine dusts off its blasting caps and infrared cameras to dig even deeper into the mine’s paranormal mystery when Season 2 premieres Wednesday, September 4 at 10

- It’s VMA time again; read about the nominees; watch their videos; learn the lyrics; look at their style. Everything Home, the new Android-based app, let’s music fans explore all the news, apps and topic-related apps – even if they’re not downloaded on your smart phone – with one quick click. Finally everything you need on music from Everything Home.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Previewing The Secret Life of Dogs

Have you ever look at your dog and wonder, what exactly is (s)he thinking about. Well The Secret Life of Dogs explores just that. The show follows one puppy from birth to motherhood okay, in actuality that only took eighteen months) and other mysteries of our canine friends. You will learn such interesting information about your dogs as to why and how they are able to shake water off of them (complete with a video slowed down a thousand times), how they are able to drink without impossible thumbs or a straw, and for those that wonder why they keep licking your face, you will find that out too (though you may be better off not knowing).

You will also learn just why dogs keep their noses wet. Spoiler alert: it helps them smell. And that super smelling definitely helps us out like search and rescue and some think they can even detect cancer before modern science can. And you may have already figured them out, but dogs can communicate with at least six different emotions through there barks. Unfortunately mine just sits and stars at me whenever she wants something.

As the special tells us, “Dogs are wrinkly and slobbery, they can shed, and a lot of them beg for food. But they are also adorable, loyal protectors, and the more we know about them, the easier it is to love them!”

The Secret Life of Dogs airs Sunday at 9:00 on Nat Geo Wild. You can watch the trailer below:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Don't Call it a Comeback IX: Jodeci

It seems like once a week I am listening to my iTunes library and I hear a song that makes me go, this artist really needs a comeback. So I thought I would start a new feature here on the 9th Green highlighting an artist that really needs to reenter the public consciousness. The only criterion is that the artist hasn’t had a legitimate hit in over a decade.

Due for a Comeback: Jodeci

Biggest Hit: Freek’n You

Last Hit: Get On Up (1996)

Where Are They Now: In a story I broke earlier this week, K-Ci and JoJo just released a new video in advance up their upcoming album My Brother’s Keeper coming out September 24. It is their first in over a decade. Devante Swing’s Swing Mob dominated late nineties RnB but he and his brother Mr. Dalvin have been relative quiet this century. The group had a small resurgence earlier this year when Drake release his Jodeci Freestyle but most of the attention centered around J Cole’s line about autism that both rappers apologized for (as inappropriate as the line was, it is still depressing that we now live in a time where rappers are apologizing for their lyrics; remember in the good old days when Ice-T would sing about killing cops and not only would he not apologize, he would show up on the cover of the Rolling Stone in a cop uniform complete with a threatening face and a billie club).

Why the World Needs a Jodeci Comeback: Because as I was excited to hear K-Ci and JoJo were back, I would be screaming like the women in the Drake song is Jodeci came back. The group probably made the best RnB album of the nineties, Diary of a Mad Band, with possibly the best song from the genre in the time period Feenin’ which to this day is still an vital part of my Baby Makin’ Playlist. And it seems like every RnB song these days has to be infused with hip=-hop or dance beats, it would be nice to go back to the days of New Jack Swing.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Little Bit of Summer Is What the Whole Year’s All About

Paradise Valley - John Mayer

Each previous John Mayer album had a definite musical theme. Room for Squares was his pop album. Heavier Things was his soul album. Continuum was his blues album. Battle Studies was his crappy concept album about dating Jennifer Aniston. While last effort Born and Raised was his folk album. From the first listen of Paper Doll, the first single off of Paradise Valley, it sounded like John may be going back to his Heavier Things days with its more experimental guitar sounds against a lazy track. But as it turns out Paradise Valley is essentially a sequel to Born and Raised released just fifteen months prior, complete with the same producer, Don Was, with a few exceptions.

The most fun part of a new Taylor Swift album is trying to figure out which song is about whom. The biggest gimmie on any album was Dear John, a not at all thinly veiled reference to Mayer and John was not at all happy, essentially calling it bad songwriting to be so obvious. Maybe John has changed his tune or thinks he is more clever because it is hard to hear Paper Doll and not think of Swift especially the lie about being “22 girls and once” considering her last album featured a song entitled 22. Even more directed is Dear Marie which sounds like John trying to reconnect with a high school crush. But then again, who really cares about some chick that he went to high school with.

Musically Paradise Valley is akin to Born and Raised, but thematically, the two are much different. The last album saw Mayer wallow in his own sorrow of bad press (from the Swift break up to his racist genitalia) where he found himself trying to convince himself that he is “a good man with a good heart.” Apparently Mayer is done with the whiskey to dull the pain because Paradise Valley is a much more cheery affair. Album opener Wildfire is a rumbling jaunt. After an album hiatus, Mayer brought back a token cover song. This time around he reworks Call Me the Breeze by J.J. Cale, a song even more poignant after his death last month. But the song is still a great driving down a country road kind of song.

Mayer has long collaborated with other musicians only his albums but Paradise Valley is the first time he lets other singers take over the vocals. First up is girlfriend Katy Perry for the duet Who You Love where the two mixed matched pair try to explain their relationship to little avail. It is clear why Perry just sings cheesy pop music because her voice is just not suited for more serious material and just makes Mayer come off as cheesy. Frank Ocean shows up on Wildfire. No, not the opening track, there is another song of the same name as track number eight. In true Frank Ocean fashion, his Wildfire, the song only features his voice, is weirdly beautiful and has no connection vocally or musically to the Mayer version aside from having the word “wildfire” in it. After Mayer appeared on Ocean’s debut and Ocean appears on Paradise Valley, one has to wonder if their singer-songwriter version of Watch the Throne is next for both of them.

Song to Download – Paper Doll

Paradise Valley gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Want My Music Television: 8/19/13

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.

The Wire - Haim

This song was instantly likeable to me but I never really figured out that it was a breakup song until I saw the video. In hindsight, the Heartache Tonight opening riff should have been a hint as to what the song could have been about (considering that Robin Thicke just preemptively sued the Marvin Gaye estate to keep them for suing him for ripping off Got to Give It Up, I wonder of Haim will do the same to The Eagles). And as great as the song is, the video is equally as bad. Someone needs to tell whoever came up with this idea that crying dudes really are not that funny. And if you like the song, today is the last day when you can get The Wire free on iTunes.

Why You Only Call Me When You’re High? – Arctic Monkeys

When I saw the “Parental Advisory” at the beginning of the new Arctic Monkeys video I thought great, Blurred Lines really did kick of the nudity trend of 2013. Unfortunately the video turned out to be a PG-13, third person view, male version of the Smack My (Expletive Deleted) Up video.

Knock it Off – K-Ci and JoJo

Holy K-Ci adn JoJo sighting! I cannot even remember the last time I saw these guys, maybe a decade. Although after my initial excitement wore off, my second thought was I would much rather have a Jodeci reunion.

365 Days - ZZ Ward

I probably should like ZZ Ward more than I do, she has a soulful voice and she has worked with Pete Rock and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, but her debut album just lacks that something special. Granted I had a very similar response to Adele’s first album (sure 19 did have better songs) and she knocked it out of the park for the follow up so hopefully ZZ can find her groove by the time the second album comes around. With that said, this video freaks me out, but I cannot stop watching.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 8/18/13

Ray Donovan: That fake movie, Black Mass, was one of the funniest fake movies I have seen in a while. Someone needs to rush it into production. Get Robert Rodriguez on the phone. It is nice that Ray named his daughter after his dead sister, but it can get distracting on a shown when he starts talking about his sister and I spend a couple weird moments wondering why he is talking about his daughter like that.

Switched at Birth: I feel cheated that we did not get to witness Travis and MaryBeth’s first (or second or third) date. That had to be highly entertaining. Certainly more entertaining than Toby’s bachelor party at the free clinic.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Switched at Birth on iTunes.

Siberia: It is nice that they tried to explain why the cameramen would not just put the cameras down and start helping out. Of course if I were the cameraman tasked with following the group to the tower, I would have passed, or at the very least asked them to take turns filming stuff. Of course if this really was real, the battery would have died a long time ago without the ability to recharge at the base camp. I also had to laugh at how everyone was complaining about how hard it would reach the tower ten miles away. Colin Ferrell starred in a movie not too long ago about a group of prisoners who escaped a Siberian prison camp, in the dead of winter at that, and managed to walk all the way to Tibet and that was based on a real story. Okay, I think half the people ended up dying, but ten miles should not be that bad in the fall. Unless of course you come across ground zero of what may very well be nuclear testing.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Siberia on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: Just last week I rejoiced that Ezra’s baby mama was moving to Washington because there would be no way Ezra would not follow the child he just found out about. Fast forward to this week and Erza’s kid is not actually his kid. What!?! Which means he will probably go back to having sex with his student. Chris Hansen really needs to pay the writers room a visit.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

The Bridge: A lot of back-story this week, we learned that Sonya’s sister’s murder was handed by her now boss (and she does not know… yet) and she still visits her sister’s murderer in prison even his diminutive mental state. While we also learned that Marco’s father had ties to Fasto’s father who started Fasto’s current business. So did Marco go into law enforcement to rebel against his father or to be a mole for the family business? And it did cross my mind that the two back stories could have intertwined somehow and maybe Sonya’s sister’s killer may have worked for Marco’s father and this whole mystery has been about Sonya and Marco this whole time.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Bridge on iTunes.

The Challenge: Rivals II: I have been watching the show live the last couple of weeks and the frequency of the commercial breaks is really distracting. It seemed like the girls half of the challenge had three breaks itself. It just ruins the flow to have an ad every four to five minutes. I really need to go back to watchjing the show OnDemand where I can fast forward through the commercials even if MTV does not offer HD on their OnDemand channel and I am stuck watching in standard definition.
You can download The Challenge: Rivals II on iTunes.