April 29, 2008

Useless AI Blogging

Worst Idol season ever.

I half expected Paula to say she was dodging sniper fire on the way to the Kodak tonight.

DC is solid again, but he'll always be Daughtry lite.

Jason should have gone home last week, and failed to take advantage of his second chance. He needs to go home.

Brooke went 1 and 1. Second song was nice; first was ill advised.

DA had an off week. Utterly unconvincing on both songs.

Someone please take up a collection to buy Syesha some shoes.

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April 20, 2008

We Interrupt This Blog Re-Emergence For The Following Musical Interlude

If you forget everything else I ever told you, remember this: A thorough study of bluegrass music must ― repeat must ― begin with an examination of Bill Monroe.



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January 17, 2008

Tom Petty's Los Angeles

The L.A. Weekly has a cover story on Tom Petty's Los Angeles, complete with a map of several important Pettyania locations. Interesting, but I always complained that Petty, who moved here from Florida in 1974, was somewhat mistaken about the geography of his adoptive home. Exhibit A is the following line from the hit "Free Fallin':"

It's a long day living in Reseda,
There's a freeway runnin through the yard.
Um no, that's inaccurate. There's no freeway in Reseda. Check Google maps; the closest freeway is US 101, which goes through Tarzana, but not Reseda.

Next I'll take on geographical inaccuracies in the screenplay for The Karate Kid.

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November 30, 2007

Recommended Reading Of The Day

Skippy's Led Zeppelin reunion post. Recommended if you love or especially if you hate Led Zeppelin, there's something for everybody. Choice cuts include:

Plant invented one of the most annoying phenomenons in modern music: screaming the word "baby" seven or eight times in high C and letting people think that it's the blues. It isn't the fucking blues, it's being a dick. Listen to history's great blues singers. You almost never want to punch them in the face.

. . .

When you get to be Jimmy Page's age, almost all girls are inappropriately young. If, at the age of 59, Robert Plant asks anyone to squeeze his lemon 'til the juice runs down his leg" he should be laughed at by the audience and immediately taken into police custody.

. . .

Zeppelin was first and foremost a "rock" band, and that doesn't age very gracefully. The Stones on the other hand were always far more about the roll than they were the rock. You can be a really old guy and play, say, "Tumblin' Dice" without looking stupid. The same probably can't be said about "The Immigrant Song."

I barely remember watching Led Zeppelin when they reunited for the Live Aid show back in 1985. I wasn't all that impressed, but hey, I was eight and I wanted to see Duran Duran. Years later, I dated a drummer who educated me about the mythic status of the late John Bonham and the overwhelming awesomeness of "Achilles Last Stand."

As I say, I was educated, and I became a fan. But I can't see spending money on a reunion show today when they're so over the hill and their best guy is dead. I'd never go see the Rolling Stones or The Who these days either. Of course, if it were 1975, I'd be all over it!

Skippy really needs to read Lord of the Rings, though. I can't believe he hasn't read that yet.

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May 17, 2007

How Could Melinda Lose?

After Tuesday night's performances I said to Chris, "If I were scoring tonight, it'd have to be Blake 2, Jordin 1, Melinda 0"

The fact is, Melinda Doolittle never had a bad week on American Idol. So how could she lose? I think it's because she never had a bad week.

Americans love the underdog. But to be an underdog, you have to lose a little and she is such a superior talent it was impossible for her to give a bad performance. So why did I say she scored a zero? Because I got used to her. She'd raised her own bar too high. She peaked too early.

Plus, Nutbush City Limits?!?! wtf was that? Somebody needs to find the producer that picked that song and kick him in the shins. I get the whole Tina Turner thing, but couldn't they have picked a song with an actual hook in it? Or maybe one with more than three words to the lyrics?

Melinda will be fine. Winning AI can be like winning the Heisman anyway. For every Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood there's a Taylor Hicks or Ruben Studdard. I know, who are they?

Personally, I hope Melinda goes the jazz route rather than the R&B route. Her rendition of My Funny Valentine was one of the classic Idol performances of all time, in my opinion.

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May 14, 2007

DWTS Blogging

I feel like with six days of blogging left, every post I do should contain wisdom of surpassing profundity.

Instead I got nothing.

So hey, did you catch Dancing With The Stars tonight? Let me tell you, Anton and Julianne's cha-cha was almost pornographic. No, it was pornographic. I watched it three times just to make sure. It was also quite simply the most exciting performance I have seen in three seasons of obsession with that show. Absolutely loved it! The video is here.

Did you know Julianne is Mormon? There goes that stereotype.

And don't give me any more of that "we've got a brother and sister type relationship," Julie. I saw Anton slip you the tongue during that last hold. If you two aren't doing it by now, I don't know what you're waiting for!

Overall, tonight's show had amazing performaces from every couple on every dance. But the standouts for me, besides Anton's cha-cha, were Joey and Kym's jive and Laila and Maksim's cha-cha. I've become a huge Laila Ali fan. She can really shake it.

I don't think any of these four couples deserve to go home next week. If I had to predict, I'd say Ian and Cheryl, despite Ian's breakthrough 30 score. I'd hate to see Cheryl go though. I really think she's the best all around pro of the bunch.

Speaking of stars and pro's getting it on, what's the deal with Kym and Joey staying out 'til 2:30 one night, and then going on a Disney date? Is there more DWTS love in the air? I don't know. Kym recently broke an engagement, but Joey's married.

technorati:

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May 01, 2007

Coolest Thing On The Internets Of The Day: The Met's Zoom Function

Here's something I hadn't seen before. It's a very cool zoom function at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's website. I linked to Poussin's The Abduction of the Sabine Women, because there's a lot going on in there. But you can find and zoom in on pretty much everything they have at the Met. It's my favorite museum.

Also, while we're on the subject of art, click on the extended entry if you're interested in a tour of the National Gallery's Jasper Johns exhibition. I thought it was interesting. more...

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April 26, 2007

Three Thoughts On AI

Would it be heartless of me to say, "please no more telethons?"

Speaking of heartless, I'd like to "Imagine" there's no John Lennon. Oh that's right, there isn't!

And finally, ain't no way you're going to eradicate malaria with mosquito nets. Sorry.

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April 22, 2007

She Would Have Been 90 This Wednesday

The greatest singer ever.

Critics of American Idol would do well to remember that Ella got her start in an amateur singing contest. From Ella's bio:

In 1934 Ella's name was pulled in a weekly drawing at the Apollo and she won the opportunity to compete in Amateur Night. Ella went to the theater that night planning to dance, but when the frenzied Edwards Sisters closed the main show, Ella changed her mind. "They were the dancingest sisters around," Ella said, and she felt her act would not compare.

Once on stage, faced with boos and murmurs of "What's she going to do?" from the rowdy crowd, a scared and disheveled Ella made the last minute decision to sing. She asked the band to play Hoagy Carmichael's "Judy," a song she knew well because Connee Boswell's rendition of it was among [her mother's] favorites. Ella quickly quieted the audience, and by the song's end they were demanding an encore. She obliged and sang the flip side of the Boswell Sister's record, "The Object of My Affections."

Off stage, and away from people she knew well, Ella was shy and reserved. She was self-conscious about her appearance, and for a while even doubted the extent of her abilities. On stage, however, Ella was surprised to find she had no fear. She felt at home in the spotlight.

Reminds me of one current AI contestant, actually.
'Once up there, I felt the acceptance and love from my audience,' Ella said. 'I knew I wanted to sing before people the rest of my life.'

In the band that night was saxophonist and arranger Benny Carter. Impressed with her natural talent, he began introducing Ella to people who could help launch her career. In the process he and Ella became lifelong friends, often working together.

Fueled by enthusiastic supporters, Ella began entering - and winning - every talent show she could find. In January 1935 she won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. It was there that Ella first met drummer and bandleader Chick Webb. Although her voice impressed him, Chick had already hired male singer Charlie Linton for the band. He offered Ella the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University.

'If the kids like her,' Chick said, 'she stays.'

Despite the tough crowd, Ella was a major success, and Chick hired her to travel with the band for $12.50 a week.

And the rest is jazz history.

Happy Birthday Ella. I miss you.

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April 20, 2007

Eighties Video Of The Day

Remember this kick-ass Eighties song, by John Waite?

Enjoy.

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April 09, 2007

The Next QTs

I know the reason why Grindhouse did so poorly at the box office this weekend. Its target audience was busy making YouTube videos, trying to be the next Quentin Tarantino.

Check it out. Here are some of the more interesting ones I found:
more...

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Martin & Kelly

I never watch Live with Regis and Kelly, but caught a few minutes this morning because I wanted to see Gina Glocksen. Regis is out on the DL, and Martin Short is filling in. OMG, is there anyone funnier than Martin Short? He's off-the-hook! Regis better hurry back, or he may be out of a job.

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March 20, 2007

No Brainer

ratzenberger.jpg

Cliff filling in for Big Pussy.

I guess when Ratzenberger got the call from ABC, it was a short conversation.

"So what you're sayin' is, I get to dry grind with the hottest body on the show, who's basically wearing a bikini and heels, but you can only pay me scale? Umm— I just have one question, can I borrow your pen?"

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March 08, 2007

"Wooo, Dropped Wide Open..."

Sundance and Jared are such nice guys, and Sabrina was my favorite.

So like everybody, I guess, I'm floored by the upsets on American Idol tonight.

But Cal beat UCLA, hooooyah!!!

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February 25, 2007

I Was Totally Right!

I totally picked Alan Arkin. I should have put money on it! He was 4:3, but the favorite was Eddie Murphy at 1:2. I was in Reno this weekend and I told people I was going to bet and then I chickened out, damn.

My theory was that Arkin would win because Little Miss Sunshine was the only nominated movie out on DVD until just a few weeks ago. Therefore a lot of the voters were probably too lazy to go out and see the other movies, but I'm sure they had Netflix.

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February 21, 2007

The Top 12 American Idol Women Summarized

Pictures are here, so you can follow along at home.

Stephanie Edwards: Two words: Loved her.

Amy Krebs: Cute girl, big pores, didn't like the dress, loved the shoes, hated the song choice. Maynard had more personality.

Leslie Hunt: I like Leslie. I think her personality is a little quirky, maybe a little bizarre. I love the pirate boots. She should do some sixties hippie material, Michelle Phillips or stuff like that. I think she could be good even though her voice really lacks range.

Sabrina Sloan: Very pretty girl. Great style. Smart song choice. Love love love the black patent stack heels. Nice job with a difficult song. I think I have a crush on her. But on my scorecard, Stephanie was just a notch better, despite what Simon said.

Antonella Barba: Overrated. Safe song choice. She was out of tune. And the red top with the cut-out shoulders was sooo New Jersey.

Jordin Sparks: Impressive. Maybe my favorite so far. With a song that is not vocally challenging, the temptation is to sing it safely, but she made it her own. Very nice. Jordin could win this thing; I wouldn't be surprised. Good personality too, and she managed to kiss up to Simon without making it obvious.

Nicole Tranquillo: Randy said it was "rough," Paula said "she can sing," and Simon thought it was "indulgent." I think they were all right. There's nothing wrong with her instrument, but that performance was odd at best. The words were indecipherable and her facial contortions were completely unnecessary. Honestly, it was painful and embarrassing to watch. Prediction: she may not be here next week.

Haley Scarnato: So many Italian girls representing tonight! That song was so boring I completely forgot to listen. Her outfit was hideous. Black strapless jumpsuit with an Eighties big-belt. Nauseating. She may survive to next week, but it won't be on the strength of that performance.

Melinda Doolittle: Someone is lying to us. This is not a shy girl with no self-confidence. You can't fake that kind of stage presence. I don't believe that whole shtick, but the storyline will probably win fan loyalty. She doesn't need the gimmick though, because she might be the best singer in the competition. She'll make it to the top six, easy. Maybe even final two.

Alaina Alexander: Bye-bye.

Gina Glocksen: I like her, but I hated the song, "All By Myself," what a boring song choice. It's boring in the original version. Who does it even? See, I don't even remember the original artist. I know Celine Dion did it, but someone else did it first, and I can't remember who.

LaKisha Jones: Very nice. She sounded like she'd been in the business for years. Professional. I hesitate to make the comparison to Mandisa from last year, whom I loved. But the judges were obviously thinking the same thing when they picked her. She's better than Mandisa was, which is very good indeed.

Even the worst of tonight's women were better than the men last night. Easy prediction: this year's AI champ will be one of the girls.

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February 20, 2007

The Top 12 American Idol Men Summarized

Rudy: Two words: utterly sucked.

Brandon: Not a note in tune. Perhaps he'll get it right eventually.

Sundance Head: WTF? "Like Dad at a wedding" was spot on. He's unusual enough that he'll last into the final six, but tonight was not good.

Paul Kim: Kevin, tell your bro to put some shoes on. Sucked.

Does anybody belong this season? What the hell is going on? And please, someone tell the contestants that the whole holding your hand up like a phone and mouthing the words "call me" has been done to death.

Boy Band Wannabe #1, Chris: Check out his dad in the audience. Now we know where he got his moves. Baaaaad.

Nick "Vote For" Pedro: Dude, instead of slouching, try moving the mike up. It might also help if you found at least one note too.

Everybody sucks tonight. I don't remember a season that has started out this bad. But I had a feeling after getting a taste of these losers last week.

Boy Band Wannabe #2, Blake: His dad is the disastrous byproduct of a cloning experiment using Bill Cowher and Victor French's DNA.

Sam Jaya: I didn't think he was that bad. The judges all beat up on him. But a little vocal coaching and he could be good to go.

Paula looks like she's either had a cervical fusion recently and is unable to move her neck, or someone injected botox directly into her carotid artery.

Chris "The Funny Gigh" Sligh: With that hairstyle, he's gotta do at least one Weird Al song before he gets kicked off. He was okay. I expected more. Like Sundance, his personality might carry him probably into the final six.

Jared "Welcome Back" Cotter: Best so far, and he wasn't that good. I'll pick him to make it to the final six though.

Boy Band Wannabe #3, A.J.: Luther Vandross? What's going on here? Doc, you gotta help me! I came here in a time machine you invented, and I need your help to get out of the year 1985!

Phil The Navy Guy: Gollum can sing.

Tonight's show was the worst AI ever. I hope the girls will be better tomorrow, but about half of them are Barbies who don't belong up there either.

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February 12, 2007

Lego London

The vikings are gone, but Denmark is still invading Britain, via Lego.

h/t Londonist, by way of LAist.

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January 23, 2007

24 Blogging

I so wanted Jack's dad to be played by Donald Sutherland, but no. They got the guy from L.A. Confidential.

Actually, tonight's episode was pretty lackluster. Jack's HK didn't even make an appearance. Other than revealing that Rocket Romano is Jack's brother, the storyline wasn't advanced very far. I nodded off near the end a couple of times. If you had to pick one episode to miss, so you could watch Heroes, this would be the one. Fortunately, I have DVR now, so I don't have to miss either.

Oh, and I think tonight's helicopter crash brings the series total for downed aircraft to about 73.

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January 16, 2007

24 Blogging

Last night we saw the first application this season of Annika's 24 maxim:

A hostile with key information is a hostile down.
When they revealed that this season's MacGuffin would be a suitcase bomb, I thought, "season two again." But this time, they exploded it inside the city, so does that mean we're in for a post-apocalyptic L.A. scenario? If so, I hope Snake Plisskin makes an appearance, what a team he and Jack would make. Snake & Jake, the two whispering heroes.

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