Thursday, December 18, 2014

NO, "WATCHING THE BOTTLES GATHER RAIN" IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE BILLING ENTRY:  Former Blind Melon guitarist Rogers Stevens is now a labor associate at a law firm in Philly.
NOW PLAYING IN THE LOUNGE TONIGHT (AND EVERY NIGHT)--BUCKNER & GARCIA: Level 257, a Pac-Man-themed restaurant, will be opening in Schaumburg, Ill., early next year. Hopefully the menu will consist of more than just cherries, strawberries, and peaches.
LET ME BE YOUR STAAAAAR!  NBC can cancel Smash, but they can't stop fictional musical Bombshell from making it to Broadway as a one-night only concert event.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CHRISTOPHER LEE?  A redditor asks: "A war has broken out between actors. Each actor has an army composed of every character that they have ever portrayed. Whose army would win?"

["Cartoons and when the actors voice was used will count (i.e. Liam Neeson has Aslan). Also each character has any equipment they need to be effective. (Jedi have lightsabers, Han Solo has the Falcon, etc. etc.)"]

Related: the every-president knife fight.
WRONG MOVE, YOU'RE DEAD:  Grantland goes deep with a boy band approval matrix and comprehensive history and q&a. Much discussion of Another Bad Creation, 'N Sync, 98 Degrees, Dru Hill, and others:
Bell Biv DeVoe is, as a case study, the most interesting boy band that’s ever been. The group was made up of holdovers from New Edition, and that’s not crazy, but none of the three were ever really the star in N.E. (it was always either Ralph or Bobby or, later, Johnny), and that’s definitely crazy. I’m saying, “Poison” is the greatest song by any boy band ever. When has that ever happened in history? When has a team lost its three best individual players and then gone on to even greater success? Bell Biv DeVoe is like if LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh all left Miami, then Mario Chalmers, Birdman, and Udonis Haslem rattled off four or five rings in a row.
 Turk Dance is included.
ABE POLLIN WAS THE FIRST, RIGHT?  J.K. Rowling has confirmed that the existence of at least one Jewish Wizard, Ravenclaw's Anthony Goldstein.
ACA-WHO?  ACA-YOU! Our special "making music with the mouth" correspondent Saray returns with an advance look at The Sing-Off, which makes its return tonight:

Our long national nightmare is over.  The Sing-Off returns to NBC tonight, one-night-only style, post-Michael Buble Christmas special, for vocal percussion and puns galore.  Our dapper doofus of a host, Nick Lachey, returns, along with judges Shawn Stockman and Jewel.  Replacing Ben Folds (unavailable for the taping this year, SIGH) is Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy.  Since one of his group's songs was one of the most-covered collegiate a cappella songs last year (My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark), this maybe makes some sense?

For those of you who are new to ALOTT5MA, in my spare time from intellectual property law, I produce the Finals of both the ICCA and the ICHSA, and I'm a reviewer for RARB, the Recorded A Cappella Review Board.  I'm here to give you a short preview of the groups you'll see on this year's Sing-Off this Wednesday night!

Here are your competitors this year: a.squared, The Exchange, San Fran6, Timothy's Gift, Traces, and the Vanderbilt Melodores.  Notably, two of these groups are all-female.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

SOCKS?!  EIGHT PAIR. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!  Twenty-five years ago tonight, Hanukkah Harry saved Christmas.
"LUKE, THAT'S NOT QUITE MY TEMPO!" OR "YEAH, MR. YODA!  YEAH, THE FORCE!"  Jason Reitman is directing a live-read of the Empire Strikes Back script, with Aaron Paul as Luke and J.K. Simmons as Vader.
SOMETHING WHOLLY PREDICTABLE, AND IN THE END THAT'S WRONG: The Non-Country Popular Music of the 1950s and Beyond Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will induct six performers in 2015: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Green Day, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and Bill Withers.  Ringo Starr will be admitted through the former "side men" side door, and 1950s R&B vocal group The "5'' Royales are added as "early influencers."

N.W.A., Chic, Nine Inch Nails, and other ALOTT5MA favorites on this year's ballot remain on the outside.

Monday, December 15, 2014

THE NATION IS SAD:  Will Leitch pens a tribute to Stephen Colbert, as his final week of The Colbert Report begins:
There is a gentleness to Colbert, the real one, the quiet South Carolina native who still teaches Sunday school and regularly quotes scripture, that is more unique in television than his wit or even his improv talent. Colbert is seen by those who don’t understand him solely as a cutting satirist, and sometimes he is, but that misses much of the point: Colbert, at his core, is a kind humanist. Watch his contribution to the It Gets Better campaign. Don’t tell me you don’t see some Mister Rogers in there. 
WHAT DO YOU GET A WOOKIEE FOR CHRISTMAS?  The Star Wars Holiday Special is not that franchise's only contribution to this season--don't forget about the Star Wars Christmas Album, which featured songs from Tony winner Maury Yeston and the debut of Jon Bon Jovi!
I MADE YOU OUT OF CLAY!  Slate suggests how to "fix" Dreidel.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

THE ONLY TRUE CURRENCY IN THIS BANKRUPT WORLD IS WHAT WE SHARE WITH SOMEONE ELSE WHEN WE'RE UNCOOL:  Moving, thoughtful TCM tribute to the Hollywood names who passed away in 2014. (HT: Finn.)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

من خطرناک هستم:  Here's a delightful -- if occasionally frightening -- story about bootleg video in Iran in the 1980s:
Watching movies, Iranian and foreign, as well as American television, had been a favorite pastime among the middle class before the revolution. As a young girl I had loved watching The Six Million Dollar Man, the American series that ran throughout the mid-1970s and which in the years before the revolution re-ran on Iranian television constantly, dubbed into Persian. When Khomeini came to power and Western media was banned, Iranians’ love for it didn’t disappear — the ban just caused many people to turn to theblack market, and to young video-men like Masoud.

Read the rest.  No indication of how to say "You can be my wingman anytime" in Farsi, however.
JUDICIAL HOLDINGS DESK: As part of a post-trial opinion concerning alleged misuse of the Beastie Boys' music by Monster Energy drink, Judge Engelmayer of the Southern District of New York analogizes the five Beastie songs that appeared in the video ("So Whatcha Want," "Pass the Mic," "Sabotage," "Looking Down The Barrel of A Gun," and "Make Some Noise") to Beatles songs, noting (in a footnote) "Had Phillips chosen as the video’s soundtrack songs by The Beatles
that were comparably prominent within that band’s body of work, he might have chosen 'Love
Me Do,' 'Yesterday,' 'Let It Be,' 'Here, There and Everywhere,' and 'Hey Jude.'"  Is Judge Engelmayer correct?  Discuss.

Disclaimer:  I have, in the past, worked with counsel to the Beasties in this matter, but not on this matter or any other Beastie matter.
SLEEPING BAGS WERE ONLY THE BEGINNING:  Ladies and gentlemen, the Potauntaun.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

PIXAR'S HERMAN'S HEAD:  A new trailer for Inside Out is available.
DOES THIS MEAN A JONAH HILL RAP SONG? At the end of 22 Jump Street, we were offered a (joking) peek at the future of the franchise.  However, Sony's real plans (revealed due to the massive hack of Sony Pictures computers) are even more bonkers, and involve crossing over Jump Street with another franchise.
WAIT. SOMEONE SAW THE JUDGE? Nominations for the Screen Actor Guild Awards have been announced; if you've been following the awards beat there aren't many surprises other than the complete shutting-out of Selma, while Jake Gyllenhaal and Jennifer Aniston have been recognized.

[Golden Globe nominations tomorrow.]
ALOTT5MA ANDEAN TRADE PREFERENCE ACT DESK:  In January, General Mills will roll out a new Cheerios + Ancient Grains cereal, with "small amounts of quinoa, Kamut wheat and spelt along with the traditional oats."