Tuesday, October 18, 2016

IT'S KELTNER SEASON:Your nominees for this year's Rock Hall of Fame class:
  • Pearl Jam
  • Tupac Shakur
  • Depeche Mode
  • ELO
  • Jane's Addiction
  • Janet Jackson
  • Journey 
  • The Cars
  • The Zombies
  • Yes
  • Bad Brains
  • Chaka Khan
  • Chic
  • J. Geils Band
  • Joan Baez
  • Joe Tex 
  • Kraftwerk
  • MC5
  • Steppenwolf
Pearl Jam and Tupac seem like cinches for first ballot induction, but the rest of that class seems pretty uninspiring to me.  Eligible this year for the first time, but not finalists?  Boyz II Men,  Alanis Morissette, PJ Harvey, and Tori Amos.  (Next year's eligibles include two seeming first ballot cinches--Radiohead and Beck.)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

WE'RE ONLY ONE YEAR AWAY FROM MIAMI 2017:  We normally stay away from politics, but when two candidates (on Long Island, naturally) debate which one loves Billy Joel more, we're on it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

PRESUMABLY, THE NEW CAST ADDITIONS ARE YOUNG, SCRAPPY, AND HUNGRY: Lin-Manuel Miranda will host SNL on October 8.  Musical guest is Twentyone Pilots, and sadly, not someone involved with Hamilton

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

NO DAY BUT YESTERDAY:  I saw the 20th anniversary tour of Rent last night, which I hadn't seen on stage in many years, and some thoughts:
  • For as fresh and "now" as the show felt in 1995, it now feels SUPER-dated in a world of cell phones, more general acceptance of LBGTQ people, and the Internet.  In particular, Collins' rants about technology and philosophy and our need to engage in "ACTUAL REALITY!" have not aged well.
  • That said, the show is still enormously effective at pulling on the heartstrings, in particular in the "I'll Cover You" reprise, and the somewhat different take on "Over The Moon" (Maureen as overzealous MFA-type, rather than "wild child") kept that relatively funny and fresh.
  • The production's biggest problem was its Mimi.  Mimi is a junkie stripper (albeit one with a heart of gold)--there should be more than a hint of danger to her.  The performance here felt more like a sorority girl playing dress-up.
  • You forget how off-balance the two acts of the show are.  The first act covers a mere 4-5 hours, from December 24, 9 PM, Eastern Standard Time, to a party after Maureen's midnight performance/protest, while the second act covers almost a full year.  
  • The saddest thing the show reminds us of is what a talent we lost in Larson.  If he'd lived, I'd be fascinated to see what else he was able to do, and how he might've adjusted the show after its premiere to give it a little more balance.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

RE: YOUR BRAIN-EATING BUGS:  I'm still not entirely sure what to think of BrainDead, which tried to mix a lot of things that you wouldn't think would go together well into a strange cocktail--gory splatter horror, super-broad political satire, and charming romantic comedy among them.  However, the one thing that unquestionably worked?  The original songs that recap prior episodes, written and performed by Jonathan Coulton, which get increasingly bizarre and meta as the show progresses, including, at one point, him finding recapping the show "too stressful" and deciding the recap Gunsmoke instead.  Someone has helpfully gathered all the songs (including the recaps and a final epilogue song) in one place, and even if you didn't watch the show, it's well worth your time.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

LFNY,ISN!  Jesse David Fox speculates on who'll host the season opener, listing the Final Five as most likely. I think we're due for a Tom Hanks return - it's been a decade, and even longer since Sabra Price Is Right or Mr. Short Term Memory. (Or has it?)
CSI: DOG WHISPERER: With Bull, a drama inspired by Dr. Phil's pre-talk show life, hitting CBS this fall (with Hamilton's Chris Jackson, which I suspect is enough to get many eyeballs in our demographic), and CBS in development on a scripted show inspired by Judge Judy, where is CBS headed next in the bold new strategy of "daytime in primetime?"  A drama about Jerry Springer as mayor of Cincinnati?  Alex Trebek--game show host by day, crime solver by night?  Pitch your ideas here.