Saturday, September 18, 2004
Friday, September 17, 2004
That leads me nicely into a discussion topic for the weekend--"Entertainment Weekly" has proclaimed that "London Calling" by the Clash is the best album ever. I've never listened to "London Calling," so I'm not really equipped to criticize, but I'm going to make a couple of suggestions that might be better:
The Who--"Tommy"--One of the greatest concept albums ever (if not the greatest), and a demonstration of amazing range by one of the greatest bands of that "Classic Rock" era.
U2--"The Joshua Tree"--It's hard to believe this album is nearly 15 years old--if you pop it in your CD player, it sounds like it might have been recorded yesterday. If the competition were strongest lead-off songs, I think this'd have to have it locked up--is there a better start than the swirling guitar and wailing of Bono in "Where The Streets Have No Name," into the anger and joy of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," and then Bono pleading in "With or Without You?"
Other suggestions are, as always, invited.
5. Cohen's albums regularly go to no. 1 in Norway.
48. In 1986, he made a guest appearance in Miami Vice as a character named François Zolan, head of Interpol.
66. Cohen was much admired in 1960s France. The president, Georges Pompidou, was reputed to take his LPs on holiday, and it was said that if a Frenchwoman owned one record, it was likely to be by Cohen.
"Along with his wife, Linda Cummings, Johnny Ramone was surrounded at his death by friends, including Pearl Jam rocker Eddie Vedder, singer Rob Zombie and others. Other friends who gathered at his Los Angeles home included Lisa Marie Presley, Pete Yorn, Vincent Gallo and Talia Shire."
Thursday, September 16, 2004
1. Who, exactly was the producer who was capable of negotiating with the locals to (a) explain to them what television was; (b) explain was 'reality tv' was; and (c) arrange for an Authentic Native Ritual that would not involve Whitey getting pummeled? Were they paid? Did they have any idea what they were consenting to? Did they get to eat the pig?
2. Is it even possible that this show's going to be interesting until they merge? I've sat through (most of) eight seasons already, and this picking-off-the-too-weak-or-too-strong nonsense is pretty tiresome already. Wake me when they get to ten or something.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Outstanding Main Title Design: "Carnivale"
Outstanding Main Title Theme Music: 'It's A Jungle Out There" from "Monk" (shame, since the original piano theme was so much better)
Outstanding Casting of a Drama Series: "24"
Outstanding Casting of a Comedy Series: "Arrested Development"
Outstanding Casting of a Mini-Series/Movie: "Angels In America"
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy: Laura Linney, "Frasier"
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy: John Turturro, "Monk"
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama: Sharon Stone, "The Practice"
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama: William Shatner, "The Practice"
Outstanding Reality Program: "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy"--Note that this is for "non-competitive" reality, in which "Queer Eye" beat out "Colonial House," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Project Greenlight," and "Penn & Teller: [Obscenity Deleted]." The hotter category is "Reality Competition," which'll be handed out on Sunday, and pits "Amazing Race," "Apprentice," "Survivor," "American Idol," and "Last Comic Standing" against each other.
Outstanding Commercial: "Citibank--Identity Theft"--A much-deserved honor for a brilliant campaign.
Outstanding Voiceover Performance: Dan Castellanata, "The Simpsons" (his third Emmy)
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Now please take a look at the following list of words or phrases people use when talking about professional sports teams. Please indicate how important to you it is that a professional sports team delivers on these words or phrases, using a 1-10 scale where 1 means it is not at all important that a pro team deliver it, and 10 means it is extremely important that a professional sports team deliver on that statement.
Is an organization that is committed to winning
Is a part of my life
Is a team that never gives up
Is a team that reflects and embodies
the values of the City of Philadelphia
Are a group of players and coaches I feel good about
Play as a team
Games that are exciting
Is a team that communicates with me
Next, please take a look at the following list of words or phrases that could be used to describe the personality of a professional sports team. Please indicate how important to you it is that a professional sports team demonstrates these words or phrases . . .
Down to earth
The following are some characteristics that could be used to describe the Eagles Cheerleaders. For each one, please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree that the characteristic describes the Eagles Cheerleaders . .
Appreciates their fans
Down to earth
Appeals to all fans
(This all reminds me of the scene in Total Recall where Quaid gets to decide what the woman in his simulation looks like. Demure.)
Other questions included the appropriateness of the Gregg Easterbrook's favorite merchandise, whether the team should construct an Eagles-themed hotel decorated with Eagles merchandise, memorabilia and other Eagles themed rooms and attractions (ugh) or market aerobics tapes by Eagles cheerleaders. So if you're invited to check out the Buddy Ryan Suite or the Bernard Williams Lounge in five years, you'll know why.
Sadly, CBS has spoiled part of the surprise of tonight's leg, but I won't do so other than to say that we're promised an "intense roadblock." No word on how well Captain Intensity copes with the "intense roadblock," though if last week's previews are indication, it seems as though it does not go well.
Hat tip to TWOPper NomiPomi, who tracked down the link.
If not for the inclusion of U2 on the actual list, I would think that the Hall mistakenly released the wrong list. How in the hell can you not even consider Black Sabbath and Van Halen this year? In both influence and body of work, both bands pass the test. Also, how do you induct Jackson Browne last year over Johnny Cougar? I'll take "Jack and Diane" over "Somebody's Baby" any day.
No Tom Waits or Peter Gabriel? No ABBA? No question they belong. Kraftwerk and Jimmy Cliff deserve spots, too.
It's no secret that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a ridiculous entity, but outside of Bono and the boys, and perhaps the Pretenders and Stooges, it's an absolute travesty that anyone else would be inducted before the aforementioned acts. But I guess in a world where Ryne Sandberg, Artis Gilmore, and Ray Guy can't get into their respective Halls, such injustices are to be expected.
Monday, September 13, 2004
(Yes, the contestant had just finished a game of Jenga, but still . . . )
Cuban doesn't give us any reason to care about him, so his eviction decisions aren't interesting, just arbitrary. I mean, why kick out the loser of a game of Jenga rather than the guy who's acting like the biggest asshole ever while playing against her? At least when Trump axes someone, it's because of some sense of who's got the best business potential. Here, it's just weird.
Roger Ebert has often quoted Gene Siskel as saying that you know a movie's bad when you'd rather watch a documentary of the actors hanging out than of the movie they made. Here, I'd rather watch two random people play Jenga for an hour than the whole show built around it.
Indeed, one step better: why not move past Celebrity Poker Showdown to Celebrity Board Games? Basically, bring back Win, Lose or Draw and expand it to Celebrity Connect Four, to Celebrity Monopoly, Celebrity Scrabble and, hey, why not Jeremy Piven, Laura Innes, Wanda Sykes and Norm McDonald in Celebrity Sorry?
edited to fix Siskel attribution.
Now, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Oprah giving away cars, but it seems like it's only a matter of time till Oprah's generosity devolves into this.
"Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car!" Winfrey yelled as she jumped up and down on the stage.
And in other book news, the fall's second-most eagerly awaited novel has to be Philip Roth's The Plot Against America, a literary "what if" in which Charles Lindbergh defeats FDR in 1940, cozies up to Hitler, and starts relocating America's Jews. The Guardian (again) has an excellent profile of the author.
So, what are you excited about? What do you dread? What do you regard as essential?