Saturday, January 14, 2006
Given all that Marshall's been through this past year, I don't quite know what to make of this. He's an exceptionally talented lyricist and emcee, and I hope this is another step in his road to recovery, and not a sign of further problems.
Friday, January 13, 2006
- Natasha Bedingfield (whose "Unwritten" and "These Words" are currently guilty pleasures in heavy rotation) covering Maroon 5's "This Love."
- Ray J covering Coldplay's "Clocks."
- Liz Phair and a guy with an acoustic guitar covering Stevie Wonder's "Saturn."
- Jason Mraz covering The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" (bizarrely, as a lilting acoustic ballad).
- Tori Amos covering Jim Croce's "Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)."
- Big & Rich covering Madonna's "Like A Virgin."
Worth your investigation.
The problem is that the show is too damn long. This would be an extraordinarily funny 50-minute half of a pair of one acts. Indeed, it's the opposite of the standard Broadway musical, where you can't wait for the singing and dancing to commence, taking you away from a frequently tired book. Here, you want the singing and dancing to stop so you can get back to the book (which deservedly won a Tony). Indeed, the songs, with a couple of exceptions ("My Magic Foot," "My Unfortunate Erection") are utterly bland and unmemorable. Would that this had been the first half of a night, with the ensemble playing different parts in the second half (say, in a play about elementary school plays), we would have had one of the funniest nights on Broadway in a long, long time. Instead, we get a mere trifle. It's worth seeing, especially for the Bee-obsessed among us, though I woulda been disappointed had I paid full price.
Had this logic taken hold earlier, we could have had the last same-year summer and winter Olympics in Barthelona and La Ville d'Albert, respectively.
Altman's work combines two seemingingly disparate traits -- a deeply naturalistic, unforced shooting style which allowed for overlapping dialogue and action occurring all over the frame, but with exceptional control over the narrative itself, allowing films like Nashville and Short Cuts to have 20+ characters of equal significance, all colliding over each other's lives.
If he had only made those two films, dayenu. But M*A*S*H? The Player? Gosford Park? "Tanner '88"? A worthy honor.
Just as long as they don't harp on Popeye too much.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
You may be wondering how I discovered this--which is, of course, a fair quest. iTunes is currently touting a new "vingle" from the Pussycat Dolls. I felt obliged to determine what this neologism meant--apparently, it's an attempt to mash-up "video" and "single," thus giving us a "vingle." I came across this information in my research. (To be fair, I would not have made the Eden's Crush connection were I not alerted to it by iTunes.) I'm scared. Very scared.
This development, which I happen to love, calls to mind the enthusiasm and clever wit of many early rap songs, such as The Sugar Hill Gang's “Rapper's Delight” and Young MC's "Bust a Move.”
- Truth in Labeling. I guess they also could have called it Imprisonet.
- The word of the day. This is almost always an eight-penny word that should never be used in ordinary conversation, accompanied by an examplar sentence using the word in the most stilted, inappropriate, and sometimes incorrect manner imaginable. Hypothetical example: "Nictitate: To wink. Ex.: The randy housewife nictitated at the pool boy to indicate her amenability to an amorous encounter." I should stop now -- I'm getting all recalescent.
- The PSA about domestic abuse. Sometimes what happens in the background is better than what you're seeing in the foreground. Paradigmatic example: the gym scene in Sixteen Candles, where Jake carries on a boring conversation about Molly Ringwald while in the background, there's a really funny giant-vs-pipsqueak wrestling match going on. Well, I had probably seen the endabuse.org PSA two dozen times before I noticed, in the background, a tiny little kid completely smothering a pass by what looks like the playground bully (it's at the end of the 30-second spot). If you're the kid who's a foot taller, how do you live this down? Do your parents point you out to their colleagues when they see this on their elevators, or do they pretend not to notice?
- Avoidance. I may never be forced by cramped quarters into another entire conversation in which my counterpart fails to inform me that references to "my boys" means her Welsh corgis, not any nonexistent children. For that, thank you, Captivate.
In fact, I challenge anybody on this list to identify a case that is more associated with a single phrase -- as opposed to the principle underlying the phrase -- than Buck v. Bell and "three generations of imbeciles."
See ya in the comments.
This was a great double-challenge, again showing the massive level of talent among the designers. Who knew Emmett could throw together that drawing so quickly?
Obvs, I will miss one of those cut, but she was out of her depth at this point. But Tim Gunn served them a healthy dose of truth during the design phase, and they didn't make the fixes they needed. Remember, kids: Tim Gunn is always right. Always.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
FARKIN' iHOLES: Not yet. No, not yet. But thanks to Levi Strauss we are one step closer to sliding that wireless network card into the base of our brainstems, as the BBC reports:
So, can I get that integrated into a nice office-appropriate ensemble like ASAP please? You know, while y'all are working on the wireless network card thingy?
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Look for King, he himself being a torchbearer of lofty ethics, to lend the author a sympathetic ear.
1/10: Gilmore Girls and House (as well as The Shield and Commander in Chief)
1/12: Beauty and the Geek and The O.C. (also Smallville)
1/15: 24 and Grey's Anatomy
1/17: American Idol
Edited to note that: The O.C.'s return on Thursday will be an homage to the famous Donna Martin Graduates! episode of 90210. Not to be missed.
Oh, and: On February 28th, an actual Race Around the World involving Teams of Two will commence. Thank God.
Tidbits: Sutter's election should be good news for Gossage, Lee Smith, and other relievers who have been unjustly kept out of the Hall...With Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, lead-pipe locks for election next year, the big question will be how voters treat the first of the suspected 'roiders, Mark McGwire, on next year's ballot...Which hat does Sutter wear?...Thirteen players did not receive the necessary 5.0% to stay on the ballot with Gary DiSarcina and Alex Fernandez being the only players to receive no votes.
Monday, January 9, 2006
- The Book of Daniel--Too dull to be worthy of controversy, this "Desperate Housewives with an Episcopal Priest!" meanders around to no real accomplishment or notable acting, despite a distinguished cast. A disappointment.
- Four Kings--Until Survivor: Exile Island starts, your non-Dancing With The Stars options on Thursdays from 8 to 9 are slim, and this utterly formulaic, but nicely cast and acted sitcom seems a pleasant enough way to while away 22 minutes before Beauty And The Geek, though Seth Green, with his character that seems like a knock-off of How I Met Your Mother's Barney, can grate. (And speaking of HIMYM, didn't Ashley Williams look much better with the pixie cut than she does with the flowing locks?)
- Emily's Reasons Why Not--Sure, it's merely servicable, and way too dependent on Heather Graham's voiceover, but there are funny moments, and the show has a nice visual style, what with the "Reasons Why Not" getting visual depictions, and a few moments of surrealism and fantasy. If the writing can be as sharp as parts of the promotional campaign (such as the poster that simply says "Reason Why Not #47: Because It's Mean. Funny, but mean."), this could have potential, especially if they're willing to bite on some of the more surreal moments in the pilot. Unless you're a 24 addict (which I've never been), it's probably the best option in the timeslot.
- Courting Alex--Well, if you're going to be watching Emily, this looks like a decent option at 9:30, though I remain uncertain of Jenna Elfman's ability to play the "uptight" character in a sitcom.
- Love Monkey--Yes, it has a murderous timeslot (Scrubs, House, and Commander in Chief), but Tom Cavanaugh + Judy "Kitty Sanchez" Greer in a dramedy that's filmed largely in my neighborhood? I'll be checking it out, especially since I get my House fix through the USA reruns.
Well, in case you haven't heard, it turns out that both books are filled with, as the Smoking Gun says, "A Million Little Lies."
I first met Bob in the summer of 1996, as a summer associate at a Philadelphia law firm at which he was a partner. Someone -- and I forget who (Carol Miller?) -- believed that we'd have something in common. And, boy, did we -- from movies to music to baseball, it was the first of many long lunches spent talking about those things which make the days fun. We expect him to be a frequent contributor on these topics, as well as the relative merits of the various beaches of Cape Cod.
I will have to check my wedding photos, but I believe that Bob displaces Phil as our tallest blogger.
Bob is married to his high school sweetheart, Amy. They have two sons, both of whom love hip hop and loathe the Yankees. Welcome aboard.
Lou Rawls had 6 songs hit the Billboard Top 40, including the sublime "Love Is A Hurtin' Thing" (#13, 1966), his best known hit "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" (#2, 1976), and the memorable "Lady Love" (#24, 1978).
The latter two hits resulted from his work with Philadelphia International Records, better known as "The Sound of Philadelphia." With the assistance of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Rawls achieved his greatest success in the tight but heavily orchestrated Philly sound. Prior to his work with Gamble and Huff, Rawls had settled into a niche focusing on mature, adult music (I thought of him then as "one of those guys who is always playing in Vegas"). But "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" had a solid groove that led to the song getting substantial play in discos. Rawls had about 23 other songs hit the R&B charts.
Rawls released more than 70 albums, sold more than 40 million records, toured with The Beatles and appeared as an actor in motion pictures and on television, and voiced-over many cartoons. I find it noteworthy that his greatest success came after age 40, which would appear to be quite an unusual accomplishment in the music industry.
I will miss him.
Far be it from me to belittle another person's recreational choices, but have a look at the guy who's been identified as the first "stud" in Fleiss's stable. Do women really want this oily unknown actor (acting credits here) as their ticket to paradise? Yick.
It seems to me that Sydney Biddle Barrows might do a better job of making this thing work than Heidi Fleiss.
Sunday, January 8, 2006
(Seriously, yo: she had two book reviews, a profile and an op-ed last week. I was waiting to read the Night Out With column in Sunday Styles, a piece about her playing poker against James McManus, and the How Does Ms. Cox Invest? piece in Sunday Business.)
But read the Leroy piece. This can't be good for the career.