Saturday, September 23, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
- The worst hockey logos of all time. How did this one not make the list?
- The 10 dumbest super-hero secret identities of all time. We can believe a man can fly, but we can't believe that a pair of glasses can so completely camouflage a man.
- The 12 best places to go to prison.
- A British look at the top 50 TV Themes.
- After this summer, this list of the top 10 worst blockbusters of all time needs updating.
- A list of Simpsons' phrases--beyond "D'oh"--that you can sprinkle in your everyday conversation.
- Just in time for the playoffs, the best baseball stadiums for vegetarians.
- The 50 greatest game show hosts. Finally the genius of Gene Rayburn and the skinny mic are recognized.
- Retrocrush is also doing one of their progressive countdowns of the top 100 cover songs of all time. So far they are at No. 58, but I have a hard time believing there are many better covers than No. 74, The Fine Young Cannibals' take on Elvis' "Suspicious Minds," that was a big, big part of the soundtrack of my college years.
- And yet another Retrocrush list: The top 20 zombie films of all time, which gives a little sugar to the underrated "Night of the Comet," which was the first movie my then-girlfriend, now wife and I saw together in the theater.
- And speaking of covers, Slate looks at why there is already a long list of artists covering "Crazy."
- 14 classic opening lines from Tom Petty, an artist I and many other are guilty of often overlooking.
- 10 uncool songs it's OK to admit liking.
- The new Cracked is coming up with some great lists, such as: The five-most obviously drug-fueled TV appearances ever; the five most ineffective anti-drug PSAs of all time; and five movies Hollywood needs to stop making now.
- Zach Braff also takes it on his Shins-loving chin in this blogger's clever list of Braff's 10 Easy Tips for Writing Films About Twenty-Somethings.
- Ten Creative Ways for Matthew McConaughey to Take His Shirt Off In Public.
- 20 things you didn't know about death.
- Sports Illustrated and Viagra are counting down the top 20 sports experiences. The top two have yet to be revealed but you know the competition will be stiff for the top spot (from close scrutiny of the shrouded thumbnails, I am guessing they are the Tour de France and British Open at St. Andrew's) . I, alas, have only experienced one of the events--No. 5, Michigan v. Ohio State in Ann Arbor.
- Lord Voldemort was voted the worst villain in the history of literature.
- 20 questionable career moves, from Hootie singing about chicken sandwiches to Craig Kilborn to Jackie the Jokeman.
- Tina Fey and Yothers? Maxim thinks there both among TV's 10 least attractive women.
- Yet another Oasis-dominated British list of the greatest songs of all-time.
- Blender has a list of music-related firsts.
- And, a list to make Lynne Truss smile: the top ten songs featurin’ present participles (or gerunds) with dropped “G”’s.
Oh, and apparently our neighbors north of the border can't tell the difference between a tape labeled "episode one" and one labeled "episode two" and aired the second ep last night instead of the premiere. (Shonda the Spoiler Nazi must be PISSED.) So if you're dying to know what happens next, talk to a Canadian. Or read the spoiler thread on TWoP. (I won't link to it so as not to be an enabler.) It sounds pretty steamy, if you ask me.
Thus far, we've got four not-guilty verdicts -- not surprising, given that TNT&G is supposed to be a firm that doesn't lose trials. Fine. The surprise is that we've also got four innocent defendants. How impressed are we supposed to be that the firm is managing to get people acquitted who haven't actually done anything wrong other than find themselves in precarious straits? Every week I watch, thinking "ah, this will be the first week where the defendant has actually killed someone." And every week I am astounded to find that no, TNT&G has helped save another innocent person. Any criminal defense lawyer would love to have this many clients who didn't commit any crime.
Attention Jerry Bruckheimer: it's time to impress me by using all these glitzy trial techniques to get some actual murderers off scot-free. It's the American way, after all.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
What would you do?
Basically, this season is just like all the rest, except not as pervasively ugly as the last. A shopping list:
- The short-haired lesbian
- The rocker chick
- The short girl with the big personality who's just as cute as a button and has no chance of winning but who will stick around until near the end because the judges just kind of like her
- The really, really beautiful women who will be dismissed in weeks 6-9 because they are too "conventional" and who will go on to have more successful careers than everybody who outlasts them
- Tyra's Self-Esteem Project, because Tyra hasn't figured out yet that spending the first two weeks of the season telling a (plus-sized/ethnic/homeless-looking) woman how beautiful she is and then spending the next three weeks telling her that she has lost her spark and seems beaten-down actually may not be the shortest path to self-acceptance (Note to Tyra: why not just sing Xtina's "Beautiful" to them? I'll bet that would work)
- The girl who is such a bitch that she might print copies of her rules, including "I will treat you the same or worse than you treat me"
- The ones who look like they wandered on the set accidentally because, really, models, really? (One of whom looks like an elongated Fiona Apple, by the way)
- The girl who looks like she can unhinge her jaw and swallow a live boar (I swear, there's one every season)
If you're in a discussion group, please consider the following topics:
1. If you were trying to fake having peed on a bed, would you sprinkle it all over? I don't think you have to be Encyclopedia Brown to know that most people don't amble when they pee.
2. Who ya got?
3. More likely to have a picture of self on nightstand: Trump or Tyra?
If one more article is published about the phenomenon that Shonda's little engine that could has become, the weight of all that newsprint might just set the world spinning off its axis. Seriously. Come to think of it, I might have to stop using the word "seriously" altogether, because the media hype has transformed it into pure Grey's metaspeak rather than somewhat subtle Grey's allusion for the show's devotees. Not to mention McAnything. (Va-jay-jay, however, remains entirely appropriate for use in casual conversation.)
In anticipation of tonight's purportedly pantyrific proceedings, feel free to use the comments thread to share your hopes and dreams for tonight's premiere or the new season in general. Bonus points to anyone who guesses the number of times the word "Denny" is spoken. The over-under currently sits at 47.
THE BEST POP CD OF THE PAST 20 YEARS: Adam's recent post about this being the 20-year anniversary of the release of
Guns N’ Roses "Appetite for Destruction"
U2 "Joshua Tree"
Public Enemy "It Takes a Nation"
Liz Phair “Exile in Guyville”
Red Hot Chili Peppers “Blood Sugar Sex Magic”
Bonnie Raitt “Nick of Time”
R.E.M. “Automatic for the People”
D’Angelo “Brown Sugar”
Beck “Odelay”, “Sea Change”, “Mutations”, or “Mellow Gold”
Maxwell “Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite”
Radiohead “Kid A” or “OK Computer”
Missy “Supa Dupa Fly” or “This is not a Test”
Lucinda Williams “Car Wheels on a
Lauryn Hill “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”
Outkast “Stankonia” or “Speakerbox”
Wilco “Yankee Hotel”
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Can't a red-headed stranger get a break in this town? Or that town? And how do you get off with a midemeanor citation -- if reports are to be credited -- for a pound-and-a-half?
Is "Angry American" Toby Keith to blame?
No word yet on whether there are any models that can actually pass the test.
Corrected to reflect that it is the Madrid Fashion Show that demands trunk-junkiness, thus leaving Milan skeletal-friendly.
- Out: Horatio Sanz, Chris Parnell, and Finesse Mitchell, as well as director Beth McCarthy Miller, and the previously confirmed departures of Rachel Dratch and Tina Fey.
- Still In: Amy Poehler at Update, likely to be paired with Seth Meyers (who stays as head writer), along with the remaining cast members, including folks rumored/hoped for departures like Darrell Hammond and Kenan Thompson.
- Dane Cook to be painfully unfunny as host of season premiere.
Has there been a better pop album since? No. I remember when Simon first started promoting the album, appearing with Ladysmith Black Mambazo on SNL and everywhere else, and it was easy to leap over the exoticness to just realize, wow, what great songs. I don't believe I yet have the words to describe the joy this album still provides. At the time, Bob Christgau wrote:
Opposed though I am to universalist humanism, this is a pretty damn universal record. Within the democratic bounds of pop accessibility, its biculturalism is striking, engaging, unprecedented -- sprightly yet spunky, fresh yet friendly, so strange, so sweet, so willful, so radically incongruous and plainly beautiful. . . . The singing has lost none of its studied wimpiness, and he still writes like an English major, but this is the first album he's ever recorded rhythm tracks first, and it gives up a groove so buoyant you could float a loan to Zimbabwe on it. . . . he's found his "shot of redemption," escaping alienation without denying its continuing truth. It's the rare English major who can make such a claim.
Buoyant. That's about the best word I can come up with, and I still don't know how to describe that palindromic bass solo in "You Can Call Me Al". I could pick out a hundred different lines from the album to quote right now, but for the moment let's go with this one:
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry baby, don't cry
This is, of course, a curious place for a 70-year-old deco theater to land, since it is surrounded entirely by 70s and 80s-era plaster boxes. So from where did it come? Well, it appears that the bottom half -- including both parts of the marquee -- was uprooted from a decidedly non-Strip part of Sunset a few miles to the East, where it used to be called the Palladium. Somewhere above Miyagi's, the erstwhile Palladium collided with most of the design cues from the exquisite Pan Pacific Theater, which mercifully burned down in the 1980s before the hideous fake Italianate condos were heaved up across the street from it on the dystopian Park LaBrea campus.
This still begs the question: where exactly are they hiding Studios 1-59 on the Sunset Strip?
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Why not do both? LitPAC is hosting a fundraiser for Lois Murphy (PA-6) at the Khyber Wednesday night, where the featured guests include Buzz Bissinger, Curtis Sittenfeld, Duncan Black, The Wife and others. It's going to be a fun night. Details here.
For years, the popular pick has been Journey's "Separate Ways," but then this clip for a "I Wanna Love You Tender" by Finnish stars Armi & Danny surfaced.
Well Steve Perry and Armi & Danny will have to surrender their golden fiddles at the feet of late Danish superstar Tommy Seebach, whose "Apache,"...well, do yourself a favor and stop reading this drivel and just click on the link.
The two names you're most likely to recognize from the list are New Yorker author/surgeon Atul Gawande and journalist Adrian Nicole LeBlanc. Is there anyone you'd like to nominate?
Monday, September 18, 2006
Blah blah blah Schlamme camerawork blah blah blah Sorkin dialogue. For me, the wonderment in this episode came from watching Matthew Perry show that he can out-Sorkin Bradley Whitford. I hate to use the word multi-layered, since it's been done already, but man, the guy is practically a Vidalia. I always felt that he was the heart and soul of Friends, and I strongly suspect that he'll be the guy delivering the Moment in Any Sorkin Show Where I Get Misty more than his fair share of the time. (For what it's worth, I thought that the pilot lacked such a moment -- the closest thing was when Matt and Danny jumped onto the stage and ran out to meet the company of Studio 60.)
A few other minutiae:
- Jordan McDeere seems a lot more like Dana Whitaker than like the president of a network. So it's not even her first day -- is she the president of a network or not? Even Isaac Jaffe seemed to have more authority. She is awfully pretty, though.
- Funniest moment: Jack Rudolph sucking the inside of his lip when Jordan asked where her office was. I'd seen it in fifteen different previews, and Steven Weber's timing still cracked me up.
- Harriet/Harry is a jarring name for Sarah Paulson's character. It just bothered me. I don't know why.
- Did Whitford get his hair highlighted red to differentiate him from Perry, or was his hair always that color?
See you next week. Have fun.
I have two, one of which is cheating: (1) Soul Coughing's Soft Serve ("my sister/your words can be held against you in a court of law"); and (2) the greatest of all Schoolhouse Rock tunes, the optimistic and ambitious Preamble to the Constitution, which my band used to play in a medley with "Powderfinger."
I'm sure Toby Keith, or perhaps Rage Against the Machine, must have something that fits the bill. Let's be the ones to undertake the definitive study.
Answer: Take a bus from the airport to downtown. Find the Pike Place Market. Detour: Catch Fish or Cut Bait. Teams must choose either to sell x number of large fish, throw, catch, and wrap them at the market at the end of Pike Street, or they can choose to run all the way down the stairs to Elliot Bay, find the Aquarium, prepare x pounds of chum to feed the sharks, then run back up the stairs (this is a very long way up) to get the next clue. Then take a rental car to the house in Montlake that has bronze statues buried in the driveway (think of frozen Han Solo for the effect -- this is pretty esoteric locals-only knowledge; even with an address it would be hard but not impossible), where the next clue sends teams to Husky Stadium. There, they have a road block: one person has to canoe into the marshes and find the next clue. From there, it's bicycles uphill to the Drumheller Fountain on the UW campus (where hopefully the Mountain is out) and the pit stop.
How would you design a leg in your neck of the woods?
Sunday, September 17, 2006
The Race went for diversity this season in a different way than Survivor did -- it just found interesting people, cast them, and threw them into the Race like normal. Okay, so there will be some surprises, like Team Did He Stink Of The Lamp? learning Chinese phrases pretty quickly, and a gross-out eating challenge that actually wasn't too gross.
For what it's worth, I'm not sure what to make of the team I'm trying not to call "Team 3 1/2" but is really Charla/Mirna 2.0 -- again, a differently-abled woman, and the teammate who alternately praises her for her endurance and not being disabled, but still exploits that disability as a means to get ahead vis-a-vis other teams. I can't imagine that leg's easy to get through airport security, for what it's worth.
The best part about this episode was the final task, a perfectly constructed physical challenge that let you see how each team dealt with stress, and how the members supported each other. So, who ya got?
I tend to only blog about the Iggles after devastating losses, and today is no exception. Seriously, it's something I say in politics that applies equally in sports: when you want to kill a snake, you don't keep poking at it with sticks. When you have the opportunity, you chop its bleepin' head off, and that's it.
So many missed opportunities, and just piss-poor second-half offensive execution. They got soft on both sides of the ball, and, ouch. Ugh. Yech.
This thread is free to complain about the Eagles or your own teams, real or fantasy.
You can find a summary of some key results in this graphic, and the full findings by clicking on the "download" link here.