Saturday, April 5, 2014

COME AS YOU ARE: Today marks 20 years since the death of Kurt Cobain.  I was never the biggest Nirvana fan, but what's most amazing is that the best of their material still sounds fresh and modern today, demonstrating not only the timelessness of the work, but just how big an influence the band had on rock music as it's changed.

Friday, April 4, 2014

MEET ME ON ST. JAMES PLACE. REPEATEDLY:  Hasbro is adding five fan-voted "house rules" as official options in the next edition of Monopoly:
  • No rent collection while in jail
  • $400, not $200, if you land exactly on Go 
  • Land on Free Parking, take all the taxes/fees/fines paid.
  • Players must travel around the board one full time before they can begin buying properties
  • Roll a double-one, get $500.

GOING IN FOR Q-TIPS AND LEAVING WITH NO MONEY:  What 25 stores should really be called.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

FROM THE HOME OFFICE, IT'S TONIGHT'S TOP TEN:  No details yet, but apparently, on tonight's broadcast, David Letterman will announce he's retiring in 2015.  (Interestingly, broke when one of the guests on tonight's show tweeted the news.)
MAYBE IF THEY THREW IN A SURFBORT:  Beyonce is seeking interns to help "organize and maintain the official Beyonce archive."  The internship is unpaid, but school credit is available, you get all the Pepsi products you can drink, and "Interns will also have the opportunity to take three (3) selfies with Beyonce over the course of the internship."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

CUE PARADE OF DUCKS, NARRATION BY TY BURRELL:  The University of Georgia today announced that the 73rd annual Peabody Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence (in Media) will be awarded to, among others, TCM's The Story of Film docu-series, Key & Peele, Borgen, Broadchurch, Breaking Bad, Orphan Black, Scandal, House of Cards (this season? really?), ESPN/Frontline's coverage of the NFL chronic brain trauma crisis, and PBS's Great Performances: Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy.
EGOT WATCH:  Harvey Weinstein wants Taylor Swift to write a musical.  With a strong book, I think you could readily put together a Taylor Swift jukebox musical already, and I'd be interested in seeing what she'd do with an original score.  (Her performing seems a far less certain endeavor.)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"I''M GETTING JOSH MALINA'S CALLS BY MISTAKE:"  Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal's sole Emmy winner thus far) has written a post for Buzzfeed talking about his experience being killed off.
WHEN BUTTERFLY ROCKED HIS LIGHT BLUE SUEDE PUMAS: Indeed, if you want a fascinating pop music time capsule, Rembert Browne's compilation of Tufts University Spring Fling concert acts from 1985-2004 pretty much tells the story of what high-five figures in student activities fees could bring to your school every year.

(The comparable Amherst list, as best I can remember it: we had John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band in 1990, Living Colour in 1992 during the Time's Up tour, then Spin Doctors in 1993, and both TMBG and 10,000 Maniacs at some point in 1993-94. And then there's the UMass Spring Fling concert of 1992 -- in order: Rippopatamus, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, fIREHOSE, Fishbone, Phish, and The Beastie Boys )
WAIT FOR ... THAT?  Kids, I'm in Pittsburgh on trial this week and was unable to watch last night's HIMYM finale, but I certainly learned what happened and have to ask: was it that bad? Are you disappointed, annoyed, betrayed ... or actually okay with it?

Monday, March 31, 2014

TAKE THAT, BILLY BEANE:  For Opening Day, Mental Floss has a map of the most popular baseball team in each county of the US, based on Facebook likes, finally determining, once and for all, the disputed border between Yankeestan and Red Sox Nation.  (3 teams have no county where they have the plurality of fans--the A's, Blue Jays, and Mets.)
PUT ON SOME MAKE-UP:Now that it has started previews, picture of what NPH looks like in Hedwig & The Angry Inch are available. Is it working for you?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

FULFILLING OUR CANCON REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS:Tonight is Juno Night in Winnipeg, honoring achievements in Canadian music this year.  Demonstrating that Canada isn't quite just like America, only cleaner, the big winner thus far is Serena Ryder, who's won both solo artist of the year and songwriter of the year, and who seems to present kind of a harder-rocking, less jazzy Amy Winehouse vibe.  (She beat Robin Thicke, Drake, Michael Buble, and Celine Dion for solo artist, and beat Tegan and Sara, Arcade Fire, and a guy who co-wrote "Roar," "Wrecking Ball," and "Timber" for songwriting.)  Justin Bieber also picked up his fourth straight "Fans Choice" award.
A MAN ... SUCH AS YOU ...  If we didn't post this link, you'd have assumed the blog went on hiatus: the cast of HIMYM went Inside the Actors Studio, and NPH and Jason Segel were asked if they could perform a certain song again.

[Added/related: Hugh Jackman on BBC Radio yesterday, doing Wolverine: The Musical.]

I don't have any particularly strong thoughts about the end of HIMYM other than to note that I think Lost gave too many other showrunners (and networks) the idea that shows should have a particular ending in mind, as opposed to just providing a premise and seeing how things flow naturally. Delaying the MYM this long has frustrated fans, led to a lot of wasted half-hours, and leaned too often on the show going sitcommy instead of nuanced and emotional.

There's been a lot of fun over the years, but it's long-past time for it to end. Time to see what the members of this great, talented cast have next.