Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snobfest 2008: The Songs

Snobfest 2008: The Songs is available for download here. A more detailed description of the songs is forthcoming.

Track List:

Party Crashin'-Evangelicals- The Evening Descends
A-Punk- Vampire Weekend- Vampire Weekend
Cross the Fader- Poney Poney- Cross The Fader EP
First Taste of Trouble- the Sweet Serenades- First Taste
Sweet Darlin'- She & Him- Volume One
Moving- Pete And The Pirates- Little Death
Feedback in the Field- Plants and Animals- Parc Avenue
It's Over- Leatherbag- Love & Harm
Bright Side- The Muslims- The Muslims
Somebody, Somewhere- Cazals- Somebody, Somewhere
Dead Boys- The Fashion- Like Knives EP
Run To Your Grave- The Mae Shi- HLLLYL
Breaking It Up- Lykke Li- Youth Novels
Light Of Love- Music Go Music- Light Of Love
Fascination- Alphabeat- This is Alphabeat
I Like It, I Love It- Lyrics Born- I Like It, I Love It
Perfect Games- The Broken West- Now or Heaven?
If I Can See You (You're Too Close To Me)- Gentleman Jesse- Gentleman Jesse
I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked- Ida Maria- Fortress Round My Heart
I Need A Good Girl- Black and Whites- DMR 017
Set in Stone- Catfish Haven- Devastator
The '59 Sound- The Gaslight Anthem- The '59 Sound
Front Street- The Gutter Twins- Saturnalia

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christmas List (Family Only)

For the guitar pedals, I will gladly accept used and functioning pedals from craigslist or ebay.

Dunlop Crybaby Wah

Boss RC-2 Loop Station

Chorus Pedal

Fallout 3

Canon CanoScan 8800F

Rock Band 2 Drum set

Diana+ Wide & Closeup Lens

Chicago Cubs Hat

Guitar Strap (black or brown)


Money for an acoustic guitar

Sweaters (solid muted colors size L or Tall L)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ramblings (AKA How Was Your Weekend? II)

I went to my first surprise birthday party ever. There is something odd about surprise birthday parties, particularly if you've only met the the surprisee twice. There's that awkward silence where everyone waits for the surprisee to walk through the door. They walk through the door. Everyone yells surprise. I mumble so as not to draw attention to myself. Then I slowly back away while everyone that knows the person goes in for hugs. What am I supposed to do? Go in to wish someone a happy birthday to someone I don't know? I'm just there for the food, and to hang out with people I know. I thought for a moment that I could have avoided the whole surprise moment by hanging out in the bathroom. Then I realized if I ended up having to wait in the bathroom for an extended period of time it would be more embarrassing.

I also realized that I feel old hanging out with 20 somethings.

Watched the Cubs clinch their division Saturday. They are one win away from securing home field advantage through the playoffs. This really has been a rather magical season. I hope it continues.

I finished playing The Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. While it has a few camera issues, and there is some rather difficult sections that just show up, the story is pretty good. It also never gets tiring using force combos that sends a Stormtrooper hurling in the air. SPOILERS DON'T READ THE FOLLOWING BOB: Basically you play as Darth Vader's apprentice and start taking out the Jedi that have gone into hiding. You are then tasked with pretending to be a good guy and flush out those who would oppose the Emperor. Darth Vader double crosses you and your realize your true path as a Jedi. You get to then kick Darth Vader and the Emperor's ass. You save Princess Leah and Jimmy Smitts. Then you die, and the Rebel Alliance is formed because of you. They even use your family crest as the symbol for the Rebel Alliance. There are a couple problems with a story that is in fact better than the last three Star Wars disasters. First, you get double crossed by Darth Vader twice. Twice! I realize you're Vader's apprentice, and he raised you from a young boy, but twice? Second, after being able to kick Vader and the Emperor's asses back to back, how is it Skywalker is the chosen one? Third, I'm tired of the whole Jedi way of don't kill the head bad guy or you'll be a bad guy too. What about the thousands of stormtroopers I killed just to get here? I can kill them, but not the Emperor? So you are standing there ready to kill the Emperor, and everybody runs up to saying, "Don't kill him or you'll become evil." Only I'm thinking, "Look guys, I know how this turns out. I will be saving a lot a people a lot of trouble if I do this. Besides, I've only been a Jedi for about an hour." Still, it is very well acted, it looks great, and having the ability to use the force is always fun. I do recommend it for you Star Wars fans out there.

And of course there is Rock Band 2. You can download nearly all of the original game's songs onto your hard drive, so there is no changing of disks to play all of the songs. There are some great song choices on Rock Band 2. The list of upcoming downloadable songs and albums looks very promising as well. The plan is to have 500 songs available by the end of the year. 500.

For the first time ever, I think I'm going to become a member of the church I attend. For those of you who know my cynical tendency toward churches will realize this is a pretty big deal.

This unfortunately has led to me signing up for the church retreat this weekend. I am going to be in nature with a bunch of strangers, and no way out. It will be fun. It will be fun. It will be fun.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It Was Only a Matter of Time...Sigh.

As bobby noted, where is the Stryper? And to prove my knowledge of Old School Christian Metal...Where is the Bride, Holy Soldier, Barren Cross, X-Sinner, Angelica, or Shout? If this game included those songs I would buy it...maybe...if I found it in the bargain bin.

Monday, September 15, 2008

So How Was Your Weekend?

Here's a little breakdown of the events involved in my weekend.

Friday Night: I had begun taking some new medication on Thursday, and began to start feeling a little warm Friday. By Friday night I felt like I was a walking furnace. This lead to...

Saturday Morning: I spent my time trying to get a hold of my personal doctors. Failing at that, I finally relented and went the ER.

Saturday Afternoon: Here's a couple things I realized while at the hospital. 1. I am oddly "at home" when I'm in the hospital. I am very comfortable and have zero anxiety when in a hospital. 2. If the person drawing your blood has the word "intern" on his scrubs or badge or name tag, immediately ask for someone else. Otherwise you will end up with this scenario.

Intern: Man, what am I forgetting? Oh the tubes.

Intern: You are going to feel a little prick...Whoops. Man, that's getting everywhere.

You look down and see he didn't cap the needle right and your precious blood is pumping out of the needle like a those crappy serenity fountains.

Four hours later I was finally discharged and told I was having an allergic reaction to the medicine, but it was not a life threatening reaction.

That left me about two hours to do a load of laundry, practice guitar, and drive up to the Hollywood Forever cemetery where they were showing Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Sure I should have probably canceled considering the state I was in, but obligation, obligation, obligation. And a girl was involved.

Trying to find the girl I was meeting there (for the first time) and her friends I realized how completely awful my eyes are at night. I couldn't see the group ten feet in front of me. Ten feet!

Side note: Walking through the graveyard I noticed a trend of the face of the deceased being engraved on the tombstone. But all the pictures are clearly from their deathbed or at least close to it. Wouldn't you want to have the best picture of you during your prime years engraved on your tombstone? But why the faces on the tombstone in first place? Is it for the benefit of strangers passing by? Why do strangers need to know what your loved one looks like? Unless they are or at one point were extremely attractive. I could see that scenario as bragging or trying to get a little bit more sympathy. "Poor guy. His wife was smokin' hot!" Maybe you are afraid family members will forget your name? "Mom's buried here somewhere, if only I could remember her name."

Anyway an enjoyable time at the movie where Paul Rubens himself introduced the movie and made funny with some anecdotes.

It might have been the contact high I was getting from some movie goers around me, but despite feeling like a walking furnace it was an enjoyable evening.

Sunday I picked up Rock Band 2 on the way to church. I felt a little guilty about it. Should I have bought it after church? But it was kind of on the way, and what if they sold out? That fact that I was getting hot flashes during the church service did not assuage my guilt.

Lunch with bobby and Aubrey and Mohr and other people. Enjoyed some the delicious cajun white beans at Wahoos.

Played Rock Band 2 and apparently reopened my vein they took the blood from. It's not a pretty sight.

Watched the ESPN cutaway to Big Z throwing a no hitter against the Astros.

Watched True Blood which is really not that good, but the cliff hanger endings of the episodes always reels me back in.

So that was my weekend: ER, Hollywood Cemetery, Paul Rubens, and Rock Band 2.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hey Everybody I Wanted To Say I Love You All Just In Case The World Ends Tomorrow or Aliens Take Over

So tomorrow they are apparently turning on something called a Large Hadron Collider. This whole accelerating particles and colliding them is beyond my expertise, though I'm sure I'll to research it for a CSI: Miami epsiode next month. That is if we are still alive by then.

I've seen Buckaroo Banzai and played the Half-Life series. I know what happens when scientists start messing around with particles and collision. Some say we will all die tomorrow because the Large Hadron Collider will create a black hole that will destroy earth and the whole galaxy. Which I guess is kind of likely. But scientists know a bit about black holes, and I think they would know if they are going to create one. Apparently they want to create something called a "God particle." That doesn't scream doomsday does it? Still I'm betting it will create a portal to another dimension through which aliens will access to either enslave us or make us an alternate food source. You see scientists don't know anything about portals to other dimensions. How would they know if they were going to create one or not?

So, be prepared. Make quick friends with that strange neighbor who you know has a bomb shelter and keeps bragging about the guns he's collected. Don't throw out that cheese in the back of your fridge. That mold could be used to create a biological weapon against the alien forces. Heck don't throw out anything with mold on it. I'm currently trying to find someone that owns a boat in case the aliens dissolve in water ala Alien Nation. That's probably our best hope right now. Maybe they can't process oxygen, or they can't handle cold temperatures?

Anyway, in case we end up with a worse case situation tomorrow, I just wanted to say I love you all. Come on! Look at that thing! I don't care what they say. We are soooo doomed.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Welcome Back Vic Mackey!

It's been a year and a half, and I'm thrilled that there are finally new episodes of The Shield. Unfortunately, these are the last 13 episodes. Tonight's episode threw into motion what could be the most harrowing season of the Shield. I'm going to miss this show.

A little more heartfeltish side note. On the flight back from the Outer Banks, they showed the movie Young @ Heart. It's a documentary about this chorus of elderly people that sing popular hits. It was the first time I've ever wanted to see the in-flight movie, but why show such an emotional movie on an airplane flight. My favorite performance was Fred Knittle singe Coldplay's "Fix You," and I can't stand Coldplay. Dammit if I wasn't a big ball of tears after this performance.

Funny thing was that the movie ended right as the plane landed, and you could tell which of the passengers watched the movie because they had those red post cry eyes.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Where's Brit-I Mean Bret?

I don't know if I would find the following viral for the upcoming Gentlemen Broncos so hilarious, if my step-father wasn't such a big fan of those sci-fi novels.

What's even funnier in my opinion is the audio book excerpt at the website. I've never read any of my step-father's sci-fi books, but that is what I imagine they all are like. I also recommend the galleries section on the website for the pre-pubescent works.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Good Luck in the Olympics, Jiff

I still think you're being paranoid with the mask.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rumblings (The 5.4 Magnitude Edition)

As I sat through the largest earthquake that I've ever experienced during my 7+ years of living out here, one thing went through my mind: Jiff will have no idea what I'm pondering. So, here is what was going through my mind- Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

So there used to be a time when odd, strange, creepy, and sadly funny things would happen in my life. Well, something has happened, and those things are no longer taking place. Maybe I've matured? Maybe I'm just living in a better neighborhood? Maybe I just don't put myself in situations where such things could happen? Either way, I'm bored. I have no new crazy stories to tell. I've worn out all my old stories. I have simply this boring and normal existence. Changes need to be made.

A couple weeks ago, I had my first taste of caffeine in about 4 months. I was like a kid released in pixie stix factory. It was nice actually noticing the caffeine coursing through my body.

Last week I learned my first full song on guitar. Well I didn't learn the solo, but I can crappily play The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses." On my own I've dabbled into a little Priest, some more AC/DC, and The Outfield's "Say It Isn't So." I realize this is probably normal, but I now can't stop looking at guitars, and gear, and pedals. It's become a slight addiction, which will be fine as long as I keep it to window shopping. I now understand why those guys have all those guitars.

Ida Maria (of the spectacular "Oh My God" on Snobfest 2007) just released her debut album. Of course it's UK only at this moment. I never understood that. Why not try to get into as many hands as possible? Is international distribution that much of pain in the ass?

Still digging Hold Steady's latest. Black and Whites album is quite good. Paul Westerberg just released an album for $0.49. It's an interesting experiment. The song Perfect Games has raised my expectations for The Broken West's upcoming album. Now is the following an unacceptable bastardization of a classic, or an intriguing take on a classic?
Sweet Child O Mine (Guns N Roses Cover) - Taken By Trees

We are only a couple weeks away from a new season for Tottenham Hotspur. They've really strengthened their midfield, but one of our star strikers left to Liverpool. Their other striker is trying to get out of Tottenham as well. So unless we can sign some quality before the deadline they could be struggling for some goals this season.

I found a PS3 on my TV stand a few months ago. Really weird.

There is a new sports rivalry heating up this year. We've had our Ohio State vs. Michigan, Red Sox vs. Yankees, Cowboys vs. Redskins, etc. The Cubs rival has always been the Cardinals. The problem is that while it was a strong rival it never seemed to have the excitement or vitriol of say the Red Sox and Yankees. I put most of the blame on the Cardinal fans. Sure they might be knowledgeable, and not really like us, but they have always been too polite and stuffy. Well, it looks like the Cubs have gained a proper rival in the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers have been mostly awful since they came over to the National League years ago. It got so bad that Cubs fans started calling Miller Park "Wrigley North." But things have changed. The Brewers got their shit together and have had a good youthful team the last couple seasons. Last year the Brewers were in first place up until after the All Star break where the Cubs finally caught and surpassed them. This year the Brewers are trying to catch the Cubs. The Brewers traded for Cy Young award winner CC Sabathia. The Cubs then fired back by trading for stud pitcher (when healthy) Rich Harden. It's lead to a series this week that has come across like it's the playoffs in its intensity. The fans have been crazy. The players and managers are clearly feeding off it. Just watching last night's game on TV you could feel that something special is...um...brewing...sigh. Even ESPN has even jumped all over this series giving it the opening slot on Sportscenter. I'm all for this rivalry growing. I think it could grow into something special. The Cubs and Brewers play the final series of season against each other in Milwaukee. If the playoff spots haven't been settled by then, that series could be something to behold. Yes, I realize the Cubs would play the role of the Yankees to the Brewers' Red Sox.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


So I haven't posted here in nearly a month. I haven't been sick or down. I've just been busy. As in real life busy. There's guitar lessons, therapy, I've joined a community group, trying to finish a spec script, working with BOB on a comic book, and other things. I've been so busy I haven't even played many video games. I have not been busy enough to miss Kobe prove he's no Jordan. Let's get this ramblings underway.

It's nice to see the Cubs curse finally arriving what with Zambrano, Soriano, and the bastard Edmonds all getting hurt this month. I assume traffic on the I-90 must have been a bitch.

It's the off-season for Tottenham Hotspur, but big things have still been happening. They have signed two top line players, and show no sign of stopping there. Once they can sell off a bit more of the dead weight, and perhaps even Berbatov, they will be able scoop up who they need to for a possible run at the top four this season. To fulfill my soccer jones I have been enjoying Euro 2008. ESPN has been showing a lot of the games, and in glorious HD.

Everyone is back to work here on the 7th (yes 7th!) season of CSI: Miami. Vegas has the over/under on people killed by Horatio this season at 10. Take the over.

Somehow I must have accidentally hit the "grow up" switch or dial within the last couple weeks. I don't know what's happening to me.

Remember the group Supergrass? They had their one U.S. hit "Alright" back in 1995. Well they have been the one consistently good bands from the BritPop years. I never plan on it, but I always end up buying their albums. And it's happened again with their latest "Diamond Hoo Ha." It's got a great batch of tunes. My favorite being "Rebel In You." But there's no video for that, so here's the title track. All I have to say is BABY!.

Because their album was leaked early on the internet (which seems to be a standard these days), The Hold Steady released their album, "Stay Positive" early on iTunes. It's another great album. They really know how to sequence an album. It's not as continuous story wise as "Separation Sunday," but they know how to open and close an album. Favorite initial songs, "Constructive Summer," "Lord, I'm Discouraged," and "Yeah, Sapphire."

Is Coldplay still relevant? The answer is no.

Here's a list of songs I can partially play awfully enough that it could work for a "Name That Tune" game show.

AC/DC's "Back in Black"
White Stripes "Black Math"
Led Zep "Black Dog"
Jet "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"
Doobie Bros. "China Grove"

Of course if the contestants needed more than 10 notes to name the song I'd be screwed.

I've heard so many awful things about the movie "The Happening" that I kind of want to see the train wreck.

Another thing that indicates that somehow I might be growing up is that I've found myself going to bed before 2AM. Maybe I'm not growing up but just growing old.

And finally...wait for the "Hey!"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

For Those Who Wished There Was a Modern Day ABBA (Yes, I Realize That Includes Everyone of Us)

Don't deny it! If you look deep down inside your heart you will find that part that bursts with joy when you hear "Waterloo." Enjoy.

Light Of Love - Music Go Music


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

American Idol Recap (This Almost Makes Up For That Fifty Year Old Guy Winning A Few Years Ago Edition)

I will keep this as brief as possible, because you don't want a full recap of two hours of fluff.

America got it right. David Cook won. This came as a pleasant surprise to Ben H., Anne, and me.

I guess Teen Beat will be sent back into his father's cellar.

Here are some other things you should probably know about tonight's show.

Donna Summer can still sing.

Cruella is clearly still hating herself for trying out for this show. She is going to kill someone on that tour.

I think Bryan Adams is bit forgotten for the string of hits he wrote. I actually saw him perform in concert back in the undergrad years, and it was a pretty damn good show.

I finally now know who the Jonas Brothers are and hate myself for knowing.

I'm embarrassed how happy I was to see Chikezie.

Syesha got to sing with Seal and Donna Summer. Talk Box sang with ZZ Top. Goody Two Shoes sang with Graham Nash. The Ringer sang with Tiny Dancer. Teen Beat sang some song from a band I'd never heard of. Clearly Teen Beat lost in the duet portion as well.

Paula Abdul cried when George Michael sang with a cold.

Mike Meyers' unfunny bit to promote his unfunny movie has instilled a lot of ill will in me. What has happened to you Mr. Meyers.

Talk Box reenacting the dancing in underwear scene from Risky Business for the Guitar Hero game was kinda clever. Teen Beat reenacting the same scene for the Guitar Hero commercial was very creepy.

Simon apologized to Talk Box for his judgment of him the previous night. He said he felt his verging on disrespectful.

97.5 million votes were cast. David Cook won by 12 million votes.

Simon seemed particularly happy that David Cook won.

I will admit when David Cook's Mom went on stage, and his brother said "That's my brother!" I got a bit dusty. Also, David Cook saying "This is all your fault" to his brother was a nice moment.

I've always been a bit bitter on these shows, but I think David Cook was the right choice. He clearly has musical talent rather than just a singing talent. He also seems like a genuinely nice guy. So, for once, I'm actually happy with an American Idol finale.

We can now return to our regularly scheduled blog.

They Were So Right When They Said Robots Would Take Over The World

If you are a frequent reader of Engadget, then you have already seen this. Still, it's kinda scary and pretty amazing. The video below is of a microbot pushing a little ball around. Not too big of a deal. We've seen those robot war shows do more than that. True, but take a look at the measurement again in the bottom left hand corner. Yes, that reads 500 micrometers as in half of a millimeter. Apparently that field the microbot is pushing the ball around is smaller than a grain of rice. So instead of a big ass robot walking around and killing all mankind, maybe it will a nanobot crawling into our brain and controlling us. I apologize for adding that creepy bit about the brain, but whose says it can't be done ten, fifteen, or twenty years from now?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

American Idol Recap (Only Two More Shows)

Part one of the season finale kids! We are almost finished with these American Idol posts. I am back in Silver Lake with Anne and Ben H. How about we get this over with?

Oh good grief. We have that ringside announcer do his "Let's get ready to rumble" schtick. That was dated fifteen years ago. Ugh. Can you hear my eyes rolling from here? Teen Beat weighs only 100 lbs.

Introductions are made. They will sing three songs each. Here we go back to the boxing comparisons. I wish this was a boxing match. How entertaining would that be? Talk Box would destroy Teen Beat. Creepy Andrew Loyd Weber is back. Does the public really need to see him.

Teen Beat won the coin toss after last weeks show and will go second. Word was his father screamed from his seat in the audience for him to go last. That was completely unnecessary on the father's part. Everyone knows you go last. Teen Beat comes across so scared to say anything. Anne mentions that it appears none of the contestants have a relationship with Teen Beat. Which is true. I've never seen any of the contestants this year relate to Teen Beat. He always has come across secluded from the group. I'm certain it's not all his fault. I bet his father has had some hand in his isolation. There was a little talk between the two Davids where Talk Box came across as if he is already giving the title to Teen Beat. Can you blame him? Do you really want to win Idol, and gain all the baggage that comes with it? How Hollywood would it be if Teen Beat tanked the show out of spite for his father? Sorry, I'm rambling.

Clive Davis is going to pick the first song the contestants sing. We are going to have this boxing theme the whole night? Clive picked U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" for Talk Box. The judges all liked it. Simon thought it was phenomenal. It was good, but nothing new.

"Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me" is the song Clive picked for Teen Beat. Anne mentions it was churchy. Which is what it is exactly. Randy called it flawless, and I have no idea what they are hearing. Paula rambles and rambles. Simon called it the best he's done...ever. Am I deaf? He gives round one to Teen Beat. Nobody here agrees with the judges. We all thought Cook was better. It's almost like they don't want Cook to win. OR maybe they are trying to reverse psychologize the voters.

Song entries is the second song choice. I refuse to call it a round, and give in to this boxing theme. Dream Big is the song Talk Box chose. Randy thought the song was OK, but liked the performance. Paula liked it. Simon thought it was OK. He didn't think it was a winning performance. I think he did well with what someone threw into the mail to some contest. It was something different than his first performance. Something I'm certain Teen Beat's song won't be.

Teen Beat picked the song entry of "In This Moment." See, another ballad. He is like a little Josh Groban. These song entries are awful. Teen Beat picked a slow song that sounds like it belongs in a contemporary worship service. He can't do anything else. Randy thinks Teen Beat is in the zone, and drops his phone book line again. Simon thinks he picked the better song. He gives this round to Teen Beat again. OK, he might be the technically better singer but he has no variety.

Contestants choice is the final song choice. "The World I Know" by Collective Soul is Talk Box's choice. Anne thinks it is his best performance of the three. Anne thought it was really good. Aw, he's getting a little emotional. I don't know if I believe it. Paula says he's just standing in his truth. I think I left some truth in the toilet. Simon thinks he's one of the most sincere and nicest guys. Simon thinks it's the wrong song choice for the competition. Simon thinks he should've done something he already did in the previous shows. Talk Box says he didn't think it was right to do something he did before. Take that Teen Beat.

Hey, Teen Beat is doing "Imagine"...again. So, will this hurt him or help him. I would give Talk Box credit for not repeating himself. Anne thought it sucked. Boring! Randy loved it. He thinks Teen Beat won. Paula says she was left speechless, but she never is. Simon called it a knockout in Teen Beat's favor. I now hate him more than ever. I hope there's an upset, and this kid and his father are taught a lesson. He's going to turn the second he wins.

We close with Studdard singing the closing theme that each contestant has been sent home to. We get a little montage of the season. So tomorrow we will be back for part two of the finale. Ben and Anne will be in El Segundo then.

All three in the house put our vote behind David Cook, but think Teen Beat will win. See you tomorrow.

So, This Might Only Be of Interest to Jiff's Buddy Steven, But At Least It's Not Idol or Baseball Post

What's up family, and friends, and people who Google image searched Judas Priest album covers? It's time for me to bore you with another post about a band I really like, and most of you don't. It's not the Twilight Singers/Afghan Whigs, but the second band I've written the most about...The Hold Steady. One of the reasons they show up so frequently is that they release albums as often as I date. Which is pretty frequent for an artist. Not so frequent for me.

Since their album Separation Sunday, they have become a first day of release purchase for me. In fact they have become and anticipated release artist. I look forward to it. I mark it in my Blackberry's calendar. 7/15/08 is when their new album hits stores. Today, they put their first single, "Sequestered in Memphis," up on myspace. See it's good for music, not just cyberstalking. I've already played the song six times today. It's The Hold Steady with power chords, and organ, and piano, and horns, and sing-a-long choruses. They even include some hand claps in the breakdown. Yes, Finn is still singing, which means most of you will only be able to get past 24 seconds of the song. Jiff's buddy Steven likes them, so maybe he will stumble upon this post and click on the myspace link and listen to the song and enjoy it.

Let's keep this going for a little bit. Today is my second guitar lesson with a guy named Steve. Imagine if Jerry Garcia as a surfer and about a hundred pounds lighter, and you've just pictured what my teacher looks like. His "teaching room" is basically a walk in closet in this guitar shop. He sits in this old 70's like chair like a California Buddha, and spouts out his guitar knowledge. He also sprinkles it with a few ramblings, and pauses while he tries to collect a memory from a most likely weed clouded mind. I'm basically saying that I couldn't have a more entertaining guitar teacher. His one comment about me, "You seem practical, so lets go with that."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Apologize Now for the Following Baseball Rant!

I'm not one to shout expletives (except during Rainbow Six Vegas online, and maybe a few motorists), but the Chicago Cubs are about to do something that is beyond moronic. It has been rumored about ever since this player was released from the Padres, and now it looks like it will actually happen. Harry Caray helps us all. It seems that the Cubs are going to sign one time St. Louis Cardinal Jim Edmonds to play center field. The reason being that the Cubs aren't completely confident in current left handed center fielder Felix Pie, and they really need a power left handed bat. For now I'm going to completely ignore what should be looked at, and focus on their reasoning. Felix Pie's current stats are BA: .222 HR: 1 RBI: 7 OBP: .286 OPS: .571. Those are not spectacular numbers, but he is also only 23, and is above average defensively. Here now are Jim Edmonds' current stats, BA: .178 HR: 1 RBI: 6 OBP: .265 OPS: 598. That's right kids, Jimmy's numbers are worse across the board. He is also an old 37, and can't play center field to save his life. So, just looking at reason the Cubs gave for signing him, it's a dumb gamble. Keep the kid Felix in the lineup, and give him a chance. We seem to be doing fine with him platooning with Reed. I don't care if the Cubs can just let him go if it doesn't work out. Do they have to keep taking shots at Pie's confidence?

Now, let's look at a fact that is apparently being overlooked by Cubs management. This elephant in the room, that is more important than stats. The fact is that every single Cubs fan HATES Jim Edmonds. There are about for or five expletives I would place in front of the word "hates." First off he is a former St. Louis Cardinal (the Yankees to the Cubs' Red Sox). Second, he is a jackass show off. Remember his showboating homerun trot against Big Z a couple years ago? Let's not forget his desire to make every outfield catch look like the greatest catch ever. Third, he will always be a Cardinal. The Cubs fans will never accept him even he does end up miraculously playing well. He will be booed at every home game. The bleacher bums will show no mercy. Why would he even want to come here in the first place? Imagine if the Dodgers signed Barry Bonds, or the US decided to bring in Ernst Rohm to run their special ops after hearing he wasn't happy with Hitler. All of them are moronic ideas.

The Cubs have made some ridiculous deals out of panic rather than show a little patience. This will be easily one of their top ten worse ideas in club history. Hopefully, he will play a few games, management will see the light, and cut him loose before he ruins the clubhouse. I don't know if my eyes could handle seeing Jim Edmonds in a Cubs uniform.

Again, I just had to vent. Sorry.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

American Idol Recap (The Word For Tonight is Three)

There are three contestants left, and they will be singing three songs each. The three judges will then give their critique after each song. Also tonight three different people will be picking the songs the contestants will sing. That will be one of the judges, the producers, and then the contestant themselves will pick a song. Got all that?

Tonight kind of makes null the whole hullabaloo about Teen Beat's father basically being banished from any backstage access. Apparently, despite the producers saying "no," Teen Beat's pop from hell had little David add a line from a different song to his performance of "Stand By Me." This extra line from a different song cost American Idol a crap load money in order to get the rights. It has been often reported that nobody likes Teen Beat's father who was known to pick David's song, and basically be the Ike to David's Tina. So, he only has to pick one of the songs himself tonight. How many shots do we get tonight of Teen Beat's stage father tonight in the audience? On with the show.

Mary Lou Henner is in the audience tonight. And Ari's assistant from that HBO show that I can't remember the title.

Oh the contestants all went to their home towns this week too. We begin with the judges pick that is told to Teen Beat by a mayor with a bad ass handlebar mustache. His first song will be "And So It Goes" by Billy Joel. Simon humorously asked Paula what she was thinking when picking this song. I keep telling myself "Just one more week" and I never have to deal with hearing Teen Beat and his schmaltzy tendencies. Ugh. Shot of father count: 1. Randy loved it. Paula of course loved it. Simon thought it was good, but predictable. Um. Isn't everyone's performance at this point predictable?

At this point I'd like to mention I started guitar lessons today. I can kind of play the first riff of AC/DC's "Back in Black." Yeah! One more step toward the rock!

Back from the break and we have Syesha in a limo getting her song by text. Mayor of Tampa too busy? Maybe this is to show Syesha's acting talent? I thought she did that last week with her waterworks? Randy picked her song of "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys. Maybe she's not even in Tampa. Kind of like CSI: Miami isn't really shot in Miami. At this point I would like to apologize for originally giving Syesha the nickname, Bitch. I'm sorry Syesha. Randy thinks she is peaking at the right time, and I agree. Simon thought she sang it well, and she did. It still won't save her. I think she even knows it. She does look fantastic once again. I never noticed she had chin dimples.

With two down that leaves Talk Box ,who during a TV interview on the what must be the local morning show, gets his song from Simon which is "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack. And if you don't believe any of that was completely planned out you must be a five year old. Simon said he picked it in order to do something different. I really hope that is his mother standing there all by herself. If not, creeepy. Ew. Apparently it isn't because they just showed his family. Randy liked it, but didn't like Simon's choice. I think he's just picking on Simon. Simon really liked it, and thought round one went to Talk Box. Oh, that is his mother. Whew. Really, all three did pretty well. The judges clearly know what they are doing. Next round is the contestants' choice.

Teen Beat's choice is "With You" by Chris Brown. Wha? He should have inro'd this by saying, "This is for the ladies." Eh. At least it was something current. He can't dance, and that "My Boo" line did come across as ridiculous. Randy didn't think it was great. Paula liked it. It really wasn't him, as Simon said. The ladies though loved it. This thought proves once again he can't do anything but ballads.

Syesha chose "Fever" by Peggy Lee which seems obvious doesn't it? It's theatrical. She won't do anything original with it though. Yowza. I admit this is one of the sexier songs ever written. Randy thought she performed it well. Paula was surprised she sang this song. She didn't think it showed who she was as an artist. Simon agrees. He thought it was a lame cabaret performance. She's clearly just doing what she wants. She knows she is going home tomorrow night. Right?

We are back and Talk Box decided on "Dare You To Move" Switchfoot. Can't he just rock? Why does he have to do these slow burns to big choruses? He mumbles these songs he likes. Just like the Our Lady Peace song. Randy didn't think it was his best. It did just seem like half a chorus and an intro. Simon agrees. He says there was no clear winner in this round. I agree. Next round is producer's choice.

No commercial break we just go right into Teen Beat singing "Longer" by the late Dan Fogelberg. I feel like I should thank him once again for helping me win the Celebrity Death Pool last year. Randy thought it was an interesting song choice, but liked it. Can we stop with the singing the phonebook line. Paula blah loved blah it blahed. Simon thought it was gooey. Every performance he's had this season has been gooey. That's why I feel so dirty. Simon does think he did enough to make it through to the final two. Way to go out on a limb, Simon. We've known he was final two bound since the first week.

The producers selected "Hit Me Up" by I don't know who sings it, and he didn't say. It's by someone named Gia Farrell. Randy thought it was just OK. Paula did the song well, but doesn't think it defines her. Paula doesn't think it is enough. Simon thought it was better than the second one. No defining moment for Syesha. We all know she is gone next week, Paula.

Finally! Talk Box was given "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith. How is it the judges have no trouble pciking songs for the contestants, but the producers suck at it? And during Seacrest's intro there is this dorky kid trying too hard to be funny. I would have no problem with Seacrest clocking that kid. It would be completely justified. Hey, I think that is Diane Warren in the audience. She wrote this song. Coincidence? Randy thought it was ok. I know it was predictable, but the producers picked it not him. Paula sees him advancing. Simon claims that Talk Box won the night.

There we go. By this time next week we will be down to our final two of the two Davids. Syesha will be given the boot tomorrow night. This is one of the most anti-climactic seasons in idol. I didn't didn't get to go to Anne Marie's place tonight, so I will leave Anne and Ben H. to give their worst and fav int he comments.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Um...So, I Guess I Am Now...Ready to Rock?

Look at the growing fat roll on my neck.

Shhh. I'm rocking it gently.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

American Idol Recap (Wanna See a Train Wreck? Edition)

We are down to the final four! Doesn't CBS and the NCAA have a trademark on Final Four? Anne's a little down because Goody Two Shoes got the boot last week. Surprisingly, everyone on the show is still alive. There was no mass murder. The theme for tonight is Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which leaves it open to about everything.

Talk Box kicks off the night with "Hungry Like a Wolf." Anne has stated that she really wants him to win. If it comes down to Talk Box and Teen Beat, she will vote. Randy says it was just ok. Paula says it made her hungry. Simon liked it, but didn't think he changed it up enough. He did rock in your typical radio one hit wonder cover song kind of way.

Syesha is in the coke hot seat. Blah, blah, blah. She will be performing "Proud Mary." Hmm. Probably not the best song choice. A little too strong. Anne calls it interesting in that it is high energy but unoriginal. Randy says she showed up. Paula's right. She does look good. Simon thought it was a bad shrieky version. It was a good performance, but I don't think it was the best vocal.

Back from the break we have Stoner. Good grief he's a moron. Wow? Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff?" Ugh. This is awful. Laughably awful. Why did he even have the guitar? Anne thinks Randy should say that performance offended him as a black man. I think it offended everyone with ears. Simon calls it utterly atrocious. Which is actually Simon being kind. Um he wasn't thinking Simon. He's a moron.

Teen Beat follows up with "Stand By Me." He apparently sings this song to himself in his room. I assume his father has kept him locked up in that room for the past 16 years. He must be thrilled he gets to follow up the musical mess of Stoner. Anything can sound good after that. I'm biased because I hate him. Of course the judges slurp him. It's all fake when he performs. Simon just stole my joke. He was well placed. Simon calls it the best of the night. Can't you just see him getting a little fame and turning into the next Michael Jackson.

With round one finished we have Talk Box back in the Coke Hot Seat. He agrees with the judges that he didn't change up "Hungry Like A Wolf" enough. His second song is "Baba O'Reilly." It's never smart to do a song by The Who. There are just too many changes in there songs to cram it into two minutes. It was like just taste of the song. Randy liked it. Paula is humbled to see his soul. Simon liked it too, and welcomed him back. Whatever.

Here comes Syesha with her second song. Ryan introduces Rascal Flatts as his boys. I think I saw them all throw up in their mouth a little bit when Ryan said that. "A Change is gonna Come" is her second song. She can't do lows notes. We have dress changes tonight too. Let's just say that her second dress puts Miss Lee Cook to shame. Randy didn't feel it. Paula gives her a standing ovation. The girls get a little weepy. Simon liked it. Wow Syesha is taking Goody Two Shoes crying crown in one night. She blabs about how this competition has changed her, and how she learned so much about the Civil Rights movement. Really? You just learned about it this week?

Stoner's second song is "Mr. Tamborine Man." We were just about to give him credit, and he totally blah blah blah'ed a line. He completely forgot two lines. Anne says I cursed him. Randy says he's not in the zone. When is he ever in the zone. I mean on stage. If Randy meant stoned when he said zone, then when is he ever out of the zone. Simon says he should pack his suitcase. He shouldn't have unpacked his suitcase three weeks ago.

Teen Beat finishes the night with "Love Me Tender." How do you not know "Love Me Tender?" Teen girls are swooning everywhere. I like that he turned this into a Christian Contemporary bastardization. Randy loved it. Paula thought it was one of his best performances. Simon thought he crushed everyone tonight.

So Stoner should go home for the worst final four performance in Idol history, but I think Syesha will be saying goodbye tomorrow night. I still hate Teen Beat.

Anne: Syesha
Ben H: Syesha
Me: Syesha

Worst: Come on. How could it not be Stoner?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

American Idol Recap (It's Neil F'n Diamond Night Edition)

First of all, I'm blogging through the pain tonight. I've been battling a nasty cold these past few days. It's Neil Diamond night, so I will fight through it. For you Neil! I'm pretty sure all the other nights will pale in comparison. I haven't been this exited since Emily Proctor danced dirty with me on the dance floor. Wait that was just this Saturday. Let's just say I'm excited.

So The Ringer got da boot and we are left with the top 5. This means they will each be singing two songs. How many of the top 5 knew Neil Diamond before this week?

Stoner will be singing Forever in Blue Jeans for his first song. I think this night will be a good one for Stoner. As in Stoner tradition it was rather boring. The judges will not be tearing them apart till after their second song. They've changed up the format, so the judges will give their opinion at the end of the show.

Talk Box is up next, and starts off in the Coke hot seat. This should be a good night for him too. His two song choices are I'm Alive and All I Need Is You. Two not so familiar songs, which could work in his favor. It was little blah. This two songs for each contestant seems a little ridiculous. They are left performing what seems like a minute of the song. Why not just give them an extra minute on one song rather than breaking it up. This show feels like it's gone wheels off, and is barreling toward Simon's chest hair.

Brooke will be doing I'm a Believer. Oh dear lord, her I'm a Believer is awful. I regret everything I said positive about her. This is so frightening. What are those pants she is wearing? She is clearly becoming more and more crazy each week. She's acting like Alex P. Keaton in that very special episode of Family Ties. For those too young to remember, it was about the dangers of taking speed.

Teen Beat will be doing Sweet Caroline. Can he make me dislike him anymore? Yes, he can. He's completely turned this into some crappy 80's cover song. Of course all the girls named Caroline just passed out. And we are speeding through this show. Nobody is allowed to take a breath.

Syesha picked Hello Again and Thank the Lord for the Nighttime. Two good choices for her. She did well with Hello, Again even if it was a little Whitney.

Wow. So they gave the judges a little time to give a quick judgment and Paula just went on and on about Stoner's second song. Um nobody has performed their second song. Everyone was just as lost as she was. Simon was right they were all mediocre except for Brooke which was a train wreck.

Jason sings his second song, September Morn, and is just as boring as his first song. Anne thinks it's a bad arrangement. I agree. A lot of the arrangements have been off. They shouldn't polish up these songs. Randy wasn't a fan of either performances. Paula thought he was too safe. Simon called them forgettable. He speaks the truth.

Talk Box is doing his normal modern rock shlock. He's made All I Need Is You sound like a Journey song. It was ok. Anne says "At least he thought about the arrangement." Randy liked the second performance. Paula agrees. She thinks she is already looking at this years American Idol. I hope she's right. Simon thought the first song was ok, but thought the second song was brilliant. I wouldn't exactly call it brilliant.

Goody Two Shoes is clearly slowly losing her mind. Her second song is I Am...I Said. Neil's songs work so well stripped down. Why are they fluffing them up? Randy liked the second song, but not so much the first. Paula thought she showed her vulnerability on the second song. Simon hated the first song, which we all did. Who could've liked the first song. Simon liked the second song. Brooke's talking to everyone like they are deaf. I'm hoping for a PSA at the end of this show from Brooke.

I'm so sick of Teen Beat. It's this 80's grime that he covers everything with. Adding to the awful is the American flag on the screen behind him. How do the judges keep going for this shit? Randy and Paula both loved it. How? Simon credits him for pulling a Kristy Lee Cook. Simon liked it too. Are they under some mind control when he performs? Is the FBI involved?

Syesha closes us out tonight. Nice. She turned this into a doo wopish number. I liked that. Randy liked it. Paula liked both songs. Simon call this the strangest show they have ever done. Simon thinks she might be in trouble tonight. She is in trouble, but it's not because of her performance. It's because the fans don't like her.

Well, that was quick. We all know Syesha is going home tomorrow. This show left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The two song choice was a moronic choice. It all seemed rushed. Way to ruin the one night I was looking forward to the most. I wish they could have brought back Chikezie to sing "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show." That would've been awesome.

Top Two:
Anne: Syesha and David
Ben H: Syesha and David
Me: Syesha and Talk Box

Anne: Brooke
Ben H. Brooke
Me: Teen Beat.

I know what will clear my head of this American Idol mess:


Who knew the lines "I have a date" would stir up such a hullabaloo? I'm afraid this is going to turn into the current Suns vs. Spurs (San Antonio not Tottenham) series: so much hype but little payoff.

First, let's begin with how I got there on a Friday night. One of the things my therapist and I have been working on is getting me outside my comfort zone, and to put myself out there. Basically it's Adventures of Independent Bradford (TM Mandy). One of these things that I decided to do was to actually give one of those dating websites a try. Now you early adopter(s) of the blog might remember this post. This was back when I actually put effort into my posts. Look at those six internal links! Six! Anyway, eHarmony found a solution to finding no matches for me in LA. They look for matches outside of LA, way outside of matches. Sifting through the matches from AZ, Canada, Colorado, and so on, I did find a match from the OC. At least it wouldn't require me having to buy a plane ticket. She is very cute. A little bit of a grown up Winnie Cooper thing going on. Works non-profit. etc.

So, I went through the guided communication hoops. You send a first round of multiple choice questions, which is completely worthless. Then you send and answer a round of short answer questions. Then there is e-mailing back and forth, which led to a few phone calls, which led to meeting in person, which led to my first "date" in 3 and a half years. That seems to fit into my lifetime average.

That leads us up to Friday night. It didn't start off perfectly well because I got a little lost going behind the "Orange Curtain." I do know where Medieval Times is now. We met over coffee/tea. She actually looked better in person than in her profile pictures. We talked for about an hour, and then went and had some Korean food at restaurant she always wanted to try. The whole evening was fun with some entertaining conversation. At the end though, I just didn't get a vibe from her that she was all that interested. I will admit I wasn't able to bring my A game. It was really only about a solid B. Perhaps, I was more follicly challenged than she anticipated. Overall, it was still a nice evening, and it was a new adventure.

I am though reminded of that semi-painful movie Elizabethtown. I think we did peak while talking on the phone.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ramblings (At Least It's Not An American Idol Post Edition)

I'm know I'm going to be kicking myself for saying this, but the Cubs are looking good. So good that I find myself surprised when they lose. I don't know what to do with myself. I think it's all about Fukudome!

We are just 4 days away from the release of Grand Theft Auto IV. The game that everyone loves to hate. I can't wait. I might call in sick Tuesday, or at least go home early.

Stuff I'm listening to:

The Night Marchers new album See You In Magic that came out Tuesday. The Night Marchers are the new group led by Speedo of Rocket from the Crypt and Hot Snakes fame. It's exactly the kind of album you would expect: Rock n' Roll!

The Muslims self-titled album. Oddly enough they are the opening act for The Night Marchers. They fit in the Modern Lovers/Velvet Underground vein.

I've been playing the hell out of The Sweet Serenades song "First Taste of Trouble."

There has been a rash of Blank and Blank groups appearing on my Zune. Plants and Animals ("Bye Bye Bye" being my favorite cut), Pete and the Pirates (just get this whole album), Apes and Androids, Snake and Jets.

Finally, The Wet Secrets have come up with my favorite song title of the year so far: Grow Your Own F***ing Moustache, Asshole. The song is actually very good.

We are reaching the end of the season here on CSI: Miami. All the episodes have been written, and now there is only the task of shooting them and editing. Thankfully, that doesn't require anything from me. I will say that our season finale is pretty huge. In fact, for the first time ever, I am probably going to suggest everyone watch it. Even if you hate the show, I'm pretty sure you will enjoy it.

I have a date tonight. I guess that's news.

The CSI: Miami wrap party is Saturday. That could become news.

I'm still playing Rock Band about twice a week, and I still get blisters from drumming. Is my skin that baby soft and delicate? I know I've gone on and one about this, but Harmonix who made this game have really done a fantastic job keeping this game in my 360. The current count for downloadable songs is at 94. They just now begining to roll out their full albums. The Pixies Doolittle is coming out in the next couple monts. The thing is I've had this game since November and I still play it every week. Most games last a couple months at most in my Xbox. It's really something I guess that you have to experience to see just how perfectly it hits that "pure fun" mark.

Ben I. do you ever wonder what would've happened to us, if we stayed at Bob Jones?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

American Idol Recap

Andrew Loyd Webber night! chirp chirp chirp. Talk about a clunker night.

David Duchovny in the audience. Happy Earth Day apparently. We are down to six, after the world crisis was finally averted with Kristy Lee Cook finally booted. I'm sure I'm not the only one that finds Mr. Weber scary as hell. The judges say this will be the toughest night of the season. Paula threw out a slightly negative comment.

Syesha starts us off with "One Rock n Roll Too Many" from Starlight Express. Weber thinks she could well bring the house down. I don't know these songs. Anne says it was the wrong song choice. Ben H. predicts that the judges will like it. As Ben predicted Randy loved it. Ditto Paula. Simon liked it too. They all thought it was one of her better performances. I have new clue.

Stoner follows the break in the Coke Hot Seat. Oh good grief. We all knew it was coming but who saw that it was coming from Stoner. Yes, he's singing "Memories." Ben H. thinks it's sooo bad. Anne doesn't think it's so bad. I don't care. Do we ever have to hear this song again? Randy thought it was a train wreck. Paula makes it known to us that Stoner is not a woman. Simon didn't like it either. It did come across like his mother forced him to sing it. I would vote him off just for picking that song.

Courtney Cox is there too. Kind of a big celeb night on Idol.

Goody Two Shoes with "You Must Love Me" from Evita. Mr. Webber keeps touching her. Wow! She blew it! She had them to start over. Wow! She's awful. This is going to be a train wreck of a night. Nobody can do these songs. We all agree her performance is horrendous. There's no way they can like this. Randy thought she emoted well. Paula says she shouldn't have stopped and started. This is her second time on this season screwing up. Simon didn't tear her a new one. Simon says he would have done the same thing. Paula's feeling guilty about criticizing her. Bottom line, she was awful.

Next we have Teen Beat. Anne predicts he will sing "Music of the Night." He too is on the Coke Hot Seat. Seacrest is encouraging little girls to molest him. Sorry Anne, he's singing "Think of Me" from Phantom of the Opera. Weber's advice is to keep your eyes open. Thanks Andy. As Anne said, this is exactly what the judges are looking for. Ben H. likes it with conditions. Surprise, they all loved it. Paula calls it perfect. Anne says it's not that difficult to add a pop beat to these songs. Simon thought it was forgettable. Thank you Simon.

Here comes The Ringer. This has to be in her wheelhouse. Not liking her first choice, Weber is convincing her to do "Jesus Christ Superstar." I will admit I like this song. Anne liked it. Ben H. is kinda indifferent. Randy liked it. The outfit does work. Simon thinks it was one of his favorites this week. She was one of the better ones.

Talk Box is doing "Music of the Night," from Phantom. Andy convinces David to sing to him passionately. *cough* Why didn't he find something to rock out to? This is boring yet still good. Anne and Ben both think he is a good singer. He is hitting the notes. I still find this all boring. Anne says its very good. He always has control over his voice and is deliberate. Randy thought it was amazing. Paula says this proved he was well rounded. Anne thought it was fantastic. Simon thought he made the most of it.

Top Two-
Ben H: David Cook, Syesha
Anne: David Cook, Syesha
Me: David Cook, Syesha.

Ben H: Brooke
Anne: Brooke
Me: Goody Two Shoes

It looks like we all agree. When the hell is Neil Diamond night? I've hit my wall during this season which is a little earlier than last season. Must keep going. Must keep going. At least till Neil Diamond night.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

American Idol Recap (The Shocking Edition)

Why is this edition so shocking? Well, Tiny Dancer was shockingly eliminated last week. The American Idol world was bewildered by his elimination. I imagine he's probably clicking his heels knowing he's probably set. There are only 7 left. What does that mean? that means the show will now fly by.

Tonight we have another mentor. It's Mariah Carey Night! Let the craziness begin.

Kicking off the show is Teen Beat with "When You Believe" from Prince of Egypt. Anne Marie has indicated she loves this song. All sorts of sap including Teen Beat wearing ridiculous pleather pants. We are up to three eye rolls already from Anne Marie. Anne Marie, Ben H. and I are bored. The judges all loved it and are bowing down at the robotic domination that is Teen Beat. Why do we see how average he is, but nobody else does. Even his emoting comes across like a Disneyland animatronic.

After the break we have The Ringer in the Coke hot seat. She talks about how shocked she was that Tiny Dancer got the boot and how funny he was. She will sing "Without You." She was smart to pick a song that Mariah Carey covered. Anne Marie the song was originally done by Badfinger. The Ringer did well, and this was the best she has looked in the whole conversation. OK Simon is just tearing her apart for no reason when she hit more notes than Teen Beat.

Syesha is up next. I've begun to feel guilty with the Bitch nickname, so I'm ditching it. She takes enough unneeded criticism from the judges. I don't need to add to it. I've actually begun to feel sorry for her. Her song choice will be "Vanishing." It seems Mariah actually helped her. Like the last two weeks she did well. Of course the judges will be harsh. Paula's going off on one of her pointless tangents. Simon liked it. But he thinks she picked an unfamiliar song which will hurt her.

Here's where crazy meets crazy in Goody Two Shoes meeting Mariah. She will be singing "Hero." She's going back to the piano thing. Man I miss Chikezie. Anne thinks Simon will love it. The bridge threw Randy but thought it was pretty good. Paula blah blah blah. Ooh she made a good point of her speeding it up. Which Goody did. She did rush after the bridge, and you could see her shaking. Simon thought the middle part was missed. Then there was a debate about meat and buns. Don't ask.

Headlights follows with "Forever." Wow this is going to be awful. Mariah you can't be serious about loving her version better. Wow this is awful. It should be pointed out that all the ladies brought out the cleavage tonight. Thankfully David Cook did not. How could Tiny Dancer be gone and not her? Really America? Randy thought she started steppin' up. Paula is blown away. Simon thought she managed well. But we all know there is no reason she should be on that stage.

Aw look it's Short Round. Talk Box will be doing "Always Be My Baby." Will he pull off another "Hello?" Mariah said it sounded haunting. I don't know if haunting does well on American Idol. So he changed it up because he had to and he did well. Randy stands up for it being the most brilliant performance this season. Simon loved it and thought it stood out. He's getting a little emotional. This has to put him close on the heels of Teen Beat. Is he my favorite? No, but he has been creatively consistent nearly each week. And he has been different enough to really stand out.

Stoner is up with "I Don't Wanna Cry." Ok, I give Mariah credit for actually mentoring the contestants. She's actually giving them worthwhile tips. Stoner's was the same performance he's given every week. It was boring. Randy didn't love it. Paula loved it of course. Simon, surprise, actually liked it. He thinks the guys have completely won tonight.

And just like that we are finished. It goes by so quickly now. Mariah was surprisingly good as a mentor. Please send Headlights home America.

Silverlake Top Three or Two
Anne Marie: David Cook, Syesha, Carly
Ben H: David Cook, Syesha
Me: Syesha, Talk Box

Monday, April 14, 2008

Another What Might Have Been Moment

It was 10 pm on Friday night, and I was putting my cell phone in my man purse. I was on my way to go see The Bank Job at the theater across the street from work. The Bank Job was playing at 10:20 pm. I was all set to go see a solid bank heist movie. Then I wasn't set. I decided to stay home and work on my spec script like all diligent wannabe writers should do. After writing for a few hours and eating a box of Cheez-its, I checked the news. There under the El Segundo section of my Google News was a story. Apparently, at 10:15 pm there was a shoot-out between two police officers and a young man. It left the young man dead and the two officers wounded. Where did this all take place? You guessed it. Cue the X-files theme music.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Two Points From Bragging Rights

Sometimes close has to sort of count right? So the NCAA Final Four has come to an end with Kansas beating Memphis 75 to 68. In my bracket I correctly had Kansas winning only I had them beating UCLA because I thought Memphis' poor free throw shooting would've caught up with them sooner. I did though have the score listed as Kansas winning 76-69...so close-except for the fact that I also didn't have Memphis.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

American Idol Recap (Silverlake Edition)

You might be wondering what Silverlake has to do with American Idol. Well, that's because I'm in Silverlake with Anne Marie and Ben H. for American Idol night. So, I will be including their impressions as well. Tonight is "Inspirational Night" which means tonight will most likely blow. This night doesn't even matter because tomorrow night is Idol Gives Back Night, which means that nobody is going to be sent home. So let's try to get his pointless night over with quickly.

Kicking of the night Tiny Dancer will be singing "Dream On." That's right somebody is associating Aerosmith with inspirational. He does pretty well.

Anne Marie correctly indicates that Paula looks like she's judging tonight in the nude. Which I'm really surprised hasn't happened. Randy wasn't completely impressed. Paula wants her Chiuauas to join him onstage. I think that means she liked it. Simon liked it, but thinks it was an impersonation. Ben and Anne Marie agree. Seacrest asks Tiny Dancer what the message he wanted the audience to get with that song? Um. Dream On? That might just be a guess on my part. Tiny Dancer confirms what I thought only with a lot more words.

The Bitch is in the Coke hot seat, and mentions that she and Short Round were good riends, and that she misses her. She also says she spoke with Short Round and apparently somebody is working Short Round really hard. Who is this somebody, and shouldn't this be investigated? "I Believe" is her song choice. Anne Marie liked it. Randy thought it was ok. I don't know what they are looking for. Paula liked it a lot. Simon thought she sang it well, but thought it lacked a "big wave of emotion." I think we can all agree that they have been irrationally critical of Syesha. It's like they refuse to compliment her fully.

Stoner is singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." He's doing this with a ukelele! Anne Marie says get him off the stage. Ben H likes it. Randy loved it. Paula did too. Simon thought it was fantastic. I thought for sure Simon was going to hate the ukelele. Oh well.

Headlights sings McBride's "Do It Anyway." Randy liked it but it was of course pitchy. That's because she can't sing. Of course this doesn't matter because Simon liked it too. Anne Marie thought it was really bad. I thought it was the best she has sounded, but that's still not good. Why doesn't Headlights get off scott free on criticism, but Syesha can't catch a break. Oh, I forgot Syesha is black.

The favorite of everyone who doesn't love Teen Beat, Talk Box, is singing "Innocent" from Our Lady Peace. Wow, he mumbled through the performance, and that "Give Back" written on his hand was eye rolling. Randy didn't love it. Paula loves it because she loves everything. Simon didn't think it was as good as the previous weeks. In case we didn't see Talk Box's giant hand in front of the camera, Paula points out what Talk Box wrote on his hand. The highlight of the night is his shrug and smirk when Paula points it out. It even got the Tivo rewind treatment just to see it again.

Anne is so over The Ringer who just compared American Idol to Live Aid. Um, that's really not even close. Isn't that the one big musical event of the 80's? Oh she's doing "The Show Must Go On" by Queen. Yeeouch! She's murdering this. Anne says it's very Celine Dioney. We all agree. Simon agrees. We all agree. Let's move on. Oh Simon says she is in trouble.

Teen Beat plus Inspirational Night equals pain in my ass. He said he had a difficult time picking this song. We all know he mean his Dad had a difficult time. His Dad chose "Angels" by Robbie Williams. It took Anne Marie and I the whole performance to come up with Robbie Williams. I wish sang Aerosmith's "Angel." What if one night Teen Beat completely changes it around and does some raunchy song. I'd completely vote for him then. If he ended it with giving the finger to his father, It would be the all time Idol performance. Anyway, none of this happened. Randy loved of it. Paula agreed. Simon thought it was best song choice of the night, but not his best vocal. The girls scream. I gag.

Coming up next it's my favorite and Anne Marie's least favorite...Goody Two Shoes! I suggest you see how Anne Marie reacts when she hears Goody sing. She really doesn't like her. She will be singing "You've Got a Friend." That was boring. Randy gave his middling I don't hate you review. Simon thought it was nice and pleasant. Just so you know that means it was boring.

And just like that it's over. Quick and semi-painless.

Here is our Top 3 for the night:

Anne: Syesha, Jason, Michael Johns
Ben H: Jason, Syesha, Archuleta.
Brad: The Bitch, Stoner, Tiny Dancer

Now I have to get watch what really matters tonight...Geek Makeover on Beauty and the Geek.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

One of the Bad Things About LA

Last night I drove all the way into Hollywood to see the Gutter Twins at the Avalon. The band sounded great. Dulli roared and Lanegan growled. From "God's Children" to "Live With Me" to "St. James Infirmary" the band rolled along not missing a beat. They closed the set with one of my new favorite songs, "Front Street." Dulli commanded the stage like he always does. He said goodnight. So far a wonderful night of rock and roll. Then the house lights came up. That's right...no encore. I was a little bummed and felt a little stupid standing there clapping and cheering for an encore. Then I got over it because I knew why there was no encore. The audience was awful. Even by LA standards it was an awful audience, and I'm not one of those people who thinks encores should be standard. Were there people screaming their heads off, clapping and dancing? There were but they only accounted for about a fifth of the audience. So, yes those us got screwed out of an encore. I consider it like being Kevin Garnett on all those years on an awful Timberwolves team. You can put as much heart and soul into it, but sometimes it's those around you that keep you from making the playoffs. After blasting through Idle Hands and seeing mostly blank stares, I started thinking that we wouldn't get an encore. Maybe it was the rainy night, but I've better crowds on worse nights. Maybe it was the Avalon, but a year ago it was one of the best crowds I've seen at the same venue. So, I don't know what it is, but I am getting a little tired of it. LA crowds on the whole tend to act too cool for school. Maybe I need to start seeing concerts in other states.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

American Idol Recap

Are you like me kids? Are you still dealing with the loss of Chikezie? I certainly am. There is nothing I'm looking forward to now. Sigh. Is there nothing that could reinvigorate my interest in this show? The only thing I could think of is if some blond bombshell legend of country music would show up to mentor these young hopefuls. Wait? You say it's Dolly Parton night? I'm in. I would like to predict now that The Bitch's song choice will be "I Will Always Love You," and it will be the Whitney Houston version, and the judges will not like it because no contestant should ever do a Whitney Houston song. I'm surprised they haven't learned this yet. Whitney is always a bad choice. Also, I would like to think that Chikezie would sing "9 to 5" and bring down the house. You know he would. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Talk Box did some emo version of it. Anyway, on with the show.

Oh Seacrest you almost got me with your April Fools joke. Can we be done with April Fools? Does anyone fall for it anymore. Vanna White in the audience. Introductions are made, and the standard "You Kids Don't Know This But Music Has Been Made For Years Before You Were Even Born" video montage introducing us to Dolly Parton. What's the over under on how many contestants will mention that they aren't familiar with Dolly Parton's music? I think the Vegas odds are at 5. I'd go under with 4. Dolly is so sweet.

Brooke White kicks off Dolly night. Can a room contain the sweetness of these two women? She will be doing Jolene. Quote of the night from Brooke: Dolly Parton you know...she is a tiny person but she's huge!" Yes, Brooke we can all see that clearly. Oh you mean "huge" as in a legend. My bad. Jolene is so strongly in Brooke's wheelhouse that I wonder if the judges will knock her for it. I liked her performance nothing spectacular. Randy thought it was alright. Ugh. Brooke just complemented Paula on her hair. Really Brooke? You don't need to do that. I feel dirty now. Simon didn't like it much, but his criticism is about how the band looked? Again, we need new judges. I think she should have worn the outfit you wore to perform for Dolly. I haven't been a fan of Brooke's last few performance outfits.

So is Talk Box the new favorite? I know Teen Beat has his large creepy teen girl/grandmother fan base, but I have to think those outside that cult have be leaning toward Talk Box. He will be performing his own arrangement of "Little Sparrow." To repeat he will not be doing a cover of a cover song. Dolly likes him, but I think she will be liking everyone tonight. Randy gives it a "hot." Paula likes his haircut. Simon doesn't think it's as good as last week, but good. Simon has something against songs about birds.

Short Round is up. Dolly thinks she's adorable. Who is dressing Short Round? This is another mediocre performance and another awful outfit. Oh she's singing "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind." Randy thought it was aiight. Paula really liked it. Simon calls it forgettable. Which it is.

In the coke hot seat, is Stoner. Seacrest is showing fan mail that is all from the same girl. Yeah, this bit is going to go well. Seacrest reads one of them which comes across as slightly innocent slightly crazy. It goes along the lines of Stoner's voice being relaxing, and she listens to him to relax. Which is good because it's tough work building a life size model of Stoner out of road kill. He will be doing "Travellin' Through," which Dolly thinks is little outside of his box. If it involves him just sitting there strumming a guitar it's not out of his box. Ok, so he's standing and not sitting. It has a nice vibe to it. Randy thinks it's pretty good. I didn't think his voice sounded as good. I don't think it was as bad as Simon is claiming it to be. I really wonder what he was listening to.

The Ringer will be singing "Here You Come Again." Dolly thinks she killed it. It seems right down Ringer's alley. I guess I should point out it's been basically an acoustic night. The Ringer's performance is right on par with what is expected. Randy think it will be one of the better performances tonight. Again Simon goes along the good but not great line. Simon throws out that he thinks she needs someone to dress better. Which is true, but ouch. Why doesn't he say it to Short Round too? Does he think The Ringer can handle the criticism?

I'm not completely familiar with the lyrics of "Smoky Mountain Memories," but I'm sure they must have to deal with the awful state the world is in and how we need to help each other. Why do I think that? Because that's the song Teen Beat chosen for tonight. I'm tired of this kid/robot. Dolly quivered a little listening to Teen Beat sing. Again another slow song. I want range in my performers, and this kid doesn't have it. I wonder if Simon simply has a problem with all the Jesus being sung in the songs? Randy calls it performance of the night. Paula loved it. Simon did too. Get over him people.

This might be Headlights night. She is country. Her song selection is "The Coat of Many Colors." This is her night right? She has to knock it out! Simon's going to hate this song. Eh. Randy liked it. Paula thinks it's her best performance. Simon thinks it's pleasant but forgettable. I'm with Simon.

After the break The Bitch will be singing...Yes!..."I Will Always Love You." So predictable. Heaven's forbid you actually sing a country song. Oooh she's sitting on the piano. Dolly claims that The Bitch's version is more a combination of the Whitney version and Dolly's versions. The arrangement is a little off to me. She can sing well. Randy thinks she did aiight. He still can't hear anyone else sing that song but Whitney. I'm sure Dolly will love to hear that Randy. Paula loved it. Simon liked the first half but wasn't as much a fan of the last half. Again I agree. The two halves didn't mesh well. Who's left to sing? Oh Tiny Dancer. I have no clue what he will be singing. Can't someone do "9 to 5?"

The last song of the night will be "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right." Dolly was his first concert. You can tell he's clearly a true fan. This is I think makes a difference. Ok, he nailed the hell out of that. My favorite performance of the night. Randy loved it. Paula babbles on for ever even though she said it would be quick, and my Tivo cuts out. So I assume Simon must have liked.

So, it was an OK night. No 9 to 5. Tiny Dancer had the performance of the night. I think The Bitch will go home tomorrow night, but she doesn't deserve to. Short Round should probably go home.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy 2008 Baseball Season!

Welcome to FUKUDOME!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Like I Said Before...

American Idol hates black people. Chikezie was wrongly kicked off even though he had a good and was one of the most charismatic contestants. Chikezie made you smile, and he had range in his voice. Way to screw up again America. You booted off the Bobble Head last year and now Chikezie. I will miss you Chikezie. Also I'd like to apologize to Teen Beat (maybe). I would like to give Archuleta the benefit of the doubt and think his song choice was intentional comedy. Perhaps he was simply indicating his love for the movie Hot Rod.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

American Idol Recap

Cruella is gone! That means people still seem to like Headlights or her at least her personalities even though The Bitch tried to steal some of those votes last week with her plunging neckline. So, we are down to our top ten as Seacrest tries to tell us with an serious tone in his voice. Of course this is all nullified by him not even hiding the fact that he is reading a teleprompter. Really? We are at season seven and you still need a teleprompter to tell you what to say? On that note. On with the show...

No mention of a theme or anything? Must be potluck night.

Short Round kicks off the night with "Hearts Alone." The theme for the intro video segment must be what you were like growing up. Apparently, Short Round bit a lot of kids as a child. Couldn't come up with something else to divulge to a national TV audience? Short Round needs to step it up tonight. She has near zero stage presence. Randy says wrong song choice. She was a little pitchy, and just not memorable. Simon doesn't think it is as bad as Randy does. Apparently, she is sick. I still think she sticks around, but not for long.

Stoner follows after the break. Ah, apparently you have to sing a song from your birth year which is scraping the barrel on theme nights. Also, this might have been something the audience should know a little earlier. It's Stoner's birthday tonight so I guess...ah I don't care. Stoner will be singing Sting's "Fragile." So, how many songs are titled Fragile? He's back to doing the coffee shop guitar thing. I guess he learned from last week. Anyway, it's just like every other one of his performances. Randy is waiting for that jump out vocal performance that makes him go wow. Do any of us expect a wow vocal performance from him. Simon wasn't impressed either. Simon lays into him.

The Bitch is next. She admits that she was pretty much a baby growing up. Really? You don't say? Never would've imagined that. Mother hubbard, she does that creepy baby crying again. How can you vote for someone that does that? She will be performing "If I Was Your Woman." Randy thinks this is the best she's sound. Paula says this will be her moment where she upped her game. Simon didn't like the end as much. She did do well, but it was predictable.

I should point out that Paula is wearing some ridiculous Catwoman like leather gloves that go all the way up to her elbows. It is distracting in a creepy way. It's like she just came back from pulling a Dexter on someone. Shudder.

I will also admit this. I think the Jack in the Box commercials are consistently funny. They just showed the monkey spaceship commercial. Monkey Spaceship!

Back to the show with Chikezie! Clearly, Chikezie didn't get his vocal talent from his mother. Ouch. "If Only For One Night" is his song of choice. Snore. Randy didn't love it. He thinks it was too old school, which is the most ridiculous complaint they come up with. Simon agrees. Paula disagrees with both of them. I agree he sort of just covered the song, but I thought he did well. It still felt like Chikezie. He did sing it well. He can't bounce around the stage each week.

It's Goody Two shoes turn on stage. I finally realized that this is the kind of girl I'm going to marry. Wouldn't you be thrilled with that Anne Marie? Wait. Even I just got a chill at that thought. She will be singing "Every Breath You Take." Ugh. Boring again. She does it on the piano. It doesn't add anything. She's out of breath. Eh. She did screw up at that the start but nothing catastrophic. Randy thinks she should've staid with just the piano, as does Simon. I kind of agree. Once the band came in it did become worse.

After a little sales pitch from Seacrest, we have Tiny Dancer telling us about his childhood. He will be doing the double feature of "We Will Rock You/ We Are The Champions." The crowd certainly digs it. Randy says it's the best performance he's had on the show. I guess he can only sing Queen? Simon agrees. I would like to point out that he basically just covered the song like Chikezie. Nothing new.

Holy cow! Carly's kid hair was awesomely curly. What happened? The Ringer will be singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart." Good grief. Can we get someone to sing something different? Please! I do like her hair tonight. Once again it's exactly what you would expect. Randy didn't love it. The note was awful at the end. Paula is clearly tone deaf. Simon thought she came across too uptight. She was a little stiff, but I think that's just her.

Here we go with Teen Beat. Seacrest just completely embarrassed some young girl. Way to go Seacrest. The girls squeal at home video of him dancing as a little kid. It's like he was built in some underground lab or something. He's singing"Your the Voice?" At least it's not a ballad. Randy liked it. Wait. Simon is the one who knew who sang that? Simon didn't like it. It was a theme park performance! Simon was right. Of course he chose that song. It talks about society's ills. That's what he is all about. He wants to save the world! He's going to rule us all! Can't you people see that?

It's time for Headlights. She will be singing...wait for it...wait..."God Bless the USA." I can't take it! She's going to sink this low to try to win votes? Please put us all out of our misery! This song blows! Aahhhh. Shit! I'm sorry. This is appalling. Who let her do this? Nobody can bad mouth the song. Please Simon tears this-ugh. He thinks it's her best performance. He thinks it's a brilliant performance. He also says it is also the most clever song choice he's heard in years. I agree with that. It's a sneaky song choice. Simon knows who wrote this song too. What is happening? Well Headlights is safe next week.

Hopefully David Cook can cleanse that last performance from my mind. Who am I kidding. He's not doing the talk box again. What he is doing is Chris Cornell's version of Billie Jean. SO his thing is to cover other people's covers. He does have stage presence. Is really that original? He just knows how to find the odd covers. It's not his own take. He just knows how to find the song. All the judges thought it was amazing. It was good enough, but I think he's getting a little too much credit for originality.

Well that was more entertaining than last weeks mess of songs. I think Chikezie or maybe Short Round will be going home. The rest of the contestants need to learn how to use Wikipedia, and beat David Cook to the unusual covers.

Oh, my song choice for my birth year would've been "Yo. Yo" by the Osmonds. Thank you, and good night.