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?