Friday, May 28, 2004

Waking up at 5:15am sucked...
On my flight I managed to get an entire row to myself, but an ill-advised gloating wave to a co-worker caused her to come and sit with me the whole flight, eliminating my ability to lie down...
Been in California for 6 hours and already have sunburned arms, thanks to eating lunch outside...
In other words, things couldn't be better.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

I'll be in Long Beach shooting the at the MTV Beach House for the next week, so postings may be few and far between... sorry.

Things I learned from Velvet Revolver's concert at Roseland last night:
1) Heroin makes you cut. Both Scott Weiland and Duff are in such incredible shape... washboard abs, no body fat... maybe I should start shooting up to get me a six-pack.
2) Fuel's popularity was probably imaginary. I seemed to be the only person who recognized the lead singer, Brett Scallions, standing in the audience (and I only did because I'd seen him perform "It's So Easy" with Camp Freddy, another pseduo-GnR band).
3) Matt Pinfield is short. Really short.
4) "Sex Type Thing" is more popular than any Guns N Roses song. The crowd went insane during this song, more so than for any of the original VR material or for "It's So Easy," "Used to Love Her," or even "Mr. Brownstone." Very surprising.
5) Scott Weiland is made out of Jello. I don't know how he contorts his body like that, unless he has no bones. He really is a human snake.
6) VR's material is pretty damn good. The band is really tight, they mesh well, and they rock. The sound at Roseland wasn't great, but from the taste I got (and based on the singles "Set Me Free" and "Slither" that I've heard studio versions of), the album will be good. I just hope it's successful. My guess is it'll have a strong debut (Top 3), then plummet very quickly. But I have my fingers crossed that it'll have longevity.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Nothing like a "witness" to spin a story out of control. Avril caused the studio to "power down"? Come on...

Can this possibly be true? If it is, that's awesome. If not, this is still a hell of a prank. Either way, "Andy Kaufman" writes a more interesting blog than I do.

Pretty damn funny...

Who couldn't see this coming? (Hehe, Spanky...)

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Alrighty, Avril Lavigne just freaked out on TRL and flipped everyone the bird... and those hawks at the NOC did nothing with the 5-second delay. That will be great... I'm sure MTV will get in trouble again, just as we're heading out to California for the beach house. Thanks Avril... and thanks NOC for doing such a bang-up job.

Poor Cyndi Lauper (scroll down to the 4th story)... birds can be such harsh critics.

This New York Times article talks about Serena Williams training for the French Open in Cannes so that she could mingle with celebrities. When she talked to Tom Hanks, she told him that she's seen Turner and Hooch at least 50 times... how does Tom Hanks even respond to that? That's worse than seeing Joe vs. the Volcano 50 times. I'd make a joke about finding out which Williams sister is Turner and which one is Hooch, but I'm not that mean.

Speaking of bad movies, over the weekend I was forced to watch the first 2 Harry Potter movies on DVD and come up with trivia questions and a list of spells for the TRL Harry Potter contest. I don't know about you, but my idea of a fun weekend doesn't include spending 5 hours watching crap (although I managed to cut it down significantly by turning on the subtitles, playing the movie at double speed and simply reading the dialogue). Anyway, I aimed at making the questions ridiculously hard, even for these supposed Harry Potter junkies, and out of 10 questions, one contestant got 3 right, one got 4, one got 8, and one freak of a girl actually got all 10! How the hell did she know the license plate number of the Dursley's flying car? How did she know how many points the dorm that won the House Cup in the 1st movie had? Damn her. And yes, it does bother me that I now know all this stuff too. What a waste of brain space.

Saw a screening of Saved! last night. It had gotten good buzz, and the previews looked decent, so I went in with a positive attitude. And yes, while it's better than the recent crap I've had to see (Raising Helen, Soul Plane), it was somewhat of a letdown. They give away most of the funny parts in the preview. It attempts to make Jena Malone's confused teenager a better arguer on Christian faith than her pastor. They try to make Mandy Moore's ultra-religious character the villian, but it's hard to feel bad for her when there's a scene near the end with her crying and praying to God about what to do so that the audience realizes that she is in fact doing what she thinks is right in the eyes of God. Not a bad movie, just not particularly good.
And while my posts too often argue the merits of the Beach Boys, the film's opening with a terrible cover version of "God Only Knows" by Mandy Moore was a travesty. Not only did she suck all the feeling out of the song, but she had the audacity to turn it into a sing-a-long ("God only knows what I'd be without you... COME ON EVERYONE!"). I'm tempted to say something to her about it when she comes to TRL on Thursday... but I think we can all guess how likely that is.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Tommy handed me his A-Z mix, which is on 2 discs, in blatent disregard to the rules. Anyone can make two 13-song mixes... the trick is to fit 26 good tracks onto one. If you read this Tommy, FOR SHAME!!!

Track list for the latest CD in my mix project with Tommy. Topic: one CD, 26 tracks, A-Z (either artist or song title), with (very) select liner notes.

1. Idlewild - American English: Put on a mix by my Scottish friend Laurie in my original mix project. I liked this song so much that I bought their CD. Sadly, the rest of the album is, as the Scottish say, "shite."
2. Simon & Garfunkel - Baby Driver
3. Josie Cotten - Johnny Are You Queer?
4. Joy Division - Digital: I recently watched 24 Hour Party People and am now obsessed with this song.
5. Eels - Going to Your Funeral, Pt. 1
6. V.A.S.T. - Free
7. Go-Go's - Speeding
8. Colin Hay - Overkill: I heard this version for the first time on Scrubs, one of Tommy's favorite shows... that's why it made the mix.
9. ZZ Top - I Thank You
10. Jellyfish - Ghost at Number One: Probably the closest any modern band has come to sounding like the Beach Boys.
11. Kinks - Harry Rag
12. Cure - Love Song: One of my favorite love songs ever. So simple yet so effective.
13. They Might Be Giants - Mammal
14. Nirvana - Territorial Pissings
15. Bob Dylan - Oxford Town
16. Tom Petty - Apartment Song
17. Queen - Bicycle Race
18. Tommy Roe - Sweet Pea: If you were to look up "earworm" in the dictionary, it would list this song's chorus as the example.
19. Marvelous 3 - Sugarbuzz
20. Blind Melon - Three is a Magic Number: This song just missed out on our previous mix topic, Cover Songs, so I'm glad I could put it in here.
21. Urge - Jump Right In
22. Van Halen - Beautiful Girls
23. Cat Stevens - Wind
24. Seconds - X: This is what Tommy gets when I'm forced to put in a song for X and don't want to use the band X because I'm sure he owns all their albums.
25. Guns 'N' Roses - You're Crazy
26. Zebrahead - Someday
(bonus track) : From a recent episode of South Park. Butters would tap-dance to this song. Don't know why it makes me laugh as hard as it does, but it does.

Simpsons Geek Alert!!!
In last night's episode, Krusty gets choked up reading the Red Dress Press. Kinda tough to do, seeing as how he CAN'T READ! Who is running things over there? Very sloppy. Hopefully they'll get their shit together over the summer.

Friday, May 21, 2004

The new Seinfeld / Superman AmEx short, "Hindsight," is up. Not as funny as the first one, but still pretty good.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

By the way, last night I saw a screening of The Day After Tomorrow, and it wasn't that good (I know, is there any movie other than Napoleon Dynamite that I have liked recently? Doesn't seem that way...). The movie started out alright, and actually one of the coolest part was the credit sequence, which was a long pan across the Arctic Ocean in which the names in the credits created wavy reflections in the water. The destruction of earth was okay, but ended less than an hour into the film. The next hour was tediously boring and ridiculously stupid... somehow Dennis Quaid was able to walk from DC to Manhattan in the worst snowstorm ever in a matter of days. I MapQuested it, and the distance is 226.54 miles. Not bloody likely, methinks. Anyway, I'm glad that at least I'm not paying money to see these films. Next up: Saved, on Monday. My first ever Mandy Moore movie. I'm excited.
Oh, The Day After Tomorrow had one opportunity to make a joke that would've saved the entire movie and didn't do it. There are these 3 scientists (don't worry, this isn't a spoiler) who are stranded in a shack in Scotland and they've run out of fuel and have no way of getting out. One of them says "Don't worry, we have plenty of tea and biscuits... as long as the lew doesn't clog up, we'll be fine." All 3 laugh uncomfortably, then one by one stop laughing when reality about their imminent death sets in. There's a moment when the first guy stops laughing where I wish he'd said, "Um, about that..." and there'd be a slow camera pan (with melodramatic music playing in the background) to the toilet, which is clogged. Oh man, that would've been funny.

Okay, I had a very random revelation recently. I think I've figured out the secret to a successful movie aimed at teenage girls: breasts! It seems so obvious now. Let's take a look at recent movies:
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen: Lindsay Lohan with average breasts = average hit
Lizzie McGuire Movie: Hilary Duff with big breasts (for a 15/16-year-old) = big opening weekend
Mean Girls: Lindsay Lohan with huge breasts (especially for a 17-year-old) = huge hit
13 Going on 30: Jennifer Garner with good-size breasts = successful
Prince & Me: Julia Stiles with fairly small breasts = fairly small gross
New York Minute: Olsen twins with no breasts = bomb
So what is it about big breasts that draws teenage girls? Do they want what they don't have? Is the audience really filled with horny teenage boys (or sleazy older men)? Someone should really research this further.

Fox finally announced its 2004/05 line-up, and thankfully, Arrested Development is on the schedule! But what is this crap about 24 not coming back until January?

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Congratulations to Randy Johnson for pitching a perfect game last night. Insane how well he's doing at his age (ditto Clemens). It's a shame that Randy's career didn't really take off until he was 27. Another few years in his prime and he could've shattered some records. I also appreciate the fact that the Atlanta fans gave him such a great ovation after the game. Way to acknowledge something that's great for the game, even if it wasn't good for your team. Think Philadelphia fans would've done that?

I also think it's hilarious that Sammy Sosa has to go on the DL due to a strained ligament in his back after sneezing too hard. His body must be a wreck after taking steroids for so long and then stopping. He deserves anything bad that happens to him. Good riddance.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Saw Raising Helen last night and, as expected, it sucked. It didn't help that I was so friggin' hungry and the movie couldn't go more than 5 minutes without showing some sort of food: brownies, cakes, ham, rack of lamb, pancakes. There hasn't been as much focus on food in a movie since Eat Drink Man Woman. Pure torture.

We are inching ever closer to hearing an official, completed version of Smile... can't wait!

Monday, May 17, 2004

Jimmy Fallon is leaving SNL. So now nobody will be laughing at any sketches (unless they feature Amy Poehler).

Watched VH1’s 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever over the weekend, and while their list has some merits, they have a few major errors... I will now attempt to adjust the list by swapping out certain songs:
1. “We Built This City” – replace with LFO’s “Summer Girls”
- “Summer Girls” is by far the worst song ever recorded EVER! Terrible beat, ridiculously amateur lyrics… I once saw an interview with them in which they discussed how everything in the song is true: “New Kids on the Block did have a bunch of hits, and Chinese food does make me sick.” Yeah, so does this song. If they were so intent on singing honestly, they should’ve sung about how they are talentless suck-asses.
3. “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” – replace with Kid Rock’s “Bawitdaba”
- The comedians on the show claim that they don’t know what it means to “Wang Chung” (Do they also not know what it means to turn Japanese? Or to she-bop?)… I don’t know what “Bawitdaba” means, but I can assume it translates into “Kid Rock blows.”
5. “Ice Ice Baby” – replace with Vanilla Ice’s “Play That Funky Music”
- I still own the cassette of To The Extreme, although I haven’t listened to it in at least a decade… but having listened to the whole album at one time, I know that he did much more damage to Wild Cherry than to Queen & David Bowie.
10. “Heart of Rock N Roll” – replace with Justin Timberlake’s “Rosalita”
- Possibly the worst sing-along section in all of recorded music. It’s bad enough that Justin sings off-key during it, but I think he purposely rounded up the worst group of singers possible to make him sound that much better. At least N’Sync could harmonize (or at least used computers to do so).
12. “Hangin’ Tough” – replace with New Kid’s “Step by Step”
- All I remember about this song is a horrible rap interlude with lines like “Step 1: We can have lots of fun. Step 2: There’s so much we can do.” Why I remember that, I don’t know, but it’s embedded into my brain and I’ll never forgive NKOTB for that.
15. “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” – replace with Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be”
- You gotta be kidding me that this song was ever popular.
16. “Final Countdown” – replace with Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out”
- How “Final Countdown” made the list boggles the mind. I could wake up every morning to this song and be psyched for the day. And how did Baha Men not make the list? No, seriously. I don’t even need to write anything to justify this, cause I think you all already know how bad that song is.
19. “You’re the Inspiration” – replace with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Red White & Blue”
- People claim that Chicago went downhill during the 80s… well, I was never a real Skynyrd fan, but they have an unparalleled plummet if their entire new album is as bad as their patriotic first single, with lyrics such as “My Daddy worked hard, and so have I,
paid our taxes and gave our lives to serve this great country, so what are they complaining about? Yeah we love our families, we love our kids, you know it is love that makes us all so rich. That's where were at... if they don't like it they can just get the HELL out!” Flows like butter, eh?
24. “Sussudio” – replace with Madonna’s “American Pie”
- The show pointed out with this song that even a Grammy-winning, hugely-successful singer wasn’t safe from this list. Using that logic, I point to possibly the worst cover ever recorded. She turned a poignant, clever homage to great music of the past into a techno train wreck that made me long for the great music of Madonna’s past. And she had the gall to edit out 4 verses... which, come to think of it, may not have been a bad thing, since it made her version much shorter.
29. “I’d Do Anything for Love” – replace with Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”
- She ripped off the song structure and video, but made it sound much much worse.
32. “Broken Wings” – replace by Geri Halliwell's "Look at Me”

- Her first single after she left The Spice Girls has a bridge section that sounds worse than the entire Spice Girls catalog mashed together and played at once. I've never changed a channel during the first time I've heard a song faster than I did during that song.
40. “What’s Up” - replace with Ce Ce Peniston’s “Finally”
- One of the first reasons why I hate dance music. At least the song opened her up to jokes about her name.
50. “Sunglasses at Night” – replace with Third Eye Blind’s “Losing a Whole Year”
- Stephen Jenkins screaming “I remember you and me used to spend the whole goddamn day in bed.” And I remember when bands used to have talent. The falsetto voice singing the title during the chorus is the musical equivalent of nails across a chalkboard.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Naturaly after I rant about it on Tuesday, fate would cause my bosses to assign me to attend a screening of Raising Helen next Monday. That's great. Thanks.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Okay, I'm officially fed up with the crap that passes for "music" these days. MTVU plays a video for "Snowflakes" by Just Jack approximately once an hour. In that song, Just Jack samples the Cure's "Lullaby" and replaces Robert Smith's original lyrics and haunting voice with infantile lyrics that are half-sung/half-rapped by a white thug-wannabe poser. This sampling nonsense has to stop! It's not cool or creative; it simply means that artists don't have the talent to write their own melodies. Jessica Simpson's "I Think I'm in Love with You" did it with "Jack & Diane," 5ive's "Everybody Get Up" did it with "I Love Rock and Roll"... the list goes on and on. Covers are almost as bad, but at least they admit to their lack of originality and don't try to pass themselves off as something they're not. Stop ruining good music (not that "Jack & Diane" is good... it was simply an example of sampling I thought of off the top of my head) and write your own songs, you untalented asses!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Saw a screening of Napoleon Dynamite last night, and I'm making a claim that this is the funniest film of the year... you heard it here first. The movie has little (if any) plot, but who cares if it's simply a character piece... the writing, acting, pacing, and directing are all top-notch. For at least the first 20 minutes, I didn't stop laughing or chuckling the entire time. I'm guessing that when June rolls around, "Heck yeah!" will replace "Don't be stupid, stupid!" as catchphrase of the moment. Trust me on this one.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I would've refused to see Raising Helen based on the trailer, but even before then I knew I'd be boycotting it based solely on the title. Punny titles are the worst... and normal puns are bad enough (Beautician and the Beast), but when they do it with names, argh! I can just picture the pitch for this... "It's like 'Raising Hell,' which is cool, but the girl's name is Helen, so it's 'Raising Helen'... clever, right?" Hardly. What's next, "Walk Like Amanda?" "Stark Raving Madison?" "Live or Let Diane?" Shit, I hope I'm not giving people ideas...

Monday, May 10, 2004

Things I Learned Watching the Survivor All-Star Finale & Reunion:
1) Even reality shows aren't safe from stunt casting during sweeps. At some point between the time they left the island to the time they reunited at MSG, Amber was replaced by a liposuctioned Trishelle, Boston Rob was replaced by A.C. Slater, and Jenna L. was replaced by a less-attractive Liz Phair.
2) Rupert rules! I loved that when he came back for the first time as a juror, he was still wearing his tie-dye shirt. Everyone who'd been kicked out before him had cleaned themselves up and changed into fancy clothes, but not Rupert. I was beginning to wonder if he even owned another shirt until he came out for the final jury wearing a button-down shirt.
3) Big Tom creates killer catchphrases. I hope that "Don't be stupid, stupid!" becomes as big as "Show me the money!" did.
4) Large groups of people are always retarded. Who the hell would want to be at MSG to watch this live, let alone pay a scalper $450 for tickets? The cheering, the booing, the "awwwwwww-ing" was all so grating... it's okay to watch the show, but come on, get a life!
5) There are exceptions. The one time I was pleased with the audience was when they booed Jerri so much that she left during the commercial break. Hilarious! Her life is just completely ruined. She could've been singing "The National Anthem" and still gotten booed offstage.
6) CBS is just as bad as NBC. Anyone who DVRed (or, if old-school, taped) the finale and not the reunion missed finding out the winner. It's not that hard to properly schedule programming, or if it was planned that the winner would be revealed during the reunion, tell people about it!
7) The "shocking twist" was a major let-down. Viewer's choice award is a cool concept (especially since it will hopefully make Rupert a millionaire), but it's hardly a shocking twist. Oh, and if CBS is reading, you may want to fix the voting link, which doesn't seem to be registering votes at all.
Now that the season is over, hopefully I can cut myself off from Survivor as I did after the first season ended.

Simpsons geek rant:
It's bad enough that the humor has vanished from the show, but now the show isn't even caring enough to properly follow its own history. Milhouse claimed Homer was his first kiss... has he forgotten about Samantha Stanky? And Homer claimed he's only kissed one woman is his life, when in fact also he's kissed Mindy Simmons, Lurlene, Amber (his Vegas wife), and even Selma (at least I think it was Selma) during last night's episode! Come on people, pay attention...

Friday, May 07, 2004

Guess I'll finally be watching an episode of Duck Dodgers...

Chalk up another win for the Yankees... take that, Spider-man 2 and Bud Selig!

Fairly disappointed in the Friends series finale. Aside from the utter lack of humor (which has plagued the show all season), it was sappy, predictable, unrealistic, and tried to tie up too many ends. Given the nosedive the show has taken over the past few years, I'm glad it was finally put to rest. Simpsons, take note. Oh, and anyone who DVRed the show and tried to watch it later got screwed out of the last 5 minutes unless they happened to record ER as well. Way to go NBC, which always refuses to start and end its popular programs on the hour / half hour.

On to better television... Hulk Hogan (and his 24-inch "pythons") hosts Classic Jukebox May 16 at 8pm on VH1 Classic. You can bet I'll be watching.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Haters may call the Yankees the "Evil Empire" and curse the way they throw money at players, but even the most jaded have to applaud the Yankees refusal to put ads for Spider-Man 2 on the bases in Yankee Stadium, one of the worst ideas MLB has ever implemented. Well, to give full disclosure, they'll do it during batting practice and for one game, but I still give them credit.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The Olsen twins are on TRL today, and I pushed so hard to do a parody of The Shining for our cold open, but unfortunatley all the ignorant TRL viewers have probably never heard of, let alone seen, The Shining. Therefore, my blog will become the final resting place for this idea:
The Shining Cold Open
Damien rides through the studio hallways on a tricycle, with the camera following behind him. As he rounds a corner, he sees the Olsen twins standing hand in hand.
Olsens (in unison): Hello Damien. Come and play with us. Come and play with us, Damien. Forever... and ever... and ever!
Damien (turning to the camera): Awesome! TRL starts now.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Some people have way too much money.

I miss high school...

There's an article in the Daily News today about the cast of SNL cracking up in a sketch during this weekend's show. The author claims that cast members laughing rarely happens on SNL. What the hell show has he been watching? Jimmy Fallon cracks up during every sketch he's in... and, surprise surprise, he's the one who started Saturday night's fiasco. The producers should start keeping a running tally during each show, and then at the end beat Fallon with a paddle for each time he laughs. He'll be a human Pavlov's dog. Maybe that'll teach him.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Well, the Simpsons strike has been settled... apparently Fox called the actors' bluff and threatened to shut down production. No numbers have been released, but word is they got slight raises and no percentage of profits. Or, as Joey Tribbiani would say, they folded "like a cheap hooker who got hit in the stomach by a fat guy with sores on his face."

Saturday, May 01, 2004

The sports section in today's New York Times had an article about Met Jose Reyes' latest setback in the recovery from his hamstring injury. In the article, his trainer says that Reyes "is kicking himself" over the slow recovery time. If he is kicking himself, it's no wonder it's not healing correctly...