Saturday, December 30, 2006

When my friend sent me this link to (what appears to be) actual footage of Saddam Hussein's hanging taken on a cellphone, I hesitated before watching it. Then I hesitated again before linking to it. But, as you can tell, I decided to do both. I don't feel great about either decision. It's not particularly entertaining to watch. In fact, it's unsettling, and even a little grotesque. So now it's your decision. Watch it if you like. Or don't watch it. You can even chastise me for posting it. I leave it in your hands.
(update: the original site seems to be clogged, and Drudge Report, which was the original linker, is now directing people to watch it on Google Video here).

I will say that I'm glad the world is rid of Saddam.

And on that note, this will be my final post of 2006. But I'll be back at the start of the new year. Hope everyone has a fun and safe celebration tomorrow night. I'll be working at MTV Goes Gold: New Year's Eve 2007. Feel free to tune in... Lady Sovereign is performing.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Clearing Up the Land of Confusion
The buzz around the 2007 Genesis reunion tour hasn't been so great as of yet, because
1) They've only announced European dates so far, and
2) Peter Gabriel is not involved.

However, I have it from a VERY good source (who I will not reveal) that
1) They will be playing Madison Square Garden in July, which means that U.S. dates are forthcoming, and
2) Peter Gabriel will be joining Genesis on several European dates.

You heard it here first, whether you care or not.

And while we're on the subject of Phil Collins, VH1 Classic has been airing an amazing show called Classic Albums, which takes you inside the making of, well, classic albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, Who's Next, Nevermind, Rumours, Bat Out of Hell, and Hysteria. The show is exciting because they have artists and producers sit at soundboards and break down songs into individual tracks, singling out backing vocals, random instruments, etc. Great stuff. But imagine my surprise a couple of weeks ago when I see they are focusing an episode on Phil Collins's Face Value. Sure, that has a classic song in "In the Air Tonight." But to call that a classic album? Hardly.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I still haven't seen a bunch of movies released at the end of the year (The Good Sheppard, The Pursuit of Happyness, Rocky Balboa, Dreamgirls, Pan's Labyrinth, The Queen, Volver, Notes on a Scandal, The Good German, The Painted Veil, Bobby), and I missed a bunch of movies that were well-reviewed (Wordplay, The Devil Wears Prada, Half Nelson, The Last King of Scotland, Little Children, The History Boys, The Illusionist, The Science of Sleep). But based on what I have seen, here are my 10 favorite movies of 2006 (in alphabetical order):
Casino Royale
Children of Men
The Departed
An Incovenient Truth
Inside Man
Jackass: Number Two
Little Miss Sunshine
Mission Impossible III
Thank You For Smoking
United 93

And my five least-favorite movies (also in alphabetical order):
Basic Instinct II
Clerks II
For Your Consideration (just because it was SUCH a disappointment)
Grandma's Boy*
Nacho Libre

* Even though they're listed alphabetically, this is unquestionably the worst movie I have seen this year, if not this century.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Bah, humbug!" No, that's too strong
'Cause it is my favorite holiday
But all this year's been a busy blur
Don't think I have the energy
To add to my already mad rush
Just 'cause it 'tis the season.
The perfect gift for me would be
Completions and connections left from

Last year, ski shop
Encounter, most interesting.
Had her number but never the time
Most of '06 passed along those lines.
So deck those halls, trim those trees
Raise up cups of Christmas cheer
I just need to catch my breath
Christmas by myself this year.

Calendar picture, frozen landscape
Chilled this room for twenty-four days
Evergreens, sparkling snow
Get this winter over with!
Flashback to springtime, saw her again
Would've been good to go for lunch
Couldn't agree when we were both free
We tried, we said we'd keep in touch.

Didn't, of course, 'til summertime,
Out to the beach to her boat could I join her?
No, this time it was me
Sunburn in the third degree.
Now the calendar's just one page
And, of course, I am excited
Tonight's the night, I've set my mind
Not to do too much about it.

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
But I think I'll miss this one this year.

Party dashing through the snow
Of course I bundled up too tight
Last minute have-to-do's
A few cards a few calls'
Cause it's R-S-V-P
No thanks, no party lights
It's Christmas Eve, guttery laugh
Turned down all of my advice.

Last fall I had a night to myself,
Same gal called, halloween party
Waited all night for her to show
This time her car wouldn't go
Forget it, it's cold, it's getting late
Trudge on home to celebrate
In a quiet way, unwind
Doing Christmas right this time.

A&P has provided me
With the world's smallest turkey
Already in the oven, nice and hot
Oh damn! Guess what I forgot?
So on with the boots, back out in the snow
To the only all-night grocery,
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
In the line is that gal I've been chasing all year!

"I'm spending this one alone," she said.
"Need a break; this year's been crazy."
I said, "Me too, but why are you?
You mean you forgot cranberries too?"
Then suddenly we laughed and laughed
Caught on to what was happening
That Christmas magic's brought this tale
To a very happy ending! "

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Couldn't miss this one this year!

Friday, December 22, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
Well, I'm now That Guy on the staff. We had our holiday dinner on Wednesday night, and at the end of the meal (after many drinks had already been consumed), I came to an agreement with the producer that if I did 5 shots of whiskey, I could be in the "hot seat" (a.k.a. be the producer) for the 2nd half of Thursday's show. The shots arrived, and they were closer to double-shots (or at least 1 1/2). And even with no time limit, I downed them all in about 65 seconds.
There are a lot of gaps the rest of the night, but at least I didn't get sick or make a total ass of myself. I did at one point exclaim very loudly, "I'm really excited to meet (Evanescence lead singer) Amy Lee. It's not that I think she's that pretty or anything... I just want to meet her." Um...
The next morning when my alarm went off at 8am, I got up to go to take a piss and immediately had to get back to bed. I called my boss and promised I'd come in, but he'd have to give me some time.
At 9:30 I got up to brush my teeth, but then had to go back to bed.
Took a shower at 11:00, then had to go back to bed.
But in my contact at noon, then had to go back to bed.
Finally I rolled into work around 1:30. For the rest of the day I was treated like an animal at the zoo, with my bosses bringing various execs to my office to show off how horrible I looked, and had to deal with everyone berating me for not having "pulled the trigger" to get the alcohol out of my system. There is also video footage of me doing the shots being e-mailed through the staff, which I'm not crazy about.
But sure enough, I sat in the hot seat at the end of the show. And in retrospect, I don't think it was worth it.

Honorable Mention
Michelle Trachtenberg came on yesterday to promote her new movie, Black Christmas. We were discussing if she'd been naughty or nice this year, and when we inquired about the naughtiest thing she'd done all year, she said, "Oh, I don't think I can say that. Let's keep it behind the bedroom door." Ah Michelle, you dirty slut...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A few years ago (it may have been more like 10), I had a Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey daily calendar (I'm a big fan of the daily calendar... much more so than wall calendars). It's the best calendar I've ever had. Ever December since then I look to see if they're putting out a new edition, but they haven't. I just looked again for a 2007 calendar, and sadly, no dice. But at least I did come across this article that Jack Handey wrote for the New Yorker a few months ago. Good stuff!

By the way, if anyone has any ideas for a good daily calendar, please let me know. No Onion, no Sudoku, no Bushisms, no Simpsons trivia, and nothing with animals please. Thanks in advance.

This video is the PSA equivalent of the Final Destination movies. Who knew that insurance salesman could be so entertaining?
(Special thumbs-up to the lawnmower accident)

Oh, and the company responsible for making it still exists.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Even the Losers Get Unlucky Sometimes
Went to another Losers Lounge show on Saturday night. This one was a tribute to Elton John. The show was entertaining, although it lacked the spark of both the Queen and Stevie Wonder shows I'd been to. I think they do a better job with artists whose music is almost universally upbeat and energetic. They had Elton's kitsch factor down, but the slow songs, while sounding good, dragged and sucked the lifeforce out of the room.
That being said, cheers to Victoria Liedtke for a rousing "Philadelphia Freedom," Mike Fornatale for "Take Me To the Pilot," back-up singer Connie Petruk who stepped into the spotlight for "Country Comfort," and Mark Rozzo for a beautiful "Levon." And as always, the Kustard Kings killed it all the music. Jeers to Joe Hurley for butchering "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters"... he sounded like a mix between Tom Waits and the lead singer of Crash Test Dummies doped up on Valium.
And here's hoping they take my suggestion and pay tribute to The Police at their next show.

Monday, December 18, 2006

With Friends Like This, Who Needs Enemies?
My friend over at The Sticking Point recently asked his friends and readers to write parodies of his entries, as he thinks he needs the piss taken out of him. Today he posted the first one, which happens to be written by yours truly. I think I did a pretty good job (if you're not familiar with his site, this post was my biggest inspiration). Check it out if you've got the time... it's better than anything I'll post on my own site today, I'm sure.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Nighttrain Is Entering the Station
Straight from Axl's mouth: "Chinese Democracy" is (tentatively) hitting stores March 6th!!!

It's a Hanukkah miracle!!!

(Why am I setting myself up for disappointment again???)

Update: I forwarded the article to my bosses, and after 3 years of my pestering them, they finally pitched to the music department to have GnR perform on TRL during February's Spankin' New Music Week. Of course, that would only work if the album actually does come out March 6th. And Axl would have to say yes. The chances are virtually nil. But I'm already dreaming of that show which kicks off with Axl screaming "You know where you are?!?" from the roof of the MTV building before tearing into "Welcome to the Jungle."

TRL Moment of the Week
On Monday we had a webcam interview with Michael Chiklis and Julian McMahon, who are currently in Vancouver shooting Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. They were in position, with excellent audio and video quality. But we needed to make sure they could speak to and hear our VJ. So our producer asked VJSusie, who would be conducting the interview, to speak into the mic. VJSusie, however, thought it was a simple mic check for our own audio department, and so, with an energy and playfulness that the staff has never seen before, she yelled into the mic "Yo, yo, yo, (VJ)Susie in the hooooooooouse!" Chiklis and McMahon gave each other a confused "What the fuck have we gotten ourselves into?" look and burst out laughing.
And once again, TRL distinguished itself as the show for sophisticated journalistic interviews.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Couple quick notes about the Golden Globe nominations:
- Bobby? What the fuck?
- Where's United 93? And Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson (which I haven't seen, but I heard that he's unbelievable)?
- I would've given some nod to Children of Men, but not sure what... maybe director...
- No love for The Wire? Or Friday Night Lights? Or South Park? Or 24's Gregory Itzin or Jean Smart?
- Big Love? What the fuck?

Also, after reading this article about how Mark McGwire currently spends his days, I got to wondering: If he's elected to the Hall of Fame, will he enter as an Oakland Athletic or a St. Louis Cardinal? I think he has to go in as an A (he spent most of his career there, racked up the majority of his stats there, earned Rookie of the Year there, and won a World Series title there. But my officemate and one of my friends both say he'd go in as a Card, since that's where he set the HR record and that's what he's most remembered for (even though the record has already been broken and that's where his image first became tainted with the Andreo discovery).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Last weekend, the New York Times Magazine put out its annual Year in Ideas issue. It covers everything from floors that harvest energy from walking pedestrians to that stupid beer bladder for people too cheap to buy beer at sporting events. A lot of these ideas are ingenious... it makes me a little sad that I'm wasting my brain power coming up with stunts to do with Nelly Furtado (for the record, today we're having her create a Grammy acceptance speech, Mad-Libs style).
Also, of all the world-altering ideas, why was this one my favorite? (Since some of you have trouble logging onto the NYT site, I'll cut and paste the article)

N.C.A.A. Psyop
By Joel Lovell
In March, the
University of California at Berkeley men's basketball team played its final home game against the University of Southern California, whose team was led by its star guard, Gabe Pruitt. Pruitt was in the midst of a terrific year for U.S.C., averaging about 17 points a game, and for Cal, as the U.C. Berkeley team is known, the game was a must-win if it was to get a bid to the N.C.A.A. tournament. Cal needed to figure out a way to keep Pruitt from having another monster outing.
The solution to how to neutralize Pruitt came not from a game plan of X's and O's but from military-style psychological operations. In the week leading up to the game, members of Cal's Rally Committee, who earlier obtained Pruitt's Instant Messenger screen name, created an I.M. account for a fictional U.C.L.A. coed named Victoria. "Victoria" began flirting with Pruitt, sending him photos of herself (pictures of a very attractive woman that the Cal students had taken off the Internet) and telling him that she and her friends wanted to party with him and his teammates back in L.A. after the game against Cal. Pruitt responded in kind, writing, "You look like you have a very fit body" and "Now I want to c u so bad," and eventually giving her his phone number and agreeing to get together when he returned from the game.
On game day, when Pruitt went to the foul line for the first time, Cal students began chanting: "Victoria! Victoria!" and reciting Pruitt's phone number. Pruitt, a 79 percent free-throw shooter on the season, missed both shots and had one of his worst games of the year, shooting 3 for 13 from the field. Cal won the game by 11 points and went on to the N.C.A.A. tournament.
After the loss, Pruitt said of the Psyop tactic: "I've never seen anything like that, that big. It's up there." He then added, "My dad got a kick out of it, but he kind of told me to be careful."

Brilliant. Utterly, diabolically brilliant.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Don't Be Cruel
The new issue of New York magazine (the Best/Worst of 2006 edition, no less) included an ad for Jelvis, the Jewish Elvis. Curious, I visited its website today, where I discovered that Jelvis is actually "funnyman" Willard Morgan, and that Jelvis is nothing but an offensive, obnoxious stereotype of Jews that happens to (somewhat) look and sing like Elvis Presley. Turns out, however, that Morgan hasn't merely set his sights on Jews... he has other characters to offend homosexuals, Asians, French, and more. And none of them seem funny.
Fortunately, he doesn't seem to be very popular... the only listed Jelvis sighting happened way back in February 2001, and he has no upcoming appearances listed. Let's keep it that way.

Monday, December 11, 2006

After the Dolphins' dominating shutout victory over the Patriots yesterday, I need to revise my theory of why they win. It doesn't happen only when I watch games at the Village Pourhouse… it happens when I watch the Fins on TV, period. They won their first game in Week 3, when I joined a friend from Pittsburgh to watch the Steelers play the Bengals at a Steelers bar on the UWS (Blondie's), while the Dolphins vs. Titans played on a tiny screen in the corner. Not another win until I watched them again Week 9, when they disrupted Chicago's unbeaten season. That was the first of 3 straight games (and wins) I watched at the Pourhouse, followed by a victory on Thanksgiving Day that I watched at home in Florida. I missed the following week, when they lost to Jacksonville, but yesterday's game was nationally televised, so I watched them destroy the Pats from the comfort of my couch. I'm sure I'll have to go to a bar in order to see them play the Bills next week, but fortunately I think I can skip the Pourhouse. At least if this new hypothesis holds up.

And speaking of football, the end of this high school football game is amazing, both for Plano East's insane comeback, the way they then blew it, and the crazy announcers.

Friday, December 08, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
This story was relayed to me by the other writer, so I may get some of the specifics wrong.
Gwen Stefani was here to tape a performance of "Wind It Up." We also had her tape a cold open, with the following copy:

Gwen looked over the copy and was ready to go. But just as the cameras were about to roll, Gwen's handler stepped in and said she would have to go over the copy with Gwen. She took the cue card from the writer, held it up for Gwen, and literally explained it line by line.
"So here you say 'Hi, I'm Gwen Stefani,' because you want to introduce yourself. Then say you've got presents for today's audience, because you're going to be giving out the gifts. And of course you have to read that you're gonna 'rock the stage with a performance.' And this 'get ready to wind it up,' that's because it's the name of your song. And if you feel like it, end with 'TRL starts now.'"
What would Gwen do without this woman?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I know I've been very lax about posting lately... but life at work has been very hectic, life outside of work has been very hectic... time just seems to be slipping by. But tonight is the MTV Networks holiday party, so hopefully I'll let off some steam and be ready to post tomorrow.

In the meantime, my pervert readers can enjoy the best nude scenes of the year.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

If you don't feel like doing any work today, here are two major timewasters:
- This thing is so oddly hypnotic. And radio stations sure are playing a lot of Christmas music these days.
- The 50 greatest commercials of the 80's? Where's the 'Noid? Where's Little Caesar's "Pizza Pizza"? Where's the Fruity Pebbles ad where Barney pretends to be a rapper to get Fred's cereal? Where's the Circuit City commercial where the kid from The Last Action Hero brings the walkman in and says "Yesterday I bought this, and today I saw this... just opened the paper and there it was" and the cashier pays him the difference and the kid says "That's it?" and the cashier says "That's it" and the kid says "Cool"? Just wondering...

Monday, December 04, 2006

For almost as long as I've been working at TRL, I've wanted to start the show with a cold open in which a robot (I'm picturing Paulie's robot from Rocky IV) does something and then, in its cool robot voice, says "TRL... starts... now..." There is no rhyme or reason for this obsession, but I've pitched it countless times, and it always gets rejected. Now it's basically a running joke throughout the staff.
I'm only telling you this because it probably explains why I like this robot version of Pulp Fiction so much.

Two thoughts on this weekend's sports developments:

1) The BCS should take the C out of its abbreviation, because the system is nothing but bullshit. How could they put UF into the title game instead of Michigan? True, UF had a tougher schedule. But they lost by 10 to Auburn, and barely eeked out wins against Tennessee and unranked South Carolina. In fact, 5 of their wins came by a touchdown or less, with 4 of those against unranked teams. Michigan's only loss came against the #1 team in the country, on the road, by a mere 3 points. Their average margin of victory was 17.3 points, and their closest victory was by 7 (yes, UF's margin of victory was 17.5, but that includes blowout shutouts against 4-8 UCF and 2-9 West Carolina that gives them a big cushion). The argument against a rematch is stupid too (nice job by Gene Wojciechowski pointing out that Ali-Frazer II and III were pretty exciting… I might add that the 84-85 NBA Finals rematch of Lakers vs. Celtics was damn good too). Michigan is clearly a better team… and they got screwed.

2) I apologize to the Miami Dolphins for not watching the game at the Village Pourhouse this weekend. They basically had to win out to have a chance at the playoffs, so this loss to the Jaguars basically puts a fork in their season. I did have a good excuse for not being there: I was taking care of my sister, who is recovering from surgery (I don't want to get into specifics, but let's just say that she'll be fine, minus half her thyroid). Still, it's tough to know that another Fins season is a bust.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The TRL Graveyard Returns
Ashanti came by on Tuesday with the new Tupac video, which she appears in. I pitched this cold open, which got shot down not because it was deemed insensitive, but because our viewers "wouldn't get it." Whatever.








Also shot down was a stunt with Josh Duhamel, here on Tuesday to promote Touristas (a movie about Americans in Brazil having their organs removed and sold on the black market), in which we get various animal organs from butchers (kidney, liver, tongue) and have Josh identify them. Instead the prepped and pitched another of my ideas, Fergie or Fergie, in which we give a fact (this Fergie's middle name is Ann) and he would have to say if it's his girlfriend Stacy Ferguson or Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. No surprise, his publicist shot that down before he even showed up. But that doesn't belong in the Graveyard... more like the TRL Burn Unit.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sorry I'm posting nothing but links lately... my mind is elsewhere. Nevertheless:
- Here's the beginning of The Big Lebowski as played out by Nintendo Wii.
- More fun at the expense of Michael Richards.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Has anyone not yet seen this recut Seinfeld yet? If not, it's damn funny.

Has anyone not yet seen this parody of Pink Is the New Blog? If not, it's moderately amusing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

TV Land just announced the 100 Greatest TV Quotes & Catchphrases. As with any list, it's missing some big ones. Too many to list, in fact. But here are some, taken from my childhood memories. I'm giving you readers the benefit of the doubt by just listing the quotes and not the shows / characters.

I've fallen… and I can't get up!
Did I do that?
Not the mama!
Don't be ridiculous.
I pity the fool…
Ay-oh! Oh-ay!
Ha, I kill me!
Mikey likes it!
And knowing is half the battle.
No whammy, no whammy, no whammy… stop!
Cut… it… out.
K… I… D… S… Yes!
Take off, hoser.
We just want to pump… you up.

And, of course…

It's pumpkinninny!

Monday, November 27, 2006

As surprising as this may be, it turns out that you can't post just anything on Wikipedia. But fear not... for those entries that don't make it, you can find them at Wikidumper. Good thing it exists... I'd been wondering about Kynoids for years.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm off to Florida for an extended Thanksgiving weekend, so LSTT will be on pause until Monday. Hope you all enjoy your turkey.

Take That, Corey Feldman
The other day, Lindsay posted "The Audition" and called it "the most classic Mr. Show sketch of all." I disagree... my vote is for Genuine Hollywood Factual Report: Josh Fenderman. Judge for yourselves (and ignore the tech problems of the first few seconds of the clip). But really, how can you top that dance?
I'm also surprised that Lindsay isn't a bigger Josh Fenderman fan because, as I recall, she lived in the same building as Feldog for a while.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Pour, Pour Pitiful Me
Went back to the Village Pourhouse, and the Fins victory made them 3-0 since I've started watching games there. Alas, I'm not sure that I'll be able to return. At 1:15pm I ordered some boneless BBQ wings. 40 minutes (and 2 complaints to the waitress) later, my friends and I started placing bets as to whether I'd get my food before halftime. The answer: no. More complaints actually caused my waitress to say, "Argh, I'm so mad at you" and air-strangle me, as if it was my fault that I hadn't gotten my food. Sometime around 2:15, she brings out a plate of spicy bone-in wings. I tell her that's not what I ordered, she took it back, and returned 20 minutes after that with the correct food. Although by that point she had forgotten about my friend's BBQ chicken sandwich, and actually had to be reminded what he had ordered, which means she never placed the order with the kitchen. We left a skimpy $6 tip on a $75 tab, and now I'm not sure I can go back there. I'll be in Florida on Sunday for this week's game, and if the Fins lose, I'll have no choice but to return. Their slim playoff hopes hinge on it!

* Quick note: the highlight of my time there is that one of my friends kept accidentally referring to Chad Johnson as Occo Chinko instead of Ocho Cinco, which in the wrong situation could have landed him in Michael Richards-ish hot water.

I just watched the video of Michael Richards using the "N" word repeatedly at a comedy club, and quite frankly, it is absolutely indefensible. He wasn't doing a bit, he wasn't trying to make a joke or a point... he simply lost his cool at an African-American heckler. I can't imagine how his career will recover from this, nor am I sure it should. Inexcusable behavior.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A co-worker was given a 20Q Music and passed it along to me (since she knows how much I love collecting random crap). The device asks you questions, and based on your answers it's supposed to guess what music-related person, place, or thing you're thinking about. For some reason the gadget isn't working, so I decided to give the online version a test-drive.
"Weird Al" Yankovic was what I had in mind (don't ask me why), and here are the questions and how I answered:
1. It is classified as Person.
2. Are you a group? No.
3. Do you perform Rock? Sometimes.
4. Were you on tour in 2005? No.

5. Do you lead a group? No.
6. Are you from Philadelphia? No.
7. Do you sing? Yes.
8. Do you appear in movies? Yes.
9. Were you popular in the 50's? No.
10. Have you performed live since 2000? Yes.
11. Do you wear makeup? Sometimes.
12. Does your name start with the letter J? No.
13. Are you black? No.
14. Do you have blonde hair? No.
15. Do you wear strange costumes? Sometimes.
16. Are you a lead singer? Yes.
17. Have you had a Top 40 hit in the last 5 years? Yes.
18. I guessed that it was Björk? Wrong.
19. Were you popular in the 60's? No.
20. I guessed that it was Lindsay Lohan? Wrong.
21. Do you perform Pop? Yes.
22. Do you play Alternative music? Sometimes.
23. I guessed that it was Alanis Morissette? Wrong.
24. Were you popular in the 70's? No.
25. Are you from the U.K.? No.
26. Does your name start with the letter C? No.
27. Are you known for your live performances? Doubtful.
28. I guessed that it was Mandy Moore? Wrong.
29. I guessed that it was Paris Hilton? Wrong.
30. I guessed that it was Andrea Corr? Wrong.

Then it gave up and told me I'd won. But a hollow victory it was, given how far off its guesses were. When's the last time someone confused Weird Al for Lindsay Lohan? Or Andrea Corr?

A co-worker just sent me this e-mail, with the subject line Quote of the Day:

"I may not have the type of voice you like, but I can sing. You can't take that away from me, 'cause singing is a gift from God, and when people say I can't sing, it's kind of like insulting God."
- Fergie tells Vibe magazine

Doesn't the Bible say that humans are created in the image of God? If that's true, isn't that kind of like insulting God? I mean, look at Fergie's face!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bird Is the Word
Billy Ripken, you and your "Fuck Face" bat can step aside... there's a new controversial card in town, courtesy of Jets RB Leon Washington. There he is, giving not one, but two middle fingers.
Or is he simply trying to make two W's, as some people are saying?

Two television notes:
1) Did anyone else catch Robot Chicken on Sunday night? They had a parody of The Nightmare Before Christmas called The Nightmare Before Hanukkah. Too bad The Critic did the exact same premise (but better) 12 years ago (sorry, can't find The Critic clip, but it's in there). I know it's not the most original idea, but if it's been done before, let it go.
2) Did anyone else catch last week's Iconoclasts with Quentin Tarantino and Fiona Apple? I'm amazed those two are friends. Fiona hates to talk, and Quentin never ever ever shuts up. And I can't count the times Fiona faked a laugh or feigned enthusiasm at something Quentin was rambling about… was quite entertaining, actually. Almost worth sitting through an hour of his endless jabbering. Almost.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The All-TIME 100 Albums? My ass. Where's Pink Floyd? Appetite for Destruction? Elvis Costello? Odyssey and Oracle? Tommy? Forever Changes? Ten? Marquee Moon?

Like a Virgin
This might be old news in the blogosphere, but I'm just finding it now, so bear with me. Harry Knowles, the purveyor of all things geek, has written a bizarre little rant questioning whether the invincible cheerleader in Heroes (played by Hayden Panettiere) has a rejuvenating hymen.
I'm not sure if that question is creepy or brilliant.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Driven to the Pourhouse
For some reason, I'm a sucker for streaks. As in, streaks that I'm a part of. Maybe I mean routines.* Either way, I fear I'm currently stuck in one.
Last Sunday I went to the Village Pourhouse with two friends to watch NFL games. I was rooting for the Dolphins, R___ was rooting for the Redskins, and B___ for the Lions. All three won. Quite a memorable feat, since those teams had been a combined 4-17 at that point and were playing teams a combined 16-5. I returned yesterday to watch with three different friends... J___ rooting for the Steelers, S___ rooting for the Jets, S___ rooting for the Eagles, and I again rooting for the Fins. Again, all our teams won (And, I should point out, R___ and B___ were both absent, and their teams both lost). I'm telling you, this bar is charmed.
Now I'm thinking that I should watch football there every Sunday to keep the Dolphins' win streak alive. But this leads to several problems, such as:
1) It's not that convenient to get to from my apartment. 2 subways, in fact. And to get there for 1:00 games, I give up some precious sleeping-in time.
2) I end up eating and drinking at least $40 worth of stuff while there. Meaning it would be an expensive enterprise to continue throughout the season.
But I know that if I skip a week and the Dolphins lose, I'll be kicking myself. And really, the Fins have to run the table to even have a chance for the playoffs this season.
Damn my pseudo-OCD personality!

* The best example of this is my NFL suicide pool, where every week you have to pick one team to win. Your team wins and you move onto the next week; if it ties or loses, you're out. And you can only pick each team once per season. Last year my co-worker and I made it to Week 17 before losing, but at least that put us in the money. This year we'd made it to Week 6 with no problem. And every week, I was the one who physically entered the pick. But for Week 7, I was in Orlando for a wedding and without computer access, so my co-worker had to enter the pick. Sure enough, we lost. And I'm convinced it was due to the deviation in our routine.

Over the weekend I came home to find another message on my answering machine intended for Professor Brian Greene. Here it is:
Hello, I was trying to reach Brian Greene, high-energy physicist . My name is _____ and I’m in Oklahoma City. My number is _____. And I’ve derived an equation which involves the divergence of a field that is extremely strong coming from all directions, um, such that a blockage of that field in any way would totally destroy whatever was involved. Um, it has some potential, and I was wanting to run it by you and see if there was a group of people I could run it by. I’ve contacted Professor _____ not knowing that you were at Columbia as well. But just to get this out in a forum, because I’m saying some things that match up the forces, that this one field would explain a heck of a lot what’s going on. It’s not that your work is, uh, irrelevant; it’s just that, it’s subsumed by this field. And I just wanted to get in with a group of acadecmicians… acad… acadecmicians who would be able to discuss it without assuming it was wrong or without my putting it forth as right. I’m just more curious than anything. Um, I have a derivational paper, if you’re interested. Again, my number is _____. Thank you.
So let me get this straight... you want to see if he would be interested in meeting to discuss some crackpot theory that would render all of his years of work inconsequential? Especially with someone with such a poor grasp of vocabulary and sentence structure? No, I don't think he would be interested in that, thank you very much.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wow, leave it to professional wrestlers and people with Down Syndrome to record the worst songs of all time.
And I warn you, these songs are TERRIBLE... listen at your own risk.

TRL Moment of the Week
Vanessa Hudgens was our special co-host for the day on Monday. Her video "Come Back To Me" had spent a few days on the countdown, but not since October 16th. So we did a stunt with her where her video could "come back to" the countdown if she wanted to replace one of that day's requests with her own video (she ended up replacing Weird Al's "White & Nerdy").
At the end of the show, VJDamien was supposed to say to her that she did a great job and that she can come back anytime to co-host again. During the #1 video, VJDamien was chatting with her and asked her if she did want to come back tomorrow. She replied, "I don't know... Will my video be on the countdown?"
For someone so young and new to the industry, she sure learns quickly.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Some quick music links:

1) Why can I not stop laughing at this Ray Charles? And yes, I know I'm going to hell.

2) The new Johnny Cash video, "God's Gonna Cut You Down," features, well, just about everyone (Johnny Depp, Flea, Adam Levine, Kate Moss, Keith Richards, Sheryl Crow, Iggy Pop, Justin Timberlake, Kris Kristofferson, Brian Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Dennis Hopper, Kanye West, the Dixie Chicks, Jay-Z, Anthony Kiedis, Bono, Chris Martin... I'm sure there's more, but I'm not gonna watch it again to double-check, even though it is really good). Watch it here. And yes, unfortunately you'll have to sit through an ad or two. Stupid

3) Are you Team R.E.M. or Team U2?

Well look what's been found... produced by Sean Beaven and everything.

GnR's camp promised Rolling Stone in the last issue that it would be released this year... maybe my wish is finally coming true.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The good news for New Yorkers (and especially me): Biscuit BBQ has reopened in Brooklyn. Hopefully they'll start doing their monthly "pig pulls" again.

The better news: their new slogan is awesome!

Wild Side
According to ABC News, Christopher Walken will be playing Ozzy Osbourne in the big-screen version of Motley Crue's The Dirt (and Val Kilmer will play David Lee Roth). If the report is true, that is a fascinating choice. Walken is 5 years older than Ozzy, but will be playing a version of him from 20 years ago. That seems to defy all laws of physics. However, if any actor will be able to capture Ozzy's quirks, it has to be Walken.
By the way, if you haven't read The Dirt, I highly suggest you go out and buy it right now. It's no great literary achievement. But man, those guys were animals. I cannot fathom how they will be able to translate much of their story into a film suitable for mass consumption... in fact, watering it down to avoid an NC-17 could be a disaster. If you take away the sex and the drugs, what's left? Here's hoping they can figure this out.

Also, McSweeney's sure has Aaron Sorkin's number.

And finally, who else thinks that Blogger sure does suck lately?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Here's a breaking news story from the AP today: people in New York City can have pot delivered directly to their apartments. Wow, who knew? What, has this douchebag reporter been cryogenically frozen since 1999? What's next on his agenda, Hanson-mania?
Then again, maybe I'm being too harsh. I guess people who don't live in NYC might not know that this occurs. I'm constantly surprised at the number of my friends and acquaintances who have never even been to NYC (not to be immodest, but I didn't grow up in a Podunk, middle-of-nowhere town, so it is slightly suprising). When I went to Orlando for my good friend's (from high school) wedding, I was amazed at how few of them had never visited the city. I was spoiled: my parents grew up here and my sister was born here, and although my family moved to Florida shortly before I was born, my dad still had to come up here for business meetings every 6 weeks or so, and he'd bring us with him once a year. So at a young age I got used to the city and how things work around here.
I suppose that if you're not exposed to this until later in life, it can come as a shock. I remember very clearly when the aforementioned groom came to visit me during the summer of 1999, when I was here interning for MTV. He wandered around with his head tilted upward, awestruck by the size of the buildings and all that the city had to offer (almost to the point of walking into oncoming traffic because he wasn't paying attention to the street). It amazed me that he was so taken aback by the city. I guess it's all a matter of experience.
So basically what I'm trying to say is that I think this story is ridiculously outdated. But maybe I'm wrong.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Top 100 Songs of the 80s (a.k.a. The Post That Fully Reveals Just How Lame I Am and Causes My Readers to Abandon Me)
VH1 recently ran their 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s, and yes, I sat through all 5 hours of it. The list was voted on by their viewers, which probably explains why it's such a train wreck (it's also very surprising for a VH1 countdown like this to be missing big names like Peter Gabriel, Tina Turner, Huey Lewis, and Paul Simon. There's quite an emphasis on one-hit wonders). Therefore, I had to come up with my own list.
A couple of notes about my list that will hopefully explain my choices:
a) These are all songs that made a singles chart either here in the U.S. or in the U.K. Obviously it would be a much different list if I included album tracks and obscure songs, but that's usually how these things are done.
b) No cover songs.
c) This list isn't the Top 100 80s Songs of the 80s, but it does focus on 80s music, which has a very distinct sound. Therefore I don't necessarily think these are the best songs in terms of quality, but my favorites of this type of music (with some exceptions of songs that I truly think are great no matter what decade)
d) I've only written comments for select songs. No real reason, except that I didn't want to make this post too bulky.
e) Arranging the order was terribly tedious and imprecise. There are many songs that could've swapped places with one another. But you get the general gist of it. And I'll stick with the top 5.

100. “Opposites Attract” – Paula Abdul: Only because of the MC Skat Cat section
99. “Wipe Out” –Fat Boys f/ Beach Boys: I say it's not technically a cover, because the original didn't have lyrics. Has there ever been a more bizarre collaboration?
98. “No Myth” – Michael Penn
97. “True Faith” – New Order
96. “Johnny Are You Queer?” – Josie Cotton
95. “Pop Goes the World” – Men Without Hats:
Yes, I like this better than "Safety Dance."
94. “Biko” – Peter Gabriel
93. “You’re the Inspiration” – Chicago
92. “Break My Stride” – Matthew Wilder
91. “Kyrie” – Mr. Mister
90. “Somebody” – Bryan Adams
89. “Self Control” – Laura Branigan
88. “Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina & the Waves
87. “Wouldn’t It Be Good” – Nik Kershaw
86. “When We Was Fab” – George Harrison
85. “When I’m With You” – Sheriff:
I'm a sucker for power ballads.
84. “Oh Sherrie” – Steve Perry: Remember the woman from the video with the saggy breasts and no bra? It's 20 years later... they're probably drooping all the way to the ground by now.
83. “A Little Respect” – Erasure
82. “Open Arms” – Journey
81. “Overkill” – Men at Work:
The acoustic version used on Scrubs is even better than the original, but it doesn't qualify for this list.
80. “Everything She Wants” – Wham!
79. “Your Love” – Outfield:
How does he hit those high notes?
78. “Toy Soldiers” – Martika
77. “The Killing Moon” – Echo & the Bunnymen
76. “And We Danced" – Hooters:
Representing my alma mater, UPenn.
75. “Goodnight Saigon” – Billy Joel
74. “I Can’t Hold Back” – Survivor
73. “Here Comes Your Man” – Pixies
72. “Centerfold” – J. Geils Band
71. “Don’t Shed a Tear” – Paul Carrack
70. “Forever Young” – Alphaville:
The ultimate 80s prom song.
69. “Land of Confusion” – Genesis: The fact that I love this video probably caused this to land much higher than it should have.
68. “Angel Eyes” – Jeff Healey Band: a.k.a. the blind guy who sang in the bar band in Roadhouse.
67. “I Want to Break Free” – Queen
66. “Kickstart My Heart” – Motley Crue
65. “I Wanna Rock” – Twisted Sister
64. “Everything Counts” – Depeche Mode
63. “The Way You Make Me Feel” – Michael Jackson
62. “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” – Elton John
61. “In a Big Country” – Big Country:
Extra points for using your band's name in the song, a popular 80s trend (Wham, Wang Chung).
60. “Danger Zone” – Kenny Loggins
59. “Ashes to Ashes” – David Bowie:
Following the rule that sequels are never as good as the original ("Space Oddity" in this case, which I'm sure you already know), but still a fine tune.
58. “At This Moment” – Billy Vera: Who's having Family Ties flashbacks right now? I am!
57. “Bad” – U2: It was hard to find a chart that this had appeared on. Thank you, Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks!
56. “Brass in Pocket” – Pretenders
55. “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” – The Smiths
54. “If You Leave” – Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark
53. “It’s a Sin” – Pet Shop Boys
52. “Hysteria” – Def Leppard
51. “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” – Dead or Alive:
Ultragrrrl may think this is the "most gayest song" ever recorded, but so what?
50. “Material Girl” – Madonna
49. “Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)” – Icicle Works
48. “Fairytale of New York” – Pogues:
It must be so much fun when this song comes on in a pub in Ireland at like 1:30 in the morning.
47. “In the Air Tonight” – Phil Collins
46. “Punk Rock Girl” – Dead Milkmen
45. “She-Bop” – Cyndi Lauper
44. “We Belong” – Pat Benatar
43. “Fortress Around Your Heart” – Sting
42. “Simply Irresistible” – Robert Palmer:
My favorite of his Big 3 Songs (as in they had videos with the clueless but hot female musicians).
41. “Hey Ladies” – Beastie Boys
40. “It’s Tricky” – Run D.M.C.:
"Walk This Way" was ineligible due to rule b), but I like this better anyway. Great guitar riff.
39. “Boys of Summer” – Don Henley
38. “Head Over Heels” –Go-Go’s:
The ultimate in bubble-gum pop.
37. “New Sensation” – INXS
36. “Everyday Is Like Sunday” – Morrissey
35. “You Give Love a Bad Name” – Bon Jovi:
I'll take this over "Livin' On a Prayer" anyday. When the instruments drop out during the chorus at the end and everyone starts chanting, you can't resist pumping your fist in the air (especially if you're surrounded by Jersey trash).
34. “Paradise City” – Guns N Roses
33. “Running Down a Dream” – Tom Petty
32. “Rosanna” – Toto:
Somehow the ugliest band in rock history landed 2 songs in the top 1/3 of this list. Go figure.
31. “Come Dancing” – Kinks: Ray Davies showed he could still write incredibly clever lyrics 20 years into his career.
30. “U Got the Look” – Prince f/ Sheena Easton: Human League's "Don't You Want Me" is not the best battle-of-the-sexes song of the 80s. This is.
29. “Against All Odds” – Phil Collins
28. “Only You” – Yazoo:
Or is it Yaz?
27. “Alone” – Heart
26. “Never Tear Us Apart” – INXS
25. “Perfect Way” – Scritti Politti:
I'm going to see him in concert on Friday. And he apparently refuses to play this song live. Dang!
24. “Wild Boys” – Duran Duran: The words make no sense, and neither does the video, but that doesn't matter when you have percussion like this.
23. “La Isla Bonita – Madonna
22. “And She Was” – Talking Heads
21. “When Doves Cry” – Prince
20. “Brilliant Disguise” – Bruce Springsteen
19. “Hot for Teacher” – Van Halen:
The rumors of a summer 2007 reunion tour with Diamond Dave are heating up. Sweet!
18. “Heart & Soul” – T’pau
17. “Bad Reputation” – Joan Jett:
Probably helped by the fact that it was the theme song to Freaks and Geeks.
16. “Head Over Heels” – Tears for Fears
15. “Africa” – Toto
14. “Manic Monday” – Bangles
13. “Take on Me” – A-ha:
How does he hit those high notes?
12. “Things Can Only Get Better” – Howard Jones: Sadly they didn't for him... but he had a good run.
11. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” – Def Leppard: One-armed drumming never sounded so good.
10. “Every Breath You Take” – Police

9. “Something About You” – Level 42
8. “Drive” – Cars
7. “Voices Carry” – til Tuesday
6. “The Final Countdown” – Europe: How did this not make VH1's list?
5. “Time After Time” – Cyndi Lauper: Heartbreaking song. But in a good way.
4. “Candy Girl” – New Edition: Has there been a catchier song recorded ever in the history of the world? I defy you to find one.
3. “Obsession” – Animotion: The prototypical 80s song. Huge bass line, huge synths, it builds towards the final chorus and then everything collides at the end. Love it!
2. “Love Song” – Cure: I like my love songs simple. This song is simple. And beautiful.
1. “Sweet Child of Mine” – Guns N Roses: If you didn't see this coming, you don't know me at all.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Three Is a Magic Number
Today, LSTT turns 3 years old. Which means that it's lasted longer than Arrested Development did. What does that say about the world?
Seriously, I'm amazed I've managed to keep this going as long as I have. This is my 1,236th post. That's a lot of writing... although not as much as it would have been had I kept up the pace of my original posts. Looking back at those, this site has certainly evolved, and not necessarily in ways I'm totally happy with. Were my posts angrier back then? Yes, and while they reflected my opinions, they didn't really reflect my personality. But I also think I put more thought and effort into them, rather than going for cheap laughs and funny links like I do now. Sure, I'm still up for a rant or two these days... but they are few and far between. Maybe I just don't have as much to say these days. I hope that's not true... particularly considering I'm a writer by trade.
In the near future I'm gonna try to come full circle and make my posts more like those early ones... hopefully not at the expense of my bringing the funny to all my loyal readers. And I do appreciate the people who visit the site, who comment on the site, who send posts from my site to their friends. Considering the relatively small readership (at least according to Webstat, which I often think underestimates my numbers), this site has a wide reach. Hopefully it will continue to grow.
Now please forgive me for this sappy self-reflection. It happens when you get older. At least that's what old people tell me.

Update: I just looked back at my 1-year anniversary post, and it's eerily similar. But I'm too lazy to rewrite this entry. Not a good start to my promise...

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Horse Is a Horse, Of Course, Of Course (Unless It's Nothing Like a Horse Whatsoever)
This is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

Yes, Jerry Seinfeld can't act. Fortunately, his upcoming flick Bee Movie is animated. But the new trailer is not. It is, however, very funny. Check it out here.

TRL Moment of the Week
Tuesday's Halloween show was one of our dreaded Overdrive days, where we have a backstage show running simultaneously online. For one of the segments, we had members of the audience try to conquer their fears. One kid had a fear of lizards, one a fear of spiders, and one a fear of clowns. We brought each of these things into the studio for the kids to confront head-on. For the clown, our segment producer found Wendy the Clown, who may be the worst, most pathetic clown to ever wear make-up. I'm not even kidding... I can't imagine her trying to entertain children at a birthday party. See for yourself here. Sorry, you'll have to sit through a short ad first... then skip ahead to 3:37 (the time counts backwards)

And I just have to point out that this was the week from hell in terms of guests. Every single one backed out of the creative at the last minute. Monday, the All-American Rejects (after promising to strip if their video reached #1 on the countdown) bailed on taking off an article of clothing for each request that wasn't theirs... in fact, the only clothes they took off at all were their shoes. Tuesday, Lady Sovereign was in the midst of a belching contest on the air, but chickened out when her opponent let out a mighty belch and instead simply poured soda all over the studio floor. And Thursday, Kevin Federline refused to do a stunt where we would give him lyrics to Britney's biggest hits and he would have to give the next lines (and easy ones too, such as "My loneliness is killing me, and I must confess, I still believe, ________"), claiming that he doesn't know a single lyric to his wife's songs.
I'm so glad we take the time to prep stunts.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

'Roid Rage
Yesterday, Guillermo Mota was suspended 50 games for violating the policy, effective at the start of the season. In today's New York Times, this article states that they don't release what drug he used or when it happened; it could've been at the start of the season when he pitched for the Cleveland Indians, or towards the end when he was a Met. But the appeals process just ended, which is why the suspension was only recently announced.
So let me get this straight... he gets busted for using drugs, then continues to pitch for a team that came within striking distance of winning a World Series. It's possible he used drugs in May, but could've won a World Series ring before he was punished. And not only that, but the suspension is only for actual games; he can still do winter ball, practice with the team, and play in exhibition games (unlike in the NFL, when players are barred from team facilities). How is that acceptable at all? Baseball's drug policy is a joke. No wonder players continue to get larger, their heads more square, their testicles shriveling. There's nothing to fear here. And I guarantee that even though he'll miss the first 50 games of the season, the new free agent Mota will unquestionably still land a multi-year, multit-million-dollar deal. It makes me sick.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

So the new SoundScan numbers came out today, and Brooke Hogan's debut album, Undiscovered, sold 29,732 copies its first week. Not very good, considering that it was produced by uber-producer Scott Storch, that the first single featured Paul Wall, and that she had a reality show (Hogan Knows Best) devoted almost exclusively to promoting it. Worse, I just checked and discovered that Hulk Hogan's 1995 album Hulk Rules has sold 21,000 copies even though it was basically a children's novelty album with no promotion / music videos / performances behind it.
Seems to me she needs to start working on her mustache and 24-inch pythons.

Can't You Hear Me Knockin'
Anyone wanna hook me up with a ticket to the Rolling Stones at the Beacon tonight, without charging me $1,000? Anyone?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A candy bracket? Let's go Nestle Crunch! Go Oreos! Go Gummy Bears (just barely over Peanut Butter Cups)! Go Blue Star LSD Tattoo!

Queens of Noise (a.k.a. A Halloween Post That Has Nothing To Do With Halloween)
Over the weekend I watched Edgeplay, a documentary about The Runaways directed by former member Vicki Blue. I tell you, this movie is utterly fascinating. The women, both original and replacement members, are entirely open about their career, about their feelings towards each other, about the mental and physical (and even sexual) abuse they suffered in their formative years. Blue even includes footage that takes place during breaks in the interviews, when the women think they're speaking off the record. They don't hold back, and the more they talk, the more they can't resist insulting and revealing secrets about one another. It gets extremely personal, and leads me to believe that a reunion will never be in the cards.
There is one HUGE drawback: Joan Jett has no involvement at all. You only occasionally see her in archival footage, but never get her opinion on anything. That's a huge gap. And apparently she prevented the filmmakers from using any Runaways music in the movie. There are a couple of live performances of cover songs that include sound, but other than that they use random music and even some new tunes from Vicki. It's crushing not to be able to hear the musical progression or listen to the girls in the studio. On a smaller note, Blue can't seem to ever let the camera linger on an interview subject, constantly cutting to black & white shots, slow-motion cutaways, etc. She tries to be too stylish, and it ends up backfiring. But it can't take away from the content.
Music fans, or just fans of cattiness, I highly recommend this.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Some quick links:
1) Congrats to Tilly & the Wall on their national TV debut on Friday's Late Show with David Letterman. If you missed it, you can watch it here. Personally I would've chosen a different song to perform... "Bad Education" isn't as catchy as "Sing Songs Along" or "Rainbows in the Dark," and the minor chords and yelling might put off some first-time listeners. But they played with great energy and enthusiasm, and hopefully this will bring them some few fans. Also, Kianna was so adorable when she basically squawked to Dave"It's SO nice to meet you!" And Dave had a nice line after the commercial that the downstairs neighbors were complaining about the tap-dancing.
2) Wait a minute, contestants on reality television drink alcohol to loosen up? And producers are okay with that? I never would have known. Thank you, New York Times, you have really earned your reputation with that story! What would I do without you?
3) I know I'm way late on this, but I finally watched Comedy Central's A Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Benefit for Autism Education, and this Steve Carell clip stole the show. Well, that and Ricky Gervais's line that Steve Carell would follow his stand-up by doing the same routine but that Steve would be funnier and get paid more money.

Swing & a Miss
There were two problems I discovered upon dressing up a Baseball Fury* for Halloween parties this weekend:
1) A significant number of people (read: women) have not seen The Warriors, and therefore did not get the reference. This was to be expected, I suppose. The movie is 25 years old and only achieved cult success. That being said, those who have seen the movie seemed to like the costume, although I could've gone without everyone saying to me "I'll shove that bat up your ass and turn you into a popsicle!"
2) Several people thought I was dressed as Cory Lidle and exclaimed that it is "too soon." Yeah, no shit. Unfortunate oversight on my part. Trust me, I meant no disrespect.

* This probably didn't need to be pointed out, but to avoid any confusion, the photo is a screen catpure from the movie, not me. I'll try to get a photo of myself later today.

Friday, October 27, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
Why did we have 750-pound sumo champion Manny Yarbrough on the show on Monday, in a diaper no less, shaking his booty? To see if Miley Cyrus (named from her former nickname Smiley) could keep from smiling, of course. I'll tell you who wasn't smiling: the people who had to clean his dressing room after his visit, saying they've never smelled anything so foul in their life. Also not smiling: the wardrobe girl I had convinced was needed to help Manny put his diaper on (I couldn't go through with actually sending her to his dressing room, but in retrospect I should have).
Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, Miley did smile.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Andy Taylor has left Duran Duran. Again. For a second I thought that at least that could lead to a potential Power Station reunion. Then I remembered that 50% of them have passed on. So much for that.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Go Go Go Vote
My friend Tiff, who sings in the band Valeze, has asked me to post her band's new video "Go Go Go" as part of a YouTube contest. If you've got a minute, click this link and give it a 5-star rating. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Still catching up on links that I missed over the past few days, so here are some more:
- Dance your cares away... there's gonna be a Fraggle Rock movie!
- Arrested Development may be over, but you can still pick up cool props from it (and other Fox shows), including Gob's Segway. Hurry though... the auction ends around 1pm EST.
- Sad news for Mary Carey: she had to drop out of the California governor's race to take care of her injured mother. No jokes here; I hope her mom has a speedy recovery.
- Finally, WXPN in Philadelphia has posted a list of the 885 greatest artists of all time, as voted by their listeners. And their listeners are apparently a bunch of morons and douchebags. David Gray is 18 spots higher than Michael Jackson? Coldplay is 7 spots higher than Queen? Counting Crows are 137 spots higher than Guns N Roses?!?!? I could go on and on (Sarah McLaughlin higher than the Pretenders, Matchbox 20 higher than AC/DC, John Mayer higher than Rod Stewart, Cake is higher than Van Halen, Toad the Wet Sprocket is higher than the Buzzcocks, AFI is higher than Outkast), but it's just too frustrating. I'm ashamed I went to college in Philly for 4 years.

What is the most annoying thing in football right now? The New York Giants defense doing their stupid "ballin'" jump-shot celebrations after big plays. It's bad enough when non-athletes use sports metaphors in the workplace. But this goes above and beyond. You guys are already professional athletes. Why pay homage to an entirely different sport? And do you realize how ridiculous it looks for a 280-pound lineman to take a jump-shot? Surely you can be more creative than this.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm back in NYC after a very fun but very exhausting 4 days in Orlando. There's nothing like standing outside in front of an wedding in a tuxedo during record-breaking heat (93 degrees in the end of October? Stupid Florida) and feeling the sweat drip down your back but not being able to do anything about it. And aside from some hairy moments (such as when I went to pick up said tuxedo and found it had been sent instead to a New Jersey store, or having to get up at 7am on few hours of sleep to go golfing with the guys in the heat even though I don't even play golf and simply went along to drive a golf cart, or the groom's father suffering through a debilitating stomach virus that caused him to vomit almost once an hour up until shortly before the wedding began), a good time was had by all.

Since I haven't had much internet access and am way behind on stuff, I'll simply put up 2 links:
- Someone needs to make a movie about this guy's life. Based on his obit, I'm shocked he lived to be 85.
- What a perfect ending to the Chicago Marathon. (thanks for the link, Jen)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'm off to Orlando to be a groomsman at my friend's wedding, so no new posts until Monday. Sorry.

Quick note: Tilly & the Wall gave another terrific show at Bowery last night... fun, energetic, tight. Love that gang. They'll be back in the area on Monday to play Maxwell's in Hoboken. And they're taping a performance on Letterman that will air Friday the 27th. So get your tickets. And set your Tivos (or DVRs).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

For some reason I got an e-mail today from Ticketmaster offering me complimentary tickets to shows at BB King Blues Club & Grill. Sometimes legendary artists (Brian Wilson, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis) play there, and sometimes my guilty pleasure artists (Pat Benatar, Vince Neil) play there. So I clicked on the link, and in fact the free offer is only good for tribute bands (and the Dana Fuchs Band). But when I clicked on the link for the Pearl Jam tribute on January 13th, it describes the gig as "Pearl Jam after-party following their nearby concert. " PJ hasn't announced any 2007 concerts yet, but they did bypass Madison Square Garden on their last tour. Are they coming back? If so, you heard it here first.
If any of you want free tickets to tribute bands, here you go. And don't say I never did anything for you.

Oh, and here's some good news for fans of 80s rock / cock rock / synth rock / crap rock / whatever you want to call it. And for fans of Boogie Nights.

A Random Rant about Music
I finally got around to reading the Rolling Stone issue with Fergie on the cover. In the feature story about her (which you'll have to buy at a newsstand to read the whole thing), reflects on the first time he asked her to the recording studio:
Will remembered her pitching her solo album to him and invited her up to the studio. "She sang, and I was like, 'Wow, that was dope. You wanna put a harmony on it?' She was like, 'You want a third or a fifth?' I was like, 'Whoa! You know that knowledge shit! Why don't you put a third on it and we'll put the fifth on it later, 'cause that'll make it sound dissonant.' She said, 'Well, I could put the fifth on bar two, and on bar three I could go in unison.' I was like, 'Wow! I'm fuckin' wit' you!'"
Excuse me, but this really bothers me. It exemplifies all that's wrong with modern music. Why should he be so surprised that Fergie knows about harmonizing? God forbid current musicians should take the time to learn music theory. In a world in which shows like American Idol make stars out of people who don't need to play instruments or write their own songs, and who have computers to fix their pitch problems, quite frankly I give lots of credit to Fergie for at least knowing what she's doing (albeit I wish she could use that knowledge to write better songs).
We should stop calling people "musicians" and "artists" and call them what they really are: singers, nothing more. And oftentimes, even that's a stretch.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fade Away and Radiate
On Saturday night I was killing time in the East Village before the Debbie Harry / Chris Stein acoustic set at CBGB's* when I wandered into a Tower Records. As I'm sure you know, Tower recently announced it is liquidating, and the store I passed was advertising a huge going-out-of business sale, with blow-out prices on everything. Well Tower, I'm calling bullshit on you. Sure, you're giving 15% off on all rock / pop CD's, and 20% off on hip-hop. But when the original price is $14.99, $16.99, even $18.99 for a single disc, how is that a bargain? Don't most music stores automatically give like a 20% discount on new releases? A stroll into the DVD section was even worse. Claiming 50% off sticker price for used DVD's from their rental section seemed exciting at first, until I noticed that the sticker price was the MSRP. No big chain stores sell any products at MSRP, let alone used ones. I'd expect to get 50% off used DVD's anytime, not during a blowout sale. No wonder Tower is going out of business… why would anyone shop there at these prices?
* Yes, I realize that it wasn't necessary for me to include this in a post about Tower Records, and that I'm basically bragging. But this is my site, and I can brag if I want. And while we're on the subject, most Blondie music sounds surprisingly good when played acoustically. They did 7 Blondie songs, 2 Ramones covers, and a Gun Club tune (that I had to google to identify). Debbie still seems uncomfortable at the mic, but she looks great for her age, and she came up with a brilliant idea that someone should start selling wallpaper that looks like the sticker-covered insides of CBGB's. Can I call dibs on that?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Made for These Times
I'm not sure why there's a sudden plethora of mash-ups for the Beach Boys' masterpiece Pet Sounds. Maybe it's the due to the 40th anniversary. Whatever. Anyway, I missed out on the Beachles Sgt. Petsound's Lonely Hearts Club Band (stupid cease & desist). But now there's this: Bastard Pet Sounds, which mashes the album up with... well, a pretty eclectic mix, everything from Dandy Warhols to Led Zeppelin. Hurry up and download before the record labels attack.
Oh, and the guy who did Bastard also has a nice little mash-up of Madonna's "Hung Up" vs. Huey Lewis & The News's "The Power of Love."

TRL Moment of the Week
Sarah Michelle Gellar, here to promote The Grudge 2, spent most of her time here raving about a rival show. For some reason the studio was kept close to 120 degrees on Tuesday, and the audience, VJ's, and guests were suffering. Backstage, SMG said that the heat made her want to be a contestant on "that Fuse show, you know, the one hosted by the Full House girl. Crazy Strip Dancing or something like that." Nobody but me knew what she was talking about, but I couldn't think of the actual title of the show. When it finally hit me, I yelled out "Pants-Off Dance-Off" and SMG practically jumped off the couch in excitement. "Yes! Dance-Off Pants-Off! I can't believe none of you have seen it. It's such a great show!"
I guess I shouldn't be surprised at her lack of taste. After all, she did marry Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The T&A Team
Everyone knows that The Real World has eliminated any semblance of social experimentation and has simply become a place to watch young hotties hook up with each other. Now MTV itself has acknowledged this fact with a nice little parody of the upcoming season of the Real World / Road Rules Challenge (which I must admit is the only MTV show I still watch regularly).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tickets to see K-Fed in concert here in NYC have been on sale for 2 hours and 29 minutes, and they're not sold out yet. What's wrong with you people? It's like you want him to fail, or something...

Buried in the TRL Graveyard
At least week's creative meeting, I pitched the following stunt idea, which was deemed "too mean" to our fans and shot down.
Who's the Dumbest Member of the Audience?
A Singled Out-type elmination game. We start with the entire audience and ask them either true / false or multiple choice questions (not pop culture stuff, more like math / spelling / geography). Anyone who gets the question right can sit down; get it wrong and you stay in the game. We continue this until we're left with one person who has gotten every question wrong, and we give that person a dunce cap and name them the dumbest kid in the audience.

I don't think it's mean to our fans. It's mean to the one fan who loses… and maybe the person who comes in 2nd. But it's fun for the smart people, and fun for the people watching at home who get to see the stragglers sweat it out.
Plus our audience can't be dumber than half of our guests.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Quick Poll
Am I the only person somewhat excited that George Michael has allegedly convinced Andrew Ridgeley to join him for a one-time Wham! reunion at Wembley?
A) Yes
B) Hells Yes
C) Who's Andrew Ridgeley?
D) Who gives a fuck?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Longtime LSTT favorites Tilly & the Wall have released a video for "Rainbows in the Dark." Look at how cute their fans are. Just look at 'em!
The group just kicked off another U.S. tour. They're so much fun live... I highly recommend checking them out.

After a bummer of a weekend (Yanks got demolished, Dolphins fell to 1-4), I have to grasp at the one potential bright spot: 92.3 Free FM last night said that GnR's Chinese Democracy is coming out November 21st. So I did a little research, and sure enough, the original claim comes from Rolling Stone magazine (albeit with a HUGE grain of salt). I've been burned by this rumor many, many times before, but I'm once again putting my faith in Axl. If SMiLE can finally come out, so can this album.

On a separate musical topic, I missed out on getting tix to Saturday night's Distillers / acoustic Debbie Harry & Chris Stein show at CBGB's. Anyone by any chance have an extra one?

Friday, October 06, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
Jessica Simpson co-hosted the show with Dane Cook on Wednesday (what a coincidence, their movie Employee of the Month hits theaters today!), and there was much humor to behold backstage between segments. Joe Simpson, of course, was at her side, and he kept complaining that we should not be showing videos today and instead should focus more on the two of them and their movie. Naturally neither Jessica nor Ashlee has a video currently on the countdown.
Speaking of Ashlee, Joe was saying that she was too sick to go onto the London stage that night in Chicago. Odd that she's suddenly sick, considering her 22nd birthday was the night before. She's only in the role for 5 weeks, and trying to prove herself as a viable actress… does she really have the luxury to pull shit like this?
And on a final note, we had fans asking Jessica and Dane questions throughout the show. During a break, our segment producer was prepping them on what they'd be asked to make sure everything was kosher, as a fan wanted to ask Jessica if she's ever said anything in public that she later regretted. Jessica laughed and said she's basically made a career out of that, and Joe chimed in, saying "I can think of some things." At which point I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from saying, "What, such as 'I do'?"

Thursday, October 05, 2006

If you Arrested Development fans need a George-Michael fix, you can watch Michael Cera do stand-up here. Just don't expect him to be as funny as his character.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Two former TRL brethren left to start their own production company, and this is their latest project. I like it... hope you do too.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Any big fans of Chuck Palahniuk out there? If so, here's your chance to become pen pals with him. I've heard he often responds with care packages filled with random stuff.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ha Ha Oa
Overheard in the MTV elevator:
Guy 1: Are you going to HHO this week?
Guy 2: What?
Guy 1: HHO. Hip-Hop Honors. Sorry, I just made that up.
Guy 2: HHO?
Guy 1: Yeah, Hip-Hop Hon… oh wait, HHH.

I Want My Good TV
I got some complaining to do, so be warned...
First on the list, Survivor. I know I very recently came to your defense about splitting the tribes by race. I thought it was fascinating. But you abandoned it in just the third episode. Why? What was the point of dividing them that way in the first place if it was for such a short period of time? If it was as a social experiment, you didn't collect enough data... if it was for hype, it showed that you buckled under fear. Major cop-out, and I'm very disappointed.
Next up, Inside the NFL. At first I seemed intrigued with your new policy of showing highlights of fewer games so that you can go more in-depth with the ones you show, taking us into the sounds of the game. But then, instead of showing on-field action, you devote minutes of camera time to the Hasselbeck parents as they sit in the audience, or Bill Cowher's daughter as she watches the game from a luxury box. Who gives a crap about them? I thought you were gonna show more of what happens on the sidelines, in the huddles, in the locker room. That's what is inside the NFL, no? If you're gonna focus on that stuff, then rename the show Inside the NFL's Families. Then I'll know not to watch.
On a positive note, Time Warner Cable's DVR service has finally put in a better search option, where you can type in program names instead of just going to the first letter and scrolling through every title starting with that letter. Now if only they can extend their schedule more than 3 days ahead...

Update: How could I forget about SNL? Given all the buzz about the show having budget cuts and firing cast members, not to mention two other NBC shows taking potshots at them, you'd think they'd come out of the gate with their guns blazing. So what did they do? They opened with a sketch about President Bush being bored at a local Comptroller's speech that wasn't just not funny, it didn't even attempt a joke until at least a minute had passed. Not the right way to put the Saturday Night Dead headlines to rest.

Friday, September 29, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
With so much happening during Spankin Free Music Week, everything is a blur. Could it be James Blunt, discussing with VJStephen the problems with using UK slang in the US, saying that Americans don't understand him when he says he's "going outside for a fag," and VJStephen, not understanding him, looking like his eyes are gonna bulge out of his head? Could it be our webcam interview with Panic at the Disco, when the connection was so bad that the audio was totally choppy and the Panic guys got frustrated and figured that since we couldn't hear them they could just start saying anything they wanted, and then suddenly the audio kicked in and they said "shit" loud and clear on the air? No, my personal favorite was probably prepping our guests for Wednesday's cold open, the lamest we've ever done in the history of TRL. The guests were JoJo (age 15), Vanessa Hudgens (age 17), and Jesse McCartney (age 19). Here's the copy:





JoJo was fine with it. Vanessa, tolerable. But Jesse looked like he'd rather shove his balls in a vice than do the read. But he did it, with a grimace on his face the likes of which I'd never seen before. Later, during a commercial break, I told him that we felt like we hadn't embarrassed him enough yet so he would have to do his acoustic performance in a diaper. He looked at me silently for a moment, then said "I don't doubt you." But at least he was a good sport about it all. That's more than I can say for the many, many guests who have shot down perfectly un-lame creative.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

So what does it take for my hometown of Coral Springs, Florida to make the national news? Apparently a story of death, deception, and itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikinis.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Witchy Woman

You'd think that after all the money she spent reconfiguring her face, Ashlee Simpson would've done something to her chin to look less like Witch Hazel.

The perks of working at MTV continue... I can now write my TRL scripts while listening to Q104* on my Prarie Home Companion radio, which came free in the mail today to remind me that it hits DVD on October 10th.
(note: the desk behind the radio is my officemates, not mine... so please don't question the appearance of the Mets bobblehead dolls)

* Speaking of Q104, they're having a presale for Brian Wilson's 40th-Anniversay performance of Pet Sounds (with Al Jardine!). Starts this morning at 10am. Password is SOUNDS.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Some quick links today:
- For those of you with money to spare, buy a real Fem-Bot.
- For those of you without money to spare, get free Cold Stone ice cream.
- For those of you with alcohol to spare, play the Studio 60 drinking game.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Wow, what a great site this is... free streams of every episode of The Simpsons ever made. Watch past season 10 at your own risk.

After watching the first two episodes of this season of Survivor, I'm tired of people saying that the dividing-tribes-by-races angle is racist. It's just not. The producers haven't played into any ethnic stereotypes; it's not like the African-American camp was given fried chicken and collard greens, or the Asian-American camp was filled with math books. They have done nothing to put one race in a better or worse light than another. If anything, they seem to be overcautious, always checking in with the Caucasian tribe last. I think they just tried to put a new spin on a tired formula. Whether this makes the show more interesting or not remains to be seen... I'm leaning towards it being unnecessary. But it's certainly not racist.

(Spoiler alert - don't read if you haven't seen last week's episode but plan to)
And a quick note: Heavy metal Billy's "love at first sight" speech about Candice automatically puts him in the Crazy Reality Star Hall-of-Fame. He can sit at a table right between Omarosa and Brigitte Nielsen. I can't wait to hear Candice's reaction when she hears about this.

Friday, September 22, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
It seemed like bras had become the center of attention on our show, as on Wednesday Fergie popped out the bottom part of her breast, which was fortunately covered. Then on Thursday, this girl came by wearing a clear-white shirt and no bra (I know you can't tell from the photo. I'm trying to find a better-quality tape to get the image from. But for now you'll just have to trust me.). She somehow found her way directly behind the VJ's in almost every shot, raising her arms and jumping up and down. If that didn't cause a ratings spike, I don't know what will.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Maxim's list of the least-appealing women on television is completely messed up (although they did get Calamity Jane right... ugh, she makes me shudder). Tina Fey at #3? Um, Rachel Dratch, anyone? And where are Patty and Selma? Chloe from 24? Johnny Sack's wife on The Sopranos? Any daytime talkshow hosts (Oprah / Sally Jesse / Judge Judy)? Any of the contestants on Flavor of Love? Who else am I missing...