Friday, April 28, 2006

I heard an interesting rumor that Guns N Roses will be musical guest on Saturday Night Live on May 13. They will be in town, playing the Hammerstein shows...
If it's true, you heard it here first.
If it's not, forget I said anything.

Here's a cool site that focuses on backmasking, or hearing hidden messages when you play songs in reverse. The Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, and Beatles ones are famous. But the Britney Spears one is creepy, I love the Eminem one, and who knew even Weird Al would get in on the act?

TRL Moment of the Week
Given the eclectic group of guests we had booked for Wednesday's show, this is how I wanted to write the cut open. Alas, it became the newest resident of the TRL Graveyard.



Note: Turns out that our audience actually does know, and like, these people, particularly Zac and Ashley of High School Musical fame. And I'm one of about 7 people in the U.S. that doesn't watch American Idol. I guess I'm out of it.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Two quick links of note:
1) For all you people who got excited about the Saved by the Bell reunion series, alas it's not to be.
2) Funny list of the 50 Worst Things Ever to Happen to Music.

What is the deal with all these huge bands playing tiny venues in NYC next month? GnR at Hammerstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers at Irving Plaza, Pearl Jam at Irving Plaza, Alice in Chains at Bowery (well, I guess AIC aren't technically huge anymore)... and I want tickets for all of them. Any kind readers want to help me out?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Did you ever get to see "Conspiracy Theory Rock," the controversial SNL TV Funhouse cartoon that only aired once? Expecting to see it Saturday night during the best-of TV Funhouse SNL? Sorry, it won't be there. But you can watch it here.
(Note: it takes forever to load)

Brett Favre has made it official: he's returning as quarterback of the Packers for the 2006 season. I guess he's gunning for that final record after all: Most Times Raising His Arms to Celebrate Throwing a Touchdown Pass That Brings His Team Within a 17-Point Deficit.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Remember that terrible (at least in my opinion) AmEx commercial from M. Night Shyamalan that ran during the Oscars? Here's a much better one from a much better director, Wes Anderson.

For all you Napoleon Dynamite fans (are there any left? Or is that so 2004?), here's Peluca, the original short film.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Big congrats to LastStop favorites (and good friends of TSP) Tilly and the Wall for making Sunday's New York Times Playlist. Here's what was written:
Tilly and the Wall
Earnest, passionate and enthusiastic. I love the intertwined call-and-response vocals, and the combination of pop, folk, lo-fi and electro rock. On its last album, this five-piece band from Omaha held up its layered melodies with innovative percussion that came in the form of the tap-dancing stunner Jamie Williams. Its new album, "Bottoms of Barrels" (Team Love, to be released May 23), includes a rhythm section, though it still has plenty of space in the arrangements for the slashing guitars and walls of vocals to shine through. Variety is the key here, whether in a foot-stomping rock song, a slow ballad or even an electro-acoustic thumper like "The Freest Man." That song could be a look back to the 1980's, with synth and chorused guitar lines draped in black, but the vocals offer hope: "Don't drown yourself in all your old regret/ Because that heaviness will steal away your breath."

Can't wait to hear the new album, can't wait for them to perform again in NYC, and I wish them nothing but success.

Okay, Ben, not to get into another baseball argument with you, but since you brought it up
Let's play a game. I’ll give you three players’ vital baseball statistics. You try to guess who they each belong to. Ready?

AB: 8,385
R: 1,318
H: 2,386
2B: 403
HR: 282
RBI: 1,061
AVG: .285
All-Star Years: 10
MVP: 1984
Gold Gloves: 9

AB: 7,003
R: 1,007
H: 2,153
2B: 442
HR: 222
RBI: 1,099
AVG: .307
All-Star Years: 6
MVP: 1985 (2nd in 1986)
Gold Gloves: 9

AB: 7,244
R: 1,071
H: 2,304
2B: 414
HR: 207
RBI: 1,085
AVG: 318
All-Star Years: 10
MVP: 0 (2nd in 1992)
Gold Gloves: 6

Give up? First guy is Ryne Sandberg. Next is good ol’ Donnie Baseball. And finally, Kirby Puckett. None of the three have reached any of the plateaus you think is necessary for entry into the HOF, yet Sandberg and Puckett are both in the Hall. Mattingly is not. But their numbers are pretty damn similar, aren’t they? So why them and not Mattingly?
Now I know what you’re going to say: second base and outfield are tougher positions to play than first base. Yes, that statement is true, and both Sandberg and Puckett played their respective positions brilliantly (both had career fielding percentages of .989). So then let’s factor in the fact that Mattingly is the best-fielding first-baseman of all time, with a career fielding percentage of .996. Even better, his career fielding percentage is the greatest of any position player of all time. So even though he played the easiest position, he did it better than anyone else in the history of the game.
Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that he holds two pretty impressive major league records: consecutive games with HR (8), and grand slams in season (6).

Once again the MTA continues to boggle my mind. Signs are posted in the 72nd St. station that the 2 & 3 lines (usually express) will run local headed southbound every weekend from now until Fall (no weekend express service for 5 months? Come on!). However, get on a train and you’ll hear that the 1 trains (usually local) run express headed southbound after 34th St. What the fuck? I’d (somewhat) understand if they need to completely shut down the express tracks to fix them. But that's obviously not the case. Why switch the lines? Where exactly is the construction south of 34th St.? It make no sense to me… can anyone explain this?

Friday, April 21, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
It's been a rough week around here… well, rough in that a bunch of small, annoying things happened all in a row. Like Monday, my elevator bank malfunctioned so that every elevator stopped at every floor in both directions. Sucks when you're on the 23rd floor. Tuesday I had to go to a screening of United 93. I thought I'd be able to handle it better than any of my co-workers, but the film (while good on a technical level) kept me queasy throughout. Wednesday we had our bi-annual (bi-ennial? I always get those confused… I'm talking about the twice-a-year kind) fire drill, which means everyone from the floor gathers in the hall for a 15-minute lecture on fire procedures. Boring to begin with, but the lecturer pronounces "chimney" as "chiminey." Which gets very funny when he says it 5 times in a minute. Trust me. Or try saying it out loud. Anyway, I always start laughing and then get uncomfortable and try to stifle the laughter, but that just makes it worse. It's forever tainted.
As for the actual show moment of the week, I guess I'd have to give it to Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas. Supporting Earth Day, the group pulled up in a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid. He gets out and praises the car for it's amazing energy-saving features, such as getting "59 gallons to the mile." Honda must be praising themselves for paying him millions of dollars to endorse the vehicle. Oh, and one other good thing... we had purchased a bunch of chicken from KFC for a stunt yesterday, but we had to kill it for time, which meant the chicken was mine... all mine! (And some for VJDamien)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It seems that the hot trend this summer is for 80s bands to team up for tours: Def Leppard and Journey, Blondie and the (new) Cars, Poison and Cinderella, Chicago and Huey Lewis & the News... now here's a story about the Bangles and the Go-Go's are teaming up for a reality show. Personally I think the last one would make the best concert. But maybe we'll have to wait until 2007 for that.

P.S. For all you hardcore Poison fans, here's a chance to become their roadie for a day. And yes, sadly, I entered.

Update: Eeep, it seems I forgot about two pairings: Foreigner & Styx, which makes some sense, and Air Supply & Billy Ocean, which might be the most pathetic concert of the new millenium. I apologize for the oversight.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Looks like someone has been hitting the sacramental wine a little too hard...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

This DVD has been lying around the office, and the first line in the back-cover description is one of the most enticing I've ever seen:

Soldier of fortune John Seeger (Steven Seagal) is the best in the business... the business of kicking ass!

If anything can get me to watch a direct-to-DVD Steven Seagal movie, it's that.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I have written more than 1,000 posts on this site since its inception. But I feel that my readers could know more about me. So here are some random facts about me... those of you who have read my Friendster or MySpace profile will be familiar with some, but not all, of them.
- Eating raw tomatoes makes me gag...
- I'm 6'3" and love being tall except when I have to use a shower whose head is lower than I am...
- I think Don Mattingly deserves to be in the Hall of Fame...
- I've been making an effort to say "said" instead of "was like," but thus far it has been an unsuccessful transition...
- My biggest fear is that when you die, you are still conscious and are stuck in black forever without being able to move or speak...
- I write for MTV but watch VH1 Classic...
- I've been to a Super Bowl (XXIII, Bengals vs. 49ers) and a World Series (2003, Yankees vs. Marlins)...
- When I was younger I would set my alarm clock to wake up in the middle of the night and watch movies on HBO that were labeled as having SSC (strong sexual content)...
- I have Peter Pan Syndrome...
- I think the Beach Boys are better than the Beatles...
- People cracking their knuckles (or any body part) is my biggest pet peeve...
- I love to travel, but never seem to have the time to go to the places I want to visit...
- I never drank soda in elementary school because the bubbles burned my tongue and throat...
- Out of the approximately 2,000 comics I've collected, I've read less than 10%, but I won't let my parents throw them away...
- I think "The Simpsons" would have been the greatest TV show of all time if it had gone off the air about 6 years ago, but now it's unwatchable...
- I'm an excellent liar...
- In my lifetime I've listened to Def Leppard's "Hysteria" more than any other album...
- I took piano lessons for 12 years and cello for 9 weeks...
- For some reason people always open up to me, which is great because I love listening to people's stories and problems, and it lets me gather dirt on everyone...
- I'm an agnostic...
- I can count cards...
- I cannot wait to get GnR's "Chinese Democracy," even though Axl is the only original member left and he's probably clinically insane...
- I'm an animal lover...
- No matter how many people try to tell me otherwise, I don't think the U.S. version of "The Office" is funny at all...
- I prefer cold weather to warm, even though I grew up in South Florida...
- The most embarrassing song on my iPod is probably "Mandy" by Barry Manilow...
- As a kid I had phases where I was a pyromaniac and a shoplifter, but my parents busted me on both counts...
- I have a fairly high tolerance for pain but low tolerance for tickling...
- I've never been arrested but I've gotten 2 speeding tickets...
That should cover it... maybe I'll add some more after the next 1,000 posts.

Mega Winner
I won $17 in the Mega Millions lotto on Friday. On $5 worth of Quick Picks, I got 3 numbers on one line ($7) and 2 numbers plus the Mega Ball on another ($10). Now I don't know what to do for the next drawing, worth $265 million. Should I not play because I used up my luck? Or am I on a hot streak? Should I consider the store where I bought the tickets lucky, or should I move on since it already sold me a winning ticket? What would you do?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

No Longer Estranged
Great news (at least potentially) for New York Guns N Roses fans... they are scheduled to play 2 nights at Hammerstein to prepare for their summer playing European Festivals. Yes, it's not the true GnR... only Axl (and Tommy Stinson and Dizzy and whoever else is in the group these days). And yes, I would not be surprised at all to find that the shows are cancelled*. But since I never got to see them in their prime, I am still excited at the prospect at finally seeing Axl perform live, especially at a smaller venue.
While we're on the subject of GnR, for those who missed it, here's a great April Fool's fake review of "Chinese Democracy" written by Chuck Klosterman.

*Note: The last time GnR toured (back in 2002), some friends and I bought tickets for a Friday night show in Philly. I took the train down from NYC after work that day, and my friends and I got to the arena about 9:30. Mixmaster Mike (the opening act) had just hit the stage. 90 minutes later, he was still playing, and the crowd was getting anxious. They started to boo, curse, and throw things (including a full cup of soda, launched from the balcony, that hit one of my friends and exploded all over him). As the crowd got more rowdy, people started filing out. I, however, remained filled with hope, assuring everyone that Axl was simply being Axl and he'd come out eventually. My hopes were dashed when they announced over the P.A. system that Axl had never left NY from the previous night's show at the Garden. And that's when the real rioting began. People threw chairs, smashed the soundboard, got into fights, set fires to the merch booths. Just as my friends and I got outside, the riot police stormed past us, batons and shields ready for action. The following morning, the label cancelled the remainder of the tour.
Should I have learned a lesson from this? Yes. Should I be pissed at Axl and not want to give him any more of my money? Yes. Yet I will. I can't help it.

Friday, April 14, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
Wednesday we began our experiment of running TRL live both on TV and online. That means that while we're doing the live TV show, there is separate content streaming exclusively on MTV Overdrive. It's a fascinating experiment, and to my knowledge we're the first television show to really do this. Sure, it's a bitchload more work, as we're basically running 2 shows simultaneously, and without more money or more manpower. But at the same time, there is something cool about being at the forefront of technology.
Of course, this is after one show. We'll do another one in a couple weeks, then have them more frequently until we're doing it every single show. By then, I may have a nervous breakdown. Only time will tell.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I just realized something... why the uproar over cartoon depictions of Mohammad? "South Park" already did it.
And by the way, last night's 2nd part of the "South Park" attack on "Family Guy" was disappointing. Although I could watch them do an entire parody episode of "Family Guy" and not get tired of it.

Chill Factor
Updating a previous story, in the 5 games since Cliff Floyd guaranteed a home run, he has hit a robust .210 with 0 home runs, 3 RBI's, and 3 strikeouts. He was even replaced for one game by benchwarmer extraordinaire Victor Diaz. Nicely done, Cooler.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Here's a great link my co-worker sent me: the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series (a.k.a. the infamous Buckner play), as played by the classic Nintendo game RBI Baseball.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wow, for once David Spade made me laugh. But really, it was Vin Diesel's fault.

P.S. In college I also had to read Sidney Lumet's book Making Movies, and it didn't boost my confidence one bit.

Milk Gone Bad
Watch this PETA ad, and you won't be surprised to know it was banned from airing during the Super Bowl. So disturbing!

Monday, April 10, 2006

"24" Bottles of Beer...
Personally I think the "24" drinking game would work better with "I promise" or "there's no time" or "you'll just have to trust me," but if he says "damn it" works, then so be it.

Update: I guess any rumors about Jack Bauer getting killed were false... Sutherland just signed on to do the show for another 3 years... and for a cool $40 million.

Saturday night I experienced one of the worst things that can happen when you're out drinking at a bar. Think you know what it is? I'll give you 3 guesses.
1) You started hitting on a beautiful girl and her meathead boyfriend kicked the shit out of you?
- Wrong. Try again.
2) You got so drunk that you pissed your pants in front of everyone?
- Nope. One more guess.
3) You hung your leather jacket up on a hook under the bar, then discovered when you picked it up at the end of the night that someone had vomited all over it, even getting some inside the pockets and up the sleeves?
- Bingo!
The jacket is beyond repair. Not that I'd want to wear it anymore… it's tainted. So if anyone knows of a good place to get a discounted leather jacket in NYC, please let me know.

Update: Seems I'm not the only person who's had vomit problems lately. Paris Hilton and I are so much alike...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Here is a list of the 100 Unsexiest Men in the World. Can't really argue with the top 3. Although how does Ron Howard rank worse than his brother Clint? And where are William Hung, the lead singer of Toto, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Weird Al, Robert Wuhl, Rupert from "Survivor," Steve Buscemi, Kip Dynamite, and many others? Not the best list...

Someday (I Will Understand)... But Not For a Very Long Time
We're all familiar with the statue of Britney Spears giving birth... and I know we've all seen the picture on the left. But this is the first shot I've seen of the rear view, with little Sean's head popping out. Does "ew" sum it up? No, not really.

A Double-Shot from the TRL Graveyard
Pink dropped by on Wednesday to talk about her new CD. I pitched the following cold open:









Unfortunately that one fell through. But when Pink arrived, she had her husband, motocross legend Carey Hart, with her. So I quickly revised it to this:










Pink liked it, but Carey didn't want to appear on camera, so no go on that one either.
At least she made up for the disappointment during her interview by using the phrase "dutch oven" and admitting that she doesn't know the square root of 144.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Cold As Ice
On Tuesday, David Wright and Cliff Floyd of the New York Mets dropped by the show, during which time Floyd guaranteed that he would hit a home the following game (and Wright hinted that the team was on-track to go 162-0). What happened? Not only did Floyd not hit a home run, but the Mets blew their lead in the 9th and lost the game in the 10th. And they can thank The Cooler, a.k.a. the other TRL writer who earned his nickname by costing the TRL staff a collective bundle of cash during last summer's Beach House in Las Vegas. Being a big Mets fan, they let him produce the players… and I knew, the second he came in contact with them, their season would be over. Just you watch… their fall from grace should be spectacular!

Speaking of people who look alike, am I the only person who thought that David on last night's episode of "Lost" was Howie Mandel? Turns out in fact it was Evan Handler(the guy on the right... or is it?) Come on... how can you tell them apart? Without the flavor saver, that is.

Speaking of last night's TV, I think I stand alone in finding the "South Park" parody of "Family Guy" spot-on and very amusing.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Who is that blurry guy in the photo? It's David Gilmour, performing 20 feet in front of me at Radio City last night (yes, my camera phone is that bad even from such short distances). Pink Floyd is one of my all-time favorite bands. And while I'd of course rather see them reunite, at least I got half of the group with Gilmour and Rick Wright (plus Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera thrown in for good measure). The first half of the show consisted of the 10 tracks from his new album On an Island. Decent music, nothing too exciting... until a surprise appearance by David Crosby and Graham Nash on a few songs. After the intermission, he kicked into high gear. Great eclectic mix of Floyd hits, fan favorites, and even a Syd Barrett solo song. I got goosebumps during "Time," which definitely makes my list of Top 10 Songs of All Time. The full version of "Echoes" blew me away and included a killer laser / light show. I can't thank my friend for the ultimate hook-up of 3rd-row seats to this show.
The guy in front of me had a much better camera than I did, and I gave him my e-mail address. Hopefully he'll send me some of his photos... if so, I'll post them.

Here's the setlist:
First half: Castellorizon, This Heaven, Smile, Red Sky At Night, Take A Breath, Then I Close My Eyes, On An Island*, The Blue*, Pocketful Of Stones, Where We Start.
Second half: Shine On You Crazy Diamond*, Wearing The Inside Out, Dominos, Fat Old Sun, Breathe/Time/Breathe (Reprise), High Hopes, Echoes.
Encores: Wish You Were Here, Find The Cost Of Freedom*, Comfortably Numb.
* = with Crosby and Nash

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Chris' Music Snobbery may be, well, a little snobby. But it's also one hell of a great source for info on live music, especially for New Yorkers: reviews, setlists, photos, interviews, etc. The post on the first 2 nights of the Gorillaz shows at the Apollo actually made me just check Ticketmaster for tickets... and to my surprise, they had 8th row center aisle seats available for Wednesday night. Still not gonna go, but maybe one of you wants to...

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm Wide Awake, It's Annoying
Oh man, I'm so friggin' tired today. After a rough weekend of late nights, I figured I'd get a great night's rest last night. In bed at 11:30, enough to get a full 8 hours. But no, instead I lay awake for hours. You know how it goes… start on your back… eventually turn over onto your stomach… for some reason have Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" running through your head… start thinking "don't look at the clock"… then you look at the clock… turn the radio on just in case they're playing the best song of all time, but it's only "Under My Thumb"… get up to get a drink of water… try sleeping on top of the sheets just to shake things up… start thinking about how tired you'll be the next day… repeat "calm down, relax, sleep" in your mind… get back under the sheets… look at the clock and get frustrated that it's already 2:23am… consider getting up to watch TV but don't just in case you're on the verge of falling asleep and you don't want to have to start from scratch… try holding your breath thinking maybe you can pass out… and so on.

(And yes, people, don't think I realize one of you will post a comment suggesting that the next time I can't fall asleep, I should just read this post… so don't bother)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Friday night I finally went to Webster Hall for my first Flaming Lips concert... yes, I'm amazed as well that it took me so long. Definitely worth the wait, though. The band sounded great and looked like they were having fun, the crowd went crazy, and I had a fantastic view from the VIP balcony (thanks for the hook-up, Jared). It's incredible how spending $100 on confetti and balloons can add so much to the experience. My only knock against the show is that they didn't play more songs. The show lasted an hour and a half, but only 14 songs (2 of which were covers). They have such a deep catalog... easily could've doubled that.
Wayne promised that they'll come back to NYC for more shows in bigger venues for all the fans who missed out this weekend... already I can't wait. And everyone make sure to pick up the new album on Tuesday. Oh, and if you haven't seen their new video, you should watch... it's hilarious.

Here's the setlist:
Ta! Da!
Race for the Prize
Bohemian Rhapsody
Free Radicals
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part 1
Cow Jam
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part 2
The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
The Gash
The W.A.N.D.
She Don't Use Jelly
Do You Realize

Encore: Love Yer Brain
War Pigs

And some photos:

The start of the insanity. As I tossed the balloons over the balcony, I was able to get closer.

Although not as close as the camera on Wayne's mic.

Hulk Hands during "The Gash." Man, is that a fantastic song.

The balloon gun. Almost ready to pop... almost...

It popped.

Yes, a good time was had by band and crowd alike.
(Note, if you can make it out, that Wayne's dual-neck guitar has an iPod built into it... it's just below his right hand. Never seen that before...)