give all to love
The press materials for the new Niobe record draw comparisons to Feist, Nico, and Frida Kahlo, but due to my obsession lately with all things Brasilian, it was the Bebel Gilberto mention that piqued my interest. Niobe is a frequent collaborator with Mouse on Mars, and her new album White Hats gets the award for the "most thoroughly enjoyable while still being slightly challenging" cd I've been sent in quite a while. This song (the album opener) is the first single, and likely the most accessible track from the album:
Niobe give all to love mp3
White Hats comes out October 31. Buy it here.
Austin's back with the Labor Day/Television edition of his column, and I haven't seen most of these shows, but I know what it's like to have a girlfriend that makes you watch Project Runway. And his Entourage observations are spot on:
These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty by Austin LaRoche
Let's Talk TV
*I swore to myself there would be no introduction this week, but I have one tidbit you all should know. I love the "For the Love of the Sound" series and will finish it, but not in consecutive weeks. Reading about my friends and my love for music will get stale if we go week after week, so we're going to unleash part two of the "For the Love of the Sound" series a little bit down the road. Instead, we're talking a little TV...(click "read more" link to continue)
The summer shows are wrapping up, and as a TV-a-holic, I must say the summer season can best be described as "you're better than that." No show has improved since its previous season, and the best show out there isn't being watched because nobody has Showtime.
So as I wrote my summer TV reviews, I realized that somehow, some way, we need to incorporate music into this. After all, this is a music blog, right? Ok, so what we’re going to do at the end of each show's "review" is add a song that should have been played in a certain scene, or at a certain point, or even could be the show's theme song. This should be fun.
- Last Comic Standing
For those of you who tuned out this year (lucky bastards), a guy named Josh Blue, who looks like Screech with a goatee and has cerebral palsy, won the competition. I know it’s the evil/awful person who makes the "he never would have won if he wasn't disabled" comment, but I'll make it. This isn't a knock on him, he seems to be a nice, good guy, however, America gave him the sympathy vote and now he's going to make a lot of money off of it.
Meanwhile, Ty Barnett (easily the funniest guy this season), will still do small gigs at small clubs with the title "Last Comic Standing Runner-Up." I really liked Ty. He wasn't very good when he started but got better and better each week. He finally learned how to deliver his jokes in his own style and I really felt like there was no way he would lose. But he did, and so did Last Comic Standing this year.
(On a side note--Stand-up comedy has declined these days, but if you have ever gone to a stand-up show, 99% of the time you have a blast. Guys, this is one of the best "first date" ideas out there. You can't go wrong taking a girl to a comedy club, you really can't. You know, unless she's a bitch.)
Last Comic Standing Song: The Replacements--"Unsatisfied"
Ok, after Josh Blue won and everyone was congratulating him and giving him high fives and hugs, Ty had to do the whole "oh, I'm glad the disabled guy won" routine, trying not to go up to the microphone and shout "ARE YOU F---ing KIDDING ME?!?!" Well, if I were producing the show, we'd throw on this Replacements classic after the JB win, focus the cameras on Ty, then take the shot to the crowd and find those people who can't believe it either and keep going back in forth with "Unsatisfied" in the background. It's the only way the moment Josh Blue won could ever make sense to me.
(Great Replacements tidbit – Anytime I'm upset or pissed off about something, I put on their song "Gary's Got a Boner." There's no way to be pissed after you hear a song called "Gary's Got a Boner." Great way to relieve stress and laugh at life.)
Honorable Mention – Same moment, Ryan Adams "This is It"
- Real World/Road Rules—Fresh Meat
This season was mildly entertaining, but you need the really cracked-out sluts (Tonya, Trishelle, Veronica) to make the show. Tonya was out by week 4 and didn't really get into "crazy Tonya" mode. The funniest part of the season was watching the stupidity of Wes, who somehow found himself in the final, which I'll never understand. So, congrats MTV, your game can't be rigged, your ratings will be down this week, and I have to cheer for Mr. and Mrs. Boring to beat the meathead and the cocky loser. Oh well, the reunion shows are always fun.
(Note: In our three months here in Chicago, Rachael and I have seen one celebrity, and he was Road Ruler Shane--the tall, gay guy that everyone likes. Anyway, he was rollerblading in the park and it reminded me of a joke Will Oldham told at a Bonnie Prince Billy concert--What's the hardest part about rollerblading? Telling your parents you're gay. Don't get mad at me politically correct readers, that one's all on Will.)
Fresh Meat Song: Beck--"End of the Day"
In a perfect world, where challenges are fixed and the girl who's about to battle cancer wins the tournament, this song would come on and it would show a montage of Diem and Derrick in each challenge, maybe even a bit of their affair, and then would fade into the background as Diem made a "It's a long road ahead, but I'm ready to fight" speech. That would bring the house down, and would happen in perfect worlds (which I was under the impression reality TV was supposed to be). But alas, Wes and Casey will probably win (they're unbeatable in the exile) and hopefully MTV will play "When the Sun Goes Down" by the Arctic Monkeys about the scummy man and the prostitute with him. Yeah, that'd be nice, too.
It seemed like Entourage never could find a thread. I mean, they had the Dom angle (more on this idiot in a minute), the "Eric might not really love Sloan because the actress who plays Sloan apparently is too big for the show" angle, the "Vince is a bad boy and no studios like him" angle, and then they ended the season with the "Vince didn't get the part and Ari lost him" angle, which I'm sure won't last very long. My biggest problem with all of these wasn't that they couldn't decide which way to go, but rather, they didn't tie up loose ends.
Dom was written out. No explanation. Just Gone. Where was Vinny Chase's publicist? I believe the actress was pregnant, but you can't pull off a "bad boy" angle without the publicist. Ridiculous. And honestly, does anything ever go wrong for these guys? I would say once every three episodes. I mean, Aquaman was number 1 at the box office, Vince won a couple mil at the tables, and Turtle got his damn shoes. Hell, even Drama got work this season. Unbelievable. What's next, E breaks up with Sloan for Jessica Alba? Turtle becomes a porn star? Drama wins an Oscar?
Dom was the sign that this was going to be a down year for the show. And it's okay, every show has ups and downs, and there's no way in hell it won't be back. But Dom was the early sign. Just a vile, terrible character with one of the top 10 most annoying voices of all time. He was so bad, they had to pretend he never existed. One minute, Vince wanted him as security, the next minute, he's Jimmy Hoffa under the concrete at the Meadowlands. This was more obvious than Barbaro breaking out of the gate early at the Preakness. (A little something for the 2 or 3 horse racing fans out there).
As always, Piven saved the show. I really think he improvises 90% of his character. Even though I thought he was over-the-top a lot, I still was laughing my ass off. Another A+ for Jeremy.
What would an Entourage review of this season be without a Bob Ryan joke to sign off with? If I were to tell you that next season we'll see Turtle as a porn star, Drama winning an Oscar, E upgrading to Jessica Alba, and Vinny Chase winning the World Series of Poker, is that something you might be interested in?
Entourage Song: Babyshambles--"F**k Forever"
The most guy-ish thing about Entourage has to be their ability to make sure we all know that everyone's getting laid. Vince checked his name off on an engaged chick's list, Eric was in a threesome, and who can forget last season's "sword crossing" incident with Drama and Turtle? Regardless, I think these scenes need a common song thread, so why not "F--k Forever?" Kind of like a sex scene theme song. You hear the opening riffs, you know a sex scene is coming. I really think this could work.
- America’s Got Talent
Awful Talent + Mean British Guys + Woman who only likes singers + a drunk Hasselhoff = the best 3 episodes in game show history.
After those three, when the Hoff sobered up, the talent was supposed to be good but was actually boring, and Brandy and Piers decided to have a "feud," it was over for me. I don't even know who won.
Some notes about the show...
*How do you drop the ball on having Regis as your host? Was there ever a guy more born for hosting jobs? He's my number one choice as MC at my wedding. Easily. But the show had him asking the lamest questions to the contestants and you ended up feeling bad for him the whole time. My mom is the biggest Reg fan on the planet and let's just say even she was tired of him by the 4th week.
*Leopold. AKA the Glitter Guy. The producers must of thought this guy was good TV, but this jackass may have killed the show. I think they wasted a good hour of television in his 3 stunts on the show. Uncalled for. Bad form.
*Simon Cowell created the show. Why not just get in there and judge yourself, Simon? Why get a new British guy to play your role? At least make a joke out of it. "And this is my buddy Piers, he’s going to play the mean British guy role this season..."
*Why did they allow singers? Isn't that why they created American Idol? Why not just a bunch of kooks like Bobby Badfingers? And did you notice all the singers were young girls? What were the rules? No singers over 15 allowed?
America’s Got Talent Song: Futureheads--"Piece of Crap"
Have you ever seen on American Idol when they play the nice send-off song? Well, what if on AGT, every time someone is eliminated from the competition (in the early rounds, you know, for the people who shouldn't be there in the first place), they play this song to really salt the wound? A little cruel? Possibly. But don't the William Hung-like people looking for their 15 minutes deserve a little cruelty now and again? I have no talents, you don't see me going on there pretending to juggle. But if I did...PIECE OF CRAP!!!!
Anyway, Brotherhood is about two Irish brothers, one is a local politician and the other is a big time gangster, and they have messed up families and lives. A great show. Lots of details, so you have to really pay attention, but it's well worth it. If it's raining outside one day, and you just want to sit on the couch but nothing's on, go to Showtime On-Demand and start the season, I doubt you'll be disappointed. It's easily been the best show of the summer. For fans of the Sopranos, The Wire, and good television in general.
(I really can't find any "they should do this" or "this is off" stuff with Brotherhood. I really can’t. I mean, its not like the first season of Lost or the first season of 24, but its not too far off either.)
Brotherhood song: U2--"Bad"
The show has no theme song. But it needs one. Everyone loves a theme song. And as much as I tried to stay away from Bono and the boys, I just wasn't familiar enough with Flogging Molly or The Pogues (the 2 quintessential "Irish" bands) to go that way. Had my buddy, Pat, answered his phone, he may have had a better Pogues song for us, but for now, we're using the best U2 song I could find. Its 80s U2, which makes me think I'm in the clear. However, maybe someone who scored a 48 or higher on the Hipster Test could give us the 80s U2 ruling. Has Bono gotten so full of himself that we're not even allowed to like the early stuff anymore? Someone please help me with this.
- Project Runway
*Vincent is only on the show still because he's weird and makes the show more interesting.
*Jeffrey makes cool clothes but is a huge dickhead.
*Kayne has no clue what he's doing.
*Uli is cute (okay, that one was mine.)
*Michael is probably going to win.
*Laura looks like someone I would hate, but Rach says she's "nice" and "always dresses up." Still, she looks like the epitome of old New England money (and this comes from a guy who knows NOTHING about her, just the way she looks) and is probably the snobbiest looking person I've ever seen. But apparently, she's "nice."
*When Angela got booted this week, Rachael jumped up and down on the couch. Apparently, Angela sucks. I mean, they made this woman fly all the way to Paris to find out she was being kicked off. That's mean. There should be SOME sympathy in that. Not for Rach. Her response, "good, she looks like she designs clothes for aliens." Girls are funny.
Project Runway Song: Multiple Answers
You know how baseball players and wrestlers come out to their own theme music? This should happen with the final 6 contestants on Project Runway. Think about it. Before they enter the room in Paris, there's a montage of their background with the song, followed by a shot of them walking through the town with the Eiffel Tower and The Arc de Triumph in the background, and then finally, then they enter Parsons with their song playing. Each person's choice? Let’s see...
Michael: Alright, this is tough. This guy is one of those cool, hip-hop guys, so his song theme song needs to reflect that. My problem with this? I don't listen to enough hip-hop to make the proper call. I'd assume either Common or Kayne would sing his song, but I'm not sure the perfect answer. So we'll let you, the reader, decide on this one.
Laura: Yo-Yo Ma and Allison Kraus--"Simple Gifts"
Here's the thought process on this one. Yo-Yo Ma is the only household classical artist whose name I know. Laura seems like a definite classical music aficionado, so I figured I'd go on iTunes and look some stuff up. The result? A pretty piece of classical music that would fit her perfectly.
Uli: Sonya Cotton--"Guard Your Heart"
I chose this for two reasons. One, Uli seems like the kind of girl who listens to eccentric, cool, albeit mellow music. Two, this song, while not too fitting, is by an unknown artist who's quite good and I wanted to give her a shout out. So there we go.
Vincent: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah--"Upon this Tidal Wave of Young Blood"
Alright, with Vinny, we need one of those strange voices, right? Who better than CYHSY? That guy's got a unique voice, it sounds a little peculiar, but not to the point where audiences won't be intrigued by it. Plus, it's got a cool background-y feel to it, right?
Kanye: Elliott Smith--"I Don’t Think I’m Ever Gonna Figure it Out"
Jeffrey: The White Stripes--"Offend in Every Way"
The rocker needs a rock song, right? He also needs something to let it be known he's a prick. Like always, Jack White comes to the rescue.
(Phew. Tough list to compile for a show I've watched twenty total minutes of this season.)
I read in Rolling Stone that Mary-Louise Parker has gotten upset with the writers because Nancy Botwin is the worst mother of all time, and I agree with her. Why are they choosing to go this way? Wasn't the point of the show to make this "normal" woman and her "normal" family a drug dealer and to do it in a way where we both cheer for her as a mom and a professional?
But the season is young, and the possibilities endless. Weeds is still one of the 5 best comedies on TV and has some of the wittiest writers around (even though they apparently don't want us to like anyone on the show). My only other complaint? Well...
Weeds Song: Malvina Reynolds--"Little Boxes"
This used to be the best theme song on television. Then, the producers had the dumbest idea in the history of Western Civilization--letting bands like Death Cab for Cutie cover the song and using their versions at the beginning of each episode. Why in the world did they think this would work? What would have happened if they were in charge of other great shows with great theme songs? Would Frankie Goes to Hollywood sing the Cheers theme song? Maybe we could have heard the Four Non-Blondes give "A Little Help with my Friends" a stab? What's next? C-List celebrities like John Stamos doing the beeping sound on 24?
Anyway, put the damn original back in the beginning. (editors note: I'm waiting until I hear the Tim Delaughter version to make judgement on this)
Well, the summer was fun, but it's time for the big shows to come back and to check out a few of these new pilots...but that's another column.
Have a great Labor Day, guys, and enjoy wearing white for the last time, ladies.
PS--FSU 23 Miami 6 Go Noles!