Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday Afternoon Funnies: Family Guy

It's four thirty in the afternoon. You've done your week's work, and there's still an hour and a half to kill before you go home for the weekend. Throw on your headphones and kill some time with Totally Claimin's "Friday Afternoon Funnies!" The boss won't know. And you'll be thankful for it! Today's funny is one of my favorite episodes of "Family Guy."

In this episode entitled "Mother Tucker," Peter's mom gets a divorce, and feels abandoned until he sees a father figure in his mom's new boyfriend, Tom Tucker. Meanwhile, Brian gets his own NPR style radio show, eventually schilling out "Morning Zoo" style as his popularity and ratings grow.

I chose this particular episode because of it's two great storylines. The main one involving Peter and Tom Tucker has it's moments (the montage is hysterical), but to me the real laughs come from Brian and Stewie's radio show "Dingo and The Baby." This episode satirizes everything that is wrong with radio today, especially those annoying jingles. Also on a side note, "Weenie and the Butt" (say it ten times fast) look suspiciously like LA's own Kevin and Bean, morning radio hosts on 106.7 KROQ. Coincidence? Hardly. So sit back, relax and prepare to be BUTTSLAMMED with another "Friday Afternoon Funny!"

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Super Bowl Halftime Preview: Prince

In recent years, the halftime show at the Super Bowl has taken on a life of it's own. Ever since U2 claimed it was a "Beautiful Day" and Janet Jackson lost control and shocked the rhythm nation, the Pepsi (sic) halftime show at the Superbowl has been met with both anxiety and excitement. This year will be no different. Billy Joel will be performing the national anthem during his second Super Bowl appearance, and Prince will be performing during halftime. Yes, you read that right, the dude with the assless pants will preside over the festivities. Would you rather have performing at the halftime show "Hooray for Everything," a group of "clean-cut youngsters" who sing about the dancingest hemisphere, the Western Hemisphere? Yeah, thought so. Let the purple reign.

Hide the children? Naw, I don't think you need to worry. Prince the man has kinda mellowed over the years, but his music has not. What you should expect to hear while you're waiting in line to use your bathroom is a medley of his hits and possibly a cover or two. Howard Stern played a copy of Prince's new track, a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "All Along The Watchtower" and the Foo Fighter's "Best Of You." It sounded good, so look to hear that one played on Sunday.

So in honor of this occasion, I've decided to upload an ENTIRE rehearsal of Prince's seminal 1987 Sign O' The Times tour. Called "Now's The Time," you have before yourself a really wonderful document of a moment in Prince's career where he was firing on all cylinders, and the sound quality of it is AMAZING. If you love the album "Sign O The Times," YOU MUST GET THIS CONCERT. The songs here are in all of it's extended playing glory and even included are a few of his hits.

Here is the set list:

Sign O The Times
Play In The Sunshine
The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker
Slow Love
Starfish And Coffee
Hot Thing
Now's The Time
Sheila E Drum Solo
If I Was Your Girlfriend
U Got The Look
Strange Relationship
I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
Forever In My Life
The Cross
It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night
Little Red Corvette
Erotic City
What's Your Name - Let's Pretend We're Married

New Jew Review:
The Sarah Silverman Program

She's one of my favorite foul mouthed comedians out there today. Dane Cook can blow her, she's that good. For those of you not in the know, tonight "The Sarah Silverman Program" starring Sarah Silverman makes it's way onto Comedy Central's lineup. Billed as a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" with poop jokes, the program looks promising.

Here's what Comedy Central has to say about it:

Step into the incredible world of Sarah Silverman as she goes about her life, which on any given day, can include taking in a homeless man, exploring her sexuality or encouraging a young girl to enter a pageant in order to fulfill her own childhood dreams.

Sarah plays a character named Sarah Silverman whose absurd daily
life is told through an array of scripted scenes and song. In each episode, Sarah manages to fall into unique, sometimes unsettling and always hilarious predicaments, with her sister (played by real-life sister Laura Silverman), her geeky gay neighbors, Brian and Steve (Brian Posehn and Steve Agee) and Officer Jay (Jay Johnston) never far from her side.

So will it float? Look, any show that promises to show us Jimmy Kimmel dressed as a woman, and Brian Posehn (one of the "Comedians of Comedy") as a gay man combined with the attitude and jokes found in Silverman's movie "Jesus Is Magic," has got a real good shot. Don't believe me? Well, check out some tracks from the soundtrack to the movie and you be the judge, ya pube.

For Your Consideration:
Sarah Silverman - That's What I Do (Stand Up) Mp3
Sarah Silverman - Porn Song Mp3
Sarah Silverman - Everybody Sings Mp3

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Crush Of The Week: Marisol Nichols

This week's edition of my "Crush of The Week" belongs to CTU's newest hotty Marisol Nichols. Nichols plays "Nadia Yassir, Associate Special Agent in Charge, Los Angeles Domestic Unit" on my favorite hour of Bauer, "24."

For the last few weeks it had been bothering me. Where had I seen this punam before? Then it clicked. My baby's all growns up! Marisol played "Audrey Griswold" in "National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation!" Here's the proof, and here's to you, my "Crush Of The Week," good luck keeping that Chloe in line.

The Good, the Bad & the Queen

I promised you after that "Xanadu" post that I would return with the rock. I hope to accomplish that feat by introducing you to "The Good, the Bad & the Queen."

The group consists of lead vocalist Damon Albarn (Blur and Gorillaz), The Clash's bassist Paul Simonon, former The Verve guitarist Simon Tong and Afrobeat pioneer and Africa 70 drummer Tony Allen. That's a pretty impressive resume for a band, dontcha think? Oh yeah and to top it off? The album was produced by Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley fame. It really makes for a wonderful recipe and in return, a wonderful album.

So what do they sound like? Well, the shorthanded answer is they kinda sound like the Gorillaz minus the rap and electro beats. They sound like a band, and a downtrodden one at that. AMG says "it represents a conscious return to Albarn writing songs specifically about London at a particular point in time. Thematically accurate though this may be, it is also misleading, suggesting that Albarn is also returning to the bright, colorful, clever guitar pop that made his reputation. The Good, the Bad & the Queen is deliberately drained of color and mired in moodiness." A lot of that has to do with Danger Mouse's production. It's spacial and dramatic, recalling the angst of the Gorillaz's album "Demon Days."

Give these few tracks a listen or even better, catch them live at the Coachella Festival. I put up their first single "Herculean" and their latest which just debuted as a single this week called "Kingdom of Doom."

For Your Consideration:
The Good, the Bad & the Queen - Herculean Mp3
The Good, the Bad & the Queen - Kingdom Of Doom Mp3
...and a bonus!
The Good, the Bad & the Queen - The Good, the Bad & the Queen Mp3

Have To Believe The Play Is Magic:
Xanadu To Broadway

Well, it looks like another Olivia Newton-John movie is moving to the stage. (Yes, I know that technically "Grease" was a play first, ok?) Her campy 1980 roller skating disco flop "Xanadu" has a five million dollar backing and is confirmed to open at the Helen Hayes Theater in NYC this April. Could a stage adaptation of "Two Of A Kind" be next? Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Actually the idea of "Xanadu" as a stage musical done in the vein "Hairspray" and "Momma Mia" isn't such a bad idea, and it just might work. Word is that Jane Krakowski, the Tony Award-winning stage and TV star last seen on Broadway in the Nine revival, could star in the Newton-John role as Kira. Currently Krakowski can been seen on the small screen in NBC's "30 Rock."

For those of you who have mentally blocked out the plot to the movie, here's a refresher: "Kira is a Greek muse sent to Earth to inspire mortals and artists in Venice, CA, in the 1980's. While on earth, Kira falls in love with an artist when helping him realize his dreams, including building a roller disco." stated a casting notice.

Yeah, is it coming back to you now? Remember the music? It wasn't all that bad for it an 80's roller disco flick, was it? Actually, to be honest, I consider the soundtrack packed with ELO compositions to be one of my guiltiest pleasures. I'm sure you do too. So go ahead, take a couple of the tunes below, put the headphones on and dance like it was 1980 all over again. I won't tell anyone. And hey, I promise the next post will have some serious rock in it just to cleanse your pallet. Cool? Cool.

For Your Consideration:

Olivia Newton-John & ELO - Xanadu Mp3
Olivia Newton-John - Magic Mp3
ELO - All Over The World Mp3

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bye Bye Barbaro

2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was euthanized yesterday after complications from his gruesome breakdown at last year's Preakness, ending an eight-month ordeal that "made him even more of a hero than he was as a champion on the track."

He was a great fighter, I was really rooting for him and greatly saddened by this news, but unfortunately this was a race he just could not win. The right foot would not heal properly and was in turn causing other ailments which ultimately led to his demise. Here is, courtesy of YouTube, his final race.

A Super Commercial: Be Like Mike

Unless you live under a rock, you know that this weekend is the Super Bowl. But did you know that there will be two games being played on Sunday? There's the game on the field of course, but the other game being played is for your advertising dollar. Super Bowl Sunday is like, uhhh, the Super Bowl of commercials. Man, I should work in the advertising industry to be able to come up with a line like that one, eh? The best (which is debatable) and most expensive (which is not) commercials will vie for our attention on Sunday as we root for Da Bears or The Colts. Advertisers are willing to shell out obscene amounts of money to have their spot run during the big game, a cost running as high as $2.6 million this year, up slightly from $2.5 million last year.

Is it worth it? Do you remember any of the Super Bowl spots that ran last year? I think I remember the one with the emasculated husband, and the one with the big bosomed bimbos. Wait a sec, that could have been all of them. Seriously though, I remember one or two, there's always the Budweiser Clydesdale commercial, and I think there was another one with a bunch of twentysomething dumb guys for Bud Light praying to a revolving refrigerator. Other than that, I think I was too busy manning the grill to pay attention. (I make a mean chicken wrapped in bacon.)

So all of this talk of commercials got me to thinking about what commercials do work? What commercials leave an indelible mark on our society? A spot that positively inspires, one that doesn't leave us with an insipid catchphrase that eventually will be used on a flashback edition of Trivial Pursuit as an answer to a question. I came up with one, Gatorade's 1991 commercial featuring His Airness himself, Michael Jordan in "Be Like Mike."

Oh, and by the way? It wasn't even a Super Bowl commercial. Go figure.

Instead, it was a perfect advertising campaign featuring an athlete who at the time was at the peak of his game on the court and off. It inspired the viewer to greatness through using their product. Thankfully, their spokeman's image remained untarnished throughout the years. Although Jordan recently filed for divorce and his gambling problems raised questions, it's legacy remained in tact. And that is a testament to a good commercial campaign. Try to remember this on Sunday when you sit through the farting animals, Paris Hilton and Kevin Federline, and of course the thing sandwiched between it all, the game itself.

For a really interesting article on the history of the "Be Like Mike" campaign read "
How Gatorade Turned the Science of Sweat into a Cultural Phenomenon" by Darren Rovell. Fascinating stuff.

For Your Consideration:
Teknoe - (I Wanna) Be Like Mike (Original Version) Mp3

Monday, January 29, 2007

Chasing Cars: Officer Shaq Reporting

I had to share this with you because really, once again Shaq is Superman. Seriously, is there anything this guy can't do besides hit a free throw? Hey Big Aristotle, how about just getting back on the court, staying healthy for at least two games in a row, and saving my mired in third place fantasy basketball team? Could you do that for a brotha? Here's the AP story, and a couple of cleverly related Mp3's...

MIAMI (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal put his police skills to use early Sunday.
O'Neal, the Miami Heat's All-Star center and a reserve officer with the Miami Beach Police Department, followed a driver who allegedly crashed into his Cadillac Escalade and tried to flee the scene, the team said.

O'Neal and bodyguard Jerome Crawford followed the driver for about five minutes. When the driver, identified by The Miami Herald as 18-year-old Emmnueo Cibrin of Tampa, stopped near a gas station, O'Neal approached the car and summoned a nearby police officer.

Police did not release an incident report Sunday night. Miami-Dade Corrections officials said they had no record of anyone by Cibrin's name being booked on a criminal charge, and it was unclear if he was ticketed for any moving violations.

The incident happened around 4 a.m., shortly after the Heat got home from a Saturday game in Chicago. O'Neal was helping Crawford, a team security official, unload luggage outside Crawford's home in Miami's Coconut Grove neighborhood when the accident occurred.
O'Neal, through the team, said Sunday night that he followed proper police protocol during the chase, including pursuing at a safe distance and speed. He contacted police officers along the way, he said.

O'Neal was sworn in as a reserve officer in 2005. He has long said he intends to pursue a career in law enforcement when he retires from basketball.

For Your Consideration:
R.E.M. - Superman Mp3
Sufjan Stevens - The Man Of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts Mp3
Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars (Live From The Star Lounge 98.7 FM) Mp3

Classic Journey: Feeling That Way/Anytime

With all the talk of bands reuniting (The Police and Van Halen), I thought I'd check in on another rock band of that generation. Well, back in December of last year, 70's rock icons Journey, officially named a new lead singer. His name is Jeff Scott Soto, and he replaced Steve Augeri, who had to "leave the U.S. tour with Def Leppard shortly after it began on June 23 due to illness." Augeri was the band's lead singer for the last eight years.

Here is what the band had to say:
“We are so grateful to Steve for all the years he dedicated to Journey. We thank Steve for all his hard work and we wish him only the best in his future endeavors. Over the past few months, we’ve come to realize that Jeff has proven himself above and beyond that he can sing the hell out of our songs and we’re happy to officially welcome him as part of the family. We’re excited to start a new chapter with Jeff and we’re excited about what the future may bring.”

As for me, like most of America, I haven't really listened to their stuff since Steve Perry left the band. But lately, "Feeling That Way/Anytime" has been in heavy rotation on my Ipod. Taken from their 1978 breakthrough release "Infinity," this single did not score as big as "Lights" and "Wheel In The Sky, " which appeared here. Instead the track peaked the charts at #83. Since then it has become known as a "deep cut" on most FM stations. It's also noted to be the last single that Steve Perry did not occupy the title of sole lead singer. Here's the promotional video for "Feeling That Way." Enjoy the hairstyles!

For Your Consideration:

Journey - Feeling That Way/Anytime Mp3