Month: May 2007

Intermission time…smoke ’em if you got ’em!

Intermission time…smoke ’em if you got ’em!

Blogstuff
Well folks, I'm packing my fedora and my bath salts - hey, a guy has a right to feel pampered too you know - and heading out of town for a little R&R. I'll be back the first week in June to once again fill your minds and hearts with...something or other. In the meantime, why not rifle through my stuff while I'm gone and immerse yourselves even deeper into my special brand of inanity?
Macca is back-a.

Macca is back-a.

Music
Paul McCartney's new video, "Dance Tonight", made its debut on YouTube today. I checked it out, and it's pretty good (it even has an appearance by Natalie Portman). Not stunning, but good. It's the first single from his upcoming album, Memory Almost Full, which comes out in a few weeks. And for those who aren't up on his rather large body of solo work (which is unjustly criticized), that's all been made available for legal download on Rhapsody. The thing that gets me about Macca is that even at age 64, he seems to still have the ability to conjure up great melodies with seemingly little effort. And after a period of not-so-great albums starting in the mid-'80s, he began a revitalization of sorts with 1997's Flaming Pie. That creative rebirth was evident on his last record, the exc...
2nd Chance Album Review – Hear in the Now Frontier

2nd Chance Album Review – Hear in the Now Frontier

Music
The late '90s were not kind to Queensrÿche. 1990's Empire was a commercial juggernaut, selling more than 3 million copies in the U.S. The followup, 1994's Promised Land, was a strong artistic statement and sold well in its own right. Enter March 1997 and the release of Hear in the Now Frontier, Queensrÿche's sixth full-length studio album. The album failed to earn Gold status in the U.S. and plummeted off the charts after debuting at #19. To make matters worse, the group's record label - EMI America - went bankrupt soon after the album's release. The band was forced to finance their own tour, which simply stopped after just two months. By the end of the year, guitarist and key songwriter Chris DeGarmo left Queensrÿche after a roughly 17-year stay. Thus began Queensrÿche's time in the de
Well that was…disappointing

Well that was…disappointing

TV & Radio
I've not written about Heroes on this blog yet, but I've been loving every minute of it this season -- almost. After building up to what I thought was a sure grand slam of a season finale tonight, we got a standing double. I can't but help feeling a little let down. Instead of the epic showdown to speak of between Peter Petrelli and Sylar I'm sure most of us were expecting, we got a clumsy street fight. Maybe Tim Kring felt that a typical superhero rumble would've been the easy way out, but dammit I wanted to see some X-Men style ass kicking! And instead of getting the resolution on some storylines, we got cop-outs and a setup for next season. Did anyone actually die in this episode (please tell me at least Emo Cop bought it)? What was the actual "organization" Bennet worked for, and...
Retrotisement – Career Club Shirts

Retrotisement – Career Club Shirts

Advertising, Retrotisements
I'm willing to accept that 'fashionable' is a relative term, one whose definition changes almost daily. So I can see how his ugly-ass belt -- as well as her entire outfit -- might have been considered pretty hip back in the day. But you will never convince me that this grotesque farce of a 'dance' was ever popular, let alone socially acceptable. This was published in 1967 -- the dawn of the Psychedelic Era in the United States, as well as the height of Motown's popularity. As this ad shows, never has the disconnect between advertising executives and the youth culture of America been thrown so sharply into focus. (Yes, I do know that the Skate was in fact a real dance. But man oh man, was it ever white bread. Guess that's what you look like when you spend most of your adolesc...
Strolling through the fields of the TV dead

Strolling through the fields of the TV dead

TV & Radio
Next to the NFL Draft, the most exciting administrative period of the television year is when the networks announce their upcoming schedules (known in the business as Upfronts). Sad, I know, but true. But before I turn my astute analytical skills on next year's new shows, I'd like to take a moment to remember the fallen. Some canceled shows are undeserving of their fate; they are taken off the air before their time thanks to a fickle fan base or clueless (gutless) network executives. Then again, some were around far longer than they deserved. Here's a partial rundown (a full listing is available at The Futon Critic): The Class (CBS) - Some dismissed this as a poor man's Friends, but I felt this was the most promising new comedy since Scrubs. I wasn't totally sold on The Class a...
I bet the flavor explodes in his mouth

I bet the flavor explodes in his mouth

Advertising
Hey, I'm not going to judge Carson Palmer. It's quite possible he really loves John Morrell hot dogs -- so much so that for a few bucks he's willing to display said love and in the process add yet another element of subconscious homoerotocism to professional football. But the thing is, there are certain foods that it is impossible to consume without looking, well, odd. Although I have to admit the mustard in the shape of football laces is a classy touch.    
You know how I know the new Cavemen series is going to suck?

You know how I know the new Cavemen series is going to suck?

TV & Radio
Because I get more laughs from a 30-second Geico caveman commercial than I did from this preview clip on ABC's website. Mistake number one was not getting the actors from the commercials to star in the series. They are actually a big reason why the ads work so well. Mistake number two was hiring a makeup designer from the local community college. With the possible exception of the one in the passenger seat, they look more like really tan guys with horrible grooming habits than prehistoric men. And although I can't tell from such a brief clip, I will bet money that another crucial aspect of the commercials - that the cavemen are actually rather urbane and sophisticated yuppie types - will be lost as well. Oh well, at least it can't be any lamer than According to Jim. I think.
Album review – Send Away the Tigers

Album review – Send Away the Tigers

Music
Despite falling in love with the Manic Street Preachers' 1998 release, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, I never became a fan of the band. I guess part of the reason for that is I didn't care for their well-publicized political leanings, and allowed it to taint my enjoyment of the music. Stupid, I know. Anyway, I came across a positive mention of their latest release, Send Away the Tigers, on blogcritics so I thought I'd give them another shot. The first things that stands out about the new album - in contrast to the only other one I've heard - is its brevity. Truth clocks in at a beefy 63 minutes, while Tigers is done in less than 40. This is fine with me, as I've always felt that less tends to be more. But it turns out that in addition to scaling back on the amount of music, the M...