Friday, December 4, 2009

Who's The Boss or "The football toss heard round the world"


When you are 10 years old, a lot of things you watch on TV, see in the movies, or hear on the radio can go over your head. This was one of those moments.

The TV show "Who's The Boss" was one of those shows tailor made for the 1980's. It featured a successful yet bitter single mom, Angela, who nice house was big enough to merit needing a house keeper. The house keeper eventually turned into Tony Micelli (who, while rare at the time, had the same first name as the actor who played him...Tony Danza. At the time, I thought that was weird).

Anyway, add Tony's emerging future sexpot daughter Samantha (played by Alyssa Milano) and mix in Angela's future gay son Jonathon and the first MILF ever portrayed on TV, Mona, and you had a comedy gold mine.

Most of the series was based around Angela's career, or one of the kids getting into trouble, or Tony screwing something up. Every now and then though, we got a classic "very special episode". This was one of them. Below is a very condensed version of the episode.







The first thing to quickly point out is the name of one of the producers at the :21 mark. I don't if that name is a joke or not but if it isn't then "Bud Wiser" is the most awesome name one can ever be born with.

Anyway, the football throw that launched a thousand mother/daughter and father/son chats occurs around the :35 mark. I can personally tell you that at the time, I thought Samantha Micelli had hands like Zeke Mowatt of the Giants and just dropped the ball. Little did I know that she was GROWING BREASTS...."whoa!" said my tiny brain once I figured this out.

Anyway, the rest of the episode involves Tony shopping for a bra (again, waaaaay over my head at the time), Sam getting all dolled up for the first time, and everybody having a good laugh at the end when a boy calls looking for her. However it will be that soft toss of the football that will resonate forever with me. I remember some neighborhood friends and I reenacting that throw yelling "ouch! my breast!" as we made a catch. Ahhh, to be 10 years old again.

*** Quick post script here. The most ironic thing about all of this is that Alyssa Milano ended up getting breast implants (at least it appears she did based on classic movies "Embrace Of The Vampire" and "Poison Ivy 2"). What would Tony say about that?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quick Observation - Back To The Future III


Just watched Back To The Future Part III for the 100th time this morning and realized two things.


1.) Marty McFly's character suffers three major concussions in a matter of weeks (1. getting hit by the car in the first film; 2.) getting punched out by Biff's gang in the second film; and 3.) getting knocked out when he hits his head on a fence. I'm not sure what Marty's long term prognosis would be but if he was a football player, he'd probably be living today with seizures and tremors. This is ironic since Michael J. Fox actually does have Parkinson's disease....but that's probably a coincidence.

2.) When Marty comes to in the third movie, he sees an ancestor Maggie McFly who is played by Lea Thompson who plays his Mom in the trilogy. This always seemed normal to me because he always wakes up to some version of his Mom in the first two films but this one is weird. Follow me here:

- If her last name is McFly, then that means she is from Marty's DAD's side of the family.

- That means that someone who looks very much like Marty's Mom is an ancestor of Marty's Dad, George McFly.

- George McFly then mates with Lorraine, Marty's Mom, and they have Marty.

All of this means is that an ancestor of Marty's looks EXACTLY like Marty's Mom, who technically has no blood ties to the McFly name. Unless Lorraine is a third cousin or something.

I won't even get into the creepy fact that Maggie McFly's husband Shamus is played by Michael J. Fox. What if Marty heard them getting it on? How would you feel if you went back in time and you heard someone who looks exactly like your Mom having sex with someone who looks exactly like you?

These are the things that come into my head while watching movies sometimes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saturday Night Randomness



I was digging through unfinished ideas that I started to write but gave up and come across this post I started a few weeks ago. Let's just say I gave up due to too much pumpkin ale. I'll just let the below speak for itself...

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The Missus is away, I've been in lockdown mode all day, but as Sting once sang with the Police "Bring on the night...I couldn't stand another hour of daylight". Time for a running diary of me being on my own with a twelve pack of beer and about 200 music DVDs. The night started with a dinner out with the folks where I probably drank one too many pumpkin ale beers. It eased me right into an hours worth of Beatles Rock Band...but now its time to breeze through some random DVD's I have. My only self-imposed rule is that I can't play more than 15 minutes of a single DVD. Let's see how far I can go. In running order:

10:15pm - Let's start with a video collection I have called "New Wave Videos from the 1980's". If I only have 15 minutes, I can only play 3 videos. First up is Steppin' Out by Joe Jackson. The plot of the video is terrible. A maid at a hotel wishes she could live the good life of a wealthy person by pretending to wear said person's cocktail dress. Joe Jackson somehow goes from being a hotel guest with a piano in his room to lounge piano player. Again, this is the 1980's. I'll give somebody $5 if they can logically explain what happens in the last 25 seconds of this video.



10:20 - Let's go with "The Safety Dance" next. Good lord, I'm watching the end of the world. A guy with perfect hair, a midget rocking out to a ukelale, and a blonde haired woman on crack. Gotta love the Safety Dance move where one spells out the letter "S" midway through the video.



10:25: Last video here...Bananarama's "Cruel Summer". Sadly, there's no footage from Karate Kid (watch the soccer scene from that movie) but you get a nice pastiche of when overalls were on top of the fashion world. God, I love that guitar riff from the chorus and the bass riff during the mini breakdown part towards the end. These have to be worst car mechanics ever but I love shots of the classic NYC skyline. Also love the cop breaking it down at the end of the video.



First DVD switch: Moving on to another set of MTV videos I have called "Awesome Idols". Again , I can only choose three so I pick:

10:35 - Styx's "Mr. Roboto" - The song that pretty much destroyed Styx's career yet it was the one that got me somewhat into them. The first 50 seconds include a robot, an Elvis impersonator, and the band Styx...acting as robots. I love the expression of the blond haired guy in the beginning...you can tell he knows he's in a terrible video. Cool robot moves through out though. I love Dennis DeYoung (the fro haired singer) but he defintely took the wrong colored pills when he made this video at the 3:40 mark.



10:45 Pat Benetar's "Love Is A Battlefield": I'm a sucker for 80's videos but I'm a HUGE sucker for 80's vidoes that include a dance sequence. This video is a close second to most Michael Jackson video's as well as Murray Head's "One Night In Bangkok" in terms of a great dance sequence. Not sure what the plot is other than Pat Benetar's character is upset with her home life. She also seems to like to dance with random men yet hate them at the same time all the time wearing a green dress. Prepare for 80's bliss at the 3:20 mark...I am mesmerized.



10:51 - Taking it down a notch here for "Hello" by Lionel Richie. Lionel is telling a handful of students about the author "Billy Boy". I love how the main theme of the song fades in and out during the beginning of the video...when does it really start? Anyway, Lionel's got a hard on for the blind student in his class. She's talented for a blind person though...she's smart, likes to talk acting, and likes to dance. Poor Lionel. I also have to say that this is one of the greatest acoustic guitar solos ever as well at the 3:30 mark. That has to be coolest head ever at the 4:38 mark too. I'm living in the wrong decade...time to switch DVD's.



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As you can see, I never did change DVDs. So much for a running diary, I made it barely 45 minutes. Still, I ended up going to bed with an old episode of the Transfomers on the TV. Thank God I'm married because I'm afraid what I'd turn into if I did this every night I was by myself. Yeesh...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Great Movie Speeches - The Rock Biter

Of course, I wake up this Saturday morning with hundreds of things to do today and The Neverending Story is on. There goes my next 90 minutes of the day.

I've talked about this movie before but wanted to quickly give an ode to one of the more underrated speeches in movie history...The Rock Biter farewell speech.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Scary Movie Villains - Zoltar from "Big"

OK, so maybe Zoltar isn't too scary now but when the movie Big came out in 1988 my 11year old self was expecting a typical PG rated comedy. After all, Tom Hanks was well known to me at the time in my young life. He was very funny in the movie "The Money Pit" with the blonde lady from the TV show "Cheers" that was on WPIX almost every month. "Splash" was my first exposure to grainy nudity. He also was in that goofy show "Bosom Buddies" which at the time I had no idea what the premise of the show was about other than the fact that two guys seemed to want to dress up as women. Tom Hanks also had some coolness about him because he played raging alcoholic Uncle Ned in the show "Family Ties". Lastly, he was in a movie I wasn't allowed to see at the time..."Bachelor Party". That video rental box of that movie always caught my pre-teen eye...after all, there was nudity to be found in that movie....but I digress.



So anyway, Big starts and it seems like a good movie. Poor Josh can't go on the roller coaster to impress to the girl he likes because he's not "big" enough. Enter stage left, a mysterious machine that appears to grant Josh a wish to be "Big"...I give you Zoltar.



Zoltar didn't seem too scary at first...until Josh put the quarter in the machine and Zoltar's mouth started moving and its eyes lit up red. I tried to find a video clip of this scene but came up empty so I can only throw a few pictures of that scene up there. I think you get the gist of it.




Good lord look at that face! I used to scare easily as a kid (see an earlier post I did of movies that used to make me cry)so this broke me down pretty good within seconds. The music was pretty scary here too if I remember right. Zoltar only appears twice in the movie and is onscreen for less than 5 minutes but my nightmares lasted for months.

I guess in hindsight, Zoltar wasn't a bad guy. He granted wishes and Josh was all set to live to a happy and successful life if not for his best friend continuing to guilt him as he was turning his back on his old life.

Anyway, if I see a Zoltar machine today, I will definitely wish for a few extra zeroes added to my income but I'll also be a slightly afraid to look into his cold red eyes. I'd also make sure to see if he's plugged in or not.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Awesomely bad videos from the 80's - "Africa" by Toto




When I was 8 years old I moved from the town of West Bay Shore to the town of West Islip. Along with the demographics going from 40% white, 30% black, 20% hispanic, and 10% asian to 99.9% white/.01% every other race, I also discovered something new....cable TV.

Cable TV was rudimentary in the mid-80's. There weren't too many channels but I'll always have channel 25 burned into my brain until the day I die. That was the original channel number for MTV...at least on Long Island. I'll also forever remember channel 26 but that's for another time. Anyway, before the days of MTV not playing a single video...they actually played videos. This is one of the first to go into heavy rotation and although the song is definitely dated, I'll admit its one of my favorites. Today, we take a look back at Toto's "Africa".

As in past video reviews, here is the video. Just follow along the time stamps for the highlights below it.





0:00 - 0:20 - Ah yes...those famous jungle beats and that little synthesizer rift. If you weren't ready for 80's music by the time this was released in 1982, then you were about to have it force fed to you by a spoon. We appear to see the largest globe ever created and then find ourselves in an old library.

0:22 - 0:35 - Toto had three main singers...this is one of them. I don't any of their names but I called this guy "full blown neck beard" guy. The woman in the background looks a little like the girl running around the "Hungry Like The Wolf" video by Duran Duran but I don't think that's ever been confirmed.

0:37 - Full blown neck beard guy is a little overweight for your typical rock star back in the day and you can tell by the fact that he's sweating at this point in the video.

0:43 - I love in every music video, they always try and include clips of the band player. Toto had a ton of members so its hard to work them in but they do their best here. The first shot of the drummer playing a bongo with drumsticks is awesome...but that awesomeness is surpassed by the drummer's glasses.

0:52 - Another band member...he's also a singer as you'll see shortly. He's a dead ringer for the Blue Oyster Cult guitarist but I think its because they have the best mustaches other than Ron Jeremy. He's playing some kind of wicker maracas that probably don't produce a sound in real life but looks neat here.

0:57 - I love this guy...the keyboard player. He's actually the brother of the drummer...if you can't tell by their somewhat similar looks then you'd definitely know because he also is rocking huge glasses.

1:02 - I'm not sure what library uses a kerosene lamp.

1:04 - Its the lead guitar player and half of the bass player!

1:11 - The first group shot of the band. I think they blew 90% of the video's budget to make it look they were playing on a giant stack of books.

1:16 - I'll talk more about this later but I don't know anybody that plays the bass guitar and holds it up that high. Its almost parallel to his body. I'm taking my technical music hat off now.

1:26 - There's the bass guy getting his solo moment. Again, it looks like he's playing the bass over his head.

1:35 - Love the gong hit.

1:42 - 1:56 - I can't tell what kind of library this is. There seems to be leaves on the ground and torches going on in the background. Maybe the library is supposed to actually be in a African jungle.

1:58 - 2:00 - Out of the hundreds of thousands of songs written, I give you the only one that uses the words "Kilimanjaro" and "Serengeti"...in the same line. I find this awesome.

2:18 - One of the other lead singers of Toto...the wicker maracas playing guy rocking the mustache. I love his face getting into it.

2:33 - Another sign the 1980's were here...wrist sweatbands for the keyboard player.

2:40 - 2:47 - There seems to be some sort of plot going on here. The neck beard guy has a scrap of paper and he seems intent on finding the book it belongs too. Meanwhile the librarian seems to be getting sweaty and there's a guy with a spear lurking.

2:50 - And so begins the most deliciously awful keyboard solo of 1982.

3:02 - Well hello there Mr. Percussionist of the band!

3:10 - 3:20 - It seems our hero is getting too close to finding his book because someone throws a spear, though it doesn't seem to come anywhere close of hitting him. It does lead to a huge stack of books to fall. IT would have been funny if it was the stack that Toto was playing on.

3:24 - I love these few shots before the end. Imagine going to a library, you take a book off the shelf, and there's a long haired mullet guy playing a guitar at you.

3:33 - Hey, its the page the protagonist has been looking for!

3:36 - This shot scared me when I was younger. This guy is super intense.

3:39 - Oops, someone drops the kerosene lamp on the book and it goes up in flames in two seconds.

3:42 - As much as the guy at the 3:36 mark scared me as a kid...this guy's expression scares me more as an adult.

3:48 - 4:06 - A bunch of shots are recycled...probably because Toto blew the budget on the book illusion.

4:17 - The main guy appears to be posing for Africa's version of Playgirl.

4:20 - end - Cut to the book burning and then fade to black...

Well, there you have it. Not a great song or video when you look at them by themselves but when you put the two together...you have classic 1980's bliss.





Thursday, September 17, 2009

Guilty Pleasures - Rocky V

Guilty Pleasure Movie Reviews

Rocky V



My love for the Rocky movies is strong as they have always played a part of my childhood into my fragile adult mentality. I remember watching the Apollo Creed/Rocky fight in the first Rocky movie when I was 5 years old and not being to comprehend that a human face can be beat up that badly. I was probably 8 when I first watched Rocky III and had nightmares when a drunken Paulie throws the beer bottle at the Rocky pinball machine (the music is really freaky). I must have watched Rocky IV one hundred times since it first came out and most of the soundtrack is in regular rotation on my IPod (“there’s no easy out…there’s not shortcut hooooommmmeee”).

Anyway, I was always too little to see the first four movies in the theater but when Rocky V came out in 1990, my 12 year old self was there. I actually thought it was a pretty good movie at the time but nearly 19 years later my adult mind is fighting my child mind to change that opinion.

Here’s a debate between the child in me and the adult perspective between various scenarios in the movie:

1.) Thanks to Paulie, Rocky goes bankrupt and is forced to move into a cruddy place in Philadelphia with Adrian, his son, and Paulie…again, the guy who bankrupted him.

Child in me: Wow, that Rocky is so nice that he let his brother-in-law still live with him after causing him to lose his home, his super cool robot from Rocky IV, and all of his nice cars.

Adult in me: I would have slit Paulie’s throat ear to ear if he made me lose millions of dollars…I guess Rocky really did have brain damage from all of those fights.

My second favorite line from the movie is at the very beginning when he’s sitting in the shower after fighting Drago and he says “I can’t stop my hands from shaking”. I love that line for some reason.



2.) Rocky finds a job and begins training a young fighter, Tommy Gunn (aka Tommy Morrison who would go onto a real career and then get AIDS). Tommy and Rocky enjoy success but Rocky blows off his family.

Child in me: Yay for Rocky! He seems happy again even though his son seems really sad and has started smoking. Doesn’t his son know smoking is bad?

Adult in me: I actually like Tommy Morrison’s character but why did Sly Stallone cast his own son in the movie? I actually like his son suffering in this movie. And though smoking is bad, it sure can take the edge off when your Dad is ignoring you (***not from personal experience***)



3.) Rocky loses control of Tommy Gunn as he leaves Rocky for a Don King lookalike George Duke.

Child in me: That George Duke character is really evil.

Adult in me: The actor playing George Duke is one of the worst actors ever.



4.) Tommy Gunn goes berserk and its up to Rocky to take him down. They engage in a street fight. Rocky nearly dies of an aneurysm but not before his old trainer Mickey appears in a strange manifestation to tell him to get up and fight because “Mickey loves him”. Rocky defeats Tommy Gunn and probably goes back to his old life.

Child in me: That fight scene was awesome but I don’t understand how Mickey came back for a few moments there.

Adult in me: Poor Burgess Meredith, the actor playing Mickey, probably needed some money to pay for health bills. If not for Rocky 6, I would assumed Rocky would have died of dementia shortly after this movie.

Sidenote: My all time favorite lines of all of the Rocky movies occur towards the end. I love Rocky’s lines of “my ring’s outside” and of course the semi-famous “well why don’t you just go for it”. My favorite line is when Tommy insults Rocky by calling him stupid and Stallone, in one of his most over the top performances, shouts “What? Brains? you say that I don't have any brains Tommy?”. You need to see these lines being said. I wish I could upload these scenes.

Here's the final fight scene good stuff here:



Love the mullet and the "YOU DON'T KNOW ME!!!" line from Tommy early on. Around the 2 minute mark is when Mickey and Drago appear and gets really trippy. To see how bad that Don King like actor is, go to the 6:15 mark and listen to his "Gooood Daaaamn"



Summary: In all, it doesn’t hold a candle to the first four Rocky movies but for a guilty pleasure, its not as bad as the critics say it is. Whoever decided on HOW they got Rocky back to streets (Paulie bankrupting him and Rocky still letting him live) probably rights for the TV show Heroes since its full of plot development that makes little sense.

Monday, July 6, 2009

F, Marry, Kill - 1980's TV Style

For those of you who don't know, the F*ck, Marry, Kill game involves picking three people...then you have to decide which of those three you'd like to have sex with for one night, which one you'd like to marry, and which one you'd have to kill. These types of conversations usually happen over a night of drinking, long car drives, or just killing time. Anyway, I figured I'd play this game for you pop culture style, involving some of the popular TV shows of the 1980's. Let's do it...


***DISCLAIMER*** I am happily married so all of the below is strictly for hypothetical aka "having to make a decision with a gun to my head" purposes only.

1.) Family Ties




The Options: Tina Yothers (Jennifer), Justine Bateman (Mallory), Meredith Baxter Birney (the mother)

Analysis: I would definitely kill Jennifer probably because she was underage for most of the show's run and she went to Goth for me when the show ended. How can you pass up Justine Bateman in her prime for a one night stand? I would have to marry Meredith Baxter Birney because she seemed like she kept the house in good order, was a good cook, and seemed to be sexually active into her 40's when she accidentally got knocked up and gave birth to little Andrew.

2.) The Facts Of Life




The Options: Jo, Blair, and Tootie

Analysis: I left Natalie out of the conversation because she just didn't do it for me. Anyway, I'd probably bang Blair just because she always seemed a little uptight and all she needed was a good rogering (that's what we call it in England). The next is tough, because Jo, though attractive, seems to be a bit of a tomboy. I'd go out on a limb here and kill Jo and marry Tootie. I can't imagine someone named Tootie Hungerford in any other alternate reality in this one.



3.) Just The Ten Of Us




The Options: Cindy (the red head), Wendy (the blond), Marie (the nun)



Analysis: I left the ultra annoying sister off the list, Connie, because she's just annoying. I would probably bed Cindy the redhead since she was the most attractive on the show (and she had big cans). I'd have to kill Wendy since she was definitely stuck up and I don't like that. I'd marry Marie because how cool would it be to get a nun to marry you. That means you have more power than God. Plus Marie was played by Heather Langenkamp, better known as Nancy in the Nightmare On Elm Street movies, who was very underrated (check out that azz in the above photo!).



4.) Too Close For Comfort




The Options: Muriel (the Mom), Jennifer (the blond sister), Jessica (the brunette sister)

Analysis: Not a well known show but nothing beat Ted Knight's character rolling over the sofa in the opening credits...that one got me every time. Anyway, this is an easy one to kill...Muriel the Mom would have to go. As for the one night stand, I'd probably go with Jennifer the blond sister though she enjoyed wearing lots of sweaters and sweat shirts. I'd marry the brunette sister Jessica since she seemed the smarted of the two and would have a more lucrative career supporting our family as I pursued my dream career in race car driving.



5.) Golden Girls



The Options: Blanche, Rose, Dorothy


Analysis: This is a tough one...I'd have to F' Blanche simply based on her being the youngest and at least still had some fire in her loins. She was pretty horny on the show too...though I'd still need to drink a half a bottle of Jameson before I'd go through with it. I'd have to kill Dorothy because she always seemed miserable and would probably drive me crazy. That leaves Rose as my wife who would probably die soon after our wedding anyway, leaving me that nice home they all lived in.

6.) Blossom:




The Options: Blossom, Six, the British Stepmom

Analysis: Slightly tricky because all three are doable but I'd have to knock off Blossom since she was too much of a flower child for me. I could never be related to her goofy brother Joey either. I always thought Six was one of the hottest TV characters at the time so I would nail her. Since I'm a quarter british, I'd marry the British Stepmom who could take me around England and bring me to the best Fish and Chips restaurants....yum.


7.) Little House on The Prairie




The Options: Caroline "Ma" Ingalls, Laura Ingalls (younger sister), Mary Ingalls (older sister who went blind)

Analysis: Another tricky one...I'd probably kill Laura since she was one of the most unattractive characters ever on TV but eventually grew into the fox of Melissa Gilbert. I'd have to bang Mary but before she went blind...then again, being with a blind girl would be interesting. Lastly, I'd marry Caroline, the Mom, since she would be able to cook and clean without any electricity. Just keep the morphine away from me (anyone remember that crazy episode with Albert OD'ing?)


8.) The Cosby Show





The Options: Clair Huxtable (the mom), Vanessa Huxtable(middle sister), Denise Huxtable (older sister)



Analysis: Vanessa, you're out of here. You were always whiny and that short haircut you had for most of the series did you no favors. Clair, I admire your sense of humor, good family values, and your nice smile so I think I'd marry you (it would you divorcing that hack of a NBA sideline reporter Ahmad Rashaad though). Come here Denise, I already saw you naked in that really weird movie "Angel Heart"...hopefully Lenny Kravitz won't get too depressed and write another terrible song like "Can't Get You Off Of My Mind".

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Top 10 Wacky Advertising Characters

Kids are very impressionable. I know this for a fact because I was probably the most impressionable kid ever (and still am to a certain degree...some call that being naive though). Anyway, big corporations know this so they create these friendly looking fictional characters to help promote their products. There are a handful that I remember from back in the day. Here are my top 10.

10.) Trix Rabbit

Poor Trix rabbit, all he wanted was a scoop of Trix and he'd be happy. Instead, he'd be denied by obnoxious stuck up kids. The Trix rabbit tried to use every disguise but it never seemed to work. Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids. Who said discrimination can't extend to cereals?





9.) The Snuggle Bear

More like a Teddy Ruxpin knockoff, the snuggle bear just made me think of soft clothes despite his herky jerk movements on commercials. He made so much of an impression on me as a kid, that a few times in college I washed my clothes entirely in Snuggle...I thought Snuggle was a detergent and not a fabric softener. They smelled great despite the dirt and vomit stains that were still there.



8.) Kool-Aid Man

I don't remember much about the Kool-Aid Man except he liked to run through walls and his vocabulary was primarily limited to saying "Oh yeah!!!". I think this would make a great Halloween costume.



7.) Tony The Tiger

If you look back, I did a blog on my all time favorite cereals so I wanted to limit the number of cereal characters but who deny the goodness of Tony the Tiger. Of course, I HATED this cereal because it was coated in pure sugar and looked more white than the brown flakes it was supposed to be in. Still, Tony ever being the pitchman kept saying just how greeeeeeat they really were. The below commercial show just how well someone can play hockey after having 10 spoonfuls of sugar.




6.) The Pink Panther (insulation)



This one REALLY fooled me. I mean, every kid knew who the Pink Panther was. So why in God's name would you use him to promote something that looks EXACTLY like cotton candy. I never did it, but I can't imagine how many kids put that glass infested insulation into their mouths because the Pink Panther would NEVER do anything to harm a child. I'm serious here....how did this get past the marketing department?

5.) The bugs that die every time in the Raid commercial.

I used to love these commercials. You have the bugs dressed up like burglars causing havoc on people's homes and then you see the giant spray bottle and comes their death scream of "RAAAAIID!!!!". If anything, these commercials made me think that any bugs I saw in my parent's house were just hanging out.



4.) The two dancing bears wiping their asses in that toilet paper commercial.

Okay, so this one isn't that old but I laugh out loud everytime I see those dancing bears wiping their asses with the roll of toilet paper. Good stuff here.



3.) Crazy Eddie

The only somewhat REAL person used for the advertising purposes. Before Best Buy and even The Wiz, there was Crazy Eddie's. The spokesman, Crazy Eddie, was this guy who would literally shout at you the entire commercial telling you about how "insane" his deals were. There was some kind of controversy about the owner of the Crazy Eddie stores and the guy in the ads but who cares? I just loved this guy.



2.) Crimedog McGruff

He was featured more as a cartoon character telling kids how to be safe but anyone reading this who graduated from the West Islip public school system will always remember him as the puppet that the sex ed teacher would use in elementary school. Once I learned about what a scrotum was and the difference between the vulva and the mon pubis, this lady would whip out ol Crime Dog McGruff to sing about not letting strangers tough you there. I can't make this up.



1.) Smokey The Bear

"Only you can prevent forest fires, only YOU". Those words came from the menacing voice of Smokey The Bear. Folks, I give you the scariest commercial of all time. Just wait until the end.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

MJ



Q: What did St. Peter say to Michael Jackson when he reached the Pearly Gates?
A: "Beat It"

In 1982, Michael was singing "Billie Jean"
In 2003, Michael was sniffing Billy's jeans.

Ah yes, and so the great Michael Jackson has left us and the whole world is still reeling over it. I read in Billboard today that he's poised to have a bunch of of his old albums reach the top 20 again. There have been tons of reports and remembrances of good ol' MJ and to try and avoid falling into that trap, I'm going to do a top 11 list of "my favorite underrated (mostly) Michael Jackson songs". Underrated is a tough word here because most of his songs were huge hits but I'm going to avoid the usual "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" here.

11.) "Say Say Say" (from Paul McCartney's "Pipes Of Peace") - MJ and Macca did two duets together but the one that landed on Thriller was the by far worst of the two "The Girl Is Mine". This is by far the better of two songs with a great bridge ("youuuuu never ever worry and you never shed a tear"). Their voices blend well together and the end of the song is drawn out nicely too. The video is a little creepy though in that Michael and his sister Latoya seem to be playing boyfriend/girlfriend in it.



10.) "The Lady In My Life" (from Thriller) - The last song on the Thriller album, its the one that gets the least amount of playing time. However, the intro got a ton of airplay when LL Cool J sampled it for his "Hey Lover" song. A great smooth jam with some excellent MJ vocals at the end.

9.) "Never Can Say Goodbye" (Jackson 5 era) - This song starts off with a few harmonies from his brothers and then you hear the sweet sound of young Michael. A neat little song that was a little complex for its time. It has a great chorus though. Love the dancing here too.



8.) "Dirty Diana" (Bad album) - Not exactly an underrated song since it was a number one hit. I just love the vocals and guitar in this song. The guitar part is played by Steve Stevens (awesome name by the way) who was the guitar player for Billy Idol. I can't understand what Michael is saying at the end and I love his screaming "c'mon!!!". I can't tell if this song was really recorded live in concert but if it was, I'd would have loved to have been able to see him. I used think that it was a girl playing the guitar oddly enough.



7.) "Can You Feel It" (The Jacksons Era) - This is an underrated part of MJ's career. You hear a lot of songs from the Jackson 5 era when he was a boy and then his solo stuff when he's in his 20's. Between this era came the Jacksons and this was probably the best song they had at this time (though "Blame It On The Boogie" and "Shake Your Body Down To The Ground" are pretty good too). I used to PUMP this song getting ready for the weekends back in my Boston days. Great intro and use of an orchestra here. The below video is way out there though...



6.) "Off The Wall" (from Off The Wall) - You can have your "Rock With You" and "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough...I'll take this song over those any day. Cool beginning, great bass line, and an awesome chorus with some great ad libs by the maestro himself (gotta love the "shake that thing" line). Below is a live video taken from the 1988 Bad tour, the last tour I think he sung everything totally live.



5.) "Another Part Of Me" (from Bad) - Michael loves the synthesizers here and who can blame him when he put them to good use like on this song. The intro sort of sounds like "Dirty Diana" but goes into this uptempo song that should have been another hit on the Bad album. Another "angry Michael" song.



4.) "Dancing Machine" (Jackson 5 era) - This is the first song you can start to hear MJ's voice drop from his little boy voice to the adult voice. A good dance song with some great harmonies at the end and I just love the "she's dance dance dance dance dancing machine" part at the end. The below video shows just how good MJ would become. Check out the spinning and singing at the same time around the :50 mark.



3.) "Torture" (from The Jacksons era) - An EXTREMELY underrated song, the last hit The Jacksons had together as a family and one of the scariest videos (see below) I remember as a kid. The whole song is scary sounding and that whip crack after they sing the line "its tortuuuure" is dark too. This kept MJ's fans occupied between the Thriller and Bad album.



2.) "Human Nature" (from Thriller) - An almost perfect song that has been sampled by other artists, it features probably the coolest synthesizer line and MJ's finest high pitch vocal (the "whyyyyyyyyy oh whyyyyyy") part. Some of his best lyrics ever. Random fact: the band Toto played the instrument parts on this song. Another perfect live version of this song.



1.) "Smooth Criminal" (from Bad) - This pulls everything together...the heavy breathing intro, the driving beat, the "Shooka Shooka" line at the beginning, the awesome instrumental breakdown in the middle. Not only is this is the perfect song but the video for this song takes it to a complete new level...my all time favorite music video. If I could dance like he does for more than 3 seconds in this video, I'd be very happy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Top 10 "Three Hit Wonders"



Yes there are tons of bands out there that had one hit...but how many bands had "three hits" and nothing more? I call these the "Three Hit Wonder" bands. Maybe Tom Hanks will do a sequel to the neat movie he did "That Thing You Do" and call it "That Thing You Did Two More Times"...onto to the countdown.

10.) The Cover Girls

The Hits: "Wishing On A Star", "Show Me", "I'm Hooked On You"

Analysis: Let's start with a somewhat cheesy yet perfect 80's girl band. The vocals are reed thin but the songs are catchy. "Wishing On A Star" has been remade a few times, "Show Me" has a cool vocal breakdown in the middle that recalls my days of playing around with an SK-1 casio with the voice recorder, and "I'm Hooked On You" has a one of better beats of the 1980's.


9.) Atlantic Starr

The Hits: "Always", "Secret Lovers", Masterpiece"

Analysis: If you loved wedding band love songs, then this band was made for you. In fact, the songs are almost like a trilogy. "Masterpiece" tells the story of a young couple falling in love and how awesome everything is...."Always" is pretty much the wedding song of the couple on love..."Secret Lovers" tells the end of the story as the couple have grown tired and are now having affairs with other people...good stuff.

8.) Ambrosia

The Hits: "How Much I Feel", "You're The Only Woman", "Biggest Part Of Me"

Analysis: If you've been at the dentist, a doctor's office, or a supermarket, you've heard at least one of these songs. The singer's voice is sort of funny in that he has that really high falsetto. "How Much I Feel" has some good background vocals, "Biggest Part Of Me" has the super high vocals in effect, and "You're The Only Woman" has a catchy chorus that I thought for years was Michael McDonald.

7.) C&C Music Factory

The Hits: "Everybody Dance Now", "Things That Make You Go Hmmmm", "Here We Go (Rock and Roll)"

Analysis: The only group on this list where all of their hits were from the same album. This was a MONSTER album with three huge party hits. The guy rapper had a pretty smooth delivery (though he died of AIDS I believe) and the woman singer had a lots of soul. "Things That Make You Go Hmmmm" isn't that great of song in hindsight but that's how easy it was to have a hit in the early 1990's.

6.) Ace Of Base:

The Hits: "The Sign", "All That She Wants", "Beautiful Life"

Analysis: I loved "All That She Wants", I think mainly because of the video. I couldn't tell if she's singing about having another boyfriend or another child. The video quickly cleared that up. "The Sign" was a hokey song but catchy enough where it will not be in my head the rest of today. "Beautiful Life" is funny just because the random dude in the band raps in that low voice of his "we'll party 'till the break of dawn" line.

5.) Men At Work

The Hits: "Down Under", "Who Can It Be Now", "Overkill"

Analysis: Two monster hits and an underrated one. Men At Work was the first CD I bought that I was completely disappointed in the rest of the songs on the CD. Thank God we have ITunes now. "Overkill" sort of grew on me after awhile.

4.) George Benson

The Hits: "Lady Love Me", "Give Me The Night", "Turn Your Love Around"

Analysis: You may not recognize this guy's name, but you should recognize the songs. "Lady Love Me" is a cool song musically because the key keeps going up and up throughout the song. "Turn Your Love Around" has a great chorus. "Give Me The Night" is still in regular rotation on my mixes though I thought when I was a little kid, he was singing "Give Me The Knife"

3.) The Go-Go's

The Hits: "We Got The Beat", "Vacation", "Our Lips Are Sealed"

Analysis: I'll admit, I am not a big fan of these songs or the band probably because they have been completely overplayed over the years and the videos are crap. Still, the songs were huge at the time.

2.) Mike and The Mechanics

The Hits: "Silent Runnings", "All I Need Is A Miracle", "The Living Years"

Analysis: Oh baby, three underrated hits here. "Silent Runnings" has that scary aura around it (I was frightened easily as a child), "All I Need Is A Miracle" is just one of those good driving songs and one of the best bridges of the 1980's ("if I ever catch up with you..."). Finally "The Living Years" is a sad song that I know I will bawl like a baby when my Dad passes away. The scene in the video when Mike Rutherford is standing over his dad's grave during the "when my father passed away" line still chokes me up now.

1.) Human League

The Hits: "Don't You Want Me", "Fascination", "Human"

Analysis: Three of my favorite songs. "Don't You Want Me" just has that awesome bass synthesizer line and tells a simple but good story. "Fascination" is awesome just for that low deep voice during the beginning lines ("Hey, hey hey hey, heeeeeeyyyy"). "Human" tells the story of a man who cheated on his girlfriend but if you listed to the rap at the end by the female singer, she admits she cheated too! (I didn't realize that until a couple of years ago.)

So in closing, be careful if these singers or groups tour...you're only going to get three songs you know...the rest is going to be hit or miss.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Return Of Zach Morris

Brilliant stuff on the Jimmy Fallon show. Mark Paul Gosselar showed up in character of Zach Morris. There are lots of inside Saved By The Bell references such as as the summer season in Malibu Sands, judging the Miss Liberty Contest, Kelly Kspowski leaving him for Jeff (the multi-episode story line during senior year), Stacy Karosi, the giant ass cell phone, and he even calls a time out. There's plenty more but its better off if you watch this.

I miss this show...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Final Thoughts

I have a solid buzz going so I'm going try and bullet point my thoughts here.

* The show started slow but slowly built steam.

* For a show that is to appeal to a younger generation, they like to bring out relics from the baby boomer generation like Steve Martin, Queen, Rod Stewart, Santana, Lionel Richie, KISS, and Queen Latifah. Strange combination there. The Black Eye Peas is as close as you get to a current crowd.

* The Idol tour should do well.

* Kara not only has a great voice, but a pretty good body. I still can't tell if the bikini girl knew Kara was coming out. Not sure if she's coming back next year, but a good way to go out.

* My 10 year old cousin summed it up best "OMG!".

I'm really tempted to play some KISS songs on Rock Band right now (Detroit Rock City)...

That's all...thanks for stopping buy.

And Your Winner Is...

I like how they each are holding a microphone. Simon's final comments are pretty much that they are nice guys and that the music business will completely corrupt them.

Edward Boddington from Telescope gets his moment of fame here. Hmmm..he says "almost" 100 million votes were cast when Ryan said "over" 100 million votes were cast.

And the winner is...KRIS!!!

Unbelievable...although I could see this coming...I didn't. If not for the bottle of wine I drank, I'd throw something across the room. Instead, I'm a happy drunk and can't feel happy for him.

What a cheesy trophy.

Hmmm...Simon's not standing up like the other judges.

Here comes some verbal diarhea..."No Boundries". What a terrible song...hopefully Adam gets a song that suits his style better because this sounds exactly the kind of song Kris will sing for the years to come.

Its Justin Guarini!!!

And....cut!!!

Adam and Kris and QUEEN

Here comes "We Are The Champions"...Adam could definitely be the next Freddie Mercury (without the dying of AIDS...hopefully).

Hey its Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen themselves. Cool idea here.

I'd love the drummer to start singing "I'm in looooooove with caaaaaaaarrrr" here.

At what age does a man with long hair cut it? Brian May is over 60 I think.

I thought Paula and Kara were going to make out for a second.

Brian May whispers to Kris and Adam "let's see you lasting 40 years in this business you little bastards".

Tatianna's Big Moment

1.) Hmmm...sort of strange 9/11 reference by Simon there about jumping off the Empire State Building.

2.) Lame.

3.) I like this song..."Through The Fire".

4.) Uh-oh...this girl will win this award...she's a drama queen.

Rod Stewart

The guys are singing "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?". I smell one thing...and his name is Rod Stewart.

None of them have the raspy voice Stewart does. I love Scott...did I tell you he's blind?

Here's Rod...my hope is that he sings "Love Touch", "The Motown Song" or "Baby Jane"...instead we get a weak voice version of "Mandolin Rain".

C'mon!!! This song is almost 40 years old. There are so many songs he could have done. Give me "My Heart Can't Tell You No", "Some Guys Have All The Luck", or even "Infatuation".

Rod looks like he could be Robert Plant's brother...and that's scary.

Rod's voice sounds a little shot. Oh no, he's doing the "over the head" clap move. I guarantee that no one in the front section has heard of this song.

List of stars who have sold out tonight: Santana, Queen Latifah, Jason Mraz, Black Eye Peas, Steve Martin...I'd add Kiss to that list but they sold out 25 years ago with "I Was Made For Loving You".

Megan Joy, Steve Martin, Country Hick

Steve Martin is another person who sells his soul to the devil appearing this show. He's actually one of the best banjo players on the planet. Is that Kenny Rogers next to him?

This hack that sings the first part of the song.

Here's the blond with the crazy arm tattoo. Now sure what her career will be...she's cute I'll give her that. That tattoo really freaks me out.

Steve Martin has the look on his face that screams "I'm going to fire my agent for making me do this shitty show".

Steve shows just how unfunny he's become. I'm going to watch Three Amigos to get that terrible taste out of my mouth.

Ford Music Video

Sort of a "best of" video shots. Adam's look on his face look like he's taking a dump while Kris looks like he has a mouth full of tobacco.

David Cooks "surprises" Kris and Adam with new cars. Ford Fusion....didn't Obama just pass new engine regulations?

Carlos Santana

We're approaching the home stretch now...

Carlos Santana plays his most famous hit "Black Magic Woman"...random fact, Fleetwood Mac originally did this song.

And we have a Matt sighting! Wearing his trademark hat, he gets a few lines before the rest of the Idols come in for "Smooth".

JORGE!!!

Ugh, more gang vocals. Poor Carlos. When he was playing 30 years ago, could he ever imagine doing this?

Heather Locklear sighting. Jasmine playing air guiter and Janice Dickinson again.

Adam does Pinhead

Is this a scene from "Hellraiser: The Musical"? No wait its a Kiss song..."Beth"

Interesting because this used to be song by Kiss's drummer who had NO voice.

Oh boy, here's Kiss.

DISCLAIMER...ONLY TWO OF THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS ARE HERE. PAUL "STAR CHILD" STANLEY AND GENE "6 INCH TONGUE" SIMMONS. THE OTHER GUYS ARE TWO RANDOM DUDES WEARING THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS MAKEUP. THAT'S NOT ACE FREAHLY OR PETER CRISS.

Phew...okay back to the music. I love "Detroit Rock City". Off to their main staple. I used to think they were singing "I want to rock and roll all night and part of every day".

These guys are as old as my Dad. Can't see my Dad in face make up and 6 inch heels.

Paul Stanley does a poor man's Pete Townshend imitation of smashing his guitar.

Time for some backstage BJ's!

Adam's "Journey"

They show old clips of Adam who looks exactly the same. I love those Randy Travis clips.

This is his to lose...even if he loses I predict the best selling career Season 8 Idol sales out of him.

Where is he?

Danny Gokey - Hello/Random New Song/All Night Long

Danny gets the plush 9pm time slot to sing a sappy Lionel Richie song. Not to beat a dead horse...but in the original video a blind girl obsessed over Lionel Richie. I'd love to see Scott come out and create a bust of Danny's head and sing to it.

Now Lionel comes out to sing his new single destined to barely crack the Billboard top 200. Did Lionel just sing "let's just chill"? This the man who wrote one of the best breakdown sections of a song ever in "All Night Long" (Jambo jambo!)

And right on cue...All Night Long! I swear, I just wrote the above paragraph without seeing this happen. Great song...man, I miss the 80's. I nearly broke down and cried on the way home thinking that 20 years ago was 1989...where does the time go???

I switched over to wine...this is risky move.

Kris Allen's Parents

Kris Allen's Dad looks like he's a little ashamed to stand next to his wife. My Mom is holding up nicely but I'd never want to see her in that kind of outfit.

Over to Adam's family...all I can think of is that scene in "Heathers" when the Dad yells out "I love my son!!! My dead gay son!!!"

Alison and Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time

Cindy Lauper is playing some kind of lap guitar. This song was released before Alison was born I think. Underrated video...not sure why she left the guy in the video.

I would pay $1,000 for Cyndi to start singing the Goonies song...the one that goes "Good enough!!! For you...its....gooooood enough for meeeee!!! Ah-Yah-yah-yah-yay"

Looks like it won't happen.

Cyndi is holding up nicely here...a bit os spastic arm moves but not bad.

When is Scott going to duet with Stevie Wonder?

Awards Time - Best Attitude - Bikini Girl

Here we go again...

1.) Bikini Girl - I loved how she threw her body out there and made it to Hollywood.

2.) Alexis - This kind of person is the reason why these early rounds are just pointless TV.

3.) Tiffany - I like the donkey reference by Simon...first time I laughed out loud tonight. Still, again this is why the early rounds are just lame.

And the winner is the bikini girl...HELLO BOOB JOB!!!. Nice line by Ryan there to acknowledge that.

Bikini Girl will next be seen on Cinemax around Saturday at 2am.

Kara can sing! I love how she is completely showing up this girl. Nice body on her too. The bikini girl looks completely embarassed.

Best moment so far...

Glamorous Life

All the final 5 woman are singing Glamorous. Dear lord, the blond sounds terrible. That was a terrible job.

Here's Fergie. She doesn't sound much better...somebody get her a vocoder stat!

She has a lot of split ends here. I always liked this song. A good mid-tempo ballad with a decent hook.

My wife chirps in here..."she looks horrible...but then again she's married now". Her legs are holding up at least.

Time for some "Boom Boom Pow". The blond girl with the crazy tattoo is grinding on somebodyh right now. I bet the Black Eye Peas are glad Fergie decided to come back to them. If all else fails the guys in the Black Eye Peas and No Doubt should form a band together.

What was up with the cut to the American Idol logo there.

The zebra outfitted dancers are right out of the "One Night In Bangkok" video.

Randy looks like he's sporting a massive erection right now.

Kris Allen song

Hmmm..I'm not a big country fan. Keith Urban joins Kris on this song. I didn't think Kris Allen was a country guy. I love the guy rocking out on the banjo on the left.

I'm tuning out here...

Keith Urban's wife is Nicole Kidman...I wonder if she's there. Let's do a quick top 5 Nicole Kidman movie list.

5.) Moulin Rouge - a very trippy movie that somehow holds together.
4.) To Die For - good satire of the television media.
3.) The Others - a bit of a "Sixth Sense" ripoff but still a good creepy movie.
2.) Dead Calm - awesomely underrated movie from 1990ish. Seek it out...she gets naked too.
1.) Days Of Thunder - just for her saying "Cole, le-me outta da cah" 100 times in a row.

Kris Allen's "Journey"

Yes...I love his pork pie hat in his first judges audition.

I'll admit, I didn't like him at first but he definitely gained the most momentum as the season went on.

If I'm his wife, I'm EXTREMELY nervous. He can get any girl (legal or not) right now. She better make sure she still hits the gym on a regular basis.

I'm Yours

Here's Anoop and the blond haired girl who's name I forget singing that the Jason Mraz dirge "I'm Yours". This song is already at least a year old! Jason's hat out of date as well.

I love Anoop's 11 O'clock shadow. His facial hair reminds of me trying to grow a bad goatee the summer I turned 15.

Here are some of the other rejects singing background.

I Apologize

To those of you who are watching this show because of anything I had to do with it...is this show lame? Absolutely. It takes five minutes to announce the winner but they will fill it out over two hours.

I'm getting the "this is lame" tingles.

But I'm not going anywhere...

Bud light is kicking in...

Lil Rounds and Queen Latifah

Here's the first duet. Lil Rounds, who sounds a bit off, starts this song off. The slap bass sounds better than her voice.

I think I just saw Queen Latifah's camel toe in those tight "Mom Jeans" black pants. These poor backup dancers...I love the pop lock dance moves though.

Queen's microphone sounds turned up louder than Lil Rounds.

What song is this?

Awards Time - Best Male

I'm going to update by segment now....

This was pretty lame last year so let's see what happens this go around.

Best Male - Looks like they are recycling the "Best of the Worst". I like the first guy singing the "Mad World" song that Adam made his own. The second guy sounds like he was doing his Helen Keller impersonation and the black guy sounded like the old "Five Alive" juice drink spokesman. I have no comment on the 4th guy and the last guy actually made the final 36.

The last guy wins and has his signature hoodie on. Uh-oh, he's going to sing. Somewhere backstage Adam is licking his lips and looking at those short shorts.

Hmmmm...not sure how I feel about this...my wife "Hungiewoman" sums it up "that was so dumb".

David Cook

Interesting moment here...David Cook's brother died a couple of weeks ago. The lyrics seems to talk about it a bit.

Not sure why the rest of the band is there if its just him and the piano. Whoops...here's the big rock entrance. He can hold those long notes out...not too bad.

Well all that setup for the band for about one minute of music.

I like David Cook...I won't buy his album but I would certainly download it illegally.

Group performance

Oh boy...this is why I do this.

Pink must be puking into her mouth. Talk about "Gang Vocals". Everybody other than Allison, Danny, Kris, and Adam seems to be desparate to attract any record labels president's attention here. The blond should just take her top off. If this what the tour is going to look like, then God help those of you with kids under the age of 15.

GOD its good to see Scott McIntyre's herky dance moves again...

First commercial break...

Intro of the Singers

First technical glitch...TURN ON KRIS AND ADAM'S MICROPHONE.

Mikalah Gordon whoc I've never heard of is in Arkansas with Kris and his fans. The little girl being interviewed seems to be fascinated with Mikalah's cleavage.

Season 7 Carly Smithson is in San Diego trying to whoops it up. I was expecting her to do a "Oooo-it Oooo-it" they used to do in the mid 90's.

8pm Cold Intro - Judges Intro

And we are underway...

I love in the computer generated intro it looks the people are walking into a concert venue right out of the Death Star.

First celebrity sighting: Janice Dickinson from the Surreal Life.

100 million desparate souls voted last night.

Intro of the judges:
Randy - multiple clips of Randy are shown saying "For Me" but I'm distracted by his horrible fashion sense. The only thing that stays consistent is that rainbow colored necklace.

Kara - I am oddly attracted to her but her personality would drive me crazy. This could be her final appearance tonight if the rumors are true.

Paula - I am convinced that her breasts are mishapen. You can't see it tonight but it looks like she had some kind of "cheek implant" inserted into her breasts.

Simon - Hmmm...he wasn't booed by Randy for once.

Overall, the clips were a little silly but it gets the night going.

American Idol Finale Preshow

THIS...is the American Idol running commentary. I'll start with my surroundings. I'm sitting on my living room couch which was recently thrown up by my beloved niece twice last weekend. I had not seen that much puke since my college days in Boston. In any event, the smell appears to be gone so let's keep out fingers crossed.

My preshow dinner was Greek and I am currently starting on my first Bud Light. I fully expect to either have a solid buzz going by the start of hour 2...or I will be in the bathroom holding on for dear life as the chicken gyro I ordered exits my body.

Here's a quick checklist of things I hope to see tonight.
1.) Randy do his stupid "Booooooo!!!" when they introduce Simon Cowell.
2.) Scott McIntyre awkwardly wave to the crowd and try to find the camera(mind you he's blind)
3.) The completely chaotic song performance that the "Final 13" contestents will put on. My early favorite Jorge was ousted early so it will be good to see him again. I predict he will sing two lines solo in the group song.
4.) A bunch of random pairings of the finalists.
5.) Random celebrity sightings (last night was Katie Homes and Sir Anthony Hopkins...has anyone seen the movie "The Gift" by the way?. I bet Tom Cruise is on a mission to destroy all copies of that film. There are only two reasons to see that movie by the way...and they are a C-cup).
6.) Some type of promotion for a Fox movie...last year it was "Tropic Thunder".
7.) Some kind of "Best of the Worst" feature.
7.) A technical glitch or two.

I've been watching the entire season since the Semifinal round of 36 so I am fully vested in this show tonight. This should be fun.

Prediction: Adam SHOULD win here (I'll go with him) but I have a sneaking suspicion that Kris could steal this.

See you around 8pm...

American Idol Finale

Since this is an pop culture website...what bigger pop culture event is there tonight than the American Idol finale? Come on by starting around 7:45 EST for some laughs, some tears, and some biting commentary...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Funny Videos

Having a lazy Sunday so I thought I'd make a post on the blog. I saw some funny videos over the past couple weeks and here are two of them.

The first teaches all of us the very important lesson that if you go to celebrity golf tournament, you should still stand as far away as the golfers as if you were playing with your closest friends. Don't take their playing ability for granted...



I love the kids reaction at the very end.


Second is a parody of those NBA Playoff ads that have been going on that ask if there will be a magic moment in the current NBA playoffs. They take an amazing play, and show it in black and white while slowing it down. Someone had an awesome idea of using this clip for it and it works beautifully.



Here's one more...only because I love how someone loves the old Transformers cartoon as much as me thought of this episode.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Marriage Proposals and the 1986 Masters

One of my favorite all time sporting events that occurred in my lifetime that I never actually saw happen live was the 1986 Masters. This was the tournament where a supposedly washed up 46 year old Jack Nicklaus made a huge comeback on the final day. This putt on the 17th hole was the most memorable moment as Jack took the lead for the first time in the tournament. The subtle but effective announcer commentary and the crowd reaction only add to it.

After watching this 1,561 times, I realized that this clip is just like a marriage proposal. Follow my rational here. First the clip.



Pretty amazing right? Now lets re imagine this as a marriage proposal.

0:00 - 0:14 - Jack lining up the putt are those few nerve wracking seconds when the guy decides "alright, let's pop the question right now" while his soon to be fiancee is probably babbling away about work or gossiping about a random friend.

0:15-0:31 Jack leaning over the putt compares to the moment that the guy gets down on one knee. The crowd goes dead silent in anticipation of what is to happen next.

Even the announcer says at the the :27 second mark, "this is for sole possession of the lead"...or rather "sole possession of his woman's heart".

0:31-0:39 - The camera angle changing compares to the actual asking of the question "will you marry me". Again, the silence and crowd anticipation reaches it's climax here.

0:39-0:43 The putt starts its way towards the hole compares to the excruciating wait the guy has to wait for his lady's answer. Even if a guy knows it is a certain "yes", its still a tense moment.

The announcer adds to the tension here with his simple comment of "maybe" at the :43 second mark.

:44-1:06: YES SIR!!! The putt is made and proposal is accepted. What newly engaged guy wouldn't feel like Jack after he made that putt...pumping his fists, exhaling deeply, and looking towards the sky. The crowd goes crazy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

This video sums up last weekend's induction perfectly. You don't get this much talent on the same stage that often anymore.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Classic Amazon.com Purchases

For those of you who are new to the website, this used to be a somewhat regular feature when I first started it. Between 1999, when I graduated college, and 2004, when I got engaged, I used to spend frivolously on movies, music, and video games. The majority of these purchases were made through Amazon.com. Why go the mall and pay regular prices when one can order at the convenience of their own home, possible be slightly intoxicated to induce more offbeat purchases, and get free shipping all at the same time?

Thankfully Amazon.com keeps your order history so let's take a look back at one of my more random purchases...this one was completed on September 25th, 2001.

1.) U2 - Pop Mart (VHS)




I'm a fan of U2 but not one of those crazy die hard fans. I think their best output was in the 1990's with Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and my all time favorite U2 album "Pop". Typical U2 fans with crucify me for saying that but the singles on the CD were some of their strongest if not most offbeat songs..."Discotheque", "Staring At The Sun", "Until The End Of The World" and "Please" all can be considered greatest hits with "MoFo" and "Gone" being very underrated. Anyway, the tour behind this album was their famous Pop Mart tour where the band would go through costume changes, including Bono's change into his Mr. Memphisto character for the final part of the show. The setlist spans every part of their career up to that point and since I'm not a major fan of their most recent three albums (probably because it sounds like their 80's sound), it was a perfect fit for me.

* Do I regret the purchase?: Nope! In fact I just bought the DVD version of this show a few weeks ago.


2.) "The Book Of Horrible Questions: Everyone Has a Price, What's Yours?"



This was a book filled with just random questions and how much would you need to be paid to do them. Here are some examples:

a.) For $2,500 would you caress your sister's naked breast for a full minute?
b.) For $10,000 would you take a bite out of a urinal puck in a bathroom?
c.) For $50,000 would you take a dump (including wiping) at work while on an office wide closed circuit TV?

I regret that I somehow lost this book when I moved back to NY because no other book has ever made me laugh so much. I'm laughing right now as I write this.

* Do I regret the purchase?: Haha, I might just have to order it again.

3.) "Quarterlife Crisis" The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties"



Ugh, this was just a stupid attempt for an author to cash in on the whole "quarterlife crisis" phenomena that was going on in the earlier part of the decade. Of course I got sucked into it. I think I read about half of the book before giving up on it. I don't even remember what it was trying to say other than the fact that the authors believe that its very scary and depressing to be in your mid 20's. Now that I'm in my early 30's, I'd love to be in my mid 20's again so I don't know what the author is talking about.


* Do I regret the purchase?: Thankfully the book only cost $12 but that money could have gone to purchasing a movie like "Cruel Intentions" instead.


4.) The Godfather DVD Collection:




I'm not going to go into a long analysis into the Godfather movies (just go to IMDB.com and click on "External reviews" for that) but I will say that it was nice to watch these classics in a good quality picture, good sound, and not have to worry about changing the VHS tape a couple of times per movie. I still watch these movies (well at least the first two parts) once a year. If the final 30 minutes of either movie is on TV, I'll stop what I'm doing and watch that too. Good stuff.

*Do I regret the purchase?: One of my most cherished DVDs.


5.) Best Of The 80's Boxset - IMPORT (6 CD's)




Before there were all of these 80's Greatest Hits collections, and having a virtual music library at your fingertips in ITunes, one had to go to England to find anything that resembled anything wide ranging. Unfortunately, England's taste in what's considered a "hit" is very different from what the U.S. buying public thinks. As a result, out of the 108 songs that came in this collection, I'd say 50 are songs that I've even heard of. Still, this was the only place at the time to find some of these oddish songs without buying the whole album with 10 or 11 crappy songs.

Too Late For Goodbyes-Julian Lennon
It's My Life-Talk Talk
(I Just) Died In Your Arms-Cutting Crew
Tonight I Celebrate My Love-Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack
Nineteen-Paul Hardcastle
And The Beat Goes On-The Whispers
Pump Up The Jam-Technotronic

Anyway, it got the job done but I'll admit, having 5 plus CD's of songs you've never heard by artists you sort of heard of (there were FOUR Spandau Ballet songs on the set), was tough to swallow.

Do I regret the purchase?: At the time, no. But considering I probably could easily buy the above songs I wanted on ITunes for $7 today...yes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Looking Back at the Careers of the Grammy Nominated Best New Artists of The 1980's - Part 2



A couple of days ago, I looked at the Grammy Best New Artist winners and nominees from 1980-1984. Today, let's look at those from the second half of the decade known as the 1980's...

1.) Best New Artist of 1985: Sade

Other nominees: A-Ha, Freddie Jackson, Katrina & The Waves, Julian Lennon

Analysis: This is an interesting lot. Sade easily has had the most sustainable career with a string of hits like "Smooth Operator", "Sweetest Taboo", "Paradise" and that wedding song dirge "By Your Side". I own her "Lovers Live" CD and its not a bad driving CD when I'm on a trip with Hungiewoman.

As for the others, you have two of the biggest one hit wonder hits of the entire music history, much less the 1980's, in A-Ha's "Take On Me" and Katrina & The Waves "Walking On Sunshine". Julian Lennon had one major hit in "Too Late For Goodbyes" and a pretty cool secondary hit in "Valotte" but that was pretty much it for him. Its eerie how much he sounded like his famous father. Freddie Jackson carved out a nice R&B career with hits like "You Are My Lady" and "Rock Me Tonight".

* Did the Grammy's get it right?: I think its safe to say that Sade had more hits than the other four combined.

2.) Best New Artist of 1986: Bruce Hornsby and the Range

Other nominees: Glass Tiger, Nu Shooz, Simply Red, Timbuk 3

Analysis: Bruce Hornsby put together a decent string of hits like "The Way It Is" (T'Pac, were he alive today, would be sending Bruce a Christmas card every year for that sample he took), "Mandolin Rain" (a personal favorite), "Every Little Kiss" (featuring the most annoying synthesizer sound), and "The Valley Road". Hornsby also wrote a couple of number one hits for Don Henley ("End Of The Innocence") and Huey Lewis and The News ("Jacob's Ladder"). I believe he still tours today.

As for the others...oh boy. I literally stared at those nominees for a good minute before even trying to formulate a thought. Glass Tiger had that one hit "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone"...the one where Bryan Adams mysteriously appears at the end to sing a few words. Nu Shooz had that goofy song "I Can't Wait" which features a pretty cool synthesizer bass line and the staccato line "Ba-ba-baby, I-I-I can't wait"...hah, funny stuff. They also had a good song in "Point Of No Return" yet it features one of the most whiny voices. Simply Red was a super serious band who had that hit "Holding Back The Years" and a couple of other minor hits like "Stars" and a remake of "You Make Me Feel Brand New". I have no idea who Timbuk 3 so let's go to wikipedia...whoa! They did that song "The Future So's Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades". Okay, that makes them a tiny bit respectable.

* Did the Grammys get it right? Can't complain with this one although Simply Red still puts out albums...I can't say if Bruce Hornsby has in the past few years.


3.) Best New Artist of 1987: Jody Watley

Other Nominees: Breakfast Club, Cutting Crew, Terence Trent D'Arby, Swing Out Sister

Analysis: Interesting group here. Jody Watley had that one monster hit "Looking For A New Love" and a decent one in "Real Love". Other than that, I can't say I know many of her songs off the top of my head.

The others feature some of my favorite songs of all time. Breakfast Club did that song "Right On Track" which has to be one of the most underrated songs of the 80's. That's all from them though. Cutting Crew was another one hit wonder with "I Just Died In Your Arms". I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the studio when they recorded that "Woooo-AHHHHH, I just died in your arms tonight!!!" beginning part. Terence Trent D'Arby thought he was the next John Lennon but ended up with two hits "Wishing Well" and "Sign Your Name" instead of Lennon's 1,000 hits. Plus he has three names and you all know how I hate people with three names. Finally, Swing Out Sister had a pretty cool hit in "Breakout". What a nice uplifting song...great little horn part in there.

* Did The Grammys Get It Right? Its slim pickings here in terms of a long career. You could have gone with any of these and still be okay looking back.


4.) Best New Artist of 1988: Tracy Chapman

Other Nominees: Rick Astley, Toni Childs, Take 6, Vanessa Williams

Analysis: Damn it, I've been Rick-Rolled! How could he not win here. Just kidding...Tracy Chapman was a pretty good singer-songwriter with two monster hits, "Fast Car" and "Give Me One Reason". Other than that, her image was greater than her music capabilities in my opinion.

As for the others, Rick Astley had two major hits "Never Gonna Give You Up" and the graduation anthem "Together Forever". Toni Childs and Take 6 are people I've never heard of and looking at their chart performances, didn't even have a top 40 hit. I'd pass that off to slim picking but wasn't 1988 when Guns and Roses was eligible? Vanessa Williams was the former Miss America, former Playboy centerfold, who got into singing and had maybe two decent hits with "Saved The Best For Last" and "Running Back To You". Other than that, she's better known as hosting third rate award shows and a quasi acting career.

Did The Grammys Get It Right? I think this will solve the debate. Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" was selected by an overwhelming margin to be the New York Mets theme song last year before the team overrode the contest. Also, the only person on this entire 1980's New Artist list that performed at last year's Thanksgiving Parade in NYC? Mr. Rick Astley.





5.) Best New Artist of 1989: Milli Vanilli

Other Nominees: Neneh Cherry, Indigo Girls, Soul II Soul, Tone Loc

Analysis: , I loved Milli Vanilli...not only did they have some great singles, they also had one of the most memorable "Behind The Music" episodes ever...who can't think of that part when they're performing and the "girl you know its, girl you know its, girl you know its" part starts skipping. Anyway, the Grammys took the award away from them but didn't appear to give it to anybody else. I would have given it to the grizzly Jamaican and the two chicks that actually sang on the album. I can't remember which one, Rob or Fab, ended up killing himself. Sad story...but at least some great music came out of it.




As for the others, Neneh Cherry had a super 80's hit in "Buffalo Stance" (super cool synthesizer line in that song). The Indigo Girls brought about "lesbian rock"...I could never get into them (no pun intended). Soul II Soul had a great dance hit that I still love today "Back To Life" and Tone Loc...well I guess he was the first major rap act to be nominated for best new artist but his two hits "Funky Cold Medina" and "Wild Thing" sound exactly alike.

* Did the Grammys get it right? Another "slim pickings" category. I think Milli Vanilla has the longest legs of this group but for all the wrong reasons...

"Girl you know its, girl you know its, girl you know its..."