April 2009

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There’s a French trailer out for the upcoming G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. At least I think it’s French, because it has French subtitles. I suppose it could be French Canadian. Or from one of those African countries where they speak French. I’m not sure. What I AM sure of is how cheesy and stupid this movie looks. Super suits? Some sort of green goo that dissolves metal instantly? Dialogue THAT bad? I had a feeling this movie wouldn’t be very good when they announced it. But I had no idea it would be THIS bad. Ugh. Watch it, if you dare:

The international trailer got pulled, so here’s the equally craptacular American version

The Bad Plus
With their heavy guitars, angst-filled lyrics, and mumbled vocals Nirvana defined grunge. Their music was raw and powerful. These aren’t qualities you associated with jazz, but The Bad Plus manages to pull off a very cool jazzy cover of Nirvana’s “Lithium”.


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If you like that, go get their latest album For All I Care, and check out their cover of Heart’s “Barracuda”.

The Decemberists returned to The Colbert Report last night, and unlike last time’s unsucessful Guitarmageddon challenge, there was no Peter Fucking Frampton to mess with the band’s mojo. They played “The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid” from Hazards of Love, and it’s impressive how well the song translates live. The first part just sounds like a standard Decemberists song, but once My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden steps up to belt out her part everything kicks into higher gear. Check it out:

If you liked what you saw and want to see the whole crew perform the whole album, go see them on tour this summer.

Robert Rodriguez is rebooting Predator
Because Hollywood is truly out of original ideas, 20th Century Fox is bringing back the Predator franchise. Robert Rodriguez is set to direct Predators. The movie will follow a team of commandos who have to face down a group of Predators, plural. Since Rodriguez’s schedule is full of Machete and Nervewrackers we probably won’t see this until 2011. Can’t say I’m disappointed by that.

first poster for Sasha Baron Cohen's BrunoWe got a trailer for Sasha Baron Cohen’s new movie Bruno a couple of weeks ago. Now we get the first poster. And it’s fairly disturbing. If anyone knows how I can scrub that image out of my brain, please let me know. Bruno follows an Austrian fashion designer who makes everyone around him very, very awkward. If it’s anything like Borat it should be the most uncomfortable kind of fun possible. (click on the picture to see it full-sized)

Nobody realized it at the time, but looking back, The Dana Carvey show had an unbelievable cast of writers. The show had almost as many great writers as episodes. It only lasted 8 shows, but check out this list of writers: Louis C.K., Dana Carvey, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Bob Odenkirk, Robert Smigel, and Charlie Kaufman. Yeah, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich Charlie Kaufman. The episodes are all up on Hulu now, so you can try to figure out how such a great team of writers didn’t succeed.

I love a good trailer mashup, and this one’s pretty damn good. Take the audio from the Ocean’s Eleven trailer, and video from The Great Muppet Caper, and you get something totally awesom:

And finally, from the WTF department, watch as Richard Simmons flips the fuck out:

If you’re not a fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia just stop reading and go watch it now. It’s probably the funniest thing on TV, and it’s definitely the most wrong. It’s like Seinfeld, but with no morals.

Anyhoo, if you ARE a fan of the show you’ll remember the musical the gang put on at the end of Season 4, The Nightman Cometh. It was a high water mark in television history. It had drama, glamor, singing, and trolls. Truly spectacular. What could be better than The Nightman Cometh on tv? How about a live performance?

A couple weekends ago the whole gang got together in LA and performed the whole musical on stage. I would have give my right nut to see that. Luckily, via the magic of the internets, we can see some clips. Dayman, a-wo-OH-OH!

Samantha Crain and The Midnight Shivers
Samantha Crain’s grew up listening to the music of her native state of Oklahoma, from Woody Guthrie’s down-home folksiness to the wide-open sonic palette of The Flaming Lips. Now she makes her own, adding a piece to the state’s musical legacy. Along with her band, The Midnight Shivers, she’s creating her own musical legacy to inspire future generations of Oklahoman musicians.
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RIP Bea Arthur

Golden Girl Bea ArthurThe world is one Golden Girl short after Bea Arthur died today. She was 86. I’m too young to remember her as the title character on Maude, but I’m the perfect age to remember her as Dorothy Zbornak in Golden Girls. And of course who could forget her in The Star Wars Holiday Special? But despite her acting talents, which resulted in multiple Emmy awards, she’s probably best known for her mannish looks and man-voice. Oh well, everyone has to be known for something I guess.

By way of tribute, listen to the classic theme song from Golden Girls, “Thank You For Being a Friend”:

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This week’s video takes us all the way back to 1993. At that point The Breeders had released one full album and an EP, but neither had crossed over from college radio to the mainstream. With their release of Last Splash that changed though, when “Cannonball” was all over the radio. With the catchy song came a cool video, directed by Spike Jonze (because apparently Spike was contractually obligated to direct EVERY video in the early 90s):

Ahh, AutoTune. The technology that makes anyone a pitch-perfect singer. And a douchebag. If you’re not familiar with how it works, it basically takes what you actually sing and “moves” the sound up or down to the “right” note. Meaning that if you sing off-key, it fixes it. Sounds great, right? Not so fast. The process removes all the soft transitions between notes, making everything sound a little jagged. And it also gives the music a metallic, electronic overtone. Basically it sounds like shit, in tune.

So AutoTune is terrible for music. BUT, it turns out it’s great for comedy. What sounds irritating and fake in a T-Pain song sounds funny when applied to a baby crying. Or when applied to Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream Speech”:

A couple of YouTuber’s have started putting together AutoTune News, where they make news anchors “sing” the news. The effect can be absolutely hilarious:

And finally, what would happen if you just started using AutoTune around the office?

So there you have it. Something tells me the folks who invented AutoTune intended it for music, a job it fails miserably. But one medium’s trash is another’s treasure.

It’s been rainy here in Baltimore the last couple of days. Perfect weather for listening to Bon Iver. Or, in this case, two guys covering Bon Iver’s “For Emma”. But if it was just two guys covering Bon Iver, it wouldn’t be that interesting. What makes this version special is the cello. It adds to the mournful tone of the song.

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