May 2009

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Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele
Photo by Jon Behm Photography
Dent May is something of an oddity. For one thing he doesn’t look like a pop star (unless you think he looks like a young Elton John). For another his instrument of choice, the ukulele, is not a standard pop instrument. Finally, his music runs the gamut from doo-wop to country swing to the sort you’d expect to hear on a tropical island. The total package is perplexing and immensely entertaining.
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If you’re not a baseball fan you may not be familiar with the Cubs’ seventh-inning stretch tradition. Before his death in 1998 Harry Caray used to lean out of the television booth and sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. Since he died the team has kept the tradition alive by having celebrity guests sing the song. Most guests do a good job, but a few of them have been epically, gloriously bad. We can add another to the latter category after this week’s performance by Mr. T. Check out the video, complete with T’s Zubaz pants:

“One, two, three strikes YOU out at the old, ball, game”

Maybe it’s because I’m a certain age, but to me it just doesn’t feel like summer until I’ve heard DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince sing “Summertime”. And since it’s the first Friday after the unofficial start of summer, let’s check it out:

Remember the scene in Big when Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia play “Heart and Soul” on the giant piano in FAO Schwartz? Turns out the toy store actually employs professional giant piano players to entertain customers. Check out two of these pros playing Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in G minor”, a fairly difficult piece to play on a regular piano (or a high school brass quintet, but that’s another story…)

It’s been a while since we’ve had a looper in our Random Cover. So here’s a cover of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes”, looped by YouTube user John Rockliffe:

Man am I a sucker for these things. Check out as Billy Mays tells you what’s really up with the products he pitches:

“Impact Gel” (NSFW)

“What Odor?” (NSFW)

Technology + time + fanatical devotion = Awesome. Case in point: Jarod Pitts has created a trailer for his vision of the Green Lantern movie, currently slated for release in 2012. Pitts combined footage from a ton of different movies to make a version of Green Lantern with Nathan Fillion as Hal Jordan, Earth’s protector, who happens to be allergic to yellow. Check it out:

See, pretty freakin’ cool. It’s similar to the one that came out a few months ago for Thundercats, but I think it’s actually better. Want to know where all the footage came from? SlashFilm has the whole list.

Grizzly Bear
It’s a bit ironic that a band named after a ferocious animal produces music that’s decidedly non-threatening. Luckily non-threatening is actually a good thing in this case. Grizzly Bear’s music takes standard music forms and wraps them in a layer of folk harmonies and retro production. The result songs sound familiar, like you’ve heard them a thousand times before, yet they’re impossible to place. They sound like they’ve always existed, yet you’ve somehow never heard them. In other words, they sound like future classic pop songs.
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All of the commercials and trailers for The Hangover make it look hilarious. And you can add this poster to the mix. Any movie that involves Mike Tyson, in Vegas, looking for his tiger will get me to the theater.

poster for The Hangover featuring Mike Tyson

The Hangover comes to theaters June 5th.

via Get The Big Picture

Grizzly Bear’s new album Veckatimest comes out this Tuesday, and it’s a gem (but more on that later). The band’s released a video for “Two Weeks”, one of the stronger cuts on an overall strong album. The song is great, and the video is good, if a little strange:

Modest Mouse’s upcoming release isn’t due until August, but they’re already getting things going. No One’s First And You’re Next is an EP made up of B-sides and sessions from Good News for People Who Love Bad News and We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. The first single is “Satellite Skin”, and it getting released this Tuesday. You can check out the very odd video below:

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