Friday, September 12, 2008

Craig Ferguson on Voting

I've never paid much attention to Craig Ferguson...I'm too much of an old woman to stay up watching late night TV most of the time.

However, people link him to death on entertainment and gossip blogs, and I've been clicking on those links and listening and watching more and more over the last couple of months.

The man is flat out hysterically wonderful. Really fantastic. He's got that UK sense of humor that just flows out of him, effortlessly. Pair that with the timely topic of the 2008 election...and you get this piece of brilliance.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DMB remembers LeRoi Moore

Dave opens up the show

Dave Matthews stunned the crowd at the Staples Center last night, when, after opening the show with "Bartender," he stepped up to the microphone to make an announcement.

LeRoi Moore, founding member of DMB and world-class saxophonist, had died earlier that day from complications from injuries sustained in an ATV accident in June. He was 46. "We got some bad news today," Matthews said, and the entire place went silent almost immediately. He informed the crowd of Roi's passing, then added, "he gave up his ghost today, and we will miss him forever."

I heard many people gasp, saw hand fly to mouths in shock. Some cried, nearly everyone stood stoically, quietly, and tried to process. I am not a DMB fanatic; in fact, last night was my very first time seeing them live. Still, the intensity and gravity of the situation were not lost on me, and as they launched into "Proudest Monkey," I was floored by their ability to carry on.

And carry on they did. As it was my first live DMB concert, I have no basis for comparison, but they absolutely blew me away. And my roommate, who has seen them 14 times, told me that they blew pretty much every song right out of the water.

Boyd Tinsley rocks that fiddle

It was an amazing experience. So much so that I really don't have the proper words to describe it. So I will link to someone who did (and then some): Ben Wener of the OC Register. I do have to say that it was one of the most moving, heartfelt and powerful live performances I have ever seen.

I thank the band for sharing their nearly three-hour elegy to a lost friend. It was quite the experience. RIP, LeRoi Moore.

The Setlist:

Main set: Bartender / Proudest Monkey / Satellite / So Damn Lucky / Eh Hee / Water into Wine / Burning Down the House* / Dancing Nancies / Loving Wings / The Maker / Sledgehammer** / Grey Street / The Dreaming Tree / Crash into Me / Everyday / Anyone Seen the Bridge > Too Much intro > Ants Marching

Encore: Sister / Corn Bread / Two Step

Monday, August 4, 2008

What could have been - Buffy: The Animated Series

Buffy: The Animated Seried was one of many oft-rumored and discussed follow-ups to the 1997-2003 television show that never quite made it to fruition (please add it to a list that already includes the Ripper, Faith and Spike spinoffs).

From what I recall, the animated series actually made it fairly far along in the creative process. However, there was never anything to show for it…until now. Behold the awesome and wonderful power of YouTube, which has a 3:35 promo of what the animated series would have been like, if.

I’m leaning toward the “glad this didn’t get made” side of the fence. Reverting back to high school, dialogue not as clever as it should be…plus, the Scooby Gang as cartoons just doesn’t work for me on a very basic level. It’s just plain WEIRD.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Welcome to LA, Manny!

Okay, look.

I get that Manny Ramirez is far more than his .299 BA, 20 HR and 68 RBIs. He is far more than an absolutely dominating plate presence who makes the opposing pitcher more than a little uncomfortable every time he steps into the box. He’s more than the power hitter the Dodgers have been searching for with very little success for years and the likely missing piece that will help push the Dodgers into October.

I’m honestly not sure that I care.

Manny loves Manny. He’s a lazy left-fielder, indulged by the Green Monster. When he’s unhappy, he acts like a petulant child. Ask any Red Sox fan about the half-assed jogs to first, the seemingly-intentional strike outs and his imaginary “knee problem” and I’m sure they’ll be happy to speak their mind about what a headache Manny has become. For a notoriously rabid, loyal fan base that was hearts-in-their-eyes, over-the-moon in love with him…that’s saying quite a lot.

I won’t excuse Manny’s behavior, especially since I’m a big believer (especially when you’re being paid millions of dollars to play a game) in professionalism above all else. However, a change of scenery might do him a lot of good.

Manny says bye-bye to Boston.

That’s what I’m hoping, anyway, since as of 1pm yesterday, Manny Ramirez became a Dodger. In a move that sent shockwaves through the baseball world, the world of ESPN and the world of my office, Ramirez became the latest Dodger two-month rental in a three team trade with Boston and Pittsburgh.

The Pirates sent outfielder Jason Bay to Boston, and Boston and the Dodgers each sent two minor leaguers to Pittsburgh (outfielder Brandon Moss and RHP Craig Hansen, and 3B Andy LaRoche and RHP Bryan Morris, respectively). The Red Sox will pay the remaining $7 million left on Manny’s contract, and both the Dodgers and Scott Boras, Manny’s agent, agreed to waive the 2009 and 2010 options on his contract, each for $20 million. That means Manny will be a free agent at the end of the year and I’m sure several GMs are already drooling over the possibility of landing him for the 2009 season. Of course, such a thing won’t come cheap. Not when you have Manny’s ego and Boras’ money-grubbing to contend with.

Will Bay be a big hit in Beantown?

There’s no doubt that the Dodgers got the best end of this deal, at least in the short run. Manny was basically free; LaRoche has consistently underperformed during the two years the team gave him to prove himself at a big league level, and it’s too early to really say if and how badly the departure of Morris will be felt. The Red Sox got rid of their biggest headache and replaced Ramirez with Bay, who is comparable (at least in numbers alone) to Manny, 7 years younger and significantly lighter in the baggage department. The Sox also have a much better chance of hanging on to Bay than the Dodgers do with Manny. The Pirates held a fire sale before the trade deadline…who knows what they were thinking, really…but it’s definitely notthe best way to secure your first winning record since 1992.

There are a lot of question marks surrounding Manny’s arrival in LA today, but I can tell you this…I am ridiculously excited (so much so that I can hardly contain myself) to see him don Dodger Blue and step up to the plate against Randy Johnson tonight.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Whedonverse Friday: "The Cabin in the Woods"

Earlier this week, MGM acquired and greenit "The Cabin in the Woods," a thriller written by the Joss-god himself.

As far back as last July (at Comic-Con in San Diego), Whedon described the project as "a horror film to end all horror films." All other details, including loglines or any description of the plot, are being kept closely uner wraps.

Nothing he touches is bad...nothing.

Drew Goddard, formerly a writer/collaborator on the Whedon-created "Angel," co-wrote the script with Joss and will make his directorial debut on the film. Whedon will produce.

"Cabin" is the first project to be greelit by new MGM motion picture head, Mary Parent. Parent is quoted calling the script "one of the most original and clever scripts I've ever read."


Of course it is,'s got Joss' fingerprints all over it. Here's hoping the project doesn't go the wasd of "Goners" or "Wonder Woman." As a horror-phobe, I'll start mentally preparing myself to go see it now.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Twilight Trilogy Hits The Big Screen

Since I'm currently in the middle of the third book (for the second time in just a few months), I'm ridiculously excited about the movie, which landed on the cover of EW this week.

The cover does Robert Pattinson absolutely no justice. He's MUCH better looking, and he's supposed to be ethereally beautiful in the movie...this cover is half of an epic fail. Kristen Stewart looks fabulous, however.

Twilight, the first book of the ridiculously popular trilogy by Stephenie Meyer, will be out as a feature film in December. The film stars Robert Pattinson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) as Edward Cullen, a vampire who doesn't feed off humans, and Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, his mortal soul mate.

The books themselves have garnered Harry Potter comparisons (page-turning fantasy novels that attract readers of all ages). While I wouldn't place Meyer's novels on a pedestal anywhere NEAR that of J.K. Rowling, her books are ridiculously hard to put down and a great read...especially for a girl that loves vampires and werewolves as much as I do.

The teaser trailer.

Let the countdown begin!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Recap: Idols LIVE!

I had the good fortune to see the American Idols Tour 2008 last night at the Staples Center. I went with my roommate, and we spent the entire night acting like ridiculous 12-year-old girls. It was fabulous.

I am going to attempt to recount my thoughts (with help from my twitter) from the concert. Hopefully pictures and video will follow.

I have to say, all of the Idols sounded just as good, if not better, live. I was pleasantly surprised, because there’s less “helpful voice magic” live than on television. In particular, Ramiele and Papa Johns, two of the top 10 I was never that sold on, wowed me live.

There was a dancing PopTart in the pre-show with Corey the warm-up guy. I wish I were joking. That’s all I really want to say on that.

This is the cardboard cutout I posed inappropriately with. Word.

I love Chikezie. After David Cook, he was my favorite Top 12 contestant. I was a little let down by his set, to be honest. He sang beautifully; his falsetto in particular was absolutely gorgeous live. I just wish he’d actually done at least one of the numbers he performed on Idol (“She’s a Woman,” anyone?). He did a great job, but as the opening performer he failed to draw me into the show as much as I would have liked.

I never cared for Ramiele when she was on Idol, but live her voice is incredibly powerful. Her fashion sense, however, hasn’t improved a single bit. To wit, my Twitter: “I think Ramiele is blind. That is the only way I can explain her outfit. Where are the fug girls when you need them?” Still, I really enjoyed her set, especially her final song, Maroon 5’s “If I Never See Your Face Again.”

Michael Johns is sexy. I don’t find him the least bit attractive, but wow is that man a bit of walking sex. He’s just charismatic, and when he declared that he arranged “this next, bluesy number just for the ladies” the whole place became all a-twitter. I waffled back and forth about him over the course of the season, but live he is FANTASTIC. His whole set was Idol on repeat, only much, much better. In particular, he rocked the hell out of “Dream On,” the song that actually got him booed from the show.

I’m not gonna lie. I left to get a pizza and a water (and take a picture of myself inappropriately touching a cardboard cutout of David Cook) during Kristy Lee Cook’s set. But she actually sang “God Bless America” as one of her three songs…can you really blame me? I thought not.

Carly Smithson is my hero. She is absolutely beautiful from head-to-toe and if you thought her voice was powerful on TV…she almost brought the place down with her power notes. I think of all the Idols, she chose her set list best. “Bring Me To Life,” “Crazy On You” and “I Drove All Night” complimented her voice perfectly. I was mesmerized and she gave me chills more than once.

Hands down, my favorite song of the night was performed by Brooke White. She rose up from a trap door in the floor playing the piano and singing “Let It Be,” which only gets better for me every time I hear her sing it. Nobody talked all that much, but she was adorably sweet and dorky and danced (fairly well, actually) while she sang Fiest’s “1 2 3 4.” However, it was her version of Coldplay’s “Yellow” that just stopped me cold. It’s really rare that a song actually makes me stop everything I’m doing – even thinking – and just listen. I was mesmerized and nearly moved to tears…and that NEVER happens to me.

Jason Castro is the most adorable person alive. I resisted his pull until last night, where I just fell in love with him completely. His stripped-down version of “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley was my second favorite of the night, and just seemed so very him. Listening to him perform “Daydream” live was also a highlight…because it just suits him perfectly.

I wish I could explain why, despite the fact that Syesha Mercado is one hell of a singer…no one seems to care about her. Her set was unbelievably strong; high energy, powerhouse vocals and a dress that I wish I could steal. Her final number, “Listen,” brought the house down. Definitely one of the Top 5 performances of the night. I think I might slowly be starting to love her.

David Archuleta rose, somewhat sheepishly, from the floor playing the piano as well. Only he got a smoke machine to help him out. Oh, and thousands upon thousands of screeching little girls (and plenty of women old enough to know better…like my roommate) helped herald his arrival as well. As my Twitter explained “Archie arrives via smoke machine and a fancy trap door. I’ve gone deaf.” I am happy to state that he is brilliant live. His version of “Angels” by Robbie Williams was one of my favorite numbers this season and it was gorgeous live. His mash-up of “Stand by Me” and “Beautiful Girls” was great as well. He seems to be having more fun on the tour than he ever appeared to on the show and I LOVE that. It makes him so much more fun to watch.

This is his tour outfit, apparently. What a hottie.

There is a video (that will never see the light of day if my roommate wants to live) of me absolutely flipping out when they announced David Cook. I believe I actually screamed more than once and jumped up and down (and replied “MY FUTURE HUSBAND! AHHHH!” when she asked me who it was I was screaming for). Bless my roommate, she stood up and freaked out with me…because that’s what good friends do. They don’t let you look ridiculous by yourself.

Seeing him live, finally…beyond words. Seriously. He was just…perfection. *happy sigh* His five-song set was really a mini rock show. Rocker Boy knows how to work a crowd like a front man and he pulled out all the stops. Working the stage, rocking out with the guitar, great banter with the crowd…I can’t wait for his solo tour where he’s not as crowded and is able to really take the audience on a journey with him…because it’s going to be amazing.

He sweetly dedicated “My Hero” by the Foo Fighters, the only song we hadn’t seen him perform before, to his brother. “Hello” and “Billie Jean” were showstoppers, and I had lots of fun every time the camera zoomed in on his backside. So pretty…

All in all, it was a really great show. Better than I was expecting, to be quite honest. I’m sad that I didn’t know there was a fan line after the show, because apparently David Cook spent quite a bit of time signing autographs and taking pictures and talking with fans. What a sweet boy.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Idols Tour 2008

I am such a squealing fangirl right now, because in just a few short days, I get to see this up close and in person:

I will be the girl attempting to sneak on stage to hug David Cook...though I promised several of my friends that I wouldn't get arrested. Dilemmas.

Anyway, for the curious (and those who don't mind being spoiled) here is the set list for the tour.

Chikezie Eze:
"I Believe to My Soul" (Donnie Hathaway)
"Caught Up" (Usher)
"So High" (John Legend)

Ramiele Malubay:
"I Want You Back" (Jackson 5)
"Love Will Lead You Back" (Taylor Dayne)
"If I Never See Your Face" (Rhianna)

Michael Johns:
"We Will Rock You"/"We Are the Champions" (Queen)
"It's All Wrong, but It's Alright" (Dolly Parton)
"Dream On" (Aerosmith)

Kristy Lee Cook:
"Squeezing the Love Outta You" (Carolyn Dawn Johnson)
"God Bless the USA" (Lee Greenwood)

Carly Smithson:
"Bring Me to Life" (Evanescence)
"Crazy on You" (Heart)
"I Drove All Night" (Cyndi Lauper)

Brooke White
"Let it Be" (Beatles)
"1234" (Fiest)
"Yellow" (Coldplay)

Jason Castro:
"Over the Rainbow" "
"Crazy" (Gnarls Barkley)
"Daydream" (Lovin' Spoonful)

Syesha Mercado:
"Umbrella" (Rhianna)
"If I Aint Got It" (Alicia Keys)

David Archuleta:
"Angels" (Robbie Williams)
"Apologize" (One Republic)
"Stand by Me" (Ben E. King)
"When You Say You Love Me" (Josh Groban)

David Cook:
"Hello" (Lionel Richie)
"Time of My Life"
"My Hero"
"Billie Jean" (Michael Jackson)
"I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" (Aerosmith)