Friday, March 26, 2010

Feminist Feature: The Avengers!

Remember my post on the X-Men being feminist? Well, despite Marvel's amazing female characters, they are largely invisible, especially in the upcoming Avengers. Of three core teams: Avengers, New Avengers, and Secret Avengers, we have approximately one female per team right now with five members released, but the Secret cast is still shadows (but one seems to be female).

Ms. Marvel is shown on the New Avengers cover for June, but the first five team members were revealed to be Wolverine, Spider-Man, Thing, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones/Jewel. I love this team. I really do. But I want more females. Is Ms. Marvel really going to be on it? Why not have Jewel and Spider-Woman be on the same team? They're supposed to be friends from Jessica's days as a P.I. And Carol is supposed to be Jessica's best friend.

And Spider-Woman is part of the adjectiveless Avengers team. I love her like crazy, especially after the series she just had, which got cut to be a mini. So she's on a team with Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America. So the three biggest names of the Avengers will completely overpower her or bring her up in status. We'll see how this plays out. But there are plenty of female Avengers, and I think we could have more on a team. I know. We should just care about good characters. And I do. But you can turn a crappy character into a good character (usually) if given to a different writer. I love Bendis's writing, and I think his women are fantastic, but I wish he'd write more of them to maybe help being in even more female fans and show equality among the sexes. It's ridiculous!

Once this will happen, maybe more races will be represented in the Avengers. Like Wolverine, Storm could totally be on the Avengers. Or sexuality differences. Bring Wiccan and Hulkling to the forefront. Integrate the Young Avengers into the Avengers, and maybe we'd get them some more respect. I still love the Avengers, and I'm all for good characters, no matter what, but I think it'd be nice to have some diversity to draw in readers and help some people who need to relate to something.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Site of the Week (3/15-3/21): Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles

Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles essentially two characters: Mr. Wiggles, a drunken sex-addicted teddy bear, and the cartoon exaggerated version of the nerdy and slightly insane creator Neil Swaab. Enjoy the extreme dirtiness and nerdiness. A good combination, if you ask me!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Celtic Corner: St. Patty's Playlist!

St. Patrick's Day...a day when everyone seems to be Irish. My problem is that why don't you claim and celebrate your Irish heritage every day? I do, and I have very little Irish in me. My great-great grandma. That's it. And that's apparently where I get my red hair. I listen to Irish music every day, read something about Ireland nearly every day. I let people know about Ireland and its troubles, its art, and its wonder, but I don't romanticize it. So I party on St. Patty's Day because it's the one day I feel somewhat normal. I don't care for the origins either: a man from Roman Britain converts pagan Ireland to force. Not cool. I'm not a fan of colonialism (and I know the U.S. did and still does that, and I hate it). I hate that I see people asking for bibles for starving Africans, rather than food. Bibles will not save them from death; food will. Apparently we still try to save the heathens from eternal damnation. For St. Patty, though it may not have been him directly, converting was not a choice: you convert or die.

I tried to narrow it down to 23 tracks: around the normal amount for a full 80-minute CD. It was tough. I chose the more upbeat songs I know and love, which was also tough. There's plenty of traditional drinking songs sung by the Clancy Brothers or The Dubliners, but I'd like to open you to the ancient land of Erin, with centuries of turmoil and striking beauty. From traditional tunes to modern folk to modern rock I give you my list of tunes to download for St. Patty's Day. Yes, The Cranberries are from Ireland.

"The Light Dragoon" from the album Last Leaves

Seth Lakeman
"The Hurlers" from Poor Man's Heaven

Cara Dillon
"Here's a Health" from After the Morning
"The Streets of Derry" from After the Morning
"The Hill of Thieves" from Hill of Thieves

Karan Casey
"The King's Shilling" from The Wing Begins to Sing
"When Will We All Be Free?" from Chasing the Sun

"The Wind That Shakes the Barley" from Sunny Spells & Scattered Showers
"Pastures of Plenty" from The Words That Remain OR Reunion: A Decade of Solas

The Cranberries
"Dreams" from Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
"Free to Decide" from To the Faithful Departed

Tommy Sands
"Let the Circle Be Wide" from Let the Circle Be Wide
"There Were Roses" from Singing of the Times
"Don't Call Me Early in the Morning" from Singing of the Times

Fionn Regan
"Put a Penny in the Slot" from The End of History

Tim O'Brien
"Wagoner's Lad" from The Crossing (feat. Kathy Mattea)
"Demon Lover" from Two Journeys (feat. Karan Casey)

Damien Dempsey
"Colony" from They Don't Teach This Shit in School
"Great Gaels of Ireland" from Seize the Day
"St. Patrick's Day" from Shots

Emer Kenny
"Parting Glass" from Parting Glass

The Chieftains
"Raggle Taggle Gypsy" from Further Down the Old Plank Road (feat. Nickel Creek)

Dolly Parton
"We Irish" from Alive and Well

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Parks and Rec updates

Paul Schneider is leaving Parks and Recreation. THANK GOD! His character Mark was lame as hell. He was okay, being the only sane one in a group of insane, weird people. But it was working, and neither was his relationship with Anne. That means they break up. So.....spoilers! Sorry I said it afterwards! On an even brighter side, Adam Scott joins the cast! Woohoo! Hopefully it won't conflict with his Party Down schedule. His humor will fit in perfectly. Rob Lowe is also slated to join the cast of Parks. Rob Lowe and government positions are not really strangers, are they? He might as well become a frakking politician, acting like one so much. (Reported in LA Times with Mike Schur's affirmation)

Update: Adam Scott IS leaving Party Down. Full report here. He WILL return for three eps if it's renewed for a third season. I guess we're just going to have to DEAL WITH IT (said in a Phil Myman voice)!

Update #2: Natalie Morales of The Middleman will be showing up next season as well!!!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Celtic Corner: Amy MacDonald

Amy MacDonald is an amazing singer/songwriter pop musician from Scotland. She had a sassy teen spirit in her first album and some critical tunes of celebrity and politicians who don't listen to the young people's voices because they think we don't know what we're talking about. There wasn't a song on This is the Life that I wasn't in love with. The new album A Curious Thing, just released March 8, is more mature but not as catchy but still incredibly catchy, so that says something about the debut album. I still love every single song. MacDonald's voice is Delores O'Riordan meets deep-voiced Kathryn Roberts meets Natalie Merchant. Songs range in subject from heartbreak to finding your place and another song about celebrity. Highlights include "Don't Tell Me It's Over," a song about just trying to discover and understand the world while some people try to preach the world's end and destruction, the celebrity-ego-critical "An Ordinary Life," a song about skin-deep beauty only going so far "This Pretty Face," and the moving devotional "What Happiness Means to Me."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Looking Forward in 2010

What am I looking forward to in 2010? Well, Jam's baby has been that's over.


How to Train Your Dragon
March 26
The Olympics brought something else to make my giddy: How to Train Your Dragon looks fun for all ages. The humor; the action; the plot. Kristen Wiig does a voice, and I'm a fan of anything she does. Unfortunately Jonah Hill will also be voicing, but at least I don't have watch his annoying self.

Clash of the Titans
April 2
This movie looks incredible. I'm stoked to see it; it sounds like mythology is coming back again. Stars Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes (who DO look alike and respectively play brothers Zeus and Hades) will make this film even better.

April 16
The comic got a film deal almost immediately! I have yet to get my hands on the comic because of its outrageous popularity. But the trailers look amazing: hilarious and awesomely action-packed. I'm thrilled about Hit-Girl, played by the ever-amazing Chloe Moretz. You may have seen her in (500) Days of Summer. It's likely you have if you're reading this blog. Nicholas Cage is also in it...woohoo....I wouldn't take your kids to this though, even though it's a couple kids. They're just going around killing people with katanas and blunt weapons. It might pose problems for some parents.

Iron Man 2
May 7
I admit: I hate Iron Man in the comics. He's an ass; I sided with the rebels in the Civil War. I tend to do that anyway. But damn that first movie was GOLD! I'm looking forward to the second installment. Marvel produces much better superhero movies than FOX.

November 24
Kristen Bell plays a small-town gal who moves to the city and works in a Burlesque show. I'll be first in line at the theatre. Other cast members include Eric Dane, Stanley Tucci, Cher, Julianne Hough, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Peter Gallagher, and Alan Cumming. I'm excited. Lots of legs.

The Best and the Brightest
Neil Patrick Harris and Bonnie Sommerville play a young couple who want to ge tthier kid into an exclusive kindergarten school, and Bridget Regan plays NPH's clingy ex-ladyfriend. Amy Sedaris also lends her INSANE comedic comedy to the likely-inappropriate film. NPH and Sommerville's characters find out just how difficult it is to get your kid in the school.

Barry Munday
No known release date
Starring Patrick Wilson, Judy Greer, Mae Whitman, Colin Hanks, Missi Pyle, Jean Smart, Emily Procter, Malcolm McDowell, Cybill Shepherd and Chloe Sevigny, Barry Munday will surely be funny. This will be hilarious, especially when the plot starts out with Wilson's character missing his "family jewels." His day keeps getting worse after that, including being required to have a paternity lawsuit filed against him.

The Tempest
No known release date
Julie Tamor's latest adaptation of a Shakespearean play will no doubt be amazing, but she has Titus to live up to. She has a fantastic vision and interpretation of Shakespeare. She's done a version on stage, so it should be familiar for her.

No known release date
I loved Ben Gourley's last film Moving MacAllister, and surely this film will be just as enthralling of an adventure as that. It co-stars Jason Mewes as Gourley's best friend. Lindsay McKeon


The return of GLEE
No more needs to be said!

"Game of Thrones"
Adapted from Song of Fire and Ice, one of the most beloved Fantasy novels, the HBO epic will feature Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (New Amsterdam, Virtuality, Wilmbledon) and a slew of fantastic overseas films like Natten), Sean Bean, Jennifer Ehle (Pride & Glory, Possession co-starring Aaron Eckhart and Gewnyth Paltrow), Peter Dinklage (current token little person actor), Lena Headey (300, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles), and Brian Thompson (misc TV shows and surely recognizable). This will be amazing.

"Party Down"
The second season, as I've mentioned will pick up Megan Mullally. WOOHOO! Everyone should be watching.

Betty White hosts SNL
May 8
Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, and Ana Gasteyer guest star with the lovely, raunchy 88-year-old Golden Girl. If the writing can keep up with the talent, then this will be the best SNL episode in a decade or so.


Mindy McCready
"I'm Still Here"
March 23
You can preview her new music on her website, and the album's title is the title of the current single, available on i-Tunes. Her voice sounds better than ever, and I'm thrilled of her return to the music industry. Here's to hoping she doesn't mess up her life in the public eye anymore!

She & Him
"Volume II"
March 23
Zooey Deschanel is penning many of Volume II's tunes, and covers include NRBQ's "Ridin' in My Car" and Skeeter Davis's "Gonna Get Along with You." Tilly and the Wall will guest on the song "In the Sun," which is the current single. On the single's B-Side is the song "I Can Hear Music."

Tao Seeger Band
"Rise and Bloom"
Tao, Pete Seeger's grandson, is previously of the group The Mammals and currently of the Tao Seeger Band. He's a dark, rough, alternative folk-rock music. I can't wait to get my hands on this gem!

Elizabeth Cook
May 11

Look for a new album from Scotland's BEST band likely this Fall. I can't wait to hear a recorded version of "Young Emslie" and whatever other lost goodies are in store for us.


The Heroic Age
Marvel enters The Heroic Age in just a couple months, ending the Dark Reign, which went on for far too long. I can't wait!!! I am disappointed in the number of Avengers books and what they are. I'll buy New Avengers and Avengers but not Secret and Academy.

Legends: The Enchanted
The preview came out Feb. 3, and the graphic novel comes out in April. It's a steampunk take on fairytales.

Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale
A graphic novel about Shepherd Books' past. Excited! It will be written by Whedon's brother Zack.

Serenity: Float Out
June 2
This one-shot will feature some of Wash's old friends as they take out a ship they've fixed up, christening it in a way, which is called "float out." It's written by Patton Oswalt...yup, the actor!

Pushing Daisies: Season 3
No known release date
Continuing canceled shows in comic book form seems to be a trend of which I'm glad. As far as we know, Bryan Fuller has completed a couple issues of the series. I'd love to have it continue past the third season, but it's unlikely.