Friday, December 23, 2011

Site of the Week 12/19-25/11: December Well

For those who don't like Christmas songs and want to get into the season in a different manner, there's a remedy!  Listening to winter-themed songs, like I often do, is the best way to get into the holiday and seasonal spirit.  It's the one way I don't absolutely hate winter when I can listen to music with bells, xylophones, and other instruments with eerie, dark, hollow, and mute sounds.  Former Malinky fiddler Mike Vass has been quite busy with solo projects (as well as being up to no good).  His current project: December Well.  Read on for more about the project.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Top Albums of 2011

This year saw one of the best in terms of high-quality indie music.  The surge in self-produced and -funded albums creates a true artistic vision.  It's also the year of female artists.  Half of the top 10 best-selling albums are from women.  This is a good sign!  Among the top 10 was Mumford & Sons, who had a very big year.  I've chosen my top 5 albums to coincide with Auddie P's forthcoming list.  These gems are ones you can't let by you.

 5. Emily Smith's Traiveller's Joy
Emily Smith continues her trademark sound of rich traditional Scots language and music combined with a sleek, modern folk pop feel with this lovely release.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dating Tips from Esther Smith

It's Christmastime(!) and during this season I celebrate in many ways: listening to Christmas music, baking and decorating cookies and watching my favorite holiday movies.

You can learn a lot from these movies. The Grinch teaches you the true meaning of the season. Elf shows you that magic things can happen if you just believe. And Home Alone teaches us how to outsmart stupid burglars. And to remember to not forget your kid when you leave for your family vacation. All are valuable lessons.

In the classic Meet Me in St. Louis we not only learn the importance of family, but also how to get your man. 

In the film Judy Garland's character, Esther Smith, is a young woman living in St. Louis who has her eye on the boy who just moved in next door, John. If you're a single gal like me, you know how much work can go into wooing a man. So, even though the film takes place more than 100 years ago, I think many of Esther's strategies would still work today. Take note of the tips below and try them out for yourself!

Tip #1: Be Formally Introduced
This seems like a no brainer, but a lot of times you can fancy someone from afar and not make a move simply because as far as you know, he doesn’t know you exist. Esther solves this problem brilliantly by hosting a party at the Smith home with the sole purpose of formerly meeting John. When she and John are introduced Esther acts as if she didn’t catch the name and has never heard of him and John is intrigued. Very smooth.

My Holiday Celebrations, Movie Style!

Our family's Christmas Even tradition, as of 5 years ago, is to watch Elf together.  Last year, I was a wee bit too intoxicated to enjoy it and passed out after accidentally moaning when Zooey Deschanel started singing.  It was an awkward moment when the entire family looked at me.  I celebrate with other movies, though, leading up to Christmas.  I make a point to watch these movies every year, as I did in college.

1. Just Friends
Chris Brander is home for the holidays, and he hasn't been in 10 years.  Revolving this film around the holidays made it better, as there was so much more to deal with for physical comedy.  Anna Faris brightens my holiday spirit when she sings, "Mall people come and go, mall people they just don't know."  The brotherly relationship and motherly advice and friendships, that when you return, are still there, like you never left.  This is a classic that I've quoted every line of Anna Faris' with Auddie P during our college years.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feminist Feature: Mindy Kaling's New Project

Mindy Kaling has finally revealed her project: an animated series.  She'll executive produce, write, and voice a character on the series about a high school volleyball team.  Even if it's like a bunch of mini movies of a frakked-up sports teams, it doesn't matter because Mindy Kaling makes everything better.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Movie of the Week: Immortals

I know a lot of people have tremendous disdain or depreciation for Immortals, but here I am trying to defend this gorgeous and brilliant movie by Tarsem Singh (and Dhandwar now?).  From the dialogue to the cinematography to the acting to the sense of danger, the movie showcases Tarsem's true visionary (when I say this it means an actual visionary, not used loosely) nature.  The one thing it does lack, though, is the epic sense.  Read on for a not-so-spoilery review.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Celtic Corner: The Chieftains' New Album!

The Chieftains have struck gold again, or so I foresee, with Voice of Ages, due out February 21.  Rather than teaming up with today's best Bluegrass and Country bands, they have taken it upon themselves to collaborate with today's hottest indie bands from all genres: Bon Iver, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Civil Wars, The Decemberists, Imelda May, Lisa Harrington, The Low Anthem, Carlos Nunez, Paolo Nutini, Pistol Annies, Punch Brothers, and The Secret Sisters will guest this time around.  T Bone Burnett is producer.  This is so exciting!  Congratulations, you've just creamed yourself in excitement.

Find their coordinating tour dates after the break.

Kit Harington Casting News

Games of Thrones' Jon Snow actor Kit Harington has been signed to play King Arthur in the upcoming bromance action film Arthur & Lancelot.  Not sure how I feel about another King Arthur film, and another male-dominated film.

In related news, your preview for Season 2 is after the jump:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Site of the Week: 11/21-27/11

This week brings us Jon Boden's incredible undertaking of a folk song a day.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Jon Boden posts a song he recorded, either a capella or with bare accompaniment (vocals or instruments) and writes about the song's meaning, origins, and variations.  And, if you ever check out my other blog, you know that I indeed love doing that myself.  I'm sure this not only is fun for Boden, but educational as well.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

TV Updates Galore!

Soooo a few things have occurred in the TV realm that I couldn't report due to long days/nights at work.  We have updates on 2 Broke Girls, Cougar Town, Community, Golden Globes, Megan Mullally, Arrested Development, Hot in Cleveland, and Betty White.

First up: Arrested Development.  It's official.  It's happening.  It's returning!  It will air on Netflix after the streaming and video rental company had a bidding war with Showtime.  Again, it will air ten episodes of a new season, leading to a movie.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Site of the Week: 11/14-20/11

Little Big Town has always been one of my favorites in the country scene.  Their tight harmonies are quality, and each voice has a distinct tone, yet they all work well together.  The only harmonies that beat it in today's music are from SHeDAISY, who creates music outside the box.  It's hard for creative groups to make it big in Nashville, but Little Big Town (LBT) does it with ease.  Unfortunately, Lady Antebellum took over their place as reigning group.  That doesn't stop LBT from having fun and being great to their fans.  Continue reading for more info on the best thing to happen to Country music in the past few years, something that reinvigorates a dead music.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The wine-making has begun!

The persimmons have all fallen from the tree, and I've culled them to attempt a new type of wine.  I'm documenting the process of the intimidating task of making persimmon peach and persimmon wines.  I'll provide my "recipe" as well when the event is through.  It should prove to be interesting.  I can't wait to see the end result.  As of now, the persimmon looks like vomit, but the persimmon peach looks to have a pretty golden color to it.  I can't wait to see what it'll look like later.  The persimmon always ends up with a light yellow-orange, sometimes even white, color.  Mine ends up the darker color because I keep the persimmon pulp in for a week, rather than strain it the first day.  Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know I've started!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Politics of Music

I've realized something the other day.  The political messages of music has changed, or the political messages are no longer there.  Now, folk music typically lacks what used to grace it during the 60s and 70s.  Country music used to be more progressive in its content.  And the Scots and Irish continue their political positions.

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez once were a powerful force in politics, inspiring many folk musicians to do the same.  Their music wielded the mightiest of swords, and, in a time of political upheaval due to the events of the Vietnam War, it reflected the left-wing political views.  Pete Seeger is still a political force, pushing for peace around the world.  But contemporary folk artist, though great music, lack the social and political view that their predecessors once owned.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lucy & Jack: A Cinderella Story

Although I have seen and frequently watch many of them now, there were few romantic comedies I watched as a kid. The films I watched when I was young consisted of quirky comedies, disney movies and classic "nerd" films I'm now glad my older brother made me watch. After watching it recently, though, I realized that While You Were Sleeping is one of the few romantic comedies I grew up watching, and one of my favorites still today.

I also realized while watching WYWS, that this movie may have shaped my life more than I know. I know, that sounds lame: a movie shaping my life, but hear me out.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Site of the Week 10/31/11-11/6/11

I always take an interest in the American Civil War, and there's so much information out there I want my hands on.  The best sources, for me, are letters, providing great insight on every person's way of life during the time period.  You read these, and the war effects every single person so differently, yet all the same.  No one person enjoys it, perhaps at first, but once the reality sets in, it's a terror.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Seth Lakeman's Tales from the Barrel House

November 18, 2011, marks a milestone in music.  In an effort to keep alive the dead men who worked dead jobs, Seth Lakeman wrote and sang all songs, played all instruments, and produced all tracks for the upcoming release The Tales from the Barrel House.  What makes this record so special is where it was recorded?  Read on to find out and to watch an introductory video to the project.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Music Review: Ceremonials

Florence + the Machines sophomore album Ceremonials delivers in many ways, perhaps even more than the first album.  FATM takes us back in time to the 80s and 90s with power vocals and beat-heavy tunes, combined with an ancient, primal ethereal nature.  It's perhaps even darker than the first album as well.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Geek Chic: My Deep Adoration for Argyle

Growing up, I was not fond of the Argyle pattern, but as I grew older, and my tastes became increasingly old-fashioned, I developed a strong love for the pattern.  A few years ago, I heard and fell madly in love with Kate Rusby, who sings a song called, "Bonnie House of Arlie".  This song is from the 1600s with origins in Scotland.  In the song, I kept hearing the word "argyle", and it struck me with curiosity.  How were these two related?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Why I'm Going to Stop Watching Modern Family and More...

I came to the realization that shows that aren't good or I don't like are not worth my time.  I've also come to the realization that I don't have the time to watch as much television now that I have to drive so far for my 9-hour-plus job.  And I also don't get paid to write a blog...or to watch TV for that matter.  So I'm separating the chaff from the wheat.

First on the chopping block: Supernatural. My GOD (pun intended) this show is boring.  I found myself so uninterested that I skipped through the episode with Jewel Staite unless the scenes had her in them.  I didn't even watch the last one.  I'm just not into it anymore.  The peen-fest that is Supernatural is way too macho-voice (yet emo) for me.  The only women who were on it have been very...dead.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I (Really) Love Lucy

From a very young age I adored Lucy. I spent many summer nights camped out in front of our living room television watching Nick at Nite and sure, I’m rather fond of Samantha, Jeanie, Mary, Laverne and Shirley, but it will always be Lucy I love. This past Saturday the show celebrated its 60th anniversary, and my feelings toward Lucy as well as Ricky, Ethel and Fred have not wavered.  Why do I love Lucy? There are so many reasons but here are my top 5:

5. She Makes Me Laugh (especially when she’s intoxicated)
Think of the I Love Lucy moments you remember most. Even if you’re not as big of a fan as I am, I’m sure you remember those moments because they made you laugh. And who doesn’t love to laugh?

I don’t know why I don’t turn to Lucy more often on dim or dawnsy* days, because I know that if I watch Lucy Does a TV Commercial (Vitametavegamin), my favorite episode, my day will be brighter in 22 minutes or less.

4. Her Family Reminds Me of Mine
How lucky was Little Ricky to grow up with such fun parents? Think about it: your mom is hilarious and never boring, plus your dad is always singing, playing the bongos and acting out little skits. That’s his job. Now, my father was never a Cuban band leader, but the stage has always been a hobby of his in one form or another.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just a Reminder!

Watch tonight's Happy Endings at 9:30 after Modern Family.  It's the Megan Mullally episode!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Buffy Beats

So listen, Amber Benson (Tara from Buffy) will reunite with Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy from Buffy...) for Ringer on the tenth episode as a stripper.  Whaaaaaa?!  Yeah, weird, but yay for Buffy reunions!

Also, Emma Caulfield (Anya from Buffy) has given word via Twitter that she'll be appearing on Once Upon a Time!  I'm getting more exciting for this show every day!

Fitting photo following...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lizzy Caplan Guests on New Girl

After a weak second episode and a really strong third episode, The Hollywood Reporter scoops that New Girl has yet another guest star: Lizzy Caplan (Party Down, Mean Girls).  She joins as a love interest for Nick (the hobbit) in three episodes.  Julia will be around for Schmidt's 29th birthday celebrations.  Her character Julia has anger managements issues and a master's degree in art history.  I wonder if she has a job...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Husk Returns from Limbo!

It's official: Husk will be in Wolverine and the X-Men as a teammate featured on the #1 and #2 Bachalo covers.  Jason Aaron confirmed this on Twitter, as well as confirming a romance for her.  Iceman?  Chamber?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Arrested Development Shall Return!

Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz announced that he's developing a new season of the show to bridge the old seasons to the proposed movie.  The new 10-episode season would showcase one character per episode.  Via Twitter, Jason Bateman said they'll shoot the season next summer to air nearly 2013.  Deadline reports that Showtime and Netflix are in talks with 20th Century Fox to air the series.  The rights to the show, though, are not in the creator's hands, so it's proving difficult in moving forward.

The New Shows

So of the TV shows that debuted this fall and after a few episodes each, I think I see where they're going.  Which ones exceeded my expectations, and which ones let me down?

New Girl
While I absolutely adored the pilot episode, the second left me wanting so much more.  I think with the new guy the extra spark form the show is gone.  He's way too boring.  Maybe he'll get some fun stuff in the future, but it was awful.  Of course, Zooey was adorably funny as always.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When Guest Stars are Signs of Doom or Success

New Girl has been announcing guest stars left and right (Lake Bell, Natasha Lyonne, Katie Cassidy, Justin Long), so what's this mean for the show?  Is it not good enough that it has to rely on guest stars to have viewers from the start?  Let's take a look at how guest stars' roles have been a sign of trying to save a doomed show or of a highly sought after show.

Will & Grace
Classic example of how the show went to hell once Harry Connick, Jr., came on as a recurring character/cast member.  Cher, Ed Burns, Woody Harrelson, Britney Spears, and so many others guested on the later seasons of the show?  How did they snag those folks?  They were probably bribed with a crap ton of money or new cars...because that's what NBC got the cast of Will & Grace, right?  The characters got to be even more caricaturish of themselves.  Karen became a one-dimensional pill-popping boozehound with little to do but one-liners and bitchy remarks.  Her characters growth was quickly retracted with racist remarks to Rosario or heartfelt moments turned to mean jokes for laughs.  Plots became odd, sluggish, and very stale.  Viewership dwindled, so the guest star appearances went through the roof.

Inclusion of Guests: Negative

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Notebooks of Hank Williams

My, my, my.  There's a tear in my beer thinking about this.  Hank's unfinished songs written in various songwriting notebooks left in his car have been kept from prying eyes until now.  The producer Mary Martin gathered Nashville's most celebrated and talented songwriters and asked them to choose a song for the album and finish it, applying their own melodies.  Contributors include Bob Dylan, Jakob Dylan, Patty Loveless, Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell, Hank's descendent Holly Williams, Jack White, Lucinda Williams, Alan Jackson, Norah Jones, Levon Helm, and Sheryl Crow.  I assure you that we'll discover new Hank classics.  Look for The Notebooks of Hank Williams on October 4 on vinyl, CD, and digital release.

The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams EPK from Columbia Records on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Day Frances Bay Died...

Frances Bay, born January 23, 1919, has died September 17.  The 92-year-old has appeared in films such as Happy Gilmore as Happy's grandma and a slew of TV shows, such as Happy Days (as Grandma) Charmed (as old Phoebe), the marble rye loaf lady on Seinfeld, and The Middle as the family grandmother.  Here's to Frances, everyone's grandmother!  Yeah, I'm drinking at 11 am, so what?

Happy Endings Live Review

The sound was awful, so the online viewers couldn't hear as well, but what I could hear was brilliantly hilarious.  This makes you see the cast as they interact with each other and play off one another's jokes.  They truly do have a comedic rapport that feeds off each other in a very natural and respectful way.  Adam Pally (Max) and Casey Wilson (Penny) were brilliant as hosts, feeding off each other.  Read on for more about it, or simply watch it at yowie.

Friday, September 16, 2011

This Just In: Fred Savage Finds Happy Endings

Director and (former) child actor Fred Savage will reprise his directorial talents on the sophomore season of Happy Endings in the first half of the season.  Not only will he lend his hand to that area, but he'll be in front of the camera as a date for Alex.  Don't read on if you don't want slight spoilers.

Kristen Bell and Justin Long Unsupervised

You guys!  The writers and producers of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Rob Rosell, Scott Marder and David Hornsby are about to bring about havoc yet again.  The show is currently titled Unsupervised, and it's about two teenage boys Gary and Joel, who want to not turn out like their parents, who do not parent them at all.  Essentially they parent themselves and try to do right.  Voices will be from Kristen Bell, Justin Long, Fred Armisen, Romany Malco, Alexa Vega, Rob Rosell, and Sunny stars Kaitlin Olson and David Hornsby.  I expect great things from this show.

Chloe King's Nine Lives Are Used Up

Skyler Samuels
ABC Family has just pulled the plug on the adorably dramatic The Nine Lives of Chloe King, but it's looking to the future with a new show Strut by Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.  Nine Lives followed the trials of The Uniter, Chloe King, who suddenly wakes up (after dying) to find that she revived and has feral powers.  She had to deal with her human life and her Mai life.  Poor Chloe found love on both sides of the fence.  Being fiercely protected by her fellow Mai, she feels caged and has to break rules put on her.  It's nice to see a young independent lady making decisions for the just and good.  Chloe's decisions often put her in danger, but she risks her life to save others or to do what's right.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Showtime's Time to Shine

I totally forgot to tell my dearest readers about Homeland's debut.  It's one I've been waiting to watch, and I can!  The lovely and talented Claire Danes returns to TV in an twisted tale as a CIA agent, determined to find the truth about why a POW was released after years of imprisonment in Afghanistan.  She's trying to see what no one else will, that there is a sinister plot veiled beneath the surface of the soldier's homecoming.  The first episode can be watched after the jump, but it officially debuts on Showtime October 2.  Mandy Patinkin ("You killed my father, prepare to die!") also stars.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Female Creators in Full Swing

A slew of television pilots ordered are from female creators, but a few really stand out for their content and creators.

Vandalia Films, Jennifer Garner and Juliana Janes' production company, will be hiring Easy A writer (!!!!!!) Bert Royal as the pilot script writer for a half-hour comedy series The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, based on the popular non-fiction book.  Producers will be Donna Roth and Susan Arnold.  The show will follow the lives of the loner, the nerd, the popular bitch, the new girl, the gamer, the weird girl, and the band geek to highlight the qualities that set them apart as young adults that later in life will be what set them apart in the working world. (Variety)

Read on for more!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Battlestar Galactica's War on Terror

Today is the tenth "anniversary" of the 9/11 attacks.  While televisions shows (like 24) and action movies fed the anti-Islamic Western fears and fed off those fears as well, other shows handled terrorism with dignity and reason.  Enter Battlestar Galactica, the show that made us think about ideas that we never thought of before.  By not using real places like America or Afghanistan, it could touch on themes without angering too many people.  Some could see it as entertainment, while many who watched loved it for the messages it brought forth as it entertained with thick plots and rich characters.  Let's take a look at how BSG made us rethink our position on terrorism, good and evil, and "the other".

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Fall Shows: A Second Opinion

S.E. already provided you with his list of new Fall shows he's excited for. While I agree with some of his choices (New Girl, Up All Night, Once Upon a Time), there are some shows I'll be watching that were not included. Below are more new shows to consider.

Pan Am (ABC: Sunday at 10 pm)

Inspired by former Pan Am stewardess Nancy Hult Ganis's work, this period drama, starring Christina Ricci, follows a group of Pan Am flight attendants in 1963. It seems the show will revolve around Laura Cameron (played by Margot Robbins) who begins working for the airline after ditching her finance just before their wedding. She joins her sister, Kate (played by Kelli Garner), who's already a stewardess. Kate, meanwhile, has been acting as a go-between for the government as working for one of the largest airlines in the world allows her to go where others can't.

Many are calling Pan Am ABC's answer to Mad Men, but I think it's more. While I love Don Draper and the rest of the crew, I think Pan Am will be able to stand on its own. For one, the shows seems to be focusing on its female characters, rather than being a boys' club like Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce tends to be. Actually, the only similarity one can see for now is the time period and the fact that both shows are dramas. 


Whitney (NBC: Thursday at 9:30 pm)

NBC struggled last year to fill its 8:30 pm time slot. Perfect Couples turned out to be not-so-perfect and the Paul Reiser show was gone faster than you can say "Bye Bye, Love." Luckily, they've moved Nerdy Pop's favorite, Parks and Rec into the slot, giving Whitney a chance at 9:30. A smart move if you ask me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

See Happy Endings Cast Live Online!

You, too, can see the Happy Endings cast when they perform live Sept 18 at 1 am ET.  Expect great things because this entire cast is hilarious.  I don't know what to expect: a live performance of an episode or two, skits, improv, or stand-up routines, but I'm super pumped to be able to watch this live for free on Yowie.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Shows for Fall 2011

What new shows am I excited about for this coming TV season?  Not many.  From what we hear, the new shows, especially comedies are pretty awful and even downright offensive (and not the It's Always Sunny kind of offensive).  Keep in mind, though, that many critical judgments are based only on the pilot, and our opinions are solely based off previews and actually seeing New Girl pilot.

New Girl
We've watched this adorable show many times already, and the pilot was released for free download Tuesday, September 6, on multiple platforms, including iTunes.  The things we love already about New Girl: Zooey Deschanel, Lord of the Rings references, the douche jar, and all the singing.  Zooey Deschanel is on her way to becoming America's sweetheart, not just nerd fantasy.  Deschanel's character Jess narrates her life in song, essentially giving herself theme songs as she goes through the day, which is something I wish I did, if not have a soundtrack for every moment of my life.
Tuesdays, 9 (FOX...surprisingly)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This Just In: David Koechner Guests on Chuck

Another guest star on Chuck has been announced, as reported by TV Line: David Koechner, AKA Tod Packer from The Office, or that annoying guy from every Frat Pack movie.  So if you actually like this dude, which apparently a lot of people do, you'll enjoy his stint on Chuck as Buy More manager Crazy Bob.  Hmmm sounds like he'll be the same character he always is...

Prashant Gupta/FX
Also Catherine Dent will be Crazy Bob's friend.  Dent is from many different investigation shows, like NCIS, Law & Order, The Shield, CSI, and X-Files.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This Just In: Danny Pudi on Chuck

Photo by Angela Weiss

Community's very own Danny Pudi, who plays the loveable Abed, will play an unannounced role in the fifth episode of the final season of Chuck, as reported by AOL TV.  Other guest stars include Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker from Star Wars) in the Oct. 21 premiere and Carrie-Ann Moss (Trinity from The Matrix) as a recurring role.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Geek Chic: I'm NOT a Hipster

Hipsters: "a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter...Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses. Both hipster men and women sport similar androgynous hair styles that include combinations of messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs." (

I was recently called a hipster because I said I was making a  batch of persimmon wine and also a batch of persimmon peach wine.  I'm really pumped about this wine.  But I was considerably less pumped because I was labeled a hipster because of it.  It didn't help that I was wearing chucks and a Martha White (goodness gracious!) shirt I got 6 years ago from a Rhonda Vincent concert (which was amazing, by the way).  I don't like these things ironically.  I like them because I like them.  I love wearing my faded Martha White shirt.  I actually don't care what people think about me if I'm wearing such a shirt.  Hipsters would.  They want to actively protest the majority and the consumerism that the U.S. so embraces.  I simply wear what I want when I want to.  It's a matter of taste.  I tend to want to dress as an eighty-year-old man or a man from the 1800s.  I don't always wear hipster-looking clothes.

I Can Haz TV DVD 2011

This last TV season cranked out some great episodes from our favorite shows.  So what DVDs do we feel the need to have?

September 6
The Office, Season 7, $49.98 retail
Parks and Recreation, Season 3, $39.98 retail
Community, Season 2, $39.99 retail

September 13
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Season 6, $39.98 retail
The Big Bang Theory Season 4, $44.98

September 20
Happy Endings, Season 1, $35.99

Returning Favorites 2011

Here's a list of return dates for all our favorite shows.  Be sure to check out the DVDs before you start watching!

Parenthood: Tuesday, September 13, 10 pm (NBC)
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Thursday, September 15 (FX)

Feminist Feature: Leslie Knope

I look up to Leslie Knope--played by the lovely, talented, and hilarious Amy Poehler.  On the surface Leslie can seem...ditzy.  But she's far from it.  Not only is Leslie the most likeable female character on TV; she is the most well-rounded character, which is odd for a comedy.  She's not overly aggressive and not dumb.  She's herself and she loves everyone, except librarians...and people from Eagleton.  Let's take a look at her brilliance and feminism through the past three seasons.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This Just In: Bridget Regan in TV Movie

I'm stoked to announce that the love of my life (who doesn't know it yet) Bridget Regan will be in a TNT original film Hide, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.  Carla Gugino (of Watchmen, Night at the Museum, Sin City, and Sucker Punch) plays a detective on a case that leads her to Regan's character Annabelle Granger (and who doesn't love that name?!), who essentially has no identity.  Granger was moved around as a child with different names, and her life ties in with the case at hand.  Mark-Paul Gosselaar, a.k.a. Zack Morris, also stars in this highly-anticipated-by-me telepic.  Hide will air December 6.  BE EXCITED!!!!

Sister Site: Anything You Can Do

I've developed a new blog for my feminist rants called Anything You Can Do under the address of, after the lovely Susan B. Anthony's wondrous speech.  You'll still find feminist features here, but as long as they pertain to nerdy pop culture.  I was pushing it with the last few feminist posts.  If anyone wants be a co-blogger, reply to this post.

Feminist Feature: Aung San Suu Kyi

"Please use your liberty to  promote ours."  -Aung San Suu Kyi

And so I will...

With the new film coming out next year, I thought it important that I bring about the awareness of all that is Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and the symbol of the Democratic revolution in Burma.  Before November 13, 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi spent fifteen years under house arrest and other types of detentions.  Heroism runs in the family.  Her father Aung San was also an advocate of independence, who was killed when she was two.  She was highly educated, having graduation from Oxford.  In 1988, Burma called her back for her ill mother.  Approximately five thousand people were killed in the revolution she got caught up in on August 8.  Five thousand!  In one day!

Photo courtesy of Asian News

Book Review: At Issue's Women in Islam

This collection of essays in Women in Islam confronts the topic of Muslim women, so Westerners can better understand points of view of women in Islam with religion, society, gender, and law.  Though some points of view oppose in certain fundamentals, like Eltahawy’s “Muslim Women Should Not Be Stereotyped” and Pollitt’s “Muslim Women Need Their Rights to Be Recognized”, they are trying to do accomplish the same feat: provoking Westerners to overcome their ignorance based on stereotypes, fed by media, history, religions, and politics.  Read on for the review.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

No Duh the 90s Were All That (and a bag of chips)

I am a child of the 90s. My school supplies were Trapper Keepers and everything Lisa Frank. I collected Pogs and spent summer vacations watching VH1 while memorizing every word to whatever glorious one-hit-wonder was popular that week (New Radicals, anyone?) At age 8 I listed my favorite TV show as Hey Dude when I was Student-of-the-Week. For what it’s worth, my favorite color was fuscia and my favorite animal was penguin (some things change, some things stay the same).

Thanks to my childhood, I never needed a cable network to tell me that the 90s Are All That, but in the recent resurgence of 90s after school and Saturday night programming, I thought I’d share my top three 90s TV shows from my childhood.

3. Flash Forward
We love that the Nickelodeon network, Teen Nick, is embracing its 90s past, but we’ve yet to experience again the glorious 90s programming from Disney. Before Hanna Montana and Alex Russo, there were Tucker and Becca: two teenagers who weren’t rock stars or wizards. They were just your average kids living next door to each other getting through middle school while comparing their current experiences to those from when they were just tikes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Movie of the Week: The Help

[teen tiny spoilers ahead] I had the pleasure of seeing The Help last week and it did not disappoint.I read the book earlier this year and couldn't wait to see its characters come to life. I rarely assume the film version will not "live up to" the book and go into adaptations with a positive attitude, and I usually leave with a good opinion. There are always exceptions, but I'm happy to include The Help among the list of those film adaptations that, I believe (and think others will agree), did its inspiration justice. Those who read the book may notice a few scenes were left out, but I don't think their absence hurt the overall story. Some elements were added and I think they only helped, especially the strengthening of two characters' presence.

For those who aren't familiar with the story, after the jump is the film's trailer.

A Tribute to Mike Carey's X-Men

Even if you didn't like his work on X-Men (or more specifically his work with Rogue), you have to admit his work is quality writing.  Let's take a look at what made his 5 1/2-year run astonishing in so many ways and the kind of legacy he'll leave through plots left unresolved.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This Just In: Carey leaving X-Men Legacy

Mike Carey's final arc of X-Men Legacy will start in November with #259 and end with #260.  What a run!  #188-#260!  That's over 70 issues!  He did state under my facebook rebellion, declaring with wet eyes my devastation of the news:
Sorry, guys. I didn't know this was going to break today. It's not the end of me on the X-Men - at least, I hope it isn't. It's me taking a break from the monthly book, and taking stock of where I am on a bunch of other things.
So goes life.  But Carey shall return in a magnificent glory.  I expect great things form him concerning Blindfold, Husk, Ariel, and the X-kids!  Coming soon will be my tribute to his run.  Look after the jump for the cover, as of now.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Feminist Feature: My Feministy Heroes

It's no secret; I'm a feminist.  I'd actually like to think I'm more of a humanist.  There are so many people without rights or respect.  But it's high-time women gained equal rights and respect.  My dad said he'd never want a woman covering him in the battlefield.  My response: history has proved otherwise.  Women get the job done, no matter what.  I wanted to share with you some women who've made me into the passionate feminist I am today.  I'll start with the earliest living...after the jump.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jump on the Bandwagon!

Typically I'm not a supporter of fallacies, but Bandwagon has me on board, playing every instrument possible.  Bandwagon started years ago as an independent film from Emma Caulfield (notoriously known from Buffy as bunny-fearing Anya, but more recently in Life Unexpected and the adorable Sci-Fi romantic drama TiMER).  She had recently aired the film as a webseries on youtube as the first season, and the second season has just started a few weeks ago.  Guest stars are abundant (mostly form the Buffyverse), and the first season is dated when Angel and possibly Buffy were still on air.  Continue reading after the jump for more information.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Site of the Week 8/1/11-8/7/11

Just so you get your fix of Parks and Recreations, especially Ron Swanson, you'll enjoy the tumblr Cats That Look Like Ron Swanson!  Warning: Don't watch at work because you'll look like an idiot laughing really loud at seemingly nothing.  This one's top notch.

T. Bone Burnett and Danny Elfman are musical directors of the upcoming Hunger Games film.  The first film of the trilogy would need a haunting folk music sound, as fitting for District 12 and a dystopian novel where we're set back to the 1800s in most districts.  So what are my picks according to the choice in musical directors and the film setting?  Find out after the jump!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Wolverine: Cecilia Reyes casted

According to the imdb page for The Wolverine--the hopefully-better sequel to the awful X-Men Origins: Wolverine film--Naturi Naughton will play the part of Cecilia Reyes, who has been absent form the comics for a long while, now sidelined as a medic not even good enough for the X-Men's Science club that doctors all mutants on Utopia.  Reyes is a mutant who had reflexive force field; when it was a hit, she felt the pain without the injury.  Since Psylocke telepathically extended her powers in Uncanny X-Men, Cecilia is now able to expand her force field to an unspecified distance.  She despised being a mutant and refused to accept it.  It made for a great conflict in having a part in defeating Bastion the first time around.  She also brought some well-needed diversity in personality, power, and race.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

This Just In: Tammy #1 and Community Professor

Read after the jump to see who Parks and Recreation's Tammy #1 is, since some want to be surprised.  As for our Greendale Community College news from TVLine, Martin Starr will play a political science professor at Greendale Community College.  Expect great and odd things.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Sometimes when I watch TV, I think, OH MY STARS AND GARTERS!  I COULD BE THEIR BEST BUD!  It's why I love certain TV shows so damn much.  Listed here are my TV BFFs and reasons why.  Who are your TV BFFs?

1. Veronica Mars
Played by Kristen Bell; Veronica Mars
Veronica's spunkiness, dry sense of humor, and witty retorts, complete with nerdy pop culture references make her my ultimate potential BFF.  Her ability to handle herself in a dire situation and be able to sniff out clues and piece them together to solve minor crimes to murders.  Her ability to ward off all popular people with fear and weirdness can only draw me to her more.  "When entering a frat house full of accused rapists, the pant suit is a solid wardrobe choice.  It's fashion's way of saying, 'Move along. Nothing to see here.'"  Veronica (or, really, Kristen Bell), please be my BFF-entine.  If you had, you wouldn't have chosen such awful taste in men.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Age of X: Review

It's been a few months since Age of X ended, and it ended during my absence.  I owe it to you now that the arc is out in Hardback.  The hardback collects Age of X: Alpha, Age of X: Universe 1 & 2, New Mutants 22-24, and X-Men Legacy 245-247.  You get it on Amazon for $16.66, but, as always, I urge you to get it form your LCS.

Carey suddenly delves into a world immediately following X-Men Legacy 244.  In it, we see alternative lives of our favorite mutants in a world where the X-Men were never brought together by Xavier and mutants are all hunted down for being a threat.  Xavier never existed in this reality, so there were never liaisons or mediums between humans and mutants.

Site of the Week 7/25/11-7/31/11

Funny or Die's Drunk History is a highlight of my life.  I highly suggest this wonderful series that takes drunk people telling stories of history.  While they tell us the stories, established actors act out the story with guest stars of Zach I'm not even gonna try with that name...Zooey Deschanel, Don Cheadle, Michael Cera, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Danny McBride, and Jack Black.  Sure, I don't care for half of those actors, but it works for this.  I think that these people are actually drunk.  I don't think it's pretend, especially the guy who pukes his guts out in telling about Ben Franklin.

Watch episode 1, starring Michael Cera as Alexander Hamilton, after the break.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Movie of the Week: Horrible Bosses

Go see Horrible Bosses.  You're abs will be glad they got a good work out from laughing so much.  Horrible Bosses stars Charlie Day, Jason Bateman, and Jason Sudeikis as three men who have absolutely awful bosses, portrayed to be quite deserving of death and played by Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, and Collin Farrell, respectively.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Site of the Week 7/18/11-7/24/11

Not to dwell on the subject, but I found this week's and last week's at the same time...
Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media pleases me in so many ways.  It gives well-researched studies on gender, leaned more towards girls, in the media, and the problems that can arise from depicting females in the media as objects of affection, downtrodden damsels in distress, or the bitchy girlfriends or nagging wives.  Davis uses her fame (or what's left of it) to promote the subject, even going as far as presenting bills to Congress.  Davis is working with the First Lady and the FCC to change the film industry as fast as possible.  We need better role models for women on screen.

This Just In: Mullally Wants a Happy Ending

Megan Mullally, best known for her role as Karen in Will & Grace, will join the cast of Happy Endings as a female character's mom, as she told Zap2It at Comic Con.  If you've seen the show (and are obsessed with it like we are), you'll figure it's Penny's mom, which Mullally figures to be as well.  Mullally will fit right in.  Look for more character development this year for those who aren't Dave and Alex.  We'll possibly get to know if Jane has a job!  The idea of season two will be less serial (which it really wasn't that serial if shown in the real order).

PS--Happy Endings is the best show you're not watching.  It has taken the place of our dearly departed golden child Better Off Ted.  It's got the same humor at BoT and the same character interactions as It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Site of the Week 7/11-7/17: indiewire's Women and Hollywood

Classify this under Feminist Feature as well.  If you're like me, you follow and analyze women's roles in today's media.  Women are no longer being resorted to objects of men's affections.  Rather they're complex individuals and main characters.  There are even female directors and writers!  Imagine that, 1990s!  Women in Hollywood breaks down critical reception of female-centric TV and film, provides breaking news in female-centric Hollywood, and analyzes female-centric film and television.  They also provide week-by-week data analyses, providing numbers and interpretation on what movies have main female roles, female writers, and female directors each week.  Check it out, feminist folks.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings: The Harrow and the Harvest

It's been too long (8 years) since Welch's last album Soul Journey.  It was one eagerly anticipated for years.  Since Soul Journey, Welch has been appearing on records, such as Sara Watkins' first solo album and The Decemberists' latest The King is Dead, to make them even better.  But does The Harrow and the Harvest arrive on shelves with the folk perfection and soul that have tagged Welch in previous albums?  It's worth your money (if not for the cover alone!), but it lacks some of the catchy tunes that marked the previous two albums.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This Just In: Party Down movie in the works?

According to Punchline Magazine, Rob Thomas is hoping to rekindle the Party Down magic.  What's great about this is that there's not a specific filming deadline for TV airtime, so it can be worked around the cast's schedules.  What can also work for this movie is that it was just getting started.  People were just beginning to turn in.  There were endless formulas for these characters because they interact with so many different people each episode.  They don't have to interact with just each other.  In other words, it's still fresh, so an added movie would only be welcome.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Voice: Week 9

Semifinals are here!

As predicted, Vicci, Nakia, Casey, and Javier have been saved.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Voice: Week 8

Told you. Beverly and Frenchie made it through. And Dia and XENIA (Who I wanted to get through)!

Team CeeLo
Tori and Taylor Thompson
The Ts dominated with their tight harmonies, highly reminiscent of the Andrews Sisters themselves, performed "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," one of my favorite songs! They were entertaining and damn-near flawless. But there were a few hiccups along the way, in which they went out of synch and possible stumbled on the lyrics at one point. Tori, the younger one and the blonde, seems to be the less professional. I think she's the one who stumbles. But the other is there to save it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Music to look forward to in 2011

If you haven't already bought The Pierces' You & I, do so immediately. The Pierces have begun to take over the music scene all over the world, starting with Britain. Their vintage sound recreates the glory of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. I can't recommend them enough. They're smart, sassy, and ethereal.

Fairport Convention has also released an album Festival Bell that rings true with British Folk. They sometimes can veer off and sound more rock, but here they've produced an album that sounds more folk than possibly anything they've done. It's a beauty.

The Greencards' The Brick Album will be released June 21.

Folk Queen Gillian Welch will release an album The Harrow and the Harvest on June 28. Expect greatness in traditional sound, complete with covers of old folk tunes and self-penned genius.

Dolly Parton's new album Better Day will be out June 28.

Sinead O'Connor will release the album Home September 5, much to my eagerness.

And hopefully we'll see Malinky's album out this year. It's been a long time coming.

Feminist Feature: Warehouse of Women

Warehouse 13 was surely considered female-centric in its first season, but the second season was considerably more so, and I'd say even feminist.  The addition of Helena "H.G." Wells, played by Jaime Murray, as a recurring cast member was a wonderful idea.  Her character is complex and mysterious.  Her motives for her actions were understandable and clear in the end, and I felt so bad for her.  I hope one day she'll return to the Warehouse under more trustworthy terms. H.G.'s like X-Men's Mystique: unpredictable, mysterious, sly, and dangerous but with misunderstood good intentions carried out in unfathomable and militant ways.  She must have been a hit, and the SyFy network must have loved her because she will be starring in a Warehouse 13 spin-off, revolving around her life prior to being bronzed by the Warehouse agents.  Steampunk goodness awaits!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mortal Kombat: Legacy

So I've told you about Mortal Kombat: Legacy before.  I watched the first episode when it debuted, and it was amazing.  And I totally missed out on the rest of the episodes, so I had to catch up.  Let me tell you: they are gloriously realistic.  There's one episode left, episode 9, and I already want another season.  You can find all episodes here on youtube.  Linked is the first episode for you to watch.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Awesome Movie Highlight: X-Men First Class

X-Men: First Class serves as a prequel, in a way, to the first three X-Men movies.  And it's just as good, if not better, than X2, the best of the three originals.  I think I even like it better than Thor, which was my favorite superhero movie until First Class arrived.  I'm not one to compare to the comics or book because I'll end up being disappointed.  Let's face it: movies are no longer original; they are adaptations of comics or novels.  I like to separate the mediums.  First Class succeeds in its goal of making a fantastic movie, based on the X-Men comics.  It takes X-Men from many generations and incorporates them into this First Class.  I give it an 8 out of 10.  Do not read ahead if you don't want spoilers.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Voice: A Reality Show I'll Watch

I'm not a fan of reality all.  I watched the first four American Idols and then I realized that most of them are awful and American voters for the show were tweens and teens obssessed with the people they see.  It was never about talent.  It was always about: can this person sell based on their look?

The Voice is entirely different.  I had to catch up after the first three shows because I didn't want to watch it.  I refuse to support stupidity and terrible writing.  People should be on TV for being good at something worthwhile being good at.  Right?  So what kept me watching The Voice?  The judges have great connections with the contestants and with each other.  It makes for a fun watch.  The judges work one on one with them, lending them their expertise.  It's not just waiting until the last minute.  The judges know the contestant's strengths and help build them.  Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green, and Adam Levine are especially great together and are all hilarious.  But then there's the mess that's Christina Aguilera.

Feminist Feature: Esquire's Sexism

Esquire Magazine recently ran a list of 75 Books Every Man Should Read.  Seventy-four of those were by males, Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find (of course) being the only female work.  (They did state, though, that their list was "utterly biased," in their defense.)  Why O'Connor and not Margaret Atwood?  Don't get me wrong: Esquire is promoting reading!  That's a good thing, right?  But I'd rather they promote gender equality as well; this is not to say have 50/50 gender split.  That in itself would be discriminating...and as retaliation Jezebel released their list for women, including three men...just as discriminating.  Good job on the war front, ladies.  All that should matter is that a book is stellar.  The author's biological makeup should contribute nothing to the quality of writing.  As fellow blogger Sally said, "I'm amazed, though, that To Kill a Mockingbird wouldn't be on there because it belongs on any Must Read List, regardless of gender."  It's true.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Feminist Feature: Legend of the Seeker's Inspiration

I've recently read a book called Women Warriors: A History by David E. Jones, which my students at school have chuckled at because clearly they have not even been exposed to the idea of feminism, of female warriors, or of ancient matriarchal societies.  Out here, it's typical for girls to go straight to the marriage life and pop out babies and be a dutiful wife, silent and complacent and in the kitchen.  Upon reading this book, I came across certain groups or individuals that reminded me of female warriors in television, books, and movies.  Some instances remind me of Legend of the Seeker.  In relation to the TV series and the books, these ancient warrior women are present in the development of the characters.

Here, Kahlan the Mother Confessor is killing the Sisters of the Dark, badassly.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What to look for in 2011: film pt 3

The Ledge
May 29 (limited)
Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, Christopher Gorham, Terrance Howard, and Charlie Hunnam star in this thriller revolving around religious differences of an atheist and a Christian. It comes to head when the Christian forces the atheist to rooftop to threaten both their lives: push off the one who has faith in the afterlife or not kill someone and kill himself to save a life. Needless to say this will be uncomfortable and cause decent discourse on the subject at hand.

Feminist Feature: Bridesmaids

First of all, we have a Paul Feig directed comedy co-written by Kristen Wiig.  How can you go wrong?  Its brilliance solely because of their names.  But now onto the feminist points at hand.

All-female casts are becoming more common.  It's not to say they never existed before Baby Mama because they totally did (Witches of Eastwick, anyone?), but they're appealing to a broader audience now with extremely funny ladies.  I've already written on Spring Breakdown and its underrated and misunderstood nature.  (It might have actually been my first post.)  Bridesmaids succeeded in even taking mostly unknown actresses to the general public and created a sweeping greatness that I've not seen in a comedy, well, since Baby Mama.  I've never laughed so hard in my life.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Celtic Corner: Bounding Main

Less Celtic and more maritime, Bounding Main takes traditional Irish, Canadian, and British ballads and shanties and transforms their simple folk melodies into haunting, intricate, tight harmonious tunes. You can hear them having fun in their music and know they're loving it, even if shanty singing doesn't make you rich! They've recently released a new album Kraken Up. Awesome title, right? It kraks me up too.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy Beginnings

Happy Endings has been airing two episodes at a time after the waning-in-laughs Cougar Town.  So why should you be watching through Cougar Town or tuning in so late to watch a comedy sure to fail due to its placement so late in the new episode season?  Simple.  It's brilliantly hilarious.  Your world will be bettered because of this show.  Okay, it's a comedy about six friends in a metropolitan area--three men and three ladies--how's it any different than any other comedies, especially those like Friends or Seinfeld?