Sunday, December 23, 2012

Movie of the Week: The Hobbit

I planned on doing a review of The Hobbit opening day, but I was too tired from seeing the midnight showing, and then I thought I should also see it in 3D before I did.  The Hobbit was an incredibly entertaining, but it was longer than it should've been for the theatrical version.

The beginning with Ian Holmes and Elijah Wood was for the most part unnecessary, but it was a reminder of its connection to The Lord of the Rings and what is to come.  There were many parts that serve as hints as to what's to come, but this was one that did not need to be there.  Rather, it should've just been Ian Holmes or Cate Blanchett (instant shivering orgasm when she narrates) narrating the taking of the Lonely Mountain by Smaug, much like The Lord of the Rings.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Chris Hardwick's New Nerdy Deal

Deadline reported that nerdy pop culture entrepreneurial god Chris Hardwick has landed a deal with BBC America in hosting a 10-episode variety talk show named after his internet empire The Nerdist.  Only 10 episodes?  How British of them!  The show will entail "celebrity guests, UK and U.S.-based correspondents, and stand-up and musical performances."  The Nerdist TV program will hit your TVs in Spring 2013 on Saturdays to round out the extremely nerdy lineup of Doctor Who, Being Human, and Orphan Black, hosted by Chris Hardwick as well.  Hardwick will produce under his production company Nerdist Industries. 

Best Albums of 2012

2012 was a wonderful year for music in all genres!  While last year belonged to rock and pop with the likes of Adele and Florence + the Machine, this year for me belongs to country and folk.  This year saw the return of Sinead O'Connor and The Cranberries at full force, great follow-up albums, and significant debuts.

10. December Well (Mike Vass)
I've already gone in depth this album.  The only thing that kept it from being higher up is that it may be too seasonal.  But, hey, it beat out the rest of the competition!  Check out my previous post on it.

Follow Mike Vass over at his website, twitter, youtube, and facebook.
Buy his album at his website,,, or iTunes.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Let's Hear it For the Girl: Looking Forward to "Girl Meets World"

Fifteen years ago the Disney Channel was my jam. After a long hard day in middle school I'd come home and quickly reserve my spot on the floor at the end of my parents' bed in front of their tiny bedroom TV and watch. Between the hours of 3 and 6 pm Disney Channel programming was gold. Growing Pains, Brotherly Love, Flash Forward, The Torkelsons and, of course, Boy Meets World occupied those hours between school and family dinner. Let's not forget the weekends and summers either. My friends and I can go several rounds discussing our favorite Disney Channel Original Movies or have extensive conversations that start with "remember Zoog Disney??"

Admittedly, I haven't watched the channel in several years. Being a 27 year-old adult with a job and everything, I've kind of grown out of it. However, upon hearing the news of the channel's new show, "Girl Meets World," I suddenly made a mental note to add the Disney Channel back into my favorites list.

While creating the list of shows I watched during what I consider the DIsney Channel's prime, I noticed something.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Luke Winslow-King's The Coming Tide

Luke Winslow-King has been gently rocking the New Orleans music scene with his elegant mix of blues, folk, ragtime, and old-timey.  His latest album The Coming Tide, featuring Esther Rose, has made waves across the country, enough to be signed to Chicago-based label Bloodshot Records, joining the likes of The Riptones, Bobby Bare, Jr., Bryan Adams, Neko Case, Ha Ha Tonka, Kelly Hogan, and other incredible acts.  Under the new label, he'll be re-releasing The Coming Tide with bonus tracks in March of next year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Want To Be the Girl On Fire

"I want to be Alicia Keys!" Katie Couric declared on her show last week. Keys was a guest and had just performed a song from her new album, Girl on Fire (released today: 11/27). At this point you can probably guess that this post isn't about my desire to be Katniss Everdeen (not this time at least).

Admittedly, I've never considered myself a big Alicia Keys fan. True, I love many of her singles and find her vocal and musical talent incredible. Still, it wasn't until learning more about her last week that I began to think we should all be more like Alicia Keys.

I realize not all of us can sing like she can or play piano like she can or even write songs like she can. We can't all produce our own music either, or were the valedictorian of our high school class, but I'm not talking about all that. Last week I learned more about her philanthropic efforts and found myself inspired, impressed and a little surprised that I didn't already know all she does. But, maybe that's intentional: Keys not telling her right hand what the left is doing. Gotta love that.

Celtic Corner: Mike Vass' December Well

As reported last year, Mike Vass was working on a project called December Well, in which he wrote and recorded tunes inspired by the Scottish December. The result is an album of wintry wonder that is available on December 10.

Cincy ComiCon: A Comic Nerd's Dream Con

The Greater Cincinnati area is getting ANOTHER comic con, you guys!  That's how great Cincinnati is!  But the reality is: the new Cincy ComiCon will be vastly different.  I want you to think about your favorite aspect of a comic convention really is.  Do you want the maze of insanity that is (now) Comic Con International (CCI) or New York Comic Con (NYCC)?  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shakespeare's Sonnets in Song

In an exciting effort to bring the past to the present, Shakespeare: The Sonnets sounds out Billy's finest 14-liners as contemporary music played with traditional Elizabethan instruments.  You know those classic songs that are written so simply that they can be interpreted in many ways by different artists?  That's what's happening with Shakespeare's work on this album. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why Marvel NOW! Will Succeed

With DC Comics' New 52 having launched recently, Marvel needed to up their game somehow with numbers lower than DC.  Clearly there's a problem if Aquaman is beating X-books.  Aquaman.  Having just had Schism in X-books, it was a surprise that Marvel would do this.  But it was transitioned so well, that the typical X-reader somewhat forgets that Schism was only a year ago.  Now X-Men and Avengers are united, despite some bruises still showing from AvX.  Marvel's NOW! initiative will turn out better in the long run.  It may not be as accessible as New 52, where DC characters are re-imagined, much like Marvel's Ultimate Universe; but Marvel NOW! is certainly a jumping on point, where characters in continuity are introduced to new readers and slowly developed even more while touching on a character's history throughout.  They're allowing writers and artists to flourish in their team ups, and encouraging them to stay on as a team for the long run, unlike the New 52.  In addition, they're avoiding events at the editorial level.  If writers want to do an event in a natural progression, then it'll be fully supported.  That's the Marvel plan with NOW! concerning the creator approach.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

How to not get Murdered, as Taught by Traditional Folk Tunes

Sure, traditional folk murder ballads may seem dark and depressing, but they're no different from the effect of fairy tales, in which the protagonist does something foolish and learns a lesson, mostly ending in some sort of magical entrapment or death.  Even in folk murder ballads, there's magic!  It makes sense that the folk ballads and fairy tales have similar elements, given their European descent.  Folk tunes are simply trying to teach us how to properly avoid murder.

1) Don't tell your future in-laws you have money without them knowing he's rich.
This never works out.  The parents are poor, and they want money, but they didn't know they'd get it anyway.  Sorry, you must die at the hands of your would-be-in-laws while your fiancee is sleeping and having a prophetic dream about your death.  She seeks vengeance by law and has her parents executed.  She probably got all the money, though, so good for her!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's Worth Watching?

It's been a few weeks since the new television season began, and it's time to take a look at what should be dropped and what must go on.

Mondays at 10/9c on NBC
In a world where technology has mysteriously stopped working, one man rose up to take position as leader of the United States in a brutal, totalitarian manner.  The protagonists of the show try to fight him as well as revive the failed technology.  Revolution is the type of show I could get into, but unfortunately I couldn't.  The continued absence of technology doesn't make sense, nor does the one thing that could revive it.  In addition, the acting is very sub-par, especially from the lead Traci Spiridakos and the dialogue doesn't give her much to work with anyway.  I could deal with more Elizabeth Mitchell and Tim Guinee (unfortunately the latter won't be appearing more), and maybe, just maybe, I could enjoy the show.
Result: DROP IT

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ABC Orders Another Pilot

Following the SHIELD pilot order, ABC orders a put pilot called "The Housewives", written by June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson, as reported by Deadline.  Will Gluck is producing the pilot.  The show would be a multi-camera comedy about three female friends that takes place in 1954.  1954, people!  This could be all sorts of fun!  Raphael just may be one of the three leads.  It's too bad Wilson can't do both Happy Endings and The Housewives, but we'll have her there in the words.  Hopefully this one will stick, unlike last year's pilot by the same team Walk of Shame.  I do hope that Raphael ends up playing a role, and I do hope that role is a drunken blunt woman.  This writing duo is also responsible for Bride Wars.  Check out Raphael weekly on Adult Swim's NTSF:SD:SUV and Wilson weekly on Happy Endings, ABC, at 9 PM, opposite New Girl, FOX, and Go On, NBC.

SHIELD TV Series from Joss Whedon

I've been so busy that I haven't posted about this gloriously wonderful news.  Joss Whedon was confirmed to be working on a new TV series that focuses on SHIELD, the organization that forms the Avengers.  In addition, the series will be in continuity with the films and may even have guest appearances by the film characters.  Whedon will likely co-write the pilot with his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen and possibly direct the pilot.  What's up in the air, though, is the characters Whedon will be using. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Glorious Guest of Season 4, Episode 4 of Community

Community's fourth season shows no signs of veering from its slightly insane, chaotic crass, and darkly witty, certainly mind-blowingly hilarious origins with Happy Endings showrunners coming to play.  Even the stars like Joel McHale will tell you so.  But I'm particularly excited for episode 4, pertaining to a convention in which Abed meets new people of similar fandom of Inspector Spacetime.  Read after the jump to see what two guest stars will be appearing.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Watch The Mindy Project and The New Normal NOW

The Mindy Project's pilot went up online (legally) Monday.  NBC is taking a lesson from Fox and airing The New Normal for some added hype, so word of mouth spreads BEFORE it actually airs.  It worked for New Girl last year and somewhat for Glee a few years ago (the hype died down after such a long hiatus), so hopefully it'll work this year for both.  They are deliciously hilarious.  Both have slight hiccups in the pilots, but they're pilots.  Every pilot has that (except for re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, of course).

Watch The Mindy Project and The New Normal after the jump.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Celtic Corner: Karine Polwart Traces Humanity’s Heart

Scottish singer-songwriter Karine Polwart has crafted a truly beautiful work of art for her latest solo release Traces.  It’s a venture of a unique voice that only Polwart can master.  She simultaneously tells a story, provides true human insight, and produces a theatrical sound both grandiose and personal.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Elizabeth Cook Soars

A regular guest on David Letterman's late night show, Elizabeth Cook entertains.  She knows there's humor in her honesty and in her background.  But many mistake her lighthearted sense of self and southern accent together as her being an dumb blonde airhead.  And as she wrote in her song, "Dolly, did you go through this?"

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Scottish Music Revolution

For so long, no country was prouder than Ireland of its musical heritage, but Scotland has been catching up with a rising folk/traditional scene, reviving and keeping the old tunes.  But now those within rock and pop have taken to a new sound: their natural Scottish lilt.
The Imagineers
For decades, pop and rock musicians (or their managers rather) all over the world strove for the most marketable music possible, and that meant catering to the largest pop/rock music scene in the world: the United States.  Everywhere singers adopted the American accent when singing, or at least muted their own accent to the point of unrecognizable accents.  But with burgeoninig bands, such as Glasvegas and Frightened Rabbit, the Scottish accent is returning to the airwaves, home stereos, and mp3 players all around the world. (The Guardian also wrote of this.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Here's to Nora

All day I've had this melancholy feeling. I learned last night that Nora Ephron (writer, director, journalist) had died and the significance of this event for me took a few hours to sink in.

The movies of Nora's that I've seen (today I've learned there are many I haven't seen, something that will change soon) have been my favorites for years. So, I've spent a lot of today remembering them, and as a result remembering Nora: a woman I never met (would have never had a reason to), but whom I still feel I know in some way.

Thinking about my favorite Nora Ephron movies brings up a lot of things. So many that to include all of them in one blog post would be cruel to any reader who stumbles upon it. So, instead I've managed to pull my favorite scenes and favorite lines from each.

Favorite Scene: "Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash."
When people talk about this movie the restaurant scene usually gets the limelight. I'm not saying that limelight is not deserved, but for me the scene above is my favorite. Just say the words "pepper" or "pecan pie" to me and I'll quote the whole thing. Seriously, don't tempt me.

Favorite line: Sally responds to Harry's sweet confession of love. "You see? That is just like you, Harry. You say things like that, and you make it impossible for me to hate you. And I hate you Harry. I really hate you."

Awww see when Sally says "hate" she really means love.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Why I Love Catelyn Stark (And Why You Should Too)

Call me Littlefinger because I'm in love with Catelyn Tully Stark.  Game of Thrones has not only forced me into submission, it's also made me crush on yet another older woman: Michelle Fairley, the perfect casting for Catelyn, as only an Irishwoman can play the part of such a stern and bold woman.  And so I give you the reasons to love Catelyn Tully Stark.  WARNING: LIGHT SPOILERS ENSUE.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

You, too, can play Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne

A devoted fan, with the help of others (and you if you want), is developing Community's video game "Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne", developed by Pierce's father.  You can track the developments and play each release of the game here.  So help a brother out by playing the game and letting him know of any bugs or suggestions.  This game is going to be absolutely stellar.  You can choose from a wide range of characters.  There are continuous submissions for character costumes.  Look forward to Darkest Timeline Jeff Winger, Starburns, and Dean Pelton.  Currently some playable characters are Brittasaurus Rex, Abed's Batman, Squirrel Britta, and Troy's Sexy Vampire.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ABC's Fall Schedule

ABC looks to have a strong contender for Tuesday night comedies, but it'll likely have a strong Wednesday night again, beating out competition.  Happy Endings vs New Girl at 9, and Don't Trust the B**** in Apt 23 vs The Mindy Project.  WOW!  ABC is certainly picking up a lot of comedies, as they seem to have success in that area.

Here are the shows debuting in the fall:

Go On
The New Normal
Ben & Kate
The Mindy Project
How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life (midseason)
The Family Tools (midseason)
The Neighbors
Malibu Country

The Mob Doctor
Last Resort
666 Park Avenue

Read after the jump for the full schedule.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Mindy Project Preview

Check out a preview of Fox's new sitcom The Mindy Kaling Project.  Already hilarious and very Kalingesque.

Fox's Fall Lineup

Fox's fall lineup with sparse compared to NBC's attempt to crank out quality shows for a three-hour block every day.  But it's packed with goodness on Tuesday, with a comedy lineup to rival NBC's.  Mindy Kaling's new show The Mindy Project, as I've reported, will pair wonderfully with New Girl, and it's especially fun knowing that Zooey and Mindy are great pals in real life.  I'm imagining a crossover now.  Raising Hope is a surprising renewal, but it'll give me a chance to catch up on the show and maybe watch it.  Glee's move to Thursdays is surprising, but it would make sense to paired with a music reality show and at 9.  Here are FOX's new shows: 

Ben and Kate
The Goodwin Games (midseason on Tuesdays)
The Mindy Project

DRAMAThe Following (midseason on Mondays)
The Mob Doctor

You can find the full schedule after the jump.

NBC's Fall Lineup

While I'm severely disappointed that Frontier was not picked up, NBC has renewed Community and Up All Night for half-seasons of 13 episodes and Parks and Recreation for a full 22-episode season.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are looking to be their strongest nights.  Friday's a very...eclectic night.  1600 Penn, Next Caller, and Save Me are will replace the half seasons of 30 Rock, which will have its final season, Up All Night, and Community.  Which will replace which are yet unknown.  NBC loves Matthew Perry and Laure Benanti (as should everyone), and it airs after The Voice, so it will likely gain a solid audience, leading into The New Normal (which has a GREAT cast, but it's by the increasingly frustrating Ryan Murphy.  Here are the new shows NBC picked up for next season:

COMEDY1600 Penn (midseason)
Animal Practice
Go On
Guys With Kids
The New Normal
Next Caller (midseason)
Save Me (midseason)

Chicago Fire
Do No Harm (midseason)
Hannibal (midseason)
Infamous (midseason)

You can see the full fall schedule after the jump.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Movie of the Week: The Avengers

I attended the midnight showing of The Avengers, and it exceeded my own expectations of awesomeness.  I'm going to say it: Joss Whedon made a phenomenal film.  It's not your average superhero movie.  It's so much more.  Whedon adds a political psychological aspect to the reasons why Loki wants to subjugate humanity to his will and enjoys messing with the Avengers, rather than outright fighting them.  Enter the symbol of patriotism: Captain America.  It's just one way in which Whedon provides small character beats for every Avenger and a dynamic for the entire team.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Site of the Week: My Drunk Kitchen

My Drunk (Sexy) Kitchen
Have I not told you about this before?  I thought I had, so I deeply apologize for not alarming you of uber-nerd Hannah Hart's awesomeness.  Ms. Hart provides us the best sort of entertainment: drunk cooking on her webseries My Drunk Kitchen (now in HD!).  Her witty puns and quirky personality are irresistible as she fumbles around the kitchen in an attempt to assemble something that looks like food and has been on the floor a few times.  Unfortunately, guys, Ms. Hart is not available to date.  But, ladies, she's all yours.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review: The Steel Seraglio

Every now and then, a book comes along with a quiet power and dignity.  The Steel Seraglio is one of those books that will have gone under the radar for a majority of worldwide readers, but it shouldn't.  The book is fairly complex in its themes, characters, and even plot due to reasons soon to be expounded.  What is also striking is its ability to not acknowledge any genre boundaries.  It is written much like an ancient document, detailing the lost city of Bessa in the Middle East, but it draws from historical fiction/alternate history, as well as magical realism, all lending to an unnerving, gripping, thrilling, and unexpected page turner.  Though it's given these qualities of historical fiction and magical realism, it also brings forth the epic fantasy vibe, though not so much as journey of a fellowship of different races trying to save a world.  Rather, this is the story of the concubines a seraglio, or harem, of the fictional city of Bessa's sultan Bokhari Al-Bokhari.

Al-Bokhari and his wives and legitimate children with said wives are killed by a religious extremist Hakkim, who is also a trained assassin.  He believes it his destiny to eradicate all debauchery and sin from Bessa.  The seraglio managed to persuade Hakkim to send them as a gift to a neighboring sultan through the techniques they'd always used on political figures and men to do their bidding in subtle arts.  But the women of the seraglio have a different idea: take back Bessa.  Read on for a complete review, spoiler-free but very in-depth.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Every NES game attempts to get its due

Mario Bros.
Every day, artist Campbell Whyte sought to paint a scene based off every NES made, which would've been 799 games (They couldn't have 800?!), but he was sidetracked with another project: his own graphic novel.  So we're left with 375.  Find a few more favorites below, and find them all collected into five large images at Whyte's official website.  One even has Duck Hunt!  That brings back good memories!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Looking Forward 2012: Music

And now for your music update.  We've already had quite a few released in January, February, and March.  Many brilliant albums, mind you!  On top of the new Those Darlins album Screws Get Loose, here are a few notable ones coming soon.

Very soon

Mike Vass
December Well

Notes: There will be a limited release, so pre-order or get as fast as possible!

April 23
Jack White
Notes: This includes the duet with Ruby Amanfu (seen on The Sing-Off).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Prescience of Better Off Ted

Like that clever use of the word "prescience"?  There were a multitude of reasons why Better Off Ted failed, and none of them were because it was less than brilliant.  It was genius, just like Phil and Lem.  Too genius?  And too critical of sociopolitics?  Recently, I've noticed that the show had been rather prescient in how they predicted the technological advances, based on then-current research and hypothetical situations, and the social climate in which we now live in today, two years after its demise.

Looking Forward 2012: Movies

I know I'm late on my usual business of examining interesting movies of the year.  So what all is coming up that would be interesting to those of a nerdy side?

Already out in select theaters
Directed by Timo Vuorensola
Written by Johanna Sinisalo, Jarmo Psukala, and Michael Kalesniko
Iron Sky is the newest sci-fi comedy to hit the screens where Nazis who colonized the moon in 1945 return in 2018 to continue their purity cleanse.  Supposedly the film is fantastic, but the sci-fi comedy genre is very niche, so it might even be better than the 7.8 rating on imdb.

May 1, 2012
Written and Directed by Dano Johnson
The sequel to Flatland arrives with Kristen Bell returning as Hex, Michael York as Spherius, and Tony Hale as King of Pointland.  Danny Pudi, Danica McKellar, and Kate Mulgrew join the cast for this mathematical adventure.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pushing Daisies comic on hold...still

Page 1 colored, unlettered
I failed to mention that over a year ago, Bryan Fuller had once again reported on the Pushing Daisies comic.  He had mentioned that it would likely be a season 3 graphic novel with a multimedia experience, complete with cast songs (as previously reported here), but plans were stalled when the publisher Wildstorm was closed by its parent company DC Comics.  Fuller then expressed interest in attempting to get  third season by a cable company, specifically Starz.  I don't know if it may be soon.  It may depend on his involvement with The Addams Family remake if it gets picked up.  While expressing his hopes that we will get a wrap for the third season, Fuller posted the first two pages in black and white and another of the first page unlettered but colored.  Check out post-jump for the two lettered pages!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Movie of the Week: The Hunger Games

You've all heard of The Hunger Games, at least.  The hype is justifiable.  People of all ages are reading the trilogy because it is brilliant.  Its accurate portrayal of the psychological damages of killing and of war, its horror of pitting children against each other in "games" for the government's own entertainment as well as for keeping control of its remaining population, and its commentary on celebrity, loyalty, human nature, class, and history repeating itself come to light.  The moment the movie was announced, no fan could wait to see the films come to life.  And that day has come.  It fares well for fans who've read the book, but perhaps because they know more about the world and the characters than the screen actually portrays.

Lord of the Rings Drinking Game!

I find the only way to tolerate Sam and Frodo (if I don't fast forward through them) is to drink.  Now you don't have to watch LOTR alone!  It'll be enjoyable with friends!  Okay, you can still watch it alone and play this, but it probably won't be as fun, and I think people would worry about your addictions.  Click after the jump to see how to play!

Community Pogs

There's nothing better than fan art for Community.  We've seen the Community cast as X-Men, but we haven't seen their faces on pogs, until now.  Vulture provides a nice dated reference to the fad of the 1990s: pogs, complete with nearly every guest star, core cast member, and recurring character. Unfortunately Annie's Boobs, Asian Annie, and a few others are missing.  And the school motto "E Pluribus Anus" probably should be the slammer, rather than the one chosen. Read on to see the image!

John Barrowman, Catherine Tate, and David Tenant Sing

If you haven't seen it yet, you will now.  John Barrowman, Catherine Tate, and David Tenant sing a tune called "The Ballad of Russell and Julie", based off this tune, in honor of Tenant's departure along with Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review--The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond

The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond did what I had hoped and made a post-apocalyptic folk sound, a natural and primal folk music that arises out of a troubled and destroyed nation in the future.  I'd trust no one but T Bone Burnett to do so.  While the songs may not be in the movie itself, it is a nice accompaniment to set the tone for what life is like in Katniss's hometown with themes relative to her life and to the uprising.

Why Aren't You Watching Cougar Town?

You should be ashamed of yourself for not watching Cougar Town.  If you are and you're not my friend, then you should be my friend.  Being my friend is a privilege and an honor that people fight over.  Let's call this the first reason you should be watching Cougar Town.  The rest of the reasons have more to do with the show than with being my fantastic friend.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Themed Music: Drink! Drink! Drink!

In honor of the upcoming holiday that celebrates Irish heritage (but really celebrates and excuses insane drunkeness), I thought it fitting to provide the next music theme "Drink! Drink! Drink!" -- a theme comprised of songs about drinking.  (Songs for a drinking atmosphere will later ensue.)  This list will be heavy on Irish songs, as well as sea shanties, but it will inevitably encompass much more. 

"Drink!", They Might Be Giants
Everybody's favorite band that they're afraid to admit is their favorite band, except for hipsters who say it in a completely ironic way and nerds who completely own up to it with pride, is They Might Be Giants.  Their song "Drink!" might not make sense, but upon further analysis, it is just vague enough to provide multiple interpretations, but it seems to be about someone living loud on the weekends, becoming more than a wallpaper and drawing attention to themselves.  All week you're ignored in your monkey suit, but when the weekend comes, you are a monkey. "Let's drink, drink this town is so great/Drink, drink cuz it's never too late!"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Saul Zaentz Company Orders Extra Douche on Their Hobbit Deal

One of the production companies that bought the rights to Tolkien's franchise Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) have declared war on Earth.  As part of their contractual agreements, they own all property for goods and merchandise relating to The Hobbit.  Granted, New Line got anal about it with artists who weren't on commission by them when the first movie came out.  Dozens of artists, like Cincinnati-based Mike Makras (now retired), were sued or sent legal notices to cease and desist production art relating to Tolkien's world middle-earth.  Now, upon production of The Hobbit, the concern is again raised when SZC struck an all-time high of strict policies concerning their rights to The Hobbit materials.  Read on after the jump for more details and how small businesses are in danger from them.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Site of the Week 3/11/12-3/17/12: Bear McCreary's Blog

If you're the BEST kind of nerd, you LOVE Battlestar Galactica (BSG).  That's right, I'm going to say it.  And if you're the best kind of nerd, you LOVE the score to BSG from the genius mind of Bear McCreary.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Katrina Law on Spartacus' Mira

TV Guide recently interviewed Katrina Law on her role as Mira in Starz' Spartacus.  I get if you're not a fan, but the show is grounded in the historical realities of sensual fulfillment and brutal backstabbing (Get it?  Brutus?  Literally and figuratively backstabbing Caesar?) with rich characters, characters who also happen to be strong females.  I love the warrior women vibe the slave women always gave off, but it could never really come to fruition until now (though Ilythia always is ruthless in a different fashion).

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Themed Music: Most Powerful Female Voices

Whitney Houston had an amazing voice, powerful and piercing.  She could rock out or sing the most emotional ballad.  She demonstrated her true artistic talent through her range, her inflection, and her personality.  Houston brought a whole new meaning and a whole new audience to Dolly's "I Will Always Love You" and, through that, she came to be known as one of the best vocalists in the industry worldwide.  Though I may not have been a fan of her music, I respected her voice.  As Maura O'Connell notes, the voice is an instrument with the ability to be used in many ways, something many don't think.  Oddly, men lack the powerful vocals in pop music that women own, many using their instruments to new and limitless levels.  Call me a sucker for women with powerhouse vocals, but I thought it fitting to highlight some of the most talented powerhouse vocals in the industry today, those that artfully master the craft.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Is this what Writers' Rooms look like?

Prentice Penny just tweeted a photo of the wonderful swag sent by Vienna Beef after the holla in a recent episode of Happy Endings.  Behind the interesting subject of the photo is what I noticed first...the drafting boards!!!  I wonder if this is how all writing boards look now.  I've seen some where they use notecards for plots, some where they have tables, but this one is one I've never seen.  Granted, I don't see a whole lot of writers' rooms, unfortunately.  I'd love to someday, but until then, I'm studying this (and trying to make sense of it for some damn spoilers)!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Review: Roses by The Cranberries

Roses marks the return of one of best bands to grace the rock scene, The Cranberries.  Their poignant sound, haunting and realistically harsh lyrics, and ethereal, provocative, unique vocals again see light in Roses.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pilot Season: Bridget Regan and Ethan Embry

Regan in TNT's Hide
Bridget Regan may grace us with her wondrous acting, beauty, and overwhelming presence this fall on NBC.  Deadline reports that Regan has been cast on a pilot called The Frontier about a group of pioneers traveling out West from Missouri in 1840.  If picked up, the season will take us on their journey with ongoing drama and new obstacles.  (If anyone dies of dysentery I might laugh.)  Regan tweets, "I've just gotta say: such an exciting, adventurous script, such a beautiful role and will be riding horses (!!!!) Excited to say the least."

Themed Music: Union Workers and the Working Class UPDATED

A new feature here at Nerdy Pop will be to create a list of music under a certain theme.  Our first feature is songs of the "Union Workers and the Working Class".  From the shores of Ireland to the working class of Britain to the mines of America to the class-divided Australia, these songs inspire, uplift, and anger all at the same time.  Men, women, and children are exposed to cruel working conditions, even today, and unions have helped workers gain rights and better pay.  As I've highlighted Seth Lakeman's most recent album, I won't be including its brilliance. Our first song is one I've been listening to a lot is our last one...

"Which Side Are You On?"
Written by Florence Patton Reece
Performed by Florence Patton Reece, Pete Seeger, Dick Gaughan, Ella Jenkins, Dropkick Murphys, Natalie Merchant, Ani DiFranco, and more
In the struggle between the United Mine Workers and the mining company in Harlan County, the company paid Sheriff JH Blair to illegally ransack the union leader's house. The leader, Sam Reece, had caught wind and was not present, for fear he might be killed and arrested, foiling his future plans.  But his wife and two girls were caught in the crossfire, left at home to be victimized and terrorized.  Among the clutter and after the chaos, Reece's wife Florence wrote on the back of the house calendar the lyrics to "Which Side Are You On?".  She set it to the tune of the folk ballad "Jack Monro".  The song remains a classic and was used not just in the 1930s but again in the 1970s for another union strike.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Site of the Week: Mutant Magazine

My friends, I am a contributor to one of the world's greatest magazines: Mutant Magazine (MM).  A shameless plug possibly, but I must inform you of its incredible content.  A lovely ComicBookResources (CBR) poster Valeria Kamentari began making Mutant Magazine covers with current X-Men-related headlines.  They were always a delight to see, and I looked forward to it each time.  But with high demand and respect, a new project was born: Mutant Magazine v2.  Val took it upon herself to act as editor-in-chief for the project, which sought writers and ad makers to create an entirely fan-made magazine, specifically for the X-Men world.

Ender's Game snags Viola Davis

The Help's star Viola Davis has joined the cast of the ever-impressive Ender's Game, as reported by Variety.  Davis will play a military psychologist, overseeing the boys' emotional well-being. Asa Butterfield will star as Andrew "Ender" Wiggin.  Hailee Steinfeld as Petra Arkanian, Abigail Breslin as Valentine Wiggin, Jax Pinchak as Peter Wiggin, Aramis Knight as Bean, Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham, and Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff also star. Gavin Hood will direct and has written the screenplay.  The fact that Gavin Hood is directing and writing is the only that could go wrong at this point.  He did X-Men Origins: Wolverine, after all.

Davis has also been tapped to play a guardian seer in the film adaptation Beautiful Creatures, a modern fantasy thriller.

Pilot Season: Portia de Rossi, Mindy Kaling, and BSG!

Pilot season is an exciting, but it's a letdown come fall when the ones I look forward to do not show up on the TV lineup.  But it's nice to report these, so you too can get your hopes up and then me cruelly crushed by the corporate companies that care not for good TV!

First, ABC has ordered a pilot of developing comedy I mentioned earlier called The Smart One, starring Portia de Rossi and produced by Ellen DeGeneres and Lauren Corrao (A Very Good Production). De Rossi plays an intelligent, witty woman, who ends up working for her sister, who is completely opposite as a complete ditz.  And she's the mayor. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Favorite TV Medical Doctors

My work revolved around medical centers...sometimes I look at resumes and think, "Why aren't you sixteen like Doogie?  You all must be dumb!"  So what better way to celebrate them than to make a list of TV most awesome doctors?

Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman 
Played by Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman)
Maybe it's the sexy-ass get-up, the intelligence, the feminism, or maybe it's just that Jane Seymour herself is a sexy woman; but darn if I didn't love her and her do-good family.  If there was one doctor, I'd want to go to, it'd be her.  Chances are she won't save my life without the medical advances of today, but she did her best with the rudimentary medicines of the day, right?  No one trusted her, no one believed in her, people treated her horribly, townies tried to get her out; but there she was, being the best doctor she can be, pulling shit out of her ass to save everyone.  And, let's face it, she didn't even save a lot of the people.  Take that, current medical dramas!  I want to see people die, dammit!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Making Peach Persimmon Wine

Persimmon Peach
As I promised, I would provide you the steps I had taken to make Peach Persimmon Wine.  I started Sunday, October 30.  I mashed fresh and frozen persimmons, which had fallen from my grandma's tree. This year was tough because the heat and dryness dried the fruit toward the end of the season.  Luckily we had some frozen from year still.  That was pushing it on the freezing limit.  What's great about frozen fruit is that it is easily mashed. I mashed 13 pounds to be exact.  I combined this with the 5 pounds of peach pulp (which is super easy to put in a bag and mash with your palms) I froze months earlier.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

TV Updates

I'm here with a backlog of your one-stop nerdy TV news.

Ricky Gervais has a new show called Life's Too Short coming out on HBO, in which he will play a supporting character with co-creator Stephen Merchant. It stars Warwick Davis as a fictionalized version of himself who owns a talent agency for Little People in the film industry. You know Davis best as Willow, the magical dwarf. Season One's guest stars include: Johnny Depp, Liam Neeson, Sting, Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Carell and Cat Deeley.