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!