Enjoy this blog because what you read is of legendary status.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 16

I have one major problem with Earth, Wind & Fire and that is the grammar in the band's name. Ideally, the band would be named Earth, Wind, and Fire because you need that dank Oxford comma and I always just prefer to have "and" written out rather than symbolized by an ampersand. But that's beside the point. The point of this is to gush about how great their album, I Am, is. During the sessions for I Am, September (you know, that song at the end of every movie, but is actually a legitimately good song and deserves so much more respect) was recorded. As was what is arguably the most famous song every produced by the band, Boogie Wonderland. They're an underrated band despite their international fame. It just seems like they never got the due they should have for this stellar album

I Am: 1979 funk and disco album from Earth, Wind & Fire.

The Night Before Trailer

I want to tell you everything I love about a movie.

  • A setting of a mix between New York City and Christmastime
  • Seth Rogen riffing off either James Franco or Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Mindy Kaling
  • An Avenger
  • The piano from Big
This movie has all of that and more. I remember I saw this movie on Wikipedia and it sounded vaguely interesting. But now, the trailer has me hooked. It has all of those things I listed! It's like a movie made for me. It's also hilarious. I can't wait. 2015's Tower Heist, anyone? (This is my new favorite trailer.)

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead

Here lies an impressive for a new trailer from the director, Douglas Tirola, and the production company, Magnolia Pictures. It is titled, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead, and it is the story of how the National Lampoon came to be and what its legacy was as one of the most influential mediums of comedy ever invented. I'd love to see this story unfold.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 17

Before I saw Guardians of the Galaxy, the only thing I heard receiving more praise than the movie was the soundtrack that accompanied it. And man, did it live up to the expectations. I'm not too crazy about Cherry Bomb, but aside from that, I adore every other song on this album, some of which I knew already (Spirit in the Sky, I Want You Back) and some of which were my first exposure to just based on Guardians itself (Go All the Way, I'm Not in Love). It is the definition of a perfect soundtrack album. If ever I just feel in the mood to listen to music, I pop this album up and just jam. Hooked on a Feeling, Come and Get Your Love, Moonage Daydream, Fooled Around and Fell in Love. God, it's just such a flawless album. Awesome Mix Vol. 1 is awesome times one thousand.

Awesome Mix Vol. 1: 2014 soundtrack album from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Ike Barinholtz's Book

Grand Central Publishing has acquired the rights to a currently untitled collection of essays from comedian and star of The Mindy Project, Ike Barinholtz (Morgan Tookers). This is great news! Barinholtz is one of three writer-producers on The Mindy Project alongside Mindy Kaling and David Stassen so you know he's a fantastic writer. A full book of his can only be a total gem! Go get 'em, Ike. The book is slated for release in the autumn of 2017.

Zoolander 2 Teaser

At long last, it's finally here. The world's first look at the long-awaited sequel to one of the greatest comedies ever made, Zoolander. Here, we take a trip inside the human brain (and even see a quick eugoogly) before it is revealed that Derek Zoolander is the man with all the neurons. I don't want to say much more than that, but it really gets the hype going.

Monday, September 28, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 18

I'm a sucker for Christmas music, but you probably already knew that. I love listening to it; the genre makes me happy; I can't wait for December to roll around so I can just immerse myself in it all over again. But nobody in the modern age does Christmas music better than Michael Buble. (Sorry, Seth MacFarlane.) After the era of swing with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and Nat King Cole and Andy Williams ended, the world was hard-pressed to find anyone who could live up to the plethora of holiday hits created by those of old. But when Michael Buble, a swinger for the oughts, decided to make his own Christmas album, he changed the game. Now, he's one of the all-time greats. And he covered those, too. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Holly Jolly Christmas. All the hits were here. But he also created a new Christmas classic of his own, something that is very hard to do, with Cold December Night. Lastly, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) is my favorite Christmas song. And I have him to thank for that. Buble, I salute you.

Christmas: 2011 Christmas album from Michael Buble.

This Week's Sports by David

Sunday, September 27, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 19

After We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, the best album ever created by Jason Mraz, his return to the music scene was long-awaited and Love Is a Four Letter Word delivered on the fans' anticipation. His transition from funk pop to alternative soul was nearing its completion when this album was released and it was clear that Mraz's progression was now taking the next logical step. His music was coming from an entirely different place now and it showed with heartfelt melodies like The Woman I Love, 93 Million Miles, and the premiere track, I Won't Give Up. There are some real message-oriented gems on this album. I highly recommend it.

Love Is a Four Letter Word: 2012 alternative soul album from Jason Mraz.


On the press tour for Ant-Man, not only did Paul Rudd once again give Conan O'Brien a look at the classic clip from Mac and Me, but he also played a fun new game with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. Modeled after The Price Is Right's Plinko, Drinko forces the man who is not dropping the chips to drink a combination of the two liquids that receive the chips. It has potential for disgustingness and that is a potential it fulfilled. But the rapport between Rudd and Drinko is too good to miss.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 20

Forgive me, for the most famous album cover of all-time is merely ranked at the twenty spot on my list of fifty favorite albums. Now, I know this is not a spot to scoff at (and there are still more Beatles to come), but some hardcore fans might consider attacking me. But I stand by my choice! Essentially, Abbey Road was the final album from The Beatles. Let It Be was the last one released, but Abbey Road was the last one recorded. And you can really feel how the end was coming in this album. Not only had their looks radically changed, but so did the songs. Gone were the days of psychedelic rock, but instead each and every installment had shades of the entire discography from The Beatles combined to form one last hurrah. Ringo was given the controls on Octopus's Garden, Paul on Oh! Darling, John on Come Together, and George on Here Comes the Sun. It was a blend of the best of their geniuses. Oh, and Something is just beautiful, as well.

Abbey Road: 1969 blend rock album from The Beatles.

The Life and Works of Dr. Seuss

I think The Onion may have found their article of the year. It can be read here. Published in correlation with that of the new Dr. Seuss manuscript, Which Pet Should I Get?, this one details the storied legacy and history of the all-time greatest children's author, Dr. Seuss. It's worth a look. "1982: Feels immense embarrassment after seeing image of actual cat for first time in life." is the one that really made me laugh hard.

Friday, September 25, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 21

Here is the album that was the source of The Everly Brothers bursting onto the scene. It was their debut album, but it was also their finest as they produced a ceiling of hits that was essentially impossible to ever reach again, this feat only being accomplished once with All I Have to Do Is Dream. The self-titled album boasted both Bye Bye Love and Wake Up Little Suzie, two fantastic and popular songs, but also the rare country/doo-wop blend in tunes like This Little Girl of Mine and Keep a Knockin'. It was harmonizing like it had never been done before. The Everly Brothers were the masters of it.

The Everly Brothers: 1958 rock and roll doo-wop album from The Everly Brothers.

The 2015 ESPYs

My enchantment with the ESPYs has definitely receded over the years, but it's still an annual must-watch for me. Unlike last year when Drake hosted, this year's appeal was increased due to Joel McHale being tapped to host the show. His monologue killed, of course, but the video above was the real gem for the night, when he mocked ESPN's 30 for 30 documentaries. Bonus: Rob Gronkowski won Best Comeback Athlete! It was a good couple hours, overall. Well spent, I'd say.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 22

Stadium Arcadium might be the most well-known album from Red Hot Chili Peppers and I'd say it's fairly deserving of that title. Though, there is one more I would put ahead of it, it definitely deserves a spot in the top fifty. Hell, I even have it in my top twenty-two. It's almost like the album was just an absolute breeding ground - not just for singles - but for hits, as well. Dani California and Snow (Hey Oh) both came off of this album. That's insane! Those are two iconic anthems. Not to mention, the Kiedis and Flea-lead group also produced Tell Me Baby, Desecration Smile, and Hump de Bump from Stadium, a name born for the tour. Plus, this album proved the Peppers belonged in the twenty-first century, too.

Stadium Arcadium: 2006 alternative rock album from Red Hot Chili Peppers.

This Week's Entertainment by David

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 23

The very first album from The Four Seasons (later, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons) was also the best that the group ever released. (December, 1963, their best song, came much later.) Expertly predicting which melody would be the runaway hit from the collection of, as the title depicts, twelve songs, The Four Seasons nailed every single track on Sherry & 11 Others, especially Sherry. This was a group that somehow managed to reinvent the identity of doo-wop groups all around the world. Sherry took the world by storm. The radio exploded with every element of the song. Big Girls Don't Cry just simply managed to rock it even further. This time, it was irrevocable.

Sherry & 11 Others: 1962 doo-wop album from The Four Seasons.

BoJack Horseman Renewed

Unlike the woes begotten by the show I previously posted about (Welcome to Sweden), Netflix's hit animated comedy, BoJack Horseman, has been much luckier in the renewal department. Back in July, after a critically-acclaimed second season, Netflix announced that the Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, and Aaron Paul-lead cartoon sitcom will return for a third season in the summer of 2016. I cannot wait!

Welcome to Sweden Cancelled

Welcome to Sweden, the summer NBC comedy series from Greg Poehler (brother of Amy), has been cancelled after two seasons. I did watch a good portion of the first season, but I sort of lost interest as it went on. The show was charming enough, Greg was great, the Swedish culture was lovely to learn more about, and there were some solid guest stars (Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell, Aubrey Plaza). But there just wasn't that quality about it that would make someone want to continue watching it. You had a good run, I suppose!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 24

Is there any band or musician more synonymous with his, or her, or their genre than The Beach Boys are with surf rock? They are the epitome of summer jams. Everything about their catchy tunes just screams sand and water, summer and sun. This album that was the fifth studio one from The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson and the gang stayed on the U.S. Billboard charts for thirty-eight weeks, peaking at thirteen and for good reason, too. Some of the most iconic songs from Uncle Jesse's favorite group came from the second installment of Shut Down, including Fun, Fun, Fun, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, and Don't Worry, Baby. I love listening to this; it just makes you feel happy.

Shut Down Volume 2: 1964 surf rock album from The Beach Boys.

A Glowing Review

Wet. Hot. American. Summer. First. Day. Of. Camp. This might very well be the greatest television program I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. It's about time I talked about it here. A few years back, I stumbled upon a late night Comedy Central airing of Wet Hot American Summer, an obviously low-budget comedy from (as the info button told me) 2001 and my attention was caught by Paul Rudd. I watched the whole film that night and loved it. After that, I kind of forgot about it until the brand new Netflix buzz took the world by storm. An eight-episode prequel series which took a lot out of me to not simply binge, but savor over the course of two days. That's how long I managed to stretch out the greatness. I don't want to spoil anything about it if you haven't seen it yet, but let's just say that it's genius with genius writers and genius actors and the whole thing is so tight and perfect and smart and hilarious and I cannot wait to watch it again and again. A beautiful program. Run, don't walk.

Enjoy this great moment again if you have already seen the show!

R.I.P. Peg Lynch

I read a book at the beach this past July that was filled with interviews from Mike Sacks with influential comedy writers. One of those interviewed was Peg Lynch, the former star and creator of Ethel and Albert. Unfortunately, two weeks after I finished the book, I read on The New York Times' website that she had died at the age of ninety-eight. From all I knew about her in my short period of knowledge that Peg Lynch even existed in the first place, she seemed like a sharp writer and a comedic genius. She is said to have been the innovator of both situational comedy and "shows about nothing," as she wrote over eleven thousand scripts for her radio/television program, Ethel and Albert. I'm glad to have been exposed to her.

Monday, September 21, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 25

Men at Work is a freaking phenomenal band that is underrated for no good reason. I love their music and two of their albums crack my top fifty. Here is the first one I'll be discussing, which is arguably their most popular album, Business as Usual. Here is a collection of music that burst onto the music scene in an unexpected fashion and turned hits on their respective heads. Suddenly, Down Under and Who Can It Be Now?, the band's two most well-known songs, were on all the radio stations and at the top of the charts before Be Good Johnny proved that Colin Hay and the gang had staying power. Each side of the album features at least one hit from Men at Work which provides a familiar yet such a foreign (pft, Australia) appeal in the listening experience. They did good work.

Business as Usual: 1981 new wave album from Men at Work.

This Week's Sports by David

Sunday, September 20, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 26

There are two OneRepublic albums on the list and this is the second one I've posted about so, it would stand to reason, that Waking Up features the best songs OneRepublic ever recorded. But this is not true. I think their album, Native, actually features the better songs, overall, but Waking Up has a better balance and there is more of a flow, more of a storytelling aspect to the music's transient qualities and it allows for a more enjoyable listening experience than provided by Native. That's not to say there aren't any awesome songs that came from this album, (Secrets and Good Life come to mind) but this one nabs the higher spot not because of its genius, but because of its rhythm and charm. Both are so good, though.

Waking Up: 2009 pop rock album from OneRepublic.

Farewell, Shane Victorino

Unfortunately, the inevitable has come. It's no secret that the injury-plagued outfielder for the Boston Red Sox, Shane Victorino, also known as the Flyin' Hawaiian, has not exactly been a bright spot for the club during the past two seasons. And yes, the Sox have traded Victorino to the Anaheim Angels for infielder Josh Rutledge, meaning Shane is no longer on the team. It's too bad, but everyone knew it was coming. That doesn't mean we won't always have 2013, though! I will be forever thankful for Shane's heroics and goosebumps throughout the year, especially during the ALCS and the World Series with his clutch hits and killer soundtrack. Every little thing will be alright. Thank you, Shane.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 27

Dion and the Belmonts are, I firmly believe, the greatest doo-wop group that ever existed. But when Dion ventured into a solo career, it became clear that a big part of the magic came from his voice. His first "album," if you will, of his solo career was titled Runaround Sue after his most famous song, of course. Additionally, he boasted The Wanderer, another hit, and Somebody Nobody Wants to go along with his all-time greatest hit. There is, obviously, influence from The Belmonts, but this is, on the surface, Dion's album. And he kills it.

Runaround Sue: 1961 doo-wop album from Dion.

Bottle Episodes

Recently, The AV Club shared an article that deals with the importance, history, and legacy of bottle episodes in television. I know some people don't like them and view them as cheap, but I think they're a great, innovative form of storytelling that can be really beneficial for the right show. It worked with such episodes as Fly from Breaking Bad or Cooperative Calligraphy from Community. I really do appreciate the bottle episodes and this article was great to learn more about them.

Friday, September 18, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 28

My first exposure to the Christian Zucconi-lead band, Grouplove, came at the September 17th, 2014 taping of Late Night with Seth Meyers and I was pretty impressed with their performance. I immediately added their station to my Pandora and I quickly came to develop an appreciation for many of their songs, most of which came off their album which was described by Spin as "[evoking] pop colors bright enough to glow at tempos just short of manic." It's a perfect detailing of Grouplove's style of music: bright, fast, and happy. Love Will Save Your Soul, Colours, Tongue Tied, and Itchin' on a Photograph embody these adjectives and are some of my personal recommendations from the album. Enjoy if you listen!

Never Trust a Happy Song: 2011 alternative indie pop album from Grouplove.

The Beatles: An Acoustic Medley

I thought this video was worth sharing as it was very pleasing to listen to. A man uploaded himself doing an acoustic cover of a medley of some pretty killer songs from The Beatles and he does a great job! He posted it to The Beatles subreddit which helped me see it, as I was subscribed, but in case you're not, definitely check it out!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 29

Coldplay has been viewed throughout the oughts as one of the great bands of the new generation and, potentially, the heir to the legacy of U2. But it was their album that could be shortened to, simply, Viva La Vida that proved their status as one of the greatest bands that ever was or is. Off of this collection of tracks came Viva La Vida, the magnum opus of Coldplay that skyrocketed to the top of the charts and was dubbed Best Song at the 2009 Grammy Awards. It is an anthem for the ages and it was great to finally see Chris Martin conquer the world. Fitting cover art for that.

Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends: 2008 art rock album from Coldplay.

This Week's Entertainment by Davids

Here's another milestone on the road to the end. My very last Fall TV Preview. Fortunately, these are four very worthy shows to grace the covers of this event.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 30

Hey, do you think this album is titled V because it's Maroon 5 and the Roman numeral for five is V or is it because this was Maroon 5's fifth studio album? The world may never know. But it was probably both. This set of songs is my favorite from the Adam Levine-driven band because you can hear what they have become as a result of Levine's evolution. Gone are the days of their love ballads and now are the days of their hype dance songs because Levine is a different person than he once was. And some pretty catchy songs came off this album and you can still hear some on the radio today. Sugar, Maps, Animals, and This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like a Motherfucker have all been released as singles and they are all, quote unquote, jams.

V: 2014 pop rock album from Maroon 5.

U2 on HBO

One of the greatest bands to ever perform, U2, made up of Bono, The Edge, Larry, and Adam, will be the subject of two HBO specials which have become must-sees for me. The cable channel will air a live concert they performed in Paris and a behind-the-scenes documentary about their Innocence and Experience Tour. I cannot wait to see them! I've definitely added seeing them live to my bucket list. They're so great!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 31

Of course, he's here now. If you take a listen to Jason Mraz's most recent album, Yes!, and then go back and listen to his debut album (a trend we're keeping up right now, apparently!), Waiting for My Rocket to Come, you can hear distinct differences that bookended his musical evolution. I guess, while waiting for his soul rocket to come, he dabbled in rap a little bit more. At least, that's what it seemed like he was trying to do. There was a definite Mechanicsville niche that could be heard in some of the music that was kind of hip pop, if you will. Mraz was underusing his talents, but he was still performing at a very high level. You and I Both and Absolutely Zero both showed shades of what his musical style would become, while Curbside Prophet assured everyone would remember what that style used to be.

Waiting for My Rocket to Come: 2002 pop rock album from Jason Mraz.

Call BoJack Horseman

Uh oh! Apparently, former celebrity BoJack Horseman had a drunken night recently and this mishap lead to him tweeting out his cell phone number. And yes, it is his real number. Trust me, I called it. You can cal it, too, and hear what BoJack is up to. It's pretty interesting.

Monday, September 14, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 32

Stylized as fun., Fun is one of the biggest bands in the world, currently. But the band built around vocals and unconventional instruments produced better songs, in my opinion, in their earlier years when they had yet to produce a surefire chart-topping hit. Which is why their debut album is my favorite from them. Light a Roman Candle with Me and All the Pretty Girls were the closest Nate Reuss and the gang got to actually having one of those. But the best song off the album is the upbeat yet depressing The Gambler. I recommend a listen to that one in particular.

Aim and Ignite: 2009 indie pop album from Fun.

This Week's Sports by David

Sunday, September 13, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 33

Justin Timberlake is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, but the state of pop music is not a great one. Fortunately, he actually creates good music. Though, he hadn't for a while, instead opting to do more acting than singing. The 20/20 Experience became his first album since 2006, but it was worth the wait. So much goodness came from this album, including the absolute jams, Mirrors and Suit and Tie, but JT also took it to the next level when he used archival, rare audio from Michael Jackson to create Take Back the Night. This album was a gift.

The 20/20 Experience: 2013 pop R&B album from Justin Timberlake.

Fantasy Football 2015

My fantasy football team for the 2015-16 NFL season has been drafted and I have mild confidence that they can go all the way this year. There's some solid proven players like Andrew Luck and Jimmy Graham, but also some gambles like Brandin Cooks and T.J. Yeldon. Meet The JFK Assassination:

QB - Andrew Luck - Indianapolis Colts
RB - DeMarco Murray - Philadelphia Eagles
RB - Justin Forsett - Baltimore Ravens
WR - Randall Cobb - Green Bay Packers
WR - Brandin Cooks - New Orleans Saints
TE - Jimmy Graham - Seattle Seahawks
WR - Andre Johnson - Indianapolis Colts
D/ST - Arizona Cardinals
K - Matt Prater - Detroit Lions
D/ST - Baltimore Ravens
RB - T.J. Yeldon - Jacksonville Jaguars
QB - Matthew Stafford - Detroit Lions
RB - Doug Martin - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
TE - Owen Daniels - Denver Broncos
K - Randy Bullock - Houston Texans
QB - Tim Tebow - Free Agent

I'm digging it!

The Bassoon King

Well, here's some fun book news. Rainn Wilson, best known for The Office (of course), has a new memoir coming out this year! It's titled The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy. And while this is all very cool information, the best part is that the book has a foreword. But not just any foreword. A foreword written by Dwight Schrute. Iconic.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 34

Here's an album from The Beatles that's one of the all-time greats, though, curiously, neither Paul nor George and neither John nor Ringo had anything to do with the creation of this album aside from recording music forty years prior. Actually, it was George and Giles Martin who took some of The Beatles' best hits and remixed them, turned them into medleys and mashups, and created a brand new experience for a Cirque du Soleil show. The result was a beautifully inventive listening session, especially when Strawberry Fields Forever met Penny Lane, Hello Goodbye, and In My Life. That's the best from this album filled with bests.

Love: 2006 remix album from The Beatles and George Martin.

Birdman Parody

At this year's Independent Spirit Awards on IFC, the festivities kicked off with a pretty spot-on parody of Birdman, this year's Best Picture winner. But the best part is the people involved. Hosts Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell featured heavily during the video, but we also got to see Bill Hader, Miles Teller, and Adam Scott. It's pretty great.

Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, and U2

U2 recently had a ton of performances at Madison Square Garden as part of their Innocence and Experience Tour. But one night stood out above the rest. Not only did The Roots join Bono, Edge, Larry, and Adam to sing Angel of Harlem, but Jimmy Fallon was "picked" out of the crowd to sing Desire with the band. They're really great renditions! Awesome moments.

Friday, September 11, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 35

OneRepublic has always seemed like one of those bands that everyone could easily hate, but they just keep managing to make good music. And their album, Native, was so well-orchestrated that it managed to release multiple single after single and make each of them hits. In August of 2012, Feel Again was released as a single and it did very well off of Native. Then, singles were continuously released until more than two years later, concluding in September of 2014 with I Lived, also known as that great song from The Office's final season promos. Additionally, arguably OneRepublic's magnum opus, Counting Stars sent shockwaves throughout the radio world. It's damn good album.

Native: 2013 pop rock album from OneRepublic.

BookCon 2015

I think that this year, Comic Con lost the hype contest to a different convention, one based in New York instead of San Diego. This year's BookCon celebrated the best in literature, but it was the marquee event that everyone cared about. Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak reunited to discuss the book they will be writing together and also for B.J. to interview Mindy about her upcoming memoir, Why Not Me? It was an iconic moment in American history.

The Assemblage of Indomitable Champions

It's a good world we live in when we can take the fourth highest grossing movie of all-time and then reimagine what it would be like if, instead of Joss Whedon, Marvel had tapped Wes Anderson to direct it. Not The Avengers anymore, they are now The Assemblage of Indomitable Champions. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 36

Two of the most genius songwriters in the history of the world focused their talents largely on Disney movies and theme park rides. Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. They are truly two of the greatest and their genius never shone through more than it did for the soundtrack for the most popular live action Disney movie or musical ever made: Mary Poppins. All the songs are so catchy and so many have the entered the zeitgeist. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, A Spoonful of Sugar, Chim Chim Cher-ee, Let's Go Fly a Kite, Feed the Birds. That is only the beginning. You gotta love it!

Mary Poppins (Original Soundtrack): 1964 soundtrack album from Mary Poppins.

Season Three of Nathan for You

We haven't had a new episode of the hilarious and underrated comedy show from Comedy Central known as Nathan for You since August of 2014! That's far too long. But fortunately, we finally have the knowledge of what the premiere date will be for the third season of Nathan Fielder's pseudo-reality show. October 15th! That's just over a month away; I can't wait!

This Week's Entertainment by David

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 37

Rumors by Fleetwood Mac is a pretty good album. So good, in fact, that the people behind the Grammy Awards believed that it deserved to be Album of the Year in 1977. But, while the title of that album is somewhat indicative of what we now know about the interpersonal relationships in Fleetwood Mac, there's another collection of music that was nominated that category and lost, but, really, it deserved to win (hell, it was even number thirty-seven on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums). Hotel California from Eagles. As you can imagine, their magnum opus, Hotel California, is the top track on this titular album, but there are also some other tracks that arise from an excellent arrangement of rock and easy listening, including, New Kid in Town and Life in the Fast Lane. All three songs I named play back to back. It's one of the all-time great trios.

Hotel California: 1976 soft rock album from Eagles.

Billy Joel: The Interview

In a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, one of the big draws was an extensive interview with one of the greatest musicians and songwriters to ever live, Billy Joel. It really is a great read and a good way to get some insight into the music and why it hasn't really been fresh in a couple decades. It really is an excellent peek into the genius of Joel. I recommend it.

Raphael Bob-Waksberg on BoJack Horseman

The second season of BoJack Horseman far outpaced its first in a matter I didn't quite expect. The debut of BoJack Horseman was incredible, if not slow going. I really did love the varying messages it got across and the broken characters it used to do that. But the second season was just such a weird, sweet, gutting, hilarious endeavor that one can only marvel at how such an achievement was accomplished. The creator of the show, Raphael Bob-Waksberg gave some insight in a Vulture interview that is a good read.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 38

As made apparent by the word layout on the album cover, both the Red Hot Chili Peppers and their album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik have four words in the name. But there are more than four songs that make this album one of the all-time greats. Under the Bridge is one of my all-time favorite songs from the Peppers and Give It Away just might be one of their best known. Breaking the Girl and If You Have to Ask round out some of the top names on this progressive album and we're barely scratching the surface of the thirteen other tracks offered. But don't worry. There's more RHCP to come in this countdown.

Blood Sugar Sex Magic: 1991 alternative rock album from Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Well, here it is. I said that one of the great amenities coming for the last year of the blog would be three more series finale recaps (which have become a staple for ending television)! And here is the first one. It's time for me to bid farewell to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Spoilers ahead!

Here's my moment of zen.

The late night television landscape has been enduring a major upheaval for some time now. Ever since NBC tapped Jimmy Fallon to take over for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, dominos have continued to fall. Seth Meyers replaced Fallon on Late Night, David Letterman announced he would retire from The Late Show and when Stephen Colbert, who brought The Colbert Report to an end this past December, was slated to replace Letterman, Craig Ferguson left The Late Late Show only to become the predecessor for James Corden. Additionally, Reggie Watts decided to move on from Comedy Bang! Bang!, Chelsea Handler opted to move her talk show format from E! to Netflix, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! moved to an earlier time slot in the evening.

But one constant in the world of talk shows through the death of Johnny Carson, the debacle between Leno and Conan O’Brien, and the ceaselessly spinning wheels of change in years more recent has been Jon Stewart.

Stewart succeeded Craig Kilborn on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show in 1999 after Kilborn left for a spot on CBS and, despite some initial skepticism, he quickly became the face of satire for the millennial generation with one in ten adults aged eighteen to twenty-nine cited Stewart as the most-trusted source of news. What became more clear than anything else over the course of Stewart’s sixteen-year run behind the “fake news desk” was his commitment and devotion to cutting through the prevalence of nonsense that was consuming media outlets, print and screen alike. After taking a twelve-week hiatus in 2014 to direct the film, Rosewater, speculation that Stewart was not long for Comedy Central gained traction and just when it seemed the new era of late night talk shows would begin and the constant reshuffling would conclude, Stewart cut another tie on television’s weathered safety net. On the tenth of February of this year, Stewart announced that he would be leaving The Daily Show, explaining that his program did not deserve even a “slightly restless host.”

Director Jay Duplass best put the thoughts of a grieving nation into words in a tweet he sent that read, “What will we do without you, oh captain, our captain?” Over the next six months, a cavalcade of celebrities and influential figures gave their best attempts to convince Stewart to stay, including President Barack Obama who jokingly contemplated issuing an executive order to accomplish the task.

Regardless of the wishes of others, Stewart’s plan moved forward and his last episode aired on the sixth of August in 2015. The two messages that dominated the show were those that set Stewart apart from the satirical world: his aforementioned passion in making light of the truth in all corners of the unjust world and the influence Stewart had on each one who passed through his offices.

A cavalcade of Daily Show correspondents returned to bid their boss, in this case a launching pad for fame, a proper farewell, including Steve Carell, Rob Corddry, Josh Gad, Olivia Munn, and Ed Helms. The finale would not have felt right, though, were it not for the audience’s irresistible desire to chant “Stephen! Stephen!” as their beloved Colbert appeared to inform Stewart face-to-face how grateful everyone was for what the veteran host had done over the years. Colbert’s message of Stewart’s generosity was exemplified when the latter devoted a minor scene in the episode to his successor, Trevor Noah, and a major portion of his last moments on the show to illuminating those who helped make it what it was.

One last speech before Bruce Springsteen took the stage to perform “Land of Hope and Dreams” marked the end of the Jon Stewart era at Comedy Central and it could not have better embodied what The Daily Show was about and what Stewart’s purpose was in devoting sixteen years of his life to it, day in and day out. He warned his viewers about becoming susceptible to the deception they may hear or read from the news and the media. It was Stewart who had ripped apart every thread of wool that covered his audience’s eyes, but now that he was departing, he had to make sure we knew what to do without him. Though, it is a shame that we have to do anything without him, at all. The audience had faith in The Daily Show and they still have faith in Stewart. And just as Springsteen’s final line in his farewell anthem conveyed, our faith will be rewarded.

Difficult People Poster

The new Hulu original series (which has been amazing, by the way) from Amy Poehler and starring Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner received a poster that works exceptionally well and was first revealed via the Twitter feed of Eichner. I can think of no better setting and action combination to describe this show. The poster works!

Monday, September 7, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 39

Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time featured Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as the greatest album ever made. Obviously, I disagree with that sentiment, but there is no doubting its status as iconic and one of the best ever. I would even go so far as to put it in my top thirty-nine. Which I did! It is, of course, a natural progression in the canon of The Beatles and it even served as somewhat of the "during" stage for their facial hair. Ringo gets a turn at writing some more songs than he did before (With a Little Help from My Friends) and while there is a good blend of their classic pop (When I'm 64) and psychedelic rock (Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds), it just doesn't feature some of my top tier Beatles songs. And that's okay! Because it's still incredible.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: 1967 pop rock album from The Beatles.

Waiting for My Real Life

Well, this is a pretty interesting thing. The video above is the trailer for a new documentary titled, Waiting for My Real Life, which is set to debut at the Melbourne International Film Festival. The cool part of all this? The documentary is about the life and career of one of the all-time greatest singers and former frontman for Men at Work, Colin Hay. That's a life story I'd devote some time to learning more about!

This Week's Sports by David

Sunday, September 6, 2015

50 Favorite Albums: 40

Say what you will, but I am a sucker for Schoolhouse Rock! Their songs are educational and that's how I received my first exposure to them because, you know, school and such. But I stuck around and kept listening to them for the catchy rhythms and the nostalgia. On this album, sort of, to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Schoolhouse Rock, the top thirty-three songs from the industry were counted down. All the classics are here. Conjunction Junction, I'm Just a Bill, The Preamble. But just because those are the most well-known doesn't mean they're the best. Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here, Three Is a Magic Number, Interplanet Janet, Figure Eight. Those are some of my favorites, but I'm not even scratching the surface of the genius that came from this.

The Best of Schoolhouse Rock!: 2002 educational pop rock album from Schoolhouse Rock!


The newest Marvel movie is also one of the best Marvel movies. After the huge behemoth of a tentpole movie that was Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Studios decided to go much smaller with their next cinematic installment. But they also managed to create a film that vaulted itself into my top five favorite films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The two Avengers movies, The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy all join Ant-Man up there, but this post isn't about them. Paul Rudd (and I may be biased here) absolutely kills it as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lily are very welcome additions to the MCU. But it's Michael Pena, my boy, my Puerto Rican Mohegan from Tower Heist, that stole the show. There were a lot of aspects that bucked the common tropes of superhero films that I won't spoil, but my favorite part of the movie was the completely unique aspects of fighting (including a certain winged superhero). I can't wait to see how Ant-Man will hold his own when he joins The Avengers. The comedy was great and I think Edgar Wright, Adam McKay, and Rudd created a great story and a great script, respectively. Peyton Reed was an excellent choice to fill in. Lastly, the third act was one of the most inventive and entertaining acts I've seen in a superhero movie. I, of course, recommend.