Tag Archives: American Idol

50 Years of The Zombies

Fifty years? Yikes! But they did get together in 1961.

But how does a new Zombies albums come out with so little fanfare? Oh yeah…radio. Right. Lady Gaga, American Idol, country pop stars. No Country For Old Men indeed. No matter how great they were…and are.

Video: Colin Blunstone talks about the reunion.

Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent are joined by Tom Toomey, Steve Rodford and Jim Rodford (well, so much for that Kinks reunion). Looks like they will be touring a lot to support the album, and frankly, they sound great. But don’t take it from me – listen for yourself.

Video: “Any Other Way” (live)

Grab a copy here.

The Zombies official website

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Pimp That Band

Yeah, probably not the slogan they’re looking for.

The brain trust at Rock and Roll Tribe fueled by Belgian ale, it turns out – is offering a platform for members to tout under-known bands to build a groundswell and bring them to the attention of higher powers. And if the powers-that-be turn a deaf ear, at the very least there will be a list of highly recommended artists with links to sounds and videos. Now your search for something new and interesting might be able to focus its scope a little more sharply than…oh, the whole freakin’ Internet.

Grassroots favorites get famous? Yes, RRT knows there will be skepticism. “I know there are plenty of folks who believe that music fans are too apathetic to really get behind something like this.  We think that’s BS, and that we can prove them wrong.  But this has to be a community effort.”

Absolutely right. Every parade starts with one step.

Know a local band who are only held back by anonymity? Nominate them. See a great band passing through your burg who burned the club down? Nominate them. Find an obscure artist’s indie CD in a dump bin and you can’t get it out of your player? Nominate them.

American Idol is only going to produce the next safe bet. It’s up to you, the fringe, to do the right thing. And often.

So click here and start pimpin’.

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Idol Chatter

I know that the day before the Super Bowl is a tough time to get your attention, so I’m all too happy to pass the buck.

This past week I paid tribute to comedian Paul F. Tompkins, a longtime favorite who has been lighting it up in recent months. A couple of weeks ago I posted a link to his recap of the first episode of American Idol, which was absolutely hysterical. Last week, it got even better.

I think even people who like the show are not only getting the jokes but starting to think about the reality juggernaut in a whole different light.

(Gee…a comedian who makes you laugh and think. Really?)

Follow along here. Much better than the real thing.

"No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public." (H. L. Mencken)

And Happy Birthday, Mom. 25 years ago seems like yesterday.

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T.G.I.F. – Ten Worthwhile Weblinks

Yes, I know…I’ve got to get an alliteration editor…

I’m in the midst of finalizing the countdowns for comedy CDs and DVDs (starts tomorrow!) and as usual have stumbled across a few things worth sharing. One of the drawbacks of the Internet is that there is so much out there, it gets harder and harder to maintain a good filter. I hope the Prescripton is part of your formula (just like most of the Blogroll – lower right column to you – helps me navigate oceans of content).

So today, a veritable potpourri of links – satire, movie trailers, MP3s of great songs…Ten Worthwhile Weblinks that will each take only a few minutes of your time. In this wireless age, perhaps this is the future of “bathroom reading”, a browser window in place of a paperback novel that has likely been handled by suspicious people with questionable hygiene. Assuming you are the master of your laptop, feel free to click away…

(01) Stewart Lee on Harry Potter – Lee is erudite, sarcastic, incisive, brilliant and one of the funniest people on the face of the Earth. This bit is but a gnat’s pimple of his recorded work, all of which is worth your immediate pilgrimage.

(02) Brighton Rock – Yes, they’re remaking the classic Graham Greene tale (the first starred a young Richard Attenborough in the role of “Pinky” – worth chasing down). Ominous music, looks cool.

(03) The Filthy 42s – they put out one album (the subject of an upcoming Under The Radar feature) and this great song didn’t make the cut. “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Hold Us Down” cross-breeds The Clash and The Rubinoos.

(04) Louis CK and Robert Smigel – as dog whisperers (before that was cool) in a sketch on a 1993 Conan O’Brien episode. Two words: Hair Triumph!

(05) Social Distortion – hey, SD has a brand new album!! Here’s a very Faces/Black Crowes sounding “Hustle and Flow“…

Living Candle, Zsa Zsa 2011, Black Drew Carey

(06) Paul F. Tompkins recaps American Idol – Talk about taking a bullet for a buddy! Why watch this if Paul is willing to do it for you?

(06) Gainsbourg – Obviously, I was born too late, in the wrong country, and with the wrong instincts.

(08) The Cynics – Any Sonny and Cher cover is fun, but these garage giants not only nail “I Got You Babe” but light the video on fire.

(09) Gilbert Gottfried Death or Ugu? Umm…not safe for work, home, public, careless forwarding…do you have headphones?

(10) Ricky Gervais – In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s Golden Globe host Gervais ripping Hollywood a new one in 2010 and again in 2011. Savor the moment(s).

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Dave

Ever flip channels and stop on a movie you’ve seen a few times, but you settle in to watch it anyway? Of course you have. And when it’s heavily does with commercials, and you’re thinking “I have that DVD” but you sit there anyway? Okay…maybe that’s just lazy…but that must be one good movie. Usually it’s a broad comedy I can quote line for line, like Caddyshack or Major League or Animal House. It usually isn’t a plot-driven movie.

But tonight that happened to me with Dave. Again.

The plot, simple but brilliant – a corrupt administration finds a look-alike to double for a critically ill President so they can continue their illegal agenda. Kevin Kline as the titular character is the head of a temp agency, a nice guy who puts others before him and a dead ringer for the incapacitated President. At first agreeable to follow orders, he soon sees both the diseased plans of the ambitious Chief Of Staff (Frank Langella, great as always) but also the opportunity to do something for the right reasons.

Director Ivan Reitman had stumbled badly after a winning trifecta (Meatballs/Stripes/Ghostbusters), but this film resurrected his credibility. The cast is uniformly brilliant, with Sigourney Weaver, Ving Rhames and Kevin Dunn providing excellent support. Don’t even get me started on the brilliance of Kline, surely one of the most underrated actors of his generation. Great cameo roles for Bonnie Hunt and Laura Linney. And a Charles Grodin sighting? That’s bonus points, son. And kudos to Gary Ross, who also scripted other movies with big heart like Big and Pleasantville.

The only sad thing about Dave is that it makes me wish our leaders had those same unselfish, uncorrupted qualities. Much like Dennis Haysbert’s performance as President Palmer on the early episodes of 24, I came away wishing that just this once, fantasy could be reality. But they don’t, and it’s not.

But there I go again, talking about the deeper meaning of a film that is ultimately a redemption story about second chances and good triumphing over evil. Sometimes, even in the guise of light comedy, deeper points can be made. And when flipping channels on a Monday night, sometimes a well made movie can be appreciated for being  just that.

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