Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Bad Idea VMA preview

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan claimed that when he first heard about people downloading for music for free, his reply was "Well, why not? It ain't worth nothing anyway." He went on to claim that overall audio production and mixing techniques used in modern music were "atrocious." (However, this apparently hasn't stopped Dylan from appearing in ads for iTunes. Apparently when you're a legend cloaked in dichotomies, you can contradict yourself as much as you damn well please.)

The truth is that there is as much good music being made today as in any of the so-called 'golden ages' of pop music. It's just that they are found through alternative mediums (youtube and myspace pages) rather than MTV. Take the art of the music video for example. In the 1980's and 1990's, the Video Music Awards seemed culturally important in rewarding groundbreaking videos, but after Jamiroquai won the 1997 VMA for their excellent "Virtual Insanity" clip, the quality of the videos claiming top prize dropped off significantly. So with the most recent incarnation of the VMA's set to run Thursday night, what do we make of the 2006 nominees? Our picks are as follows:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Christina Aguilera: "Ain't No Other Man"
Madonna: "Hung Up"
Panic! at the Disco: "I Write Sins Not Tragedies"
Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Dani California"
Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean: "Hips Don't Lie"

PAT says: Red Hot Chili Peppers just because that's the only masculine pick in this group. My question is how are the 5 picks for video of the year broken down into 1 creative video (Aguilera) 1 performer that MTV is obviously still in awe of even though she's played out (Madonna), 1 band that I never even heard of (Disco Panickers), a rock band pushing 40 and starting to be the old guy at the high school party people don't like (RHCP) and 1 song that is really the background of Lord Tariq and Peter Gunn's classic anthem "Deja Vu" which is about the Bronx but was filmed at Shea Stadium in Queens - now that was a video! "Uptown baby, uptown baby We gets down baby, up for the crown baby"

DIRK says: The Aguilera video is clearly the best of this group, but it's far from video of the year. I know MTV caters to what's popular more than what's good, but several high profile MTV-friendly bands have made more creative and better videos this year (White Stripes, Beck, OK Go, Dresden Dolls, Kanye West, etc). Looking at this list just makes me angry. And does Tom Petty get a moonman if the Chili Peppers win, considering they blatantly stole "Mary Jane's Last Dance" and just renamed the song?

BEST MALE VIDEO
Busta Rhymes f/ Mary J. Blige, Rah Digga, Missy Elliott, Lloyd Banks, Papoose & DMX: "Touch It Remix"
James Blunt: "You're Beautiful"
Kanye West f/ Jamie Foxx: "Gold Digger"
Nick Lachey: "What's Left of Me"
T.I.: "What You Know"

Pat says: First off what the hell is James Blunt doing on here? He ripped off Coldplay's "Yellow" video - way to reward creativity. My pick is the "Gold Digger" This video wins just because of the Kanye over the shoulder dance moves - very cool and it makes you want to do the dance yourself. Honorable mention to the "Touch It Remix" which took video "shoot" to a whole new level when a member of Busta Rhymes' posse got shot during filming it - think Tony Yayo was pissed or something. Good times.

Dirk says: I would love to see all these guys stuck in an elevator - I'm guessing James Blunt would be the quietest one there. As for my pick, I'll go with Kanye, although part of me is afraid that if he wins Jamie Foxx will jump onstage and bore everybody with that tired and played out Ray Charles impression that he trotted out at every single awards show of 2005. Pat is correct that the Busta video shoot needs it's own episode of "Behind the Music."

BEST FEMALE VIDEO
Christina Aguilera: "Ain't No Other Man"
Kelly Clarkson: "Because of You"
Madonna: "Hung Up"
Nelly Furtado f/ Timbaland: "Promiscuous"
Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean: "Hips Don't Lie"

Pat says: Kelly Clarkson because she seems to really be thankful for her opportunity and enjoys showing her gratitude by singing "Sweet Child O' Mine" and occasionally drinking Jack Daniels with hair-metal cover bands.

Dirk says:
Logic would dictate that if Aguilera wins video of the year, she wins here as well, but logic has no place where moonmen are involved. Now that it's cool for NASCAR moms, 40-year-old virgins, and pitchfork-reading hipsters alike to love Kelly Clarkson, she gets the nod here. And as much as I endorse hair-metal tribute bands, I cannot condone hanging out with the dude from Yellowcard.

BEST GROUP VIDEO
The All-American Rejects: "Move Along"
Fall Out Boy: "Dance, Dance"
Gnarls Barkley: "Crazy"
Panic! at the Disco: "I Write Sins Not Tragedies"
Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Dani California"

Pat says: Gnarls Barkley. I'm a big fan of this dynamic duo. In fact my counterpart here was the first person to tell me about this group months ago. Good thing my mom now knows all the words to "Crazy" and gets to listen to it on the contemporary hits station. Cool one day, Supermarket checkout music the next.

Dirk says: I love Gnarls, but as far as videos go, the All-American rejects takes a simple concept (edit the hell out of similar looking shots) and does it really well. Plus, considering Gnarls' attention to detail and costuming on their live performances, their video was not that creative. I just expect more from them.

BEST HIP-HOP VIDEO
Black Eyed Peas: "My Humps"
Common: "Testify"
Daddy Yankee: "Rompe"
Kanye West f/ Jamie Foxx: "Gold Digger"
Three 6 Mafia f/ Young Buck, Eightball & MJG: "Stay Fly"

Pat says: What ever happened to the low key rap video? I was a huge fan of the Wu-Tang videos where they were hanging in the hood just having a good time. Then hip hop got all "Blinged out" with Puffy and Mase - now I don't even know what's going. The Roots had the best video chronicling all the hip hop video cliches. Oh and I pick Kanye again - that's a great song and a great video even if you have heard/seen it 10,000 times already.

Dirk says: I'll go with Common as an afterthought. However, I just want to say how much I loved the Black Eyed Peas around 1999. Their Fergie-free first 2 albums were ridiculously great, picking up where a Tribe Called Quest left off. And yet now they're responsible for "My Humps," possibly the worst song ever recorded. Seriously. I really can't wrap my head around the progression. How could this happen? The lesson as always is this - never invite a girl into the band (especially one who has bladder issues.)


BEST ROCK VIDEO
30 Seconds to Mars: "The Kill"
AFI: "Miss Murder"
Green Day: "Wake Me Up When September Ends"
Panic! at the Disco: "I Write Sins Not Tragedies"
Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Dani California"

Pat says: The guy from "My So Called Life" is now nominated for best rock video! What next? Jonathan Taylor Thomas is up for best Latin Video. I pick Green Day just because its a good song, decent video, and at least they weren't on a sitcom or crappy movie (See "Back to the Future II" and "The Chase" for Flea)

Dirk says: Jordan Catalano has truly lost his way. AFI and Green Day are both pretty good videos, and I give the nod to Green Day. I should point out that I have all 7 Green Day albums and really dug "American Idiot" when it first came out, but then they proceeded to release the 3 worst songs off that album as singles, and the album as a whole has not aged well. Then again, consider that every band on this list wears makeup, and Green Day are the only ones who have managed to not look completely ridiculous, and they win by default.

BEST POP VIDEO
Christina Aguilera: "Ain't No Other Man"
Madonna: "Hung Up"
Nelly Furtado f/ Timbaland: "Promiscuous"
Pink: "Stupid Girls"
Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean: "Hips Don't Lie"

Pat says: Shakira just because she can't be shut out. And even though its a rip off - it is a catchy tune. Plus people love that spasm dance she does throughout the whole video.

Dirk says: So Pink is taking shots at Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson? Wow, what a bold and cutting edge satire! And such a clever delivery as well. With creativity so insightful and hip, there may be a spot for her on the Family Guy writing staff. While Pat picks Shakira to avoid getting shut out, I'll take Madonna for the same reason, though Aguilera had the best video.

BEST NEW ARTIST IN A VIDEO
Angels and Airwaves: "The Adventure"
Avenged Sevenfold: "Bat Country"
Chris Brown f/ Juelz Santana, "Run It!"
James Blunt: "You're Beautiful"
Panic! at the Disco: "I Write Sins Not Tragedies"
Rihanna: "S.O.S."

Pat says: I'm taking Chris Brown since I also have him on my fantasy football team (Hello..My Name is Koren).

Dirk says: I suppose the little fairies from Panic take the win here for their stirring mall-emo hack anthem, but I perish to think what these toolsheds will be wearing during an awards show. The video itself is relatively well done, aside from featuring a band and song that is ridiculous on so many levels, I don't know where to start (but I would probably start with the top hat.)

BEST DIRECTION IN A VIDEO
10 Years: "Wasteland" (Director: Kevin Kerslake)
AFI: "Miss Murder" (Director: Marc Webb)
Common: "Testify" (Director: Anthony Mandler) Gnarls Barkley: "Crazy" (Director: Robert Hales) Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Dani California" (Director: Tony Kaye)

Pat says: I'll go with Common's "Testify." He's pretty cool and so is the video.

Dirk says: Nice effort. I'll go with RHCP, just because I want to see what Tony Kaye does. Have you seen this guy's wikipedia entry? It's unreal. He went nuts after directing "American History X" and once showed up to a Marlon Brando acting workshop dressed as Osama Bin Laden! And he'll be at the VMAs! The show where security goes nuts if the drummer from Rage Against the Machine jumps on stage. I can't wait.

BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS IN A VIDEO
Angels and Airwaves: "The Adventure"
Beck: "Hell Yes"
Missy Elliott: "We Run This"
Pearl Jam: "Life Wasted"
U2: "Original of the Species"

Pat says: I haven't seen any of these - and when the hell did special effects come into play? I mean fine for full length movies but in a 2 minute video? I'll go U2 since they wake up each morning and pee excellence

Dirk says: My anti-U2 rant will wait for another day. Does anyone realize that "Life Wasted" is the first music video Pearl Jam has appeared in since "Jeremy"!?! That was in 1992! 14 years ago!! 2 points here: 1) I feel very old now, and 2) It's insane that it's been that long, and it's good to have them back. This is the kind of video that should be nominated for video of the year - creative, bizarre, disturbing, and it rocks. Seriously, go watch it. Seeing it only nominated here makes me shake my head. This whole thing is upsetting me.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN A VIDEO
AFI: "Miss Murder"
Ashlee Simpson: "Invisible"
James Blunt: "You're Beautiful"
Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Dani California"
Prince: "Black Sweat"

Pat says: Prince. I think he's like Madonna now with MTV - they don't want to piss him off and by awarding him for his work the network thinks people will forget 23 out of 24 hours of their programming is centered about teens and their daily lives instead of music. I know that's a running joke for years now that MTV doesn't show music videos but its getting ridiculous. Their content sucks - have you seen Cribs lately? It was a 12 year old surfer, some rapper no one has ever heard of (who obviously has made enough money to have a mansion and 6 Bentleys) and a professional jockey. How about you bring back Yo! MTV Raps, unplugged,and you realize you're centered in New York City - possibly the largest collection of venues that feature well known artists as well as up and comers - and then show some f-ing performances.

Dirk says: The 'masses hailing the dictator' shots in "Miss Murder" are pretty sick. Whatever. After getting through this list, I'm over the concept of MTV ever showing videos again. It's an argument you hear all the time, but in reality it's a hollow complaint that nobody really cares about in the end. If anything, it would be great if bands just stopped giving videos to MTV. The truth is that good bands don't need MTV for anything anymore. That's the great thing about the internet - you can google any of these songs and see the video instantly, without waiting through the attention whores on "Laguna Beach" or "The Real World/Road Rules gangbang and obstacle course challenge." It's a beautiful world isn't it?


Pat's epilogue: There was a ring tone category but we refuse to acknowledge that in any way. The fact there's a music awards show that is recognizing cellular phone rings is a sign we are now a bunch of nits wits. Well not everyone - just the majority of the youth in America. In fact what happened to the kid who gets excited about going to his buddies house to shoot hoops after school? He's been replaced by the kid who goes home to post creepy messages on myspace and stalk people on facebook. You remember when parents were worried about kids and video games? After a good game of Madden Football it was almost tradition to go outside and throw the pigskin around or at the very least ride your bike home before it got too dark. Id love to see a statistic about bicycle sales these days - they have to be down dramatically. When was the last time you saw a group of lads riding their bike somewhere? Sorry for getting off on a tangent - screw ring tones and the internet! (and yes I realize this blog is a product of the internet and we created this in our spare time.)

All that glitters is not gold (or Rock and Roll part ewww)

The excellent Bob Dylan article in the most recent Rolling Stone prompted me to make a quick visit to rollingstone.com. I took a screengrab of the layout on the homepage, which referenced a recent ruling by the National Football League to ban traditional post-touchdown anthem "Rock and Roll Part 2" from being played in NFL stadiums.


Maybe it's just me, but it seems rather unfair to throw an unsuspecting Reggie Wayne under the bus by placing his non-felonious image next to an article on arena rock trailblazer-turned glam pedophile Gary Glitter. And to think, I always thought that if some Miami Hurricanes alumni ever made a name for themselves by appearing on Rolling Stone, it would be the 7th floor crew.

The NFL ruling does raise an interesting question though. What should succeed "Rock and Roll Part 2" as the next arena anthem? My top 3 suggestions are as follows:

1. "Song 2" by Blur
2. "The Final Countdown"
3. "It's Raining Men"

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cut the Cord

Judge Jane Spencer Craney has ruled in favor of Indiana University in its desire to keep the records of the events that led to the firing of former basketball Coach Bob Knight sealed. This story hit the wires on 29 August 2006, roughly six years after Knight was fired for violating a zero-tolerance policy put into effect after he was captured on video grabbing IU player Neil Reid by the throat.

The decision itself seems to be semantic (I think…I’m not that good at lawyerin’) deciding whether or not the records in question were legal “work product,” to quote the article quoting the ruling. What really sticks out though is the fact that Bob Knight still has a strangle hold on the state of Indiana, its ethos, and its oldest love, basketball. The headline broke into the website for the Indianapolis Star along with a local police chief resigning and news about the Taylor University student who was misidentified as her friend after a van accident only to show up “alive” after the mix-up came to light. This story will no doubt make every local newscast at 10:00, 11:00, the 24 local news channel, and round out with a comprehensive tour of the morning shows with all the goofy weathermen.

For twenty-eight seasons Bob Knight led the Hurryin’ Hoosiers, gathering three national championships along the way including the undefeated 1976 team. Knight was praised for signing Indiana players (a fact that some erroneously read as “white” players), speaking his mind, and having unflinching expectations for his team. Honestly, Knight was praised for being a winner first and foremost, and if Stalin could get you twenty victories a year and a Final Four here and there he would have been beloved in the Crossroads of America.

You see, Indiana loves basketball with unmatched fervor. Some will say that North Carolina is the cradle of roundball, but Sean May and Josh McRoberts had to come from somewhere. Kentucky may try to claim to be the Eden of hardwood, but they’ve got other image issues to shake before they can make such assertions. John Wooden is 95 years old yet still makes the trek to Indianapolis for the annual showcase that bears his name, and he’ll be the first to remind you that “In 49 states it’s just basketball. But this is Indiana.”

It’s this insatiable love – a love that festers and churns with each passing year of high school multi-class basketball, Kelvin Sampson sanction, rebroadcast of Hoosiers, and longing for the rebirth of those beloved Boilermakers – that allows Bob Knight to creep onto the front page a few times a year. We just can’t shake this guy. Don’t believe me? Look in my brother-in-law’s garage where a BOB KNIGHT BLVD sign still hangs. Still not convinced? Tell that to the guy in the Texas Tech t-shirt I saw at Target this weekend...in Indianapolis. Before 2000, most locals couldn’t have told you where Texas Tech’s campus was located. Ask those same apologists now and the answer’s a bit easier, “We've got a timeshare in Lubbock.”

I once discovered the magnetism of Bob Knight locked in an unexpected story. My uncle, ever the music devourer and never a sports fan, was once telling me about the fallout of John Lennon’s assertion that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus.” He knew it was absolutely true, noting that had you asked the average American teen in the mid-sixties if they’d rather go to church or watch the Fab Four, most would have wanted to hold your hand. He then noted that it was just like that with Bob Knight, saying that if my grandfather, my uncle’s father, were to be on his couch holding a conversation with Jesus Christ and Bob Knight walked into the room that my grandfather might have said something like, “I see, love thy…oh, just a sec, Lord. I’ll be right back.”


Knight’s future retirement will no doubt bring a bevy of “what-if” history articles and whet the whistle of so many parched Hoosier fans. My only dream is that somewhere out there, maybe in Tippecanoe County, there’s a six-year-old cager perfecting his post free throw gooseneck who will one day grow up to utter, “Who the hell is Bob Knight?”

The View from the High Horse

On the front cover of today's Indianapolis Star, tucked into the top left (first read) corner was a headline

"Karr won't be charged in JonBenet Slaying."

Now, I'm not that up on the AP Style Guide, but whether this headline is journalisticly kosher isn't my worry. I'm actually slightly sickened to see that "JonBenet" has entered our celebrity single-name pantheon the same as Cher, Madonna, or Britney. Granted, her name is well-known and unique, and I'm hoping her vicious murder didn't spawn a rash of copycat namers. Yet, are we still ready to turn this little girl into a concept? Is she an adjective now? Will future scandalous killings be talked about on E! as being "so JonBenet"? Is she officially just a sequined trope to toss around?

The high price of celebrity must be worth the cost of selling newspapers.

Tuesday Vintage Commercial: Stroh's

Quality TV ads are a lost art. In honor of the glory that is YouTube, and the forgotten nostalgia of vintage television ads, I am taking it upon myself to post a classic vintage TV commercial every Tuesday. The first offering comes from Stroh's beer, a company that made it's mark with ad campaigns featuring Alex, the beer-serving dog. I never cared for the Alex ads, but this one really stands out from the pack for a few reasons.



These men all appear to have an obsession with Stroh's that is disconcerting on a few levels. Several other aspects of the ad are worth noting as well:

1. There are 2 men in the driver's seat. Is the guy in the blue sweater sitting on the driver's lap? And is the guy in the back seat retarded? He doesn't even get a line though the entire ad.

2. I like the stunt of the black rich guy "acting white" by using full first names. It's a relief to everyone when he reveals he's just joking...and then all parties can go back to their normal street slang, consisting of lines such as "Glad he didn't forget his friends"

3. From the interior of the "mansion," it seems this millionaire has spent most of his excess cash on throw pillows. And what's with his buddy demanding to know where the Stroh's is? They're standing in the living room, for heaven's sake! Does he expect this guy to just have random beers buried within the rich mahogany? Enough with the accusations, 3/4 sleeved-jacket guy. With friends like you, who needs friends? Luckily, this millionaire not only has cash, but smarts as well, and like many negotiators throughout the years, he avoids an ugly scene simply by completely draining his in-ground pool and filling it with cans of Stroh's. Works every time.

Monday, August 28, 2006

NBC execs are incompetent

Among the many travesties at the Emmy awards last night (notably the snubbing of Will Arnett, Jaime Pressly, and Gregory Itzin) this one takes the cake. The show opened with Conan O'Brien on an airplane crash landing in the ocean, about 12 hours after 49 people died in a plane crash in Kentucky. Somehow I'm guessing that had this plane crashed in LA or New York, the powers that be might have deemed it in bad taste to run. The remainder of the open featured Conan wandering through scenes from "The Office" and "24", and this open set up the premise of Conan landing on the island from "Lost," but I'm relatively sure that you could have started the skit from when Conan emerges from the water and not lost any of the humor. You stay classy, NBC.




NOTE: If the video doesn't appear above, you can check it out here.

(UPDATE:
I've now linked to the entire open, which is a bit amusing after the plane fiasco, especially the Chris Hansen encounter. However, I'm linking to the YouTube clip, and NBC is fond of pulling stuff off there quick, so it might have a short life.)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A King Among Boys

He's a big kid, somewhere between 6' 1" and 6' 2". He's pushing 200 lbs (the school roster lists him at 191 lbs). He's a starting varsity outside linebacker for the South Sumter High Raiders, and still only a sophomore. He lines up next to a kid that's already committed to Florida State, but the Raiders still lost last night to East Ridge 16 - 10, a team that hasn't been defeated in four years.

None of this matters though.

There is little relevance in knowing that this promising linebacker is getting expert tutelage from a future D-1 player, or that his Raiders will try to rebound against Lake Butler Union County next Friday. In fact, football doesn't even matter. Why? This kid has got one amazing name. His friends call him Hiney, and the football roster abbreviates him to just YH. Ladies and gentlemen, please bow or curtsey when you meet...Yourhighness Morgan.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Come on Little Rabbit

As proven from the last post by Ross McLochness, there is no shortage of pure unadulterated "WTF moments" floating around on the web. A trip to youtube these days can easily color hours of ones day with humor, disappointment, or just overall creepiness.

I've been on quite a large Greg Dulli kick lately for some reason. As frontman of the late Afghan Whigs and now the Twilight Singers, Dulli has perfected the art of the leering, lustful frontman. His ogling and overtly sexual lyrics are none too subtle, and combined with the droning pop soul of both bands, he should earn a spot on everybody's permanent makeout soundtrack playlist.

Thanks to the wonders of the web, there are 2 creepy juxtaposed links featuring Cincinnati's favorite voyeuristic front man. The first takes a montage of clips from everyone's American Idol sweetheart, Katherine McPhee, and edits them overtop of The Afghan Whigs' "66". It's a guarantee that you will feel dirty hearing "Come on little rabbit / Show me where you got it 'cause I know you got a habit."



But the fun doesn't stop there. THIS LINK must be checked out whether you are someone who likes Garfield, hates Garfield, or is ambivalent about moody, lasagna-craving cartoon cats in general. The soundtrack of "Bonnie Brae" by the Twilight Singers provides the soundtrack to what can only be described as "f'ing creepy."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cry 'Havoc' and Let Slip the Dogs of War

I'm not a violent person.

When it comes to action movies I'm more of a Michael Mann man than Steven Seagal. I was never into any band who made a living being angry, confused, or angry because they're confused. In fact, I've never thrown a punch in anger.

However, this video clip transcends violence to saturate itself in post-modernistic glee. It has been floating around for a few months now, but once set to "Take Me Out" by Franz Ferdinand it morphs into a ridiculous, base frenzy. The shortened clip can be found here, and evidently shows some post-event confrontation betwixt two mothers, a grandmother, and a daughter/implicated teen. The real visceral delights come with that wet-bag-o-sand audio when WT Mom #1 lands one on WT Mom #2. It makes that Marty McFly skull rebound from the first Back to the Future seem tame.



What's to learn here? Most of us still salivate at gratuitous violence/American uppitiness, and never, I mean never, tell that woman "Terry had THC in her system."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Stuart Scott is put in his place

Whenever my Bristol past comes up in conversations, people inevitably ask about what anchors are like 'behind the scenes.' Friends of my parents always want to know about Chris Berman (although I'm sure they don't want to know everything about Boomer.) With people closer to my age, I'm asked about Stuart Scott more than any other anchor. He's clearly the most polarizing personality on the air at ESPN. Some people hate him, some people like him, but they can all want to know what he's like off the air. (They also all inevitably ask, "What's the deal with his eye? It looks like it's ready to fall off his face!")

I like to tell people there are two Stu Scotts. Stuart is a hard-working guy, good for an occassional joke, constantly trying to pack each on-camera appearance with as much information as possible. His alter ago (who we'll call Stu-yah, get it?) is moody and difficult, whether he's rambling through an excrutiating on-air poetry slam while a Cardinals-Panthers highlight plays in the background or mouthing off to a PA whose writing on a highlight sheet is not large enough for what's left of Stu-yah's eyesight to decipher.

Weighing in today on the debate of whether to love or hate Stu is acoustic rap act (you read that correctly) Something to Ponder. We were sent a link to their song, entitled "F U Stuart Scott." Try to guess their opinion of Stu! You can listen to the song HERE (or at the link at the bottom), but if you're at work put on headphones because Something to Ponder will not be censored! And I wouldn't want to get busted by Sally the killjoy temp in the cubicle next-door.

The song - which is quite terrible, and without the charm to pull of the "so terrible, it's good" moniker that Nelly Furtado's single has recently claimed - accuses Stuart Scott of being a sell-out and claiming that he "thinks he's hip-hop, but he is not." The laundry list of disses is delivered without mercy. They are by far the harshest commentary I've ever heard made by terrible rappers over a Jack Johnson-esque guitar riff. If "Hit 'Em Up" is the greatest diss song in history (which it is), then Something to Ponder have placed themselves right at 2pac's heels (and 2pac never even referenced the other side of the pillow!) Naturally, image plays a big part in the delivery of the message, and this fact is hammered home by taking a look at the authentic hip-hop visage displayed by Something to Ponder:


I salute you, Something to Ponder, for taking this bold stand. In an age where so many musical artists are afraid to speak out on social issues, it's about time someone took a stand on the important issues facing America, and the B-list celebrities who just aren't keeping it real. As for your next scathing diss song, may I suggest you go after the cast of ABC's According to Jim, the Aflac duck, or Ben Vereen. They all need to be put in their place.

Listen at Something to Ponder's myspace page

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Peyton Manning: Closet Buckeye

The rigors of international travel can take their toll on a soul in various ways: phone wrangling to circumvent international terrorist plots in London, heinous jetlag creeping up 36 hours after touchdown, missed preseason NFL games, and worst of all being absent for the rollout of this year's crop of Peyton Manning commercials.

Thereby, it was not until the Colts vs. Seahawks charade that I was able to set my eyes on this gem of a Sprint commercial. It's almost as stunning as Marvin Harrison's one-hand grab...but not quite. Marvin rules.



Is it me or does Peyton look like he belongs one state over vehemently justifying a rampant library habit? That's a Buckeye molestache if I've ever seen one.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

UPDATE: Ron Artest is still crazy

I make no bones about my feelings for Ron Artest. One of my first posts when this blog was started concerned the bizarre joys of witnessing Artest in a business meeting setting. He's the only player in the NBA that I would pay to watch for 82 regular-season games. I even have a slight touch of sympathy for the fact that Artest caught all of the fallout from the Detroit mess despite the fact that a) supposed "bad boy" Ben Wallace was the whiny crybaby who set the whole thing off - and refused to let it die in a timely fashion, and b) Stephen Jackson was without a doubt the craziest man in the arena that night.

As part of his sentencing for the Palace melee, Artest was assigned community service. And in a predictably brilliant move, the city of Detroit declared that the way Artest could be of the most service to community was by speaking with kids. Seriously. The results are predictably awful, and Artest's quotes are stunningly awesome.



Thanks to need4sheed for originally posting the video.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

ESPN puts Mort on internet rumor patrol

The following internal newswire was sent out to everyone at ESPN earlier today, debunking a false rumor about Brett Favre retiring. For some reason, it just seems kinda sad that ESPN would even give this rumor a whiff of credence, let alone actually make Chris Mortensen check it out. We can only hope that Mort checked out all his excellent sources through his ESPN mobile phone.

-------------
There is a story on ProFootballTalk.com claiming to hear that Brett Favre will announce his retirement from football today.

Chris Mortensen has checked it out thoroughly with excellent sources who say it is NOT true.

Please do NOT report or even refer to the ProFootballTalk.com story.

We will bring in Favre's regularly scheduled news conference (proc 11, frame 13). Scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. Window opens at 12:15 p.m.

Rescue Me (from Mel Gibson)

Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke love Kevin Youkilis, and are friends of the chosen people in general. That said, they don't care much for Mel Gibson.

video

The pickoff at the end of the inning really puts it over the top.