Archive for the ‘TV, Movies & Entertainment’ Category

The line must be drawn here!

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Apropos of nothing, except a comment by Josh on a previous post:

Paging William Shatner…

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Fun with Scrabulous:

Oh, come on, that should totally be a word. :)

Won’t someone please think of the children!

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Homer is out, the Hoff is in down in Venezuela, where President Hugo Chavez recently demanded "The Simpsons" be pulled from its 11am timeslot because it has been deemed inappropriate for children.  It’s replacement?  Baywatch.  Cause nothing says wholesome family entertainment like Pamela Anderson running down the beach with her life preservers along for the ride!

So was it some conservative t.v. watchdog group or upset parents who forced the change?  Nope, the station insists it had recieved no complaints about the show which has been a huge success for them in that timeslot, the highest viewership in that timeslot in the stations history.  And you thought New York was a nanny state!

Brennan on the Moor

Monday, April 7th, 2008

I linked yesterday to a YouTube clip of Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy singing "Rambles of Spring." That’s just one of a whole new treasure trove of Clancy/Makem video clips that have been recently uploaded to YouTube. You might recall that I posted a bunch of clips last August, after Makem’s death, but a lot of new videos have appeared since then. Here’s another one, a real oldie but goodie, showing a much younger foursome singing "Brennan on the Moor" in 1963:

That, incidentally, is — like the Kingston Trio’s "M.T.A." — one of my favorite songs to sing to Loyette. Hey, just because I’m a lawyer doesn’t mean I can’t teach my daughter a "good, healthy disrespect for law!" Hee hee. Actually, I just like singing it to her because it’s fun, bouncy and repetitive. No doubt I’ll regret this when she gets a little older and, just like I did when I was little, starts bursting out in bawdy Irish songs at inappropriate moments. :) History repeats itself in the new generation…

Rambles of spring

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Ever since I saw (and photographed) the above-pictured robin en route home from work on March 6, I’ve been meaning to put together a "springtime in Knoxville" photo gallery for the blog. There are a ton of beautiful flowers, trees and other lovely signs of spring in this part of the world. Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to make the album yet, but I hope to do so soon.

I’ll definitely have a lot more material to work with after today, as Becky, Loyette and I ventured out to the Crescent Bend Tulip Time festival this afternoon, then walked three miles along the riverfront, snapping photos all the way. Here’s one pic from the tulip gardens:

Very pretty. It was an absolutely gorgeous day here, and it looks like a very nice week ahead. It all puts me in mind of the song "Rambles of Spring," one of my favorite Makem & Clancy numbers — of which, conveniently enough, I found a YouTube clip recently. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds has some nice pictures from yesterday as well.

Sam Gamgee campaigns for Hillary

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Yesterday was the second stage of the Washington caucus process (which is the most convoluted of all the Democratic caucus processes), and Politico‘s Ben Smith reports that Hillary Clinton sent Sean Astin — a.k.a. Rudy, a.k.a. Sam Gamgee — out to be her “surrogate” in one of the state’s legislative districts. Heh.

Astin’s presence made a fair amount of sense when the Clintons were visiting South Bend, where everybody loves Rudy. But Washington-state blogger Eli Sanders is skeptical of Astin’s relevance to this particular event in his state: “the type of people who show up for legislative district caucuses on a Saturday don’t really need a celebrity (or semi-celebrity) to motivate them to take political action.”

Personally, I think Saruman, Grima Wormtongue, or perhaps best of all, Gollum, would be a better spokesman for the Clinton campaign. :) “The presidency, it’s ours, it is! Our precious! They stole it from us, the nasssty Obamasses, and we wants it back!”

Charlton Heston dies

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Movie legend and former NRA president Charlton Heston has died. He was 84.

Hillary’s 3 a.m. problem

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Mark Steyn:

Jeepers, will all business during this Clinton administration be transacted at 3 a.m.? Is it some union-negotiated flex-time deal? “Home foreclosures mounting”? We’d better wake the president. There are now so many foreclosures the banks can no longer foreclose on everyone they need to foreclose on during normal banking hours. “The First National Bank of Dead Skunk, Maine, has begun issuing midnight foreclosure notices, Madam President.”

“OK, nuke ’em.”

“Er, well, maybe this can wait till the regular afternoon meeting.”

It’s 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep. But there’s a phone ringing in the White House. And ringing and ringing and ringing. Kim Jong-il No Dong missiles are heading for every major West Coast city, but the president’s not picking up because at 2:57 a.m. the Secretary for Soccer Moms called to alert her to the growing crisis caused by the lack of federally mandated children’s bicycling helmets.

Heh. (Hat tip: InstaPundit.)

P.S. On a more serious note, it looks like Hillary has been “misspeaking” again:

Over the last five weeks, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has featured in her campaign stump speeches the story of a health care horror: an uninsured pregnant woman who lost her baby and died herself after being denied care by an Ohio hospital because she could not come up with a $100 fee. …

[H]ospital administrators said Friday that Ms. Bachtel was under the care of an obstetrics practice affiliated with the hospital, that she was never refused treatment and that she was, in fact, insured.

“We implore the Clinton campaign to immediately desist from repeating this story,” said Rick Castrop, chief executive officer of the O’Bleness Health System.

The idea of Hillary using the (false) tale of someone dying because they couldn’t pay a $100 fee reminds me a bit of that wonderful old campaign ballad, The M.T.A. Song. But instead of “Fight the fare increase, vote for George O’Brien!” I guess now it’s “Fight the premium increase, vote for Hillary Clinton!” Heh. Hillary descends further and further into self-parody…

P.P.S. Video of the M.T.A. Song:

I sing that song to Loyette all the time. :)

P.P.P.S. For those not familiar with the song, they actually did a lyrical switcheroo in the final verse in the above clip. You can view the real lyrics here. It’s supposed to be “Fight the fare increase, vote for George O’Brien! And get Charlie off the M.T.A.! Or else he’ll never return…”

SHA girl needs your votes!

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Since I was being mean to Buffalo yesterday, I figured I should do something nice for a Buffalo native this morning. And, conveniently enough, one of Becky’s high-school classmates needs my, and your, help!

Sara Crowther (née Alpsan) is competing in the "Be a Milk Rock Star with Rascal Flatts" contest. She uploaded a video of herself singing "God Bless the Broken Road," and it’s currently ranked 14th out of 219 entries, based on viewers’ votes. That’s up from like 85th or something when I first checked! You can help keep that momentum ("Crow-mentum"?) going by clicking the above link and voting for Sara!

Sara doesn’t need to finish first — she just needs to crack the Top 10 by April 15. Then Rascal Flatts and will pick the winner from the Top 10 entries. Whoever they choose will, according to the contest rules,  "win
a trip for them, and three friends, to see the band live and perform
their song entry onstage with Rascal Flatts; a Gibson Les Paul Studio
Guitar autographed by Rascal Flatts; their own backstage dressing room,
a meet and greet with the band; VIP accommodations to and from the
concert on the Gibson Guitar Tour Bus and a webcast featuring their
performance aired for 30 days on"

So anyway… vote for Sara! Here’s her video:

And this time, nuts won’t save them

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Jericho has been cancelled. Again. (Hat tip: Andrew Hiller.)

I gotta be honest, I’ve TiVoed all the Season 2 episodes but have only watched the first one. Between the baby, the election and March Madness, I’ve been a bit distracted. So I guess I’m sort of complicit in the show’s latest round of low ratings. Oh, well. I look forward to watching the rest of the episodes.

Arthur C. Clarke takes his final odyssey

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

An aide to the famed science fiction writer has reported his passing.  Details to follow as they become available.  Sir Arthur C. Clarke was 90.

Clarke was a prolific science fiction writer and futurist, most famous as the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was later turned into an epic film under director Stanley Kubrick.

UPDATE: A little bit more here.

Captain Ed on “real” Irish music

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey (the guy who beat me for "Blogger of the Year" in 2005) and the Michelle Malkin-founded site Hot Air are usually good sources for right-wing political commentary — not Irish music nerdery. And yet Irish music nerdery is exactly what I found there, to my great delight, thanks to my Google News Alert for "’barra macneils’ | ‘liam clancy’ | ‘tommy makem’ | ‘clancy brothers’." Here what Ed wrote on the topic, they day before St. Paddy’s Day*:

“Danny Boy” is a beautiful, haunting song … the first thousand times you hear
After that, it gets pretty tiresome, and even more so to those in the Old
Country who tire of supplying renditions of it for American tourists. Irish
music consists of much more than “the pipes, the pipes are calling” and “I’ll
take you home again, Kathleen” — which owe more to America than Ireland. …

The Irish tolerate Danny Boy and the other “Irish songs” of America, but only
just. When my uncle visited Ireland almost 30 years ago, he asked one publican
where he could hear authentic Irish music. The Irishman asked, “Oh, you mean
like Danny Boy and I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen?” “Yes,” my uncle said.
“Nearest place I know is Boston,” came the reply. …

If you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with some authentic Irish music, try
listening to The Chieftains, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Lunasa, The
Corrs, or even U2.

Hear, hear! (Morrissey later added the Pogues and The Dubliners to his list. I’d add the
Wolfe Tones, the Irish Rovers and, for a rather different but still related style,
Flogging Molly. And then you can branch out into Irish-inspired Atlantic Canadian bands like Great Big Sea, the Barra MacNeils, etc.)

I have to make a confession, though. For all my nodding in agreement with Captain Ed and making fun of the "sort of maudlin stuff that Bing Crosby sang," yesterday I totally cued up "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" on my iPod and, in unison with ol’ Bing, sang it to my shamrock-clad baby girl, in honor of St. Paddy’s Day. I feel so… dirty. :) But hey: she does have really beautiful Irish eyes. And when they’re smiling, they’ll steal your heart away!

Hey, sometimes it’s okay to be maudlin. :)

(Relevant background for those who haven’t read it: "Tommy Makem, 1932-2007 … and what he means to me." More here.)

*Or the day after St. Paddy’s Day, depending on your perspective.

SoCal VoCals win West Region title!

Monday, March 17th, 2008

For the first time ever, the USC SoCal VoCals are going to collegiate a capella’s version of the Final Four: the ICCA International Finals in New York City!

Over the weekend, the VoCals won the ICCA semifinal — basically the Western regional championship — at Marin Center for the Performing Arts in San Rafael, California, beating out the University of Oregon Divisi, the UCLA ScatterTones (ha ha! take that, Mike Tran!), defending national champion BYU Noteworthy, BYU Vocal Point, the Cal-Berkeley Golden Overtones, Mt. San Antonio College Fermata Nowhere, and These Guys from Fullerton and Citrus colleges. (Full results here; scroll down to "ICCA West Region.")

The VoCals’ previous best finish at the ICCA semis was second place in 2001, and they’ve finished third four times: in 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2006. Long-time readers might recall that I trailed the VoCals for a photojournalism project — producing, among others, this photo — during their 2002 third-place ICCA appearance, and later wrote about it in a Daily Trojan opinion article analogizing the competition to March Madness, with which it always roughly coincides.

Anyway, on April 19, this year’s crop of SoCal VoCals will compete for the international championship of collegiate a capella (that’s what ICCA stands for, natch) against the Northwestern University Purple Haze (Midwest Region champs), Oxford University Out of the Blue (Western Europe champs), and as-yet undetermined champions from the South, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Fight on, SoCal VoCals!! Beat those other schools!! Wooo!!

Harry Potter 7… and 8

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be split into two movies. Part I will be released in November 2010, Part II in May 2011. David Yates will direct both. (Hat tip: Andrew H.) [Bumped. -ed.]

All I can say is, I seriously cannot wait for the climactic Battle of Hogwarts scene. It’ll be, for me personally, the most-anticipated cinematic event since the Mount Doom scene in Return of the King. :)

A free musical treat

Friday, March 7th, 2008

HUGE crowd at the WDVX Blue Plate Special today for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra's string quartet and, in the show's second half, renouned Cape Breton Island fiddler Natalie MacMaster. So cool.