March 2010


announcements&front page&MP&pop culture&web31 Mar 2010 12:22 pm

i’ve still got a rundown of LOST coming, as well as, some more thoughts and theories on the way, but i’m taking this brief respit to continue on with the mashed potatoes…

before i grab a spoon and dig in, though, i’m sure you’re wondering about the main site… i mean, it’s been “under construction” for a while now, right?… well, here’s the thing… i started out with a plan… i had a new design sketched out in my head, on a pad of paper and was pretty sure that it was ready to build out… then i got a new idea… so, i sketched that out… then… a newer new idea… and so it goes… the good news is, i’m set on a design now, and i’ve begun the actual process of making it work… (fans of theTRu on facebook can actually catch a glimpse of the new look)… there’s still a bit of heavy lifting to be done, and then some fine-tuning, but it’s motion… progress even…

and now back to the mash… so far, we’ve already talked about books and movies and music and television, which leaves us with… “more”… yeah, it’s a broad topic and it pretty much encompasses absolutely anything that crosses my mind and/or holds my attention… it’s kind of a wildcard category, so you never know what you’ll get, but it rounds out the full experience of entertainment onslaught… this week, it’s all about podcasts…

i think i’ve made it pretty clear in the past that i enjoy listening to the Steelehouse Podcast each week and the Tony Kornheiser Show each weekday, but below are three more that i have been listening to a lot as well and the time has come to speak openly about them…

GET FREAKY WITH IT

now playing: Super Freak – Rick James

I haven’t read Freakonomics or Super Freakonomics… i’m not an economist… and i’m not generally the type of guy who gets excited about – or even sits down to watch documentaries… but, i saw Steven Levitt on the Colbert Report some time ago, and i’ve wanted to read the aforementioned books… unfortunately, i’ve never gotten around to it… BUT… i feel a little better about myself now that i’ve discovered the Freakonomics Radio Podcast

Though tragically infrequent, the Freakonomics podcast always hits you with a little less than a half hour of compelling and thoughtfully provocative content from a perspective that’s most likely significantly different than your own… the tagline, “exploring the hidden side of everything,” is quite fitting as they tackle topics that are familiar, but provide opinions that are steeped in economic theory with no regard for popular beliefs… generally a fascinating discussion that’s not at all as nerdy as it may seem…

So far, there have been three full episodes (and three short teasers) and the third one introduced a handful of commercials, but it was still a fun listen…

TASTE THE RAINBOW

now playing: Rainbow – Colbie Caillat

this one’s not as new, but it is also an infrequent podcast – especially now that one of the three voices moved several states away… of course, i’m talking about Skittle Sandwich – two DJs and a musician chewing the fat for about an hour each… month?… i’ve been listening to this podcast since its inception which was about a year and a half ago and by now, i feel somewhat invested in it…

the trio of Dice, Matt, and Sara sit down and talk about life, music, and pop culture – three things i can hardly get enough of – and, perhaps the highlights are the many, many times when the conversation is derailed and rabbit-trailed… just like life… aparently it’s not always safe for the younger ears, but i’ve enjoyed the ride thus far and look forward to hearing it each month (or so)…

DON’T SHAVE EVER… DUDE

now playing: Dharma Lady – Geronimo Jackson

the last podcast is frequent, but fleeting… and it’s all about LOST… specifically an episode by episode look at the show, through the eyes of Jorge (a.k.a. “Hurley”) and “Sidekick22″… this is, Geronimo Jack’s Beard… the cool thing about this podcast is that most of the episodes were recorded over the summer as they recieved the script and their thoughts are based on what’s written in the script… And a good bit of that changes by the time the episode is filmed and edited… So, its
an insider look at each episode and the more recent episodes have bookended the original conversation with emails and comments from the current week… the downside is that when LOST is over… this is probably over as well… but while it’s here, it’s definitely worth checking out…

AND WITH THAT…

and speaking of checking out… i must bid you all adieu… Do you listen to these podcasts? other podcasts? what did i miss?… back later with LOST and more…

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television30 Mar 2010 10:50 pm

whew… ready to dive into another week of American Idol madness… chances are tonight, i’ll be quicker to the punch and the commentary will be shorter than normal as i can see that my DVR has already started recording LOST and i’m more than ready to see what happens with Sun and Jin… i care much less about most of these contestants or the judges this season… they’re just not working so far this year… anyway… it is what it is and we press on… pre-picks for tonight, bottom three: Tim, DiDi, and Siobhan… DiDi going home…

THESE TEN, AGAIN?…

now playing: Super Bad – James Brown & the JBs

this week is SOUL POWER week… not officially, but that’s what i’m calling it… Usher is the guest and hopefully he’ll teach them about stage presence… dude can dance like nobody’s business… he’s like the posterchild for “cool”… of course he has a new album out this week (COINCIDENCE)… and actually, i listened to it earlier today and… well, we’ll move on… he can dance really well and i have fond memories of My Way

Siobhan MAGNUS VER MAGNUSON… first up is the mouse that can pull a car with her teeth… she’s dressed like a nightmare again… singing Chaka Khan’s Through the Fire and she’s absolutely butchering it… her tone is the only thing worse than her outfit… and now she’s squelching again… eh… ENOUGH already… here comes the judges ready to heap praise onto her… Randy says, listen, i mean, well it was a little all over the place pitch-wise, but he likes the outfit… Ellen says that she went on a hike and got lost and freaked out, but it was still like dessert… Kara says that she got a little nervous and, other than the screams, it wasn’t there… just an off night, but she’s GREAT… Simon says buttons? who needs buttons?… no… really, he says it was as if she sang while running a marathon and that she looks out of place and sang out of place… and he’s bored of the screaming… (he’s more patient than i am)….

Casey “Sawyer” James… singing Hold On (I’m Comin’) by Sam & Dave… i like this guy more and more… he really knows who he is, what his range in, and – more importantly – what his limitations are… and i’m sure this is coming across as a dated performance, just like the Huey Lewis one last week, but yeah, it’s good… he’s got some pipes, he’s got some panache, and he’s good… i mean, it’s not necessarily current, but i can’t stand half of what’s on the radio anyway… this was the winner for the night… Randy says it was another hot one, right in his element… Ellen says it felt generic… there was nothing wrong with it, but it felt safe… Kara says she wishes he would show more of what he is capable of… Simon says it was his strongest performance of the year… really, really impressed…

BIG MIKE… he’s so big, the guitar looks like a ukulele… singing Ready for Love by India.Arie… and i’m suddenly not looking forward to his performance… he’s got a smooth vocal, but now we’re pretty much just doing the same thing every week… who told him that he was the sexy balladeer?… i mean, there’s nothing wrong with it, but it was just plain blah… been there, done that… Randy says that he’s in the zone and he’s loving every performance… Ellen says don’t sing behind my back, but it was beautiful… Kara says that he did an incredible job with it and he got to the true emotion of it… Simon says he can actually take him seriously now, despite being gloomy, it was terrific…

now playing: Chain of Fools – Aretha Franklin

“Ay, Ay, Bee Bee, see see, DIDI”… so, she’s gonna be singing What Becomes of the Broken Hearted and hopefully she won’t cry on stage… or at least she wears the Usher shades to hide the tears… she isn’t a soul singer by any stretch of the imagination, but with that jazzy tinge to the tail end of her range, she may just be worth listening to… i actually like this arrangement and she’s holding it together really well… i’m sure that means that the judges will say it was boring or something… she has lost her breath control a bit there, though… sounded like she was running out of time… Randy says, yo (which means something bad is coming)… he says it flatlined and never picked up… Ellen says it was dramatic and, uh, uh, dramatic… Kara says it’s over, done… oh, overdone… she may have lost her way… puzzling… Simon agrees, noting that it was like swimming in jelly… that she’s lost her way…

Tim “The Partidge”… singing Anita Baker’s Sweet Love… i feel like Lionel sang this… did he?… oh, this is not off to a good start… this song is way beyond him… way, way too old for him… he should’ve gone with like a Jackon 5 tune or something hip like, Usher? YE-UH… it’s really not working and his vocal just can’t keep up… i’ve got absolutely nothing good to say about it… this is like Captain and Tenille singing this song… i feel like i’m on hold… Randy says it just fell flat… aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh…. Ellen says that he is adorable (drink)… but why did he pick that song?… Kara says it was Broadway, Vegas, and un-current… and Tim just laughs… Simon says he doesn’t think it make any difference what they say and nobody cares, but his smile is going to get him through… (TRu dAT!)

Andrew “The Custodian”… if he doesn’t sing Smokey Robinson, i’ll be upset… UGH! he’s singing a Chris Brown song… with an acoustic guitar… Forever on the Dance Floor and the arrangement will keep you off of the dance floor… he actually reminds me of Nic from Salvador… minus the personality… so this song is made popular by YouTube and The Office… i kind of expect a parade of people to start jamming up and down the aisles… except, oh yeah, he’s turned into a song that you don’t want to dance to… it was alright… his vocal was smooth, but the arrangement was wack… Randy says he liked the outfit and Andrew is BACK!… Ellen liked his smile… Kara says he took one giant leap in the right direction… Simon says it was miles better than the last few weeks, but he comes across as very boring as a person… show some personality… they bring up “Mama Garcia” and ugh, they are so trying way too hard to make this show worthwhile and it’s just making things worse…

Katie “The Mouse”… i’m not sure if i like these behind the stage moments… oh, good grief… she’s singing Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin… i promise i picked that song first, for different reasons… oh, boy… she’s trying to have a swagger and talking about 5 long years of thinking someone was her man… that would make her, what 11 at the beginning of that relationship?… that’s a weird outfit, too, right?… she’s got a fantastic voice and all, but again, this song is just years and years beyond who she is… bad song choice… well performed, for what it was, though… Randy starts out with “yo”… uh oh… the best vocal, but it was disconnected… Ellen shouts out to Jersey Shore again… she wishes the song was younger and more current… Kara says R & B / Pop is where she belongs, but it should be more current… Simon points out how ridiculous it is to compare her to Christina Aguilera and that it was a cold performance… Ellen looks like she’s just witnessed the death of her favorite uncle…

now playing: Yeah – Usher

Lee “Da Wise Guy”… you know, watching Ryan and the Judges this year is like watching cousins making out… it’s just awkward on so many levels… anyway, Lee is playing the role of Michael Jordan and performing despite having walking pneumonia… singing Treat Her Like a Lady by The Temptations Cornelius Brothers… and he’s certainly rocking out to it… and, much like last week, he’s slowly making me not dislike him as much… i don’t know that i’m coming around totally, but he’s knocking this one out of the park… Randy says unbelievable… Ellen smiles when the camera is on her… Kara says something positive… Simon says this was the night that may change his life forever… Lee says to himself, “I hope i don’t throw up or pass out in front of all these people”…

Crystal BoSAWX… a surprise in store for us… are you kidding me, she’s trying not to tell Usher what she’s going to sing?… oh, she’s gonna play the piano… Usher calls her a kid… he’s so cool, he’s “Usher Cool(tm)”… singing Leaving on a Jet Plane… that would’ve been a good goodbye song… anyway, she’s doing a great job early on… dang those are high heels… i’d bet she wasn’t really playing the piano… a few rough spots, but it was really good overall… she looks kind of like a little kid playing dress up though… really doesn’t fit her… Randy says that Gladys would’ve said that she did the song right… Ellen says she’s in it to win it… Kara is glad that Crystal took a risk… Simon says that the choice of song was sensational with a vocal that was at times incredible, but she shouldn’t change who she is for this contest…

Aaron Aaron… closing out the show, it’s Aaron’s version of Ain’t No Sunshine… Usher gives him some good advice… but apparently did nothing about Aaron’s outfit choice… what is THAT?… sorry… and he’s got no real rhythym… or soul… or blues… and i think he managed to overdo the “I know” section… eh, it was alright, but i could take it or leave it… Randy says it was just alright… Ellen says that he was confident and it was a good job… Kara talks like a girl… i like it, but i’m not in love with it… Simon takes the time to promote Lee and calls Aaron a cupcake… it was okay and you’re safe…

IT’S NOT REALLY THAT HARD AT ALL

now playing: It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday – Boyz II Men

this really, wow, this is just a rough season… almost painful… anyway… so you know what? i think my pre-picks are just about right… i’m gonna leave them as is… Tim, She-bon-bon, and DiDi, with DiDi hitting the bricks…

who ya got, folks? am i way off or right on?

peace… love… bdg…

LOST&pop culture&television26 Mar 2010 01:43 pm

Well, i’m still a bit off-kilter, and even though i had noble intentions of recapping this week’s episode of LOST Wednesday after tapping out Tuesday night, clearly that didn’t happen… besides the fact that it took me a while to watch it again i’ll blame a normally busy schedule, a desire to make good on this week’s mashed potatoes, and an overall lack of energy during my free time…

anyway, it’s finally time, since it’s not necessarily written in real time, i decided that instead of a standard play-by-play feel (like the last few weeks) i’d put a little more into it, format it nicely and hopefully make it more concise… this episode shakes the season up a bit stylistically by temporarily? abandoning the “_x” timeline and using a more conventional “flashback” device… the focal point is Richard and, in turn Jacob and Es- er, MiB… it’s a doozie… off we go…

TO FROM INFINITY…

now playing: Ab Aeterno – LOST season six

A few scenes about Richard, reminding us of his current crisis of faith, while Jacob’s visit to Ilana in the hospital (why is she in the hospital?) is further clarified, offering us some more insight into their conversation. Richard knows what the next step is, but in his current state, he’s too unsettled to offer any help. He informs everybody that he is suicidal and then tells Jack and the rest of them that they’re all dead and that the island is Hell. He then runs off into the woods, vowing to find smokeLocke, who Jack is just learning about. Ilena gears up to go take him out, but Jack talks her out of it, while Hurley speaks to an unknown, dead Hispanic in their native tongue.

Flash… back. For the first time this season we’re not flashing sideways, we’re flashing back to the history of one Richard Alpert. (or are we? – more on that later). His wife is on her deathbed and in dire need of medical treatment, but the doctor is miles away and it’s the 19th century and the Alperts are peasants. Richard accidentally kills the fat cat doctor in a struggle to get the medicine he needs, but cannot afford. It’s all in vain, anyway, as he returns to a dead wife with the police on his tail.

In prison, Richard turns away bread offered by a visiting priest. Later, we see that he’s reading an English Bible – Luke 4, the temptation of Jesus (“Man does not live by bread alone”). He was preparing to make a new life, but the priest simply wants him to give his confession. Richard begs for God’s forgiveness to absolve him of the accidental murder, but the priest refuses. “There must be some way to earn God’s forgiveness,” Richard weeps, all but defeated voice. The priest replies that there is no time for penance, Richard will be hanged the next day. “I’m afraid the devil awaits you in Hell.” The priest seems all too happy to announce this and he leaves poor Richard in the cell to his thoughts.

The next morning finds Richard getting a reprieve of sorts as he’s sold into slavery instead of being hanged. A Mr. Whitfield claims him on behalf of Captain Magnus Hanso, great grandfather of Alvar Hanso, founder of the DHARMA Initiative. (Begat, begat, begat). Anyway, Richard and others are taken to off to the New World after all, but the catch is that they’ll be chained up in the bottom of the Black Rock and, as we know, shipwrecked on an island.

Based on the giant statue with four toes and a dog head, a fellow slave declares the island is guarded by the devil. Well, the Black Rock apparently took out the statue, leaving behind the foot (and the shadow), and winds up in the middle of a bloody jungle. Whitfield comes below deck and starts slaying all the slaves with his cutlass. As he pauses to explain to Richard (the last slave standing) that it’s simply a matter of self-preservation, the smoke monster makes an appearance, slaughtering all the crew members including Whitfield, who gets yanked through the deck to his untimely death. Smokey has a face-to-face with a terrified Richard before leaving him there in his chains.

We then see composite shots of time passing Richard by in the bottom of the boat. He works faithfully to free himself from his chains, but ultimately is unsuccessful. He even gets tormented by a wild boar that runs by him and knocks away a nail that he had been hoping to pick the lock with. Finally, in the throes of defeat, he sees Isabella, his wife, coming to rescue him before the devil comes back. Since she’s already dead, he’s confused and, before he’s freed, she runs away as Smokey reappears in the distance (as evidenced by the sounds and the skylight) and she is presumably thrashed to death, despite Richard’s agonizing arguments. He crumples into a heap on the floor and some time passes.

Near death – perhaps literally – Richard is touched and roused from his sleep or coma. He’s startled into a sitting position and scared. It’s the Man in Black (MiB), who calls himself “a friend.” MiB tells Richard that they are in Hell and that he’s been there since long before the Black Rock arrived. Richard asks about his wife, the black smoke, and if he’ll ever see her again. MiB replies that “he” must have her and adds that he (MiB) wants to be free, too. MiB reveals the keys to Richard’s chains, but first, he brokers a deal of allegiance. Richard agrees to do “anything” for MiB, and gains his freedom, perhaps at the cost of his soul. MiB unlocks Richard and helps him out of the ship, telling him to rest – that he’ll need his strength if he’s going to escape. “Escape?!” Of course, the only way to excape from Hell is to kill the devil (and not just that crazy four-toed statue, the actual devil).

MiB feeds Richard a roasted pig and explains the plan. Go towards the statue that your ship smashed into pieces, take this knife, and immediately stab him in the chest. Don’t let him say a word, because if he speaks, it’s already too late. (Where have we heard that before?) Richard asks how to kill the devil, “it’s black smoke.” “No,” replies MiB, “I AM.” (sidenote: there is some serious deconstruction going on here.) After a dramatic pause, Richard accuses MiB of chasing Isabella. MiB assures him that she was running from the devil and he tried to save her, but he arrived too late. (I don’t think we should believe him.)

MiB explains that the devil betrayed him, took his body, and took his humanity. Richard, still coming to grips with this all, argues that MiB killed all the officers and. . . MiB interrupts, insisting that Richard needs not worry about him, that the devil has Isabella and Richard will need to kill him to get her back. Richard has a crisis of conscience, knowing that murder is wrong, that’s what got him into this mess to begin with. MiB balks at the concept of right and wrong. He reframes the question into an easy win, “Do you ever want to see your wife again?” Richard takes the knife.

Heading to the beach, Richard is a man defeated and possessed. He’s incredibly confused as he approaches the statue and unsheaths the knife. Then he gets the snot beaten out of him, but he is determined and lunges with the knife only to have Jacob snatch it out of his hand and shake it at him. “What are you doing here? Who gave you this?” Richard asks about his wife and Jacob is very argumentative, insisting that he doesn’t know what Richard is talking about. And, if she’s dead, “why are you asking me where she is?” They both take a second to process what just happened and Jacob realizes what’s going on, at least somewhat.

Jacob asks Richard if he’s met MiB and what he was told. Richard explains the whole devil-killing, wife reuniting plan. Jacob gets too close to the camera and starts to really understand what happened. Richard keeps talking about seeing his wife and wanting to see his wife, but Jacob matter-of-factly states that it wasn’t Isabella that he saw. Richard insists that she is dead, he is dead, and he’s in Hell, “Where else would I be?” Jacob seems a bit disgusted, grabs Richard and drags him into the sea, where he performs a baptism of sorts, nearly drowning Richard to make him realize he’s alive. With Richard convinced, Jacob begins planning his retaliation.

Jacob gives Richard a blanket, puts him in front of a fire, and brings him some wine. “What is this island?” asks Richard. “No one comes in, unless I invite them.” (Not exactly an answer.) “Are you the devil?” “(pause and smirk) No.” Jacob introduces himself as the one who brought the ship to the island. Richard asks why and Jacob grabs the bottle of wine. The wine represents Hell (or “malevolence, evil, darkness”). If it were get out of the bottle, then that darkness would spread. The island is represented by the cork that keeps the darkness contained. (sidenote: this is what i was getting at last week when i mentioned “protection” in passing – more later.)

Jacob describes MiB as someone who believes everyone is corruptible because of their sinful nature. He brings people to the island, where their past doesn’t matter, to prove MiB wrong. Richard asks about those who have previously been brought to the island and learns that they are all dead. Jacob didn’t help them because he wanted them to help themselves and learn morals without him explaining to them. (God helps those who help themselves?) He proceeds to make a case for the concept of free will inspiring more meaningful lives and choices. Richard counters by explaining that if Jacob doesn’t influence people’s choices, then MiB certainly will.

That point is well taken and Jacob offers Richard a job as his intermediary, a “high priest” of sorts. After saying he can’t give him Isabella back or absolve him of his sins, Jacob agrees to Richard’s third choice for a fair wage, immortality. Richard returns to MiB, who immediately realizes that the plan failed. Richard gives him the white rock that later balances the scales in the cave, and MiB is incredibly disappointed. He tries to play the Isabella card again, but concedes that Jacob is very persuasive and a deal has already been strick, Richard’s choice already made. MiB tells Richard that if he can change his mind at any time, then hands Richard Isabella’s locket, which he “found on the ship.” Richard marvals that MiB has disappeared into thin air, then buries the locket, saying goodbye forever to Isabella. Thus concludes the flashback.

Richard returns to where he buried the locket and digs it up. He declares that he’s changed his mind and calls out into the jungle to MiB hoping for an answer. “Does the offer still stand?” He turns towards the noise of someone approaching, but it’s not MiB, it’s Hurley. Richard tells Hurley to leave him alone, but Hurley explains that Isabella sent him. Richard doesn’t believe, but, with Hurley as an intermediary, he has a conversation with his wife. She absolves him of the guilt that really plagues him, her death. He explains that he would do anything to be together again and she says they are already together. She’s gone, but she said one more thing. She tells Richard that he must stop MiB from leaving the island or else everyone will go to Hell. The camera pans out to MiB (Locke) watching the entire scene and looking off into the distance, knowing that Richard’s back on an opposing path.

In a final flashback scene, MiB is sitting on a hill overlooking the island, mulling over the white rock. Jacob approaches and they have a Wile Coyote/Sam the Sheepdog moment, pleasantly wishing each other a good morning. MiB tells Jacob not to gloat and Jacob brings up the attempted murder, asking for an explanation. MiB explains that he wants to leave the island, but he knows that as long as Jacob is alive, he’s not going anywhere. MiB swears to kill Jacob and anyone who replaces him in that role. Jacob pulls the wine bottle – which actually is more of a jug – out of an apparently huge pants pocket and gives it to MiB as “something to pass the time”. Jacob leaves with a “See ya real soon” and MiB responds to himself, “Sooner than you think,” smashing the bottle on a rock.

AND BEYOND…

now playing: Time in a Bottle – Jim Croce

well, that still seemed to be pretty lengthy, did it not?… i told you that this was a doozie and, though i’m tempted to let that be enough, i will, in fact, offer some further thoughts as i mull about this episode… three things actually, protection, time, and Richard the island’s microcosm…

1. Everyone’s got it all backwards as far as protection is concerned

this is what i wrote last week as a teaser to what i’m about to write… unfortunately, Ab Aeterno makes this pretty clear… before this episode, it seemed that the focus of everyone’s efforts was to protect the island from… well, something… possibly MiB, possibly outside forces, possibly exploitation, it wasnt entirely clear, but whenever protection was mentioned, it was the island that was in need of protection… when Widemore showed up last week with his portable sonic fence, however, i started thinking, what if it’s not the island that needs protection, but the rest of the world… of course, in the context of, say, Revelation, evil is sealed up and unleashed on the world in due time… what if, the island is one of God’s bowls of wrath that is bubbling up waiting for the right time… well, then the “war” that is coming is apocalyptic in nature and is between one side who wants to take control of destiny and choose when the bowl is poured out and the other side who wants to wait for God’s timing… of course, now that Jacob has identified the island as the cork that prevents evil from spreading, i guess that makes this speculation reality… many questions still remain, but i’d suppose that Widemore wants to be in control, MiB wants it to be now, and Jacob waits patiently, holding out hope that the world can be redeemed…

2. Time is not as you think it is

i’m no quantum physicist or anything, but i have spent far more time than makes sense pondering the concept of time… (what an amazing distraction – wasting time thinking about wasted time)… anyway, what i’ve come to understand about time is that it only really exists here… i suppose that i believe time to be something of a flat dimension… in the sense that everything that has ever happened, happened all at the same time, in light of eternity… what i mean is that for eternal beings, such as God and mankind outside of earthly life, World history is kind of like an enormous DVR (or TiVO) that can be queued up to any point of finite time… unless, the stinking commercials cause the fast-forward function to freeze up… anyway, in regards to LOST and the _x timeline and the flashbacks… since all things are happening simultaneously in the long run all the characters are in all the places, participating in all the timelines, affecting and being affected by each side story all the time… and it’s all okay… actually, this is more confusing now that it’s out of my head, but my point was basically that as the characters mature, Sawyer, for example, he matures across all timelines, so, even though he was head of DHARMA security in 1977, that choice in his present caused him to be a detective in the _x side story… because he’s already learned that being a con, doesn’t work… never mind… it’s complicated…

2. (take two) The Sad Case of Sawyer

here’s an entirely different line of thinking… Sawyer, when we last saw him, was still on his “own team”… we see him apparently following MiB around the island, challenging his authority only when it affects Sawyer’s plans to escape the island… he runs errands for MiB but, as we learn as he hits the beaches of Hydra, he still has enough of his senses about him to see through the fake Tina Fey and challenge her ruse… we see him face off with Widemore, trying to strike up a deal with him to leverage his knowledge of MiB – which isn’t that much… then, he returns to MiB and sets up a new deal with him, leading up to an eventual diversion that will allow him to slip away from the two powers (Widemore and MiB) undetected, because he doesn’t trust either of them…

But while Sawyer may seem to be a master of playing the hand that’s dealt – and we’ve seen him run this exact con earlier in the series when he became the “new sheriff” on the island… there’s something we’ve also seen in this series, something we’ve come to accept as truth, is the mantra that returned last week as Miles asked Sawyer if he wanted to “die alone”… and Sawyer is alone, despite all his efforts, despite all of his maturation, despite everything he’s gone through, despite Kate sitting next to him… he’s all alone and, unfortunately, it seems clear that it won’t end well for him… i predict that Sawyer is being set up as the tragic hero of the series… (one of many, i’m sure)…

3. Richard, the Island’s microcosm

So did anyone else notice this? Richard’s backstory included several nods to the events of the other Losties… whether it was as simple as him learning English in preparation for a voyage to the New World and a new life (just like Sun) or as random as being antagonized by a wild boar when life just about reached the depths of madness (a la Sawyer)… it seemed like all the events of his life were reflected by events in the lives of our other characters… here’s a quick breakdown of the ones that stood out the most for me:

He came to the island in chains/handcuffs (Kate)

He is convinced that his bad luck causes everyone around him to die (Hurley)

He has a stare down with the smoke monster, becomes a loyal disciple of Jacob, then has an extreme crisis of faith, eventually leading to an attempted suicide (Locke)

He is tricked into attempting murder by the promise of seeing his dead wife (love of his life) again (Sayid)

Interestingly enough, i didn’t notice anything in particular, without stretching something about failing his wife, that related him to Jack… anybody else see it?… what characters did i miss?…

THE END OF TIME…

yeah, i think i took more than my share already… i did write this over the course of a few days, but it feels like it was quite an investment… hope you enjoyed it, now it’s your turn to chime in with your thoughts and theories… oh, and if this wasn’t enough for you, make sure to check out LOSTexplained and their thoughts on the episode…

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf&MP24 Mar 2010 03:37 pm

okay, so i’m horribly off-schedule and i’ve come to a decision… i’m dropping the “monday morning” and simply going with “mashed potatoes”… the idea is still the same, it’ll still be a weekly thing, but it may not be posted on monday morning… actually, i don’t think any of them actually were… that said… continuing the introductory posts… i’m branching into books today with three from my “recently read” list… enjoy…

DISCUSSERING AMERICA…

now playing: America – Simon and Garfunkel

Well, i recently read two books about America… both were written by comedians and both have “America” in the title… that’s about where the similarities end… Stephen Colbert and Brad Stine would probably be at the opposite ends of the table in the banquet of life, but both profess a common affection for this country that they both call home… and, perhaps that’s exactly what makes the grand ole US of A such a great place to call home…

so, first up is Mr. Colbert’s pseudo-conservative ramblings packaged cleverly in a first-edition volume complete with stickers, activity pages, and a handy bookmark ribbon… and yes, Colbert has made his living playing the exaggerated stereotype and, though it can be hit or miss, many times the result is hilarious on television… in printed format, however, it’s more accurately miss or hit… it’s not that it isn’t an entertaining book, but unfortunately, many of the jokes were already familiar or just fell flat without the props or delivery… all in all, i enjoyed the book, but it’s not one that i’ll be reading again…



and in this corner, weighing in lightly, it’s an actual conservative, a stand-up comedian by trade with a budding acting career (perhaps)… it’s Brad Stine and his book, Live from Middle America… and while there are no puzzles, word searches, or pictures for that matter, the book still caters to the A.D.D. crowd that clearly dominates our cultural landscape these days… with short, punchy chapters that sort of build on one another, but stand alone easily and can be read days, even weeks, apart, without missing a beat…

in all honesty, the book reads much like a standup show is performed, basically picking a topic, mining it of all available punchlines and then moving on… lacking is the effect of in-person delivery, which often results in arriving at the punch before the words on the page are ever read… so, while the book certainly has its share of laughs (or perhaps chuckles), it probably would have worked better as an audiobook or, as i’m sure it has been on some level, as part of Brad’s stand-up routine…

“GET” LOST…
now playing: Losing My Religion – R.E.M.

it will come as no surprise that i happen to watch a certain show called LOST… so, when i was made aware of an upcoming book from one Chris Seay that promised to compare the engrossing narrative of my current favorite television action drama to the best narrative of all time, well i was immediately hooked and interested…

it wasn’t much longer before The Gospel According to Lost arrived in my mailbox ready for my consumption… in hindsight, i probably shouldn’t have read “Doc” Jensen’s extensive series of columns about the thread of redemption found throughout LOST before reading this book, nor should i have then expected this book to cover the same ground more thoroughly… but i did… and it doesn’t… and that’s actually fine…

truth be told, i was a little taken aback that “Doc” – of whom i knew and still know very little in regards to spiritual matters – seemed to have put together a more Biblically-based perspective for understanding the show’s core message… but in reality, Seay, who is a pastor – this much i know – takes a cue from “Darlton” and focuses more intently on the individual characters than the overarching themes of the story…

and to be fair, these chapter-by-chapter character studies are pretty interesting and certainly tie into a Biblical perspective as one might expect… it simply wasn’t what i expected to be reading… and as i stop to think about it, that’s probably good, too… either way you look at it, though, this “Gospel” is an enjoyable, insightful read and it certainly sheds light on LOST from an angle that’s not often shared…

NO MAS…

okay, so that’s that for the time being… i do still have one more set of mashed potatoes to discuss before we can begin the “regularly scheduled” episodes… and i’ll try to do that sooner rather than later… i suppose we’ll see though… i do have something else that’s rather pressing should i completely follow through on it… (which would be some kind of crazy, let me tell you)…

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television23 Mar 2010 10:29 pm

and now we’re down to eleven… and i had it right last week, let’s see if i can get it right this week… Billboard number ones this week… i hear that they worked with one Miley Cyrus – who coincidentally has a movie coming out next weekend… no pressure, but the loser doesn’t get to go on the tour… once again, the ridiculous “Come On Down” voice introduces the judges and we’re ready for a showdown… okay, so my pre-pick for the bottom three and going home are Paige, Tim, and Andrew, with Paige being crumpled up and tossed in the waste bin… woah, Magnus Ver Magnussen looks freaky… on with the show…

ELEVEN MAGIC…

now playing: Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas

okay, i love how Miley says that she wasn’t sure how to correct the contestants because she didn’t think they were doing anything wrong… then she met them face-to-face and she knew right away…

Lee “Da Wise Guy”… singing The Letter by The Boxtops… Miley thinks that he has a tremendous voice… i still think he stinks… but he’s really popular and the judges will rave about him no matter what he sounds like… he’s not too bad actually, this is a way old song, but it suits his vocal for the most part… gives him a chance to scream like an idiot and try for some soft moments, too… and there’s not much of a melody, so it works really well for him… he was already safe, but now it’s rightfully so… Randy says he knocked it out of the “box” (get it, Box tops)… Ellen rambles on and on about a pen… i have a favorite pen actually… the Parker Jotter, FYI… Kara says that it was his best performance EVAR…. Simon says it wasn’t recordable, it was corny and not at all contemporary…

“Paige Turner”… the ring stealer… they steals me, my precious… singing Against All Odds by one of the best ever, Phil Collins… and she’s sitting on the steps talking about standing here… and she sounds terrified, horrible, and i do believe that’s the ball game folks…. skipped or forgot the lyrics… and she’s trying as hard as she can to pull it together, but that’s all she wrote folks… she better hope for a LOT of sympathy votes… simply AWFUL… Randy says it was honestly terrible… Ellen says at least she didn’t fall down in those high, high, heels, and she’s afraid to talk about the music… Kara says that Paige must’ve simply stopped trying because it might have been the worst vocal of the season… Simon asks her how she thought she did… (she struggled)… Simon responds that it just got worse the longer she sang…

Tim “The Partidge”… Tim wants to take on Queen… Why?… death wish… singing the Ricky Nelson version of Crazy Little Thing Called Love… (okay, i totally dated myself there)… so, somewhere along the line, he’s been coached up to really take advantage of the “Zac Effron” factor, because the vocal isn’t that great at all, but no one will remember that… they’ll remember the slide across the stage, the incredible stage presence (where did THAT come from?)… and he’ll probably be safe despite the lazy vocal… Randy says it’s a singing competition and all that was exciting was the slide… Ellen says that he’s got fans, but felt like a corny High School Musical audition… Kara says something about Zac Effron and that he seems like he’s overconfident and he’s got a lot of work to do… Simon says that it made sense to do the slide in order to distract from the singing… that he needs singing lessons, take the show seriously, and stop picking silly songs…

now playing: Down – Jay Sean

Aaron Aaron… my foot’s asleep and my salad is getting warm… we’re supposed to go easy on him, because his throat is messed up… Aaron may have a crush on Miley, but i assume that by “Miley” he means “Justin Bieber”… singing AaronSmith’s – er Aerosmith’s Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing… apparently from the Broadway, sorry, off-Broadway version of Armageddon… i suppose that it’s got some slight tinge of country to it, but he’s just kind of standing there, trying not to strain his already limited vocal… and it’s alright… i can handle that… should be safe, tonsilitis or not… Randy says thank God someone can sing in this contest… Ellen says something about him being in third grade and still knowing how to pick the right song… Kara says that it really was a great song choice, despite the rough vocals and lack of stage presence… Simon says he’s a try-er… perhaps a bit old fashioned, but there’s zero chance that he’ll go home… i think he propositioned Miley Cyrus off on Aaron’s behalf… Ryan calls him David Archuleta… nice…

Crystal BoSAWX… you can just tell that Crystal wants to choke Miley Cyrus… she just looks like she has a certain level of disdain towards her… she’s singing Me and Bobby McGee Janis Joplin and fulfilling all the stereotypes surrounding her… well everybody’s gonna love it, but i think she looks terrible and she’s just screaching through all that mess… i mean, that’s the song and all, and she’s really good, but she’s way overrated… and so stinking arrogant… Randy says that she’s the definition of a star folk singer… Ellen plays the clairvoyant about the song choice then tells her to interact with the crowd more… Kara asks her if she was thinking at all, because she seemed more free than in past weeks… Simon says don’t change a thing, because it was as good as Pink…

BIG MIKE… new father seducing Miley Cyrus… awesome… singing When a Man Loves a Woman and straight killing it… that is a phenomenal vocal… and what i like the best about this performance is that he’s taken this killer bluesy rock song and turned it slightly off kilter, making it a soul jam that rivals Boys II Men… and he’s got the look, the voice, and it’s a winner… no doubt about it… Randy says he can sing the “i don’t know what” out of the song… Ellen says that it was safe but she loves him… Kara says she loves him, but it was indulgent… Simon says that the arrangement kept the song from being current… loungy? this from Kara who’s been complaining about people not connecting with the song… he gets all cheesy and corny to the sappy love song and she doesn’t like it… whatevs…

Andrew “The Custodian”… Miley says put that guitar down and loosen up… he sings Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through the Grapevine and i can’t help but think that he actually looks like one of the raisins from those commercials… (i know, dating myself again)… he’s still really stiff to be honest and he’s walking around like he lost his guitar and he’s looking for it… the vocal is equally stiff and really, almost snarky… why on earth did he take that soulful tune and ignore the soul in lieu of a choppy, pop arrangement? bad performance… bad vocal… bad everything… Randy says it wasn’t the right vocal and it wasn’t good… Ellen says it wasn’t very good… Kara once again tells him to recapture that Straight Up moment… Simon says he’s probably overrated and that he sucked the soul out of that song…

now playing: Hey Ya – Outkast

Katie “The Mouse”… Katie asks Miley how to deal with mean people who criticize her… silly… you just have to stop sucking and people sill stop picking on you… singing a terrible song, Fergie’s Big Girls Don’t Cry… and she starts off well, but by the time she gets to the jump, she’s about three quarters of a note flat… and the chorus isn’t that great… she worked the crowd a bit, which is good and she should be fine… i think that the outfit is from the eighties… Randy says that it was pitchy, but she’s listening… i missed Ellen’s comments, but i’m sure they didn’t make much sense… Kara says that she found the right avenue, but she’s still got mad pitch issues… Simon says that Miley was the best thing that ever happened to Katie and i can’t help but notice how many millions of miles any of these contestants would have to travel to even be in Miley’s shadow…

Casey “Sawyer” James… singing The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News? yeah… sweet… he’s probably the only person to meet Miley Cyrus and gush about her dad… awesome… i’m starting to like this guy… he’s playing the guitar somewhat… and his vocal is really on point for the song… it’s funny how the band has gotten into costume for this performance… it’s a slightly toned down arrangement, but only slightly… and, by gosh, by golly, this dude has just put down my favorite performance of the night… Randy says he wasn’t a fan of the song choice, but he did it really well… Ellen also hates on Huey, but she loves her some Casey… Kara says that he’s on another level… Simon says that it was old fashioned song, like an eighties cover band, nothing original or challenging…

“Ay, Ay, Bee Bee, see see, DIDI”… singing a Linda Ronstadt’s You’re No Good… really, why would you sing a song that repeats the phrase “no good” over and over and over?… bad choice… and really, it’s not that good… she’s off on the vocal and the arrangement’s nothing to speak of… really a dud… and being that she’s just not going to stick around for the long haul… Randy says that it was pitchy… i ate my salad while Ellen and Kara spoke… and Simon points out the irony of repeating “you’re no good” throughout a bad song… totally reading over my shoulder, Simon…

Siobhan MAGNUS VER MAGNUSON… oh my gosh, she’s such a dork… and the worst part is, i’m pretty sure it’s all an act… anyway… singing Superstitious by Stevie Wonder… and she looks like a complete idiot in that costume… i mean outfit… Stevie is, of course, one of the most difficult people to cover… his voice is so, so, distinct and no one can run like him… (vocally)… she sounds simply alright and then she attacks our senses with her owl screams for the big finale… prepare for the gushing… Randy says he loved it… Ellen just really has no place on the panel, “More please”… Kara says that it wasn’t her best performance, but that last note is just amazing… Simon says that the screaming at the end is becoming a thing and that she didn’t hit the notes like she has in the past… overall, he mentions that they all need to push themselves a little more…

ICE, ICE BABY… TAKE OFF…

now playing: Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice

so, my pre-picks were pretty spot on from what i can tell… i was amazed to learn as i was picking the songs for each section that Miley doesn’t have any number ones… is that right? anyway… matter at hand… bottom three, i’ll say Paige – who was absolutely horrible… Andrew – who is way out of his league… and DiDi – who really stumbled through that bad, bad performance… with Paige heading home… i just don’t see any reason for her to stick around…

who ya got, folks? am i way off or right on?

peace… love… bdg…

LOST&pop culture&television17 Mar 2010 04:31 pm

okay, so i blew it on the DVR front yet again, and my viewing of LOST has been delayed… however, thanks to the miracle of technology, it’s only a short delay… this episode is called “RECON” and deals with Sawyer… So, presumably, we’ll find out what happened to Sawyer after he left the cave with smokeLocke vowing to leave the island forever… what i’m watching for are answers to the following questions… Where has Sawyer been? Is he really in cahoots with smokeLocke or is he running a con? Is he an honest man in the _X timeline? these and many more… off we go…

QUICK NOTE: there ARE actual thoughts and reactions at the bottom of this, so, if you skip over this post you miss that, too…

RECON-NECTING WITH SAWYER
now playing: Recon – LOST Season 6, Episode

no flashbacks… we’re instantly in the story… Sawyer is at Claire’s flat, making tea… he’s caring for Jin.. wakes Jin up and Jin wants to get away… Sawyer says he’s with Locke… he wants to get off the island… Sawyer promises to help Jin reunite with Sun… they’re back from storming the temple… Sayid, Claire, smokeLocke, and, oh, yeah, Kate… Hi yourself…

[_x}Sawyer, a.k.a. Jimmy, doing Sawyer things in bed with a gal… he’s late for an important meeting… ah, it’s the con where he grabs the briefcase and money falls out… but she pulls a gun… she’s married to a con… he calms her down… he wants her to believe that he’s working with the police trying to catch her husband… magic word: LaFluer… Awesome… it’s MILES… Jim and Miles are cop partners… “You’re a cop?!” “Surprise”…

L-O-S-T…

back at Claire’s… she’s fondly looking at the squirrel baby… Kate approaches and asks about the flat and the baby… “It’s all I had”… smokeLocke calls the meeting to order… we have to take advantage of the daylight… he tells them that the black smoke killed whoever stayed at the temple… Claire holds Kate’s hand… smokeLocke promises to take care of everyone…

Sawyer approaches Kate for conversation… asks about Jack, Hurley, and the rest of them… Miles?… Kate doesn’t know… she asks Sawyer if he’s with Locke now… “I ain’t with anybody, Kate”…

[_x}Det. James Ford, tracking down suspects… looking for Anthony Cooper… Miles brings coffee and seems to be unaware of this “assignment”… Miles has gotten him a date for tonight… “Do you wanna die alone?”… Jim tells Miles it’s about Laker’s tickets… Miles sees through Jim… asks if he’s lying… “Why would I lie”…

smokeLocke leading his peeps through the jungle… tells them to set up camp for a couple days… Sawyer wants to know when they’re getting off this rock… smokeLocke takes him aside and wishes that he hadn’t interrupted… Sawyer asks how smokeLocke saved everyone from “that smoke thing”… “I’m the smoke thing”… stare down… Sawyer asks why he killed the others… smokeLocke says they had a chance to come with him, but they think they’re protecting the island from him… “It’s either kill or be killed and I don’t wanna be killed”…

smokeLocke takes Sawyer to the canoe… tells him to go to Hydra island and check out the plane… Sawyer is cantankerous… do some recon… Sawyer asks about safety… smokeLocke tells him that he’s the best liar he’s ever met… here’s the mission: go to Hydra, infiltrate the people, gain their trust, get on the plane, fly away and never look back…

[_x]blind date… Jim is looking for a red head… by golly it’s Charlotte… fantastic… too bad it wasn’t Juliet… she’s an archaeologist… he asks if she has a whip… she asks why he became a cop… he references Bullitt and i’m pretty sure that’s not the first time… she hasn’t seen it… i haven’t either… she cuts to the chase… asks for the truth… he realized that he could’ve become a criminal or a cop and he chose cop… she’s clearly turned on by that…

[_x]they bed… he gets her some water… she wants to borrow a tee shirt… she rifles through his drawers… (dresser drawers this time)… three books… Watership Down is on top… she finds a family photo and a file labeled “Sawyer”… newspaper clipping about his father’s murder/suicide when he was nine… he catches her… i don’t think she’s gonna get that water… he’s angry and throws her out… she tries to explain that she didn’t see anything… she leaves…

Sawyer makes it to the Hydra island… sees the cages… looks in on Kate’s captivity dress and relives the past… as if the dress is what he remembers…

Kate approaches Sayid… asks if he believes smokeLocke… he does… she asks if he’s okay… “no”… woah! Claire jumps Kate with a knife… we knew it was coming… she tries to kill Kate… smokeLocke breaks it up and smacks Claire before sending her to the fire… asks Kate if she’s alright… “no”…

zee plane, zee plane!… Sawyer sees the Ajira plane, fully in tact… he’s checking it out as if he knows what to look for in a plane… checks the firepit… finds a trail leading away… follows said trail… finds death and all her friends… hears someone running around… someone with long hair who isn’t quite as fast as him… he tackles her… she’s the only one left…

[_x]Liam is looking for Charlie but keeps getting turned away… Jim doesn’t help him… Miles confronts Jim in the locker room… Jim thinks it’s about Charlotte… it’s really about his trip to Australia… he’s been lying to Miles… and now that he’s confronted, he tells Miles it’s none of his business… Miles agrees and de-partners him… Sawyer stares into a mirror and fury rises within him… rage! punches the mirror… mirrors are important, by the way…

Sawyer offers her some water… her name is Zoe… she thought she knew everyone on the plane, but she doesn’t know him… he tells her he didn’t come on the plane… “long story”… he asks what killed everyone?… she explains that she was getting wood while everyone was waiting to be rescued… she heard screaming… when she came back, they were all dead… she dragged them all to that pile that Sawyer found… he offers to take her back to the other island and his group of people… “thank God”… “Trust me, God’s got nothing to do with it”…

Kate is off crying in the trees… she really isn’t alright… here comes smokeLocke… he apologizes and takes responsibility for Claire’s attack… he told her that the others had taken Aaron to give her an enemy that would “keep her going”… he gave her something to hate… then Kate ruined it by telling her the truth… “very insightful, coming from a dead man”… “nobody’s perfect”… smokeLocke extends his promise of safety to Kate… she asks where Sawyer went and he says that he’ll show her…

Zoe and Sawyer are walking along the beach back to the canoe… talking about the plane… Zoe asks a lot of questions… i suspect her of foul play… Sawyer seems to suspect her as well… has asks her where the plane was headed and why she was going to Guam… he pulls a gun… she’s not that good… sure enough, she’s not what she appears to be… she whistles and the crew appears from the tree line with rifles and all… Sawyer is captured…

smokeLocke walks Kate to the canoe beach… he sits down… looking out at the Hydra island… she complains that he could’ve just told her where he sent Sawyer… but then they wouldn’t have been able to chat… “I am not a dead man”… he tells her that he understands how she’s feeling… his mother was crazy… she was a very disturbed woman… he had some growing pains and problems that he needs to work through… they could’ve been avoided if things were different… “why are you telling me this?”… “Aaron has a crazy mother, too”…

Sawyer is marched away to… WHAT? Widmore’s submarine!!! Sawyer gets in…

[_x]Jim comes home from a long day at work… grabs a beer and a TV dinner and sits down to a good old episode of Little House on the Prarie Michael Landon drops some knowledge about enjoying life and realizing that people aren’t really gone when they die… Jim doesn’t seem to approve… he gets up and leaves only to darken the doorstep of one Charlette Lewis… he has a sunflower and a six-pack (talk about classy), but she’s not having it… she tells him that he blew it… he leaves the flower and keeps the beer…

back in the sub… Sawyer is being led to “him”… he stops and asks about a locked room… Zoe takes him all the way to Widmore, who makes her leave before introducing himself… Sawyer says he knows Widmore is the man who sent the freighter to the island to kill everyone… “It’s sad how little you really do know”… Widmore asks Sawyer why he came to Hydra… Locke. Locke’s dead… “We both know that’s not Locke”… Sawyer lobbies for a deal… he promises to tell smokeLocke that the coast is clear and bring him to Widmore like a lamb to the slaughter… Widmore asks the price… 1. the people on Sawyer’s boat don’t get killed…. 2. Safe passage off the island… this is Sawyer at his finest… they strike a deal…

Kate is suddenly by herself again… approached by Claire… kind of a moment, but Kate is still distrusting… Claire apologizes, thanks Kate for taking care of Aaron, apologizes again with a long hug…

Sawyer comes back… greeted by smokeLocke… they’re all dead over there… what happened? he doesn’t know… “What do you know, James?”… okay, so he’s telling smokeLocke about Widmore… what?… smokeLocke doesn’t look happy… Sawyer tells smokeLocke everything… then strikes another deal…

[_x]Jim honks at Miles… waves him into his car… hands him the binder… tells him the whole story… he’s been hunting Sawyer down since he went to the police academy… Anthony Cooper is the name… Jim’s planning on finding the right one and killing him… looks like Zoe just smashed Jim’s car… oh, no… it’s Kate… he caught her…

Kate poking the fire… Sawyer is back, looking for dinner… maybe rabbit… (maybe a white rabbit)… Kate asks why he’s “running errands” for smokeLocke… he’s not… he tells her about Widmore and smokeLocke and that he’s stoking the fires of a feud between them… then, while they’re fighting it out, he’s going to stage a getaway in the sub with Kate…

L-O-S-T

THOUGHTS ON THE TOPIC…

okay, so this is where i would typically say thanks for playing, i’ll get back to you with more thoughts later, but since i’m so very fear behind and not catching up anytime soon, i’m going to talk a little bit about my first impressions… a few things that stood out, made sense, or whatever…

by the way, if you want a more straight-laced summary, you know, without the snarkiness here and there, don’t forget to read what Robin had to say about this episode at LOST Explained… I haven’t read it yet, but i know it’s good because it’s always good…

okay, i’ll limit myself to three things and try to tackle them briefly… first, the questions… Yes, Sawyer is still Sawyer… Yes, he’s a good guy in _x – sort of – at least in the same way that he’s a bad guy in the island story… sure he’s a con man / cop, but he has a tender heart / raging desire for revenge… anyway, as for who’s team he’s on, he remains loyal to the few who have cared at all about him… still focused on being in control and accomplishing what needs to be done and still patient in his pursuit… and never, NEVER tipping his hand… who else would play both sides of the coin like he did with Widmore and smokeLocke? it will be some kind of spectacular to see that all play out…

Second, other character notes… Kate is still not won over to smokeLocke… she knows he’s not Locke, she wasn’t sold on Locke to begin with, she probably doesn’t know the full extent of his identity, but she doesn’t really trust him… that he’s allowing her to stick around is a little odd, but i suppose the others all just think he’ll keep them safe and maybe he is underestimating her as well… Sayid and Claire are under his voodoo magic… Jin seems impenetrable, as he’s solely focused on finding Sun, but Sawyer at least kept him at bay…

Third, i think there are officially three sides to this war now… Widmore’s side, smokeLocke’s side, and Ilana’s side… i know a lot of people are trying to put Widmore on one side or the other, and last week’s mention of the Hydra station made it seem that he was on smokeLocke’s “team”… but the pile-ons make that seem less likely… and perhaps he’s on Ilana’s side, but perhaps not… if so, we know that Ben’s redemption will become an issue once he and Charles are aware of each other on the island… X-factors in this whole conflict are Lipidus and Desmond… both i’m sure play a key role in the conclusion of this series…

and that’s all i have time for right now… i have some serious thoughts brewing about how the island relates to the Gospel of John (which is interesting because Henry Ian Cusick was in a film adaptation of John)… thoughts on how everyone’s got it all backwards as far as protection is concerned… the importance of Lipidus… the replacement theory… and more… in due time…

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television16 Mar 2010 10:26 pm

okay, so i’m running slightly behind schedule tonight and it’s two hours long so i can’t afford to dilly-dally… i don’t like the voiceover intros for the judges and such… seems incredibly silly… so, tonight is the first week of “the final countdown”… tweleve contestants left and it’s for all the beans… or bananas as Ellen would probably say…

tonight, they’re singing songs from the Rolling Stones, a band i never really quite got… i don’t know too many of their songs and, from all that i could ever tell, they’re pretty much just a bunch of sickly looking dudes flailing about the stage and screaming… anyway, my pre-show prediction is that we’ll see Paige, Tim, and Lacey in the bottom three with Paige going home… okay, they’re starting…

CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN

now playing: Papa Was a Rolling Stone – The Temptations

BIG MIKE… from the pimp spot all the way to the forget-me-spot… singing… um… Miss You… and lighting up the stage… he’s got a decent tone going on… a fair amount of energy… and he’s really working it… this is a great way to start out the night… and it’s a good soulful arrangement for him… it really suits him… Randy says he slayed it… Ellen posits, “What’s not to like?”… Kara says he was hot on stage and had a swagger… Simon says that he’s definitely confident, but kind of corny at times… Simon and Ryan have a rather uncomfortable moment or two…

“Ay, Ay, Bee Bee, see see, DIDI”… i think that DiDi will go pretty far, maybe about halfway through the contestants list here, but Rolling Stones probably won’t fit her too well… singing Playing With Fire… she’s kind of got that Madonna look going on… what was that video with the burning cross?… i can’t remember… (afterthought: Like a Prayer)… she sounds alright… it’s a really quiet song and build around the chorus seems to work for her… i’m pretty sure that she just forgot a bunch of words… and she totally blew those big notes… she could’ve done much better than that… Randy says that she was on fire… Ellen tries to be funny by pointing out the two-syllable pronunciation of “fire”… (fail)… Kara says it was two steps forward (again, playing Paula’s role)… Simon says it was a good song choice and that she held it together well, despite some rough moments…

Casey “Sawyer” James… so, we get to reflect on Casey’s life and they try to build a convincing “story” for him… and, oh, an old picture of him singing without a shirt on… surprise… singing It’s All Over Now… he’s pretty much a lock for the top three… oh, by the way, i’ll probably (pending time) rank the contestants tonight and pick the overall order of dismissal too… not much to say about this performance… it’s exactly what i expected… really solid, but extremely safe… a definite lay-up instead of a dunk, but still gets the points on the board… Randy says that he’s back… Ellen reminds us of her sexual orientation… blonde… Kara says that he was a rock star… best performance since they’ve met… Simon says not really… it was like an audition and he needs to push himself to become a bigger persona on stage…

now playing: Proud Mary – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Lacey “The Token Red-haired Gal” Brown…strange outfit… kind of like a Kirk Douglas sailor shirt from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but cut off with a skin-toned tube top… anyway… singing Ruby Tuesday… it’s really an odd look actually… it’s a bit on the distracting side… perhaps not enough… she did well on the verse, but she really is a timid little thing and she blew the vocal on the chorus… yeah, her clock is ticking… she’ll make a fine director of music at a church somewhere… Randy says it was “interesting” and she “kind of held it together”… Ellen notes that she likes to sit on the edge of things… that it was sleepy, but she’s a fan… Kara says it was fifty-fifty… she can do better… Simon says that she was perhaps overthinking the performance…

Andrew “The Custodian”… so, story is… don’t leave your keys unguarded around Andrew… so, he’s singing Gimme Shelter and the first thing we notice is that the sound is messed up… or i’ve lost a good deal of my hearing suddenly… this is a rather uncomfortable performance for me… he seems incredibly stiff… and there’s absolutely no, um, believability… he needs to practice that custodian trade and clean up these vocals… they’re awful… really, really bad way to start off the top twelve, dude… Randy says it was pitchy all over the place… Ellen says it was his best ever… Kara talks about making a connection to the song… it’s about war… Simon asks if he should’ve drove up in a tank to perform it… then he says that the performance left him with mixed feelings…

Katie “The Mouse”… singing Wild Horses… wow… interesting choice for the lighting… she’s sitting on a stool, bathed in a spotlight and she’s singing way better than one would expect… she’s killing the vocal… it’s still kind of a boring song and she’s got no idea how to command the stage, but she’s getting better… it was very controlled and, even though she’s got some room to grow, but she’s laid some really solid groundwork here… not spectacular, but a good job… Randy says that she sang it really well… Ellen giggles about her dress and talks about pitchiness… Kara says that it was a good song choice and it was pretty good… Simon says it was the first time she picked the right song and she gave it 100%….

now playing: Roll Over Beethoven – Chuck Berry

Tim “The Partidge”… how cute, they always used to pretend that he was a little girl… good times, good times… looking for independence, Tim is singing Under My Thumb… oh, he looks like Zach Effron tonight… well played… and he’s singing a Jason Mraz-like, reggae-lite version of this song… he really seems incredibly young and unsure of what he’s supposed to be doing, but it was alright i suppose… nothing really to write home about… Randy says he didn’t get it or like it… Ellen says that it was too laid back and as if it was performed at a resort somewhere… Kara says that she has to at least applaud him for doing something incredible to the song and making it his own… Simon agrees that he did something different, but it just didn’t work…

Siobhan MAGNUS VER MAGNUSON… wow, forget her family, those glasses are HUGE… ooh, she was on the floor… (the screen was on the floor)… singing Paint It Black… and she’s got her hair all dolled up and she’s wearing black, sitting on the stairs to start off… oh, combat boots… this arrangement is really odd… and the vocal is not at all working for me… she hits some impact notes, but she’s way off the rest of the time… and those lips are uber shiny… and now she’s shrieking because it worked a couple weeks ago… that ending sounded like Stairway to Heaven… Randy says that was hot… Ellen says that she rises above like snookie’s poof?… (follow-up: apparently that’s a Jersey Shore reference… glad i didn’t know that)… Kara is having hot flashes, er flashbacks of Adam Lambert… Simon agrees that it was the standout performance of the night… they may try to make her the dark horse in this race… she’ll be around much longer than many of us can stand…

Lee “Da Wise Guy”… the paint salesman… the next David Cook/wanna-be Daugtry… i feel like crying and he hasn’t even started yet… singing Beast of Burden… well, i’ll be… this really isn’t that bad… it’s rather under control and very toned down… he’s not screaming his head off and trying to prove that he’s a powerful manly man who growls when he sings… he’s probably just too nervous to express himself… pretty sleepy, but it’s not bad… i’ve never been pleased with his performance before… Randy says it was dope… Ellen says she expected more and it just didn’t come together – like a hospital gown (almost, but not quite there)… Kara says it showed tremendous growth… Simon says he really like him, but he needs to shine and steal himself a moment…

now playing: That’s Just the Way We Roll – Jonas Brothers

“Paige Turner”… singing Honky Tonk Women… i can’t imagine that she’s going to do an even remotely good job with the Rolling Stones… and so far, i’m absolutely right… it’s a complete mismatch of styles converging here on this song… she really has some potentially killer vocals, but they really don’t fit this song well and overall, it’s blocked out of your mind by the rest of the song being an uncomfortable fit… Randy says that she did a really good job… Ellen points out that she struggled with her voice, but still managed to do a good job… Kara says that she hit a lot of big notes in spite of being sick… Simon says she still hasn’t quite connected, but she showed some glimpses of the big vocals that they like…

Aaron Aaron… ugh… his mom’s name is Kelly Kelly? awesome… singing Angie… and sitting on the steps, wearing a leather shirt and acting like a complete poser… at least he’s picked a mellow song that allows him to limit the range that he attempts to sing in… well, he wasn’t bad, per se, but that was a horribly boring song for me… Randy mentions a Justin Timberlake similarity… Ellen compares his hair to hers… Kara says he really showed her… Simon says that he expected a disaster, but he chose the right song and it worked… (oh, and then he mentions the limits to the vocal range… he’s clearly reading over my shoulder)…

Crystal BoSAWX… oh, what a surprise… let’s pimp the homeless chick… she’s wearing those thick leather bracelet things that are so very irritating… singing You Can’t Always Get What You Want… if this song was her life’s motto, i think the rest of the sentence would be something like, “… but you can certainly complain about it until people pity you”… oh, someone wrote on her guitar… so, i suppose this is a good arrangement… she’s got some moments here and there that make it poppin, but i think it was kind of just alright for me on the whole… i think she’s a one-trick pony to be honest… Randy says it wasn’t her best, but it was a hot one… Ellen says she lacked personality tonight, but it was really good… Kara says that she seemed a little cocky, er, comfortable… Simon asks what she meant by “overthinking” to which she responds “I don’t know”… brilliant… Simon continues to say that she was the favorite coming into tonight, but she wasn’t the best tonight…

ROLL THE CREDITS…

now playing: Let It Roll – Group 1 Crew

so, as i’m already out of time, i’ll try to make this speedy… i think that Lacey was clearly the worst performance tonight and she might actually say goodnight for good… let’s go with a bottom three of Andrew, Paige, and Lacey, with Lacey hanging it up tonight… which brings me to my next little trinket… the order in which they will all leave the show is as follows: 12. Paige, 11. Andrew, 10. Lacey, 9. Aaron, 8. Tim, 7. DiDi, 6. Katie, 5. Siobhan, 4. Michael, 3. Lee, 2. Crystal, 1. Casey… obviously, i picked that list before watching tonight, and i didn’t put a lot of thought into it but that was just the way it played out as i looked at the list before tonight’s performances…

and now, i’m off… but i leave you with a couple questions… first, who’s going home tomorrow? second, who’s going to win it all?

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&Movies&pop culture&television10 Mar 2010 11:32 pm

Alrighty folks, it’s time for the guys to dig their heels in and try to hit the right notes… eight becomes six tomorrow and tonight’s the night to shine or burn out… for kicks, i’ll go ahead and make some “pre-game” picks and, sight unseen (and sound unheard) i’m gonna say goodbye to Tim and Toderick… though, i’d like to say goodbye to Lee and Aaron… okay, i’m about ready to start this up, we’ve got enough of a buffer i think to skip through all the obnoxious commercials and just watch the show…

I’M FULL, I ALREADY EIGHT…

now playing: Tonight, Tonight, Tonight – Genesis

Lee “Da Wise Guy”… singing an Owl City track, Fireflies… i think i’ve been utterly schooled on Owl City enough to no longer be a fan of the song or the band… (thanks “Twitterati”)… okay, well, after hearing this rendition, i think i would be inclined to like Owl City or at least appreciate them again… my gosh, there is a melody in there somewhere… his vocal absolutely SUCKS… but the judges loves him, he’s their precious… 2 out of 10 for me… Randy says he worked it out, despite some (SOME????) pitch problems… Ellen says he’s adorable and she liked the rock edge to it… Kara says that he made the song better than the original… very solid… Simon says that there’s nothing to rave about and starts talking about having a moment… (is ‘e ‘avin’ a laugh?)… i really, really don’t get the love for this guy… he sounds like crap…

Alex “THE MULLET”… singing Trouble… and standing in the center of stage like a soldier who’s been ordered not to move… he’s playing the guitar and playing the ladies with his batted eyelashes and biting his lip… what can i say? dude has some serious chops and he’s going to keep getting better each week… not much energy, but incredibly solid performance… Randy says that he wasn’t wow’ed by it and he could’ve sped it up a bit… Ellen says he’s a mushy banana and that he’s ripening quickly (a.k.a. getting better each week)… Kara says that he’s the only thing holding him back… he’s too stiff… Simon agrees that he’s too focused on delivering the performance and loosen up… imagine Randy in a bikini…

Tim Urban… why on earth would ANYONE sing this song on American Idol?… i think it was Kevin Max who told me that no one should ever cover this song period… but seriously, on stage in front of millions with the gong of non-voters waiting in the wings… not a good idea… and, while he didn’t ruin it – he held his tone rather nicely – but he turned it a little too poppy for me… at least he didn’t try to do too much with it… he stayed well within his range… Randy says good job… Ellen runs on stage and gives him a hug… FANTASTIC!… Kara says he’s in it (he’s stunned)… Simon takes credit and tells him that it was his best performance of the contest… then the judges all fight over credit…

Andrew Garcia… singing X-tina’s Genie in a Bottle… which he just learned this week… and he’s taking a decidedly “Travis” take on it… this is pretty much what the judges have been begging him for ever since he did Straight Up… i just have to wonder if they’re not going to be careful what they wish for in the future… it’s a bit flat and formulaic… like, hey, i’ve got this program that turns pop songs into acoustic little ditties and since it worked for Paula, it’s gonna work for X-tina… well, yeah, kind of boring… Randy says it didn’t quite work for him… Ellen liked it… Kara says it just wasn’t great… Simon says it was a little bit desperate…

now playing: Hanging By a Moment – Lifehouse

Casey “Sawyer” James… MAN! Iron Man 2 looks GOOOOOOOD!… speaking of looking good… Casey’s biggest asset is his looks… tonight, he’s singing You’ll Think of Me by Keith Urban… going country… and you have to wonder if this is really who he is… and if so, why has it taken this long to show these colors… man, his vocal is really good on this though… kind of a cross between Rob Thomas and Adam Duritz (Counting Crows)… i like it… it’s totally goodonya, Casey… Randy says it was too safe… Ellen says she liked it and he likes to sit down… Kara says she’s getting back on the train… step in the right direction… Simon says it was his second best, but not entirely memorable…

Aaron Kelly… more country… singing Lonestar’s I’m Already There… or should i say butchering… he’s already done for me… he’s still looking for the right key… i’m guessing that he’s not going to find it… he’s also apparently looking for the rhythm to sway to… that’s not working out too well either… i’m totally getting deja vu with this performance… what other young kid has taken on a song like this and ruined it?… i don’t like this at all, but he’s a favorite too… Randy says, job well done, this kid can sing, WHAT?… Ellen says he’s real and confident, but it was maybe too much of a song for him… not terrific… Kara says she loves him… but there was no connection… Simon says that’s rubbish, it was the right type of song and it had plenty of emotion… it was a nice song… i think he’s a dork…

Toderick “NUTCRACKER”… oh boy… singing Queen’s Somebody to Love… this can go well or horrible… i’m gonna hope for the former… he’s got some pipes… well, this is an interesting arrangement… i’m usually pretty lenient and i think that this might grow on me, but there’s no time for that in a competition like this, so, i have to say that it was an absolutely foolish decision on Toderick’s part… he’s killing it vocally, but i’m not sure he’s selling it well enough… i liked it, but i’m torn… Randy says he’s back!… Ellen says it was Gospel-esque and it worked… Kara says it was good, but laughable at times because it was fraught with such drama… Simon says that it was like broadway, but way better than [those other guys who were] just sitting on a stool with a guitar…

BIG MIKE… Ryan’s doppelganger… riiiight… This Woman’s Work… not sure i know this song… that’s some high notes though… oh, really, this is from RENT or FAME or something, right?… no?… i don’t know… it’s alright and the vocal is on point, but it’s kind of a boring song to close out the night, isn’t it?… he did a really good job with it though… Randy says WHAT? REALLY? THAT WAS HOT!… Ellen thinks he’s the one to beat now… Kara breaks down into a blubbering, tearful mess because it was so beautiful… Simon says that it was the best performance of any of these live shows…

AND THAT’S ALL HE WROTE…

now playing: Home – Michael Buble

okay, so, that makes things slightly difficult… Tim seemed to gain some traction with that performance… but his only hope is to steal away baby Aaron’s fanbase away from him… and the judges seemed to be doing their darndest to overcompensate for all of the bad performances… this kind of puts Andrew in jeopardy… because they were actually honest with him… so, let’s see… i think Toderick is still in trouble… and i’ll go on a limb (for now) and say that Aaron is too… so, Toderick and Aaron… that’s my immediate pick… what say you?

peace… love… bdg…

LOST&pop culture&television09 Mar 2010 11:30 pm

okay… in keeping with my routine, below is a rundown of this week’s episode of Lost, but first, a promise to come back sometime soon and talk about my thoughts on the episode and the season and the series so far… i promise to come back and type up those thoughts…

THE DOCTOR IS IN…

Now Watching: EPISODE 6.07 – Dr. Linus

previously on Lost… Ben kills Jacob, Jacob takes Jack and Hurley away from the temple, SmokeLocke takes out the temple, Sayid freaks out Ben…

Ben is running terrified through the jungle… runs into the new good guys (Frank, Ilana, Sun, and Miles)… tells them Sayid killed Dogun and Lennon…

Linus teaching… didn’t quite catch that… Prinicpal tells him of budget cuts… Dr. Linus actually… Ben and Artz griping… newLocke says Ben should be the principal…

Ben and gang are trying to figure out what to do next… Ben explains the smoke monster… Ilana asks Miles to listen to Jacob’s ashes… he does… Linus killed him… “whaaaat?” i so love the Ben Linus character… Ilana is not happy… Miles is hilarious… Ben is left out in the cold…

L-O-S-T

Gang and Ben reach the beach… Ilana takes charge and says she’s looking to build shelter… someone start a fire… “Yeah, a fire will fix everything” (Miles)… Ben is trying to convince Ilana that Miles is lying… why?

Dr. Linus making a TV dinner… for his dad, who is on oxygen, but, oh, it’s actually his dad… Ben starts whining about school… his dad says that he wanted so much more for Ben… that’s why he signed up for Dharma… if only they’d stayed… who knows what Ben would’ve become? i know… i know what he would’ve become… doorbell… it’s Alex… Ben cancelled tutoring because he’s in detention all week… reschedules for early tutoring over coffee… he’s the best…

back at the beach… Sun wants to find Jin… no, Ilana wants to find him… she’s supposed to protect the candidates… there are only six left…

Hurley dreaming about cheese carrots… Jack wakes him up and tells him to hurry up so they can get back to the temple… Hurley is stalling… they argue over which is the right way… *POOF* Richard appears and tells them they’re both wrong… Hurley asks Jack if he trusts Richard… “at least he’s not stalling”…

Ben is foraging the old tents… finds an oceanic water bottle… Frank and Ben share a moment wondering what would be different if Frank was flying 815… gun to the neck… Ilana marches Ben up the hill… chains his foot and tells him to dig his own grave…

Tutoring… is that the Black Rock?… quizzing about history… Alex has financial problems and she’s freaking out about the wrong answers… lets slip that the principal is a pervert… she promises to tell him a secret… the principal and the school nurse were, you know, doing it… Ben has a plan, you can see it formulating in his head…

digging… he doesn’t seem too motivated… Miles appears with some jokes, beans, and banana something… Ben offers him 3.2 million dollars… Miles says that Jacob hoped up to the last second that he was wrong about Ben, but i guess he wasn’t… GUNSHOT… DIG!…

Richard, Jack, and Hurley… Hurley brings the cyborg, zombie, etc talk trying to figure out why Richard doesn’t age… Richard says it was a gift and then reveals that he’s taking them to the Black Rock… tells them that the temple is not the place to go, finds out that Hurley talked to Jacob, tells him not to believe anything that Jacob says… then Richard goes off to die because that’s what he has to do…

Ben trying to get Artz in on the plan that’s continuing to form in his head… “can you hack into the nurse’s email account?”… Artz sees through him, that he’s trying to take over the principal’s job… he’ll help, if he gets a good parking spot out of the deal…

Ben is digging…

Richard is in the Black Rock… looking at the chains… his chains? is there a skeleton missing?… Richard heads over to the dynomite… Hurley warns him… it’s time to go… Richard can’t kill himself… he wants Jack to kill him… Richard is ranting about Jacob cursing him… apparently smokeLocke’s words have festered long enough… Richard is the new Locke… he’s doubting that his life has purpose… Jack lights the fuse and decides that it’s a good time to chat…

Richard’s eyes are wide open… Hurley is freaking out… “We gotta go!”… Hurley promises not to leave Jack, then runs off… Jack wants answers… he explains the Lighthouse to Richard, expecting answers… Richard is really anxious… Jack is convinced that he’s invincible… the fuse is almost done… Jack was right!… Richard is incredulous… now what?… “Go back to where we started”…

Ben is digging… here comes the smoke monster… oh it’s smokeLocke… Ben explains why he’s digging his own grave… smokeLocke is trying to recruit Ben to be in charge of the island once the other team leaves the island… smokeLocke unlocks Ben and tells him where to get a rifle… meet up at the Hydra… Ben makes a break for it…

Ben goes to the principal’s office… that’s an OLD laptop… he’s got some printed emails from the nurse… he’s making a power play… counter play… Alex just emailed the principal asking for a recommendation… oooh… check… Ben will have to sacrifice Alex again…

Ben runs and gets his rifle… he’s got Ilana in his crosshairs… he wants to chat… explain his betrayal of Alex… he’s trying to convince her that Jacob cares not… he’s explaining the fear and anguish that led him to kill Jacob… he just wants to leave and join Locke… “because he’s the only one who will have me”… Ilana invites him to stay and then walks away… he kind of follows her…

Dr. Ben enters the principal office turns over the name plaque… he chose to save Alex’s future… but he manipulated enough to get his tutoring session back on…

he’s returning with Ilana… he’s hesitant, but perhaps, fully redeemed?… pauses… puts the gun down and helps Sun with her shelter… that’s a powerful scene right there… Miles digs up the diamonds, Ilana mourns over Jacob’s ashes… Jack, Hurley and Richard come around the bend… happy reunion… but Richard stays away… Ben looks so out of place again…

a submarine… there are people on the beach… WIDMORE!

LOST

nine more episodes until the season finale… that was a wow episode… now it’s time to wrap this up…

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television09 Mar 2010 10:32 pm

okie dokie… we’re down to eight gals and we’re going to get rid of two more tonight… i’m going to pick the two that will leave right now, before they perform and they are… (drumroll)… Lacey and Siobhan… alright… now we’ll see how they actually perform… it’s going to be a tight schedule if they plan on getting all eight in one hour… and no chit chat from Ryan… off we go…

EIGHT IS MORE THAN ENOUGH

now playing: Ladies Night – Kool & The Gang

Katie Stevens… leading off with a Kelly Clarkson tune… never really a good move… but these silly contestants always insist on doing this… Katie has a much manlier voice than Kelly… and the arrangement is significantly slower than i remember Breakaway, but it’s been a while… yeah, so, not the strongest vocal and a little on the sleepy side for me… Randy says listen, um… the song was a little too big for you… indeed… didn’t work… Ellen, wearing a shirt cut from the lining of a picnic basket, says it was a younger song, but she didn’t really feel it… no personality… Kara says that she has a voice for radio… not a face for radio… she needs to figure out who she is… Simon says that she seems confused because she has taken the advice, but she still doesn’t know who she is… A for effort though…

Siobhan MAGNUS VER MAGNUSON… is singing a surprise song for her dad, the nine-time world’s strongest man champion, House of the Rising Sun by The Animals… what an odd choice for an odd little girl… are these the same guys who sing that Big Bad Wolf song? I love that song… it’s probably someone else… of course, now i haven’t really paid attention to this performance, but it seemed to be alright… she actually had a good vocal this time around… it was kind of creepy, but it worked… i shouldn’t have picked her… Randy says it was a hot one… Ellen name drops the city of New Orleans and says it was really good… Kara says that she really liked the acapella on the front… (and the party in the back?)… Simon gives her a little bit of a smackdown, telling her that it was kind of weird and lacking a moment…

Lacey “The Token Red-haired Gal” Brown… singing The Story, by Brandi Carlile… okay… i’ve never in my life heard of this song… Lacey is sitting off on the side of the stage and singing as if she’s telling us a secret… she’s got those bedroom eyes… and i suppose that it was a pretty good performance, definitely suited her vocal, but it seems slightly boring and a tad bit squeaky there towards the end… overall though it was perfect for her… Randy says he loves the crack in her voice and it was her best… Ellen agrees… Kara agrees – she’s back on her path… Simon says that he didn’t like the song, but she sang it really well… possibly forgettable though…

Katelyn Epperly… singing Carol King’s I Feel the Earth Move… and she’s moved into the 70s as she’s standing and wiggling in front of a keyboard… this is a bad performance… seriously, bad… i don’t even think that keyboard is plugged in… she’s just posing and the vocal really isn’t that good and she’s out of breath and she really did just lose control… what a shame… that was wretched… Randy says, uh… it wasn’t the right vibe… Ellen references her boff last week calling a piano a guitar and says it wasn’t enough… Kara says it felt like she was just going, going, going through the motions… (sorry early 90’s Smitty moment)… LESS CORNY? she went the wrong way… Simon says that he likes her hair… that’s about it… it was like a request night at a local bar…

now playing: Single Ladies – Beyonce

DiDi Benami… oh, a Fleetwood Mac song… that’s a risk… funny how i can sing the lyrics, but not know what the song is called… she’s playing the guitar… the actual guitar… and she’s bathed in pink overhead lights… and they’ve given her the split camera view of The Carpenters or something else from the 70s… Brianna? is that it?… why are all the songs so slow and sleepy tonight?… she did a really good job, but really, i thought she might have passed out before it was over… Randy says it probably wasn’t her best, but it was better than last week… Ellen says yes in-DIDI… then she quotes Chumbawumba… Kara says it was one of her favorite moments of the year… Simon agrees, noting that it was head and shoulders above the rest of the girls tonight…

Paige Miles… singing – did he say Charlie Chaplin? is it a silent performance? no… Smile… she’s skewing Willard Scott old on this one… very subtle background music… it’s pretty much acappella and she’s really not holding it together very well… wonder if the monitor is off… something is really off… and, yes, it’s her vocal… really bad performance – even worse than Katelyn’s… should’ve gone with a silent production… Randy giggles and says that it didn’t work at all it was like they were at a banquet… Ellen says that it didn’t shine at all and it was uninspiring… Kara says you had to know that sucked, right? (in so many words)… Simon repeats that it was horrible and an awful arrangement… a “peanut” performance… she’s not smiling now…

Crystal BoSAWX… ugh, Tracy Chapman… pulEEEZE… give me one reason to not fast forward this crappy song… so, she’s got an electric guitar with an amp onstage and she’s doing a great job with the vocal… it’s still a miseable song, but she has just performed it better than i’ve ever heard it before… that’s the best of the night… Randy says this is what the show is about, it was hot… Ellen asks for a thesaurus, and sticks with amazing… Kara says that it was a great song choice and it was exciting… “yay”… Simon says that she’s definitely going to make it through… she’s got confidence and it’s hers to lose…

Lilly “Tinkerbell” Scott… Patsy Cline? Crazy perhaps? love that song… let’s see… oh… I Fall to Pieces… good song, too… this is apparently the Marilyn Monroe version of it… oh and is that an electric banjo? no, probably just a toy… are we really supposed to believe that they’re playing these instruments?… focus on the vocal though… that’s pretty dang cool… i’m sold on that… i liked it… she’s a weird looking gal though… Randy says that she’s in the zone… Ellen says she loves her… Kara says it was contemporary… Simon says she’s brave, but it didn’t have the wow factor…

AND NOW IT’S TIME TO SAY GOODBYE…

now playing: Home – Michael Buble

now, this is a tough one to call… if it’s based on the performances, then Katie, Katelyn, and Paige are really in trouble… since personality is involved, Lacey is possibly in the mix as well… and Katie is probably safe in that regard… so, against my preliminary picks and going with Katelyn and Paige… what say you, dear readers?…

peace… love… bdg…

Next Page »