Saturday, June 30, 2012

Today in music history:1985

Today, we go back to 1985, and find:

"Sussudio" by Phil Collins.

And we continue our streak of terribly boring number one songs.  I literally got distracted twenty seconds into this song, and can't even remember it five minutes after watching it.

What did you think of this one?

Previously in 1985:

Don't You(Forget About Me)

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Everything She Wants


We Are The World

AGT: 6/27 The Stand-bys

Now, after going through an insane 53 acts in two day, we’re going to go through 43 acts in one show.  Luckily, there were two hours to plow through the massive slog that is the stand-bys.  Luckily for us, unluckily for them, the stand-bys by and large did a better job than that the Judges favorites, so what do the judges know?

Format is the same as the previous entry, but a recap of my prediction lingo:
NPIV=Not performing in Vegas
NOOV=Not out of Vegas
Top 48=Moving on to the quarterfinals
NS=Not shown in the audition round

So let’s get right to it!

Magic Acts

Moved on
Hawley Magic did a standard levitation, and very obviously at that, but the judges liked their showmanship, and they moved forward(Top 48)
Jarret and Raja made an entire orchestra appear, though it was very telegraphed as edited(Top 48)

Giani wasn’t shown in the audition rounds, and did a poor mind reading trick.  Milan is not spelled with a ‘B,’ goofball(NS)

Band Acts

Moved on
The All Ways were a generic rock band that didn’t even have the decency to sound good, but with weak competition, they moved on(NOOV)
Wordspit, the Illest still don’t make sense to me, but the judges loved them(Top 48)
The Distinguished Men of Brass impressed again and were sent to New York(Top 48)

The Hillbenders and Dillon Havons had no screen time in the auditions, and were sent packing(NS)
The Emily Anne Band sounded karaoke, and were given the boot(Top 48)

Danger Acts

Moved on
LionDanceMe had a fun costumed balancing act, and were enjoyable, to boot(Top 48)

Cliff’s Demo Team showed why a karate team can’t just show off their moves.  Every move was telegraphs, and the whole thing was rather bland(NS)
Kota Sports did tricks on scooters, which was about as lame as it sounds(NS)
Serengeti Steve’s level of difficulty was inversely proportional to his showmanship.  Who would have guessed kissing a cobra could elicit yawns?(NOOV)

Kid Acts

Moved on
Baby tapper was amazeballs again, I still can’t believe that little girl had the technical ability she does(Top 48)
Danielle Stallings had a monster voice for such a young girl, and nearly rivals Anna Gracemann, in my estimation(NS)
Unity in Motion lived up to their name, and gave a great dance routine(NOOV)

Baby Locker was another incredibly skilled tiny thing, but locking just doesn’t hold the same appeal as a more traditional performance(NS)
The Cos Fam got about as much screen time as they did in the audition rounds(NS)
Tevin McGuire sang his little heart out, but it wasn’t good enough this year(NS)
The Williams Brothers do not get special spelling treatment just cause they think it makes them more street…they were the whitest black boys since Carlton, maybe(NOOV)

Acrobatic Acts

Moved on
Donovan and Rebecca moved their act to the rafters, and pulled out a killer stunt where Rebecca held herself straight out from a rope Donovan was busily spinning madly. It was a-mah-zing(Top 48)

Summer Lacy eschewed the chain aerials for a ring, but the judges didn’t appreciate it as much as the other contestants(NOOV)
Benn Mendoza Circus attempted a retelling of Alice in Wonderland in the air that flopped horribly.  A for effort, though!(NOOV)

Rap Acts

Rob Hayes had a bad attitude, and his raps were not very good anyway(NS)
The Rhythmatist was just as terrible as he was in the audition, which was pretty much an epic fail all around(NPIV)
Svet had a decent act, but decent isn’t up to par at this stage(NOOV)
Granny G forgot the number one rule of getting older: people have no desire to see you undress, like, ever(NOOV)
Burton Crane did a ‘new’ song, if by new you mean same tune different words(NOOV)

Dance Group Acts

Moved on
LCD performed a vaguely Thriller-esque dance, and were good enough to move on(Top 48)
The Scott Brothers had a locking routine in Beethoven outfits.  Crazy, but it apparently worked(NS)
Inspire the Fire inspired more Glee comparisons, both in performance, and quality from act one to two(Top 48)

Battle Born exist, apparently(NS)
Old Shoes, New Shoes impress no one, and are one and done(NS)

Variety Acts

Moved on
David Gribaldi and his CBYK’s speedpainted Elvis. The End(Top 48)
Janitor music had another WTF performance, and yet, here we are, having to watch him in the quarterfinals(NPIV)
Rock Star Juggler upped the difficulty by doing his act in the dark, which looked cool, but it’s juggling(NOOV)
Big Barry gets nothing(NS)

Virtual Ventriloquist went in a different direction in this round, and decided to forgo the humor portion of his comedy act—a brave choice, one that got him ousted(NOOV)
Old Tappers were exceedingly cute, but just didn’t have what this show needs(NPIV)

Solo Dance Acts

Moved on
Lindsey Norton, the hyperactive acrobatic dancer put on another good show, and was rewarded(NOOV)
Elusive did his BBoy thing, apparently to great effect, though I don’t see the appeal(NOOV)
Turf was more contortionist than dancer, but his contortions were amazing(Top 48)

Stepz was also fan-freaking-tastic, but we wouldn’t have a show without Big Barry or effing Horse, so no Stepz for anyone(Top 48)

And that is the Top 48!

Let’s see how I did this time: 19/10/14, so not bad. Overall, I’m at 43/31/22, so way over 500!

Now, lets look forward slightly.
If I remember correctly, we’ll get four acts moving on from each of four quarterfinals, and then we’ll get a YoutTube show, which will give up another four hereto unseen acts, and then the judges will pull together a judges choice show, giving us another four , for a total of 24 semifinalists, so we still have a long way to go!  I think we have next week off, so quarterfinals start in a week Monday!

AGT: 6/26 Judge’s Favorites part 2

So we’re back with the back half of the judge’s favorites.  I’ll be following the same format as day one, with totals in the end.

As a reminder, my predictions are labeled as follows:
NPIV=Not performing in Vegas
NOOV=Not out of Vegas
Top 48=Made it to Top 48
NS=Not shown in the audition round

And so, we begin!

Magic Acts

Moved on
Mind reader Eric Dittleman did a trick that I still have no idea how it worked(NOOV)
Escape teen upped the showmanship with an amazing underwater escape(Top 48)

Helicopter guy made a freaking helicopter appear, but it wasn’t enough to go through(NOOV)
Justin Rivera wasn’t shown in the auditions, and had a lackluster and mistake-filled performance involving very cheap looking props made of cardboard boxes(NS)

Singing Duos

Moved on
Eric and Olivia were super cute again, even if her voice is starting to grate a tiny bit(Top 48)
Older Father/Daughter were slightly off, mostly on the father’s part, but were good enough to move on(Top 48)

Younger Father/Daughter were ‘just precious,’ but not very good(Top 48)

Comedy Acts

Moved on
Nerdy comedian had a solid set again, though I thought slightly weaker than his audition(Top 48)
Tom Cotter was just full of innuendos and the run on sentence jokes, but he made it(NOOV)

Sammy Obied apparently performed, but I don’t remember a single one of his jokes(NS)
Dave Burleigh did some impressions, did not impress(NOOV)
Kellen Erskene had a good set in auditions(I think he had the porcupine joke) but bombed in Vegas(Top 48)
Frank Roche did so terribly in Vegas they cut him on the spot, and didn’t wait for the rest of the performances(NOOV)

Kid Acts

Moved on
Mariachi Kid did his thing, again.  I think if I enjoyed that style, he’d be a great act for me(Top 48)
Spangley Pants Dancers had another tight routine, and moved on(Top 48)
Edon had a great voice as he played piano in his yarmulke, and moved on(NPIV)

Annoying little kid was annoying, some more, and apparently the judges thought so too(NOOV)
Elizabeth on the silks  was amazing again, but the judges failed to see it(NOOV)


Moved on
Love Boat guy love boated again, but somehow moved on(NPIV)
Jake Rodgers is a piano nerd, but he had a decent voice, and moved on due to lack of competition(Top 48)
Tim Hockenberry had a freaking amazing performance, I’m glad he moved on(Top 48)

Daniel Park got no screen time, and thus was eliminated(NS)
Lying Cowboy got his just desserts(NOOV)

And that was day 2!  My record for today is: 14/6/3, so much better than day one!  Overall, I’m at 24/21/8, so I’m batting over 500, yay!

Come back at 2:00 CST for the standbys, and a monster entry!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Today in music history: 1986

Today, we look back to 1986, and find:

"There'll Be Sad Songs" by Billy Ocean

This song was boring. I cannot even fathom how it made it to number 1.  The singing is not good, the lyrics are terrible, and it very nearly put me to sleep.

I couldn't find the video for it, so all we have is a fan made thing that is very...odd.

What did you think of this one?

Previously in 1986:

Addicted to Love

On My Own

The Greatest Love of All

SYTYCD: 6/27

And now, we move to So You Think You Can Dance to discover the top 20!

There are 35 dancers still in play, and of the 15 that were cut, I knew exactly zero of them, so I’ll just be discussing the ones that made it through, with their dances.

First, we get no-emote Alexa,  George who we never met, but is apparently really strong, Will  who is a giant, and Sasha lite Amber.  They dance to a Tyce routine, fully contemporary with lots of spins and jumps and things, and one throw into George’s arms.  It was a good routine, a theme that will flow through the evening.

Next, we moved onto the ballroom dancers, where we find Nick who cries, and Whitney.  She is followed immediately by Lindsey, who the judges tried to fake out, but we as the audience were not fooled, these two have been featured heavily on the run-up, and are both fantastic.  They perform a Jason Gilkinson latin routine, which only looks a little weird with three.  It is super intense, and very fun.

Then, we found the classically trained dancers, Eliana, Daniel, and Chehon, who, again, are all fabulous.  Eliana had a pointy skirt that actually injured her partners, and the routine was fabulous again.  I think the dancers have less nerves than normal, plus they are in their own style, so each routine has been phenomenal.

We then moved onto Jazz, where we met Tiffany and Audrey, and got reacquainted with Janelle the belly dancer.  Janelle actually got sick prior to the performance, and so didn’t in the live show actually perform.  The other two danced in a Sonja Teyha  routine that was great again, some more.

A season of SYTYCD wouldn’t be complete without an abundance of contemporary dancers, so we meet Matthew, Darian, and Janea for the first time.  We also see Amelia the silent film wannabe with random fodder #12, and see Amelia get in as the last girl.  We get a Stacey Tookey routine that is super enjoyable.  I am really feeling like a broken record on these, but I really can’t even describe them, they need to be watched to be understood, I think.

Finally, we find our final boys, all with very specialized styles.  Cole is the martial arts fusion guy that wasn’t totally full of himself.  Brandon is one of two steppers that made it to the top 35, but the only one to make it through.  Finally, we have Cyrus, an animator/locker that really doesn’t have the skills to be here, but is so freaking amazing at what he does that he couldn’t be left behind.  They do a baseball inspired routine by Christopher Scott that incorporates all of their styles in, and was really really good.

We then moved onto the Top Ten girls, and their Travis Wahl routine featuring a large grey door was ethereal and beautiful, if a tad bit hard to see due to the spotlight inexplicably shining straight into the camera for some reason.

Next were the Top Ten boys, dancing with Sonja.  Though they aren’t as technically proficient as the girls, their physicality and fearlessness more than made up for it with the fight-inspired moves.

Lastly, we had a Mia Michaels routine featuring the entire top twenty with an industrial routine that looked fantastic, again.  With such a huge group, it was hard to spot any standouts, though Amelia’s pale legs were easy to spot.

Next week is no new show, so we’ll find our first eliminations starting on the 11th!

AGT: 6/25 Vegas Day 1

Ahh, yay, Vegas!  There are sooo many to go through, I am going to split this into three posts over today and tomorrow.  I managed to sort through my predictions in the earlier rounds, and have matched them up to performances when I can.  I’ve made some abbreviations to make it quicker:

NPIV-No performing in Vegas
NOOV-Not out of Vegas
NS-Not Shown
Top 48-To the top 48

That being said, here we go!

Six acts were not asked to perform again, three moved on automatically, and three were cut without performing again.

Earth Harp exceeded my expectation, and moved directly to New York(NOOV)
Many Dogs Show were surprised to not be on a list, but they made it on as well(Top 48)
Human Cannonball was sent directly on as well, though maybe because they didn’t want to set up again(Top 48)
Wobbly Balancers got cut without performing(NOOV)
Charlie C was also cut short(NPIV)
Ivy Rose, the girl band didn’t get to perform either(NOOV)

We then moved onto the judge’s favorites, separated into categories:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Today in music: The Black Keys

Today, I have nothign to look back to, so I found an underplayed song to share with you!

"Gold on the Ceiling" by The Black Keys


Bunheads(S1E3): Inherit the Wind

So we jump right in this week to Fanny and Michelle discussing with Hubble’s lawyer friend the details of Michelle inheriting everything.

Fanny basically passive-aggressively guilts Michelle through the whole episode, making sure it was ‘legal’ for her to use all the different things in the house.  It got kind of old after a whole, I really hope Michelle turns a bit more assertive as the series goes on.  As it was, Michelle kind of half-heartedly tried to assuage Fanny from going into her little tirades, but never succeeded in stopping her once.  Fanny went into a right tizzy when one of the ballet girl’s mothers came over to basically scare Michelle into selling the house, due to all the work she’d have to put into it.

We did, though, get to have a tour of the acreage, and boy was there a lot.  There were lakes, a river, tons of structures, and just as many problems.  After Michelle had about enough, she found Hubble’s meticulously restored convertible, and takes it for a ride.

Of course, she breaks it, and pulls off to get a tow.  And of course, when the tow guys gets there, they have a clusterfarg due to her turning into a private driveway, and thus, he can’t tow the car until it is off the private drive, unless he has permission to be on there.  Michelle goes up to the top of the exceptionally long driveway, and meets Bill, who really isn’t Bill, but I can’t remember his name…though Bill is what everyone in town knows him as, so I think I’m safe.

Anyway, gorgeous house, nice guy, blah blah blah.  Michelle and he banter for a while until he lets her know he has a date coming, so not awkward at all to have another woman in his house, could you leave now?
She does, and finally has the guts to let Fanny know how things are going to work, namely, that Michelle is going to stay in the guest house, which is terribly whimsical, what with it’s bathtub in the middle of the floor.
In other town news, Ginny, the short blond bunhead, has the real estate mom, who is a bit overbearing, but nice enough, Boo’s mom is like Sookie 2.0, and Sasha’s mom is a cold bitch.  Oh, and Boo has another characteristic come up: she’s a good friend, even if Sasha totally takes it the wrong way.

I’m still enjoying this show, but I’m kind of worried it’s because I can see the Gilmore Girls skeleton in it, and not on it’s own merits.  Definitely going to keep watching, because I think it can pull out into good for it’s own sake, I’m just hoping other people feel the same.

Warcraft 101: PvP Battlegrounds

In Warcraft, sometimes you want to bring the war back, and that’s where PvP battlegrounds come in.

Battlegrounds, or BG’s, are an instanced zone, where only a certain number of players from each faction can enter.  Those that are in for that particular session have goals they are trying to accomplish, while at the same time be killing the players from the opposite faction.  Each battleground has a portal to it in one of the zones throughout the world, but the usual mode of entry is from a UI element, and can be done from anywhere. 
If you want to play in a battleground, you need to queue for either a specific battleground, or a random one, and the game will place you in one with players of similar level.  Gear, however is not taken into account, so it can get pretty ugly.

I thought I’d do a brief overview of the PvP battlegrounds, starting with:

Arathi Basin: This battleground is based in the Arathi Highlands, where the factions are looking to control several key locations in the basin, including the farm, the gold mine, and the lumber mill.  15 players on each side attempt to capture a flag at each location, while the other team tries to stop them, or take it back.  You’ll hear calls of “Fight on the flag!” a lot in this BG.  As your faction holds a location, you get resource points, and the first team to 1600 wins.  So, a team needs to hold three locations or more consistently to win this BG.

Warsong Gulch: This is a classic capture the flag BG.  With ten players on a side, you fight for the opposite side’s flag, and then have to run it back to your side without being killed.  For a relatively simple concept, many people epically fail at it, and this can be a terribly annoying BG when your team doesn’t know what it is doing.  First team to capture the flag three times wins.

Alterac Valley:
This is the current zerg rush BG champion, though it didn’t start out that way.  This used to be a massive clusterfarg on the main chokepoint in the zone, where battles could literally rage on for days.  I remember one time, I was in this BG, and had to go eat or some such thing, and didn’t come back to the game that day, and when I came back the next day, I decided to try this one again, and the same battle was still going on.  It was crazy.  Now, Blizzard has changed it up a lot, where if you kill an opposing faction player, they lose a point, and if you take a bunker, they lose a lot of points.  Killing the opposing general always ends the match, even previously.  Once a team does that, or nicks the opposing faction down to zero point(starting at 600), the match ends.  There can still be the massive battles on the bridge, but they last no longer than a half an hour, now.  Usually people just zerg rush the bunkers, then down to the general to end the match, and whoever does it fastest wins.  This BG can hold 40(!) players a side, so there is a LOT of cat wrangling on this one.

And those are the BG’s that came with Vanilla Wow!  Next week, a look at the BGs that came with the new expantions.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Today in music history: 1988

Today, we look back to 1988, and find:

"Dirty Diana" by Michael Jackson

I was surprised, I had never once heard this song before today.

I actually kind of liked it, though I think I would have liked it a bit more if it wasn't Michael Jackson singing.

The video itself was kind of boring, just a stage performance, nothing to write home about.

What did you think of this one?

Previously in 1988:

Anything For You

Foolish Beat 

Get Outta My Dreams(Get into my Car)

One More Try 

Together Forever

Melissa Meets Boy: Season 5

Now that we’ve finished season four, and junior year, we move onto senior year, and lots of changes for our main group, and Eric.

Cory and Topanga move forward in their relationship, only to hit the massive iceberg Lauren(boo hiss).  Will they reconcile in time for prom?  Of course, but what happens when they have to make the decision to affect the rest of their lives?

Cory and Shawn, on the other hand, don’t move their friendship forward, and they are okay with that.  They are each other’s constant, and only fight when one or the other feels their friendship is threatened.  Shawn felt that way a few times this season, first, when Cory was looking at colleges Shawn couldn’t get into, then when Cory almost broke Coryandtopanga apart.

Eric had the most changes through the season.  He moved out of his parents house, and into an apartment with two new roommates:  Jack, a guy remarkably similar to Eric in temperament, who just happens to be Shawn’s brother.  Oh, and Shawn moves in too.  Eric navigates his way through his first year of college, and learns a lot about himself as well, especially when he substitutes for Mr. Feeney in a citizenship class.

Shawn, when he wasn’t being friends with Cory, had a couple of major arcs this season as well.  First and foremost, he was getting to know his brother, Jack.  Jack had moved with his mother and step-father out west, and had no contact with Shawn or his bio-father until he showed up one day looking for roommates.  They have conflicts, and arguments, but they mostly gain stories.  Shawn was also finally in the mood for a long term girlfriend, and found one in the purse-girl, aka Angela Moore, the first REAL minority character in a main role on the show.  Their relationships had it’s ups and downs, but it does lead directly to one of my favorite scenes, where Cory tries and fails at being mad at Topanga.

There are many other fun moments this season, and I’ll dig a bit more into the first third next week!