… but I digress

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He’s coming – August 23, 2014 July 23, 2014

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Doctor Who Series 8 Iconic



#TVQUOTE July 6, 2014

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FREDDIE (Sir Ian McKellan):

So who were you squawking at on the phone?


STUART (Sir Derek Jacobi):     

Wha …! My mother, if you must know.



Was she calling to tell you when she’d be dying?



She was very distraught.



Why? Did you finally tell her about us?



I’m waiting for the right time.



It’s been 48 years!



… and there has not been a right time! Now please don’t pressure me, I’m very emotional already. We’ve had some frightful news: Clive is dead.



Your mother is always the first to know when someone dies. Is she getting the news directly from Satan?



giphy (1)



Cover Battle – “Addicted to Love” July 4, 2014


I think the original recording of “Addicted to Love” is just as fantastic today as it was when it first came out. Performed by Brit Robert Palmer, it has a hard driving beat that’s infectious and hypnotic. The video was especially striking – the gentlemanly dashing, cool and suited Mr. Palmer with his vacant-eyed, zombie model back-up band. Endlessly listenable.


I know Florence + The Machine are really popular, but I’m not at all familiar with their work. I think I saw them once on Saturday Night Live and they just didn’t really do anything for me. Their take on the song is totally different from Palmer’s. I actually like the cool acapella way the recording opens. It has a slight ethereal, otherworldly sound to it. Once the music comes in, and the song goes on I’m less enamored of it. By the end, I’m like “Yeah, whatever”.


When the Skyler Grey version starts off, it reminds me a lot of Florence + The Machine. Even though this opening doesn’t grab me quite as much as Flo and the boys, Skyler maintains that ghostly, wispy-voiced sound most of the way through, which I appreciate.


74 year old Tina Turner is, without a doubt, a musical legend. (Is legend even good enough to describe the talent, strength and endurance of this woman? And those legs?! Good lord!) She sounds fantastic. She’s always had a unique sounding voice that cannot be duplicated. This video of her live show illustrates that she has not lost a step. Just an incredible performance and totally exhilarating to watch.


Warning: This next cover is a steaming pile of crap. But let me tell you how I really feel. By glancing at their wiki page, it seems like Eagles of Death Metal may have been going for something slightly… humorous??? In my estimation they missed the mark. By several solar systems and galaxies.


Remember what I just said about steaming pile of crap? I was wrong. The Eagles of Death Metal version is just crap. This one by Ciccone Youth is the real steaming pile. It features Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, another group I don’t listen to, so maybe this is a good sound, for them, actually. I don’t know. But it’s not good for me. At all.




Cover Battle – “How Will I Know” June 27, 2014


How Will I Know” was Whitney Houston’s 3rd chart-topping single. The song is full of the excitement and wonder you feel when you like someone and it’s new and fresh and bubbly. Her amazing vocals, beauty, spark and charm were on full display in the song’s official music video. Whitney would continue to set the world on fire until her tragic death in 2012.


Pentatonix does a wonderful acapella version as a tribute to Whitney. They keep the same upbeat, joyous tempo and it keeps you in such a happy mood, that I can’t help but bop around dancing in my chair.


The song was covered by Kids Incorporated (????) as part of their 1980′s Disney Channel tv show. It’s … not for me. Very kiddie (duh!) and, I suppose, it’s cute. But – just not my thing. It’s annoying, to me. I mean, they’re not out of tune or overly screechy, but they’re not a group I would ever be interested in listening to again. But, then again, I wasn’t their target audience. Probably not even at that age. Frankly, I think it’s lame and a little bit dreadful.


The pop punk group Hit the Lights recorded this for their album Skip School Start Fights. While I’m not a music expert, this does not sound very punk at all. It is pop, though. (Maybe, elevator pop?) Frankly the band does not impress me at all, either. Kind of brings me back to lame and dreadful.


The cover by Sam Smith will break your heart. The arrangement is sparse and straightforward. The tempo is much much slower, and Sam has a high falsetto that is stunning and glorious.




“Orphan Black” – Extended Clone Dance Party June 22, 2014



There are no words to describe how exhiliratingly fantasic this scene is. If you’ve never watched “Orphan Black” you have to start – NOW!!




Cover Battle – “I’m Too Sexy” June 13, 2014


I’m Too Sexy” is a song by Right Said Fred – British brothers Fred and Richard Fairbrass. Two buff bald dudes flexing and gyrating to a crazily catchy beat and hilariously self-involved lyrics parodying the whole “fabulous dahling, make love to the camera, etc” world of modeling and fashion. You gotta love it.


It sounds like the Saint Etienne version is “sampling” the original and then having the boys rework the lyrics in some parts. It’s got an electronic dance club vibe with the synthesizers and all the overproduced throbbiness.


Saint Etienne’s vocals are more airy and lightweight than the Fairbrass boys, which makes the song seem even more disposable. Except – it’s survived all this time, so how disposable is it, really?


Um … this next one, by Alvin and The Chipmunks is not cute. It’s taking childhood into a very odd and disturbing place. I think I need a hug now …


Blogger Perez Hilton. Ugh. Moving on.


Now William Shatner does it as only Shatner can. Actually he was doing it in character on the short-lived $#*! My Dad Says. I think if he was being, well, full-on … Shatner it would have been much more awesome.


I think it’s pretty cool that the boys reworked the song as “I’m Too Smurfy” for the Smurfs 2 movie. They’re older now, still bald and buff, but this time they’re fully clothed in the video – no mesh, no shirtless. It’s cute.


They also performed it live on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. The song was reworked by the show’s writers as a political statement against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.






Bob Hoskins, one of Britain’s best-loved actors, dies aged 71 | Film | theguardian.com April 30, 2014

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Bob Hoskins, one of Britain's best-loved actors, dies aged 71 | Film | theguardian.com.


That’s all you really need April 29, 2014

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Cover Battle – “In My Life” – Pt 2 April 4, 2014


Welcome to Part 2 of the “In My Life” Cover Battle.



I always enjoy listening to Tuck and Patti. What strikes me most about this video, is the adoring way that Tuck looks at his wife during this. Why can’t I find a guy like this? Oh, and their performance is deeply emotional too. ;-)


Johnny Cash brings tons of hard-won life experience – happiness, mistakes, regrets, hard-living and redemption – and a complete openness and honesty to this. He has an everyman kind of voice, but you can hear the poetry of his soul through and his truth coming out in it.


The poignant version done by the late Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, seems very somber and almost eerily prophetic, in a way. Known as being a bit of a wild man and a clown Keith does a very serious, respectful take on this.


On a tribute album to George Martin, The Beatles’ longtime producer, Sean Connery gives us a recitation of the song. Love. That. Voice. But it’s still a little odd.


Crosby, Stills & Nash attempted the song as well. It was less than successful. A lot less than successful.


Surprisingly, legendary model and fashion icon Twiggy covered the song very, very well. Who knew she had such a wonderful voice?




Cover Battle – “Benny and the Jets” March 7, 2014


The song “Bennie and the Jets” was originally recorded in 1973 and is one of my favorite Elton John classics. It features a seriously catchy piano hook, intensely singable lyrics (by Elton and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin), and a great screeching falsetto. It’s a really good example of his many talents.


Rap artist Biz Markie gives a totally over the top performance of the song on The Chris Rock Show. It’s funny, it’s wtf?, and crazy as hell, but it’s totally sincere, and I can’t fault him for it. I think it helps that the backup band is really, really good, though. And it’s kind of nice hearing classic music being acknowledged by artists who came after.


I think he fares much better on this than on the live version he did with the Beastie Boys. Honestly, in some parts, it sounds as if he’s drunk and/or has no clue as to what the words are, or he’s just half-assing it.


American Idol contestant Haley Reinhart brought something slightly different to this. She did it with kind of a torchy vibe. Her studio version is nice, but doing it live you can see how engaging she is. She showcases more power – her voice goes from a growl to a hiss to a scream to a whisper. It’s all unique and it’s all pretty great.






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