Monthly Report: August Albums

Sunday, August 30, 2009
1. Brendan Benson - My Old, Familiar Friend
I was listening to One Mississippi the other day and that album is still just awesome, but it's always hard to listen to a new Brendan Benson and hold it to that standard. They're all generally pretty good, they're just not that good. I'm liking some of the lighter pop and stuff with strings on it on this though, it's a surprisingly good fit after he did more rock-oriented stuff on the last couple Raconteurs albums.

2. Zaytoven - Zaytown II
Being a production nerd it's always hard to me to really get into a rapper's catalog until I get a handle on what beats they sound best on or what producers they use the most, so in a way right now I'm more into Zaytoven's beats than I am Gucci Mane's rhymes, even though they obviously work together really well. There's a nice variety here of Gucci, OJ, other ATL swag rappers like J. Money (er J. Futuristic), and some people you wouldn't really expect to hear on Zaytoven tracks that sound good like Project Pat or Jagged Edge. Basically this whole thing sounds dope, except for that Rocko song that sounds like "Make The Trap Say Ay," which just reminds me that Zaytoven produced that song and then I start to hate him a little. It's also kinda depressing to hear Jody Breeze for the first time in years and he's all AutoTuned up.

3. Cale Parks - To Swift Mars EP
Over the years I've seen Cale Parks play live a few times in different contexts, on drums with Joan of Arc and Cex, and then last year solo opening a Ted Leo show last year (although I managed to not mention him in the review, since I didn't see his whole set and I dunno, didn't think of anything to say). Never checked out his records until this EP showed up on eMusic, though, and it's really nice, kind of synth and percussion-heavy singer-songwriter stuff that I tend to love on aesthetic level even if the songs and the vocals aren't anything real great.

4. Beatallica - Masterful Mystery Tour
I remember about 5 years ago being in the Sidebar and hearing these guys and thinking it was hilarious how much work they put into sounding like Metallica and doing a spot-on James Hetfield impression while merging their songs with Beatles tunes. And it's probably one of those things that shouldn't still be funny after the first time, but I continue to be entertained by how well they combine songs to come up with stuff like "Got To Get You Trapped Under Ice" or "Hero of the Day Tripper." Sometimes the strain of a young band on an indie budget trying to replicate Metallica's sound shows, though, "Fuel On The Hill" is pretty ragged. My brother made this goofy Beatallica Guitar Hero video that apparently one of the members of the band saw and enjoyed, too, so that's kinda cool.

5. Shonen Knife - Super Group
I remember being a teenager and hearing about cool bands repping for Shonen Knife and finding a cassette of Pretty Little Baka Guy and being pretty entertained by it, but really hadn't given them a thought in ages until they just put a new record out. Definitely not quite as bubbly and fun as the '80s stuff, but the cover of "Jet" is pretty great.

Monthly Report: August Singles

Thursday, August 27, 2009
1. Gucci Mane f/ Plies - "Wasted"
I feel kind of bad for Gucci that he can't ever seem to have a solo hit without there being some kind of extraneous drama involving labels and guests. The fight with Jeezy over "Icy" that we continue to see fallout from today gets more and more ridiculous as the years go by and they both continue to have so many bigger songs than that one hit both wanted for himself. Big Cat tried to stop Atlantic from releasing the "Freaky Gurl" remix since they'd put out the original. And now "Wasted," the insurgent potential megahit that kind of out of nowhere went from a mixtape track to an album-launching single, is being fucked up because, as I mentioned the other day, Warner Bros. is now pushing an inferior remix with OJ Da Juiceman in place of Plies, who himself isn't the greatest rapper but has by far the most memorable verse on the song. I actually heard a radio DJ the other day basically say "please stop requesting the version with Plies, we're legally now allowed to play it anymore." Between this and shutting down Cocaine Blunts, Warner Bros. is sure doing a hell of a job of fucking up what should be the easiest record to promote on their whole fall schedule. Anyway, accept no substitutes, the Plies version is the jam of the summer.

2. Whitney Houston - "Million Dollar Bill"
I wrote a Singles Jukebox blurb about this that hasn't gone up yet, and I feel like anything I'd say here would just be a regurgitation of that, but yeah, this is great.

3. DJ Quik & Kurupt - "Hey Playa! (Moroccan Blues)"
One of the standout tracks from maybe my favorite album of the year, still never fail to be amused by the way Quik keeps throwing the devil and vampies and the voice of great antiquity while Kurupt is just treating it like another club jam.

4. The-Dream - "Sweat It Out"
Love Vs. Money is the best popular album of 2009 that would've been more popular if not utterly failed by its singles campaign. After "Rockin' That Shit" became his 4th consecutive top 10 R&B hit without any extra starpower propelling them (tacked-on Fab and Jeezy verses for the videos don't count), Def Jam should have been assured of the fact that this weird-looking songwriter guy with the squeak toy voice somehow charmed the radio-listening public to the point that he didn't need big guests to make hits. And yet they pushed out 2 consecutive duds, with nothing to reccomend them but Kanye and Mariah feature credits, and totally killed the momentum of what would've probably otherwise been a big album (or at least a bigger seller than his debut). It looked like the album was just going to be further buried when a re-release was schedule with a really awful new single called "Hit It On The Road," but thank god, someone finally came to their senses and sent one of the several perfectly good tracks on the album with no guests out to radio.

5. Fabolous f/ Keri Hilson - "Everything Everyday Everywhere"
Fab's flow on this song ain't great (this is, after all, the "up in this bitch like an unborn baby" song), but as a Keri song it's just killer and makes me wonder why Ryan Leslie didn't produce anything on her album. Love that whole bridge and her triplet "everyeveryeveryeveryevery" thing on the outro.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New live reviews I've done on the City Paper's Noise blog in the last few weeks: Si-Notes/Shy Lady Heroin/Alicia Peace/Cream/Tiffany Couture/Amotion @ the Black Hole Rock Club, Soul Cannon/Ndelible/Ad Lib @ Club Reality, the Baltimore Music Festival @ Center Stage, Out Of Your Head collective @ the Windup Space, Longbottom/Your Daddy's Trio @ Joe Squared, The Cameron Blake Band/E. Joseph & The Phantom Heart @ the 13th Floor, Lazlo Lee & The Motherless Children @ the Metro Gallery and Our Lady Peace @ the 9:30 Club.

The 2009 Remix Report Card, Vol. 8

Sunday, August 23, 2009
"Download (Remix)" by Lil Kim featuring The-Dream, Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, T-Pain and Charlie Wilson
I kinda feel like The-Dream's solo career wouldn't exist if not for T-Pain, even if their talents and their records are pretty fundamentally different, so it's kinda cool to finally hear them on a track together even kinda sorta just on a remix. Kinda goes without saying, but Soulja Boy's verse is just painful to listen to. I like that kid's production style, but man, I just never want to hear his voice again.
Best Verse: The-Dream
Overall Grade: C-

"I'm Yours (Remix)" by Jason Mraz featuring Lil Wayne and Jah Cure
This remix was produced by one of the Diaz Brothers, who did a bunch of awesome Pitbull songs, so I was kinda hoping this would be some crazy ill-advised Miami bass banger version, but instead it's just emphasizing the reggae groove of the original. Wayne sounding really hoarse and just lazily recycling 50 Cent lines like saying "like a fat kid loves food" is any less unoriginal.
Best Verse: n/a
Overall Grade: C

"I Need A Girl (Remix)" by Trey Songz featuring Fabolous and Teyana Taylor
I shit you not, I had to google Teyana Taylor's name to remind myself that she was, in fact, the girl that did that forgettable-ass almost hit "Google Me." She kinda sings this song well, though, and brings more to it than a zzz Fab verse. I've never sat through this whole song to hear the annoying indulgent runs MMTS does at the end, ugh.
Best Verse: Teyana Taylor
Overall Grade: C+

"Supa Man High (Remix)" by R. Kelly featuring Gucci Mane and OJ Da Juiceman
I hope every song with OJ on it is eventually upgraded to include a verse from Gucci.
Best Verse: Gucci Mane
Overall Grade: B-

"That's Not My Name (Remix)" by The Ting Tings featuring Wale
I didn't think it'd be possible for Wale to keep worse company than Lady Gaga, but there it is. The way he does a little call-and-response with the chorus is just sad, dude should just keep his head down and do enough to get a check.
Best Verse: n/a
Overall Grade: D

"Trouble (Remix)" by Ginuwine featuring Hurricane Chris, Gucci Mane, and OJ Da Juiceman
This is the 'down south' remix, for some reason there's also an official St. Louis remix with Chingy and Jibbs, but I'm going to assume that you give even less of a fuck about that than I do. I kinda dig this song, it's not great but fun to hear Ginuwine do something kinda modern and still sound at home and not like it's a big stretch for him. The beat suits the guests pretty well, too.
Best Verse: Gucci Mane
Overall Grade: B+

"Wasted (Remix)" by Gucci Mane featuring OJ Da Juiceman
I hope every song with Gucci on it isn't eventually downgraded to include a verse from OJ. It's not like Plies is that great, but in my opinion it's some serious industry bullshit to take him off a song that he had a good verse on once it started to become a hit and put Gucci's awful protege on it. Last week I heard a DJ on one of the D.C. stations play this version, and when the OJ verse started he rapped along to Plies version out of habit, took him a few bars to realize what was going on.
Best Verse: n/a
Overall Grade: F

Saturday, August 22, 2009
A few new Singles Jukebox blurbs:

Method Man & Redman ft. Erick Sermon – Mrs International [5/6.31]
Monica ft. Missy Elliott – Let Me Know [4/4.69]
Pill – Trap Goin’ Ham [4/7.1]
Beastie Boys ft. Nas – Too Many Rappers [3/5.33]
Pearl Jam – The Fixer [7/4.23]
Fefe Dobson – I Want You [3/6.93]
Clipse ft. Pharrell – I’m Good [7/6.08]

Netflix Diary

Thursday, August 20, 2009
a) Watchmen
I kinda thought I'd be the ideal audience for this movie; I read the book recently and enjoyed it, although not so much that I felt precious about any adaptation taking liberties with it, and I liked 300. But man, I dunno. This was kind of bloodless and unloveable in a way that very few special effects behemoths I've ever seen are. From the cringe-inducing opening credits (the Nixon nose!) to the terrible Dr. Manhattan CGI (it really wouldn't have been hard to use Crudup's face and make it blue, guys, and then the lips would've actually matched the words), stuff that I didn't think I was reverent enough to be offended about being mishandled irked me to no end. There were a few setpieces done really well, though, and some performances that I thought were strong and held it all together much better than it would've been otherwise: Patrick Wilson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jackie Earl Haley especially. I once said "Malin Akerman should not be in comedies," and I would like to upgrade that: she should not be in movies period. Jesus fucking christ she's awful.

b) Defiance
It's funny, I didn't realize until a few days ago what Inglorious Basterds is actually about, and it kind of feels like the whole Jews-kicking-ass WWII movie it's going for is kind of what this already did except in a more serious, based-on-a-true-story format. And I have to say, I'm glad that so many Holocaust movies exist and are as heartbreaking and gutwrenching to watch as many of them are. But having seen so many films depicting the majority of the victims that survived (or didn't) powerless and in fear, seeing a movie like this, about a group who banded together and got out of the ghettos and fought back, is so incredibly cathartic and thrilling that it almost feels like a guilty pleasure. I'm not saying these guys go around kicking ass like Rambo, but when they do get out there and make some trouble I found myself yelling at the screen and cheering like I very rarely do during action movies.

c) "West Wing," Season 5
Since I started watching "West Wing" well after the show's run had ended, I had both the advantage and tbe burden of knowing that the Sorkin/Schlamme era ended with Season 4 and that the show's peak ended with it. But, like probably anyone else following it in real time, 100 episodes of getting to know those characters and stories got me invested enough that I still want to try and get through those last 3 seasons anyway, even if I lose some of my momentum and do so more slowly from here on out. I jumped right into this one to see the resolution of the storyline from the end of S4, though, which is proof that cliffhangers can work even in Netflixland. I just keep trying to relax and take the episodes one at a time and not too think too hard about whether the dialogue isn't as sharp as it used to be or the direction is somehow different, but man, it's hard.

d) She's Having A Baby
Since John Hughes died, I've had the urge to watch some of his movies, but not so much the ones I know and love; my family will watch Planes, Trains & Automobiles this Thanksgiving just like we do every year, and I'm sure I'll catch Ferris Beuller or The Breakfast Club on cable sooner than later. So instead I'm going through the less revered ones that I've never sat down to watch, starting with his lowest-grossing directorial effort ever, which I've always associated with that weird meta moment in Planes where Steve Martin's wife has the TV on and it's playing a clip from this (then-unreleased) movie where the main characters are having this extremely angry argument. This is a good time for me to watch a movie like this, though, being a newlywed expecting a baby and going through a lot of the overly exaggerated but still kind of truthfully and insightfully depicted emotions and thoughts that Kevin Bacon goes through in this movie. It's definitely a kind of disjointed movie with a lot of awkward tone shifts and unsuccessful ideas, and I think a lot of that owes to the fact that story spans 5 years or so (note that most of Hughes' best movies take place in a single day, or at most a week or two). But there's definitely a handful of individually great, well executed scenes.

In My Stereo

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Boyz N Da Hood - Boyz N Da Hood
Bubba Sparxxx - The Charm
DMX - ...And Then There Was X
Puff Daddy & The Family - No Way Out
Polvo - Today's Active Lifestyles
The Ramones - Pleasant Dreams
Austin Stahl - 1982 EP
Vision - Still
Comp - The Man With The Hand
Blaq Starr - I'm Bangin' 2

Sunday, August 16, 2009

These days, I buy albums on CD or at digital stores like iTunes in roughly equal measure, and usually there's not much logic to what I buy where, unless one version or the other has bonus tracks or I really want the CD to bump in the car. But with Fabolous's new album, Loso's Way, I made a point to grab it on Amazon MP3 expressly to avoid ending up with a physical copy with the bonus DVD 'movie.' I just don't think I'm ready to sit through Fab's own Streets Is Watching. Hell, I could barely get through Jay's. Plus that faux-trailer video for "My Time" was pretty cringe-inducing if that's an indication of what it's like.

I'm definitely not going to say my recent commenter's concerns about Loso's Way aren't warranted; "a normally dead-eyed rapper trying and failng to be more dynamic than usual" sums it up pretty well, actually. The extra effort to add emphasis and inflection to his delivery isn't really necessary anyway, since it just makes his wit seem less dry and nonchalant, which is a big part of his appeal for me. I am at least relieved that he doesn't try to get as animated as Lil Wayne to keep up with him on "Salute" in that super-embarrassing way Pharrell did on "Yes."

Fennessey's recent Voice piece gets at the central paradox of Fabolous pretty well, although it maybe overstates that it's even worth wondering who he is or pretending to be disappointed every time he fails to make an album that's more hardcore rap than R&B crossover. Everyone jokes about Fab having a singer on every other track, but "Feel Like I'm Back" is a harsh reminder that he's generally best not left to his own devices for hooks (or, for that matter, spoken intros, although I always LOL @ "if you happen to bump into the streets, can you please tell 'em I'm back?"). Like any Fab album, it's only as good as its songs, and this one generally has a good batting average, especially as far as modern-sounding synth squiggle beats like DJ Khalil's on "Imma Do It" and Ryan Leslie's on "Everything, Everyday, Everywhere." And there's one absolute banger, "Pachanga," and the perfunctory 'personal' song "Stay" actually kinda works for me. So I'll just say that it's definitely better than From Nothin' To Somethin' and leave alone whether that means anything at all.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I wrote an essay titled Is 2009 The Year Baltimore Club Broke? that is my first piece for, kind of a long thinkpiece covering a whole lot of ground, hope it stimulates some discussion about the club scene and where it's going.

2001 Reconsidered

Wednesday, August 12, 2009
1. Ted Leo/Pharmacists - The Tyranny of Distance
2. Jay-Z - The Blueprint
3. The Dismemberment Plan - Change
4. Aaliyah - Aaliyah
5. Chris Lee - Chris Lee Plays & Sings Torch'd Songs, Charivari Hymns & Oriki Blue-Marches
6. Missy Elliott - Miss E...So Addictive
7. Tim Trees – Dalton Vol. 1
8. Ken Stringfellow – Touched
9. Firewater - Psychopharmacology
10. Fugazi - The Argument
11. Usher - 8701
12. Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American
13. The Strokes - Is This It
14. Rufus Wainwright - Poses
15. Death Cab For Cutie - The Photo Album
16. Sparklehorse - It's A Wonderful Life
17. No Doubt - Rock Steady
18. Destroy All Nels Cline - Destroy All Nels Cline
19. Pulp - We Love Life
20. 112 - Part III
21. System Of A Down - Toxicity
22. Rod Lee - Operation: Start-Up
23. Beauty Pill - The Cigarette Girl Of The Future EP
24. Wreckshop - Ack'n A Azz
25. Radiohead - Amnesiac

Album-wise, there's a good chance this is my favorite year of the decade. It was probably also the year I was the least engaged with new music at the time, in that I was a broke jobless college student for much of the year, wasn't doing any writing or blogging anywhere, and I spent a lot of time digging through vinyl crates and finding old unfamiliar stuff, more than other years. And I can't help but wonder if those two things are related, or if maybe since I was 19 it was just the end of my 'innocent' teenage years, although it'd be silly to act like I wasn't an obsessive, analyitical list-making canonizing nerd even well before that. But really I think the point is that I actually heard maybe half of the above albums in 2001, and have really strong memories attached to all of them, and everything else I heard later I ended up being really happy to hear, too.

1. Petey Pablo - "Raise Up"
2. Fabolous f/ Nate Dogg - "I Can't Deny It"
3. Jadakiss f/ Styles P. - "We Gonna Make It"
4. Missy Elliott f/ Ludacris - "One Minute Man"
5. Sunshine Anderson - "Heard It All Before"
6. System of a Down - "Chop Suey!"
7. Shaggy f/ Rik Rok - "It Wasn't Me"
8. Joe f/ Mystikal - "Stutter"
9. Limp Bizkit - "My Way"
10. Lil Wayne f/ Birdman, Mickey and Mack 10 - "Shine"
11. Madonna - "Don’t Tell Me"
12. Bubba Sparxxx - "Ugly"
13. Fatlip - Sum 41 - "Fatlip"
14. Missy Elliott - "Get Ur Freak On"
15. Mystikal - "Bouncin' Back (Bumpin' Me Against the Wall)"
16. Trick Daddy - "I'm A Thug"
17. Shyne f/ Barrington Levy - "Bonnie & Shyne"
18. Memphis Bleek f/ Jay-Z - "Do My"
19. Train - "Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me)"
20. Michael Jackson - "Butterflies"
21. The Strokes - "Hard To Explain"
22. Usher - "U Got It Bad"
23. Tank - "Maybe I Deserve"
24. 112 - "Dance With Me"
25. Lil Mo f/ Fabolous - "Superwoman (Remix)"
26. Fat Joe f/ R. Kelly - "We Thuggin'"
27. Nelly Furtado - "Turn Off The Light"
28. Isley Brothers f/ Ronald Isley - "Contagious"
29. Ginuwine - "There It Is"
30. Beanie Sigel - "Beanie (Mack Bitch)"
31. R. Kelly - "A Woman's Threat"
32. Faith Evans - "You Gets No Love"
33. Jagged Edge f/ Nelly - "Where The Party At?"
34. Jay-Z - "Girls, Girls, Girls"
35. T.I. f/ Beenie Man - "I'm Serious"
36. G. Dep - "Special Delivery"
37. Destiny's Child - "Bootylicious"
38. Ludacris - "Saturday (Oooh! Oooh!)"
39. Coo Coo Cal - "My Projects"
40. Janet Jackson - "Someone To Call My Lover"
41. Nate Dogg, Fabolous, Kurupt and B.R.E.T.T. - "I Got Love (remix)"
42. Green Day - "Waiting"
43. N.E.R.D. f/ Vita and Lee Harvey - "Lapdance"
44. Sugar Ray - "When It's Over"
45. 'N SYNC - "Gone"
46. DMX - "Who We Be"
47. Jimmy Eat World - "Bleed American"
48. Redman f/ Adam F. - "Smash Sumthin’"
49. The Strokes - "Last Nite"
50. 112 - "Peaches And Cream"

This was actually the first year that I ever made a year-end singles list, for some long defunct pre-blog site I had for a while in college. And I didn't even make an albums list that year! I guess I was really pretty popist back then. I rearranged and added a lot of stuff from that original list, but really I had a hard time coming up with a running order because there's so much amazing shit here that I still get happy every time I hear.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Rich Boy's 2007 self-titled album was the kind of just-good-enough debut, both in terms of quality and commercial performance, that can keep a rapper from getting dropped from a label but won't guarantee a second album ever getting released, unless they really keep things moving with singles and mixtapes. And given that Rich Boy got a lot of juice out of a producer as big as Polow Da Don being in his corner, I didn't expect him to turn around and end up with one of my favorite mixtapes of last year, Bigger Than The Mayor, with a bunch of lesser known producers. Still, his first shot at a lead single, the messy "A Milli" rip "Drop," was kind of uninspiring and never quite got the reaction it was aiming for, so now he's still plugging out mixtapes, and while I didn't hear the Pac Man one from a few months ago, the new Kool-Aid, Kush & Convertibles isn't real encouraging.

The biggest problem with Kool-Aid, Kush & Convertibles out the bat is the awkward mouthful of a title, which he actually tries to make into a chorus on the title track. But in general the songs just aren't that great and the beats aren't nearly as good as they were on Bigger. "Send For Me" and "I'm In Love" are the kind of iffy R&B rap that he managed to avoid on his album even with Polow on the boards. Still, there are signs of life; the snippet-length "Country Club" could end up being an album highlight if it's ever released in full, and the Shawty Redd-produced "Don Dada" is like an amped sequel to his beat for Young Jeezy's awesome "Who Dat." But if Rich Boy doesn't murder some guest spot or, who knows, make another hit single soon, I don't think I'll be able to muster the curiosity to even go the two or three clicks that it'd take to download his next stopgap ziptape.

Friday, August 07, 2009
New Singles Jukebox blurbs, and I'm even meaner with my scores than last time:

50 Cent – OK, You’re Right [1/4.31]
Jeremih – Imma Star (Everywhere We Are) [7/5.07]
Mario ft. Gucci Mane & Sean Garrett – Break Up [2/4.79]
Fabolous ft. The-Dream – Throw It In The Bag [2/4.71]
Christina Milian ft. The-Dream – Chameleon [1/6.5]
Maxwell – Bad Habits [5/7.31]
Muse – United States of Eurasia (Collateral Damage) [2/2.94]
Kelly Clarkson – Already Gone [4/4.94]
Jay-Z ft. Rihanna and Kanye West – Run This Town [3/5]
Paramore – Ignorance [6/6.25]

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

My review of Wye Oak's The Knot, which is as great as just about everyone is saying it is, is over on

TV Diary

Monday, August 03, 2009
a) "Hung"
Premium cable is full of mildly titillating comedy series like "Californication" and "Dream On" that are better about consistently featuring female nudity than actually writing funny scripts, which is what I was kinda what I half-expected when I heard that HBO was doing a show about a manwhore titled "Hung." Hopefully this show won't end up like creator Dmitry Lipkin's previous series, "The Riches," which also started out with a strong cast and premise, before gradually going down such a rabbit hole of pointless plot twists that I was ultimately relieved when it was cancelled after its 2nd season. The Alexander Payne-directed pilot was hysterical and very much reminiscent of Election, and subsequent episodes haven't been quite as funny but have settled into an interesting groove and taken the story in promising directions. Thomas Jane, who I'd previously only ever seen in really poor Stephen King adaptations, turns out to be perfect here, sometimes a bit too broad but never without payoff.

b) "Entourage"
Although it was actually funny and entertaining for the first couple seasons, "Entourage" has gradually become one of the shows described above, as it's kind of ceased to offer any laughs at all, and mainly so far this year has only really been watchable for Emmanuelle Chriqui lookin' totally ridiculous. That's kind of negated by E's new girlfriend being really creepy-looking, though.

c) "Michael & Michael Have Issues"
I kinda feel like these dudes weren't sure what kind of show they wanted to make, or kept retooling it in search of something, and now it's this jumbled multi-format thing where sometimes they're hosts, sometimes they're sketch actors, sometimes they're playing themselves as characters in broad situations. Maybe because I didn't see the first episode I just missed the concept, but I found this really hard to watch, and not particularly funny in any one of its forms.

d) "Daisy Of Love"
It was horrifying enough that this Daisy person even got to be a contestant on the freakshow that is "Rock Of Love" in the first person, so it's completely bizarre that she got her own dating show. But I'm glad she did, because they really assembled a fascinating rogue's gallery; my favorite was Fox. I kinda feel like now they should just use this show as the front with which to cast the next season of "Tool Academy," or just merge the two shows together. Also this is the only entertaining thing I have ever seen on the IMDb boards.

e) "Samantha Who?"
Man, this show was so good, I'm not surprised to see it cancelled, but I didn't really have a sense that it was on the bubble and was hopeful that it would keep going a couple more years. The last episode was good, at least.

f) "1000 Ways To Die"
I keep wanting this show to be engrossing and awesome, but the reenactments and cheesy tone of the whole thing make even the really interesting or horrifying stories seem fake and corny.

g) "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien"
God I fucking love Twitter Tracker.

h) Jessica The Hippo
I have a little bit of an inner Timothy Treadwell, who goes to the zoo and thinks about how awesome it would be to chill out with a bear or a lion or a rhino or something, so I always appreciate being able to watch Animal Planet shows that both allow me to indulge in that fantasy, and constantly remind me that, yes, these are huge dangerous animals that would inevitably kill me if I spent a lot of time around them unprotected. So it was kind of weird to watch one such special about a domesticated hippo that didn't have any kind of grim lesson like that, especially considering that hippos actually do kill a pretty large number of people in the wild every year. And the fact that John Waters narrated this made it all the more charming and surreal.