TV Diary

Friday, July 29, 2011
a) "Famous Food"
This is a new nadir (or zenith) of pointless VH1 reality shows, with Three 6 Mafia, Big Pussy from "The Sopranos" and a bunch of people from other reality shows competing to open a shitty restaurant or something. I watched this for a few minutes and saw DJ Paul yelling at Elliot Spitzer's hooker while the pilot guy from "The Bachelor" referred to him like his first name is "DJ."

b) "Roseanne's Nuts"
"Roseanne" is a classic show and Roseanne is in some ways still kind of a cool old broad, but even that recent New York magazine piece she wrote that was surprisingly level-headed and humble still had these weird off-putting moments of self-aggrandizing and paranoia. So a Roseanne reality show has pretty even odds of being entertaining or terrible, and what little I watched was both dull and obviously staged, much in the same way as that stupid Gene Simmons show.

c) "NTSF:SD:SUV::"
After "Children's Hospital" and "Eagleheart," this is now the third live action Adult Swim show that is basically a broad parody of a hoary genre of primetime TV drama, and making fun of "CSI Miami" is almost as played out as "CSI Miami" at this point. But hey, it works, I laughed, especially when J.K. Simmons showed up.

d) "Web Therapy"
Lisa Kudrow is undeniably funny and has carved out a pretty decent niche as a character actor post-"Friends," but sometimes in starring vehicles like "The Comeback" I feel like she can very easily veer into a kind of default Kudrow brand of funny that's not necessarily very funny, just kind of quirky or uncomfortable. This has some symptoms of that kind of thing, but feels like it has the potential to be something more, partly from the improvised nature of the show and partly because they've set up all these weird little subtle bits of plotting into the arguments that kind of keep you watching and not just waiting for the next laugh.

e) There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane
Very disturbing and fascinating HBO documentary about this woman who drove the wrong way on a freeway with five kids in the car and had a head-on collision under mysterious circumstances a couple years ago. Being a parent now just makes me more horrified and obsessed with stuff like this.

f) "Alphas"
A new SyFy show that I vaguely want to get into, but the pilot just really didn't hold my attention at all, and it was an hour and a half long.

g) "Necessary Roughness"
Little by little USA is pulling me into their vortex of slight, cute shows -- this year alone I've gotten hooked on "Fairly Legal," "Suits" and now this. I don't like this one as much as the other two, but it's got potential.

h) A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!
My wife has been watching "Fairly OddParents" for years and I've found it an intermittently entertaining but also kind of annoying show. But I felt really bad for the show seeing this awful garish live action movie version, and then really depressed when I found out that Savage Steve Holland of Better Off Dead fame directed this.

i) "Hollywood Treasure"
I thought the idea of a show about selling movie memorabilia could be interesting, but maybe they just haven't had any item I've cared about at all when I've tried to watch this.

j) "Young, Broke & Beautiful"
This show on IFC, basically a travel show about the hip 'underground' culture of every city it visits, isn't such a bad idea in and of itself, but it's really hard to stomach a host who calls himself Broke-Ass Stuart and keeps using "broke-ass" as a prefix for everything he possibly can. I watched this mainly for the Baltimore episode, which featured plenty of people and places I love and plenty I hate, but it was neither embarrassing nor particularly exciting to see, aside from the usual novelty of seeing local spots on TV.

k) "Happily Divorced"
John Michael Higgins is such a talented guy, it's a little sad to see him saddled with a show on TV Land playing second banana to Fran Drescher. But at the same time, Drescher is genuinely pretty funny, he could've done worse.

l) "The Artist Toolbox"
I chanced upon an episode of this show on PBS that was profiling John Legend, and found it really interesting, good relaxed in depth kind of interview show. But then, it looks like few of the episodes of this show are about musicians or even artists I've actually heard of, so I doubt I'll watch much more of this.

m) "Melissa & Joey"
I'm not sure why I'm still watching this show, it does have its moments of being funny, if in a very TGIF way. Also Taylor Spreitler is pretty cute.

n) "Talking To Strangers with Cee-Lo Green"
I loved this show when it premiered last year under the title "Lay It Down" and featured fantastic, casual, in depth interviews with people Cee-Lo had a genuine rapport with like Ludacris, Public Enemy, and Pharrell. This retooled version is much the same, but with a different title, an annoying theme song, a goofy-looking Cee-Lo puppet, and overall much less interesting interviews with less interesting subjects -- seriously, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals? Even when he got a decent guest in Keri Hilson, Cee-Lo mostly wanted to just flirt and make dirty jokes (which, hey, I can't really blame him, Keri looked incredible).

o) "The Marriage Ref"
Another show I enjoyed last year that has recently been retooled in a lot of small but unnecessary and annoying ways -- now there's a winner out of all the winners of arguments at the end of each episode? Just stupid. I'm glad they have the couples actually onstage now, it seemed a tad pointless to have a whole satellite linkup to their house.

p) "The Green Room With Paul Provenza"
I loved this show last year, with all the documentaries and podcasts about comedians discussing their craft out these days, this is easily one of my favorites because it's just so blue and spontaneous. The first new episode had a great lineup with Garry Shandling and Judd Apatow and Marc Maron and Ray Romano, but then they kinda screwed it up by having Bo Burnham there too and actually treating him with totally unwarranted respect and letting him sing one of his awful songs.

q) "Rizzoli & Isles"
Oh Rizzoli, oh Isles, I really enjoy this show more than I should admit. Even the fairly boilerplate dynamic of the tomboy and the girly one is played for laughs really well.

r) "Haven"
I'm way more excited about Stephen McHattie being on this show now that I've seen Pontypool -- still not a totally top notch show but definitely one of SyFy's best, some really nice eerie atmosphere.

s) "Warehouse 13"
Another not great but consistently good SyFy show, I feel like they've gelled into some pretty genuine comedic chemistry with this cast, as opposed to just trying to be lighthearted and funny.

t) "The Colony"
I feel like the neat thing about this show is that you could learn something from it, even if just theoretically what to do in a post-apocalyptic survival scenario, and hey, couldn't hurt to have an idea what to do in that situation if it ever comes up. They're not really good at maximizing the entertainment value of the show.

u) "Breaking Bad"
I binged on the third season of "Breaking Bad" all in one weekend in order to be caught up in time for the new season, and I almost went through it too fast to really be sure what I thought about it, but it didn't piss me off as much as the second season did. I'm not sure where they're going with the new episodes but I kind of hope it stops being these constant out of the frying pan and into the fire scenarios and settles into something a bit less over-the-top along the lines of the first season.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I wrote a feature on Caddy Da Don in this week's Baltimore City Paper.

(photo by Rarah)

My Top 522 Singles of 2000-2009

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Most of the first 300 or so spots on this list were the songs I covered in my six part series of favorite singles of the last decade: rap/R&B crossover, rock, southern rap, R&B, non-southern rap and pop. I concluded the series with the last installment a few months ago, and then recently realized I never did a big overview list like my top 100 albums of the decade, so here it is, just for posterity since I already wrote about most of these songs at length. Once I decided to do more than a top 200 for the big all-genre list, I decided to go for broke with 500, and then I figured I'd do 522, so that there's one song for each week in the decade (although it wouldn't actually line up chronologically that evenly, earlier years are represented much more heavily than later years of the decade.

1. Kelly Clarkson - "Since U Been Gone"
2. Ciara - "Promise"
3. R. Kelly - “Step In The Name of Love (Remix)"
4. My Chemical Romance - "Helena"
5. Amerie - "1 Thing"
6. Missy Elliott - "Get Ur Freak On"
7. M.O.P. - "Ante Up (Robbing-Hoodz Theory)"
8. System Of A Down - "Chop Suey!"
9. Jay-Z - “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)”
10. Three 6 Mafia f/ Young Buck and 8Ball & MJG - "Stay Fly"
11. Ludacris f/ Shawnna - "What's Your Fantasy?"
12. Ja Rule f/ Lil Mo and Vita - "Put It On Me"
13. Twista f/ Kanye West and Jamie Foxx - “Slow Jamz”
14. Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz f/ The Ying Yang Twins - “Get Low”
15. Coldplay - "Clocks"
16. D'Angelo - "Untitled (How Does It Feel)"
17. Kylie Minogue - "Love At First Sight"
18. Vanessa Carlton - "A Thousand Miles"
19. Lady Gaga - "Bad Romance"
20. The Game f/ 50 Cent- "Hate It Or Love It"
21. Maroon 5 - "Makes Me Wonder"
22. Terror Squad f/ Fat Joe and Remy Ma - "Lean Back"
23. Linkin Park - "Faint"
24. Britney Spears - "Toxic"
25. Alicia Keys - “You Don’t Know My Name”
26. Petey Pablo - "Raise Up"
27. Usher - "U Don't Have To Call"
28. T.I. - "Rubber Band Man"
29. Nas - "One Mic"
30. Mya - "Case of the Ex"
31. Monica - “So Gone”
32. Jimmy Eat World - "Sweetness"
33. Train - "Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me)"
34. Sum 41 - "Fat Lip"
35. Avril Lavigne - "Complicated"
36. Talib Kweli - “Get By”
37. Aaliyah - "More Than A Woman"
38. Cam'ron f/ Juelz Santana - "Oh Boy"
39. Black Eyed Peas - “I Gotta Feeling”
40. Outkast - "B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)"
41. Anthony Hamilton - "Charlene"
42. Mariah Carey - “We Belong Together”
43. LL Cool J f/ Marc Dorsey - "Luv U Better"
44. Sunshine Anderson - "Heard It All Before"
45. R. Kelly featuring T.I. and T-Pain - "I'm A Flirt (Remix)"
46. Madonna - "Don’t Tell Me"
47. Beyonce - "Get Me Bodied"
48. Trick Daddy f/ Trina, Co and Duece Poppito - "Shut Up"
49. Lil Wayne f/ Mannie Fresh - "Go D.J."
50. Ne-Yo - "So Sick"

51. Fantasia - "When I See U"
52. C-Murder f/ Snoop Dogg and Magic - "Down For My N’s"
53. Missy Elliott f/ Ludacris - "One Minute Man"
54. Rich Boy f/ Polow Da Don - "Throw Some D's"
55. Christina Aguilera - "Beautiful"
56. T.I. - "What You Know"
57. Limp Bizkit - "My Way"
58. Fabolous f/ Nate Dogg - "Can't Deny It"
59. Mya f/ Jay-Z - "Best of Me Pt. 2"
60. Yellowcard - "Ocean Avenue"
61. UGK featuring Outkast - "Int'l Players Anthem"
62. Nivea f/ R. Kelly - “Laundromat”
63. Alicia Keys - "If I Ain't Got You"
64. Method Man & Redman - "Da Rockwilder"
65. Jadakiss f/ Styles P. - "We Gonna Make It"
66. The Clipse f/ Pharrell - "Grindin'"
67. Nas - "Made You Look"
68. John Legend - "Ordinary People"
69. Robin Thicke - "Lost Without You"
70. Eminem - "Lose Yourself"
71. Freeway f/ Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel - "What We Do"
72. Sara Bareilles - "Love Song"
73. Lostprophets - "Last Train Home"
74. Justin Timberlake - “Rock Your Body”
75. Pink - "Who Knew"
76. 50 Cent - "I Get Money"
77. Plies f/ Ne-Yo - "Bust It Baby Pt. 2"
78. Weezer - "Perfect Situation"
79. Jamie Foxx f/ T-Pain - "Blame It"
80. Evanescence - "Call Me When You're Sober"
81. Young Jeezy f/ Akon - “Soul Survivor”
82. The Killers - "When You Were Young"
83. Cassidy - "I'm A Hustla"
84. Twista - "Overnight Celebrity"
85. N Sync - "Bye Bye Bye"
86. Nelly Furtado - "I'm Like A Bird"
87. John Mayer - “No Such Thing”
88. Cam'ron f/ Juelz Santana - "Hey Ma"
89. Ludacris f/ Bobby Valentino - "Pimpin' All Over The World"
90. Shakira f/ Alejandro Sanz - "La Tortura"
91. Birdman f/ The Clipse - “What Happened To That Boy?”
92. Lloyd f/ Lil Wayne – “You”
93. Scarface f/ Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel - "Guess Who's Back"
94. Mary J. Blige - "Just Fine"
95. Chamillionaire f/ Krayzie Bone - "Ridin'"
96. Justin Timberlake f/ T.I. - "My Love"
97. David Banner f/ Lil Flip - “Like A Pimp”
98. Ludacris f/ Mystikal and I-20 - "Move Bitch"
99. Lil Mo f/ Fabolous - "Superwoman Pt. II"
100. Usher - "U Got It Bad"

101. U2 - "Beautiful Day"
102. Juvenile f/ Soulja Slim - "Slow Motion"
103. Ying Yang Twins - "Wait (The Whisper Song)"
104. Hilary Duff - "Come Clean"
105. Fergie - "London Bridge"
106. Birdman and Lil Wayne - "Stuntin' Like My Daddy"
107. Foxx f/ Lil Boosie and Webbie - "Wipe Me Down (Remix)"
108. Christina Aguilera - "What A Girl Wants"
109. Joe f/ Mystikal - “Stutter (Remix)”
110. Keyshia Cole f/ Missy Elliott and Lil Kim - "Let It Go"
111. Jennifer Lopez f/ Ja Rule - "Ain't It Funny (Murder Remix)”
112. Janet Jackson - "Doesn't Really Matter"
113. Natasha Bedingfield - "These Words"
114. Finger Eleven - "Paralyzer"
115. Jet - "Cold Hard Bitch"
116. John Legend f/ Andre 3000 - "Green Light"
117. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "By The Way"
118. The Strokes - "Hard To Explain"
119. Fall Out Boy - "Dance, Dance"
120. Incubus - "Wish You Were Here"
121. Paramore - "MIsery Business"
122. Lil Bow Wow f/ Jagged Edge - “My Baby”
123. Snoop Dogg f/ Justin Timberlake and Charlie Wilson - "Signs"
124. Ciara f/ Missy Elliott - “1, 2 Step”
125. Ryan Leslie f/ Cassie and Fabolous - “Addiction”
126. Kanye West f/ Dwele - “Flashing Lights”
127. Keri Hilson f/ Lil Wayne - “Turnin’ Me On”
128. Akon f/ Styles P. - “Locked Up”
129. Jesse McCartney - “She’s No You”
130. Kelly Clarkson - "Breakaway"
131. Katy Perry - "Hot N Cold"
132. J-Kwon - "Hood Hop"
133. Dr. Dre f/ Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg and Kurupt - “The Next Episode”
134. Memphis Bleek f/ Jay-Z and Missy Elliott - "Is That Your Chick?"
135. Nelly - "E.I."
136. Eminem - "Without Me"
137. Swizz Beatz - "It's Me, Bitches"
138. Shyne f/ Barrington Levy - “Bonnie & Shyne”
139. Tank - "Maybe I Deserve"
140. Beyonce - "Irreplaceable"
141. Trina f/ Ludacris - “B R Right”
142. Demi Lovato - “Don’t Forget”
143. The All-American Rejects - "Move Along"
144. The YoungBloodZ f/ Lil Jon - “Damn!”
145. T.I. - "U Don't Know Me"
146. Nine Inch Nails - "The Hand That Feeds"
147. Pearl Jam - "The Fixer"
148. My Chemical Romance - "I’m Not Okay (I Promise)"
149. Muse - "Knights of Cydonia"
150. Sugar Ray - "When It's Over"

151. Da Band - “Bad Boy This, Bad Boy That”
152. Fabolous - "Breathe"
153. The Darkness - “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”
154. 311 - “Don’t Tread On Me”
155. N.E.R.D. - "Rock Star"
156. Lloyd Banks f/ 50 Cent - "On Fire"
157. Prodigy - “Keep It Thoro”
158. Busta Rhymes - “Break Ya Neck”
159. E-40 f/ Keak Da Sneak - "Tell Me When To Go"
160. Missy Elliott f/ Ludacris - “Gossip Folks”
161. R. Kelly - "A Woman's Threat"
162. Ne-Yo f/ Peedi Crakk - “Stay”
163. Ginuwine - "There It Is"
164. Amerie - "Why Don't We Fall In Love?"
165. No Doubt - "Hella Good"
166. Maxwell - "Pretty Wings"
167. Usher - "Confessions Part II"
168. The Pussycat Dolls f/ Snoop Dogg - "Buttons"
169. Prince - “Call My Name”
170. Blink 182 - "Always"
171. Cee-Lo f/ Timbaland - “I’ll Be Around”
172. Boyz N Da Hood - "Dem Boyz"
173. Nickelback - "Photograph"
174. Norah Jones - "Sunrise"
175. Good Charlotte - "The Anthem"
176. Faith Evans f/ Missy Elliott - “Burnin’ Up”
177. Freeway f/ Peedi Crakk - “Flipsides”
178. Say Anything - "Alive With The Glory Of Love"
179. Foo Fighters - "The Best Of You"
180. Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz f/ Usher and Ludacris - "Lovers & Friends"
181. The Ataris - "Boys Of Summer"
182. Fergie f/ - "Fergalicious"
183. Mystikal - "Bouncin' Back (Bumpin' Me Against the Wall)"
184. Ying Yang Twins f/ Pitbull - "Shake"
185. Michael Jackson - "Butterflies"
186. Lil Wayne f/ Birdman, Mickey and Mack 10 - "Shine"
187. Disturbed - "Land Of Confusion"
188. UTP f/ Wacko, Skip and Juvenile - "Nolia Clap (Remix)"
189. Rihanna - "Don't Stop The Music"
190. Fabolous f/ Mike Shorey and Lil Mo - “Can’t Let You Go”
191. Musiq Soulchild - "Halfcrazy"
192. Mario - "Just A Friend 2002"
193. Sisqo - "Thong Song"
194. Pink - "So What"
195. John Mayer - "Clarity"
196. Avril Lavigne - "Sk8er Boi"
197. Three 6 Mafia - "Who Run It"
198. Gucci Mane f/ Plies - "Wasted"
199. Justin Timberlake f/ The Clipse - “Like I Love You”
200. Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz f/ Mystikal and Krayzie Bone - "I Don't Give A Fuck"

201. Shaggy f/ Rik Rok - "It Wasn't Me"
202. Montgomery Gentry -"My Town"
203. Young Jeezy f/ Kanye West - "Put On"
204. Purple Ribbon All-Stars f/ Big Boi, Killer Mike, C-Bone and Rock D - "Kryptonite (I'm On It)"
205. Toby Keith - "I Love This Bar"
206. DJ Khaled f/ Paul Wall, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, Rick Ross and Pitbull - "Holla At Me Baby"
207. Dem Franchize Boyz f/ Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat and Bow Wow - "I Think They Like Me (So So Def Remix)"
208. Toby Keith - "As Good As I Once Was"
209. Brad Paisley - "Me Neither"
210. Young Dro f/ T.I. - "Shoulder Lean"
211. Big & Rich - "Save A Hore (Ride A Cowboy)"
212. Sean Paul - "Get Busy"
213. Trick Daddy - "I'm A Thug"
214. Nappy Roots f/ Jazze Pha - "Awnaw"
215. Bubba Sparxxx - "Ugly"
216. Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz f/ Bo Hagon - "Get Crunk"
217. Soulja Boy Tell 'Em - "Donk"
218. Sara Evans - "Suds In The Bucket"
219. Three 6 Mafia f/ UGK and Project Pat - "Sippin' On Some Syrup"
220. Kanye West f/ Syleena Johnson - “All Falls Down”
221. Bobby Valentino f/ Lil Wayne - “Tell Me”
222. Rascal Flatts - "These Days"
223. Carrie Underwood - "Before He Cheats"
224. Shade Sheist f/ Nate Dogg and Kurupt - “Where I Wanna Be”
225. Snoop Dogg - “Sensual Seduction”
226. Ghostface Killah f/ Ne-Yo - “Back Like That”
227. Sean Paul - "Like Glue"
228. Toby Keith - "How Do You Like Me Now?!"
229. Mary J. Blige f/ Method Man – “Love @ 1st Sight”
230. Pharrell f/ Jay-Z - “Frontin’”
231. Jagged Edge f/ Nelly - “Where The Party At”
234. Diddy f/ Keyshia Cole - “Last Night”
235. Nivea f/ Lil Jon and the Youngbloodz - “Okay”
236. Big Punisher f/ Donell Jones - “It’s So Hard”
237. DJ Khaled f/ Akon, T.I., Fat Joe, Rick Ross, Birdman and Lil Wayne - “We Takin’ Over"
238. Korn - "Word Up!"
239. Alien Ant Farm - "Smooth Criminal"
240. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Maps"
241. Papa Roach - "Lifeline"
242. Wayne Wonder - "No Letting Go"
243. Green Day - "Waiting"
244. Jimmy Eat World - "A Praise Chorus"
245. The Killers - "Mr. Brightside"
246. The All-American Rejects - "Swing, Swing"
247. Fall Out Boy - "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs"
248. Jay-Z - "99 Problems"
249. N.O.R.E. - “Grimey”
250. Ray Cash f/ Scarface - "Bumpin' My Music"

251.Hotstylz f/ Yung Joc - “Lookin’ Boy”
252. Ma$e - “Welcome Back”
253. Ghostface Killah f/ Jadakiss - "Run"
254. B. Rich - “Whoa Now”
255. Kanye West – “Diamonds From Sierra Leone”
256. Ashlee Simpson - "La La"
257. Kelly Clarkson - “Miss Independent”
258. Ricky Martin - “She Bangs”
259. Paris Hilton - "Nothing In This World"
260. Feist - "1, 2, 3, 4"
261. The Jonas Brothers - "Lovebug"
262. Dream - “He Loves U Not”
263. Nelly Furtado - "Powerless (Say What You Want)"
264. Dido - "White Flag"
265. The Veronicas - "Untouched"
266. Vanessa Hudgens - "Come Back To Me"
267. Christina Aguilera - “Fighter”
268. Pink - "U + Ur Hand"
269. Isley Brothers f/ R. Kelly and Chante Moore - "Contagious"
270. Faith Evans - "You Gets No Love"
271. Keyshia Cole - "Love"
272. Ne-Yo - "Closer"
273. Tweet f/ Missy Elliott - "Oops (Oh My)"
274. Toby Keith - "I Wanna Talk About Me"
275. Keith Urban - "Days Go By"
276. 'N Sync - “Gone”
277. Destiny's Child - "Bootylicious"
278. Chris Brown - "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)"
279. Tamia – “Officially Missing You”
280. Carl Thomas - "I Wish"
281. R. Kelly f/ Usher - "Same Girl"
282. Aaliyah – “Come Over”
283. 112 - "Peaches & Cream"
284. John Mayer - "Daughters"
285. Fergie - "Clumsy"
286. Kelly Clarkson - "Walk Away"
287. N Sync - "Pop"
288. Snoop Dogg f/ Too $hort and Mistah F.A.B. - "Life Of Da Party"
289. Audio Push - “Teach Me How To Jerk”
290. The Diplomats f/ Juelz Santana and Cam’ron – “Dipset Anthem”
291. Jay-Z f/ Memphis Bleek and Amil - "Hey Papi"
292. Nelly f/ the St. Lunatics - "Air Force Ones"
293. Coo Coo Cal - "My Projects"
294. Da Brat - "That's What I'm Looking For"
295. Lupe Fiasco - “Kick, Push”
296. The Clipse - "When The Last Time"
297. Joe Budden - “Pump It Up”
298. Weezer - "Troublemaker"
299. Terri Clark - "Girls Lie Too"
300. Brad Paisley f/ Alison Krauss - "Whiskey Lullaby"

301. Staind - "For You"
302. Halestorm - "I Get Off"
303. Limp Bizkit - "Break Stuff"
304. The White Stripes - "Icky Thump"
305. Chevelle - "Send The Pain Below"
306. Drake f/ Trey Songz - “Successful”
307. Truth Hurts f/ Rakim - “Addicted”
308. The Roots f/ Musiq Soulchild - “Break You Off”
309. Beenie Man - "Dude"
310. Taylor Swift - "You Belong With Me"
311. Jay-Z f/ Alicia Keys - “Empire State Of Mind”
312. Cee-Lo - “Closet Freak”
313. Lil Mo f/ Fabolous - “4Ever”
314. Kanye West f/ T-Pain - “Good Life”
315. Paul Wall f/ Big Pokey - “Sittin’ Sidewayz”
316. Big Tymers - "Get Your Roll On"
317. Gucci Mane f/ Young Jeezy and Boo - "Icy"
318. 8Ball & MJG f/ DJ Quik - "Buck Bounce"
319. Bone Crusher f/ Killer Mike and T.I. - “Never Scared”
320. Ludacris - "Southern Hospitality"
321. A Perfect Circle - "Judith"
322. Jay-Z f/ Beanie Sigel and Memphis Bleek - "Change The Game"
323. Juelz Santana - "Santana's Town (Dipset)"
324. The-Dream - "Rockin' That Shit"
325. Fuel - “Hemmorhage (In My Hands)”
326. The Foo Fighters - "No Way Back"
327. Amy Winehouse - "Rehab"
328. Weezer - "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To)"
329. Gnarls Barkley - "Crazy"
330. Limp Bizkit - "Rollin'"
331. DMX - "Who We Be"
332. N Sync - "Girlfriend"
333. Memphis Bleek f/ Jay-Z - "Do My"
334. Outkast f/ Killer Mike - "The Land of a Million Drums"
335. Fergie f/ Ludacris - "Glamorous"
336. The Veronicas - "When It All Falls Apart"
337. Cam'ron - "What Means The World To You"
338. Kelly Rowland - "Can't Nobody"
339. Trey Songz f/ Fabolous - "Say Aah"
340. Fat Joe f/ R. Kelly - "We Thuggin'"
341. Incubus - "Anna Molly"
342. Chevelle - "Jars"
343. The Foo Fighters - "The Pretender"
344. Shinedown - "Second Chance"
345. Creed - "My Sacrifice" (2001)
346. Remy Ma - "Conceited"
347. Beyonce - "Sweet Dreams"
348. Nelly Furtado - "Turn Off The Light"
349. R. Kelly - “Ignition”
350. R. Kelly - "Ignition (Remix)"

351. Avril Lavigne - "I'm With You"
352. Blink 182 - "Adam's Song"
353. Beenie Man - "King Of The Dancehall"
354. Maroon 5 - "Harder To Breathe"
355. Mannie Fresh - "Real Big"
356. Jennifer Hudson - "Spotlight"
357. Jay-Z f/ UGK - "Big Pimpin'"
358. Ryan Leslie - "Diamond Girl"
359. Jordin Sparks f/ Chris Brown - "No Air"
360. Jazmine Sullivan f/ Missy Elliott - "I Need U Bad"
361. Cassie - "Me & U"
362. Lil Wayne - "Hustler Musik"
363. Omarion - "Entourage"
364. Gun's N' Roses - "Better"
365. Ludacris - “How Low”
366. Young Money Entertainment - "Every Girl"
367. Jeremih - "Imma Star (Everywhere We Are)"
368. Kanye West - “Through The Wire”
369. Busta Rhymes featuring Pharrell - “Light Your Ass On Fire”
370. Avenged Sevenfold - “Bat Country”
371. Macy Gray - “I Try”
372. Eminem - "The Real Slim Shady"
373. Phantom Planet - "California"
374. Alien Ant Farm - "Movies"
375. Freeway and Beanie Sigel - "Roc the Mic"
376. Chad Kroeger f/ Josey Scott - "Hero"
377. Big Tymers - "Still Fly"
378. Andrew W.K. - "Party Hard"
379. Queens Of The Stone Age - "No One Knows"
380. Brandy - "What About Us"
381. Ja Rule f/ Fat Joe and Jadakiss - "New York"
382. Jay-Z - "Girls, Girls, Girls"
383. Black Eyed Peas - "Hey Mama"
384. Mario - "Let Me Love You"
385. Ashanti - "Only You"
386. T.I. f/ Rihanna - "Live Your Life"
387. Shawty Lo - "Foolish"
388. Erykah Badu f/ Common - "Love Of My Life"
389. Cassidy f/ Swizz Beatz - "My Drink N My 2 Step"
390. D12 - "Purple Pills"
391. Mike Jones f/ Slim Thug and Paul Wall – “Still Tippin’"
392. Kanye West f/ Adam Levine of Maroon 5 - "Heard 'Em Say"
393. Maxwell - "Lifetime"
394. Barenaked Ladies - “Pinch Me”
395. Usher f/ Alicia Keys - "My Boo"
396. Prince - "Black Sweat"
397. Snow Patrol - "Hands Open"
398. Playaz Circle featuring Lil Wayne - "Duffle Bag Boy"
399. Kelly Rowland f/ Eve - "Like This"
400. Crime Mob - "Circles"

401. The-Dream - "Shawty Is Da Shit"
402. The Pussycat Dolls f/ - "Beep"
403. Gwen Stefani - "Cool"
404. Katy Perry - "Waking Up In Vegas"
405. Natasha Bedingfield - "I Wanna Have Your Babies"
406. Christina Aguilera - "Come On Over (All I Want Is You)"
407. Madonna - "Music"
408. Jagged Edge - "Walked Outta Heaven"
409. Slim - "So Fly"
410. 112 - "Dance With Me"
411. Big Punisher f/ Tony Sunshine - "100%"
412. Outkast - "Ms. Jackson"
413. Gym Class Heroes f/ Patrick Stump - “Clothes Off”
414. DJ Unk - “2 Step”
415. Daughtry f/ Slash - “What I Want”
416. Trey Songz - "Wonder Woman"
417. Alien Ant Farm - "The Movies"
418. The Thorns - "I Can't Remember"
419. The Killers - "All These Things That I Have Done"
420. Papa Roach - "Scars"
421. Jimmy Eat World - "Bleed American"
422. Jimmy Eat World - "The MIddle"
423. Incubus - "Dig"
424. The Foo Fighters - "D.O.A."
424. Weezer - "Keep Fishin'"
425. Kelly Clarkson - "The Trouble With Love Is"
426. Pink - "Trouble"
427. The Black Eyeds Peas - "My Humps"
428. Korn - "Y'All Want A Single"
429. Nine Inch Nails - "Discipline"
430. Paramore - "That's What You Get"
431. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Hump De Bump"
432. Finger Eleven - "One Thing"
433. U2 - "City of Blinding Lights"
434. Coldplay - "Lost!"
435. System Of A Down - "Hypnotize"
436. Blink 182 - "Rock Show"
437. Muse - "Hysteria"
438. Nickelback - "Rock Star"
439. Good Charlotte - "The Young And The Hopeless"
440. Linkin Park - "Bleed It Out"
441. The Strokes - "Someday"
441. The White Stripes - "Fell In Love With A Girl"
442. Evanescence - "Bring Me To Life"
443. The Foo Fighters - "Long Road To Ruin"
444. Pink - "Sober"
445. The All-American Rejects - "Dirty Little Secret"
446. Demi Lovato - "La La Land"
447. Madonna - "Die Another Day"
448. Maroon 5 f/ Rihanna - "If I Never See Your Face Again"
449. Kylie Minogue - "Can't Get You Out Of My Head"
450. Jesse McCartney - "Leavin'"

451. Jagged Edge - "What It's Like"
452. Flo Rida f/ T-Pain - "Low"
453. DJ Khaled f/ Kanye West, Consequence and John Legend - "Grammy Family"
454. Outkast f/ Sleepy Brown - "So Fresh, So Clean"
455. Evanescence - "Going Under"
456. The Strokes - "Last Night"
457. Fall Out Boy - "A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More 'Touch Me'"
458. Swizz Beatz - "Money In The Bank"
459. Beyonce - "Naughty Girl"
460. Justin Timberlake - “I’m Lovin’ It”
461. Pink - ‘There U Go”
462. Puddle Of Mudd - “Blurry”
463. A New Found Glory - “My Friends Over You”
464. Fabolous f/ Tamia – “Into You”
465. Zwan - “Honestly”
466. Saliva - “Click Click Boom”
467. P.O.D. - “Boom”
468. Common f/ Bilal - "The 6th Sense"
469. No Doubt - "Bathwater"
470. Destiny's Child - "Jumpin' Jumpin'"
471. Beenie Man f/ Mya - "Girls Dem Sugar"
472. Ja Rule f/ Christina Milian - "Between Me And You"
473. Da Brat f/ Tyrese - "What Do You Like"
474. Wu Tang Clan - "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)"
475. Lucy Pearl - "Dance Tonight"
476. Beanie Sigel - "Beanie (Mack Bitch)"
477. G. Dep - "Special Delivery"
478. Ludacris - "Saturday (Oooh! Oooh!)"
479. Nate Dogg, Fabolous, Kurupt and B.R.E.T.T. - "I Got Love (remix)"
480. N.E.R.D. f/ Vita and Lee Harvey - "Lapdance"
481. Young Dro - "Rubberband Banks"
482. T.I. - "Bring Em Out"
483. Maroon 5 - "She Will Be Loved"
484. Webbie f/ Bun B - "Give Me That"
485. David Banner - "Play"
486. Juelz Santana - "Mic Check 1, 2"
487. Franz Ferdinand - "Do You Want To"
488. Pitbull f/ Lil Jon - "Toma"
489. Diddy f/ Nicole Scherzinger - "Come To Me"
490. Yung Joc f/ Nitti - "It's Goin' Down"
491. Twista f/ Pitbull - "Hit The Floor"
492. Trina f/ Killer Mike - "Look Back At Me"
493. Nelly - "Country Grammar (Hot Shit)"
494. Alicia Keys - "Karma"
495. Ne-Yo - "Miss Independent"
496. 8Ball & MJG - "You Don't Want Drama"
497. Jay-Z - "Song Cry"
498. Birdman f/ Lil Wayne - "Pop Bottles"
499. D12 - "My Band"
500. Big Tymers f/ The Hot Boys - "#1 Stunna"

501. Coldplay - "Violet Hill"
502. R. Kelly - "I Wish"
503. Janet Jackson - "Someone To Call My Lover"
504. The Foo Fighters - "Times Like These"
505. Kelly Clarkson - "Low"
506. Justin Timberlake - "Until The End of Time"
507. Luple Fiasco f/ Jill Scott - "Daydreamin'"
508. Beyonce f/ Jay-Z - "Crazy In Love"
509. Kanye West f/ Jamie Foxx - "Gold Digger"
510. Ghostface Killah f/ Missy Elliott - "Tush"
511. The Clipse f/ Pharrell, Ab-Liva and Roscoe P. Coldchain - "Hot Damn"
512. Joe Budden f/ Busta Rhymes - "Fire (Yes Yes Y'all)"
513. Mario - "C'Mon"
514. Rihanna - "If It's Lovin' That You Want"
515. System Of A Down - "B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bombs)"
516. Aaliyah – “I Care 4 U"
517. Destiny's Child - "Say My Name"
518. Jim Jones f/ Cam'ron and Juelz Santana - "Crunk Muzik"
519. Nelly f/ St. Lunatics - "Ride WIth Me"
520. John Legend - "Heaven"
521. Alicia Keys - "How Come You Don't Call Me"
522. Blink 182 - "I Miss You"

Friday, July 22, 2011

My latest Radio Hits One column for the Village Voice's Sound of the City blog is called The Long, Long Legs Of Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday, on the subject of Nicki becoming the first rapper with five top 10 urban radio hits off one album.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Three years ago this Thursday, the Club Queen K-Swift passed away, and since people in Baltimore think about her every day and some are still writing songs about her, I wrote a post on the City Paper Noise blog about three recent tribute tracks by Isaac Stalk, EJ and Comp.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On Saturday I took my son to his first Artscape, where we drank lots of lemonade, ate lots of fried food, and heard some live music. I wrote about G. Love & Special Sauce's performance for the Baltimore Sun, and the review went up on the Sun site Sunday morning and will be in Monday's paper.

Movie Diary

Saturday, July 16, 2011
a) Foo Fighters: Back And Forth
Even if the Foo Fighters aren't that 'important' in the grand scheme of things I feel like they made a really good subject for a documentary like this, was interesting to look back at all the early lineup changes and uncomfortable moments like Dave Grohl owning up to re-doing Goldsmith's drums on the second album and that. Also the whole home recording setup for Wasting Light really does look like the coolest possible way to make an album.

b) Burlesque
I rolled my eyes when my wife put this on but the truth is I'm not above enjoying a silly song-and-dance movie with some T&A, and this had its moments, and Kristen Bell just looks ridic in it.

c) All American Orgy
The title of this movie (and the cover of the DVD on the IMDb page) make this seem like it's going to be the most typical low brow sex comedy, but it was surprisingly a kind of impressive, realistic little flick that just occasionally at the right moments went ridiculous and over the top.

d) Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
The mere existence of this movie is so hilarious that I was unprepared for how much I enjoyed this, I liked that it was less cartoony than the average talking animal computer animation flick but still pretty cute and very visually dazzling.

e) Going The Distance
I feel like whatever minor dislike I have for Justin Long and Drew Barrymore was somehow compounded by their being a couple, but I caught myself watching a bit of this movie and not hating it, had some funny moments.

f) Toy Story 3
I dug this alright, was definitely a solid entry into the series, but the Toy Story movies have never been a particular favorite of mine ever since Pixar did so many other things that surpassed them.

g) Our Family Wedding
America Ferrara doesn't get to do enough movies where she's treated like a gorgeous woman and has a love interest and everything. That alone was enough to compel me to watch this movie. Most of the boilerplate wedding movie stuff, with Carlos Mencia as her dad, did not reward my interest.

h) Bedrooms
A vaguely novel indie drama with lots of tense bedroom arguments and lovers' quarrels that ends up in such realistic raw nerve territory that I ended up kind of hating it, especially some of the weird directorial choices.

i) Sorority Row
This is all I could want in a bad horror movie: hot chicks and gruesome deaths.

j) 9
Sometimes it's easy to get a little blase about how uniformly amazing looking but also uniformly similar looking computer animated movies out there, so this really grabbed my attention with a totally different look, and even if it wasn't especially funny and the plot was a little thin, I still thought it was just fantastic to watch.

k) Bandslam
Surprisingly decent, moderately charming movie considering how irksome I tend to find it whenever a bunch of cute showbiz moppets try to tell a story about music obsessed adolescent outcasts, mostly because I get all "I was one and that is not what we are like!"

l) Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
I'd had mixed feelings about this project ever since it was announced years and years ago, mainly because David Foster Wallace seems like such an unadaptable author and that guy from "The Office" hardly seemed like the one to try it. But while Brief Interviews was always maybe my least favorite of his books I underestimated how much its monologue-heavy format translates well to the screen, since there's a pretty impressive lineup of actors and it kind of is a surprising joy to see some of Wallace's endless sentences given a dramatic reading. Still kind of a minor, forgettable flick, but much better than I expected it to be.

m) Explicit Ills
One thing about becoming a parent is that movies like this that feature a small child in extreme pain and peril are really hard for me to watch now, this movie kind of upset me too much to judge it by any other metric.

n) Adventures of Power
It's weird that the guy who directed and stars in this movie, Ari Gold, has the same name as Jeremy Piven's character in "Entourage," and it feels even weirder when Adrian Grenier shows up here in a supporting role. Anyway it's kind of a cheesy LOL '80s movie about air drumming feels like a less clever attempt at what Hot Rod did so well.

o) Finding Amanda
A dark comedy starring Matthew Broderick in a role that echoes his performance in Election in so many ways that it feels a bit too much like a calculated follow-up. Otherwise it had its moments of good shock humor, though.

p) Kung Fu Hustle
I know this movie is supposed to be awesome and fun, but I dunno, it didn't really do anything for me. I'm pretty terrible with subtitles, though, just have never gotten used to watching movies that way, total closed-minded American shit, I know.

q) The Saddest Music In The World
I really like seeing Mark McKinney in non-"Kids In The Hall" projects and this seemed promising, but it ultimately felt stylized to death -- if they didn't shoot the whole thing in fake-fuzzy old timey black & white and held back on the affectations a little bit, I think this could've been a lot better.

r) Backstage
The late '90s commercial domination of Roc-A-Fella and Ruff Ryders was a big deal to me at the time and still is, so it's kind of crazy that it took me over a decade to finally see this movie. It's really interesting to see Jay in particular right at the beginning of his superstardom, makes a real contrast to Fade To Black, and it's just fun to see all these crews at their peak.

s) One Crazy Summer
I'd always heard this was kind of a minor follow-up to the '80s teen movie classic Better Off Dead, and indeed it's definitely not as good, but still enjoyable for many of the same reasons. Joe Flaherty's speech alone is classic.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Some new Singles Jukebox scores and blurbs:

Coldplay – Every Teardrop is a Waterfall [8/4.88]
Lady Gaga – The Edge of Glory [9/7.35]
Bruno Mars – The Lazy Song [2/1.87]
Pitbull ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer – Give Me Everything [8/6.08]
Lil Wayne – How To Love [2/3.55]
Paramore – Monster [5/4.33]
The Lonely Island ft. Michael Bolton – Jack Sparrow [7/3.67]
Big Sean ft. Chris Brown – My Last [1/2.5]
Diddy-Dirty Money ft. Trey Songz – Your Love [8/6.62]
Jill Scott ft. Anthony Hamilton – So In Love [5/6.62]
Taylor Swift – The Story Of Us [3/6.36]
Mindless Behavior ft. Ciara, Tyga & Lil’ Twist – My Girl (Remix) [5/5.27]
Ace Hood – Hustle Hard [3/5.38]
Aloe Blacc – Loving You Is Killing Me [2/5]
Britney Spears – I Wanna Go [4/6.71]
Shania Twain – Today Is Your Day [2/3.71]
David Guetta ft. Flo Rida & Nicki Minaj – Where Them Girls At [1/3.87]
Bad Meets Evil ft. Bruno Mars – Lighters [3/2.73]
DJ Khaled ft. Lil Wayne, Drake & Rick Ross – I’m On One [3/5.7]
Gym Class Heroes ft. Adam Levine – Stereo Hearts [3/3.86]
Christina Perri – Arms [6/4.1]

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This week the Baltimore City Paper publishes its annual Big Music Issue, and my story in it, Knights of the Round Robin, is about the 5th annual All Rap Round Robin that will be taking place on August 19th at Floristree. I attended the show the last two years and am really excited about the additions to this year's lineup, could be their best yet. For the story I spoke to Height, OOH, Jones, Mickey Free, The Plural MC, King Rhythm and members of Soul Cannon, Mania Music Group, Disturbed Individuals and AK Slaughter (and the concert will also feature PT Burnem, Rapdragons and Secret Weapon Dave).

(photo by Frank Hamilton)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The latest column of my Village Voice chart column Radio Hits One is about Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" crossing over to rock, R&B and even Latin radio formats.

TV Diary

Thursday, July 07, 2011
a) "Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings"
This is a goofy little show but it's charming, and I like that it harnesses the novelty of silly local commercials while engaging with the tradition and not just ridiculing it.

b) "Combat Hospital"
It's hard to watch a show about surgeons in a military camp without comparing it inevitably and unfavorably to "M*A*S*H," but this taking place in Afghanistan a few years ago gives it its own identity, although it's otherwise kind of a run of the mill ABC medical drama. Nice to see Elias Koteas star in a show, although I'm not sure yet if the role is worthy of his talents. And Michelle Borth is pretty to look at.

c) "Wilfred"
The first time I saw a long promo for this show on FX, I thought it was one of the most bizarre and surprising things I'd ever seen, I didn't know if it was a movie or a sketch or what, I just thought it was hilarious and wanted to see more of it. And that was months and months ago, so I've been trying to keep up my anticipation for this show without building my expectations too high. And so far, I'm really happy with it and like that I can finally watch this crazy show with Elijah Wood and a talking dog.

d) "Suits"
I'm generally pretty indifferent to breezy procedural shows on USA, but the pilot for this show was pretty impressive, set up the whole premise and defined the characters well, hopefully the series can keep up the same pace.

e) "Falling Skies"
I wanted to be excited about this because, like "Walking Dead," it'd be nice to get a good series version of a type of story usually reserved for movies. But man, that longass pilot just bored me to tears and I've only intermittently been able to pay it any attention since.

f) "Jon Benjamin Has A Van"
I will forever love H. Jon Benjamin for "Home Movies" and "Dr. Katz," and "Bob's Burgers" is one of my favorite new shows this year and even "Archer" is growing on me. So I want to wish him well in a non-animated vehicle, but something about this show just feels very slapdash and not as clever as it wants to be, goes very quickly from boring to grating.

g) "Ice Loves Coco"
There's something vaguely depressing about how the majority of interracial relationships depicted on TV these days are on E! reality shows about bimbos and the rappers or athletes who love them. But Ice-T is just too badass and entertaining for this show to be as boringly cookie cutter and scripted as these shows are designed to be, and there's even something surprisingly sweet and real about his relationship with Coco, they have a very genuine affection and rapport that I enjoy watching. It's pretty annoying how every episode's title is a play on the phrase "Baby's Got Back," though -- E! knows that that's not an Ice-T song, right?

h) "Platinum Hit"
With all the singing competitions on the air it's fun to watch a show about the art of writing a song, although it's really hard to tell if any of the people on this show are actually any good or if the state of the pop industry is bad enough that they could write a hit as well as anyone else. That first episode where two of the winning songs were called "My Ridiculous" and "Pain This Club With Amazing" says it all, really -- nothing has been that insane since then, but it's remained pretty entertaining. And though I know I'm being conditioned to root against the typical egotistical reality show 'villain,' I really do hate that Nick guy.

i) "Franklin & Bash"
As far as shows about douchey cool guy lawyers, this show with Zack Morris and Breckin Meyer is at least more appealing than that one from a few months ago with Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell. It's kind of not bad, though.

j) "Love Bites"
This feels like a TV series version of those generic mega-romcoms that have been popping up the last few years like He's Just Not Into You and Valentine's Day -- apparently it's an 'anthology' series focusing on different characters from one episode to the next, so it's really like a short version of one of those movies every week. And no matter how bland and undistinguished it is, I will still probably watch this show regularly just as I watched those movies, because I have a sad romcom weakness and will also happily watch love stories involving pretty ladies like Krysten Ritter or Joy Bryant or Laura Prepon or Jennifer Love Hewitt or Anna Camp.

k) "How The States Got Their Shapes"
Every time I see Brian Unger in some random low profile cable gig I kinda feel bad for dude, who was one of the really funny O.G. "Daily Show" correspondents but just hasn't had the same kind of subsequent career arc as a lot of those guys. This show is a mildly amusing little History Channel trifle, though.

l) "Big Morning Buzz Live"
I have a certain affection for inane morning shows and in a strange way am happy that VH1 has started airing one with a music emphasis. It's a shame they keep letting Carrie Keagan host things, though, she's really just too much of a blank slate to even be a good generic TV host, as hot as she is (and that ill-fitting bob haircut is kind of holding her back in that regard). They already put this on 'summer hiatus' after just a few weeks on the air, although I'm not so sure it'll actually be back in the fall, at least not without being heavily overhauled.

m) "Single Ladies"
VH1's new southern black girl "Sex And The City" ripoff, which is as stupid as it sounds but is still pretty watchable just for how Stacey Dash continues to defy logic with how good she looks at her age. It was pretty ridiculous when she had 2 love scenes in a row set to different Alicia Keys slow jams. There was a pretty hilarious subplot for a couple episodes involving Mac Miller in Saigon-on-"Entourage" storyline.

n) Too Big To Fail
HBO putting together a topshelf cast with a big screen director to examine the 2008 financial meltdown may be the most highminded, upscale ripped-from-the-headlines TV movie ever, but it can't quite escape feeling like a ripped-from-the-headlines TV movie. It's nice and well made and interesting, but it's basically the kind of dry, dull, slightly clumsy fact-based affair The Social Network could have been if the behind-the-camera talent hadn't willed it into feeling cinematic.

o) "Why Not? With Shania Twain"
I find something mildly fascinating about Shania Twain's gargantuan success and subsequent disappearance from the music industry, and how this show is tracing her weird tentative post-divorce steps into making music again.

p) "The Killing"
I don't think I was paying close enough attention to this show to really notice most of the plot holes and sloppy writing until it was pointed out on the internet, and it became apparent how shoddy the show was in some ways, in spite of the good cast and involving atmosphere and aesthetic. I'm not even really mad about the 'cop out' season finale like some people are, although it definitely dulled my enjoyment overall, just because it was kind of a cheap way to end things.

q) "Workaholics"
This show grew into something pretty solid over time, really enjoyed the chemistry of the cast and total don't-give-a-fuck vibe of the whole thing.

r) "The Glades"
I didn't know this show existed until I started watching another A&E show, "Breakout Kings," and saw ads for its second season all the time. But they put the whole first season on demand, so I ended up kind of binging and watching it all in the space of like a week, even though it's not that good, just catching up and enjoying having a lot of episodes of something mildly pleasant to watch. It's growing on me, there have been some really entertaining plots now and then, but the female lead, played by Nikki from "Lost" of Nikki & Paolo fame, is pretty weak.

s) "Regular Show"
I always have the vague impression that there are some perfectly good non-Adult Swim shows on the Cartoon Network but never really know which ones to check out. Have been watching this a little bit and I like it, it's definitely lightweight and silly but it has a nice little absurd bent and some kind of clever slacker comedy elements to it.

t) "Luther"
It was neat to see Idris Elba actually play a British character for once, but this show never really clicked for me, and one thing about Brit shows is that when they only make 6 episodes of a show, it's even harder to get into a groove with it.

u) "Louie"
I've always been kind of down on this show, for all the critical adoration it still just feels like a threadbare assemblage of standup routines and half-assed dramatizations of the ideas therein. But I'm starting to at least get a little more comfortable with that format in the second season. I've made peace with "Louie" basically being "The Seinfeld Chronicles" without the ensemble or ambition to eventually grow it into "Seinfeld"-level greatness.

v) "The Big C"
I thought this show got pretty good by the end of the first season and was kind of looking forward to the second season, but then the premiere kinda annoyed me off the bat with some stupid dream sequence and talking to dead people-type schticky scenes. But it looks like that was kind of a one-off and the second season is back to making the most of the show's pretty solid ensemble cast and finally moving the story forward from the stasis it was kept in for most of the first season.

w) "Hoppus On Music"
I am pretty annoyed that Fuse took a show that worked really well and messed with the format, reducing it from an hour to a half hour and eliminating a lot of the fun segments and comedic elements, including co-host Amy Schumer. Lame.

x) "Men Of A Certain Age"
Earlier this year the 2nd season of "Men Of A Certain" age just kind of abruptly stopped after a few episodes -- as it turns out, ratings were so bad compared to the 1st season that TNT decided to just stop and re-launch the remaining episodes as a 'new season' in the summer. That was kind of frustrating, but in a weird way the break was well timed and the first episode back was a really good one that kind of felt like a season premiere, even if it probably wasn't by design.

y) "True Blood"
I really lost interest in this show last year, but the premiere of the new season instantly had me back on board with that jump forward a year in the timeline, which felt like a great way to reboot everything and kind of get a lot of various plots out of ruts they'd been in for too long.

z) "MTV Unplugged"
Man, they're not even trying anymore, that Lil Wayne episode was just a Lil Wayne concert with his backup band, who are practically a metal band, playing with no acoustic instruments. Why even call it "Unplugged"?

Monthly Report: June Albums

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

1. Beyoncé - 4
This has been a very interesting album to digest over the past few weeks, more than most albums I feel like it'll be a while before I really know if I love it or regard it as a noble failure in some ways, or something else entirely. Even the songs I enjoyed immediately, like "1 + 1" and "I Care," have obvious flaws to me as songs, but the latter also has that amazing moment where she sings along with the guitar solo. And I'm still slowly warming to other tracks, "Countdown" is quickly becoming a favorite, although I don't think I'll ever like "Party" or "Run The World (Girls)." I hesitate to characterize Beyoncé as a usually calculating hit machine, because I think she's always had an unpredictable streak, and the reason B'Day is my favorite of her albums has a lot to do with the brash production and songwriting choices she made there. 4 is perhaps even more brash, just in a very different direction and one I don't like quite as much. Still, this could grow on me and be a big favorite by year's end.

2. bb&c - The Veil
I tend to mentally group Nels Cline albums into three categories: projects where he is the bandleader and/or songwriter, projects where he is a sideman or backing player, and projects where he is an equal member of an ensemble of musicians, usually instrumental and usually improvised. The last category is essential to Cline's work but rarely yield my favorite records -- The Veil, however, is possibly my favorite improv ensemble record Cline's ever done (or at least a close second to In-Store with Thurston Moore), partly because it's really just surprisingly heavy. The trio with saxophonist Tim Berne and drummer Jim Black, dubbed bb&c, is just making nasty, balls to the wall free jazz noise here, with Cline shredding and making an expansive bed of noise while Black lays down brilliant grooves that get almost funky on "Rescue Her."

3. "Weird Al" Yankovic - Alpocalypse
I will forever stan for "Weird Al" but have to admit this isn't exactly his best work -- the style parodies of Queen and Weezer are barely recognizable and the concept of doing "Party In The U.S.A." as "Party In The C.I.A." isn't exactly inspired, even if the execution is full of some pretty funny lyrics. Still, "Whatever You Like" still works almost 3 years after it hit iTunes, and the polka medley and the B.o.B/Bruno Mars parody are gold.

4. Limp Bizkit - Gold Cobra
I already said about all I could say about this album in my Voice review last week, but if my enjoyment of Gold Cobra didn't come across there (which it didn't to the Bizkit superfans in the comments section, but whatever), I will say this does jam almost like Chocolate Starfish in places, which is high praise from me.

5. Pitbull - Planet Pit
I still maintain that Pitbull's 2004 debut is one of the finest southern rap albums of the last decade, and while it's mostly been downhill since that and his guest appearances on "Shake" and "Holla At Me," I will say that his ascendance to global dance pop chart rapper of choice is kind of appropriate -- he knows what to do with these beats better than pretty much every other MC jumping on that bandwagon at the moment. I wish his multi-cultural soup of different types of dance beats had a few more distinct regional elements in here, like the DJ Class beats on his last couple albums (although there is a Baltimore club break on the intro track at least), but this manages to actually somewhat deliver on the promise of "Give Me Everything" being the summer jam of 2011, even if nothing is remotely as good as that.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

I reviewed Soul Cannon's new album The Mixed Ape for the July issue of Urbanite Magazine.

Friday, July 01, 2011

On the City Paper's Noise blog, I interviewed Elias Shutzman of the Baltimore band The Flying Eyes about the Farm Fest V outdoor concert they're holding on a farm in Manchester, Maryland this weekend.