|July 03, 2012||What's your favorite Andy moment?||1 comments|
|July 01, 2012||'Brave' more magical than 'Magic Mike'||2 comments|
|June 27, 2012||Help CMT stage a 'Redneck Intervention'||no comments|
|June 27, 2012||Abe Lincoln: Vamp Hunter – your thoughts?||no comments|
|June 20, 2012||Attention Singers and Patriots||no comments|
|June 19, 2012||Coliseum Commission, 6/18||no comments|
|June 19, 2012||Lots of new music purchases!||no comments|
|June 10, 2012||Best Music of 2012... so far.||6 comments|
|June 10, 2012||In defense of 'Call Me Maybe'||no comments|
|June 07, 2012||Let's play catch up for a minute...||no comments|
I'm not forgiving 2012 for this one.
This morning we learned about the death of beloved actor Andy Griffith. Though "The Andy Griffith Show" went off the air decades before I was born, my mom made sure I watched it. I was raised on that show. We have our favorite episodes and moments – like anything invovling the Darlings, and I love to hear, "It's me, it's me, it's Ernest T!"
But Griffith has done much more than the show.
One of my favorite Andy moments comes from the movie "Waitress" that came out a few years ago. The dramady stars Keri Russell as Jenna, young pie-maker who finds out she's pregnant by her horrible, abusive husband. Andy plays Old Joe, a lovable curmudgeon who's a regular at Jenna's restaurant. He offers a few wise words of advice in between being a total grumpy old man, but he's so charming.
What's your favorite Andy moment – from a movie or from his days as Sheriff Taylor or Matlock?
I spent a couple hours at the movie theater yesterday seeing two movies I've waited a while to see. One was excellent, the other a disappointment. First, the bad.
"Magic Mike" – Like many ladies (and a few gentlemen) out there, I've eagerly awaited the release of "Magic Mike" for a while now. Hot actors like Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello (my favorite!), Alex Pettyfer, Adam Rodriguez and Matt Bomer star as strippers? Yes, please, and can it be in 3D IMAX?
Trust me, ladies and gents, save your money and just watch the trailers, which are infinitely more entertaining. In between the stripping scenes (ALL of which you've already seen in trailers and commercials), there's a story of stripper Mike (Tatum), who takes a young stripper called The Kid (Pettyfer) under his wing, all the while hoping for a better life for himself. But The Kid gets caught up in the stripping lifestyle and... well... you can probably guess the rest. The story was predictable. And the story got pretty serious, which felt really weird when cut against silly stripping sequences. The whole movie felt unbalanced. You never knew if you should laugh at something or take it seriously, which meant a lot of awkward laughter from the audience.
I was one in a group of six women who went together to see the movie and we all had our favorite actors picked from the start. But some of us were disappointed that our favorite actors barely had a line of dialogue. Tatum and Pettyfer said everything; I'm not exaggerating to say I think Bomer and Manganiello were given about one line each, and I'm not sure Rodriguez had any. Why let such talent go to waste?
I think the worst part of the movie, though, was this one terrible scene that included a fat joke. It was just plain cruel. In an audience full of mostly women, not a single one of us laughed. Most of us actually gasped in horror. It was humiliating. And when the scene cut to the victim of the joke, you could hear most of the audience say, "aww," because the look on her face just broke your heart. I was ticked off, and I wonder if other women were, too.
The best parts of the film were Tatum's dancing sequences, but if you've seen "Step Up," then you've seen that.
This, for me, was kind of like "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." I knew I was going into a movie called "Magic Mike" about a stripper called, well, "Magic Mike." My expectations weren't necessarily high, but I certainly expected to have a better time. Save your $8.50.
Now, the good:
"Brave" – FINALLY. A princess movie with a Happily Ever After that doesn't include a Prince Charming, but a Princess living the life of her dreams.
You've seen the trailers, I'm sure, so you know the basic story: Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) loves archery and riding her horse, Angus. Her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), tries to prepare Merida for her impending queendom, and tells her it's time to choose a husband. The princess isn't ready to be a wife or a queen, so she rebels, with the help of a witch.
It all resolves itself beautifully in the end, and if you're close with your mother, you'll at least tear up. It is a sweet movie with messages of compromise and being yourself. Merida gets herself into her own troubles and gets herself right back out of them, with no help from anyone else. It's empowering and refreshing.
"Brave" is a Pixar movie, so it is gorgeous, and there's tons of adorable humor throughout. Merida's little brothers are a highlight.
If ever I had a child, especially a daughter, I'm not sure I'd ever waste time showing her most of the other princess movies. This one sends the best message, that it's perfectly OK to be yourself and you can be the hero of your own story.
"Brave" is definitely worth your while.
ps. Hey movie-goers: I don't care if this is a children's movie and the kids are probably louder than the movie. TURN THE RINGER OFF YOUR PHONE AND DON'T TEXT. Seriously, people, is that too much to ask?
OK, those are my complaints and compliments. What movies did you see this weekend?
CMT is casting a new reality show, "Redneck Intervention."
It's similar to its shows "My Big Redneck Wedding" and "My Big Redneck Vacation," but this is more like a reunion kind of show.
If you have a family member who has tried to distance themselves from their former redneck ways, this show will stage – you guessed it – a "Redneck Intervention." The news release, which you can click on, says producers are looking for "redneck families with city slicker runaways." Tom Arnold will host.
If you think you/your family meets this description, apply online at this website or email email@example.com with "Redneck" in the subject line. Include your name, contact number and photos of your family.
So have you had a chance to see "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" yet?
I was a tiny bit nervous going in – after all, it only gets a 36 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. At the same time, I was going to see something called "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" – so what could go wrong?
Forget the critics. I loved it.
I noticed a lot of reviewers yelled at the movie for its lack of "historical accuracy," but, um, hello, you're watching something called "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." Of course it's not historically accurate. Of course it's gonna be campy and silly. Add it up, it all spells "DUH."
I just enjoyed how they took a little bit of history and turned it on its head. We all know our dear Mr. Lincoln was a hero, but this movie makes him into a superhero.
I think the film is a total blast, so long as you suspend every single ounce of your disbelief, expect general silliness and just go with it. Don't question it or try to look for the really bad beards (although they are pretty bad; in fact, the sets/lighting/costumes were the only major critique I had), and just enjoy our 16th president killing bloodsuckers in really cool ways. That's worth the price of admission, hands down.
Have you seen it? What did you think?
Wanna sing at Ballard Park on July 4? Here's your chance. Check out this news release from the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra:
You are needed for the Community Chorus to sing with the Tupelo Symphony on July 4th at Ballard Park.
Anyone wanting to join the Community Chorus is invited. There will be four rehearsals as follows: 7 p.m. June 26, July 2-3
These three rehearsals will take place at West Jackson Baptist Church.
The fourth and last rehearsal will be Wednesday morning (July 4th) on the stage at Ballard Park with the orchestra at 9:30am.
The Symphony and Chorus will go on stage about 8:00pm. The total program will last slightly over one hour. The program will begin with the ICC Drum Corps followed by the Wind Orchestra which will play the first half . The Chorus will sing six familiar patriotic songs The fireworks will follow immediately. It is a wonderful city wide celebration of the birthday of our country. Come join the fun!
Please register immediately if you wish to sing with the TSO Chorus. Call the TSO office (662/842-8433) and leave your name and phone #. Plan to attend all rehearsals if possible but you must attend at least two to be allowed to sing.
TUPELO SYMPHONY AND COMMUNITY CHORUS
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4TH, 2012
Highlights from yesterday's Coliseum Commission meeting:
Here's what I bought:
Gossip (pictured), "A Joyful Noise" – Oh my, how I love Gossip. This may not be the band's best album but it's still so much fun. The band's dance-punk-new wave style is still there, with plenty of attitude. I am so in love with the 80's-ish single, "Perfect World" – lead singer Beth Ditto sounds unbelievable on that track! I also love "Move in the Right Direction," a super-powerful, motivating song.
Father John Misty, "Fear Fun" – This former Fleet Foxes drummer has created a weird, lovely little folk rock album. Everything's dark and weird but pretty and funny (for those with a dark sense of humor). If you want a good idea of what the album sounds/feels like, check out his videos for "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" and "This is Sally Hatchet."
Ladyhawke, "Anxiety" – This New Zealand pop singer made her debut at about the same time as Lady Gaga, and I used to say Ladyhawke was my Gaga. Her first record is still one of my favorites and I think it's one of the smartest pop records made in the last several years. Therefore, yes, I'm really digging "Anxiety." Her 80s-ish pop is smart and sincere and, in my opinion, she's one of the best pop/alternative stars out there.
King Tuff, "King Tuff" – I wrote last week that I expected this to be one of my favorite records of the year, and yeah, it definitely is. There are a ton of excellent tracks on this punk-pop record, like "Alone & Stoned," "Bad Thing," "Anthem" and "Stupid Superstar."
What are you listening to?
Hey, it's June. And 2012 has been a magical year for music so far, so I thought I'd list my favorites.
This is just really a list of albums and songs I've bought and loved this year, so I haven't heard everything. There are still a ton of records out there I have yet to buy and hear (like new CDs by Gossip, Ladyhawke and King Tuff), but I'm getting there. So keep in mind, this is just my own personal favorites list.
Nicki Minaj, "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded" – You either love her or you hate her. I call her Queen Nicki, so you can imagine how I feel about her. From her heavy-hitting rap tracks like "Beez in the Trap," "Come on a Cone" and "I Am Your Leader," to her fun pop songs like "Whip It," "Starships" and "Pound the Alarm," Nicki just rules. And yes, I know the pop songs aren't that brilliant, but I have more fun listening to those songs than just about anything else out there in any other genre. That counts for something. And if you can't get behind those songs, just listen to "Come on a Cone" – an incredibly genius rap song. One of the best released in years. Bow before the queen.
Terry Malts, "Killing Time" – Such a joyous, loud, messy punk record.
Justin Townes Earle, "Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now" – I think JTE writes lyrics by opening a vein and pouring his blood on a page. I think he writes music by mixing a bit of the stars and earth with his hands, and then picking up his guitar while his hands are still dirty. His lyrics are always honest, painfully so. His music is both comforting and disarmingly beautiful. He makes the best country music.
Sanitgold, "Master of My Make-Believe" – It's not quite as pop or immediately captivating as her debut, but it still grabs you by the neck like any good Santigold work. There are a lot of sounds going on but they all lead down satisfying and mind-bending rabbit holes.
Alabama Shakes, "Boys & Girls" – I'd rather see this band live than listen to this album, but it'll do until I can make it to the next show. It's a shame the band's powerful Zeppelin-meets-James Brown sound doesn't come off that well on the album, but it's still worth a listen.
Best Coast, "The Only Place" – Take away the super-sunny pop, add a bit more rock 'n' roll, keep in the confessional lyrics, and ka-boom, you have the new Best Coast record. I adore it.
The Lumineers, "The Lumineers" – If this folk-pop album were a person, it would iron its shirts, give you a firm handshake and look you in the eye. It's earnest, and that's refreshing.
Of Monsters and Men, "My Head is an Animal" – There are a lot of really beautiful sounds on this album. It's atmospheric and pretty. Makes me feel like I'm somewhere and someone else when I hear it.
Tennis, "Young & Old" – Timeless pop music. Not the kind of pop you dance to at a club, but the kind of pop you listen to on sunny days with the windows rolled down, and you don't really have anywhere to be.
Water Liars, "Phantom Limb" – Gorgeous and moody. Packs a quiet punch.
Gaslight Anthem, "45" – One of my favorite songs released this year, but then again, this is one of my favorite bands. It's a great rock 'n' roll track, wonderfully urgent and full of emotion.
Rye Rye, "Boom Boom" – I haven't bought her album yet, but I love this video game-inspired single. So much fun.
Scissor Sisters, "Shady Love" – OK, I don't love "Magic Hour." But I adore "Shady Love." I never would've thought Scissor Sisters could have pulled off a rap song, but this is one of the most fun songs out there.
Phillip Phillips, "Home" – Try this: Play this song for one of your indie rock music snobs, and see them scratch their heads. It's not Fleet Foxes, but it sounds like it! It's not Band of Horses, but it sounds like it! Nope, ladies and gents, it's an "American Idol" winner, and this a gorgeous, wonderful song. It may have been produced by "AI," but whatever, a good song's a good song, and this one's good. Really good.
Kanye West, "Mercy" – With West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz and Pusha T, it doesn't get much better than this. Weird and wonderful.
The Tallest Man on Earth, "1904" – Such a beautiful folk song, but then again, that's all the Tallest Man on Earth knows how to make. So ready for his new album.
Alrighty. I think that's it. I have a feeling I'm forgetting someone... hope not, but if I do, I'll make a separate post.
What's your favorite music of 2012 so far?
You've no doubt heard Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe."
Love it or hate it, it's a hit song, currently sitting at No. 2 on Billboard's Top 100. But more than that, it's a meme now, with thousands of parodies and jokes made about it almost constantly. And the other day, on Twitter I think, I read someone get pretty mad about the song, saying it "devalued" music as an art form.
Umm.. no. Not to me, it doesn't.
"Call Me Maybe" isn’t some amazing piece of music. It’s not a piece of art. But here’s the thing: it was never meant to be.
It was written and recorded to be a quick, fluffy piece of profitable entertainment. And that’s exactly what it is.
When pop music first became, well, popular, that’s what I think most musicians were going for: they wanted to make something catchy, something that would make people buy the music and maybe even pay a little extra to see them perform it live (and, of course, "get chicks").
Sometimes, they’d accidentally create something truly wonderful – simple, catchy, beautiful. And in those instances, pop music became art.
Our pop culture landscape is full of artists who create songs that are catchy and popular, but rise above to become art. Think Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," or Jay-Z's "99 Problems." Both are catchy; both are art.
I think we’re lucky enough to have our radios and pop culture filled with music that’s both entertainment and art. There are entertainers who create music to entertain you (think: Britney Spears) and there are artists who create music that is art (think: Bob Dylan) and I think we have lots of artists whose music can be either entertainment, art or both (think: Madonna).
But silly little pop songs have always existed. Sometimes they’re good (Britney’s “Toxic”), and sometimes they’re bad (“Macarena”). But more than anything else, they're harmless.
And that's what "Call Me Maybe" is – it's safe. It's not necessarily that great of a pop song, but it's not horrible. It's just plain safe. It's vanilla.
But when a fluffy song is suddenly popular and everywhere, does it mean great pop songs – from The Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride” to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” – are any less valuable?
I don’t think so. Giving something as safe as "Call Me Maybe" the power to "devalue" great pop music makes no sense. Just because "Call Me Maybe" has passed my ears a dozen times (sometimes in a single day it seems), that doesn’t mean I think 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is suddenly crap. Because it’s not. And it doesn't mean that the young fans who love it now will grow up with terrible taste in music – don't we all have an embarrassing collection of CDs we purchased as teens?
"Call Me Maybe" is a harmless little pop song. It's certainly not the first and it probably will not be the last. It's just another song to sing along to until I can hook up my iPod and play something better.
What entertainment have you been into lately?
I’m currently IN LOVE with Best Coast’s second album, “The Only Place.” It’s way less pop than its first record, but I’m OK with that. I relate to it so much.
I’m sad to say I’m NOT in love with Scissor Sisters’ “Magic Hour.” SS is one of my favorite bands of all time, but I just can’t get into it. Maybe I need to give it a few more listens.
A few weeks ago, I went to buy goodies at the Third Man Rolling Record Store when it came through Oxford, and they were blasting King Tuff’s “Was Dead.” Had never heard of him previously but I fell in love. Such an amazing, fun album. He just released a new one, which I hope to pick up soon.
I bought the Azealia Banks EP, “1991,” and I like parts of it but not the whole thing.
The Gaslight Anthem’s new single, “45,” is one of the best songs I’ve heard this year.
I saw “Avengers” twice, not only because I’m a huge Joss Whedon nerd but also because I just love that movie. It gets better every time I see it.
I’m reading the new Sookie Stackhouse novel, “Deadlocked.” Sookie, honey, normally you’re a little quicker to catch on... let’s get on the ball and solve this murder already, huh? OH: TRUE BLOOD IS BACK ON SUNDAY.
I watched most of “Hatfields & McCoys” but didn’t care to finish it. I dig lots of good action, but the violence in that felt gratuitous. The characters were so unforgiving and full of hatred, so it was hard to like them, root for them, anything, so I just stopped caring about any of them.
What about you? What entertainment have you been into lately?