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The Entertation Index: May 2

May 2, 2013

Brown, Danny — During a recent Minneapolis concert, famously racy rapper Danny Brown appeared to receive oral sex from a fan who leapt onto the stage while Brown was rapping — and later seemed to confirm the public encounter on Twitter via a conversation with fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar. Fans say it was unclear if Brown reached climax during the act or if Brown was just succumbing to a massive “twerking” fit.

Link: Rapper Danny Brown Received Oral While Performing On Stage (

I hope he ends up with Pam.

I hope he ends up with Pam.

Development, Arrested — As the new Netflix season four of Arrested Development looms near, Yahoo broke news the other day that The Office’s John Krasinski may have been fingered for a small role in the upcoming season. Nice scoop. The only problem was that they ran a photo of another, drastically different-looking John — director John Singleton — as a photo of Krasinski. Sorry if you got your hopes up for Boyz n the Nana Stand, it’s not happening.

Link: Yahoo Has Trouble Telling John Krasinski and John Singleton Apart (Gawker)

Henley, Don — A recent interview with the reunited Eagles in the UK’s Telegraph saw drummer Don Henley stating that even if the band went back into the studio and put a “kick-ass” song together, it probably still wouldn’t be played on today’s radio. Henley went on to say that rock music has become “shallow and trite” and he isn’t even sure “you can change the world with music anymore.” Henley then said goodbye to the reporter, put on his coat and drove to a ceremony where he personally received a Pulitzer Prize for “All She Wants to do is Dance.”

Link: The Eagles Interview – “Rock’s Become Very Shallow and Trite” (Telegraph)

Hooker, Top — Television network Animal Planet has ordered an unscripted reality competition called Top Hooker, which will feature ten contestants trying to best each other for the titular accolade. Unfortunately, it’s not what you’re thinking; Top Hooker is a show about fishing. If you want to see actual people prostituting themselves, please feel free to watch any other reality competition on television.

Link: “Top Hooker” Reality Show Ordered (EW)

Shake, Harlem — For your Thursday enjoyment, please see what is perhaps the greatest of all the “Harlem Shake” videos to be posted online. Oh, the price of being trendy. Can somebody do this to everyone who won’t shut up about Vine, please?

Link: The Very Last Harlem Shake Video Ends the Way You Wished All the Others Would (Gawker)

Swift, Taylor — Pop-country darling and blonde beanpole Taylor Swift has, according to TMZ, purchased an 11,000 square foot Rhode Island mansion for $17.5 million dollars, and Swift reportedly paid for the new pad in straight cash. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re probably right: paying $17.5 million for a new home probably doesn’t leave a lot of money in the budget for decorating the inside with handpainted unicorns, a milkshake bar, a replica princess castle and other things that fourteen year-old girls enjoy. And you’re probably right. Should’ve thought that one through, Taylor. On the other hand, your slumber parties with your girlfriends are going to be off the chain.

Link:  Taylor Swift Buys $17 Million Mansion…With Cash! (TMZ)

TBTS Top Five Summer Movies I’m Excited About in 2013

May 1, 2013
Top 5

Lots of goodies in the pipe for moviegoers this summer. Let me count the ways…

Iron Man 3
Oh, please. You know you’re going to see this. Don’t even front. The first one was great. The second… okay, slightly less great. Despite the director’s chair being occupied by Shane Black (all of the Lethal Weapons, plus the grossly underrated Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) instead of Jon Favreau this time around, Iron Man 3 promises to be an Avengers-level blockbuster. Early international reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. The trailer looks amazing. And it’s got Sir Ben Kingsley as the baddie. (I love the way he says, “you’ll neverrrr sssseee meee coming!”) There’s pretty much no way this one will not be awesome and not make a poop-ton of money. Studios call these “tentpole” movies because they make enough money to allow the studio to prop up other, lesser films. But also because they make a tentpole in m’pants…

Star Trek: Into Darkness
Speaking of tentpoles in m’pants… JJ Abrams’ reboot of the Star Trek franchise turns another page with a brand new adventure for Kirk, Spock, Shaggy, and Scooby as they all pile into the Mystery Machine and… wait… never mind. The first post-reboot movie was damn good, despite a script that was a teensy bit confused. But what’s a plot hole or two between old friends? The new blood all manage to embody these old characters and everything feels familiar, if a little shinier. Our good guys have to defeat a mass-destructive terrorist who seeks to destroy the Federation from the inside. Add a Whedonesque hyper-charismatic bad guy played by Benedict Horatio Smootington Cumberbatch III (who my wife assures me is “totes hot”) and baby, you’ve got a stew going!

Much Ado About Nothing
Speaking of Whedon… Apparently, when you’re friends with Joss Whedon, you get to go over to his house regularly, hang out, drink lots of wine, and then do impromptu Shakespeare in his living room. That’s basically how this crazy, under-the-radar project came about. All the Whedon Regulars are there: Fillion, Acker, Gregg, Kranz, among others. Personally financed and filmed under a shroud of secrecy… in black and white… over a period of 12 days… at Whedon’s home in California, Much Ado has received gushing praise from all who have seen it. Whedon fans should see it because Joss Whedon is awesome. Non-fans should see it because Joss Whedon is awesome.

Pacific Rim
Speaking of awesome… I imagine the “elevator pitch” for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim was a mere 7 words: “giant frickin’ robots fighting giant frickin’ aliens.” Instant green-light! Get this man a cigar! Put aside the fact that del Toro’s production and directorial work is utterly above reproach, that his visual style and insistence on practical effects (as opposed to CGI) in films like Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth made those movies memorable, and that the trailer will make your nipples hard… it’s giant frickin’ robots fighting giant frickin’ aliens!

Man of Steel
Speaking of aliens… Ordinarily I would scoff at reboots of reboots. Even if the 2nd Ghost Rider movie had been any good (it wasn’t), I would still be leery of any attempt at a mulligan. And maybe this summer’s iteration of Superman, brought to us by the misunderstood king of slicker’n snot action movies, Zack Snyder, isn’t a reboot of 2006’s disappointing Superman Returns (cue The Price is Right failure music) per se. It certainly doesn’t look like one, and from what I’ve been able to glean of the story it doesn’t read like one either. This time around, ol’ Supes struggles with his identity as an actual alien on Earth. (Possible spoilers follow… Also I may be totally wrong, this is just how I interpret the few details I’ve read about the script. You have been warned!) It seems his Kryptonian father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), and mother are somewhat radical and chose to conceive their son naturally, eschewing the genetic manipulations dictated by Kryptonian law. This effectively makes them heretics and social outcasts, and makes their offspring an abomination in the eyes of Krypton’s leaders who send General Zod to retrieve him, dead or alive. If I’m right, this is a narrative with all kinds of possibilities: Superman is special in a bad way on Krypton, but special in a good way on Earth; he has powers he’s discouraged from using because they’ll identify him as alien; how far will a society (in this case, Kryptonian society) go to erase that which offends their mores and sensibilities and which they see as a threat to their way of life? I’m not a Snyder-hater, but I see the potential pitfalls and, assuming the screenplay is of decent quality, I hope he handles everything properly. Regardless, I’ll be there opening weekend.

This is a Top Five, but there are certainly to be more than 5 great summer blockbusters this year. For now I’ll merely give an “honorable mention” nod to ElysiumDespicable Me 2, and Kick-Ass 2. Elysium is Neill Blomkamp’s first directorial effort since 2009’s excellent District 9, and features Matt Damon kicking Jodie Foster’s ass… or something. 2010′ s Despicable Me is perhaps the best non-Pixar CGI animated feature in recent memory. It was hilarious and had a lot of heart. Here’s hoping its sequel will be equally entertaining. (Also, I like to walk around my house singing “POH-TAY-TOH-OH-OH!” at the top of my lungs. The wife loves it.) Kick-Ass 2 features a nearly-unrecognizable Jim Carrey. ‘Nuff said.

TBTS Reviews: Fitz and the Tantrums, “Out of My League/Spark” 10” single (Record Store Day limited edition)

April 30, 2013

fitz_oomlvinylsingleFitz and the Tantrums’ first album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, was one of my favorite albums of 2010, and I’ve continued to play it consistently over the last three years. I also love that they’re a smoking hot live band that can whip a crowd into a frenzy, as evidenced in numerous Youtube clips and especially the beautifully done Live at the Metro show that pops up occasionally on Palladia.

For a while now, I’ve been looking forward to the May 7 release of the band’s second album, More Than Just a Dream. In advance of the album, a 10” vinyl pressing of the first single, “Out of My League” (b/w “Spark”), dropped first as a Record Store Day exclusive and is now available in the band’s Elektra web store. I was at a local shop for Record Store Day this year and decided to add “Out of My League/Spark” to my haul.

The item looks fabulous. Black front cover featuring only the pink neon heart graphic that seems to be a design motif for the new album and its marketing, which has been almost perfect thanks to the help provided by the team from the indexsy. Pink back cover with black and white text. Clear vinyl and the same pink/white/black color scheme on the label. It’s very nicely done in terms of design.

Unfortunately, I’m struggling to come up with many positive things to say about the two songs themselves. From the opening seconds of “Out of My League,” I hear a band that seems to have lost the warmth, groove, and swagger that made Pickin’ Up the Pieces an instant classic. The sound is now heavily synthetic and compressed to the extent that no single instrument is discernible. Forget about the delightful horn, flute, and organ work that once sizzled in every Fitz song. Perhaps worst of all, second vocalist Noelle Scaggs, such an integral presence on the first album, is inaudible except for a few “ooh-oohs” that just as easily could be coming from a manipulated version of lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick’s voice.

If anything, “Spark” is even worse because in a few spots, especially in the verses and the bridge, it feints at a bit of gritty soulfulness and tricks me into thinking that maybe not all is lost. But then that chorus and those “whoa-whoa-whoas” kick in, surely the most obnoxious things that Fitz and the Tantrums have yet committed to tape (or a hard drive), and it’s all I can do not to break my lovely clear vinyl single in half. That chorus and those whoas are such a lousy, pandering play to our particular Top 40 moment’s notion of catchiness, and both songs are a clear grab at some pop radio airplay and greater attention from general audiences. Read more…

The Entertation Index: April 29

April 29, 2013

Bieber, Justin – Stockholm police raided Bieber’s bus during a Swedish tour stop when an officer detected a strong odor of drugs.  A search turned up only a small amount of what appeared to be marijuana, pending test results.  Police were so disappointed that they gave Bieber two dozen Ecstasy pills, a pound of top-shelf weed, and a stack of porn “so weird you can’t get it in the States”, since many people is into that kind of material, and market of adult material and services, and is easy to access in the online world, there are even sites online where you can access to escorts in stoke-on-trent, and more.

Link: Bieber’s Bus Busted (The Local)

Just raised $2 million for a hip soundtrack.

Just raised $2 million for a hip soundtrack.

Braff, Zach – The Scrubs actor raised $2 million in three days through Kickstarter to help fund a follow-up to his film Garden State.  $1.75 million of that is thought to have come from The Shins with the note, “please, please get us on the radar again!”

Link: Braff’s Follow-Up (Huffington Post)

Fiction, Pulp – Director Quentin Tarantino’s cherry red 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu, stolen during the 1994’s Pulp Fiction, was recently found and returned.  This is a reminder that Pulp Fiction came out almost 20 years ago.  God, I feel old.

Link: Tarantino’s Car Returned (SB Times)

Jones, George – The best-selling country singer raised enough hell to last three lifetimes, but charmed his way into heaven last week.  R.I.P., George.

Link: George Jones Dies (L.A. Times)

Men, Two and A Half – With Sheen gone and Angus T. Jones out as a regular character, Two and A Half Men has ditched several of its original members and has lost nearly all cultural relevance.  It is being renamed, Lynyrd Skynyrd: The TV Show.

Link: Jones Probably Not Returning To Show As Regular (EW)

West, Kanye – NBC has confirmed that Kanye will be the musical guest for Saturday Night Live’s Season 38 finale, hosted by Ben Affleck.  It is not yet clear whether West will commandeer the opening mic and, in fact, host SNL’s Season 38 finale.

Link: West/Affleck on SNL Season 38 Finale (Twitter)

The Entertation Index: April 25

April 25, 2013

Affleck, Ben — Actor and Argo director Ben Affleck has attached himself to the Global Poverty Project’s “Live Below the Line” campaign wherein he will eat for less than $1.50 for five days straight. Affleck’s people commented on his commitment to the cause, reportedly stating that Affleck “wants to show the world how difficult it is to be hungry in the roughly five days before Hollywood producers realize a person is incredibly handsome and yank him off the streets and put him in movies.”

Link: Ben Affleck to Eat on $1.50 a Day (EW)

Bay, Michael — The internet went wild this week after word that action film director Michael Bay “apologized” for 1998’s Armageddon appeared in the Miami Herald. Alas, it was allegedly not true; Bay took to his own site on Tuesday claiming he was misquoted by the Herald reporter and that  “I’m not in the slightest going to apologize for the third movie in my movie career.” He allegedly went on to admit that “I’m only sorry for two things in this world: that I didn’t get to sleep with Megan Fox before she met Brian Austin Green, and that Transformers: Dark of the Moon didn’t have more explosions. Period.”

LInk: Michael Bay Hits Back in Armageddon Apology Flap (Deadline)

Kimmel, Jimmy — For your Thursday fun: Jimmy Kimmel recently aired a production piece on Jimmy Kimmel Live in which he asked Coachella-going hipsters what they thought of bands which didn’t exist, like “The Obesity Epidemic” and “Regis and the Philbins.” Just enjoy.

Link: Lie Witness News – Coachella 2013 (YouTube)

Lewis, Huey — Sentencing is about to begin in the trial of a northern California woman stole Huey Lewis’ rented Toyota Corolla in Feburary as Lewis left it idling. The woman led police on a high speed chase until the Corolla hit 88 miles per hour and disappeared, forcing the woman to harness enough lightning forty years ago to power the Corolla and return to 2013, where police were waiting on her. I’ll admit I went an awfully long way for that joke. Sorry.

Link: Woman Convicted in Huey Lewis Car Theft in California (SF Gate)

Paltrow, Gwyneth — You can stop campaigning now, all other ladies on the planet Earth: The current issue of People magazine bears the headline that actress Gwyneth Paltrow has been named the “World’s Most Beautiful Woman.” Inside the issue, Paltrow tells People that when she first heard the news she “honestly someone was playing a joke on me.” Nope, Gwyneth. No joke. You are beautiful. But the joke is that anyone thinks what’s printed in People actually means anything.

Link: Gwyneth Paltrow Named World’s Most Beautiful Woman (CNN)

Beep boop boop beep boop.

Beep boop boop beep boop. — Black Eyed Peas frontman and notable producer has admitted to borrowing a beat for his new single “Let’s Go” without first receiving permission from producer Arty (you all know Arty, right?). No word yet, however, on whether and the rest of the Black Eyed Peas plan to admit to borrowing the wardrobe from the 2010 film Tron: Legacy for the last three years.

Link: Admits to Borrowing “Let’s Go” Beat Without Permission (Rolling Stone)

Estranged Brew Review: Big Flats 1901 Premium American Lager

April 23, 2013

Quaffable in questionBig Flats 1901

Fine print:

  • Hop House Brews Co., Lacrosse, VT, and Rochester, NY (not-so-secret identity: a Walgreens branded beer brewed by the “good” folks at the Genessee Brewing Company. Yes, that Genessee.)
  • Style: American Pale Lager Beer
  • 12 fl. oz.
  • 4.5% ABV
  • Tag line: “This Lager beer has balanced flavors of hops and malt. A hint of barley lingers on the clean, smooth finish.”

With a name like “Big Flats,” it’s gotta be good. Or…? Shit, it’s like I’m not even trying. Or the brewers/marketers aren’t. Or both. Is the name bestowed with a wink? As in,”I don’t give a big, flat fuck how warm the beers in the cooler are, Ricky With Your Goddamn Pontoon Boat that Your Stepfather Gave You, I swear to Christ I will finish all of them before we hit the No Wake Zone.”

So shall you.

$2.99 per six pack, available at your local Walgreens and other fine…. No, just Walgreens.

Well? And?

“Walgreens’ 50-cent beer“: put-down or come on?

First sniff:

  • Off-notes of sour malt liquor at first, disappears quickly 
  • Slight white wine/grape aroma
  • Finishes pretty cleanly, with surprising little aftertaste

First swaller and subsequent drinking:

  • Despite the tag line, I taste more rice than barley, and I get a trace of hops. Weak trace.
  • Where the tag line gets it right: clean, smooth finish, all the way. It’s like a ghost. Gone.


Keep them super cold and super cheap and I could see myself spending a bright, springtime afternoon on the Big Flats.

What the beer lacks in pronounced flavor, it makes up for in non-offensive drinkability (as opposed to the offensive kind, where the beer is total crap, but you’ll force it down because you didn’t pay) and sheer cheapness. That’s just say it’s not High Life or Hamm’s. Or Genessee.

Drink up.

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The Entertation Index: April 22

April 22, 2013

Bieber, Justin – The Biebs briefly posted a photo of himself with Selena Gomez, indicating they may be on again, after being off again, after being on again.  Come on, Justin, quit acting like some love-besotted high-schoo…oh, right.

Link: Bieber Back with Selena? (TMZ)

Diamond, Neil – In a touching tribute to Boston, Diamond himself sang Fenway’s eighth inning ritual “Sweet Caroline” on Saturday.  Note: this is the only acceptable unironic rendition of “Sweet Caroline.”  Sorority functions and white people’s weddings do not count.

Link: Neil’s Tribute (Spinner)

Kardashian, Kim – KK and disposable hubby Kris Humphries are now divorced, allowing you to breathe a sigh of relief that a union you had completely forgotten and really didn’t care about in the first place has been officially dissolved.

Link: KK and KH Divorced (Detroit Free Press)

Lochte did not have time to elaborate on his views regarding the Fed's monetary policy and a potential return to the gold standard.

Lochte did not have time to elaborate on his views regarding the Fed’s monetary policy and a potential return to the gold standard.

Lochte, Ryan – The Olympic swimmer promoted his E! reality show What Would Ryan Lochte Do by doing, among other appearances, a Good Day Philly morning show interview.  Apparently, Lochte would get stumped by the simplest of questions and reduce the hosts to hysterics.

Link: Lochte’s New Show (Huffington Post)

Mayer, John & Aniston, JenniferPeople Magazine reports that the erstwhile couple almost came into contact with each other when Mayer dined just two tables away from Aniston and fiancé Justin Theroux at West Hollywood’s Sunset Tower.  Reports have it that Mayer saw Aniston, but that the two somehow maintained decorum like mature adults and did not flip over tables and hurl drinks at each other.  Shocking news, to be sure.

Link: Mayer-Aniston Non-Event (People)

Witherspoon, Reese – The accomplished actress and husband Jim Toth were arrested last Friday in Atlanta on suspicion of DUI.  She now regrets her supposed decision to forgo studying in-depth for Legally Blonde and instead “wing it,” saying at the time, “when am I ever going to use that?”

Link: Witherspoon Arrested (E! Online)

The Entertation Index: April 18

April 18, 2013

Deadmau5-proposal-Kat-Von-DD, Kat VonLA Ink star(?) Kat Von D and her fiancé, popular DJ Deadmau5 — who you may remember got engaged over Twitter  — have announced that their August wedding will be based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story The Call of Cthulu and will have an underwater theme including blue and green food and actors dressed as mermaids. So in case you’ve been wondering how ridiculous people get married, well, there you go.

Link: Kat Von D’s Unusual Underwater-Themed Wedding (Yahoo OMG)

Deadmau5See: Kat Von D

Geldof, Peaches — Bob Geldof’s daughter, alleged heroine-addict and model Peaches Geldof, has reportedly left Scientology to join religious sect The Order of the Oriental Templars — an organization founded by occultist Aleister Crowley which heralds rituals based upon sexual exhaustion, masturbation and Egyptian gods. So please remember to update your records at home: there is a more ridiculous religion than Scientology.Link: Peaches Geldof Has Signed up to Aleister Crowley’s Sex Cult OTO (The Guardian)


Hall of Fame, Songwriters — 25 year-old songwriter Benny Blanco, the scribe behind hits like Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok,” Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” and Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” is slated to receive the prestigious Hal David Starlight Award at the organization’s June gala event. In related news, the Songwriters Hall of Fame has just rocketed into the lead for least credible Hall of Fame in history.

Benny Blanco’s Songwriters Hall of Fame Honor Announced (HuffPo)

Marathon, Boston — We’d be remiss if TBTS didn’t mention our support out to all of those affected by the awful events of Monday’s Boston Marathon, where two bombs detonated near the finish line injuring 176 people and killing three, including an eight year-old boy. It’s sad proof that there is still evil within our borders, but a testament to the many, many brave responders that we still have one another’s back.  Our thoughts are with you, Boston.

Link: Investigation of Boston Marathon Bombings Continues (Boston Globe)

Spielberg, Steven — As the head of the Cannes Film Festival Jury for 2013, sources say director Steven Spielberg’s yacht has left Ft. Lauderdale for France, where it is rumored that Spielberg will privately screen films and run the jury from his private yacht off the coast of Cote d’Azur. The yacht allegedly has luxury accommodations for 12 people and 26 staff members, which means that if the entire jury shows up he’s gonna need a bigger boat. Because…see? See there? You know, Jaws. Never mind.

Link: Steven Spielberg Will Lead Jury from his Yacht (Showbiz 411)

Young, Crosby Stills Nash and — This coming August 27th, folk rockers Crosby, Stills Nash and Young have announced the release of a live album cut from a performance during the band’s 1974 tour. Sources say the ex-bandmates allegedly all thought that the album actually did come out in 1974, but to be honest everyone was a little high back then.

Link: Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young to Release Long-Awaited 1974 Live Album in August (Rolling Stone)


Games You May Have Missed: Limbo

April 17, 2013

With very few exceptions, the big-name games tend to be pretty much the same run/jump/shoot affairs. Sure, a few developers might be doing interesting things with story, or art, or atmosphere. But you really need to look at small, independent developers and publishing houses to find truly risk-taking, genre-bending games.

Danish developer Playdead’s Limbo is such a risk-taker and genre-bender. Released in 2010 as an Xbox Live Arcade title only, it ultimately saw its way to Steam and the Playstation Network. Despite outside insistence that they fundamentally change Limbo to add a multiplayer component or other popular genre content, Playdead reportedly stuck to its guns during development. They preferred to remain true to the game’s core aesthetic and game mechanic. I’m truly glad they did, as I cannot imagine this game with all the trappings of mainstream gaming. Like an indie film, Limbo‘s quirks and sinister sensibility make it all the more memorable. Its deceptively simple gameplay and super macabre, enigmatic story, such as it is, may not lend itself to repeat plays, but it’s definitely a game that sticks with you.

And it’s creepy as hell. Read more…

TBTS Movie Character Hall of Fame: Christine Jesperson

April 16, 2013

Miranda July Me and YouIn the movie Me and You and Everyone We Know, Christine Jesperson is on a quest, whether she would describe it that way or not. She finds and even sometimes creates the beauty that can emerge from mundane, unexpected sources. The sound of TV static becomes ocean waves. A photograph of strangers drives a stirring video narrative. Her shoed feet are the lead characters in a short film about the difficulty of human connection. Hers is certainly a quest for art, but it’s also equally a quest for love, because for Christine the two cannot be separated.

I think Christine Jesperson belongs in the Movie Character Hall of Fame because she is the centerpiece of a film that does not minimize her significance as an artist or a human being. That’s the miracle of Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005). It is a love letter to life, and art, and love itself, and it is quite possibly the most romantic movie I’ve ever seen. And yet it is not a trifle like most romantic comedies that make their characters clownish and their love infantile, nor is it a maudlin exercise in syrupy sentimentality like a Nicholas Sparks romantic drama. Me and You is ambitious, rich, and remarkably respectful of its characters, including its children. Even the characters’ sometimes questionable actions emerge from understandable places within them, and nearly all characters show authentic, believable movement toward becoming larger, more layered versions of themselves by the movie’s end. Read more…