8.29.2010

BEST Comedy!!

I completely forgot the Emmys were on tonight and missed the first 45 minutes of the show. Not sure how this happened since NBC advertised the heck out of it. I just forgot to set Tivo, and got home late. Oh well. Based on what I saw, the best deserved award of the night (in my opinion) was Best Comedy for Modern Family. I'm thrilled! One, because it IS the best and funniest comedy on TV right now, and two, because it wasn't 30 Rock.

From what I saw, it seems that Jimmy Fallon did a good job as host. I also liked the music intros when presenters were coming on stage--kinda funky.

Happy for Mad Men as Best Drama, and for Kyra Sedgwick as Best Actress in a drama, even though I was really pulling for Connie Britton for Friday Night Lights.

I just checked the list of winners on IMDb, and am also thrilled for Eric Stonestreet, a.k.a. Cam, from Modern Family and Jane Lynch from Glee for their wins as Best Supporting Actors. Very well-deserved.

Good show, and it even ended on time.

Meanwhile, today my sister and I saw The Switch with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston. Eh, it was okay. A little slow in places, and pretty predictable, but not horrible. The little kid in the movie is adorable and steals the show.

For the first time, we experienced a fire alarm during the movie. Sounds like someone set it off by accident, but they still have to follow procedures and empty everyone out of the theater. We were outside for maybe 3 minutes and then were allowed back in. Deb and I were pretty impressed with how calm and orderly everyone was. All those years of hearing "walk, do not run, to the nearest exit" seems to have sunk in with everyone. Of course, things might have been different if there were an actual fire in the theater. Thank goodness that wasn't the case.

8.28.2010

You gotta see City Island

Just finished watching a movie with Andy Garcia (love him1) and Julianna Margulies called City Island. It came highly recommended by my sister, and she was right--it was great. It's a funny movie about a dysfunctional family who spend most of their time lying to and being suspicious of each other. The way the movie plays out, I was wondering if it may have been a stage play--I could totally see it as a play. It is diaglogue driven, so the locale shots are just secondary. I found a couple of continuity problems, but when I find those, I always just feel proud of myself for noticing.

Check it out, folks. It's on DVD. Oh, and watch the extra featurette called "Dinner with the Rizzo Family" -- good stuff.

8.27.2010

Project Runway catchup

I'm catching up on Tivo and watching Project Runway from last night. I am SOOOOO happy to see the cockiest, most obnoxious team of six people I've ever seen on this show get beaten by the misfit underdogs. Now I just hope Gretchen or Ivy goes home--their attitudes are the worst. And I don't like their designs. I really didn't understand Gretchen's wins. I just want her to go.

Ack. Ivy and Gretchen are still in...but, at least Gretchen found herself in the bottom two. Maybe now she'll find some humility.

Oh, and what's this? Tim put her in her place and now I"m smiling ear to ear!

This requires a direct quote. Tim Gunn said:
I have a few words for Team Luxe. I fundamentally do not understand your behavior and demeanor and affect on the runway. I don't get it. I don't know why you let Gretchen maniupulate control and bully you. I don't understand it. And AJ, you've taken the bullet and now I have to send you to the workroom to clean up your space.
HA! Perfect words, Tim!

Then during her solo interview, Ivy pulled her nose out of Gretchen's butt and said, ohhh...Tim's right.

Groan.

8.25.2010

NSFW

In a chat I was reading on washingtonpost.com, a new song was brought to my attention. It's by Cee-Lo from Gnarls Barkley and it's called "F*ck You." Apparently I'm way behind because this went viral last week and I missed it, but now I've caught on, and I must admit, that though this song/video is in no way safe for work, I kinda like it. It's a catchy little ditty. Check it for yourself.

Anyway, what I really wanted to write about is this: I was at a stoplight earlier today and several firetrucks rushed by. I started thinking about something that happened several years ago. It's not entertainment, but it's entertaining. To me anyway.

So, the day before we were supposed to leave town for a trip, I was hanging out with my sister in DC. Before we left her apartment, she had some trash to get rid of and headed to the trash chute. In throwing her trash away, she accidentally threw her purse down the chute with it. ACK! We go to the front desk, where the woman was no help. She (slowly) walked with us to the trash room to see if we could access the dumpster, but the chute fed right into it...there were no openings. (A note on this woman's movement: if a turtle was going with us, he would've gotten there first.) The woman refused to call the manager, and because it was the weekend, we couldn't call the trash company. It was Saturday, we were leaving town Sunday, and it was after 9/11, so my sister needed her ID to fly. Plus, by Monday, the purse would've been buried under all kinds of crap.

Deb's freakin' out and I'm trying to figure out what to do. We go back to her apartment and I came up with the brilliant idea that perhaps the fire department could help. They rescue cats out of trees, right? Why couldn't they rescue a purse from a trash dumpster? They were close by, and it was the only thing I could think of. So, I called the non-emergency number and explained the situation. The friendly woman on the phone discussed it with her supervisor, and they agreed to send someone over.

About 10 minutes later, I look out the window and see a HUGE ladder truck coming down my sister's street, lights flashing. Thank god they didn't have the siren on. This is a tiny street folks--cars park on both sides, and there is barely room for two cars to get by--often, only one can go at a time. So, here comes the ladder truck. We rush out to meet the firemen, and we see that they've brought six or seven people. Debbie or I said, "Okay, the trash room is this way." One of the guys said, "the trash room?" And then we realized they didn't know why they were sent to help. We explained the situation and the guy said, "We're here because you dropped your purse down the trash chute??" Deb and I sheepishly said, "yes." He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Come on, it's a slow day anyway." So, three of the guys come with us, while the others move the huge truck out of the street. When we get to the trash bin, one of the guys walks back a forth a couple of times and then went to the front of the bin and opened a door, and there's the trash. The door was right on the front--we could have done that ourselves!

I was so embarrassed. I started to reach in, but the guy told me to stop--he said the other guys would bring a pole rod so we didn't have to touch the trash. Sure enough, here come the rest of the guys with their pole. They asked what the purse looked like, and Deb described it--a small red purse. She added that the trash bag she threw with it was white with red handles. One of the guys goes digging around and finds a red purse. Believe it or not, it wasn't DEB's purse! It was another red purse. The guy digs some more, and then finds Deb's purse. No more trash had landed on it, so it was clean.

We thanked the guys profusely, and offered to buy them some pizza. They said they'd already eaten dinner, so we offered dessert. They said ice cream might be nice.

So, we walked to the little market and got 6 pints of ice cream -- all different flavors. Then we walked to the fire station. A couple of guys were hanging out in the front--none of them had come with the truck, but since we didn't have anyone's name, we gave the ice cream to them. As we turned to walk away, one of the guys said, "Wait a minute. Are you the ones with the purse?" We turned around, and Deb said, "That was me." The guys just started rolling.

I can only imagine the scene when the guys who came to help went back to the station to tell the story. Deb and I just had to laugh along with them.

8.21.2010

Sex and the City - the book and the show

Sex and the CitySex and the City by Candace Bushnell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book has been panned quite a bit, but I read it anyway. It seems a lot of people expect the book to be just like the TV show, but I didn't expect that at all. I knew that the book was based on various columns Candace Bushnell wrote for the New York Observer. So, as I expected, it was just a bunch of vignettes of singles in NYC. When I was about halfway through the book, I started watching the DVD of the show from the beginning. When the TV show first started, it was very much like the book. Carrie would talk to the camera as would various people commenting on the subject of the day, in a documentary format. I found it fun to see how they wove in the book vignettes into the lives of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte. I'm not going to say this is the best book I've ever read, by any means, but I did like it.

View all my reviews

And the Oscar goes to...

I realize it's only August, and that the typical Oscar-hopeful movies won't really start for another couple of months, but I'm pretty sure I just saw the Oscar-winning performance for Best Actor: Robert Duvall in Get Low. What a quiet, charming movie. Robert Duvall has a monologue toward the end that had me riveted. Halfway through his monologue, I was thinking, give this man his Oscar now. Wow. Fantastic performance. Also great were Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray. The movie takes place in the 1930s and is about an old codger who comes out of his hermit lifestyle to plan his funeral party, which he wishes to hold while he's still alive. Great flick.

I just read on IMDb that the movie is "spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about the mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own rollicking funeral party." Well, that's interesting. I'll have to do some research into this legend.

I definitely recommend this movie to everyone.

Now, a gripe. The friggin' AMC theater closest to my house is charging $11 regular price, and $10 for senior citizens. Thank goodness my mom bought us all those Entertainment Books for Christmas. With those coupons, the tickets were $7.50. Really? $10 for seniors? That's ridiculous. I can tell you this--I won't be seeing a movie at that theater without a coupon. Sheesh.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Really Fabulous

Summer shows are winding down, new season hasn't started yet, so we're in that summer lull and I'm finding myself with more time to watch DVDs. Let's recap what I've seen this week:

The Good. The Ghost Writer with Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan. Pierce Brosnan is England's former prime minister, and Ewan McGregor is hired as the ghost writer to write the prime minister's memoirs after the original ghost writer is found drowned. Ewan McGregor discovers some secrets in the prime minister's past, and finds himself in trouble. This was a good thriller. It came out just before Roman Polanski was arrested. I have mixed feelings about seeing, liking, and supporting something he directed, but I did.

The Bad. Hot Tub Time Machine. Okay, I knew going into this movie that it was going to bad, and that I probably had already seen the good parts in the previews, and I was right. But I still had some hope that the flashback to the 1980s would be a hoot, and there were parts that were funny, but mostly I just groaned at the jokes. My main gripe is that the movie relies too frequently on gross-out scenes that just weren't necessary, nor funny, for that matter.

The Ugly. Kick Ass, about a kid who decides to become a superhero, despite the fact that he has no superpowers. This movie was just disturbing. The main character comes across Nicolas Cage who plays an ex-cop out for revenge. He creates a superhero character of his own in order to exact revenge on various criminals. In the process, he grooms his young daughter to be his sidekick. Nick Cage and the daughter take the new superhero under their wings. This could've been a cute and funny premise, but instead the movie is excessively bloody and violent, and I found it hard to watch a 9-year-old assassinating guys left and right. Plus she gets beaten pretty harshly herself. It was just too much. Unfortunately, I see on IMDb that they're making a sequel. I don't know why.

And now, for the Really Fabulous. I bought Every Little Step, my favorite movie from 2009, a documentary about the casting for the revival of A Chorus Line on Broadway. I saw it twice in the theater and tonight was the 3rd time I've seen it. I love it all the more. As I wrote way back when, the creator of A Chorus Line got a bunch of dancers together and they just talked about their sometimes painful lives, why they got into dance, how they came to pursuing their dreams, etc. He recorded the session and created a show out of it. In the deleted scenes on the DVD, they play extended versions of these recordings and I can just hear the songs coming out of the words being spoken. Please add this to your Netflix queue. You won't be disappointed.

For even more FABULOSITY, I threw in another new DVD I got: it's Earth, Wind and Fire and Chicago together in concert at the Greek Theater. Deb and I saw this while staying with my aunt and uncle a few weeks ago, and it's a fantastic concert. I bought it as soon as I got home. EWF is amazing. Chicago has such a nice sound. But what makes the concert are the 7 or 8 songs they did together at the beginning and end of the show. Love it! Get it if you can. Again, you won't be disappointed.

8.12.2010

America's Favorite Dancer Is...

Tonight's the season finale and we'll find out whether Lauren, Kent or Robert is America's Favorite Dancer.

The show opens right up with a routine from all the dancers and all-stars to Na by Nathan Lanier. Alex came out on a whelled chair and did a routine with his hands and arms. Love that he could be included. That was a great routine--full of energy. It was choreographed by Christopher Scott from LXD (Legion of Extraordinary Dancers). Makes sense--the routine was reminiscent of the routine LXD did on SYTYCD last year....one of the best dance performances I've ever seen. I hope to see them perform in person some day. Here's LXD:



Seven choreographers are at the judges table tonight. Cat started with Nigel, and then they showed a clip of his hairstyles over the year--played to the song "Hair." Pretty funny. Then there's Mia, who Cat says is never at a loss for words, even when she has to invent them. The clip of Mia-isms was annoying...her fake words and sounds aren't charming. Adam Shankman's clip showed all his various facial expressions. That one was funny. I love Adam! He's all decked out in a tux tonight. Then there's Tyce Diorio, Stacey Tookey, Kenny Ortega's back, and look who else is back: Mary Murphy. Where's she been?

Next segment shows clips from last night's performances. It really was a great show. Before commercial, Cat once again teased this super-spectacular special guest that we're going to see tonight. I can't imagine who it might be.

Now the judges get to choose their favorite dances to be performed again. Kenny Ortega chose Tyce Diorio's Shoeless Joe routine with Kent and Neil from Damn Yankees. Kenny felt this routine propelled Kent to the front of the pack. Great to see it again.

Nigel chose the routine with Billy and Ade, choreographed by Stacey Tookey, where Billy plays the homeless man. This was an amazing routine--I'm so glad we got to see it again too. Song: Mad World by Michael Andrews feat Gary Jules. Cat said this was a great moment for Billy--showed a real maturity.

Oh yay, we get a performance from Quest Crew--Hok and Dominic's group. Love them! Song: Suzy by Caravan Palace These guys (and gal) have such great moves. They even threw the Charleston into their routine! *Clap,clap clap!*

This time Cat said it's a "shocking" performance by a world superstar that we'll see later on. So, is it some actor doing a dance??? We shall see.

Mia's choice is next. She selected Fallen (by Alicia Keys), which Mia said has been described as dance short film. She said Comfort came back as a hip-hop super hero, and she added that it was Adéchiké's finest moment. This is the one about Comfort leaving an abusive relationship. I agree with Cat--it was almost better the second time.

Next clip segment was about all the romance throughout the season, including Adam's marriage proposal to Nigel. It was appropriately followed by Kent and Anya's performance to My First Kiss by 30H!3and Ke$ha. I love this routine, and whenever I hear the song on the radio, I think of it.



Tyce's favorite performance was another Tabitha and Napoleon piece with Robert and Dominic--a pair of clowns. Song: Scars by Basement Jaxx feat Kelis, Meleka Chipmunk. Another piece of hip-hop theater. I'd like to see that music used in something choreograhed by Sonja and performed by Mark--it reminds me of them.

We get another recap of National Dance Day.

And now, a special performance from Nigel. He walks out on stage with an enormous bandage on his foot and crutches, and said he stubbed his toe on Adam Shankman's wallet. Har, har. Then a little 7-year-old named Luke comes on stage and says, "I want to fill in for you." Nigel tells him, oh, if you want to make a fool of yourself, go ahead. And then the kid tapped his little heart out. What a cutie pie, and SO talented!

And now, two more tappers came out--the Manzari Brothers. These two apparently impressed Nigel on National Dance Day. I can see why--they were great.

So, an hour into the show and we haven't seen Lauren yet, though we've seen Kent twice. Is that a sign of some sort??

Oh, here comes Lauren and Pasha in their tango to Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla. This was Nigel's favorite, and he says it really made Lauren, as a contemporary dancer, stand out from the rest of the girls. Woo! That was hot! It seemed so intimate, like we shouldn't be watching.

Adam's favorite was what he calls the Piece of the Season--the one that makes people cry and talk about it. It was too Fix You by Coldplay with Robert and Allison. Adam said it's about everyone's need to be cared for. Cat said she'd probably cry again--well, I sure am. It starts about 27 seconds in, where Allison goes to take a step, and Robert holds on to her foot. Not to mention when he's walking for her at the end. Wow. I couldn't find a good quality video that enabled embedding...this is the best I could do:



Next is a Krump routine with last years' winner, Russell, and Lil C. Song: Hazardous by Buckmouth. I love that we get to see Lil C perform. They were great!

Mary Murphy's favorite routine was Jose and Dominic's Battle for the Beat by District 78.) And of course she put them on the hot tamale train, and screamed.

We next get to see the U.K.'s winner of SYTYCD, Charlie Bruce, performing with Neal to a Mandy Moore routine to I Surrender by Celine Dion. She's a beautiful dancer.

Cat brings the Top 3 to the stage. Robert's in a Bollywood costume. The dancer in 3rd place is.....Robert. Before she announced the result Cat said his costume is the best "exit costume" ever. Then she quickly reminded everyone that she doesn't know the results yet. I thought he'd be 3rd, but he should be really proud of himself. Robert thanked everyone who voted for him, and thanked all the other contestants that he got to share the stage with.

Adam gets to choose another favorite of the season, and he selected Lauren's hip-hop with Twitch, and said it's where Lauren established her dominance as the woman to beat. He said, "She, the contemporary queen, showed our hip-hop king who is the boss of the dance floor and in the process, she showed us what it was like to understand and become music." Song: My Chick Bad by Ludacris and Nicki Minaj. Here's another one with embedding disabled. You can see it on YouTube.

Now Cat gets to choose a favorite. She choice Sonja's routine to Hallelujah (Jeff Buckly) performed by Alex and Allison. Since Alex is injured, we can't see it live, so we're seeing the original version. That was a gorgeous routine.

Stacey Tookey's favorite was Robert's Bollywood with Billy. Ganesh from Bombay Dreams (soundtrack).

Mia gets to choose another favorite, and it's Kent's other piece with Neal. Song: How it Ends by DeVotchKa. I'm glad someone chose this. It's my fave of the whole season.

Black Gold performs the song used on the contestants' exit: Shine. They also showed a nice montage of the season's highlights.

Cat teases the surprise once more. I have a feeling it's going to be something campy and we're all going to be let down. Please prove me wrong, SYTYCD.

Here it is. Our very special surprise guest. But first, Cat gives a little history--she mentions Alex's hip-hop with Twitch. After Alex had to drop out, this special guest contacted SYTYCD and said he'd like to recreate the performance with Twitch. So, here is....."a genuine dance superstar"... ELLEN!!!!!!!!! OK, that's AWESOME!!!!!!! Song: Outta Your Mind by Lil Jon and LM*AO. I firggin' LOVE IT!! That was so good!! Alex came on stage after and Ellen said she mentioned jokingly that it'd be fun to do, and then she worked with Napoleon and Tabitha. Great pull, SYTYCD!

And now, for our winner. (But first a rundown of their journey on the show.) OK, now time for our winner. America's Favorite Dancer is: {{drumroll please}}

Lauren!!


Woo-hoo!!! You go girl. She's been the only female in the contest for the last five or six weeks, I think, and she pulled it out. FANTASTIC! Here she is doing her thing:

SYTYCD Top Three

During the intro to the show, they showed clips of dancers who were voted off earlier in the season, and it felt like I was seeing them for the first time--I'd forgotten all about them. That's the problem with going early, but at least they'll get to dance again during tomorrow night's performance (I assume).

Kent, Lauren and Robert are the top three. I'm still pulling for Lauren, but suspect that Kent's gonna win it all. We shall see.

It's late, so I'm going to be brief tonight. I'll only cover what the judges say if it's something worth repeating.

The show starts off with a video montage of the whole show. I wonder if the judges at that and realize where they made mistakes--we should've chosen him, instead of the guy we ended up with. My regret is that they didn't choose the guy from Brooklyn who was trying to break out of his surroundings. I forget his name--Mia went to Brooklyn and gave him the bad news.

Kent dances first with Lauren in a Bollywood routine. The routine's about a wedding ceremony, where the groom tries to get out of the marriage. The choreographer is Nakul Dev Mahajan. Song: Om Mangalam by Kambakkht Ishq (Soundtrack). The costumes are gorgeous. Great performance from both Kent and Lauren. Kent looks good in that style.

Oy, it's going to be a long night. They're all dancing four routines and a solo.

Lauren and Twitch are doing a Napoleon/Tabitha hip-hop routine about the struggle for power. Song: Power by Kanye West. They come out dressed as two political candadates about to debate...podiums are on the stage. Great routine! Lauren hit it hard--she was fantastic!

Robert and Mark doing a Tyce Diorio jazz routine are up next. The piece is all about energy. Song: Whip It by Devo. That was a good pairing. I think Robert's leaps and extensions were stronger than Mark's, but I still found my eyes drawn to Mark more.

An aside. I can't hear "Whip It" without thinking of Beavis singing it at fast speed while hopped up on sugar. I tried to find a clip of it, but was unsuccessful.

There's next an interview with Kent. His favorite routine was the prom routine with Lauren, where they shared The Kiss. He then danced his solo to The Finish Line by Train. Lovely.

Oh jeez...there's someone in the audience seemingly SCREAMING HER HEAD OFF just to hear herself. SHUT UP!!!!!

Lauren and Robert perform a contemporary routine from Dee Caspary. (In the intro, Cat said we'd see Lauren and KENT in rehearsal. Oops...live TV. Their routine is about them going home and finding peace in their journey. Their prop is a pillow, which represents home. Song: That Home by Cinematic Orhcestra. Very nice. Cool use of the pillow.

NOW it's Lauren with Kent doing a Mandy Moore jazz routine. Song: Hip to Be Square by Huey Lewis & the News. These two make a cute pair--and they dance so well together. Cute routine. This is the first routine of the night that the judges weren't too crazy about. Nigel said it wasn't challenging enough, but Mia said they danced it very well. Well, if it's not challenging enough, that's Mandy's fault, not the dancers.

Robert comes out for his solo to The District Sleeps Alone by The Postal Service. Great routine...I think the votes are all going to be very close.

Kent and Allison are up with a Stacey Tookey contemporary. by . This is about looking into a relationship that everyone thinks is perfect, but really isn't. Sundrenched World (Live Session) Joshua Radin. Stacey said she wanted to dig down and find Kent's maturity, and I think she did. One of his best...he got past the goofiness and gave a really moving performance. He even seemed a bit subdued at the end...and even upset a little. As Mia was commenting, he was fighting tears. Adam asked what's going on with Kent, and he said it's personal, but that he got to a point where the steps didn't matter anymore...Adam stopped him and said, "You have become an artist! You don't need this show." Golly--I'm feeling a little verklempt myself....

Time for Lauren's interview. Her favorite routine was also the prom dance with Kent. She said she's never shared an experience like that with someone on stage, and she's not just talking about The Kiss.

Her solo is to I'm Goin' Down by Mary J. Blige. I always love her song choices--always very soulful. Another great solo.

Robert and Kathryn, do a Spencer Liff Broadway routine about a police investigation being conducted by a sexy, hot interrogator (Kathryn). Song: Stay Cool - West Side Story (1961 soundtrack). That was a lot of fun to watch. The choreography was fantastic. At the end, we see that Robert split his pants during the routine--Cat said he literally danced his pants off. Judges loved it. Nigel & Adam had a little tiff where Nigel said the song was never performed on stage, and Adam said, "Oh yes it was. I've done it plenty of times." Adam won and Nigel backed off.

Lauren is cha-cha'ing with Pasha to a Melanie Lapatin & Tony Meredith routine. Man...Pasha's so sexy in the rehearsal video. Lauren's playing a "man-eater" in the routine...lucky girl. Song: Not Myself Tonight by Christina Aguilera. Woo!!! Lauren was great, again. Pasha was great-as always. NIgel said her performance looked damn near perfect. He added that she's the best contemporary girl they've had doing a ballroom routine. Nigel pointed out that they must've stopped putting buttons on Pasha's shirts. Cat said, "yeah, the scissors are in my room." Thanks Cat! Mia said if she were still dancing, she'd want to dance just like Lauren.

And finally, here are Kent and Robert doing a Malevos (Gangster) routine. Hmmm...it's a tango battle! The choreographers are....oops. Didn't catch their names, and they didn't show them on screen. Song: The Chosen/Drum Addict by Taylor Long. It was explained after that Malevos is what's done when male tango dancers practice with each other before performing with their female partners. Both guys did so well. Adam said he can't wait to work with them.

That's it! Tonight's was a great show. I'm still pulling for Lauren, but wouldn't be upset if Kent won. And, after tonight, I wouldn't even be upset if Robert won. He's finally grown on me, and I really enjoyed watching him tonight. Good luck to them all.

8.09.2010

My crush continues


On Saturday I went with my sister and friends to an outdoor music festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. (Interesting tidbit: the actor Ed Norton's grandfather designed this planned city.)

The other day I wrote about Janelle Monáe's performance on So You Think You Can Dance, and didn't even realize I'd be seeing her perform live a few days later at the music fest. Other performers were B.o.B., Common, Chuck Brown, The Roots, and Erykah Badu.

Janelle Monáe and B.o.B. got themselves some new fans after their performances. Janelle went first, and the B.o.B. Both were great, and I've already downloaded their albums from iTunes. I've listened to each once, and my first impression is that I like them both, but really like B.o.B's a lot.

Next came the best part of the day: COMMON!! I just love this man. The best part of his set (besides just him being on stage), was his ode to old school hip-hop. He did a great medley, and the whole crowd knew all the words.


Hey, Val!  I see you up there.


Chuck Brown was up next. For those who don't know, he's a D.C. legend--the Godfather of Go-Go. He's 74 years old and still going strong. This clip's from the show, and since we were in the lawn, this is about the view we had. Thank goodness for big screens!




The Roots were next--love them!!! After their set, we were commenting about what a great show it'd been, and we were so glad we came, etc. And then...out came Erykah Badu. It's never good when people start leaving the venue during the headliner's performance. She did some strange stuff, I guess from her current album, and then, thankfully, she went back to some of her old stuff. And THEN, Common came back out again and performed with her. Woo-hoo!! I'm glad we didn't leave early. She ended on a high note, but didn't do the songs we wanted to hear, namely, "Tyrone" and "Bag Lady."

Overall, it was a great day, I'm still in love with Common, and I can't wait for our next outing, whatever it may be.

8.06.2010

How old am I?

Over the last few years, I'm sure you've noticed that more and more foul or inappropriate language is creeping into TV shows and onto the radio.  Tonight I'm watching Bethenny Getting Married? where she mentions "swinging d*cks," p***y, and schlongs.

A couple weeks ago on Work of Art, the artists were tasked with creating "shocking" art.  In the process, one guy, ahem, how should I put this?  He pleasured himself and left the "remains" on his piece.  Someone else painted a picture of a guy sucking himself off.  [Geez, what kinds of hits am I going to get with this language?]  Anyway, I found that the art wasn't shocking, but the language on the show was!  They actually said the words, "sucking himself off" ON TV!  *GASP!*

On TNT and FX shows like The Closer, Saving Grace, Damages, and Louie they say "sh*t" all the time.  That's not too bad, but Louie CK was talking about anal sex the other night, in pretty graphic terms.  At least his show doesn't come on until 11 p.m. 

So then I started thinking that what really annoys me is the fact that I'm bothered by any of this in the first place.  I'm sure it's a sign of my aging. I'm thinking and talking the way my mom did about rap music when it first came out in the 80s.  Back then, I couldn't understand why she was so opposed.  Moooommmmm...it's just words!   Now look at me.  It's "just words" on these TV shows, so why do I cringe when I hear them?  I'm not a prude or anything, but I'm just not getting used to this trend.

On the other hand, my sister and I were listening to Ryan Seacrest on the radio recently.  He was interviewing Maroon 5's Adam Levine, and told Adam his latest video is a lot of fun because Adam gets his a[beep]s beaten.  I told Deb, "They bleeped ASS?  What's up with that?"

So, maybe not all is lost.

8.05.2010

One more week to go after this

Tonight the Top 4 dancers will pare down to the Top 3, who will perform in the finale next week. Before we get to the festivities, I wanted to post this amazing piece from last night. Here are Neil and Kent performing Travis Wall's choreography:




Ahhh...that was so good.

OK, on with the show!

First dance: Song: Drumming Song by Florence + the Machine. It's all the all-stars dancing. Great piece choreographed by Dee Caspary. But where are our top four?

Before we get to those four, we get to talk to the four judges first. Guest judge, Tyce, is back tonight. Then we get to see some clips of National Dance Day. There was a big ceremony in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I wish I'd been in town to go down there to see it. Looked like fun. Maybe next year.

Nigel left us with a tease--they're going to recreate Alex & Twitch's hip-hop routine. Since Alex can't perform, an "absolutely fantastic dance legend" is going to join Twitch. Hmmm...who could it be? Check below for that great routine.

We still haven't seen the Top 4.

We are now treated to a performance from Janelle Monáe. She's an odd character, but I liked her performance. She's like a female James Brown.



Finally, we get a recap of Lauren's night, and then she comes out to dance a solo.  Song:  Wasted Time by Me'shell Ndegeocello. Great performance!

After a commercial break, Cat mentions that the Gatorade Sports Science Institute contacted SYTYCD to test their claims about the dancers being athletes. The dancers underwent a series of tests to be compared to other sports athletes who've been tested before like Eli Manning and Dwight Howard, and Kerri Walsh & Misty May. Twitch and Courtney's results convinced the Gatorade folks that dancers are athletes. This year's winner will be the first dance athlete on the Gatorade website.

Kent's recap is next. His solo is to Dynamite by Taio Cruz. All the girls are screaming for Kent. He was great.

Now all four are brought on stage for some results. Cat's revealing one of the top two dancers--this person didn't necessarily earn the most votes, but the top two were separated by 2% of the 10 million votes. The first person in the finale is LAUREN!!! Adam said he prayed last night that Lauren would be in the finale because she deserves to be dancing in it.

Adéchiké's next. His solo is to Sir by Various Artists. Another great solo. I think his solos are when he's at his best.

Robert performs to Mr. Muscle by Rusko. This performance and musci reminded me so much of All-Star Mark from season four. Great job!

The three guys are brought back on stage. The next dancer is in the top two, but Cat won't say whether they were first or second. And, no real surprise here, but it's KENT!

Next we get a performance from Desmond Richardson--Adéchiké's role model. He's the co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Song: Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones. That was fantastic.

Next we get to see the dancers attend the premiere of producer Adam Shankman's Step It Up 3D. Hmmm...a 3D dance movie? I don't know about that. In the preview they showed, the dancing looks pretty fabulous, but I think the acting might leave a little to be desired. There are a lot of familiar faces there, so I'm sure I'll see it at some point.

And now, a performance from Florida. Oh, excuse me. Flo Rida. The All Stars performed with him.

Final results time. The last person through to the finale is: ROBERT! I had a feeling he'd pull it out.

They showed AC's greatest hits, and based on that, I really think he'll do fine. He's very talented.

I'm looking forward to the finale next week!

And now, as promised, here are Alex and Twitch. (Sorry, embedding of the video was prohibited.)

And here's Janelle Monáe's video for "Tightrope":


The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2)The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I really liked the first book in this series, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," and I liked this one so much more. My problem with the first book had to do with the secondary story about Sweden's financial system and scandal--I just didn't care about that. There's no such problem in the second book...I was completely interested in all the plot lines going on. (There are a lot of characters to keep track of.) I'm looking forward to book three, but hate knowing that after that, there's no more. (Unless there truly is a book four sitting on a computer somewhere. There's hope!)

View all my reviews

8.04.2010

Top 4 - SYTYCD

Time for the final four to perform: Kent, Robert, Adéchiké, and my girl Lauren. Three of them will move to the finale next week. To recap from last week, we lost Billy and José. I wasn't too surprised by that.

Dang, only four dancers and yet the show is still two hours long. Not necessary. Tonight they're dancing three times apiece. And this week, the judges can't save anyone...who stays and goes is up to the voters.

Guest judge tonight is Tyce Diorio--yay!

They spent a couple minutes talking about National Dance Day, but didn't share any footage. Perhaps we'll see that tomorrow. Oh, yes, Cat confirmed that we will indeed see highlights tomorrow.

So, Tyce choreographed our first performance - a Broadway routine with all four dancers. He said it's "Guys and Doll." Song: The Crapshooter's Dance. Cute routine--Lauren really seemed like the star and the others were her back up. Tyce said that Kent stood out, Robert did excellent, Lauren was beautiful, and he wants to see the fight in Adéchiké.

Now for the competition.

Lauren and Pasha dance an Argentine Tango, choreographed by Miriam Larici & Leonard Barrionuevo. Song: Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla. During rehearsals, Lauren was worried about playing a seductive character. Woo! Gorgeous! Nigel enjoyed the passion and intensity. Tyce said it was excellent. Mia said that Lauren just became a woman, and that it was mesmerizing. Mia felt like a voyeur, which she likes. Before Adam gave his comments, he first said a few words about Prop 8 being overturned in California. (Yay!) And then he proposed to Nigel. He then quoted Sting about Lauren and said, "Every little thing you do it magic."

We next get a little background info on Lauren. In high school, she was a cheerleader, part of the dance line, student body vice president, part of the teaching club...she does it all, doesn't she?

Adéchiké is up next. He's dancing an African Jazz routine (with a little Afro-Carribbean thrown in). He's partnered with All-Star Lauren, and it's choreographed by Sean Cheesman. The story is about the search for the path to freedom. Song: The Path by Ralph MacDonald. Wow--the choreography was so fast...AC did a good job. The style suits him. Nigel said that AC needs to watch his posture--he's not relaxed enough. Otherwise, good job. Tyce said AC danced it well, but it could've gone that much further. Mia didn't care for the execution of the piece. I guess I kind of know what they're saying. Lauren was definitely more expanded in her movements. Adam said he saw Lauren lose herself, but that he was conscious of AC being in the choreography.

Robert is working with a new choreographer, Jonathon Roberts, and is dancing with Anya. The piece is a Viennese Waltz. Song: Lost by Anouk. Lovely. Nigel said it was superbly danced. Tyce said that Robert wore the ballroom style like a suit. Mia said, "An Armani suit." She said it was so romantic. Adam that Robert owned it, and that he's on a little surge, and there may be interesting movement in the competition.

Here's Robert's background. He was 12 when his folks split up. His mom remarried, and Robert says it was the best thing that happened to their family. He moved to California after high school, and Channing Cooke from Season 6 is one of his roommates. Hmm...I don't really remember her.

Kent's next with Courtney and choreographer Doriana Sanchez for DISCO! Kent has NO clue about disco. I feel old. Song: When Love Takes Over by David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowland. Oh my god--I thought Kent was going to spin off the stage with Courtney laid out over head. Nigel said that Kent kept the routine from being cheesy. Tyce said Kent did a good job, but that he needed to do just a little bit of research. Mia said it was rough for her. She said the partnering was solid, but when Kent wasn't partnering Courtney, it felt childlike and "bouncy, short, and squashy." Mia said it was his worst performance this season. Adam said that Mia's not totally wrong.

Now we're taken back to Kent's small hometown, Wapakoneta, Ohio. Kent was also a soccer player, but gave it up for dancing. Kent is the dancer in town--he says there aren't any male dancers in his town, not even many female dancers.

Lauren's now dancing a jazz routine from Sean Cheesman with Ade. This time she's playing a black widow. Song: Hide U (John Creamer & Stephane K Remix) by Kosheen. Applause, applause! Great job. Nigel said it was masculine work, but Lauren did it in a feminine way, and he hopes America will put her in the finale. I plan to do my part in a few minutes. Tyce said her dancing is spectacular. Mia and Tyce said it could've been more ferocious. Adam said, "I wanna hire you" and said it would be his privilege to work with her.

Adéchiké is now dancing with Kathryn to a piece choreographed by Dwight Rohden and Desmond Richardson. AC worked with them five or six years ago, and says that Dwight is the reason he wanted to become a dancer. Song: Fearless Love by Melissa Etheridge. I'm not sure what the dance style is--jazz? Hmmm....I think AC danced it okay, but I didn't love it. I think it's mainly because I didn't think of that song as being danceable. Nigel said AC lost a little wind toward the end, but added that he's done a wonderful job across the season. Tyce said AC put a bit of himself on the dancefloor, but that he needs to do more. Mia said she wanted more. Adam said that AC laid it all out there and that he's proud.

Now for his background: he grew up in the hood in Brooklyn. He said it's not cool to be a male dancer where he's from...good ole Bed-Stuy. The dance department chairperson from the Laguardia School of Performing Arts said that when she first met him, he was an "unfocused, undisciplined, unmotivated young dancer, and when he walked out the door, he was just the opposite." When the video clip was over, AC was in tears.

Robert and Dominic will be doing a hip-hop choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha. It's about two clowns who learn their circus is closing, and they're a little sad. It shows the dark side of a clown. [To me, all clowns ARE dark...I don't have a fear of them, per sé, I just don't really like clowns....] Anyway, I digress. Song: Scars by Basement Jaxx feat. Kelis, Meleka & Chipmunk. Robert held his own against Dom, I must say. Nigel said the routine was tremendous, and that Robert was brilliant. Tyce said Robert really "showed up" to this piece. Mia said, "hip hop theater, what a concept." She then said it was "dope" and that Robert was perfect. Adam said that Robert out-danced Dominic's ass. I wouldn't take it that far.... Adam ended with "This night is yours."

Kent and Neil will be dancing a Travis Wall contemporary about two best friends, but then Kent learns Neil isn't the friend he thought he was, when Neil stabs him in the back. Song: How It Ends by DeVotchKa. Wow. That was phenomenal...so powerful. Nigel said it was absolutely chilling, and that it's the number of the show. Travis said that someone did stab him in the back recently. Nigel said Kent danced it brilliantly, and he hopes to see it again in the finale. Tyce said, "Are you kidding me?" He said excellence was just delivered. Amazing, fantastic. Mia said it's the first time she can't find words...and she's in tears. The combo of Kent, Neil and Travis was perfect. Adam said if this were the finale, Kent would've just won the show. I'd have to agree. That was stunning. I'll have to find it tomorrow and post it.

Wow...great performances tonight. It's hard to say who will be the top three. I think Kent and Lauren are there for sure. And I think Robert just might edge out Adéchiké. Despite his being in the bottom three several times, Robert pulled himself out of that spot over the past couple of weeks.

Can't wait to see what happens.