Blog potpourri

* I’m putting together a Michael Jackson mix, and in doing so, stumbled across some long forgotten, but great, songs. Like “Childhood,” which, apparently, is from the Free Willy 2 soundtrack. Do y’all remember Free Willy 2? Yeah, me neither. I know I saw it, because I LOVED the first movie. Cried my eyes out . Also, fun fact: I went to see Free Willy on my first ever date, in sixth grade. My date cried, too, but tried to hide it. Anyway, check it out. Doesn’t this song break you heart a little? I’m sure he wrote it with that intention, but still – he’s so earnest. Plus, there are strings.

Other gems include “Ben”, “She’s Out of My Life”, “Dirty Diana” and a breathtaking “Ain’t No Sunshine.” I’d kind of forgotten how much I liked the King of Pop back in the day.

* Also being played on my iPod lately: The cast recording for Curtains. Freaking brilliant, people. I now totally regret never seeing this show when it was on Broadway. And I knew about it, too! I distinctly remember talking to my dad about the new Kander and Ebb murder mystery musical. Anyway, a friend gave me the cast recording several months ago, and I only recently started listening to it. It took a few listens, but now I can’t get enough. It’s funny, it’s catchy, it’s romantic, it’s sad. And, sure, it’s no Cabaret, but what is? I love David Hyde Pierce’s wistful song, “Coffee Shop Nights,” but the real gem on this album is “I Miss the Music”, a song about writing a song without a partner. Written by John Kander after Fred Ebb’s death. I can’t listen to it without tearing up. But, there’s also some hilarious numbers, and some that are pure joy, such as “Show People.”

Wasn’t that fun?

*I finished the Great Frasier Rewatch much, much faster than the Great Cheers Rewatch. I actually am not going to say how quick it took me to finish 11 seasons of TV, but needless to say…it was quick. Totally enjoyable from start to finish. I don’t remember the last time I laughed out loud at a show so consistently. Yesterday, I started listing my favorite episodes, for a top 10 countdown, and ended up with, uh, 42. No, I’m not kidding. Obviously I’ll have to trim the list down. I almost feel like there should be two different lists: 1.) Favorite episodes, 2.) Niles. Though, as I said before, Jane Leeves is totally under-appreciated. Or at least, I didn’t appreciate her when the show was on. My god, she’s funny. OnceI can narrow down the list, I’ll do a post on my favorite episodes. In the meantime, here’s a video someone made highlighting the hilarious Daphne Moon.

* Lauren Graham’s new movie, The Answer Man, comes out in DC next week. Who’s coming with me? Anyone? Anyone?

*On that topic, I still haven’t seen 500 Days of Summer. Or The Hangover. Or any new movie since Away We Go. P.S. John Krasinski + beard + glasses = HOT. I finally get the attraction.

* I need a good book. I’m currently very uninspired by my collection. I keep on starting one book and stopping it a few days later. I think this is because a few months ago, I read Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo. It was wonderful, and set the bar very high for my next Great Read. So far, nothing has measured up. I hope I find one by this time next month – I need some beach reading.

* I have no desire to see the Harry Potter movie. But I do think Daniel Radcliffe has gotten kind of cute as he’s gotten older. (Even though I can’t see him without remembering him flinging a condom, ala Extras.) Which is worse?

*Found out today the new season of Dexter starts September 27th. Bring it!

* How did I find that out? By reading about the Dexter panel at Comic Con. Yep, it’s that time of year again. And yes, once again, I failed to make it to the Fandom Mecca. Someday, dear readers. Some day…

Two for two

This is old news by now, but I’d like to jump on the bandwagon and say: YAY! NPH is hosting the Emmys! Also, it appears I am quite predictable. On the day this was announced, I got not one but TWO texts from people delivering the news. What can I say? I am what I am…. That’s Popeye. (Bonus points to anyone who gets the reference.)

I’m excited about this, but I also hope it doesn’t hurt his chances of a nomination and/or a win. Anyone who watches HIMYM knows he’s at least worthy of a nomination. And IMO, a win, but so far the Emmy people haven’t agreed. But what do they know? They give Jeremy Piven awards just for breathing. And Martin Sheen didn’t win in all the 7 years The West Wing was on the air. And have they never watched Dexter? Why diss Michael C. Hall ever year, and not even recognize Dexter‘s amazing supporting cast? And don’t even get me STARTED on Friday Night Lights.

Even so, I love the show and watch ever year. (And every year, I’m disappointed.) At least this year will have a good host.

Video of the Day:

In honor of the news, here’s one of my favorite NPH clips. Makes me laugh every time.

Huey, MJ, Paul, and Frasier (Together at last!)

Helloooo Internets! Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was gone?

Evidently I took a non-planned hiatus. Last week was my busiest work-week of the year, and this week – well, my brain turned into mush and I haven’t had the energy or desire to post anything. But don’t worry, I’m slowly returning to form.

Some things:

– Last week, I went to see Huey Lewis and the News at Wolf  Trap for my mom’s birthday. Did you know that the world is crazy for Huey Lewis? Because it is. I had no clue, and was totally unprepared for the madness that ensued. Everyone rocked out. People my age were rockin’, people my parents’ age were rockin’, and even this tiny man who could have been my grandfather was dancing in the aisles. Really world? Really? To be fair, I’m not a huge fan of Mr. Lewis. I mock shouted “I loved you in Duets!”*  when he came out, because that’s really the only thing I like about his career. Evidently, I am in the deep minority. When they finished “Power of Love” in the middle of the show, I turned to my Dad and asked “But what are they going to close with now?” I was also imagining myself hitching on to the back of a pick up truck so I could skate to school faster, but that’s neither here nor there. So Internet, you’ve been warned: The world LOVES Huey Lewis. *shrug* (Despite my complete neutral attitude toward Huey, the night was fun. My mom had a great time, and I enjoyed the people-watching opportunity.)

* Have you all seen Duets? If not, you totally should. It’s one of my all-time favorite movies. And the reason that, no matter how many Planet of the Apes, Lady in the Waters, or Fred Clauses he makes, I’ll always, always love Paul Giamatti. Don’t believe me? Do yourself a favor and watch this. Oh, man, I’m tearing up just linking you to that.

– I am also pretty neutral on Michael Jackson’ s death. Sorry. I am old enough to remember when Dangerous was released (and to absolutely love it), but I’m not really old enough to remember the madness that was Thriller, and moon walking, and all that. I mostly remember when the media started reporting on all his eccentricities, the weirdness with Macauley Culkin, and his pet monkey. When I heard of his death, I was definitely shocked, but also, felt a sense of relief for him. The last 15 years or so haven’t been great ones for Mr. Jackson. So, rest in peace, sir.  Thanks for “I Want You Back”, which has one of the best openings to a song ever.

– Tomorrow, I’m going to New York with Nicki for the weekend. We’re going to see Next to Normal. Other plans include Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge. I’ve never been to New York when it’s been both a.) warm and b.) nice. Work with me, universe. (Note to my readers: If you don’t hear from me in a few days, check the papers. I might have gotten caught in Alice Ripley’s path. No, my fear from her Tony acceptance speech has not subsided.)

– I made an executive decision a few weeks ago to stop my Cheers re-watch. I had maybe four episodes to go, and I just…couldn’t finish. It was too sad. (Go with me here – this was the first show I ever loved and lost. I still remember that night, and the Bob Costas special, and Diane coming back, and then leaving, and Norm telling Sam that the meaning of life is love, and Sam straightening the picture of Geronimo and turning off the lights for the last time. I couldn’t say goodbye to it again.) Instead, I started my Frasier re-watch, which is immensely entertaining. And, it’s not that I forgot how funny David Hyde Pierce is, but I hadn’t seen the show in ages. Oh, my god, you guys. DHP is a freaking genius. Seriously. He is. You know who else is hysterical? Daphne. I totally didn’t appreciate Jane Leeves when the show was on the air, and I’m so glad I do now. She can tell a story like nobody’s business. I didn’t watch much of the final years – I was in college, and all of my TV attention (that’s not an exaggeration – really – all of it) was devoted to Buffy and Angel. I’m sure that, like any show that lasts over a decade, it loses some of its luster. But, man oh man, is this show brilliant. Super smart, super funny, with super-talented people in front of and behind the camera.

Last night, I watched “Ham Radio”, from the fourth season. I don’t think I’d seen it since it aired, but once the shenanigans began, it all came back, and I remembered watching this with my family, all of us howling. In light of all the tragedy that’s gone on lately – the Air France crash, the Metro accident, the random deaths of four or five celebrities – here’s something to cheer you up. Two things for you to know: 1.) KACL puts on a radio play for its 40th anniversary and 2.) “Multiple murderer.”

 

 

Don’t you feel better now? Have a good weekend, y’all.

On the Tonys

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Dear Neil Patrick Harris,
I know you prefer men, and have a long-time boyfriend and all, but will you marry me? I love you. I will be watching your Tony- version of “Tonight” on Youtube for weeks.

– Also, if I wanted to go back to New York and see shows BEFORE tonight, now I feel the need to go like, immediately. Billy Elliot, Next to Normal, God of Carnage, I want to see them all. Hey,  I have a credit card now. I could totally take a few weeks off work and just wander aimlessly around the city right? (Nope. Unlike some, I do not have the financial security to do that. Alas.)

– I have no desire to see Shrek, at ALL, and seeing their performance only confused me more as to why this is a hit, BUT I will say watching that guy on his knees for an entire number was pretty amazing. Also, I kept on trying to figure out how the front legs worked. Are there strings attached to his actual legs, so the fake legs move with his? I dunno. So confused.

– That kid from Billy Elliot was amazing. He’s what, 12, 13? Wow. What a dancer. I’m glad those three boys won.

– I’m also glad Angela Lansbury won, just because it’s Angela Lansbury. And she’s so grateful and composed. She’s like a grandma. (I may be basing this on her performance as Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast.) 

– I wasn’t a big fan of West Side Story when it tried out in DC, but I’ll say that Anita was wonderful, as was the chick who played Maria. Those two were the standouts. So, good on both of them for being nominated, and good for Anita for winning.

– Also, I swear, Internets, “Sit Down Your Rockin’ The Boat” from Guys and Dolls is really incredible in person. I called my roommate in to see it, and told her that it brought down the house when I saw it in April. She was…underwhelmed. And so was I – but for reals, it’s amazing live.

– Of all the performances, Next to Normal and Billy Elliot were the best.

Video of the Day: In all of his interviews leading up to the Tonys, NPH made kept saying that he was just going to try to keep the show running at a fast pace, and make sure the audiences at home at at Radio City could see a little bit of Broadway. In other words: He wasn’t making it about him. Which is exactly what he did. I’m glad, because I enjoyed most of the performances (despite sound issues), and it definitely made me want to go see a show (see above). BUT, I’m also glad he had a little something up his sleeve, that he didn’t pull it out (hee) until the end of the show. (Again, not making it about him.) Good on you, NPH.

Coherent review to follow

OMG, everyone. (By the way, if  the Wordpress stats are correct, there’s a whole bunch of new people reading this. So, hello, welcome, hope you keep reading.)

Anyway, I will write a proper review later, but I just want to say, I’m here at work, listening to the newly-released  Ben Folds  Presents University A Cappella!,  and it is incredible!

You know how every once in awhile, an album will come around that is so enjoyable, that you find yourself thinking, “Man, this is SO great” multiple times during your first listen? I’ve been doing that for the past nine tracks. Not every one has been a winner, but most are, and they’re SO great.

So, if you’re a big dork like me (and Andy Bernard) and like a little a cappella in your life, go pick up this CD. Now! What are you waiting for?

Video of the Day: If you need more convincing, here’s my favorite track (of the 9 songs I’ve listened to so far – there are 16 total.)