Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dead And Gone

The superstars continue to parade through the Styl'd set and this time as the junior assistants are given the task of styling Alex Meraz of Twilight fame, as well as up-and-coming songstress Keri Hilson (who I discovered earlier this year on The Hills). Meraz is gets styled appropriately enough in a cemetary for an LA Confidential Magazine photo shoot, while Hilson is done up for a concert after-party. Just like last week, there is a lot of drama but without spoiling it too much for everyone I will mention that one of the junior assistants actually walks off the job in this episode and that a regrettable one-night stand also rears its ugly head.

Styl'd has done a great job all season long of implementing great, hip music that fits the aesthetic of the show, and in this episode, they chose to go with two songs from TV/TV that they have already used this season with "Small Time" (aired in last week's episode) and "Fire Island" (aired in episode 3). These dancey, synth-heavy grooves are great introductions to one of the best young bands out there right now, so be listenning for them while you watch "Dead And Gone" below, and have a safe and happy New Year's.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Very Styl'd Christmas

Merry Christmas all - hope everyone enjoyed the holidays as much as I did, and while I'm still recovering from seemingly endless amount of rich foods that I consumed in the last few days, I took some time out today to catch up on some Styl'd.

"Playing Favorites" saw the Styl'd junior assistant crew take on assignments with Sean Kingston and Brenda Song. While these weren't my favorites (nothing beats the episode with Academy Is and Fall Out Boy), the episode did feature a fight between the well-documented psycho Tara and Jen. But even better than that, "Playing Favorites" played a few of my favorite songs as well, by two bands that seem to fit the fashionable edge of the show - Radio Freq and TV/TV.

Radio Freq's "I'm Alive" is a pulsating thriller that just begs to have a lot of dandy remixes that you will hear on the dance floor in 2010, while TV/TV brought two equally addictive songs to the table with "Good Cop Bad Cop" and "Small Time." Have a listen and look for yourself below.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

According To Greta

With dead weak over and now finals almost upon me, you would think I would be extremely bummed right now, but I'm not, partly because I don't have any truly scary finals, and party because I just got to see the incredible new film According To Greta. Starring Hilary Duff in a role that I predict will help launch a new phase in her career, the movie puts her as a 17 year old suicidal girl as she arrives at her grandparents' home in Jersey shore for the summer. Evan Ross (son of Diana Ross - yes, the Supreme herself) plays her love interest in this great coming of age movie. With a great cast, supreme acting, and a good 'indie' feel to it, I think According To Greta is easily the most underrated movie of the year and if you have a chance to see it (it has a limited theatrical release), you should take advantage of this.

Beyond what I consider an absolute breakthrough performance by Duff, the movie also was smart enough to set the tone early with the great Americana sing-a-long "I Wanna Die" by Jolie Holland, which plays during the opening credits.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Remember Me

I've seen both of the Twilight films, and while they're enjoyable, I always thought that the romance between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's characters seems so forced. I don't know why, but I just am not a fan of Stewart and her version of Bella always seems so nervous and off when on-screen with the adorable Pattinson...and it's exactly this reason that has me super curious to check out the movie Remember Me. Pattinson's love interest in this is none other than Emilie de Ravin, best known as Claire from Lost. From the trailer, I think it looks to be quite an intersting movie, and I also hope Chris Cooper has a big role, because he's always great.

Of course no post here would be complete without mentioning some music, and the trailer has two songs that really caught me ear. First, there is an acoustic guitar-based song that plays in the first half of the trailer, and I've been dying to figure out what it is - googling like a mad woman in between my studies. Any of my readers have the skinny for me?

Next, there is a song I DO know, and that's "Asleep" by The Album Leaf, which is the beautiful song that starts playing about halfway through. RIYL Explosions in the Sky, The Album Leaf make these awesome sounding mini-symphonies featuring great use of guitar and synthesizers that sound like other instruments...great evocative music that quite often fits the many rainy days we experience here in Seattle.

Check out the trailer for Remember Me below, and again, please if anybody can ID the other song I'd be very grateful.


The Album Leaf on MySpace

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Radio Freq Soundtracks Styl'd

Whew. Finals have been kicking me straight in the rear for the last few weeks, which has been putting a real wrench in my TV schedule. Luckily for me, I haven't really missed Styl'd, because they've been spacing out the episodes more than a week apart lately. For once, that actually sits well with me. Anyway, in last night's episode, the team got to prepare The Academy Is, Nicole Richie, and Fallout Boy. While I thought they came up with quite a bad look for Nicole (that headband just doesn't go well with somebody who has such buggy eyes), they did a great job with The Academy Is and Fallout Boy and overall it was another fantastic episode of one of my favorite new shows, which is also quickly establishing itself as one of the better shows when it comes to music. I've already blogged about their use of TV/TV, and now they've included another great band that knows how to incorporate synthesizers into their brand of rock n' roll, and that's Radio Freq.

Radio Freq's "Feel the Beat" makes you do exactly as it commands and really makes me wish I was on the dance floor instead of in my room taking a quick study break to blog. Like TV/TV, this band I think outdoes The Killers and The Bravery at their own game, and I think it's just a matter of time before radio stations start catching on to this awesome crew of upstarts.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TV/TV Gets Styl'd


Last night I decided to check out Styl'd, the new MTV reality show that follows some up and coming style assistants as they try to move up in the ultra-competitive world of high-end celebrity stylists. While I missed the first two episodes, last night's quickly drew me in, and I think I may have developed (yet another) new addiction. On top of the show being quite riveting (yes, I know it's probably 90% scripted just like every other reality show - spare me the lecture), it also featured some great music from one of my favorite up-and-coming bands, TV/TV.

TV/TV is a new wave/synth pop/garage rock band that combines some of the best elements of The Bravery and The Strokes into one, combined with a singer that sprinkles great strategic yelps into his casually cool delivery. Their songs "Turn Me On" and "Fire Island" both played during last night's episode, and both are great examples of their party-starting sounds. You can listen to "Turn Me On" over at TV/TV's MySpace page, and watch the episode below:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Vampire Tunes

It surely is a good time to be a vampire these days. With the massive success of the Twilight series and True Blood, not to mention Cirque Du Freak and of course my favorite, The Vampire Diaries. While Twilight may receive all the credit for kicking off the vampire craze, The Vampire Diaries actually pre-dates the Twilight series by over a decade and I'm proud to say I read The Vampire Diaries before I devoured Twilight (and let's make no mistake here, I am a huge Twilight fan, with allegiances to Team Edward).

Anyway, The Vampire Diaries has now inspired a TV show, and last week's episode featured a couple great songs by some artists that should be familiar to those of you who regularly follow this blog. The first song, "Lies" is by Pablo Sebastian, he of Malbec fame. Pablo's familiar silky smooth vocals are still here, but this song is a little more rock/pop, a little less hip hop or electronic than Malbec. The song plays as Bonnie and Elena discuss Damon in the car. Unfortunately YouTube disabled embedding for these clips, but if you click below it will open a new window for you watch in.



Great Northern's "Houses" also pops up in this episode as it continues to show that it may be one of the best songs to use in TV shows or movies ever. Having already played a feature role in 90210 earlier this year and just recently in One Tree Hill, "Houses" is used more as background ambience at the Mystic Grill as Jenna and Alaric talk, and then Damon and Stefan play darts.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Super Psycho Sweet Sixteen


MTV's My Super Psycho Sweet Sixteen has been airing quite a bit lately, and I finally got around to watching it last night. Based on the annoying/hit TV series, My Super Psycho Sweet Sixteen is a surprisingly awesome slasher, with all the elements that make a slasher movie good - gore, tongue-in-cheek humor, some underlying social commentary. The premise? A rich and spoiled girl, Madison, gets her parents to arrange a huge birthday bash at a closed roller rink. The rink was the site of a bloody massacre ten years earlier, but this isn't stopping Madison from throwing her party...and of course the fun and guts ensues. Really, I have to ask - who wouldn't want to see a My Super Sweet Sixteen girl get cut up?

For what basically is a made for TV movie (it had a one week limited theater run) it really is quite high on production values, and I was also pleasantly surprised to see how much gore made it. Evidently the DVD will have a few scenes added that they just couldn't show on TV, but I still thought it was way above average for this type of audience, which is always a good thing when it comes to slashers.

Of course, it wouldn't be making an appearance on this blog if it didn't also have some great music, and that comes in the form of previous favorites the Electric Owls, who contributed the song "Put the Candle Back" to the movie. For those of you who have seen the movie, the song plays when Madison, Olivia and Chloe get ready for the big party. I hope to have a video clip of the scene ASAP, but this might just have to wait until the DVD release. For now, I would reccomend watching the film if you haven't already, and heading on over to the Electric Owls MySpace page to listen to give "Put the Candle Back" a spin.



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Boomkat Soundtracks The City

After a few more ridiculously intense weeks of school, I sat down with a guilty-pleasure amount of ice cream last night and watched the latest episode of The City, "Hit It or Quit It." For those who don't know, The City is a spin-off series of The Hills, and follows ex-Hills cast member Whitney Port as she navigates herself through the fashion world in New York, working for designer Diane von F├╝rstenberg. While not as popular as it's big sister, I find this season of The City more interesting than what The Hills has offered lately.

You can watch the whole episode below, and while you're at it, I want to point out the song "Burn" by modestCompexity favorite Boomkat plays at about 15:30 in to the episode. Although Boomkat's Taryn Manning is a west coast girl, this song really feels like New York, and it makes the perfect background music as they do a fly-over of the Big Apple. Unfortunately MTV banned the YouTube clip I made of the scene in the US, but for all you foreign readers, you can follow this link to watch the scene.


Boomkat on MySpace

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Great Northern Kick Off One Tree Hill

Any casual follower of this blog already knows how big of a fan of Great Northern I am, so you can imagine how excited I was to hear their song "Houses" play during the entire opening montage of last night's episode of One Tree Hill, "Your Cheatin' Heart."

The propulsive track, which appeared earlier this year in 90210, has that ever-present forward moving momentum, which makes it the perfect song to kick off an episode. Rachel Stolte's powerful, smokey vocals give an ethereal quality to this song, as the driving beats and bass line make sure you feel its presence. I think by the time 2009 is all said and done, Remind Me Where the Light Is will be my favorite record of the year, and "Houses" is definitely my favorite song off the album, so I'm happy to see it getting so much love, especially since One Tree Hill's music (which used to be absolutely phenomenal) has been going down hill lately.

For some reason, I can't embed the video, but if you click on the image below, you can watch the entire opening montage.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Grayson's Anatomy

Last night's season finale of Drop Dead Diva, cheekily titled "Grayson's Anatomy," was a great way to cap off a stressful weekend full of studying for exams. Since I last blogged about Drop Dead Diva, I've gone back and checked out the entire season, and I can officially say that I'm hooked. I love the parallels/juxtapositions that are set up for Deb/Jane, and the show also has some of the best dialogue of anything going right now. Highly under-rated, and I think if this show was on ABC instead of Lifetime, it would have a HUGE following. One great positive is that the finale got excellent ratings, and the show has gained more followers each week...so finally there's a new show I love that won't get cancelled.

One great example of the Deb/Jane dynamic was shown in the season finale, as Grayson sits at a pub and talks with Stacy and we learn that Grayson has been losing sleep. The reason? He has been thinking of Jane (a fact which he accidentally reveals to Stacy, only to instantly play it off as nothing). I can't help but think that his dreaming of Jane is because subconsciously he connects with the part of her that is still Deb...and this really sets up the next season for some interesting drama.

One other great thing about the scene is (surprise!) the song playing in the background. The band is Castaneda, and the song is called "Piece of Mind," a clever little play on words from this super-hip California indie outfit. They are a band that does a great job of mixing new wave, pop, and punk sounds into their own indie rock smorgasboard, and really sound great on mix tapes alongside bands like The Killers, Tokyo Police Club, MGMT and The Strokes.

Overall, I've been very happy with some of the great song choices that they have made for Drop Dead Diva, and I hope next season continues to have more great story lines, dialogue, and songs.






Friday, October 9, 2009

Whip It!

School's starting to actually heat up (i.e. it's mid-term time) and the weekend couldn't come fast enough right now. While I bury myself in the books, I do have one item of fun on the agenda for the weekend, and that is to check out Whip It. The latest Ellen Page movie features everyone's favorite snarky girl of the moment pursuing a roller derby career. It is Drew Barrymore's debut as a director, and based on the trailer, looks like a lot of fun.

Beyond the movie's great cast and the hilarious premise, the soundtrack looks amazing. Drew Barrymore has described it as her mixtape to us, and this only confirms to me that she is awesome. Some of my favorite artists, including The Raveonettes, Tilly and the Wall, and Peaches make an appearance on this indie-all star soundtrack, but I'm especially excited about the inclusion of "Unattainable" by Little Joy. This song was easily in my top 5 of 2008, and I'm really hoping that I hear it in the movie, too. For those of you who don't know, Little Joy is the side project of Fabrizio Moretti (drummer of The Strokes - fun fact, he used to date Drew Barrymore). Check back after the weekend, and I'll hopefully update this post with my recap of the film.

UPDATE: I saw the movie, and as expected, enjoyed the hell out of it. They did use "Unattainable" in the film, too which was great - after Bliss (Ellen Page) has her first roller derby performance, she goes to a party, and puts this song on. A more pleasant surprise was that I actually liked Kristen Wiig's character - she was nothing like her annoying nervous character on SNL or in Knocked Up and had great on-screen chemistry with Ellen Page.


And here's a breath-taking live performance of "Unattainable." I've watched this video hundreds of times and it still makes the hair on my arms stand straight up.


Little Joy on MySpace

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Blind Side and Three Rivers

I'm not a football fan by any stretch of the imagination, but a few years back I read a book called The Blind Side by Michael Lewis. While half of it is technical football stuff, which I skipped over, the other half is a heart-warming story about a family that took in (and eventually adopted) a down and out star high school football player named Michael Oher. This book is now being made into a movie, which is due in theaters late November.

I hope the movie stays very true to the amazing story, because it is one that needs no Hollywood embellishments. Oher's father was murdered while he was in junior high, and his mother was addicted to crack. He bounced between foster homes, and different schools (try 9 in 11 years) and repeated grades. When he was 16, he had a .9 GPA and had yet to have a permanent address. However, after hearing about the tough life he had, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, a white family with a daughter Oher's age (and this was definitely controversial to some in the still racially-tense south), took him in and gave him a home and tutoring. Eventually, he graduated high school and went on to play college football, and just this year made it into the NFL and is making millions.

Here's a look at the trailer for this inspirational story about perseverance, acceptance, and ultimately triumph. In addition, about 45 seconds in they use an instrumental cut of the song "Kill the Messenger" by one of my well-documented favorite artists, Jack's Mannequin. Andrew McMahon of Jack's Mannequin also has an inspirational story to tell (he is a cancer survivor), and I thought it was very fitting to use the song in this trailer - hope to hear it in the movie, too.




In other Jack's Mannequin news, the premiere episode of Three Rivers debuted last night on CBS. You may recall that the previews for Three Rivers featured the music video for Jack's Mannequin's "Swim" in a cool spliced up montage with footage from the show. Unfortunately, now that Three Rivers is out, CBS has taken the preview video down.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Hills Premieres With 2 Great Songs

Ah, The Hills. Some of my friends say it's everything that's wrong with TV these days, especially reality TV. Others swear by it, watching each and every episode multiple times per week. Me? I fall somewhere in the middle. Sometimes I get sucked way into it, but then sometimes a character will piss me off so much that I turn it off for a few weeks, but I always watch the season premieres and go from there. Besides, half the reason you watch a show like this is because many of the characters are such out of control drama queens that it makes you feel better about your own life. Last night kicked off another season of The Hills (can you believe we're at season 6?) so of course, I tuned in. Or rather, I recorded it and watched it later.

There are thousands of better episode reviews that you can find online, but since this is my blog, readers know the drill. I usually save postings for when I find a cool song on a TV show, and The Hills' season 6 premiere actually had 2 great tracks. The first, is "Warning" by modestComplexity favorites, Great Northern. "Warning" is off their latest album, Remind Me Where the Light Is, and if you ask me, should be the next single. It has great sing-a-long qualities, and the tune easily gets stuck in your head, without being annoying.




Keri Hilson's "Turning Me On" was the second song I enjoyed. I had never heard of Keri prior to this episode, but after mistaking her song for a different artist, I stumbled upon Kari's music, which is some great, unpretentious pop with a dancey feel.




Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Malbec On Drop Dead Diva

As a rule, I generally stay away from watching shows or movies on Lifetime. I'm not my mother or my aunt yet, and just the thought of all the other people watching makes me want to turn the channel off. However, at the insistence of my friend Maya, I've checked out a couple episodes of Drop Dead Diva. While I've had to have her catch me up on things that are going on in the show, I think it's a solid show that seems has a good combination of comedy, fantasy, and drama, never making one aspect of the show dominate the others. However, what sealed the deal to at least make me tune in for a few more episodes was that they ended the most recent episode with the song "Free" by Malbec, just as Fred decides he has to leave. Both lyrically and musically, the song fits the ending as if it was written specifically for the scene.

For those of you who don't know, Malbec is one of my favorite under-the-radar groups that followers of this blog should be familiar with. Their seamless mix of hip hop, electronica, and original pop is good for any mood, any time of day, any place. In fact, I like them so much that I will be making the hour-plus drive out to Olympia to see them on November 8. Fellow Washingtonians, you should go, too.



Saturday, September 26, 2009

Earlimart on Dollhouse

Earlimart's "The World" was on the season 2 premiere of Dollhouse last night, and anybody who has spent any time at all reading this blog knows that I get super excited for all things Earlimart. The veteran duo of Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray have enjoyed a stellar career, releasing album after album of consistent, yet original material. "The World" is the perfect song to fit into the dark, mysterious world of Dollhouse. Brooding and emotive without being sad-sack, "The World" is the type of song that gets the hair to stand up on your arms, and the lyrics fit the eeriness of the scene.

Like Melrose Place, Kyle XY, and many other of my favorite shows, Dollhouse is struggling with ratings. However, if they keep on producing great episodes like last night and including great tunes like "The World," I believe people will eventually start to 'get' the show and tune in.



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Taryn Manning Guests On Melrose Place

The multi-talented, too-cool-to-be true Taryn Manning starred in last night's episode of Melrose Place, and I couldn't be happier. I've slowly been starting to think that the new Melrose Place is a superior show to the new 90210, and an awesome guest appearance like this is just the latest in reasons to tip the scales towards Melrose Place (but don't fear 90210, I still love you). Disturbingly enough, I read on Perez Hilton that Melrose had terrible ratings...hopefully the return of Heather Locklear can help save the show, because it's just getting better with each episode.

Kudos to the producers for using the song "Run Boy" from Taryn's band Boomkat during the scene when Taryn pulls a gun on Jonah, not believing that he is her director. Hard-hitting and oozing with cool, "Run Boy" is a track that makes me wish I was 21, so I could be dancing my brains out at some swanky club.




I also found cool video of the dance rehearsal for the episode. I wish I could dance like this...*sigh. Come to think of it, I would LOVE to see some contestant on So You Think You Can Dance put their own personal touch on "Run Boy." Can you imagine what Nathan Trasoras could do with this?



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Great Northern on Greek

It's no secret that I love the TV show Greek, or the band Great Northern, so you can imagine how excited I was to hear Great Northern's "Telling Lies" in Monday's episode of Greek. I've been dealing with some icky computer problems lately (hence the long space in between posts), but I've finally got a clip of the scene up (see below). After the father/fraternity football game, they all go to Dobler's. Casey gets all the fathers to make up with each other, but Ashleigh still won't forgive Rebecca for kissing Fischer...and "Telling Lies" appropriately plays in the background.

Season three of Greek is just underway, and I'd like to think this is thanks to all my fellow Greek lovers who petitioned to keep the show on the air. I know I had read rumblings about it being a possible cancellation, and am glad to see ABC Family made the right choice in keeping it on the air, and so far the first two episodes have been great. I thought it was a pretty brilliant portrayal of a Father's weekend at a sorority - anybody that's ever been around one of these knows what I'm talking about here - and I can't wait to tune in next week to see if Casey can save the "undie run." (PS, sorry for the poor video quality. My TiVo was temporarily broken so I had to capture it from an online video)




Monday, August 10, 2009

Three Rivers

Summer is coming to an end, meaning the carefree days of relaxing by the pool will soon be replaced by school and work-related stress. But, fear not, the beginning of fall does bring some good, namely a new fall TV lineup. One new show that just caught my attention is called Three Rivers, which will air on CBS. The series stars Alex O'Laughlin, best known for playing Mark St. John in Moonlight, and is described by CBS as, "a medical drama that goes inside the emotionally complex lives of organ donors, the recipients and the surgeons at the preeminent transplant hospital in the country where every moment counts."

Now, I'm a sucker for medical-related drama, but as if that weren't already enough, the promo video for the show featured one of my favorite songs of this summer, "Swim," by Jack's Mannequin. Things have been going well for Andrew McMahon and company lately, as they also recently stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live to play "Swim" and "The Resolution." Can't wait to see if they're featured more on what looks to be a very promising new show. Series premiere is October 4, so mark your calendars and set your DVRs.



Three Rivers on CBS

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fling



Just watched the the premiere of Fling last night on Showtime (also known as Lie to Me overseas), and I have to wonder out loud why this wasn't a major box-office release? I mean, for starters, it stars Superman heart-throb Brandon Routh. I also think the subject matter is extremely relevant to today's society (the movie follows the complexities of an open relationship, something I feel a lot more couples are trying these days), and it has GREAT (not good) music. How is this movie relegated to a television release while formulaic regurgitations like Ugly Truth are filling up the theaters?

The trailer above gives a great synopsis of where the movie goes, and I don't want to spoil too many details for you, but as you see, the hand-held camera, almost documentary-style cinematography really makes the movie play out like a behind-the-scenes search into an unspoken taboo. A+ for originality, acting, and style, and don't be fooled by the subject matter - this isn't a risque sexploitation film ala Wild Things.

As for the aformentioned great tunes, where do I start? The movie is scored by Nick Urata, the frontman for the insanely original band Devotchka. While that alone is worth the price of admission, the all-star cast of awesome indie tracks makes this my favorite soundtrack since Garden State. From the first pulsing beat of Maxxfemm's "Weak Condition," to the final, spacey dream of Asobi Seksu's "Goodbye," the movie takes you on a musical journey that has left this particular blogger hungry for more. While I literally like every song on this soundtrack, a few of the other more notable standouts were "That Time" by Layton, "Hope's All There Is" by Maxxfemm, "Thursday" by Asobi Seksu, "Kansas City" by Okkervil River, "Flyentology (Cassettes Won't Listen Remix)" by El-P, and "Rock n' Roll Fantasy" by Pink Mountaintops.

In short, see miss this movie. Pick up the soundtrack. Swoon.





Monday, July 27, 2009

16 & Pregnant


I had no idea it was this bad, but evidently 30% of American teen girls will become pregnant. I found out about this scary fact while channel surfing the other night, and landing on MTV's 16 and Pregnant. The particular episode I stumbled upon was the reunion episode, where all the different stories came back and discussed their stories with Dr. Drew. It was nice because you got a rundown of what each of their episodes would have been, and I feel as though I got out of 1 hour what I could've spent a whole season watching.

While the stories varied from inspiring (Catelynn and Tyler's adoption story) to scary (the horrible way Ryan shirks all his responsibility onto Maci, the loss of youth all these kids have to face), I thought it was worth a watch, and definitely something they should show to kids in Health classes instead of the ridiculous propaganda videos from the 80s that I got. So, if you've got some extra time, I would recommend checking this episode otu.

Finally, this show was on MTV, you know MUSIC Television. I know it hasn't really been about the music for a long time now, but at least this closing episode did have some great tunes - namely three of my favorite songs from Tokyo Police Club. The songs, "Graves," "Juno," and "Nursery Academy" were all on last year's excellent Elephant Shell LP, and they are perfect showcases of what Tokyo Police Club does so well - urgent, hook-filled (without being annoyingly catchy), 2-minute songs that get straight to the point and do it in style. Check below for some cool clips I've found for you.




Tokyo Police Club on MySpace

Friday, July 17, 2009

iPhone, Meet Your Competition

So I have been dying to get a new phone. If you could see mine it looks like something from the stone ages - it's this goofy flip phone that makes me wish I still had the old black-and-white Nokia that everyone had in middle school. So I've been researching new phones, and I finally came across the Satio by Sony Ericsson, which should be released within the next few months.

Not only was I super excited about the phone, but as I watched the info video (shown below), I fell in LOVE with the song that was playing. After some creative Googling, I found out that they are a hip hop duo called Rootbeer, and this song is called "Under Control." I often find hip-hop to be unnecessarily abrasive, but I can't stop smiling when listen to this song. From the swelling organ, to to the silky smooth vocals, this song really just put me in a better mood, and it is a song that could easily fit in on a playlist next to MGMT. Their take on hip-hop is definitely much more akin to that of Malbec than, say Lil' Wayne. In fact, I enjoyed the music so much I visited their MySpace page and found out that they will be playing a show on the 21st at Chop Suey, so now you know where I'll be next Tuesday. Click on the image below to watch the Sony Satio info video.




Friday, July 10, 2009

Gettin' Down to The White Stripes

Wow, I haven't listenned to this song in ages, but "Seven Nation Army" by the snarly/darling duo known as The White Stripes was on So You Think You Can Dance?" last night. Beyond being one of the most classic guitar riffs of the decade, this song was also one of the first "indie" (I feel silly using that term LOL) songs I ever got into, plus, it has some awesome choreography. Check it out below.






Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Piggy Bank

OK, I admit it. I have a slight obsession with a handful of reality tv shows. Some of these are even kind of stupid shows that I know I should feel guilty about. Does it make it OK if these shows at least feature legit music?

Paris Hilton's My New BFF is in it's second season, and (surprise) Paris is no longer friends with the winner of the first season, Brittany Flickinger. So, in order to make sure this doesn't happen again, she's ramping up the challenges this season. This week's episode finds her BFF's facing the challenge of preparing a dinner for Paris and her friends and family. As I sat prepared to delight in their mishaps (the girls didn't even realize that you had to gut the duck they purchased), I was pleasantly surprised to hear the perfect song accompany them on their trip to the farmer's market - "Piggy Bank" by Jet Stream. Though it's a great song, I found it hilarious to hear the line, "Money makes the world go 'round," during this little montage - think Paris can relate to that lyric at all? LOL. 

For those of you who don't know, Jet Stream is a band featuring Stephen Bradley, a talented multi-instrumentalist who played with No Doubt from Tragic Kingdom until their hiatus. No word on whether or not he's part of the No Doubt reunion, but he's doing well for himself with Jet Stream, one of the most danceable bands I've heard in awhile. I love how I can't really classify their sound - is it hip hop? Is it just straight dance music? Indie synth-rock? I don't know. I don't care. It's awesomeness.



Jet Stream on MySpace

Brandon Bryant

He's made it to the Top 16 (no surprise), but let me just say this now. Brandon Bryant better win. Check out this scorching performance to Common's "What a World."




Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Earlimart on Rockville

Let's just come out and say this right now : More than any singular person that I don't actually know, Josh Schwartz (and his go-to music director, Alexandra Patsavas) has shaped my musical taste over the years. Yes, The OC and Gossip Girl creator has introduced me to a lot of good stuff over the years, from Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek," and Alexi Murdoch's "Orange Sky" on the OC, to "Hang Me Up to Dry" by Cold War Kids on Gossip Girl, I've found scads of great music through Mr. Schwartz's shows. 

Rockville CA is the latest show from the obviously musically-inclined Schwartz's mind, and although sometimes I feel a little trashy checking out these quick web-only episodes, I always come back because there IS great music, and let's be honest, sometimes the show's drama is too much to resist. As any follower of this blog knows, I love Earlimart, and they recently made an appearance on the show, playing "Song For" and "God Loves You the Best," in addition to sticking around for a must-see interview. Check out the performance of "Song For" below, and head on over to Rockville's website for the rest.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wylde Bunch Usher in Royal Pains

So I think I may have yet another new TV addiction. I guess it's a good thing that some excellent shows that I've loved (that means you, Kyle XY) are getting cancelled, because there are only so many things you can follow obsessively at once. What is this new addiction, you ask? Royal Pains on USA.

A couple of my friends who watch more shows on USA than I do had been telling me about this new show that looked great, so I TiVo'ed it (the pilot was June 4) for a rainy day...well, we have a lot of those here in the Pacific Northwest, but I didn't get around to watching it until last night and it was great! It stars Mark Feurerstein (of West Wing fame) as Hank Lawson, a doctor who has just lost his job, his fiancee, everything. His brother takes him to a glitzy party in the Hamptons, and there's a medical emergency there that he takes care of...and soon this leads to a gig as an on-call doctor to the wealthy. Good stuff, and I love how this show mixes drama with light comedy - I feel as though most shows today go one way or the other, but why can't I have my cake and eat it, too?

I've said it many times before, but it can't be overstated - good shows generally have good music. And of course, Royal Pains is no exception - this episode featured two of my favorite songs - "Shut Up and Let Me Go" by The Ting Tings, and one of my favorite new dance anthems, "Ain't No Love in the Club" by Wylde Bunch. I think all of you have heard plenty of "Shut Up and Let Me Go," (even though it still hasn't gotten old to me) so I'll leave you with a clip of "Ain't No Love in the Club" from the episode, as well as it's music video. 






Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dance With Me

So last night was Vegas callbacks on So You Think You Can Dance, and I, like many others, definitely found the dismissal of Natalie Reid a little abrupt and odd. She was looking great with my current (now that Nathan Trasoras is a Season 6 dancer) favorite, Brandon Bryant but then she was gone, and evidently in a unanimous decision. Odd - I mean all logic would make you assume that Sonja would have voted to keep Natalie on, and she at least would have had the opportunity to do a Dance For Your Life.

On a more positive note, I was thrilled to hear Old 97's in this episode. Their song "Dance With Me," played in the end credits, and I really feel as though some competitors should dance to this tune in the near future. Check out the hilarious music video below, and hopefully be on the lookout for this song in more So You Think You Can Dance episodes...can you imagine what Nathan Trasoras could do with this one? (edit : thanks to Ward at SYTYCDBlog, we now can see what that would look like...it's the second video below and it is pure awesomeness - THANKS!)






Friday, May 29, 2009

Daphne Loves...Dancing?

Two recent addictions of mine converged on my TV screen last night as So You Think You Can Dance featured the song "Pollen and Salt" by Daphne Loves Derby. I've been a huge fan of Daphne Loves Derby ever since 2005's, On the Strength of All Convinced, which features "Pollen and Salt," and recently I've been on a binge-listening to them along with Deathcab - two bands that have always had a great pop sound to them, without sounding recycled or dull. It also doesn't hurt that they're from Washington, like me, and that the drummer in Daphne is really hot, but that's taking me a little too far off subject....

Anyway, check out the video from So You Think You Can Dance below.  Unfortunately the dancer, Nathan Trasoras, is only 17, so he can't compete in this year's competition and has to wait until Season 6. However, by the time his turn comes, I'm confident that he will be able to thrive, and I would be shocked if he wasn't one of the left dancers left next year. Beyond his great musical taste, he seems to be born with the most natural ability to pirouette that I have seen in quite some time. 



Listen to Pollen and Salt in full on Last.fm

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes


So before I get ahead of myself, I have to let you all know that I'm changing some things up here. Because of a combination of my way too crazy school schedule this term and the inconsistency of awesome music in pop culture, I've decided to get rid of the "Pop Culture Song of the Week" column, and just post about songs whenever I hear something awesome on TV, in a movie, or other places. Hopefully this will motivate me to actually write more often. Now that this little item of news is out of the way, I give you the "Pop Culture Song of the Moment" - "Houses" by Great Northern as heard in last night's episode of 90210, "Zero Tolerance."

With prom season being in the air, it was only fitting that last night's episode of 90210 would be prom-themed. In a tip of the cap to the original series, the episode was titled "Zero Tolerance" (if you haven't seen the original's classic prom episode, you gotta do that now!).  Anyway, I won't get too much into the details of the episode, other than that I love how they used Silver (again). She's such an awesome character, and her ranting Prom Queen acceptance (an award she turns down), where she talks about how she hates conformity and everything else that prom stands for, was awesome. 

As everyone arrives at the prom and all the photographers swarm for pictures on the red carpet, the forceful and confident song "Houses" by Great Northern plays. The driving drum beat and bass line really give this song a strong sense of urgency, which fits the controlled chaos of the scene well. I've blogged about this band before, and I've been listening to Remind Me Where the Light Is constantly since it was released two weeks ago. Check out the scene below (song starts about 15 seconds in).




Friday, May 8, 2009

Song of the Week

Another week has gone by, and Ugly Betty has delivered another great episode and another great ending song again! 

This week's song is "Layers" by Asobi Seksu, and it plays just as Betty 
re-unites baby William with her rightful parents, Christina and Stuart. In a sad turn of events that I didn't want to see happen, Christina tells Betty that she and Stuart are returning to Scotland to raise baby William there, just as the lush vocals of "Layers" begin tugging at your tear ducts.

I'm not going to lie, I definitely cried a little during this ending...somehow 
it reminded me of the ending of Edward Scissorhands when the beautiful theme music plays and Kim explains that she knows Edward is still alive because it never snowed before he came. The tune has some similarities, and I guess I just got caught up in the emotion. Check out a video clip of this poignant scene below:

Asobi Seksu on MySpace

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Song of the Week


So as you can see, I have been somewhat AWOL the last few weeks. Don't worry, I don't have swine flu, but I have been pretty sick, causing me to fall behind in school and blogging...but I'm back. So without further adieu, let's get going on the Pop Culture Song of the Week.

This week's winner was featured in Ugly Betty, one of the best shows on TV that is for sure getting renewed for next season. The song, Earlimart's "Before It Gets Better," has actually won this award before, but it is such a great song and had such an awesome useage in Ugly Betty that I had to nominate it again. 

This wistful piano-driven starts playing at the end of the episode, just as (spoiler alert) Willi informs Christina that she can't have any contact with the baby since the blood tests have shown Willi to be the mother. This of course, is made more confusing because the baby looks nothing like Willie, in fact, she looks a lot like Christina....so this sets up some future drama. Cue the song and the people at ABC did a great job editing the song to fit the montage perfectly...see for yourself below by clicking on the image of Christina.






Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pop Culture Song of the Week

I had a hard time deciding on the last "Pop Culture Song of the Week," because I don't really watch the show that it was on (Life), and had to be alerted about it by some of my friends that know how much I love Earlimart. After catching up on some programs I recorded last week, I discovered that there was another favorite song of mine used in last week's Making the Band episode. The song I'm talking about is "Consider It Done," by a band called Malbec, who are the beautiful group of people in matching blue outfits in the picture above.

They really used the song in an appropriate, emotional scene from the episode, and the dreamy guitars and keyboards work together to make a really soothing background. You can check out the episode here (The song starts at about 30 mins, 15 seconds in, but I recommend watching this whole show if you've never seen it before!). If you want to hear the whole song, I found a streaming version of it that you can play below. Ooh just some last-second advice, don't go to the website that's listed in this video, because it's just somebody trying to sell some money-making scheme :-(





Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pop Culture Song of the Week


So this week wasn't that exciting for me personally when it came to music in pop culture, but I did get a tip from a friend that one of my favorite bands (and previous Pop Culture Song of the Week winners), Earlimart, had a song in the NBC tv show Life. Honestly, I've never heard of this show (maybe I have but it has such a forgettable name!), but I love the song that was used, which is called "The World." I absolutely love Earlimart songs when the female vocalist, Ariana Murray, takes over lead duties. Another sad-sounding, yet uplifting song from Earlimart, and definitely something you should check out. 

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pop Culture Song of the Week

I know I just blogged about this song the other day, but I really can't get enough of "Magic Show" by the Electric Owls, so I've named it this week's Pop Culture Song of the Week. Oh and sorry everyone that this posting is a day late, but I'm still recovering from Spring Break fever :)

Thanks to sotlat at the 90210 Music Livejournal community, I now have a clip to show to you. This video is actually a montage of all Silver/Dixon scenes from the last episode, but at about 3:44 you can check out the scene and the song. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

90210 loves Andy Herod (but not as much as me)


The new 90210 has been hit-and-miss so far. One of my main issues has been that they seem to be throwing out way too many subplots, which makes everything icky and cluttered. However, sometimes they get it just right, and last night's episode was great! The big news today is that Dustin Milligan (aka Ethan) won't be returning next year, but I personally find that this isn't a bad thing at all because I thought he was one of the more bland characters. I love the Liam/Naomi storyline regardless of how much of a fake %^@$%& Naomi is, and want to see more of this develop. 

Silver, the most awesome crazy character alive, also had a juicy storyline of her own.  I won't spoil it, but I'll just say this : if you missed it, you really shouldn't have. Hint: it involves a racy home video with Dixon. Good stuff. Oooh and just prior to the best scene involving Silver,  they used an awesome song called "Magic Show" by The Electric Owls. The Electric Owls are a new band, but their frontman, Andy Herod, is a familiar face. He used to date Michelle Williams, and is also the singer of one of my favorite bands, The Comas. Head on over to The Electric Owls' Myspace page to hear this catchy tune. 

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Promise Ring to Return?

One of my all-time favorite albums from one of the first "indie" bands I liked was Nothing Feels Good by The Promise Ring. Unfortunately, I didn't hear of this band until after they had already broken up, but just this last week I heard "Raspberry Rush" while one of my roommates was watching that new Patrick Swayze show, "The Beast." I'm pretty sure it is unusual for tv shows to use a song that old (album came out back in 1997!), especially for a band that wasn't huge on MTV or anything, so I got to thinking that maybe, just maybe this was a sign that The Promise Ring were reforming, or at least for another one-off show like they did a few years back. Sadly, I haven't been able to find anything about this possibility...but in case you've never heard this band before, I highly reccomend you check this tune out.

Hopefully I can find a clip of the scene to ad to this post soon. Anybody got a link?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pop Culture Song of the Week

For this week's song, I'm going with "Driveway" by Great Northern, which aired at the end of last week's Grey's Anatomy episode. It's a haunting/beautiful song that totally gave me with the chills. The vocals are somber without sounding whiney...a very fine line to walk.

After some creative Googling, I found that this song isn't out yet, but will be featured on their upcoming album, Remind Me Where the Light Is. It is set for release on Aril 28th, hopefully iTunes has it earlier. Check out the scene below.






Greek Season Premiere!


I'm right smack dab in the middle of a glorious spring break, and today was the first day since I've been on break that the thought of school popped in my head. Going back on Monday is surely going to suck, but the silver lining is that season 3 of Greek premieres that night. Not only is this show way addictive, but it also features the music of one of my favorite bands, The Plain White T's. In fact, my favorite T's song ("It's Our Time Now") is the theme! Check out Greek's premiere Monday at 8.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sometimes you find songs in the weirdest places...

So I was at a friend's house the other day and her boyfriend was watching hockey. During one of the commercial breaks I actually got distracted from my New York times crossword (and this was on a Friday, when those things are TOUGH and I'm 100% focused!) by the song blasting from the TV - low and behold, it was Shapes of Race Cars, one of my favorite new bands of '09.

I'd say their sound kind of splits the difference between Kill Hannah, Jimmy Eat World, and Queens of the Stone Age, which works for me. I thought I was one of the only people 'in the know' about this group, but I guess other people have noticed now. Ironically, the ad was for Nascar and a Gillette razor. See it below.



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pop Culture Song of the Week

Each week, I will select my favorite song that I find embedded in pop culture from that week. What is 'pop culture' you ask? I ask myself the same question! It could be playing at the bowling alley while I'm there sharpening up my skills. It could be on a TV show. Who knows?

So without further adieu, let's meet the first ever Song of the Week, "Before It Gets Better," by Earlimart. I saw this on the *sniff* last episode of Kyle XY on Monday, and it was a great going away song. As soon as the episode was over, I read some beautiful eulogies on KyleXy.net's forums and then moved on to discovering this song.

I love the when the singer leans into the line, "it's a bloodbath," - it makes for a great happy music/sad lyric, spine-tingling moment. I've been looking on YouTube or a clip, but can't find one. For now, check out this shakey clip of the band playing the song live.
 


Monday, March 16, 2009

Kyle XY....in 2010?

Despite a cult-following and good critical reception, ABC Family decided to cancel one of my favorite shows, Kyle XY. I've heard rumors (by way of message board chatter) of other networks picking up the show, but nothing substantial yet. 

So, what can we do to help bring the show back? Some kindred spirits have set up Save KyleXY,  which compiles a list of petitions and other things you can do to help the cause.  One thing of note - it would be great if everyone could write a letter to a few networks asking them to pick the show up. DO NOT write to ABC Family, because what's done is done - they've cancelled the show and they have moved on, so don't waste your valuable time. With enough pressure, maybe the other networks will see the value in picking up Kyle XY for 2010 and beyond! Tune in tonight for the last episode of season 3 (and hopefully just the last on ABC Family) at 9:oo.