by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
FX biker drama Sons of Anarchy will embark in its final
ride this fall, after a game-changing penultimate season. The show has featured a few guest stars from the music world, including Henry Rollins and Dave
Navarro. Next on that list is a surprising name — Marilyn Manson.
Manson will play a
recurring role in the final season: Ron Tully, a white supremacist behind bars
who could prove to be a useful player for Jax. Hello, nightmares!
It turns out Manson is far
from the heartless characters he portrays on stage or screen — he reportedly
picked up the role as a tribute to his dad, who is a big fan of the show.
“Sons has been such a big part of my life, as well as my father’s,”
he told Variety. “So I was determined
to make him proud by being involved in what will probably be remembered as the
most amazing piece of television cinema. After all, the very heart of SOA is
about that relationship.” Aww, Marilyn!
Marilyn Manson is not, for
the record, Paul from The Wonder Years.
We now know this as fact because the cast of the family classic recently reunited to promote a Wonder Years DVD set coming soon. We
all know Winnie (Danica McKellar) went on to become a super hot mega genius and
Kevin (Fred Savage) is still involved with show business (he's been a director and producer on Always Sunny and lots of other comedies), but what ever happened
As you can see, grown-up Paul
(Josh Saviano) looks nothing like Manson today. But I guess we never have seen them in the same place at the
While we’re taking a walk
down memory lane, O-Town is the latest early-‘00s boy band to reunite, though at least 15 women will be upset to discover Ashley Parker Angel, “The Cute
One,” is no longer a part of the band. If you recall, the band was formed as
part of 2000's Making the Band, a show
that acknowledged the inauthentic, assembly-line nature of manufacturing boy bands while also...manufacturing a boy band. O-Town was assembled by Lou
Pearlman, the manager behind the Backstreet Boys, *NSync, LFO, Aaron Carter and
other Pop acts of the 1990s and early
2000s.Fun Fact: Pearlman was sued by every band/performer he worked with
except one, and is now serving a 25-year sentence for charges of conspiracy,
money laundering and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding.
Tennis star Serena Williams
“crashed” a wedding last week, because I guess being asked to take a photo with
a bride and groom constitutes wedding crashing. It would be a fun memory to run into a celeb on your big day, but I don’t know
if I’d really want my new spouse to get an eyeful of this
right after committing eternally to me. Oh well, you know what they say: If you
choose to get married on a public beach, you just might get crashed by a bangin' pro tennis player in animal print. (Also: Are leotards the new
The Bottle Boys are a
Danish performance group that use bottles in various ways to play songs. Their
latest cover, of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” is going viral. Check it out.
The crew has competed on Britain’s Got Talent using beer bottles, water jugs and other containers to recreate popular
Two badass babes
have signed on to the upcoming Star Wars
Episode VII. Lupita N’yongo — Academy Award-winning actress from 12 Years a Slave and People’s “Most Beautiful” person of the
year — and Gwendoline Christie — better known as Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones — are both slated to
star in the latest Star Wars chapter,
along with 600 other amazing actors.
Also in movie news: From
Edward to Indy? Robert Pattinson will likely take the role of Indiana Jokes for the next
Now, here’s Chance
The Rapper performing the theme song to my favorite educational cartoon, Arthur, at Sasquatch! Music Festival:(Thanks for the tip, Brooke!)
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Deadspin’s Albert Burneko recently determined a signature
food that represents each of the 50 states (plus Washington, D.C.) and ranked each
dish/state accordingly — from The Greats and Goods (deep-dish pizza, pulled
pork sandwiches) to The Better-Than-A-Finger-In-The-Eyes (chicken-fried steak,
hamburger casserole)…and worse. Ohio was ranked dead last with Cincinnati chili,
which came in at No. 52. “But there’s only 51 states including D.C.,” you may
be thinking. Well, the delicate Burneko added “Being hit by a car” as No. 51 to
really drive the point home.
“Cincinnati chili is the
worst, saddest, most depressing goddamn thing in the world,” Burneko writes,
describing our hometown favorite as “horrifying diarrhea sludge.”
It really stings (much like the raging heartburn that follows any successful Skyline
adventure). Not every Cincinnatian ingests three-ways whole like a ravenous
python. I like a coney or five-way every now and then, but I much prefer making
it fresh at home (Skyline’s grainy, runny consistency can be a little
off-putting, I’ll admit) — which, to all my Cincy-born friends who’ve moved
away, is not only possible, but incredibly simple. Stop acting like you’re
deprived of your native foods and get to browning some beef.
But I digress. Sure, I understand the outside disdain for this
not-really-chili chili, but our artery-clogging lunch staple pales in
comparison to No. 47, Alaska’s akutaq. Also known as “Eskimo ice cream,” this
delightful dish is comprised of berries and WHIPPED FAT. Ain’t no way a cheese
coney is grosser than fruit-laced lard.
Does someone shit-talking (literally?) your favorite snack make you
wanna rage? Calm down with these manatees.
Winter is coming — well, the cool chill of fall is upon us — but Game of Thrones is still months away. So
this new (and possibly the best?) Bad Lip Reading of Game of Thrones
should hold you over until March/April. Comprised of scenes from the first
season of Thrones (so maybe a slight,
vague spoiler alert? Spoiler Threat Level: Blue), the latest BLR actually
follows a plot, in which Westeros meets Adventureland.
And it’s brilliant.
If only there was a Game of Thrones amusement park for real. Though if
it were authentic, most people would probably find themselves getting beheaded at the
food court before their visit was complete.Kanye put a ring on it.
If you thought January’s Golden Globes ceremony was the best awards show in
recent history, you were correct (Source: Me). Hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Few
killt it and hence, they’ve been invited back to run the show in 2014 and 2015.
As if the Golden Globes weren’t already the second-best awards show for
watching for drunken celebrity hijinks (beat only by IFC’s Independent Spirit
Awards), we can now rest assured there will be plenty of intentionally funny
bits throughout the next two events. FOUR MORE YEARS!Watch the always-talented Ohio State University marching band moonwalk like never before in their recent Michael Jackson halftime tribute (and prepare for a jaw-drop at 4:15 and 4:40).
Ever had to contact Netflix because streaming delays were cramping your Pretty Wild marathon (no judgment)? Like
most 21st century customer service departments, Netflix allows users to chat
live with a representative to help fix their issue. Of course, this function
can be a goldmine for trolls or just plain unhelpful. Sometimes, however, the
live chat customer service experience can be a positive and hilarious one.
Netflix customer service rep Michael kicked off the exchange in a jovial
fashion, speaking like a ship captain:
When customer Norm responded in a similarly playful tone, it was smooth
sailing form there. (I know, I need to take a seat now.)
Now I kind of wish my Netflix would malfunction…
The real reason anyone subscribes to Entertainment
Weekly, their Reunion Issue, is on stands! The casts of Boy Meets World, Mystic Pizza, The X-Files,
School of Rock and many more
reassembled for the issue, proving yet again that women stars of the ‘80s and
‘90s looks strikingly more attractive now than they were two decades ago on
Gillian Anderson, hubba hubba. DD: You pretty fine, too.
For more before-and-afters, go here .
When Beyoncé shares a Beyoncé-inspired DIY dance video, the world watches.
You know what they say, "Every time a young Asian guy dances to Beyoncé, an angel gets its wings."Finally, someone sent a private messaged of this dog costume photo to CityBeat's Facebook page. Presented without comment, Muttley Cyrus:
Stumped for a last-minute holiday present? One of these music collections just might do the trick
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 19, 2012
A few last minute gift ideas, featuring 2012 boxsets and from The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Grateful Dead, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Heart, Strange Euphoria, Bob Dylan, The English Beat, Elvis Presley, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Los Lobos and Taj Mahal.
by Deirdre Kaye
Posted In: Music Commentary
at 11:33 AM | Permalink
What "Pop music" has become … and why it makes for a delicious snack
You know what I like? Pop music. Some of you may be judging me right now and, for that, I’m judging you in return. There is absolutely no legitimate reason to dislike Pop.Of course, I get it. Most Pop music isn’t the well-written, deeper-than-the-ocean type stuff, but rather easy to understand and anchored by a catchy hook. There’s nothing wrong with that, though. Music isn’t supposed to be unattainable — we’re usually drawn to music because we can relate to it. Pop just expresses our emotions and situations in more simple terms than other genres.Some of you are probably starting to get nitpicky about my use of “Pop” as a genre. To a certain extent, Pop isn’t a genre at all. Historically, Pop was just short for popular, meaning it runs the gamut on genres. Listen to the current NOW That's What I Call Music collection (we’re up to about 4067 volumes, I believe) and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not full of ground-breaking musical experimentation or earth-shatteringly powerful lyricism, but every one of those songs has a damn good hook. Beyoncé wouldn’t classify herself as Pop. She’d call herself Hip Hop or R&B. “Run the World (Girls)” was certainly popular, though. Alex Clare’s “Too Close” is full of drums and synth awesomeness, lying somewhere between Rock and Electronic and yet it’s all over Top 40. Taylor Swift was, at one point, a Country artist. Now, with a little less accent and a lot less acoustic guitar, she’s lasting longer on Billboard’s Top 40 than the Country charts. The structures of their music may be very different, but they all end up on the same station.Pop has very much become its own genre. It’s the genre for all the likable and relatable music from all the other genres. Think of it as the exact opposite of “The Island of Misfit Toys.” Pop is The Genre of the Overplayed. They’re overplayed for a reason, though. Some of those songs are pretty close to genius. The best recent example is “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes (and Adam Levine). The idea is simple: Boy loves Girl … a lot. But throughout the entire song, they pull from the same stereo heart metaphor. Whether he’s referring to the trials and tribulations of a relationship via a comparison to an old-school boombox that requires tons of D batteries or the simple idea of a heart beating, like speakers, with every note, they carry the thought all the way through. In my book, that’s pretty impressive.Speaking of Adam Levine, I like “Moves like Jagger,” too. You know what Michael Jackson, The King of Pop, sang about quite a bit? Dancing. You know what “Moves like Jagger” is about? Dancing … sort of. You know what it makes me want to do? Dance. Pop songs are nothing if not danceable. Even the slow ones! If they don’t make you wish for that cute guy across the room to come and sweep you off your feet and twirl you around the room, they’re doing something wrong.Yes. Sometimes Pop can be annoying. A majority of Pop music is made by people with “outside voices.” They always sound like they’re yelling. Often they’re squeaky, too. One Direction is super excited about what makes me beautiful. For someone who adds an unsure “maybe” to the end of her pick-up line, Carly Rae Jepsen's voice is far from a timid whisper. But, I still really like that song.The easiest explanation I can give is this: It’s catchy and easy and sometimes we’re all a little simpleminded.Carly Rae and Taylor Swift may not write the kind of music that would inspire people to become “Band-Aids” or make William Miller, Greil Marcus or Lester Bangs commit their lives to writing about music. They do, however, write songs that are fun to listen to when you’re on the way to see a more substantive show. After a long hard day of deep-thinking and problem solving, what’s wrong with a little light-hearted entertainment?So, for the sake of dancers, the simple-minded, the commuters and the road trippers: Long live Pop!
by Mike Breen
Posted In: Music History
at 10:31 AM | Permalink
The 1984 Grammys and Hip Hop, plus Brian Jones' should've-been 70th birthday
On this day in 1984, Michael Jackson swept the 26th annual Grammy Awards, winning eight trophies, for everything from Record and Album of the Year ("Beat It" and Thriller) to Best Recording for Children (timeless children's classic, the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial soundtrack). No doubt because of Jackson's presence, the telecast remains the most watched in history; Whitney Houston's death this year almost helped the Grammys break that record, but it still came up about four million viewers short of the 43.8 million who watched in 1984.But there were other winners that night. Rounding out the "Big 4" categories: Sting won "Song of the Year" for writing The Police's "Every Breath You Take" and the coveted Best New Artist award went to Culture Club (which had scored three Top 10 singles off of its debut album in the U.S., the first band since The Beatles to do so). Elsewhere, former Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Mike Reid won Best Country Song for writing "Stranger in My House" for Ronnie Milsap and the crappy movie Flashdance was all the rage, winning Irene Cara "Best Vocal Performance, Female" for "Flashdance (What A Feeling)" and Giorgio Moroder "Best Instrumental Composition" for "Love Theme from Flashdance", while the soundtrack won the awkwardly titled "Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special." Best R&B Instrumental Performance went to Jazz legend Herbie Hancock's "Rockit," the first popular single to feature DJ scratching (by pioneering turntablist, GrandMixer D. St.) and the first time "Hip Hop" was accepted by the Grammy committee. It would be five years before the awards added a "Rap" category, though that year (1989), most nominees (including winners DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince) boycotted the ceremony because it was one of the awards not given out during the telecast. Here's Hancock, his band and D. St. doing "Rockit" live:Click the jump for Born This Day featuring Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones.
Music Tonight: We usually (always) give suggestions for live music to check out in this space, but today, we're telling you to go to the movies. But there's still quite a "live music" component. For one night only, the never-before-seen concert flick Rolling Stones: Some Girls Live in Texas is being screened at movie theaters across the country. The film features footage from a July, 1978, concert in Fort Worth, Texas, during the band's tour for Some Girls (which featured hits like "Shattered," "Miss You" and "Beast of Burden"). The movie screens locally at the Deerfield Towne Center theater and the Springdale Showcase Cinemas at 7:30 p.m. tonight. The special screening also includes a recent 20-minute interview with Mick Jagger about the concert and era. The film will be released on DVD on Nov. 21. Below is a trailer for the film and rehearsal footage from the band's appearance later in ’78 on Saturday Night Live, performing Some Girls track "Respectable."
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 24, 2011
So far, this October’s planned concert honoring the late Michael Jackson seems like a tribute to the behind-the-scenes turmoil of Jackson’s life rather than the impact of his music. Jackson’s mother said earlier this year that the concert will be held in Wales (for some reason), two weeks after Jackson’s doctor goes on trial for involuntary manslaughter.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The first African-American President of the United States of America is cyber-facing off with the first extraterrestrial Pop diva (Lady Gaga) in a race to see who can be the first living person to break 10 million friends on Facebook. President Obama immediately stopped work on the BP oil spill, economic rebuilding and fighting two wars and hired Ashton Kutcher as his Facebook czar.
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Reuters reported that Pink Floyd has succeeded in stopping its label, EMI, from unpackaging its albums and selling individual songs as downloads or ringtones. There goes our plan to hold the record for the world's longest ringtone, sides 1 and 2 of 'Ummagumma.'
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 17, 2010
After blessing a Vatican MySpace site that featured a list of apparently Pope-endorsed songs that included ones by 2Pac and Fleet Foxes, the Vatican newspaper/Web site The Holy See recently released another list of “good/Godly” Pop songs.