C'mon everyone loves a good list, don't they? This is the place to find links and commentaries on lists of all sizes and merit.

Friday, September 26, 2003

A True Rock Tragedy
As your one stop shop for all things list, we've been so busy following the hourly changes in the legality of the Do Not Call List (nice to see that Congress can unite ever so briefly on this issue), to find other lists of late (that and real-life concerns like work, family, and sleep intruding).

Still in light of the news of the passing of Robert Palmer, we thought we'd bring you a cautionary tale of rock excess, starring the Rembrandts.

There are so many priceless moments in the story, we implore you to read the whole thing. But for our money this is the best part:

So ["Friends" exec. producer] Bright recruited composer Michael Skloff -- husband of Marta Kauffman, another Friends executive producer -- and they started toying around. Bright liked the idea of a Beatles-sounding theme, but with a contemporary feel to reflect the show's Gen-X mind-set. He also liked the key phrase -- "I'll be there for you" -- that Skloff used in his demo. Eventually a lyricist, Allee Willis, was brought in, too.

When it came time for recording, several artists were discussed -- R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, Natalie Merchant, alt-rock group They Might Be Giants -- but all turned down the chance because they didn't want to be seen as hired guns. "They wanted total control of the song," Bright recalls.

Then, according to Bright, Willis suggested the Rembrandts. [Rembrandts co-founders] Solem and Wilde agreed, thinking it would be quick, easy money. And they felt the song was a good fit. "I thought it was borrowing from the Monkees and the Beatles, which is essentially what the Rembrandts are," says Solem.

Have a good weekend and a happy New Year.

Link via the wonderful TV Tattle.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

What's the price of a used copy of "Monster," Kenneth?
Heading to the used CD store? Better leave your copies of "Monster," "Come on Feel the Lemonheads," and "Last Splash" at home.>
The Curse of Cash
Continuing our recent obsession with the tenuous relations between celebrity deaths, did you know that both Gordon Jump and Johnny Cash guest starred in the pilot episode of "The Partridge Family"?>

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Born to Run
Lyrics: 27
Music: 25
Production: 22
Cost: $15.98
An album which "lets you in and wants to be your friend." Raters praised it "for guarding their dreams and visions." While some called it "a death trap" or "a suicide rap," others say it's so popular now that "there's no place left to hide." Whether you're one of the girls who "comb their hair in rearview mirrors" or the boys who "try to look so hard," raters say "get to that place" and "walk in the sun."
Baby Think of Me Once and Awhile
To some Gordon Jump, who passed away yesterday, will always be the lonely Maytag Repairman. To others he will always be Arthur Carlson, a.k.a. "the Big Guy," on "WKRP in Cincinnati." But to a certain segment of the population, Jump will always be remembered as the creepy bicycle shop owner who had bad intentions for Arnold and Dudley on a very disturbing two-part "Diff'rent Strokes."


Monday, September 22, 2003

The Riot Goes Quiet
Sad news, girls, you will have to find a new way to rock your boys. Incredibly, "Mental Health" was the first heavy metal album to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200. >

Friday, September 19, 2003

Don’t Fight the Tide
The list-makers at VH1 are back this weekend with two new lists The 50 Greatest Album Covers and The 50 Greatest Funny Moments in Music History, the latter of which looks to be more promising due to hostess Sarah Silverman. If both shows were combined, however, we'd vote this No. 1.

(If on the off chance that anyone reading this works at VH1.com or knows someone who does, it's impossible, as the link above asks, to "Remember when Peter’s voice changed right in the middle of the Brady kids trying to record "When It’s Time To Change?" because as any Bradyophile will tell you Peter's voice changed as the kids were trying to record "We Can Make the World a Whole Lot Brighter," which thus necessitated Greg ensconsing himself in the bathroom and hurriedly writing his ode to adaptation [which, incidentally is just called "Time to Change."])

Have a great weekend! I’ll be here tonight.

Update: VH1 has the lists up, and while debating their merits is a useless exercise, I was struck by the phallic imagery of the top three picks on the album covers list. Also, I'm not sure what the deal is with licensing the art, but it struck me as a little odd that not a single Beatles or Dylan album made the list. In theory, an entire top 10 could be comprised of Beatles and Dylan covers, save a spot for the Clash and Sex Pistols. I'm sure there are countless other oversights (no Talking Heads, R.E.M., or Elvis Costello, for instance), but as these lists are geared more to appeal to a demographic (hence the inclusion of Dixie Chicks, Christine Aguilera, and *NSYNC), this is a silly conversation.

As for the list of supposedly funny music moments, well it looks like I'll be able to clear up some space on the old Tivo.

And not that you asked, but the Wilco show was excellent, despite what Jim DeRogatis says.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Four Words: Smuckers Stars on Ice
Among the list of early Emmy winners:

Guest actress in a comedy series: Christina Applegate, "Friends"
Oy, it's not enough that Jennifer Aniston is playing Jewess Rachel Green, they then cast Applegate and Reese Witherspoon as her sisters.

Art direction for a miniseries, movie or a special: "Hitler: The Rise of Evil: Part 1"
Somewhere Leni Riefenstahl is smiling

Cinematography for a multicamera series: "Will & Grace: Sex, Losers and Videotape"
With three early Emmys already for this NBC yukfest, pundits are already calling this year's awards "Triumph of Will--and Grace."

Commercial: "Fish," PBS Promo
Abe Vigoda gets his due

Music direction: "75th Annual Academy Awards," ABC
Apparently Michael Moore didn't get a vote.

Music composition for a series (dramatic underscore): "24: 10:00 P.M. -- 11:00 P.M."
Any true fan will tell you the music was much better in the 10:00 A.M. -- 11:00 A.M. episode.

Stunt coordination (two winners): "Alias: The Telling," ABC, and "Fastlane: Asslane"
Suggestion for a new category: Best episode title.

Animated program less than one hour: "The Simpsons: Three Gays of the Condo"
And there's your winner...though "Asslane" was a close second.


Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Six Degrees of Sheb Wooley
Sheb Wooley starred in "High Noon", whose theme song was performed by Tex Ritter, John Ritter's dad. John, in fact, is featured on the commentary track on the DVD.

And Johnny Cash covered the Wooley song "Roughneck" on 1963's "Blood, Sweat and Tears". In fact, Wooley attended Cash's funeral just two days ago. >
Eight Simple Rules for Exploiting a Sitcom Star's Death
In light of the news that John Ritter's sitcom will bravely soldier despite the star's death in the same tradition of earlier sitcoms such as "The Alive Guy and Mrs. Muir," "My Mother, Who Drives a Car," and "The Wedded Bliss of Eddie's Parents," Bunsen's got 8 New Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter, including
"2. You must play nine holes of pitch-and-putt golf with me and the ghost of Bob Hope at least once per week before taking my daughter to the drive-in. During these meetings, the ghost of Bob Hope and I will dispense humorous-yet-sage advice about how to deal with women, which you must then hilariously misapply to the courting of my daughter. You must also look the other way when the ghost of Bob Hope kicks his ball out of the rough and onto the fairway. He is very old, even by ghost standards."

We genuflect in the direction of TMFTML for the link.>
Death as a Career Move
Let's pray for John Mayer's continued good health.

Update: Look for a big spike in sales of Sheb Wooley's CDs next week. >

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Booker? I Don't Even Know Her
The Booker Prize Shortlist has been announced and since I haven't read any of the books on said list, I am wholly unqualified to tell you anything about the nominees other than the fact that I started last year's winner but got distracted -- it's still on the nightstand though, along with "Moneyball," the Sandy Koufax bio, the book by Halberstam about Ted Williams, the fourth Harry Potter, "How to Be Good" (I know, I know, it was a gift and I feel guilty returning it, because the person really tried), and a book about small pox by the guy who wrote "The Hot Zone" (I was in the airport, so sue me), and Kavalier and Clay, which has held that space for so long its suing William Hurt for alimony, all of which makes it a lot clearer why rather than crack open a book, I watched the Conan anniversary show on Tivo last night, but I digress -- and that four of the six nominees were written by women. >

Monday, September 15, 2003

My Sweet Lord
The list of nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been announced and by next summer both Skynyrd and ZZ Top could be touring the sheds together on the Fame Is the Name of the Game tour. George Harrison, by virtue of having died, is a shoo-in, and you have to like both Prince (by merit) and John Mellencamp's (by demographic) chances to get in.

Perhaps more interesting than the fact that acts that deserve to be there like Black Sabbath, the Sex Pistols, and Gram Parsons might have a good chance of sneaking in this year, is the list of 14 acts that did not make the second cut. That list includes Van Halen (now that would have been fun), the Pretenders (man, I feel old), the J. Giels Band, and the MC5.

Link via Rocktober, who also pointed us today to the list of the 261 file-swapping bad guys being sued by the RIAA.>

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Man of the Year
For those who were worried that Johnny Cash wasn't getting his props in light of sharing a death date with John Ritter, this ought to calm any fears you had about the Man in Black getting the respect he deserved. Granted, when it comes to music, the editors at "Time" might not always make the most astute cover choices, but they nailed it this week.>
Vote for Sharpton!
If your basing your vote in your state's Democratic primary based solely on the contenders' list of their favorite song, then Al, who picked "Talking Loud, Saying Nothing" by James Brown, has to be your man. The other candidates picks are mostly pedestrian classic rock ("Imagine," "Born in the USA," "Small Town"), with Howard Dean mixing things up by choosing Wyclef Jean's "Jaspora." As for Joe Lieberman...what a weenie. >
We'll Always Have "Gigli"
In case you haven't heard, Ben and J-Lo are calling it quits. Kids, this list goes out to you. Be strong, be strong.>

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Back to the Lists!
I've heard your complaints. You want lists, damnit, not that traditional blog stuff you can find everywhere else. Well, I got some lists for you...

How about a Best and Worst Dressed List from the folks who make waiting in doctor's offices so enjoyable. (Starting a "New Yorker" article while waiting for your name to be called seems to be an admission that you could be in for a long wait.) You'll never believe the daring picks.

Not enough? How about a list of the top ski resorts? Last year's most challenged books? Filthy rich politicians? The greatest tennis matches of all time?

That ought to tide y'all over. And for the final word on the Cash-Ritter deaths, you have to download the hastily composed MP3 of "God's Company." I think TV show themes may be the one genre Cash didn't try to tackle. Couldn't you see it now..."American Songs XVI" with the Man in Black collaborating with Sonny Curtis, Jack Jones, Alan Thicke, and the Rembrandts. >

Friday, September 12, 2003

Remember the Episode With the Misunderstanding?
While I've yet to see a tribute from Larry Dallas, the always delightful Gael Fashingbauer Cooper steps up to the plate with a remembrance of John Ritter's genius.
Ritter vs. Cash
Eric Zorn has an interesting take comparing the imminent death of Johnny Cash vs. the sudden demise of John Ritter by an unforeseen heart defect. The premise, which is hard to argue, is that while Ritter's death is bigger news because it was such a surprise, Cash's death is a bigger moment in history given his body of work. That premise is backed up by the number of people landing here after googling "John Ritter heart attack."

While Zorn compares it to the day that both Jim Henson and Sammy Davis Jr. died, for double pop culture deaths it's hard to top Yul Brenner and Orson Welles passing away on the same day.>
Life is a frolic and laughter is calling for you...
Deadline pressures will keep me from commenting further, but I couldn't let the news that John Ritter and Johnny Cash have passed on to that giant Ring of Fire in the sky go by without notice. >

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

"Quite Simply the Finest Column on Book Blurbs You'll Read Today" Author Steve Almond has a list of do's and don'ts for authors both seeking and giving blurbs.
Link via Blog of a Bookslut, which this week is being written by The Antic Muse.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

He Said Shut Up, He Said Shut Up...
...Oh God can't you keep it down. If Bill O'Reilly were a character from a classic music video, he would be the loutish lothario imploring his rebellious gal pal to stop disturbing the other patrons at the opera. >

Monday, September 08, 2003

"I Have More Dignity Than That"
Yeah, the whole former child star has run its course more often than your typical NASCAR pace car (OK, I admit I have no idea what that means, but it sounded like a good line at the time), but this AP Roundtable (who knew?) of said FCSs celebrating the release of last weekend's top drawing film is priceless just for the ridiculous tension between Dustin "Screech" Diamond and Danny Bonaduce.

AP: How do the fans treat you now?

Diamond: You can't really go out to regular places and not get recognized and not get hassled.

Bonaduce: Everybody recognizes me, but they don't care.

Diamond: When I go to the movie theater, right when the lights go down people shout out 'Screeeech!' If someone notices me and wants to get an autograph or something else, usually they're loud about it.

AP: What do you do? Sink down in your chair and wait for it to end?

Diamond: Sometimes I'm a smart-ass about it. I try not to be, but sometimes it weighs on you. You're in a theater. 'What are you doing here?' 'I'm bowling.' What do they think I'm doing? I'm seeing a movie, I'm not shopping for groceries.

Bonaduce: (To Diamond) You know what I do? I have this novel approach. When they come up to me, I say 'Thanks.'

Diamond: That's because you were smoking crack. That's totally different. I have more dignity than that. (Note: Bonaduce was arrested for buying crack in 1990.)

Bonaduce: (To Diamond) You were in one of the coolest movies. What was that movie with those two guys? 'Made.' (2001, with Vince Vaughn (news) and Jon Favreau (news).) You were in 'Made!'

Diamond: Playing myself.

Bonaduce: Hey, I've been on every sitcom in America as a (stupid) version of me, with every transvestite joke and 'Partridge Family' joke you can think of. (Note: Bonaduce was arrested in 1986 for beating up a transvestite prostitute.)

When Leif Garrett is the voice of reason, you know you're in for a good read.
Link via Chromwaves.

What the Hell Did Ever Happen to Predictibility?
According to this tidbit at Media Life (scroll down), Bob Saget, John Stamos, the Olsen Twins, and the rest of the gang from "Full House" rank as TV's most hated characters, or so says the October issue of "FHM." The full list is not available, yet, but among the sacred cows slain with that rapier-like lad-mag wit are Andy Rooney (gasp!), Frasier (heavens!), and, yes, the judge from "Night Court" (now you've gone too far!).
Everybody Have a Big Dish of Beef Chow Mein for Lunch Today
Today's list? Send lawyers, guns, and money.>

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Professor Barnhardt has a veritable feast of lists today, as he asks 19 TV critics and bloggers to list their 10 favorite TV shows of all time. Sure, I'm a little hurt I wasn't asked to contribute, but then again I'm relatively new round these parts.

Picking a top 10 in this format is tough. You give a nod or two to the classics ("Mary Tyler Moore," "Twilight Zone," and "All in the Family"), pick the three S's ("Seinfeld," "Simpsons," and "Sopranos"), a game (Bears 46, Patriots 10) or news event (Kennedy, Moonwalk, resignation, Challenger, 9-11...we didn't start the fire) and then have some fun (the episode of "James at 16" in which he gets busy in the sleeping bags), "Car 54 Where Are You?" "Small Wonder" and "Card Sharks"["My roommate in college later became a dentist and he once mentioned that he didn't like the taste of licorice, so I'm going to say higher."]).
F-ck Those Brady Bunch Bitches!
Why you are wasting your time here when you could be reading Fametracker's Ten Least Essential Fall Films, 2003 is really beyond me. >

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Are You Ready for Some Football?
Fantasy, err, football season opens up tomorrow night. Last night's draft was a success (Holmes, Dillon, Holt, Bruce, R. Smith, Brady), so despite the Bears' dismal chances of finishing anywhere near .500, I'm excited for the upcoming season. In that regard, it's good to see former Bears coach/porn-star doppelganger Dave Wannstedt topping MSNBC's
list of NFL coaches on the hot seat. But Dick Jauron only No. 8? Come on, his seat is so hot (HOW HOT IS IT?), his seat is so hot that instead of underpants he's taken to wearing BLANK. Cue Charles Nelson Reilly.

Meanwhile, what do the creators of the Edsel, Nixon's aides, and Brian DePalma, Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, & Melanie Griffith have in common with the 2003 Detroit Tigers? They all make ESPN's Page 2 list of the worst group efforts of all time. We'd like to add Starship's "Knee Deep in the Hoopla" and the orgy scene from "Eyes Wide Shut" to the list.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

"People always like lists and ordering things"
Or so says Alex Coletti, executive in charge of programming and production with MTV2, on the occasion of the network's list of the22 greatest bands of the MTV era. Who's No. 1? Why 22? Linkin Park?

The answers to these questions would be foremost on my mind if not for the gnawing hunger in my gut, the pile of work on my desk, and, most importantly, the internal debate echoing in my head about what to do with the No. 20 pick tonight [No. 5 is a no-brainer, go with whomever is left from the Fab Five of Williams (grooming), Holmes (decorating), Faulk (food), Tomlinson (culture), and Portis (fashion)].
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