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September 2006 Archives

September 1, 2006

Say It Ain't So, WOXY

Barring something extraordinary, my favorite online radio station, WOXY, will close down on September 15. woxy.com: Listeners, fans and friends

This is the moment all of us hoped would never come. After plugging away at this for the past two years, it’s become pretty clear that operating woxy.com as a stand-alone Internet "radio station" is not going to cut it. Our operating costs are higher than you might think, and the revenue we were able to generate from advertising isn’t close to supporting what we’re doing. Even membership revenue wasn’t enough to get us there. When your business doesn’t make money, you eventually go out of business.

Despite promoting new independent rock acts, hosting Lounge Acts and being all-around nice guys, a stand-alone internet radio station from Cincinnati does not have a large enough audience to survive as a viable business.

Thanks for the music, WOXY.

September 5, 2006

Arrested Development

Arrested Development Season 3 was released on DVD last week. This includes the funniest 30 seconds of television from last year-- The Mole vs. Jet Boy in Tiny Town scene at the end of "Mr. F." Also, Bob Loblaw, the surrogate, Mock Trial with J. Reinhold, and Tobias's business cards. If you didn't enjoy the first two seasons, season three will make no sense. But the third season became even more twistedly self-referential before flaming out in spectacular fashion after 53 brilliant episodes. Come on!

G4 picked up the cable syndication rights to the three seasons and started cablecasting the show this week: G4 - Arrested Development

September 6, 2006


The first of the Battlestar Galactica webisodes premiered on Tuesdasy at Scifi.com Pulse. The webisodes will bridge the time between the second season finale and the season three premier (due Oct. 6). This first one focuses on some of the characters organizing a resistance on New Caprica. Scifi.com will release the shorts on Tuesdays and Thursdays at midnight.

The NY Times discusses: Sci Fi Creates ‘Webisodes’ to Lure Viewers to TV: "Writing the story told in the Web segments posed a challenge because the episodes had to be short, lead up to the season premiere, be accessible to new viewers and look good on tiny screens. At the same time the shows had to be nonessential to the new season, so television viewers could follow the on-air series without having watched the Web content."

The Writers Guild is unhappy that its members are being asked to deliver more material to the networks for online offerings without a corresponding increase in writers' salaries.

The Hollywood Reporter offers some more detail on the dispute between the WGA and networks over webisodes: Webisodes a bone of contention: "NBC Uni said the WGA has asked showrunners on "The Office," "Heroes," "Crossing Jordan" and "Battlestar Galactica" to refuse to provide materials for use in show webisodes or for other Web-based content. NBC Uni is asking the NLRB to force showrunners to provide the requested materials and argues that such cooperation is mandatory under existing guild contracts."

Rock Star: Penultimate Performances

Because last week's Rock Star: Supernova had so much filler, it was a pleasant surprise to see this week's performance show include so much actual performance.

In the last couple of weeks, Toby has emerged as a clear front runner. Tonight's performance established that even further. He crushed the trite Killers song and played a catchy original that fits Supernova's vibe. In the webisode, Gilby complimented the Aussie's writing and professionalism.

Storm was the other standout performer of the night. She finally managed to end up with the best possible cover song and rocked it with Dave Navarro. It doesn't hurt that Suffragette City is just a great rock song. Unlike some of the other Supernovices who disappeared in front of Supernova, Storm has the charisma to play with an established artist and keep the spotlight on her. Her original song was excellent, but less in the Supernova vibe than Toby's or Magni's.

Magni put in a solid performance. His original song was one of his best performances. While it is a good fit for Supernova, unfortunately, it's not as catchy or as ballsy as Toby's or Storm's songs. With only 5 performers left, the third best still ends up in the bottom three.

Dilana deserves credit for performing well with a pulled calf. While her take on "Behind Blue Eyes" was solid, if unspectacular, she has revelaed herself to be the weakest songwriter of the remaining Supernovices. The lyrics she wrote for the Supernova track and for the song she performed were trite and uninspired at best. She's going to have to step up and give her best performance yet just to avoid elimination this week and have a chance to make it into the final show.

Like Storm a few weeks ago, Lukas gamely tried to make a song he doesn't like into his own. Unfortunately for him, it didn't work well. I don't remember his original song. Toby, Storm and Magni performed originals that far outclassed the dapper hobbit's, while Dilana's song was so much less good than the others. Lukas's was decidedly mediocre and forgettable.

And, of course, Sepinwall has the definitive critique of this week's episode. Not only do I agree with him, but he managed to work in an Arrested Development reference. Come on!

September 12, 2006

Country Club and the Porn Horns

The thing that distinguishes Country Club and the Porn Horns from most other bands in the NYC music scene is front and center in their live show-- a three-person horn section. Matt Kelly (tenor sax), Will Hoffman (trumpet), Scott Zillitto (alto & bari sax) give Country Club and the Porn Horns an enormous sound that brings to mind Tower of Power, Fishbone, Frank Zappa and the Blues Brothers Band. The band's sound draws on classic rock, ska, and funk to sound unique and fun. And LOUD. Don't forget loud.


Last month, the band released a new 7", 2 Under Par.

Tonight, Country Club and the Porn Horns play at Sin-e.

Download songs from 2 Under Par, Friends Don't Make Forearms and The Station Wagon Revolution in The Country Club Media Room.
Stream music at myspace.

Rock Star: Are we there yet?

If there's one thing I've realized from watching Rock Star: Supernova, it is just how great of a band Radiohead is. The Supernovices have played three of my favorite Radiohead songs-- My Iron Lung, Creep and Karma Police-- in front of the House Band. My Iron Lung was Patrice's best performance by far. Lukas and Magni both sang well on Creep. Toby's version of Karma Police was solid. The House Band is generally excellent. In particular, they kicked ass on Magni's Deep Purple cover and on Toby's original tonight.

But Radiohead manages to put so much nuance, contrast and volume into each song, that any cover version has trouble capturing that much dynamic range. The difference between the high and low intensity moments in each Radiohead song is so great that any covering artist may have difficulty covering both ends of that spectrum.

Otherwise, tonight's show seemed pretty unnecessary. It feels like the members of Supernova have decided who will front the band a few weeks ago and these shows are somewhat redundant except for the product placement.

How much did Ryan spend on texting his own votes in for the encore? I skipped ahead to the next act break. I also fast forwarded through Lukas's performances. It's hard enough listening to Lukas sing or listening to a Coldplay song. But Lukas singing a Coldplay song? That's not just unwatchable, I think it's outlawed by the Geneva Conventions. His original was boring and flat with the House Band and somehow even less compelling without them. Lukas seems to be the frontrunner. Which kind of makes sense. Since I have no interest in seeing either Lukas or Supernova perform, that does make them a good fit for each other.

How many references to other reality shows can we have in one segment? During the post-Lukas talking, Navarro called out Paula Abdul in the audience and ended the bit referencing the Survivor script.

Magni seemed to have a lot of fun performing tonight-- with the House Band, Toby and Dilana. He'll probably have much more fun fronting the House Band on the Supernova tour than he would be fronting Supernova.

Dilana brought her best performance in weeks. It may be too little, far too late. Toby seems to be the perfect fit for the band-- he's a fun performer without much substance. Evs. Let's finish this up and move on to Amazing Race 10.

September 13, 2006

Rock Star: It's Over

Well, it's a choice.

Not the choice that I would have made, especially after hearing the Glam Hobbit sing the [band to be renamed later] songs that Toby and Magni sang previously. Maybe the lyrics on the Supernova album are so bad that they want a singer who no one can understand?

I don't quite understand Gilby's reason for booting Magni. He seemed like he was too much a member of the band? Um, aren't you looking for a member of your band? Or are you looking for an Axl Rose type?

Perhaps Mark Burnett and CBS should have waited until after announcing the winner to show a promo for Survivor: Racial Tension that used the dreadful "Headspin" as its soundtrack.

Fortunately, we can forget all about [band to be named later] and the supernovices now.

Though I probably will actually buy Throwing it all away and Ladylike when they hit iTunes.

This season went on at least one week too long. Or maybe Burnett needs to license more songs for next season to avoid these retreads in the last few shows. But then the band seemed to have enough of an idea who these singers are to make up their minds a few weeks ago. And according to the rumors floating around the web, it seems like the band did make up their mind a few weeks ago.

For next season, shoud MBP try to find another long-standing band without a singer (I'm looking in your direction, Van Halen) or create another less-than-supergroup to start from scratch? I actually kind of like the blank slate for purposes of the show, even though the band created for the show is probably not going to be any more interesting than this one.

Elsewhere: Like two stars colliding… in a courtroom (Discussing the preliminary injunction granted that prevents this band from using the name "Supernova" in connection with performing rock music. Maybe they should officially go with "Suave Porn.")

September 15, 2006

Balkan Beat Box

When I first saw Balkan Beat Box last year at Irving Plaza, I was amazed to see a band that got a New York crowd dancing. BBB combines jazz and electronic beats with klezmer, balkan and near eastern influences in a way that is fun and danceable.

Founded by Tamir Muskat and Ori Kaplan, Balkan Beat Box is joined on stage with a variety of singers, horn players, guitarists and percussionist to create something that is very unique and all kinds of awesome.


Balkan Beat Box plays Southpaw tomorrow night (Saturday Sept. 15)

Stream tracks from their self-titled debut album on JDUB records at the Balkan Beat Box website or buy at iTunes.

What's returning to my TV?

These are the television shows that I've been watching and will continue watching in the current season (and discussing here at BRR):

The Amazing Race. This is the 9th race already? Wow. (Even though the series is "The Amazing Race 10," the Family Edition doesn't count. Sorry.) The information that's leaked out about the route makes this season sound like it will visit interesting destinations and the route should induce some killer fatigue. Is the Race be the best reality competition show? Premiers Sunday 9/17 at 8:30.

The Simpsons. If the characters aged, Bart would now be 27 years old, Lisa, 25, and Maggie 18. It probably should have ended years ago. After more than 300 episodes, there isn't much the characters haven't done, and the new shows have become more cartoonish and tied to pop culture. They probably won't age as well as the episodes from the earlier seasons. But the quality is still good relative to most other series and I'm still watching. Just not while it is on opposite TAR. Premiered last Sunday, 9/10. The White Stripes guest voice this week.

Family Guy. No, it's not plot or character driven. The jokes are random. But it's still funny. Premiered last Sunday, 9/10.

Lost. Do the producers have a clue as to where they're going? Will it start to X-Files out? Does it matter? After the season 2 finale, I'm heading back to the island for season 3. Premiers Wednesday 10/4.

My Name is Earl. The high point of the series so far has been the pilot. The episodes suffer the danger of becoming formulaic. But it's entertaining. Premiers Thursday 9/21.

The Office. It's not the British version. But it's developed into the best comedy on network television. The characters are real. It has its own unique rhythm and puts the characters in hilariously uncomfortable situations better than any show since Seinfeld. Premiers Thursday 9/21.

Doctor Who. It's lighter than BSG. It's not as cheesy as the old Doctor Who series.

Battlestar Galactica. The best show on television? Quite possibly. It's also very bleak. Will the characters ever have a good day? The colonists resume the battle against their new (sexy and evil) robot overlords on Friday 10/6. Webisodes are available Tuesday and Thursday at SciFi Pulse.

The Daily Show. With a lot of turnover in correspondents this year, is TDS in danger of losing its edge? Probably not.

The Colbert Report. In its first year, the Report has proven to be more consistently funny than its lead-in. You're on notice.

Mythbusters. This summer's new episodes haven't been all that great, but have filled in admirably during a bleak summer season.

Good Eats. Education and entertaining. Alton Brown is the Food Network's MacGuyver. In a good way.

South Park. Bitingly satirical and funny.

So that's as much as 12 hours of TV per week, which is something like 10 hours of actual viewing per week. And I'm considering adding new shows to watch? Yikes. That's an upcoming post.

September 18, 2006


Mike Judge's follow-up to "Office Space" mixes in some "Beavis and Butthead" to create a a biting satire about modern culture. It stars Luke Wilson. It sat on a shelf at Fox for two years before debuting this month in a very limited release.

Carina Chocano, LA Times: Idiocracy: "What does Mike Judge have to do to get a movie released and marketed? He could stop making satires as merciless and spot-on as this one, for one thing. His second film in seven years, "Idiocracy," was completed nearly two years ago and dumped on Friday, reviewless and unmarketed, in six markets not including New York and San Francisco. (Because who could possibly be interested in the long-awaited movie by the director of "Office Space" there?)"

Nathan Rabin, The Onion A.V. Club: Idiocracy: "In Beavis And Butt-head, that devolution is just suggested; in Idiocracy, it's made dizzyingly literal. A perfectly cast Luke Wilson stars as a quintessential everyman who hibernates for centuries and wakes up in a society so degraded by insipid popular culture, crass consumerism, and rampant anti-intellectualism that he qualifies as the smartest man in the world. Corporations cater even more unashamedly to the primal needs of the lowest common denominator—Starbucks now traffics in handjobs as well as lattes—and the English language has devolved into a hilarious patois of hillbilly, Ebonics, and slang."

Edward Havens, FilmJerk.com: Idiocracy "Like many of the greatest cinematic comedies, “Idiocracy” is a lean machine, clocking in at a mere 83 minutes. It sets up its premise succinctly and gets right into the story, flooring the acceleration right from the get-go and never looking back until the very end. Not a moment is wasted. Everything that happens on the screen is there for a reason, every joke set up to payoff two or three more down the road."

Reviews are generally positive (currently 75% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes.)

September 21, 2006


This is way too meta for me.

Defaker, the Studio 60 Gossip Blog is the version of Defamer that lives in the TV world of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

The Office - Third Season

I caught the premiere of the third season of The Office last night. This show was definitely a grower for me last year. Like many, I found the British version more immediately funny, especially the "boss character" (David Brent), but the American version has managed to carve its own identity by making the show more of an ensemble effort, and by toning down some of the original version's bleakness.

That's not to say that it's as lighthearted as the average American sitcom. The Office is a show that doesn't let it self step into the realm of whimsy or the fanticiful too often, and after ending the second season brilliantly with Jim and Pam finally hooking up, they deflate that balloon immediately in showing how fast reality set in to end that romantic moment.

The rest of the premiere clearly establishes that the feelings between the two characters are still there, and even suggests that there will be a little competition for Pam's heart between a heartbroken Roy (the wedding didn't happen) and a still smitten Jim. However, most of the focus in the episode is devoted to Michael unintentionally outing Oscar through a careless insult. As with any secret that Michael discovers, it's not long before everyone knows, and he's forced to try to prove that he not homophobic. Cue the world's most uncomfortable guy-guy kiss.

I enjoy this show, though I don't always like that so much of the humor comes from "cringe." In a way, I find it funnier when I think back about the episodes post-viewing than when I'm actually watching them. In any case, the memories of the impressive story arc the writers unfolded last year will keep me watching this season. And geez, I gotta see what happens between Jim and Pam...

September 22, 2006

My Office is Empty

Damn you, cable box!

My cable box turned itself off sometime last night, which meant that instead of recording the highly awaited season premier of The Office, ReplayTV recorded 30 minutes of nothing. One on level, think about the deeper meaning. If your TV Office is a black void, then maybe your real life office is merely a black void, as is your soul. And sometimes, a bottle of Dharma Initiative ranch dressing sitting in the sun is just a bottle of ranch dressing becoming rancid. (If there is any message here, it could be that I watch too much TV.)

At least going on iTunes to download the episode led me to Dwight Schrute's Playlist: Twelve Songs That Inspire and Motivate Me. Besides the 1970's Battlestar Galactica theme songt he Star Spangled Banner, and Rush's "Tom Sawyer," Dwight's playlist includes the bestest song ever: Boston's "More than a Feeling."

Sometimes you feel things and you're like, 'Whoa, that's a feeling,' but it's also so much more. What is it exactly? What is this thing that is a feeling but is so much more? This song attempts to answer this very human and eternal question. Plus, the guitar is awesome.

Shameless Self Promotion

No one actually reads this site yet, but what the heck…

Where should you be next week? At the Mercury Lounge. On both Monday and Tuesday, BRR-linked bands will play. (Ahh, the irony of booking shows in NYC?)

On Monday, The Bosch brings in their garage punk song crafting at 9 PM. (Disclosure: Andrew plays saxophone and keyboards in The Bosch.) The show will debut new songs and will be the first show in Manhattan with the new lineup.

On Tuesday, The Walk Ons rock out their eclectic power-pop at 10 PM. They just finished their new album. Some sample tracks available at MySpace. (Disclosure: Krikor sings and plays guitar in The Walk Ons.)

September 24, 2006

TAR to Ulaanbaatur

This was a great leg of the race. The teams travelled from Beijing to Ulaanbaatur via bus and train. This was a pleasant change from the single day legs that plagued most of Race 9. The teams had to not only deal with buses, trains, horses and taxi drivers, but also to navigate in Soviet vintage 4x4s.

But whereas this season has stepped up the game as far as tasks and route in the first two legs, none of the teams stand out as immediate favorites or immediate villains.

Here's a first hand account from the guy who Ferned Lyn and Karlyn's out of Ulaanbaatur .

As it should be on the Race, the team that had a "stupid day" was the one eliminated.

About September 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Buzz Rant & Rave in September 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

August 2006 is the previous archive.

October 2006 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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