Archive for the ‘Mrs. Peacock (aka C-Love)’ Category

Top Ten in Pop 2009

November 16, 2009

It’s not too long before those “Best of ’09” lists to start making the rounds, so I thought I’d go ahead and give it a whirl. Here it is. My Top Ten Picks of 2009:

1. Ellen Degeneres

She finished off the year by being just the second woman ever to grace the cover of O with Oprah Winfrey (Michelle Obama was the first). Hers is the only daytime show I tivo because she’s just so dern funny. Seriously, how can you not be filled with glee after watching this:

2. Comic Book Nerds

True, I hated Watchmen more than I can say, but the comic nerd movement (a movement which I fully support) is still going strong. TV shows started producing supporting comics, and some canceled shows even continued their stories in comic form. We got a movie about the origins of Wolverine, and children got in on the fun with Astro Boy and Coraline. And, whaddayaknow, The Big Bang Theory viewership is up 30% this season. Long live the nerds!

3. Michael Jackson Madness

It may not be his most popular video, but I will always remember the first time I saw The Way You Make Me Feel.  The grittiness. The energy. The high-pitched woo-hoo! I loved it. The man was talented to the point of madness, and he could make anyone get off their feet and dance. Or at least attempt the moonwalk. There’s been so much said that I couldn’t possibly have anything new to offer, so… R.I.P. King of Pop.

4. Celebs who Tweet

The twitter universe isn’t for everyone, but it’s become one of the few places celebrities can interact with their fans. Many simply tweet funny messages (Rainn Wilson: “Today I dedicate to Lady Gaga.”), but others actually get their fans involved. Ellen asks her followers to do random stunts to win tickets (“Meet me at the Grove and bring a yucca plant!”), Imogen Heap allowed fans to choose her album cover, and Nathan Fillion (sigh…) and others respond to their fans directly.

5. PS22 Chorus

I can’t imagine that someone hasn’t forwarded you a video of these kids at some point in time. They were everywhere this year, singing for everyone from Suzanne Vega to Beyonce. And, yep, they’re just a public school chorus with a truly phenomenal teacher (three cheers for Mr. B!). If you’re ever in need of some quick inspiration, just visit their blog.

6. Taylor Swift

She made history as the youngest person ever to win the CMA Entertainer of the Year, her album Fearless went platinum four times over, and she’s even dating the werewolf from Twilight. She writes, sings, and plays all of her own songs. Very good songs at that. The shot at ex Joe Jonas during her SNL monologue (she was host and musical guest) pretty much sums it up: “Hey Joe! I’m doin’ real well.”

7. Jane Lynch

I could give this spot to the entire cast of Glee, but instead I’m singling out the brilliant Jane Lynch. Even while playing the truly diabolical cheerleading coach, she elicits more real emotion than any other character on the show. I’ve seen her around in other movies (every Christopher Guest movie, in fact), and she’s always been a scene-stealer. But her role on Glee just might make her a bonafide star. Here’s hoping!

9. Kings of Leon

That voice. That guitar. The glorious anthem-y-ness of it all! Kings of Leon were the soundtrack to life this year. Since hitting the big time, some of their old school fans have accused them of selling out (as old school fans always do). All I have to say to them is: If this is what selling out sounds like, bring it on.

In related news, KOL also delivered my favorite quote of the year: “Marijuana is a gateway drug. It leads to sweatpants and cheetos.”

9. Joel McHale

I know, I  know, I mention Joel McHale in practically every other post. I love the man so much that I’m currently working on a music video with my fellow crazies in hopes of persuading him to do a stand-up show in Memphis.  Community gets funnier each week and The Soup is at its’ best. Come to Memphis, Joel. We’ll fill you up with BBQ and chicken tetrazzinni.

10. Star Trek

Pretty much anything J.J. Abrams touches turns to gold. But the big props here should go the casting director who managed to perfectly cast each character. That’s a tough thing to do with such an old and treasured (perhaps bizarrely worshipped) franchise. I can’t think of another movie I enjoyed more (or saw more) this year than Star Trek. Naturally, I’m asking for the special edition DVD for Christmas.

So what are your top in pop, fellow hippos?

C-Love’s Pop Picks

October 28, 2009

Best Music I’ve Heard: NPR is streaming the new album from The Swell Season. You might recognize them as the two lovebirds of “Once” fame. I’m also completely taken with Brandi Carlile’s Give Up the Ghost. Listen to “Dying Day.”

Best Live Music I’ve Seen: Girl Talk was completely insane, but I’m glad I experienced it. He’s a digital composer on the fly (like a highly complex more talented DJ), and his concert is one big rave. If you’re not dancing at a Girl Talk concert, someone will grab you and force you to dance. Clearly, it’s not for everyone. But it was my niece’s 18th birthday, and we had a blast.

Girl Talk in concert

Girl Talk in concert

Best TV I’ve Seen: I’m giving it to White Collar, the new show on USA.  I’m a huge fan of Psych on USA (as is Coach Al), so I figured I’d give this one a try. Matt Bomer plays a white collar criminal partnering with the FBI to solve, what else, white collar crimes. It’s like the TV version of “Catch Me If You Can.” And for what it’s worth, Matt Bomer has fabulous hair.

Also Enjoyed: The Firefly shout-out on Castle. Love me some Nathan Fillion.

Best Movie I’ve Seen: September Issue, a documentary that follows the making of the September issue of Vogue. A good portion of the film focuses on Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief and supposed inspiration behind “The Devil Wears Prada.” But the far more interesting character is the Creative Director Grace Coddington. She’s phenomonally talented, hilarious, and the only one doesn’t fall at Wintour’s feet. She’s the Stanley Tucci to Anna’s Meryl Streep, if you will.

Also Enjoyed: Where the Wild Things Are. It was a little slow, but the visuals and music kept me interested. Does anyone else think Max looks exactly like a young boy version of Ellen Page?

Best Book I’ve Read: I’m currently reading and loving Three Cups of Tea. It tells the true story of Greg Mortenson, a mountain climber who became lost and wandered into a remote village after a failed attempt to summit K2. He was so touched by the hospitality of the people there, he promised he would return and build a school. He kept his promise and went on to build 130 more schools in Central Asia. I’ve been thinking lately about certain people who impact society so significantly, and it has struck me that these earth-shakers don’t have any specials skills that the rest of us are lacking. Unless you count passion and a singular purpose as skills. They’re just people. It’s both inspiring and convicting.

C-Love’s Pop Picks

September 29, 2009

Best Live Music I Heard: I have to give it to Willie Nelson singing “City of New Orleans.” One of my favorite musicians singing one of my favorite songs. Hearing it with my dad, who introduced me to both the song and the artist, just made it sweeter.
A Close Second: The Avett Brothers are easily my favorite live band. I’m still hyped up from their concert last week where they played some brilliant stuff from their new album. It comes out today! (They also performed on Letterman last night, in case you caught it.)

Best New Music I Heard: As much as I hate to admit it, I’m loving the Pete Yorn / Scarlett Johanssen “Break Up” album. I was skeptical about her singing abilities, but she holds her own. However, it’s the songwriting that’s the real star here.

Best TV I’ve Seen: Flash Forward definitely kept my attention, and I’m interested to see how it unfolds. I especially want to see more of the mentor who now believes his daughter is alive. Plus, it’s got Sulu! Also, props to The Big Bang Theory and Community for making me laugh out loud.

Best Movie I’ve Seen: I’m behind on the movie viewing, but I did see Star Trek for the fourth time (thus the Sulu reference). It’s still awesome.

Best Thing I’ve Read: I’m still working my way through all of the young adult novels my mom has given to me. I’m currently on In Mozart’s Shadow, a novel told from the perspective of Mozart’s older sister, who happens to be quite the music prodigy herself. Of course, when your brother is composing symphonies at 10, you do tend to get overshadowed. It’s a bit redundant and slow at times, but I’m learning much more about the Mozart family. I wonder what “label” young Mozart would be given today. OCD? ADD? Autism? He’s tapped into some piece of his brain that we simply can’t get to.

My DVR Is Drooping From All This Added Weight

September 11, 2009

The premiere season is upon us, people! Here’s a round-up of the new shows I’m most excited about:

1. Community – NBC, premieres Thursday, 09/17, 8:30 p.m.

I, along with 3/4 of the female population, have a hankering for Joel McHale, current host of The Soup. In Community, he plays a lawyer forced to attend community college when it’s discovered his degree is phony.

One of my favorite exchanges:

“I thought you had a bachelor’s from Columbia.”

“Now I have to get one from America.”

It costars Chevy Chase and a host of comedians you’ve seen elsewhere but have never learned their names.

2. Flash Forward – ABC, premieres Thursday, 09/24, 7:00 p.m.

For 2 minutes, 17 seconds, the entire earth blacks out and catches a glimpse of themselves 6 months in the future. Some are thrilled at what they see, some are confused, and some are terrified that they saw nothing. Will they try to change their future? Will their efforts cause the very future they’re trying to change? How very “Lost.” Check it out.

3. Glee – FOX, Wednesdays @ 8:00 p.m.

Oh, how I love this show. True, they lay the cheese on pretty thick, but they make up for it with the hilarious and diabolical cheerleading coach, the adorable red-headed OCD counselor,  and the insanely talented cast of teenagers.

4. The Biggest Loser – NCB, premieres Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.

Okay, so it’s not a new show, BUT my friend Holly actually knows one of the contestants this cycle! Which makes it even better than a new show. His name is Sean Algaier.  You can meet him here.

5. Modern Family – ABC, premieres Wednesday, 09/23, 8:00 p.m.

ABC sums it up as “One Big Straight Gay Multi-cultural Traditional Happy Family Comedy,” and I really can’t do any better. Check it out here.

We’ll see if they all live up to my expectations. Fingers crossed (and legs propped up on the coffee table).

Hungry Hippos, Meet Pop Candy

August 25, 2009

I realize this seems highly unlikely, but USA Today’s Pop Candy is actually letting me guest blog tomorrow. Crazy, but true. Someone must have laced their coffee with… I dunno, whatever you lace coffee with (drugs are not my strong suit). The real blogger has gone on vacation, and they took submissions for possible guest blogs. And, whaddayaknow, they chose mine. So if you want to read a few bluegrass band suggestions from mrs peacock, hop on over to Pop Candy tomorrow. I’m not sure of the exact time, but it will definitely be up by the afternoon. I’d be much honored if you’d check it out!

Pop Culture Round-Up

April 23, 2009

Best Movie I’ve Seen: Sunshine Cleaning, primarily because of Amy Adams’ skill at playing the pretty girl with absolutely no sense of self worth. The preview sells the movie as a kind of dark comedy, but it’s far more depressing than funny. When she needs money to send her son to private school, Adams’ character decides to start a business cleaning up crime scenes (wiping up blood, discarding pieces of flesh, etc.). She enlists her sister to help, and the experience leads them both in new directions. Emily Blunt is great as the unfocused sister, but my favorite casting choice is Clifton Collins as the one-armed man working at the cleaning supplies plant.

I also enjoyed: Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D. Saw it twice, in fact.

Looking forward to: The Soloist, the true story of a mentally ill cello genius discovered living on the streets by a journalist. It stars Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr., so I have high hopes.

Best TV I’ve watched: Prison Break, Season 1. I’ve seen the thing 3 times now, but my roomie was a PB virgin. We’ve decided it’s an unintentional chick show what with all the hot men in tattoos.

I also enjoyed: Lost (Faraday’s baaaack!). I’ve also loved this season of Idol soley because of Adam Lambert. And Quentin Tarantino’s bizarre turn as a guest judge last week.

Best Thing I’ve Read: I finally bought the boxed set of Harry Potter, so I’ve been rereading those. I’ve been doing quite of bit of revisiting past favorites lately.

Best Thing I Heard: Danny Boy at the Celtic Woman concert. The whole experience is a little over the top for me, but Danny Boy was impossibly beautiful. I believe I cried.

I also enjoyed: I’m listening to Matt Kearney right now, and I’m liking it.

Pop Culture Round-Up

March 23, 2009

Best Movie I Saw: I’m sad to report there is not a Best Movie this installment, simply because the only movie I’ve seen at the theater recently was Watchmen. Which leads me to…

Worse Movie I Saw: Watchmen. We’ve seen so many superhero movies done right recently, I was shocked at how very wrong they got this one. True, I haven’t read the book, so I’m not a rabid Watchmen fan to start with. But when the greatest part of your movie is the opening credits, then something has gone horribly wrong. The biggest low point to me was the soft core scene b/t Plasticy Girl and That Other Guy in the weird owl ship with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” providing the background music. Ugh. The real tragedy is that Rorschach was such an interesting character played fabulously by Jackie Earle Haley. He needed more screen time. Any Watchmen lovers out there who feel the need to defend the film?

Best TV Show I Watched: LOST. It’s always LOST.  I’ve also been enjoying this season of… wait for it… American Idol. I’m not typically a viewer, but I actually voted last week. For the guy who did the bizarre Indian version of “Ring of Fire.” Crazy, I know. He’s like a gay version of Satan. I love it.

Best Thing I Heard: Everything at the Ryan Adams & the Cardinals concert. This was possibly the best sound I’ve ever heard live. The set included super old favorites (Lucy, my Gal!) and great newbies (the opener, Let It Ride). The problem with any Ryan Adams concert is that I want to hand pick every tune. This one didn’t have enough oldies for me, but I’ll take what I can get any time.

Best Thing I Read: I’ve been in the process of packing/unpacking everything I own, so I’m currently reading the first thing I pulled out of the book box. It’s written for pre-teen/ young teen girls, and it’s called “Princess Academy.” Not great literature by any means, but it’s fun to remember what everything felt like at 13.

Pop Culture Round-Up

February 9, 2009

Best Movie I Saw: The Reader. Even though the first half hour is all nudity and gratuitous sex, it’s one of the best films I’ve seen in a year. The story is about a 15 year old boy (David Kross) who begins an affair with a much older woman (Kate Winslet). She abruptly ends the affair, and he learns years later at law school that she left to become an SS guard at Auschwitz. The movie explores their relationship, particularly her effect on him throughout the years, and how far he’s willing to go to keep one of her secrets. For my money, it’s the only film that could rival Slumdog for Best Picture honors.
I Also Enjoyed: Doubt, although it did not live up to my expectations. Also, I finally watched The Kingdom on DVD and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Best TV show I watched: Lost, Lost, Lost. I’ve heard complaints about the new season (not enough character development, too much time travel, blah blah blah) , but it’s possibly my favorite season so far. Of course, I do have some nerdy sci-fi tendencies.

Best Music I Heard: I’m making a Lovey Dovey CD for my friends for Valentine’s Day, so I’ve been revisiting some favorites. One in particular is singer/songwriter Andy Davis. His myspace photo looks a little like Ralphie’s little brother in the big coat from A Christmas Story, but don’t hold that against him. He was an opening act for someone here in Memphis, and he clearly impressed me more than the main event (who I still can’t remember). Listen to “Let the Woman.”

Best Thing I Read: I finally checked out Atonement. I’d like to thank everyone here for talking it up so much.

Top 10 of 2008

January 6, 2009

The new year is upon us, and that means it’s time for some reflection. In classic C-Love fashion, I’m sticking to what I know and offering up my Top 10 in Pop Culture ’08.

10. Flight of the Conchords. This year, their peculiar brand of hilarity earned the recognition it deserved, and even landed them a show on HBO. I still prefer their live performances, and Albi, the racist dragon, is one of my faves.

9. Superheroes. Batman, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Hancock, Hellboy, The Spirit. Some were good, some were great, and some were just weird, but there were definite superhero vibes in the air.

8. Slumdog Millionaire. I loved this movie so much, I’m almost afraid to talk about it other than to say, you  must see it. It deserves all of the accolades and then some.

7. The Twilight series/movie/phenomenon (and Robert Pattinson’s hair). The Twilight movie has made a better return than Batman: The Dark Knight. How is that possible (other than spending less to start with)? Well, see, you take an absurdly gorgeous vampire, make him fall in love with a clumsy high school girl, fight his very nature to keep from killing her, throw in some werewolves, and you’ve really got something going. I resisted the books for a while, then I finally caved. And I must say… the do suck you in (no pun intended). The movie was unintentionally hilarious at times, but the casting was spot on. Here’s hoping they spend more money on special effects for the sequel.

6. Wall-E. Yes, he’s a cartoon robot, but Wall-E made me remember how much I miss great animated films. I actually teared up in the theater. How can you resist those eyes?

5. The return of Robert Downey, Jr. As much as I hanker for Christian Bale, RDJ gave my favorite superhero performance this year. Or maybe ever. Then he made a risky move by “playing black” in Tropic Thunder. Next year, he has a promising role with Jamie Foxx in The Soloist. Is this really the same guy from The Shaggy Dog?

4. Lost, Season 4. I’ve never been so glad that I got roped into a show from the get-go. The finale of Season 4 was  nothing short of crazy. Explosions, reveals, death, time travel, cliffhangers. I can’t wait to get back to my losties.

3. Tina Fey. Nobody made me laugh more in 2008 than Tina Fey. She gave us the funniest show on television with 30 Rock, and her Palin impersonation made SNL better than it’s been in years. Props to Tina!

2. Bon Iver. Possibly my favorite musical discovery of 2008. His sound is plaintive yet still full somehow. His quiet but powerful voice reminds me of Ray Lamontagne.

1. Lynda Barry. Barry wrote one of my favorite books of the year, What It Is. A graphic novel that questions how images and objects are connected to memories, it is beautiful, funny, and touching. No book has made me want to pick up my sketch pad this much in a very long time.

Christmas Playlist

December 16, 2008

In the spirit of the season, I’ve made a quick playlist of some tunes that always get me in the holiday mood. Some are classics, some are newbies, and some are classics with a twist. Happy listening!

1. Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Cindy Lauper & Frank Sinatra) – Leave it to Lauper to capture the fun swinginess (did I make up that word?) of this song. It always makes me smile.

2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Judy Garland or Ella Fitzgerald) – Judy’s got the sadness of the melody, but Ella picks up the cheeriness of the lyrics.

3. Christmas Time Again (Extreme) – Yes, a Christmas song from the 90’s band Extreme. And it’s fabulous. Play it, Nuno!

4. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel) – This is the version from Elf and includes 1/2 of She & Him.

5. On Santa’s Way Home (Marc Broussard) – Marc Broussard could sing anything and I would stop to listen. This is classic Broussard New Orleans goodness.

6. Little Drummer Boy (Bing Crosby & David Bowie) – I don’t know who thought to put these two guys together, but brilliant!

7. Must Have Been Ol’ Santa Claus (Harry Connick, Jr.) – “Happy ho ho ho to you.”

8. Christmas, Don’t Be Late (The Chipmunks) – Admit it. You sing along to “huuulahooop” every time it comes on the radio. I actually had the entire Chipmunks Christmas album as a child. My parents are amazing people.

9. Santa, Baby (Eartha Kitt) – Eartha’s got the perfect amount of sass to pull this one off without being sleazy.

10. Last Christmas (Jimmy Eat World) – I actually like this version better than the Wham original.

And then there’s the worst Christmas song ever. Apart from the general horridness of the song itself, it’s the weird delayed synthesizer delay that puts it over the top.