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Jim Stalker
Granite Bay, CA
Please God, keep me from being the jackass I know i can be!
Recent Activity
The real star of the show however was the series creator and chief writer Amy Sherman-Palladino. Her vision of the mythic Stars Hallow and the rich characters that inhabit it was fully realized - singular and unique in TV history. There really is nothing else like it. This voice and uniqueness might be because Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel crafted the majority of scripts themselves. Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2013 at Music and Video Review
"So" is the album that took Peter Gabriel from cult artist to worldwide superstar. Before "So" Gabriel was the "weird ex-singer from Genesis!" No more. After this record (and the great videos that accompanied it) Gabriel became widely known for both his artisty and commitment to various causes. Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2012 at Music and Video Review
The biggest challenge with these types of documentaries is that many musicians who were there are bumbling idiots, drug burnouts, or worse of all... dead. They can not remember nor explain the past. To compensate these documentaries bring in talking head ringers who weren't there to flesh out the story. This is very hit or miss. Fortunately leader/lyricist/bassist Roger Waters, guitarist/singer David Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason, and keyboardist Richard Wright are some of the most articulate of all rock musicians. Not only do they recall the story, but they tell it with drama and perspective. The story is told largely through their words. Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2012 at Music and Video Review
Idol needs a makeover. Ratings are down 32% from last years final and over 50% from all-time highs obtained over 5 years ago. With the exception of adding Jimmy Iovine little has changed for the 11 year-old singing show that has become as much formula as Law and Order. Time to mix it up. The Voice is on your tail. And please can you do a little more than simply install new judges – currently rumored to be happening. Here are five changes Idol needs to make in 2013! Vote for the worst. This has long been discussed amongst Idol... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2012 at Music and Video Review
Phil Phillips will win the American Idol contest tonight. No surprise as Phillips used the same strategy as last years winner Scotty McCreery. Rather than adapting thier styles to suit their material, they adapted their material to suit their styles. Whatever the song, genre or style they all became McCreeried or Phillipized to become something uniquely their own. It also helps that both were young, male and charismatic and they actually had a style. The past four years of winners were male and beat arguably better singers then themselves - not all had a style. Phillips wasn't the best singer... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2012 at Music and Video Review
Last night the first four performance were all flat - almost boring. Phillip's Vegas-ready performance of CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" was overshadowed for no reason by a somewhat skanky looking sax player. Hollie Cavanaugh's take on Journey's "Faithfully" - a song about concert tour road weariness - was incongruous for the 16 year old. Joshua Ledet's take on Josh Groban (also done on the Voice BTW) was flat and out of place. Sanchez singing Etta James, yes, Etta James, was an incredibly odd choice. Maybe .005% of the Idol audience might have heard that song sometime in their life. Chances are if they did, they don't remember it. Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2012 at Music and Video Review
Who knew second banana Little Steven/Silvio would be so insightful into music? Actually a lot of us rock music fans who never miss an episode of his syndicated radio show "Little Steven's Underground Garage." The Garage, heard by over 1 million listeners each week featuring "The Coolest Song in the World this Week" - is a rock music lovers dream. Rare tracks and anecdotes for old and new songs are all presented in Little Steven's distinctive style. Coaching Idol's 5 finalists, Steven provided practical help on how to improve their performances. They all listened and turned in what was easily... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2012 at Music and Video Review
Best of all viewers are able to take in all those perfectly preserved relics from 60's culture that set directors and costumers weave into virtually every scene. It might be a lamp, wallpaper, a magazine cover, dress or a console stereo (not only does it sound great, it makes a great piece of furniture!). Each episode has something that can easily trigger a baby boomer a synaptic trip down memory lane. Better put for this season, at times the show is an LSD flashback. Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2012 at Music and Video Review
But as any fan of Idol knows, it isn't the best signer that wins, it is the best player of the game. The best singers are often at a disadvantage. This is because voters are drawn to development more than sheer talent. Fully formed singers like Sanchez or David Archuletta, whose phrasing belies thier years often can't top their initial jaw-dropping performances. Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2012 at Music and Video Review
And Idol is clearly feeling the heat from the show with the spinning chairs. New wrinkles in the competition are being introduced that have a "The Voice" feel that give the judges more power in decision making. But do you really want to give those Idol numb-nut judges ANY authority? Last night Randy could not name two performers who might be in trouble because "they were all so good." Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2012 at Music and Video Review
ovine is simply terrific. A real deal music guy. He can't be bothered to actually show up to this fiasco - all his appearances are taped elsewhere. And he's still shamelessly plugging his "Beats" line of headphone and music products like he did last year. Look at the picture above and you can clearly view the distinctive beats red logo on the speaker. Compositionally framed mid-center for all to see. Mistake? Not a chance. Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2012 at Music and Video Review
Finally the crappy part of Idol is over and we are down to the final 24. But wait...cliffhanger....the judges have decided to make it the final 25 instead of the final 24! The drama...I can't stand it!!! Four guys who in retrospect must have been deemed to be too good to have been let go are being reconsidered. Maybe the church going crybaby, mini-Michael Jackson, the good looking guy, or the poor man's Scotty McCreary have some ratings magic in them. Idol better hope so. The show this season needs it. It has been rough going for Fox's cash cow... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2012 at Music and Video Review
Much of the credit has to be given to first time host LL Cool J, who steered the show in all the right directions right from the start. J not only is a true musical innovator but also someone with star charisma. The audience went with him to places others with less street cred couldn't have taken them. He quickly addressed the evening tragedy with a group prayer - that's something you never see on network TV - then righted the show where it should be, a celebration of music. And what a celebration it was. Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2012 at Music and Video Review
In terms of significance however, nothing trumps Queen's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. While this might not have silenced all the critics who claimed Queen was an overly theatrical version of Muzak - it certainly justifies a long form documentary. Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2012 at Music and Video Review
Massachusetts Institute of Technology social media scholar Judith Donath in her article, "From Darwin to Facebook," posits that Facebook's value is derived from providing a way to maintain and develop what she calls "loose affiliations." These loose affiliations of schoolmates, coworkers, neighbors, family and acquaintances were, before Facebook, difficult or even impossible to maintain. Thanks to Facebook and its greatest hits package of internet functionality (contacts, messaging, chat, blogging, and photo sharing) maintenance of these relationships are now "easy peasy!" According to Donath, loose affiliation are also worthwhile to maintain from an evolutionary standpoint in that they promote increased survivability. While it is great to tap into the broader networks of the Internet for product reviews and other answers from total strangers, having more trustworthy advisers (as in people you actually know) can enhances social survival. In other words, loose affiliations are a competitive advantage Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2012 at Tell the Truth and Run
There is also Idol's unmatched track record for producing bona fide music stars. Clarkson, Underwood, Daughtry, Cook, Lambert, and McCreery are an impressive group of discoveries. X-factor and The Voice may prove to be equally effective in launching careers, but with just a season apiece both are too new to say. Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2012 at Music and Video Review
The only real surprise is the inclusion of the small Faces - I was never a fan and they didn't sell tons of records. While they were clearly rock and roll, I would have preferred to see Seattle-based women-rockers Heart make it in. They were rock and roll and inspired women all over the world to give music a go. They will make it in, just not this year. Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2011 at Music and Video Review
The problem with this movie, is how dark and depressing it was. OK, I get the author is trying to invoke "German romanticism" or what Trier describes as "Wagner in spades!" I get too that there is a cinematic precedent for this sort of slow moving allegory about life and death. This genre is perhaps best exemplified by Wim Wenders "Wings of Desire." Against this backdrop Trier succeeds - this film fits well into that pantheon - which may explain the ebullience found in many of the intellectualized reviews of this film. Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2011 at Music and Video Review
Hey Tobin, I love the theater too. I reviewed Book of Mormon on this site.
Long ago, before there was basic cable and DVR's, the start of the fall TV season was a clearly defined event. All of the good shows came from the big three networks. Today, seasons seem to start whenever they want to and with few exceptions most of the great shows do not come from the what is now the big four networks (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC). A quick gander at the top box office for 2011 reveals that for high quality entertainment, TV remains the place to go. Movies continue to consistently disappoint. Unless it is Harry Potter or another... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2011 at Music and Video Review
I would love to cite an attribution here, as this is brilliant..if anyone knows the source, please let me know. Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2011 at Music and Video Review
Donovan. Those 60's hits were groovy beyond belief. Always sound great wherever they pop up today. Never in the league of Dylan or other singer songwriters of that era in terms of influence, but he sold a ton of records and was at the center of all the action hanging with Beatles and Stones. Plus, he is such a nice guy no one will want to deny his entry and hurt his feelings. May be the best chance for the fifth nominee. Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2011 at Music and Video Review
Thanks for your comments. Andrew and Josh were both terrific. As for my tin ear, well, that is a matter of opinion of course. I just didn't hear anything like "Seasons of Love" from Rent which for me is the high watermark of musicals for the past decade. I also like Spring Awakening whose "I Believe" is close to a classic whereas "I Believe" from The Book of Mormon is more suitable for Dr. Demento (if anyone remembers him). Regardless, to each his own. The other night I watched West Side Story - not THAT had a score...
One of my goals in life is to be less of a jackass. Throughout my life, repeatedly, I have exhibited the behavior of a real jackass. This behavior is never intended - it just happens. And by the way, I am sorry if you have had to endure my jackassery. Sadly, if any awareness of said behavior occurs, it almost always comes after the fact. Let me give a clear example of the type of buffoonery I am talking about. One day at the gym I good naturedly said to a young woman I hadn't seen in awhile, "Hey there,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2011 at Tell the Truth and Run
Worse, this new series involved Dungeons and Dragons.This immediately put me into a coma. I am pretty sure Peter Jackson's masterful Lord of the Rings Trilogy was all of that genre my life required. More seemed like a another misfire from HBO. I was wrong. Game of Thrones, at least season 1, was simply fantastic! Unpredictable, visually stunning, intelligent with its morality, and at times shocking. The violence, completely justifiable and necessary to the storytelling, was at times enough to make your knees buckle. Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2011 at Music and Video Review