Did You Know Kristen Wiig Was On The Joe Schmo Show

This should come as no shock to anyone who reads the blog on a regular basis, but I’m a big fan of reality television. So, when I was in college in 2003 and I heard about Spike’s The Joe Schmo Show which was a fake reality show built around tricking one guy into thinking the whole thing is real, I thought it sounded rad. It really helped that Matt, the mark, turned out to be an incredibly nice guy who happened to remind me of my buddy Jacob who I watched the show with every week (along with Real World Vegas). It was cool because there was all this tension around whether Matt would figure out everything was a ruse or not, which was a possibility every week as the actors were doing all kinds of improv and trying to remember their stories.

Well, Spike is replaying the show today which is awesome and I was surprised to see that Kristen Wiig was one of the fake contestants! I’m not a huge fan of Wiig on SNL because I think her and her writers are getting a little lazy and only creating one trick pony characters for her (I hate Gilly with a firey passion), but dig her in movies like Knocked Up and she was great in Whip It. It’s always fun seeing a star in her early days, the funny thing is that she’s basically playing the kind of “whacky aunt” character she’s become famous for on SNL. This almost makes me want to not leave the house and just watch the whole season (it’s only 9 episodes).

UPDATE 1: Wiig would go on to get sent to the hospital in a sumo game where Matt knocked her on her ass. Her character left the show as part of a deal related to the prize Matt gave her for accidentally hurting her. Dr. Pat got some cash, voluntarily left and no one was sent home.

UPDATE 2: The dude playing the jerk character named Hutch was played by David Hornsby who would go on to play Rickety Cricket in Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Drew in Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem.

UPDATE 3: Series writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese would go on to write Zombieland as a TV show which eventually got turned into a movie. The pair is working on a Deadpool script. Reese apparently also did “additional screenplay material” on Monsters Inc. and wrote Cruel Intentions 3.

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Jamming With Whip It (2009)

Whip It’s one of those movies that seemed pretty interesting when I first heard about it (Drew Barrymore directing a roller derby movie starring Ellen Page and Kristen Wiig? sold), didn’t see it in the theaters and then took forever to actually see because it seems to be one of those flicks everyone wants to watch from Netflix so it takes forever to get. A friend of ours was waiting for a long time too. We both had the movie on the top of our queues. Last week I stopped in at Blockbuster to take advantage of their five for $25 deal and picked up My Bloody Valentine 3D (without glasses, so I ordered them), Punisher Wars Zone, (500) Days Of Summer, National Treasure 2 and Whip It. Just because it would be easier to spend the four bucks and see the damn thing.

In the end it wasn’t really worth the wait. I mean, it’s an alright movie, that does have an uplifting message at the end, but it’s pretty damn formulaic. Our heroine, Ellen Page, lies about her age to try out for the Austin roller derby teams. She makes it, her friend helps her with her lies, she meets a boy, she’s really good at roller derby and, as you would expect, everything comes crashing down on her and it looks like she won’t be able to play in the big game because, you guessed it, the beauty pageant she’s supposed to be in is the same day! Ugh. I could have outlined the movie ahead of time and had a drink every time I was right. If that were the case, I don’t think I’d be able to type right now.

It’s by no means a bad movie even though the plot is very been-there-done-that if you’ve been watching movies for a while. Barrymore does a serviceable job directing though the movie could have used some better editing. In one sequence, for example, the girls (Page and Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat) are at a party, they’re both flirting with boys, one throws up and the next thing you know they’re in a bed together in a room alone. Is it at one of their houses? Is it the house the party was in? What is happening?

From what I’ve seen in the rad documentary Hell On Wheels (which I could have sworn I wrote about on here, but must have instead explained it in great detail to someone, probably the missus) which is about the real deal Austin roller derby women who helped kick this trend back into gear, the action and the game seem pretty legit, though I’m sure there’s stuff in there that upsets the roller derby aficionados (like when us geeks watch the X-Men movies and yell at the screen for the little things).

So, no, it’s not the most original movie in the world, but I would recommend it to anyone interested in roller derby (after watching Hell On Wheels, it is on Netflix Instant last I checked), roller derby fans, people who haven’t seen too many teen movies and every teenage girl ever. Too long has this kind of movie been the territory of men (I love how proud the dad is that his girl can knock some bitches out, just as proud as the neighbor with the football kids). I’d make this mandatory viewing for girls and will show it to mine if I ever have any on Holovision or whatever the hell we’ll be watching movies on in THE FUTURE (gotta say it like an old timey cartoon or it just doesn’t work). Also, bonus points for the Star Wars names that got snuck in like Jabba The Slutt and Princess Slayah. Well played.

Songs Of Summer “Barbie Girl” by Aqua

Well, you asked for it. Actually, no one asked for anything in the comments for yesterday’s SOS installment so you get this sugary pop confection from Aqua. Much as I hated this song when I was a kid, I did appreciate how they recreated so many toys for the video. Sure they were GIRL toys, but it was still cool. Why can’t my toys have a dream house, dammit?!

Jersey Shore Season 2 Season Premiere

Man oh man. The season kicked off relatively slow with the usual scenes of everyone traveling down and getting to the house. The main pot-stirrer this season is Angelina, the cast member who left the show last year and is back now to try and get some of those Jersey Shore dolla dolla bills. And boy does she set people off, especially the ladies who all seem to hate her. Let’s just jump right into the live blog, because I know that’s what you really want. Continue reading Jersey Shore Season 2 Season Premiere

Songs Of Summer “How Bizarre” by OMC

The missus is gonna hate me for those one. She absolutely hates this song. I don’t even know if we’ve ever heard it at the same time, but she’s railed against it a few times after I mentioned that I kind of dig the song. I actually keep an eye out for it every time I’m at a flea market or used CD place because I’m very curious to hear what the rest of the record sounds like. This is another one of those mid-90s videos I remember being on pretty regularly.

It’s kind of a strange song for an MTV hit. OMC is a group from New Zealand which isn’t a country known for churning out pop acts, let alone one that would get to #4 on the Billboard charts. I actually went on a trip to New Zealand around this time and don’t remember hearing about them, but it could have been a few years off. Anyway, the song has kind of a slow hip hop vibe but with Spanish-style horns thrown in. It’s a real hodgepodge. But, hey, this is the country that made “Mambo #5” a big deal too, so maybe we’re more open to other musical styles than what’s smashed into our brains thanks to MTV and pop radio.

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard the song or seen the video, but I still find both of them pretty enjoyable. This is a great song to bob your head along to and think back to that summer you were allowed to ride your bike to other neighborhoods and hang out with kids you didn’t normally see, almost like an adult. Good memories.

Does anyone have a suggestion for tomorrow’s Song Of Summer? I’ve been mostly just grabbing ideas out of my memory, but I’m more than willing to take suggestions. If not, I think I’m going to start hitting shuffle on my iPod’s summer mix and see what I get.

Supergroup Showcase: Them Crooked Vultures

THEM CROOKED VULTURES
THE PLAYERS: John Paul Jones on bass (Led Zeppelin), Dave Grohl on drums (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and Josh Homme on guitar and lead vocals (Queens of the Stone Age, The Eagles Of Death Metal).
THE HISTORY: One of the more prolific musicians of his generation, Dave Grohl gets around. He recorded drums for Josh Homme’s band Queens Of The Stone Age’s record and also worked with John Paul Jones here and there. At some point he decided to get them together and Them Crooked Vultures was born. They recorded an album and are touring now with their sites set on a second record supposedly coming out later this year. (via their site)
OFFICIAL SITE: ThemCrookedVultures.com

One of my favorite sub genres of the supergroup idea is when the group consists of musicians from different eras (like Oysterhead). It’s interesting to see how the older and younger musicians interact and what kind of music comes out of that union. That’s the case with Them Crooked Vultures as Jones is significantly older than Grohl and Homme. It’s also interesting that two of the three members were in groups that changed the face of music. The world was different after Led Zeppelin came onto the scene and the same for Nirvana years later. Homme’s kind of the odd man out in my opinion, but he does a pretty good job of holding his own, even if some of his guitar licks do sound a little too reminiscent of previous QOTSA tracks at times (like on parts of “No One Loves Me & Neither Do I”).

Unlike many of the more recent supergroups, I actually didn’t know about Them Crooked Vultures until just before the disc came out as I had been laid off around that time and wasn’t paying much attention to the music coming out. I think that TCV’s first, self-titled record might have been the first thing I bought for myself aside from food after starting to get a pretty good freelance base going, so it’s got a special place in my heart. It also helps that the record kicks ass. The worry, of course, with a project like this is that the musicians will turn out to be great tastes that don’t taste great together (like Chickenfoot). Thankfully, these guys pull off a great sound, which shouldn’t be surprising considering the band consists of one of the greatest living bass players of all time (check out JPJ’s Zooma if you’d like to have your mind blown by what a bass can do) and Grohl who is one of the better drummers around. Even Homme who I’m far less familiar with (I bought that QOTSA record mentioned above and only liked the one single, the rest was kind of repetitive and boring), but he brings it with the vocals and guitar work.

The record is fun because it has a distinct sound with a solid rhythm section and Homme’s unique voice, but they weren’t afraid to move around within that framework and get experimental. “Gunman” sounds like a Rush song, doesn’t it? Really, the whole record is just amazing. With JPJ and Grohl locking down the rhythm (possibly the greatest living rhythm section around?) Homme gets to play with riffs and lines. The whole thing comes together better than a lot of records by established bands.

I hadn’t listened to the record for a while and put it on today and damn, it’s just great from front to back. Everyone’s in top form, the songs are amazing and there’s something really special about Grohl and Jones combining on backing vocals that adds a layer of sophistication and class to the proceedings that I can’t really explain (maybe it’s Jones’ hint of an accent). I wonder if Grohl reminds Jones of Bonzo at all.

What sets TCV apart in my mind is that they really feel like a band, not just a few dudes who got together and did a one-off. Maybe that’s because I know they’re still touring and want to make another record. They play like they’ve been together for 15 years which is impressive considering they just kind of put themselves together in a fairly short period of time. Frankly, if it was up to me, I’d make QOTSA and the Foo Fighters side projects and get as much Them Crooked Vultures music out of these guys as possible. I would love to see them in concert, maybe once they’re back in the states I can make that happen. It’s been way too long since I’ve been to a show.

Big Bang Theory Theme Song Performed By Barenaked Ladies at SDCC 2010

I don’t generally care for panels at comic conventions. I’d rather just read about what the big news was online than waste all that time lining up, waiting and watching the panel and go look for cheap trades and comics. But, I think that, had I gone to SDCC this year, I would have gone to the Big Bang Theory panel. As anyone who reads the blog regularly knows, I’m a big fan of the show and I know from an interview I did with Bill Prady that he’s a legit geek. Plus, the inclusion of Wil Wheaton as the moderator and the non-incarcerated members of the Barenaked Ladies performing the full version of the theme song? That woulda been priceless as would seeing the entire cast and audience sing “Soft Kitty”: