Saturday, April 29, 2006

Making 'Meet The Mets' seem charming and relevant

The New York Mets have a new theme song, whose chorus lyrics should be changed to "Our Theme Wastes Your Time."

Here are the lyrics, in case you don't want to rot your brain with the "music":

New York Mets! Our team, our time!
New York Mets! Our team, our time!
Our team, our time!

We get the hits! Echoey bat crack! (Hits!)
We score the runs! (Runs!)
We shut you down! (Down!)
We're number one! (One! One! One!)

Crowd cheers mixed into this chorus:
New York Mets! Our team, our time! Echoey bat crack!
New York Mets! Our team, our time! Echoey bat crack!
New York Mets! Our team, our time! Echoey bat crack!
New York Mets! Our team, our time!
Our team, our time!

Pedro Martinez
Will strike you out.
Billy Wagner, comin' through
He's throwin' heat, no doubt.
David Wright, Jose Reyes
Makin' sure you're not safe.
Just in case, Carlos Delgado --
He's at first base.
Cliff Floyd, Carlos Beltran
Playin' the outfield.
Come to Shea Stadium
Our team's the real deal! Bizarre, clipped bat-crack sound!

Crowd cheers mixed into this chorus:
New York Mets! Our team, our time!
New York Mets! Our team, our time!
Our team, our time!

Some thoughts:

1. I'm guessing this song was recorded by Technotronic back in 1991 and they brought in a new vocalist to spit out these tight rhymes.

2. The award for best unfinished lyric has to go to "Just in case, Carlos Delgado -- He's at first base." This could have been corrected by changing the word "he's" to "is," but that would have sounded smooth and made sense. The existing version of this stanza just makes me think that the songwriters had plans of a sweeping soliloquy about Delgado's prowess in times of struggle, only to realize that they had four beats to cut to the chase. Good job.

3. My favorite use and manipulation of a sound effect is the clipped bat-crack just before the final chorus, perhaps used to distract you from how bad the previous verse was. It's like someone in the studio sat on the pause button on the mixing board, then got up and sat down instantly in the hope that he'd minimize the damage.

4. The one smart thing these knuckleheads did was avoid having a player's name be part of the rhyme scheme. That way, if Pedro Martinez starts beaning batters in the head on 9 consecutive pitches and the team lets him go, they can just as quickly dub Tom Glavine's name in there and the crappy anthem will remain intact.

5. I'm curious to see what clever/rejected rhyme schemes would have been in play if Chris Benson were still with the team.

What is it with awful theme songs for pro teams? Can't club execs just sign a fan from the industry to record an anthem every year? Get Paul McCartney to write a song for the Yankees, with Bernie Williams on guitar, and reunite New Kids On The Block to perform a song about the Red Sox.

Your source for hot simile action

I'm inventing a new phrase, "As useless as a yellow Sharpie," for all the kids to use while they're watching "Yo Momma" and listening to Ashlee Simpson songs.

You're welcome.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Do the Mario!

In the world of Nintendo live-action reenactments, this is a good effort, but this is the far superior payoff. Warning: Immediate Sound For Both Links.

Ten years later, what's 'The Score'?

While listening to Wyclef Jean's contribution to Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" the other day, I started to wonder: Which Fugee career curve would I rather live out?

The most versatile Fugee, Lauryn Hill was equally impressive as a singer and rapper and made the Fugees accessible as a mainstream act. She won a ton of Grammys, including Album of the Year in 1999, so she peaked higher than Wyclef or Pras did at any given point in their careers. And her album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" is one of the best of that decade, with clever, solid hits like "Doo Wop (That Thing)," "Everything is Everything," "Ex-Factor," and the remake of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" captivating listeners. But what has the "Sister Act 2" alumna done since? She alienated the vast majority her fans with an unlistenable second album (ouch), appeared in "Dave Chappelle's Block Party" with the reunited Fugees (yay), and reunited with the Brothers Fooj for a song whose airplay appeared to be limited to a Verizon commercial with a dancing bowler (double ouch).

Wyclef has never had a defining, polarizing moment like Hill did when she won the Best Album Grammy, but he's won a few of those trophies, too. Blessed with creative lyrics and solid guitar skills, 'Clef has vocals that aren't nearly as fluid or soothing as Hill's -- they might be the polar opposite. But the passion in his voice on tracks like "911" and "President" mirrors the imperfect intensity of Kurt Cobain whenever his voice cracked on "Unplugged in New York." Wyclef's never stopped working or thriving since the Fugees broke up, collaborating on songs with almost every legitimate living Hip Hop, R&B and Rap icon in the industry and beyond -- including Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child and The Black Eyed Peas -- as well as icons from other genres, including Santana, Sublime, Kenny Rogers and Sinéad O'Connor. Perhaps he can be forgiven for rapping with The Rock on "It Doesn't Matter," which can still be considered an amusing novelty record. Wyclef is more affable and accessible than Hill, whose politics have been more in the news in the last seven years than her music. Wyclef continues to have mainstream success, with probably Pepsi and Verizon commercials representing the only real threats to his street cred.

After the Fugees broke up in 1997, Pras' career achievement was 1998's admittedly awesome "Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)," featuring Mya's breakthrough vocals and perhaps ODB's most memorable lyrics other than "Got Your Money." Since then, he's basically been the Ringo Starr of the group, except without comparable name recognition. His Wikipedia bio is about as long as this paragraph and references his sole acting credit from the 1999 flop "Mystery Men." He recovered somewhat last year with "Haven't Found," which got some airplay with a track that used a loop of U2's "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." But that's about it.

I think a lot of people would argue that they'd rather take Hill's career because her peak was higher than the others', but I think Wyclef will be working and succeeding on nearly as high a level for a far longer period of time. So I pick Wyclef for all the aforementioned reasons. Hooray!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

An 'American Idol' scoreless tie that involves neither Kellie Pickler nor Bucky Covington

No matter who you side with,* there are no winners here.

For the record, I'm not speaking with Paula Abdul, either. But while I drunkenly clap with my hands over my head, let me say that I admire her energy and spirit.

Seacrest out!

*Grammatically incorrect, yes, but the alternative just ruins the conversational tone. Get bent, Warriner's!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Less is more

This morning, ESPN provides us with this headline: "Newly added fifth BCS game needs name, sponsor."

No, it doesn't.

Call it the NCAA Fifth Bowl Game, walk away from millions of dollars and spare us the inevitably awkward Tough Actin' Tinactin Bowl.

If it must be named, call it the Varsity BasketBowl.

What the Halliburton?!

If this map is accurate, is it pure coincidence that Dick Cheney's home county of Natrona in Wyoming has the nation's lowest price per gallon at $2.37? (Right-click on any county to get more specific price data.)

Is it weirder still that the states that gave George W. Bush the electoral victory in 2004 also seem, at a glance, to have lower prices than their Blue State counterparts that border them to the north and west?

Is it annoying that, according to this map, average gas prices per gallon in Westchester County ($3.14) are higher than those in San Francisco ($3.11)?

Is it total cliché to ask rhetorical questions, rather than to state declarations?

Answers: Probably Not; Maybe; Hell Yes; and Do You Know What I Mean?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Do Not Pass Golden Gate Bridge, Do Not Collect $200

Picture a world where Mediterranean Avenue is replaced by the Mall of America, where Park Place becomes Central Park and where a final statement before a sudden jail sentence involes a quip about preferring that over another minute in the nearby Country Music Hall of Fame.

I want to hate the newest format of Monopoly, whose properties Internet users are helping to select through online voting. But there's something charming about the Here and Now edition, albeit a little bit flawed.

The designers of the new edition are cleverly changing the railroads to airports, which makes sense until you look at the list: New York's JFK airport (check), Chicago's O'Hare (check), Los Angeles' LAX (check) and ... Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson?! I think they selected this one just so they could continue the B&O Railroad tradition of featuring a form of transport with a "shared" name. Besides, B&O was always the best property to mock, so Fartsfield-Jackass should be no different. Better yet, since both members of OutKast hail from the A-T-L, I hereby declare that every time someone lands on Hartsfield-Jackson, all players must stand and booty-shake while singing: "It's Hartsfield-Jackson! (WOOOO!) I am fo' reaaaaal! I will make your Boeing airplane fly. I apologize for your flight time...."

Some of the cities in the Here and Now edition are obvious choices for the properties between Go and Free Parking. I like New York's properties (Times Square, Central Park and Broadway), although Yankee Stadium probably had more hits in Sunday's second inning than The Great White Way had in the last five years. And, for the right price, who wouldn't want to own Hollywood, South Beach and the White House? Oh wait, producers already own LA LA Land, tycoons and models rule the beach, and politicians always buy the White House. My mistake.

I'd also love to buy Fenway Park in Boston just so I could knock it down, build a Dunkin' Donuts in its place and move the team to Vegas. "Oh, yes, your team did win a World Series more recently than the Yankees, but now they'll never win one again. Mwooohahahaha!"

Other potential Monopoly cities might have, well, received a few sympathy votes from the gaming committee. I'm fine with giving New Orleans something to rally around, but Cleveland? I'd almost understand its inclusion if Parker Brothers offered options to vote for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, LeBron James' crib or the jail where Wild Thing did time in "Major League." But not having any of those is unacceptable. That's Allstate's stand.

But before I rant more on how the democratically inspired Monopoly format takes the luster off the stodgy, old-timey original, let me remind myself that there are already about 9 million variants on the theme. So, I say, go for it, Brothers Parker!

Anyway, here's where you can participate in the blasphemy through May 12. And, among other things, here's where you can learn that the Monopoly man's name is, um, Mr. Monopoly.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Web Junk 20 vs. real junk

So after the credits rolled for last night's episode of "Best Week Ever," I realized that I'd be in for a skull-shatteringly dull edition of "Celebrity Eye Candy," instead of the rockingly awesome pairing of Patrice O'Neal and "Web Junk 20."


I then flipped through the TV menu to see if "WJXX" would be on later. Nope.

Turns out, the Internet would come to the rescue for an answer, but not for bringing back the show immediately.

It appears that "Web Junk 20" is on hiatus until the summer.

I think I speak for loyal viewers everywhere when I say ... (ahem) ... NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

The genius of "Web Junk 20" wasn't even so much the clips, but O'Neal's brilliant reactions to all the clips, including tons that I had seen many times. The guy is just flat-out hysterical.

I only had one complaint with the format of "Web Junk 20," but it certainly wasn't enough to pull it off the air. Anyway, my beef was with airing clips that initially ran on popular television programs (i.e. the Destiny's Child falling blooper, the "Flavor of Love" catfight, etc.). The "Flavor of Love" clip is particularly cheap, considering the show ran on VH1. Show a little bit of hustle, people!

An exception to this rule are TV clips that are far more rare, such as obscure commercials that promote a Japanese product with an American celebrity or peddle diet pills with a retroactively embarrassing brand name.

Still, "Web Junk 20" is a phenomenal show, especially if you're home on a Friday night. With (no) apologies to "Celebrity Eye Candy," I guess I'll have to do something productive during that 11:30 to midnight slot. Like, um, blogging about Bo Bice's mad martial arts skills.

Some Lady's Punch-Out

Remind me never to say whatever the woman on the right was saying. Also, remind me never to cross the woman in the middle.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Bo Bice's Punch-Out

Evidently, Bo Bice lied about being "The Real Thing," then went all Soda Popinski on a former NFL lineman.

I'm guessing that earlier in the day, someone asked Bo to sign a Carrie Underwood CD.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Google Maps is the best, 'Busters 1, 'Busters 2.

What happens when you combine two of the world's most unstoppable forces in Google and "Ghostbusters"? You get a brilliant spoof of Google Maps, Ghostbusters Style. (See the explanation of this awesomeness here.)

Things like this add validity to my argument that Ghostbusters is the greatest movie of all time. (Okay, maybe "The Shawshank Redemption" and the first two installments of "The Godfather" have a slight edge.)

What would be particularly cool is if the designer had Google Maps directions to and from each of the destinations, to get a sense of the mileage they put on Ecto 1. But hey, I'm nitpicking.

As you might have noticed, I haven't been terribly inspired over the last couple of weeks to blog, but it's no coincidence that I started up once I saw this site.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Deal Or No Deal, without the Bobby's World factor

The home game version of a new gameshow I consider to be television crack.

My best score the last few times I played was $215,000. (And my suitcase had $500,000 in it).

Now I'll play a few more times for you to prove that it's hard to do better than that.

1. I won $92,648. (I chose suitcase No. 10, which had $1,000 in it.)
2. I won $92,000. (I chose suitcase No. 19, which had $1,000 in it.)
3. I won $62,505. (I chose suitcase No. 23, which had $50,000 in it.)
4. I won $102,698. (I chose suitcase No. 6, which had $5 in it.)
5. I won $25,053. (I chose suitcase No. 21, which had $5 in it.)
6. I won $238,500. (I chose suitcase No. 8, which had $50,000 in it.)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Let's Go Crazy

I don't know what we have to do to ensure that this will happen, but let's hope that Prince actually comes through and brings his Purple Reign to American Idol. And now, the Top 10 potential scenarios that prove why this collaboration neeeeeeds to take place:

10. After Ryan Seacrest asks him to rate a performance from 1 to 10, Prince says nothing while holding up a sign that says this.
9. Prince's frown after Paula Abdul calls him "The Prince Formerly Known As An Artist."
8. Prince not only not laughing at any of Ryan's jokes, but also offering a sarcastic "Pffft" in reply each time.
7. In an attempt to channel Prince's greatness, Kellie Pickler makes a misguided decision to wear the word "Slave" on her cheek.
6. In an attempt to channel Prince's greatness, Taylor Hicks makes a misguided decision to wear a**less chaps.
5. More bizarre utterances from Paula, followed by Prince's peeved silence and Simon Cowell's furrowed brow.
4. A cheesetastic arrangement of "Purple Rain," sung by all the finalists.
3. Any footage of the 5'2" pop star standing next to Mandisa.
2. The look on Prince's face after Bucky Covington, inexplicably still in the contest, warbles "Gett Off."
1. As an homage to "Chappelle's Show," Prince serves pancakes to Wednesday's losing contestant. "Game. Blouses."

Sunday, April 02, 2006

In a world...

Five of the most recognizable voice-over artists hop into a limo. Their destination? Pure genius. The ubiquitous Don La Fontaine (left) must be saying to himself, "In a world of voice-over artists, one man's greatness is defined by his immeasurable ability to deliver the phrase, 'In a world.'"