Programming note: We might be a little light this week, sorry. Links today, Sunday column preview Thursday, and then I’ll try to fit one in another day, but can’t guarantee it. Hitting the links:
PopRoxers know there isn’t too much in here about music, but I do get excited when Coachella and Bonnaroo announce their lineups every year. Coachella came out with its lineup yesterday — and it’s impressive. What’s more impressive is that for the first time, they’re doing it for two weekends this year, April 13-15 and 20-22. Same performers each weekend. Cry about the economy all you want, but there are smart business people out there in the music industry who are figuring out ways to make money. The best way to do it? Put on good shows, and Coachella is a perfect example. While traditional promoters are doing backflips over dinosaurs like Van Halen touring again, Coachella and its cast of mainly unknowns wouldn’t be expanding to two weekends if it wasn’t making gobs of money. Ranking the days:
1. Saturday: Who knows how long Radiohead will keep touring for? You get the feeling someday Thom Yorke might one day say, “Screw it” and you’ll never hear from him again. Saw Feist at a 2005 taping of the Conan O’Brien show before she got big and loved her. The Shins have finally come down from the push they got off Garden State, going from underrated to overrated and back to underrated again, so that’s fun. I’d also like to see Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Kaiser Chiefs and Big Pink (only because I really like Dominos).
2. Sunday: Second only because I already saw Snoop and Dre on the Up in Smoke Tour in 2000, and it was probably the mostest awesomest concert I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t want to ruin that memory in case some of the other acts don’t cut it. But Florence and the Machine, Fitz and the Tantrums and The Hives likely will make sure that doesn’t happen. Fitz and the Tantrum’s MoneyGrabber would have made my top 10 singles of 2011 if I ever got around to making such a list.
3. Friday: Black Keys is one of the few bands I’d pay to see right now. That alone makes it worthwhile for me. Arctic Monkeys is probably one of the few others, but those two bands are out on tour right now and coming to Philly in March, so I don’t have to go the California desert to see them. Nothing else on Friday’s docket really floats my boat. Feel free to drop it in the comments if you think I should be excited for some other band.
Can we make March 25 some kind of national holiday? That’s the day Mad Men comes back after 18 months off the air, so yeah, everyone should be happy. EVERYONE. Now it’s time to rack our brains to figure out what the heck happened in the last season so that we can remember and catch right back up. Don is marrying his secretary … OK, I’m drawing a blank after that. And Don may have married his secretary already anyway. So apparently I need to hit last season up OnDemand or on Netflix Instant or something.
Yup, I’m in on the month trial of Netflix streaming, and loving it so far. Although at this point, I think it’s only because it’s new and cool. Once I blow through the four or five movies I really want to see, I’m gonna be a little bored, probably. But I was able to add some pretty hard-to-find 2011 movies to my instant queue (Certified Copy, Weekend, Poetry) along with a couple documentaries that are “long wait” in my Blockbuster queue (Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop and Page One: Inside the New York Times) that can help beef up my 2011 top 20 list that will be coming due in a couple weeks. Even with all those movies, what did I watch last night? My favorite episode of Family Ties, 4 rms ocn vu, where Alex turns the house into a hotel. And I laughed like a baboon. Watched Red State on Sunday, and was actually impressed if not worried with Kevin Smith’s change in direction, even though he managed to hold on tightly to that heavy hand that seems to appear every time he gets behind the camera. It’s a good bet for my top 20. So far Netflix streaming is getting thumbs up from me. If you think you know of something that I should be watching on there since I’m still experimenting, drop me a line or leave it in the comments.
Last week I was pretty cheesed off when it looked like Melissa McCarthy might be going ahead with a plan to star in a Bridesmaids sequel whether or not the original’s jilted writer/star Kristen Wiig had anything to do with it. But she called BS on that report over the weekend, so there will be no make-up-less McCarthy to kick around too soon. Maybe the studio could just go with plan B and hire Coach Beast from Glee for the McCarthy role. Am I the only one who couldn’t get her out of my head watching McCarthy in Bridesmaids? Did the director tell McCarthy, “OK hon, do you watch Glee? You do? Great! Well in this scene, we want you to just look, act and sound like her!” Did Coach Beast at least get an audition? Is this the 87th time she’s lost a role to McCarthy? I’ll admit it, this has been bothering me.
At least we won’t have McCarthy announcing the Oscar nominations in two weeks, blathering all over herself if she gets nominated leaving poor Josh Jackson hanging around with a “pull it together, lady” look on his face. No, this year that honor goes to new Hollywood “it” girl Jennifer Lawrence, who probably won’t be snagging a nomination for X-Men: First Class, so we don’t have to worry about a McCarthy-esque bout of self-gratitude. What we may have to worry about is a Harrelson-esque display of self-promotion since that appearance for the nominations will kick off two months of an insane amount of Hunger Games-related press. If you didn’t know who Lawrence was before now, trust me — you’ll know by March 23. It makes me kinda angry that I’ll never be able to see her as hot — even though she is — because I’ll never get the image of the homely hick in Winter’s Bone out of my head.
Careful everyone, be really, really skeptical here and tread lightly. But two of our favorite TV-to-movie projects are supposedly rolling film in the spring — Party Down and 24. Party Down I can totally see since it’s gonna be cheap, easy to make and be an independent thing. 24 … I know they keep saying it’s coming, and I’d love to believe it is. But every single solitary update on any movie keeps coming from Kiefer Sutherland and no one else. The same Sutherland, who, as a producer on the show and the movie, would stand to make millions if the movie ever materialized. Until Fox tells me this thing is a go, I’ll wait til it hits theaters. What, no Arrested Development movie update? Who was asleep at the wheel on this one? Don’t be surprised if some “is this really news?” item hits the web this week so that it keeps its title as the Internet’s TV-to-film darling.
Normally, I wouldn’t get excited about cartoons. But the Ultimate Spider-Man show coming on Disney XD is pretty promising, right? JK Simmons reprising his Jameson role? Sold. Steven Weber as Norman Osborn? More sold. And with all the secrecy around the new Spider-Man movie, I think this is kind of a clue that it will be following the Ultimate Spider-Man storyline from the comics instead of the traditional route and going with a retread of the first three movies. Which is totally fine by me, the comic is just as good and it gives a fresh feel to the movie.
Soooooo … it would probably be a bad idea to think seriously about getting into this Simpsons contest, right? Be warned — these are the kinds of things you responsibly give up your rights to when you have kids. Whether it’s because of financial, common sense and logistical reasons, having children pretty much ruins any chances of getting in this contest. And I don’t think I can stay up for 86 hours straight anyway. The closest I ever came was 42 hours. By about hour 40 or 41, I was hallucinating. No foolsies.
Allen Gregory won’t be getting to 500 episodes, and barely made it to five. Did it make five? I’m not even sure. Anyway, it’s gone and it ain’t coming back. Normally around this time I’d express my condolences, but I know about three people that tried it, none of them liked it, and there seemed to be as much heat around it as there is in the Pocono Record office right now. For the record, I have to stop typing every couple minutes to sit on my hands to keep them warm. What I’m trying to say is there isn’t much heat in here, and likewise there was no heat on Allen Gregory.