Thursday, October 03, 2013

Breaking Bad - Felina: One little kiss and Felina, good-bye

A dying man in a snow-covered car with only an old Marty Robbins tape to keep him warm.
We've had a few days now to process the series finale to Breaking Bad and while initially it seemed there were two camps -- those that loved it for its closure and those that appreciated it but found it too tidy -- I've found myself, with a scant few, in a third camp.

This third camp starts in the 'too tidy' camp and intellectually works its way to the other camp by either re-interpreting or re-working creator Vince Gilligan's intentions. And it all starts with the episode's title and song it references.


Marty Robbins' song "El Paso" features a gun-toting narrator who's smitten for a Mexican girl named Feleena* and, in jealous rage, murders another of the maiden's suitors. Our narrator high tails it out of town, sequestering himself until his never-ending desire for Feleena draws him back to El Paso, where he is shot trying to make to see his infatuation one last time. One of the more relevant facts about this song is that the first-person narrative is being told by a dead man. Feleena miraculously is by his side as he dies, giving our anti-hero the closure he desires.

*Gilligan has stated he took liberties with the spelling to make it an anagram of 'finale.'

If you look at Feleena as a metaphor for Walter White's hopes and desires, the love he had for his time as Heisenberg is well apparent, and dying in the metaphorical arms of his precious meth lab only confirms this. This imagined death is much better than dying inside the volvo, a death more likely to have happened.

And this is where I left this post off at the time of the writing, before becoming entangled in the 'day job' again. I'm posting 'as is' to both preserve the moment and to provide this dying blog a pulse, however faint.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Mad Men "The Doorway:" Blue Hawaii

Don (Ho) contemplates the pu-pu of his former life.
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to think here, having been led through two hours of metaphorical hoops that started out as an odd Brady Bunch episode and ended at a destination that wasn't far from where we left off last season (or the season before, for Don anyway). But... Mad Men is indeed back!

It's six months or so later from where we last left off -- now late 1967, at a point where we've thankfully skipped over the "Summer of Love" (with only the fungal spread of sideburns to show for it). "The Doorway" uses the title as a metaphor for all sorts of passages. There's the a dance at the doorway of death to start the episode -- likely meant to trick you into thinking Don was having heart attack -- in the form of Don and Megan's doorman. Metaphorical-hammer-to-the-head much? There was an actual death, of which Roger took the emotional brunt of after manifesting the "doorway" metaphor in his therapy. (No good title inducer goes unpunished.) And there's the advancement of careers for Peggy (at new agency as head copywriter), Megan (now a soap opera star of sorts) and Joan -- who has broken Sterling Cooper Draper Price's glass ceiling yet still can't garner the respect of Harry (who looks like he just stepped off the set of Bewitched).

Musically, there's a lot I haven't digested as of yet, but the final song -- as is often the case -- has its own story to tell. Elvis Presley's rendition of "The Hawaiian Wedding Song" serves as a nice bookend to the Don scene on the beach along with the movie it was from, Blue Hawaii, being about a soldier's journey upon returning from war (an intentional parallel for Elvis himself at the time). Throw in a little infedelity (with an older, time-travelling Lindsay Weir!) and add to that the movie's location being the very same Waikiki beach we see Don and Megan on and you have what is pretty much the perfect song.

Elvis Presley - "Hawaiian Wedding Song"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Prince slays "Bambi," brings dead blogger back from dead

Fittingly enough, it took me 17 days after the fact to catch up to Prince playing Jimmy Fallon earlier this month. The new single, the power-poppy "Screwdriver," is the 'plug' he played on the network, but it's the Purple One's bonus rendition of "Bambi" (from 1979's Prince, video below), that has folks talking -- and me waking up this blog.

Am I back? I don't know. Inspiration is one thing, but time is another thing entirely.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Music on TV - Week of December 12.10.12: 121212 Concert for Sandy

121212 Concert for Sandy Relief on Wednesday features a star-studded cast.


Picks for the week
Monday, December 10
ABC: The View: Jason Mraz
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Larry Gee
COMEDY CENTRAL: The Colbert Report: Elvis Costello
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Glen Hansard
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Solange
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: The Hives
TBS: Conan: Jack White

Tuesday, December 11
ABC: The View: Big Boi & Kelly Rowland
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Sarah Jaffe
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards (Reading Top 10 list)
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Fidlar
TBS: Conan: Graham Parker and the Rumour
Wednesday, December 12
AMC, AXS TV, BLOOMBERG, CBS, ENCORE, EPIX, FUSE, G4, HBO, IFC, PALLADIA, SHOWTIME 2, SUNDANCE, VH1 CLASSIC, more: 121212 the Concert for Sandy Relief: The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, The Who, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Kanye West, Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Chris Martin, Bon Jovi
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Atlas Genius
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Grizzly Bear
COMEDY CENTRAL: The Colbert Report: Michael Stipe
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Florida Georgia Line
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: The Heavy
Thursday, December 13
ABC: The View: Rickie Lee Jones with Ben Harper
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Dan Deacon
COMEDY CENTRAL: The Colbert Report: Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples, Sean Lennon
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: The Jezabels
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Usher
TBS: Conan: Ryan Adams
Friday, December 14
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Martha Wainwright
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Titus Andronicus (REPEAT)
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Justin Bieber
Saturday, December 15
AXS: Warren Haynes Presents: The 24th Annual Christmas Jam: Sheryl Crow, The String Cheese Incident, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
BBCAMERICA: The Graham Norton Show: Bruno Mars
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Paul McCartney
PBS: Austin City Limits: Monsters of Folk
Sunday, December 16
AXS: AXS Concert Series: Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller (first hour) and Willie Nelson (second hour)

Monday, December 03, 2012

Music on TV - Week of 12.03.12: Led Zeppelin

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin will appear on Letterman this Monday
You may have noticed a dearth of the written word on this blog of late, and it's mostly due to a kind of ridiculous schedule with my new latest job. I'm an editor for the default News app for the recently released Windows 8, which looks great and you'll have to take my word for it (or upgrade, natch, to experience).

Consider this a return of sorts, just like Led Zeppelin on Monday night, as Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones sit down for an interview on Letterman. They're not scheduled to perform, but they could.

Going back nearly as far is another reunion of sorts, with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John on Ellen Wednesday. There is likely to be dancing, so consider yourself warned.

Elsewhere, there's a full slate of stuff the kids listen to nowadays, highlighted by The Avett Brothers playing with the Brooklyn Philharmonic (Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday), and a couple of network TV debuts on Thursday from Vintage Trouble (Letterman) and Tanlines (Jimmy Fallon).

Picks for the week
Monday, December 3
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (REPEAT)
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Led Zeppelin, Paloma Faith
CBS: The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Richie Sambora
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: The Polyphonic Spree
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Dave Matthews
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Titus Andronicus
TBS: Conan: Punch Brothers
Tuesday, December 4
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Vampire Weekend (REPEAT)
AXS: AXS Concert Series: R. Kelly: The Single Ladies Tour LIVE!
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: J.D. McPherson
CBS: The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Richie Sambora
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Matisyahu
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Bonnie Raitt
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Family of the Year
TBS: Conan: Ke$ha
Wednesday, December 5
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: The Avett Brothers with the Brooklyn Philharmonic (REPEAT)
AXS: AXS Concert Series: Sonic Youth
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Diana Krall
CBS: The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Richie Sambora
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Robert Cray
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Blitzen Trapper
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
TBS: Conan: Delta Spirit
ABC: The View: Bonnie Raitt
Thursday, December 6
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Alicia Keys (REPEAT)
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Vintage Trouble
CBS: The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Richie Sambora
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Paloma Faith
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Tanlines
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Walk the Moon
TBS: Conan: The Gaslight Anthem
Friday, December 7
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Future (REPEAT)
CBS: The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Richie Sambora
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Garbage
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Big Boi
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Divine Fits (REPEAT)
Saturday, December 8
BBCAMERICA: The Graham Norton Show: Ke$ha
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Ne-Yo
PBS: Austin City Limits: Steve Martin, Sarah Jarosz

Monday, November 26, 2012

Music on TV - Week of 11.26.12: Soundgarden

Soundgarden return with the new album King Animal, and play Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday.
Picks for the week
Monday, November 26
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Soundgarden
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Delta Rae
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Sun Kil Moon (REPEAT)
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: White Arrows (REPEAT)
TBS: Conan: Wild Belle
Tuesday, November 27
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Future
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Dirty Projectors (REPEAT)
COMEDY CENTRAL: The Colbert Report: Dolly Parton
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Little Big Town
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Aimee Mann (REPEAT)
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Grimes (REPEAT)
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Miguel
Wednesday, November 28
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Wiz Khalifa
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Aerosmith (REPEAT)
CBS: The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: LP
COMEDY CENTRAL: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart: Neil Young
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Miguel (REPEAT)
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: The Walkmen (REPEAT)
TBS: Conan: Alice Cooper
Thursday, November 29
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Wiz Khalifa (REPEAT)
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Tony Bennett (REPEAT)
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Grouplove
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Ceremony (REPEAT)
PBS: Tavis Smiley: Bettye LaVette
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Maroon 5
TBS: Conan: Nas
Friday, November 30
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Ne-Yo (REPEAT)
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Lianne La Havas (REPEAT)
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: The Wallflowers (REPEAT)
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Brandi Carlile (REPEAT)
PBS: Tavis Smiley: Aimee Mann
Saturday, December 1
PBS: Austin City Limits: The Steve Miller Band, Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Sunday, December 2
AXS: AXS Concert Series: Gavin DeGraw, Matt White

Monday, November 19, 2012

Music on TV - Week of 11.19.12: Inventing David Geffen

A young David Geffen in a shot used for PBS' American Master series, airing Tuesday night.
Picks for the week
Monday, November 19
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Aimee Mann & James Mercer
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Pete Townshend
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Zac Brown Band
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Shiny Toy Guns (REPEAT)
SYNDICATION: The Katie Couric Show: Tony Bennett, Thalia
TBS: Conan: Tennis (REPEAT)

Tuesday, November 20
ABC: The View: Willie Nelson
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Andy Allo
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Tegan and Sara
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Wanda Jackson
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Pitbull
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Citizen Cope (REPEAT)
PBS: American Masters: Inventing David Geffen: Joni Mitchell, Cher, Jackson Browne, The Eagles
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Kelly Clarkson
TBS: Conan: Flo Rida (REPEAT)

Wednesday, November 21
ABC: The View: Pitbul
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Flo Rida
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Willie Nelson, Gary Clark Jr.
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Andy Grammer
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: The Features (REPEAT)
TBS: Conan: Tenacious D (REPEAT)
SYNDICATION: The Katie Couric Show: Alicia Keys
SYNDICATION: Live With Kelly: Nicki Minaj
Thursday, November 22
ABC: Michael Jackson: BAD25: Michael Jackson
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Boys Like Girls (REPEAT)
CBS: The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Lynyrd Skynyrd (REPEAT)
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Dan Cummins
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Metric (REPEAT)
TBS: Conan: Big K.R.I.T. (REPEAT)
Friday, November 23
ABC: The View: R. Kelly
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Ben Folds Five (REPEAT)
CBS: The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Tenacious D
IFC: Trapped in the Closet: R. Kelly
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Psy
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: The Stepkids (REPEAT)
PBS: Tavis Smiley: Don Was
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Madonna
Saturday, November 24
NBC: Saturday Night Live: REPEAT TBD
PBS: Austin City Limits: Jimmy Cliff
Sunday, November 25
AXS: AXS Concert Series: Idina Menzel with Josh Groban and Ravi Coltrane, John Mayer

Monday, November 12, 2012

Music on TV - Week of 11.12.12: Crossfire Hurricane

The HBO documentary Crossfire Hurricane takes a look at the Rolling Stone's first ten years.

Picks for the week
Monday, November 12
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game featuring Tyga & Wiz Khalifa
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Soundgarden
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Meek Mill
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: The Walkmen
TBS: Conan: Walk the Moon
Tuesday, November 13
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Youngblood Hawk
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Mumford & Sons
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Gin Wigmore
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Ceremony
Wednesday, November 14
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Ne-Yo
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Dirty Projectors
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Kylie Minogue
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Electric Guest
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Divine Fits
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Rihanna
TBS: Conan: Lianne La Havas
Thursday, November 15
HBO: Crossfire Hurricane: The Rolling Stones
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Brandi Carlile
TBS: Conan: Jeff the Brotherhood
Friday, November 16
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Donald Fagen
NBC: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Kylie Minogue
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Miguel
NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: The Jezebels (REPEAT)
Saturday, November 17
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Maroon 5
PBS: Austin City Limits: Mumford & Sons, Flogging Molly
Sunday, November 18
AXS: AXS Concert Series: Collective Soul, Fountains of Wayne