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Funkhouser

KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings

The Entertation Index: May 23-27

The Entertation Index: May 23-27

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Each week KSR’s Funkhouser collects the best of pop culture. The Entertation Index collects the best of the week for your consumption.

Foster, Jodie — Academy Award-winner and former Paul Reiser fake love interest Helen Hunt tweeted that a Hollywood Starbucks barista confused her with actor/director Jodie Foster this week. Hunt assumed the mixup as she has in the past been referred to on-cup by Starbucks employees as such Foster-centric names as “Jerbie Funster,” “Jolby Fosker” and “Jarpy Potscrub.”

Link: Helen Hunt Mistaken for Jodie Foster by Barista

Green, Draymond — The NBA earlier this week decided not to suspend Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green after he kicked Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin during game three of the Western conference finals on Sunday. In his defense, Draymond Green thought he was one of the terrorists from Die Hard.

Link: Draymond Green Fined but not Suspended for Kick to the Groin

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Hammer, MC — 1990s hip hop icon MC Hammer told a Huffington Post reporter during a recent interview that he prefers not to use actual hammers, explaining “You can hit your fingers, so I try my best not to have to hammer too many things.” This would explain the original title of his multi-platinum 1990 album Please Hammer Don’t Hurt Me.

Link: MC Hammer is Actually Afraid of Hammers

Hunt, HelenSee: Foster, Jodie

Kardashian, Rob — Sock fashion entrepreneur and Kardashian sibling Rob Kardashian and his fiancé, a human being named Blac China, are pregnant with a baby – and the couple posted a sonogram of the little nipper to Instagram earlier this week. Sources say older sister Khloe Kardashian is reportedly excited about the baby and can’t wait to eat it.

Link: Blac Chyna Shares Sonogram of Baby with Rob Kardashian

Muppets, The — ABC has canceled its mockumentary reboot The Muppets after just one season. “What an ironic twist this is,” said a staff spokesperson, “that this summer we’ll all for the first time be sitting with our thumbs up our own butts for a change.”

Link: Kermit Informs Fozzie that the Muppets Has Been Canceled

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Phone, Cell — Apropos of nothing, please enjoy this video of a man trying to retrieve his cell phone from his pants from the always reliable Clickhole.

Link: Supercut of a Dad Trying to Fish a Cell Phone Out of the Front Pocket of his Jeans

Syndrome, Dormant Butt — Doctors have pinpointed the combination of knee, back and hip pain as a condition they refer to as “Dormant Butt Syndrome,” which can be caused by sitting too much. The conclusion was reached after a study of the last six years of University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball team walk-ons.

Link: “Dormant Butt Syndrome” a Common Cause of Aches and Pains

Zuckerberg, Mark — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has purchased four adjoining homes to his  California estate and will be demolishing them to eliminate the homes’ views of his own. When reached for comment, the homeowners’ reactions ranged from Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 11.25.53 PM to Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 11.26.25 PM

Link: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Raze Four Homes with a View of his Own

 

 


Louisville’s Tara Singh Set For Spelling Bee Finals

Louisville’s Tara Singh Set For Spelling Bee Finals

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After the first two days of competition in the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Louisville’s Tara Singh is one of the 45 students who have advanced to the final day of spelling.  The finalists are decided between a series of preliminary multiple choice tests, vocabulary tests and two rounds of on-stage spelling at the Washington D.C. competition.

Singh’s two efforts at spelling on stage went smoothly, working out the words Lenticula & Felicific.

Update: Tara was eliminated on her first word of the day, which was ‘bakshaish’ (a type of antique Persian carpet).  Congratulations to Tara for advancing to the final round of the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee!

Kentucky’s other contestant, Tirzah Schanding, spelled both of her words correctly in the second and third rounds, but did not advance as one of the top-45 finalists.  Schanding, a Winchester native, easily spelled the words Oscillometer and Affable.

You can follow the Scripps National Spelling Bee on twitter @ScrippsBee and Tara Singh’s hashtag of #Speller94

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will be back on television on ESPN2 this morning at 10:00 AM.  Once the field is decreased to a certain number of contestants, the morning finals will end, and will pick back up at 8:00 PM on ESPN tonight.

@funkhouserksr

 

 


Tiller's portrait from a feature in Vice.

“Louisville’s New Slugger,” The Undefeated Profiles Bryson Tiller

Tiller's portrait from a feature in Vice.

Tiller’s portrait from a feature in Vice.

This post might be the first time you’ve ever heard the name Bryson Tiller, but it certainly won’t be the last.  The Louisville native is the hottest new sound in hip-hop.  18 months ago he was working at a Papa John’s and picking up shifts at UPS.

His rise been swift, chronicled by ESPN’s new online vertical The Undefeated The abridged version of Tiller’s rise to fame:

The most modern of artists, Tiller rose from the chaos of Soundcloud, emerged from a heated bidding war between Drake and Timbaland only to sign instead with RCA records, a label founded in 1929. Your favorite artists want to make music with Tiller — see Fat Joe and Fabolous and the Weeknd — he’s among the most buzzed-about new artists in music.

Tiller’s ascension came thanks to e-word-of-mouth. He leveraged Soundcloud’s 200 million users and extreme shareability into making his songs mainstream hits. Soundcloud is massively popular among teenagers. They gravitated to Tiller’s music and shared his songs across social media platforms all over the internet. Soon Don’t was charting on Billboard and a new army of rabid fans seemed to sprout from the Wi-Fi every day, hanging on to every one of his words.

His debut album with RCA, TRAPSOUL, went platinum within a month, streaming more than 600 million times worldwide.  He sold out London’s KOKO (formerly Camden Palace) in a minute.  It didn’t take much longer to sell out two nights at the Radio City Music Hall in NYC.

Kentucky’s music scene has exploded over the last two years.  Even though you might only be familiar with Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson, Tiller’s social media fame is unprecedented.  Explore it, before you become the last person in your group of friends asking, “Who’s Bryson Tiller?”

[The Undefeated]


Real Housewives Of New Jersey By The Numbers

Real Housewives Of New Jersey By The Numbers

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Earlier this week, Bravo released the preview for season 7 of RHONJ.  The season will depict Teresa Giudice’s return from jail and all of the mayhem that follows.  I have a lot of hope that this season will not disappoint. To make the perfect season, you need a few ingredients-es, and it looks like they are all present in the trailer.  Let’s breakdown the preview to see what’s to come.

Length of the Trailer: 3 minutes, 10 seconds

Number of brunettes on screen: 17

Number of blondes: 1

Curse words said: 15

Best Outfit:20160524_183015

Angry Finger Points Given: 9

Other impressive hand gestures: throat slit/murder gesture, furious table slapping, “pump the brakes” hand motion, Buh-bye wave

Best Line: “Anyone who takes down my friends…”*mimes machine guns*

Worst Line: “She’s not even 1/16 Italian.”

Least Interesting Storyline: Joe Gorga doesn’t want a “part-time wife.”

Most Heartbreaking Storyline: Children praying that their parents come back from jail

Times Siggy Isn’t Yelling: 0

Chance of Kim D Getting Involved in the Drama this Season: 100%  👀

Months Teresa Spent In Jail: 11

Chance of Teresa’s new tagline alluding to her time spent in jail: 50/50

Timestamp for what Everyone Thinks when they watch RHONJ: 1:37

People Wearing Robes But Not Relaxing: 2

Number of Kleenex Used On Camera: 1.5

Nosejobs Melissa Has Allegedly Had: 4

Noses Picked: 1*

Words Mispronounced: 1* (“Osama-Buh-Ladin”)

Blouses With Asymmetric Necklines: 5

Amount of Times Someone is inappropriately referred to as “cancer”: 1

Outfits That Look Like The Revenant Bear: 2

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Days until the season premiere on July 10: 45

Special Mentions: Melissa’s Envy Hat, Dolores’ Fabulous Cake, The Sheer Quantity Of Russian-Looking Hats, Jacqueline’s Shoeless Running, Teresa’s “Back-from-jail” Ring, The Rosary Ring, Joe Giudice’s “I’m pretending to read” face

*Denotes Series Record


Meet Kentucky’s Two 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee Contestants

Meet Kentucky’s Two 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee Contestants

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The Scripps National Spelling Bee has a storied history with the state of Kentucky. In the first 14 years of the Bee, Kentucky boasted four champions including Frank Neuhauser, who won the very first competition in 1925 with the word Gladiolus. The other three Spelling Bee Champions from Kentucky, all hailing from Louisville, won on the words Cerise – a bright or deep red color (1926 – Pauline Bell), Promiscuous (1937 – Waneeta Beckley) & Sanitarium (1938 – Marian Richardson). You can write your own joke for those…

Fast forward to 2016 where the Scripps National Spelling Bee is taking place starting today in Washington D.C. with Kentucky having two spellers who will try and bring back the title to the Commonwealth.  The three day competition will see a combination of non-televised computer tests, followed by the traditional Spelling Bee you are accustom to viewing on ESPN. Let’s take a look at the two local competitors who we will be rooting for this week in the Bee:


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Tirzah G. Schanding – Winchester, KY (Contestant #93)

Tirzah is a seventh grader with the Classical Conversations of Lexington school.  She is no stranger to competition as she has competed in the National History Bee finals, the state level of the National Geographic Bee, and the National Federation of Music Clubs piano and Bach Festivals.  According to her profile on the Bee website, when she isn’t competing, she spends her spare time reading, doing chemistry experiments, and challenging her cousin to “BattleBot” competitions with homemade robots.  A couple of years ago when she was interviewed for the National History Bee by the Winchester Sun, she said of her chemistry experiments: “I hope I don’t blow a hole in the roof one day.”

Well, Tirzah, here’s hoping you blow the roof off the Scripps National Spelling Bee


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Tara Singh – Louisville, KY (Contestant #94)

Tara is a sixth grader from the Louisville Classical Academy.  She has competed in the National Spelling bee twice before in 2013 and 2015.  Tara is a musician who sings in the choir and has been playing the violin since she was five (!).  She also plays something called Certamen, which is a game where you answer questions in Latin regarding “classical civilizations and its people, languages and cultures.”  Tara spends her time reading stories in English, Latin and German.

Nothing like reading spelling bee contestant profiles to make you feel very unaccomplished…


The 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee starts today with the preliminary tests, where the spellers will compete in a multiple choice test.  The TV schedule for the Bee is as follows:

Wednesday, May 25 – Preliminaries
Round Two – ESPN3
8:00-9:45 – Spellers 1 through 142
10:00-11:45 – Spellers 143 through 285

Round Three – ESPN3
1:15-2:45 – Spellers 1 through 142
3:15-4:45 – Spellers 143 through 4:45

Thursday, May 26 – Finals
10:00 AM – Finals Part One on ESPN2
8:00 PM – Finals Part Two on ESPN


Good Luck Tirzah and Tara, bring Kentucky home its first Spelling Bee Championship in 78 years!  Hopefully you get some easy words:

@funkhouserksr


Kentucky Thrones Radio: Episode 5

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The fifth episode from season six of Game of Thrones was a sad one.  Get out of your funk by listening to an enlightening episode of Kentucky Thrones Radio.  Not only was it sad, “The Door” was confusing at times.  We talk it out, plus:

—  Time Traveling 101

—  Waiting for the Battle of Winterfell and the Grand Northern Conspiracy.

—  The best values you can get from Vegas on who will be the next to die.

—  Who will come out on top when it hits the fan in King’s Landing.

I’d also like to add a disclaimer: you’re probably going to hate me when you hear the end of the episode.  Send all your hate to @RoushKSR.

To listen, just subscribe to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or stream on Podbay.


Game of Thrones:  The Mountain Theory.  Just Who’s Under the Golden Helmet?

Game of Thrones: The Mountain Theory. Just Who’s Under the Golden Helmet?

 

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Scarf courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Whoa, hey buddy, didn’t see you standing there.  Welcome to Game of Thrones conspiracy corner, your one-stop shop for all the wildest conspiracy theories gathered from the interweb.  I’ve been hitting the Milk of the poppy pretty hard, so I hope you’ll allow me to build castles in the air for a moment.  Great, put your tin foil hats on, ’cause I don’t want anyone eavesdropping on our little tête-à-tête.  Since the end of GoT, Season 4, there’s been some scuttlebutt, albeit relatively quiet until now, as to the whereabouts of one, Ser Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain.  Or should I say, formerly known as the Mountain?  After being declared the victor against Oberyn Martell in Tyrion’s trial by combat, Clegane faces certain death having been poisoned by Martell’s spear which was laced by manticore venom, the deadliest toxin in the GoT world.  Maester Pycelle informs Cersei that all hope is lost, but surprisingly she dismisses him, turning instead to Qyburn, a former maester who’s really into necromancy, and known for performing unorthodox and “unnatural” experimentations on living (and possibly dead) subjects.  Presented with a fresh guinea pig, Qyburn is granted permission to conduct his frankenstein experiment on Clegane.  In the interest of full disclosure, the mad maester states, “you should know the process may change him.”  Hearing this, Cersei asks, “will it weaken him?”  To which Qyburn confidently responds, “oh no!”

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“You know nothing, Matt Mahone”

Whatever, Jon Snow!  Fast-forward to Season 5, where we see tiny glimpses of Clegane covered and horizontal on a mortician’s slab, however, it’s not until Cersei’s 5k walk of shame, where we get our first look at the now vertical, mysterious hulking figure waiting on her at the finish line.  “May I introduce, The Mountain, er, Ser Robert Strong!”  We all know it’s Gregor Clegane, right?  Right?  There’s just something a little unhinged about his appearance though.  Here’s what the books tell us about the newest member of the Kingsguard:

“Tell me, ser, where did this man come from?” demanded Mace Tyrell. “Why have we never heard his name before? He does not speak, he will not show his face, he is never seen without his armor. Do we know for a certainty that he is even a knight?”

“We do not even know if he’s alive. Meryn Trant claimed that Strong took neither food nor drink, and Boros Blount went so far as to say he had never seen the man use the privy. Why should he? Dead men do not s—.”

– A Dance With Dragons, Epilogue

In GoT, Qyburn confirms Strong’s vow of silence saying, “he will not speak until all of King Tommen’s enemies are dead and evil has been driven from the realm.”  A theory suggests that King Tommen’s fate may rest in the hands of Ser Robert Strong.  While it’s most certainly The Mountain’s body under the armor, we know from the books that the Lannister’s sent Clegane’s head to Dorne shortly after his battle with The Viper as a peace offering.  Many believe the artifact that arrived at Dorne, while large enough to be The Mountain’s, was actually the skull of a dwarf.  GoT is known for some wild plot-lines and deviations from the books, regardless that head is clearly not Clegane’s.

Here are 6 possible theories as to who or what is under that golden helmet.

Hodor

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Whatchu talkin’ bout Willis?  C’mon, before you say poor “Hodor”, prithee just hear me out.  Have you considered the fact that we’ve never seen the loyal companion and The Mountain in the same scene together in any of the six seasons?  Both men have incredible strength, a limited vocabulary, and an unwavering loyalty to those they serve.  What if Hodor isn’t actually a one-word mumbling simpleton, but a ruthless mastermind in the vein of Keyser Söze, who just faked his own death at the hands of the White Walkers, leading fans to a mind-blowing final episode?  Furthermore, some speculate that the phrase Hodor “Hold The Door” is a red herring, rather HODOR is actually an acronym for:  Hawkish, Oversized opportunist and Deceiver, Only he’s Robert Strong.

LEGO Mini-figure with Light Flesh, Stubble and Evil White Eyes Head

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Seriously, it’s a cheap fix at only 200 Gold Dragons.

Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero

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The HBO crossover connection theory.  Thought to be long dead after being whacked and thrown to the fishes into the Narrow Sea, it would be sort of a miracle to see him emerge as the head of Ser Robert Strong, but the waters of the Mediterranean-type sea is full of salt.  Sea salt is a great exfoliant and also a preservative.  Similar to the stuff those kiosk vendors hock at the mall, maybe it’s really legit.  Big Puss is known for having a history of vanishing for extended periods of time, then miraculously reappearing with pretty iron-clad alibis explaining his whereabouts.  He’s not afraid to snuff out a rat or a Sparrow for that matter, which is just what Cersei needs right now.

Dan Conner

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Remember when Roseanne hit the lotto, but it turned out she had dreamt it up to mask her pain after losing her beloved husband, Dan.  The strong family patriarch (in a classic GoT storyline move) suffered a heart attack while at his daughter’s wedding.  Let’s assume it’s true that the hard-working 90’s blue-collar mom, did in fact lose her husband, but here’s the rub, suppose the Conner’s didn’t live in the 20th century at all, but rather in 303 AL.  In reality, Roseanne lived in medieval-ish times and had been in a coma after being kicked in the head by a mule, while unconscious, her husband Dan, while attending his daughter’s wedding, was murdered and decapitated, only to have his head spliced on The Mountain’s body!

Patton Oswalt

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GoT is a dark show, therefore HBO is planning to provide more levity to future episodes.  Comedian Patton Oswalt is hilarious and besides, y’all take this s*** way too seriously anyways.

Joffrey Baratheon

Search your heart, you know this conspiracy to be true, just look at those bloodshot baby blues, eyebrow arches, and discolored, purply-hued clammy skin.  Cersei wants to crush her enemies, so she needs someone who shares her ruthless mind, and one who’s loyal and devoted to protecting her.  Need more evidence?  Seems like the strongest knight in the realm doesn’t take to kindly to a drunkard who mocks his momma, Queen.  But how will she feel, when in combat, someone Master Blaster’s Ser Robert Strong’s helmet off and as the golden helm bounces on the ground with a thud, the camera pans upward in slow-mo to the now exposed face?  Cersei recoils and screams in horror as she sees the noggin of her beloved, now decapitated son resting on the Mountain’s massive frame.  Noooooooooo!  Case closed.


The Entertation Index: May 16-20

The Entertation Index: May 16-20

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Each week KSR’s Funkhouser collects the best of pop culture. The Entertation Index collects the best of the week for your consumption.

Brokaw, Tom — During his commencement speech at an Ole Miss graduation last weekend heralded news anchor Tom Brokaw slighted the neighboring University of Alabama, telling the grads “If I were speaking at Alabama, I would have to use smaller words and shorter sentences.” Everyone had a good laugh at that and then Brokaw went on to explain to the Ole Miss graduates what sentences are.

Link: Tom Brokaw at Ole Miss (The Huntsville Times)

Caddyshack — A Reddit user has debunked the entire finale of the beloved 1980’s comedy Caddyshack by not only breaking down the parameters of the final Al Czervik/Judge Smails “double or nothing bed” but also delving into golf rules to determine Danny’s final putt. We can’t have nice things.

Link: Someone on Reddit Just Destroyed the Ending of “Caddyshack” (USA Today)

Fig. 1: Ghostbusters Reboot

Fig. 1: Ghostbusters Reboot

Ghostbusters — Paul Feig’s much-skepticized reboot/revamp of Ghostbusters continues to meet with animosity, with the film’s trailer receiving nearly a half million YouTube dislikes and earning a place one the site’s least-liked videos of all time. To be fair, it’s not as much because of the female thing as much as it is that there’s a shot of Leslie Jones jumping into the crowd at a concert to crowd surf and not being caught, which is the single most overused joke in history for movies which have scenes that take place at concerts.

Link: Ghostbusters Trailer is Most Disliked in YouTube History (The Guardian)

Laura, Mysteries of — NBC’s cop comedy-drama The Mysteries of Laura has been canceled after two seasons. Consequently, Wednesday nights just opened up for 45 year-old single women with more than three cats.

Link: Mysteries of Laura Canceled by NBC (Entertainment Weekly)

Fig. 2: Rose, Axl

Fig. 2: Rose, Axl

Rose, Axl — Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose, who has been moonlighting as the lead singer for Australian rockers AC/DC this month, finally returned to his feet in Vienna last night after a broken foot has relegated him to a chair for many of the band’s performances. Everything went well until, in a gruesome turn of events, Rose ATE ANGUS YOUNG.

Link: Axl Rose Gets Back on His Feet as AC/DC Hit Vienna (NME)

Schwimmer, David — Ex-Friends star David Schwimmer, currently starring in an AMC series where he plays a distraught sommelier, joined Late Night with Seth Meyers on Wednesday and told a story of his five year-old daughter’s affinity for sneaking sips of his beer. When asked for comment, Schimmer’s daughter shrugged and responded “How else am I supposed to get through The Pallbearer?”

Link: David Schwimmer Might Regret Letting his Daughter Try Beer (Huffington Post)

Über — Popular ride-sharing app Über has announced its first self-driving car will take to the streets in Pittsburgh in the next few weeks, mapping data and testing its autonomous driving abilities. The car already has a blog it wants to tell you about, wants to talk about politics and is brazenly hitting on your girlfriend.

Link: Uber’s Self-Driving Car Hits the Streets of Pittsburgh (CBS News)


NEW GIRL:  L-R:  Zooey Deschanel, Hannah Simone, Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson in the season finale "Landing Gear" episode of NEW GIRL airing Tuesday, May 10 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT ) on FOX.  ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Adam Taylor/FOX

New Girl’s Advice For Your Perfect Wedding Nuptials

NEW GIRL: L-R: Zooey Deschanel, Hannah Simone, Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson in the season finale "Landing Gear" episode of NEW GIRL airing Tuesday, May 10 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT ) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Adam Taylor/FOX

Season 5 of New Girl was the perfect storm of my favorite things. The season was a hodgepodge of wedding planning, quirky banter and vivid cardigans. Almost all of the twenty-two episodes were centered on wedding planning complications. While the show is not totally rooted in reality (no middle school teacher is that footloose and fancy free) there are some lessons that are applicable to your wedding reality. Below is what the fifth season of New Girl has taught us about planning the perfect marriage ceremony.

How To Choose The Perfect Wedding Aesthetic:

New Girl Wedding Advice 1

Although Cece and Schmidt are not the perfect couple linguistically speaking (together they have too many hard consonants) they are a good looking couple with a thousand watt smiles. Schmidt is dead set on providing the perfect wedding and his “holy trinity” will allow him to execute his dream wedding to perfection.

 

How to Set Your Wedding Date:

New Girl Wedding Advice 5

Sometimes picking when you will get married is more difficult than the who or the how. Picking a date is always difficult. There is always someone who won’t be able to come or some terrible historical tragedy that happened on that date. At least with this tip, you know that all of August is off the table

How To Describe Your Perfect Wedding Location:

New Girl Wedding Advice 8

I don’t want to do an in-depth analysis of this quote. It could get questionable real quick. You should, however, know when you are at your wedding location that you have stepped on hallowed ground. Whether that is in a saintly cathedral or an abandoned slaughterhouse (a la New Girl), you will know your dream location when you see it.

How To Pick Your Wedding Invites:

New Girl Wedding Advice 12

Every little girl dreams of having wedding invites that remind your guests of the great Bone 4 Life album. Wedding invites set the tone. You might as well make that tone “Tha Crossroads”-esque.

How To Prune Your Guest List:

New Girl Wedding Advice 15

Picking who will make the cut on your exclusive guest list is always difficult. In episode 15, Schmidt Schmidt (which is CeCe & Schmidt’s couple name) have to figure out how to univite an unwanted guest.   As a rule, if the guest reminds you of Ernest Goes to <insert location> don’t invite that person.

How To Diffuse A Hostile Bachelor Party Altercation

New Girl Wedding Advice 17

I was concerned when Schmidt announced that they were going to Vegas for their bachelor party. I didn’t think the show had the kind of budget that would support this production value. I was correct in that assumption because the bachelors never make it to Vegas. They end up getting sidetracked by combative desert lizard-people. Schmidt has a few interesting ways of diffusing the tension one is old chat room names and announcing “Beans are nothing but soggy nuts.”

How To Choose What Goes On Your Registry:

New Girl Wedding Advice 18

When you’re single, you constantly make a list of all the things you would put on your mythical wedding registry. The moment you get engaged, your love-soaked brain forgets all of the necessary utensils that you dreamed of owning. Reminding yourself to not get too uppity and European-y is always good advice.

How To Stall For The Perfect Wedding:

New Girl Wedding Advice 22

There was so much rising action leading up to the finale that I feared Schmidt and Cece’s wedding wouldn’t live up to all the hype. In reality, their wedding was exactly what it should be. The show was able to have their wedding cake and eat it too. Schmidt was able to orchestrate the perfect wedding and the couple was able to have an intimate wedding that was perfection. Not all perfect weddings have vineyard dogs giving birth, but all perfect weddings have special moments that you will never forget.


Sturgill Simpson Shines Bright in His Return Home

Sturgill Simpson Shines Bright in His Return Home

 

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Sturgill Simpson doesn’t fool around.  The widely-popular alt-country star is as blue collar as his humble roots; he shows up, rocks out, and leaves.  What more could you want?  If you are expecting choreographed dance moves along with backup dancers, and an auto-tuned sound, he ain’t your guy.  The Kentucky born ‘n raised singer/songwriter returned to the bluegrass to play two back-to-back, sold out shows on May 16th and 17th, in front of an eager and diverse crowd at the historic Lexington Opera House.  As the lights dimmed a few minutes after the official start time, Simpson and his bandmates stealthfully walked onstage, briefly waved to the crowd and began playing their first song.  “We don’t have a set list.  That tends to get in the way of creativity,” Simpson explains.  He is most often identified as a country artist, but that’s a bit shortsighted, he’s more versatile than that.  Simpson is a musical chameleon, one that defies labels, blending genres like country along with:  gospel, R&B, rock and soul into his music and that was evident in his Lexington performances.  Despite his earlier proclamation, the set list more or less followed the artist’s discography.  Beginning with the traditional outlaw-esque country sounds from his 2013 solo debut, High Top Mountain, Simpson and crew then deftly moved into the psychedelic sounds of his 2014 sophomore offering, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, before closing the show with multiple songs from his latest release, the R&B influenced album A Sailors Guide to Earth.  However the show was sprinkled with some surprising songs including the twangy yet soulful rendition of Otis Redding’s deep cut, “You Don’t Miss Your Water” and the classic Led Zeppelin foot stomper “When the Levee Breaks“.  Simpson is surrounded by a collective of highly talented musicians, including fellow Kentuckian and drummer Miles Miller, along with a new bassist, Detroit Rock City’s own Chuck Bartles, who replaced longtime bassist Kevin Black after his 2015 departure, keyboardist Jeff Crow, lead guitarist  Laur “Lil’ Joe”Joamets, who hails from Estonia, to which Simpson joked “I had to go to Europe to find someone who could play real country”, and finally a Louisiana based horn trio, who add that Memphis-Muscle Shoals sound so familiar on his latest release.  Sturgill’s on-stage presence is like his personal life, he’s a guarded individual, at times he appears aloof, and that showed during the performance.  In fact, the one thousand or so fans in the audience seemed unsure how to respond and connect with the artist at moments in the show.  Maybe it’s Simpson, or even the intimate venue, regardless, even Simpson recognized it saying, “I know this is an opera house, but you don’t have to be so formal.”  Comedian Marc Maron recently spoke with Simpson on his WTF Podcast and got the singer to open up about life, his struggles with self-confidence, and the coming wave of what Simpson calls “authentic country” music.  It’s worth a listen, but beware, it has some language that some may find offensive.  Overall, seeing Sturgill Simpson both nights was totally worth the wait and the price of admission.  He’s a solid performer, many even go so far to hail him as the Savior of Country Music, only time will tell.  He’s one of many great acts like Jason Isbell, The Avett Brothers and Chris Stapleton whose music crosses a wide spectrum of genres.  If you have the time and money, a Sturgill Simpson show is about as good as it gets.


TV Debuts for Fall 2016

TV Debuts for Fall 2016

About a year ago we found out that the X Files was returning as a mini-series.  At the time there was a lot of excitement, but there was a bit of trepidation at the trend of shows being recycled, rebooted, and rehashed.  A year later and that trend not only continues, but seems to be the norm for networks.  Fox released their upcoming 2016-17 slate of shows and here are some of the “new” shows rolling out: Lethal Weapon, The Exorcist, 24, Prison Break, and a reboot tv movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Rather than beat a dead horse about the seeming oversaturation of redone material, I have decided to join in on the fun.  Here are five shows which I conceived by merely standing on the shoulders of giants:

Lord of the Rings: Hobbiton Abbey (PBS)

hobbiton abbey

A reboot of the LOTR movies, this show takes us inside the inner workings of the Shire after Frodo and Company return from destroying the Ring.  Deception, drama, and a little bit of fun await every week as the Proudfeet, Gamgees, and Boffins drink their ale and smoke their pipeweed.  Can Frodo protect his inheritance from the meddling Sackville-Baggins clan?  Find out in this taught drama airing Sundays at 9:00 on PBS.

Powers (AMC)

POWERS SHOW

Before True Detective, before Benedict Cumberbatch took up residence at 221B Baker St, there was one international man of mystery who was really groovy.  Powers takes you back to before Austin had established himself as the go-to crime solving shagadelic hero that we know.  See how Austin Powers rose to prominence in 1950s London along with his friend Basil Exposition (Woody Harrelson)  in this suspenseful crime thriller.

Back to the Jurassic Park (FOX)

BACK TO THE JURASSIC PARK

A mashup of two beloved movie franchises, Back to the Jurassic Park throws time travelling humans into a prehistoric world filled with dinosaurs.  The humans have been forced to flee their own time due to Earth’s inability to sustain life.  Can they survive in this new world?  We’ll never know because Fox tried this already.  It was called Terra Nova and it was awesome but it was cancelled after one season.  Smh.

Gone Fishin’ (ABC)

Gone Fishin

Tim Allen returns to network TV as Quint, Amity Island’s gruff but loveable shark hunter.  Years before the island was menaced by a great white shark, Quint kept the quiet town of Amity hopping with his many misadventures.  From catching sharks to saving Bingo day at the local Moose Lodge, the hijinks never end.  Featuring Richard Karn as Mayor Larry Vaughn and Ron White as Quint’s second mate, Shrimp.

Dread Pirate Roberts (TNT)

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The classic movie The Princess Bride comes back to life for a new generation of audiences in Dread Pirate Roberts.  Taking over the role of the legendary pirate, Inigo Montoya learns to navigate the high seas with his best friend and right hand man, Fezzik.  Inigo and Fezzik travel through Florin and Gilder, marauding, pirating, and staying just ahead of the vengeful Prince Humperdinck.  Adventure, love, and revenge abound in the latest hit from Shonda Rhimes.


Keeper of the Flame:  An Interview with Musician Amy Helm

Keeper of the Flame: An Interview with Musician Amy Helm

 

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Courtesy of Amy Helm Music

Amy Helm knows a thing or two about her craft; she’s been singing and playing since she was a little girl.  Music isn’t just her passion, it’s in her blood.  She’s the daughter of the late music statesman, Levon Helm of The Band, her mother is singer/songwriter Libby Titus, and her stepfather is Donald Fagen, of Steely Dan fame.  Her first solo album, “Didn’t It Rain“, debuted in July 2015, and she’s currently touring around the country.  Funkhouser caught up with the singer last week before her show in Hershey, Pennsylvania alongside Tedeschi Trucks Band, to talk about:  the tour, growing up in the shadow of her legendary father, his legacy, and of course, some nonsense.

How’s the tour?

Touring can be grueling, but you don’t get the sense that it’s taking a toll on Amy Helm: “It’s fantastic and going great,” she says. “I’m grateful for every minute, because I get to do what I love.”  For folks unfamiliar with Amy Helm, her voice is bewitchingly commanding and deeply soulful and people, namely me, compare her sound to:  Susan Tedeschi, Neko Case and at times, Bonnie Raitt.  I ask if that’s a fair comparison, and she humbly responds, “I’ll take those comparisons any day…but don’t leave out Mavis Staples“.  She’s a regular member of the multi-genre (alt-country) musical collective, Ollabelle, and although she once performed alongside her dad with the Handsome Strangers,  this time it’s her turn to go solo.

Your album “Didn’t It Rain” came out almost a year ago. What have you learned since that time?

I’ve learned so much,“Helm says. “It was a chaotic time for me.”  In fact, she’s right.  During this period, she had her second child, her marriage fell-apart and her dad’s health began to deteriorate.  “Didn’t It Rain” was actually recorded over a series of those years and prior to release, nearly half of the album was re-recorded.  Helm explains, “we were building a band, my confidence was growing, we were performing these songs, but the arrangements changed and the songs didn’t match the earlier recordings.  It was both emotionally and financially draining on me, but ultimately necessary to capture the feel I was going for.” When she would start to feel the pressures of the world beating her down, she’d look to her father, who would simply say, “Buck up girl.”  For what it’s worth, the entire album is fantastic, and I especially love the tracks:  “Deep Water” and “Roll Away“.

Speaking of your father, was it hard finding your own voice, being the daughter of such a iconic musician?

At fourteen, Amy began singing and playing music, and while she most certainly was influenced and benefitted from playing alongside some of the greatest musicians in the world, both family and peers took a laissez-faire approach, “encouraging and supporting” her desire to pursue music as a career, yet “allowing her to find her own voice”.  That’s not to say it was easy.  Inevitably being the child of a traveling musician comes with “patches of absences“, yet she cherished the time she spent with her dad both personally and professionally:  “I had the opportunity to rebuild our relationship, reconnect and heal” especially the later years as she watched him fight his ten-year battle with throat cancer.

It’s been four years since your dad’s passing. I recently watched “Ain’t In It For My Health” on Netflix, what impact  do you think your dad had on you and to a larger extent the world?

Levon Helm, was a remarkable artist and true American icon.  He was the founding member of the Canadian-American rock n’ roots quintet The Band, and is recognized for his formidable skill as a drummer and mandolinist, however, it’s his raspy and seasoned voice, coupled with that distinct charming Southern draw that most audiences remember.  He was a consummate musician who continued playing music til’ the very end of his life, one that lasted 71 years.   The 2013 documentary, “Ain’t In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm” is currently streaming on Netflix, and it’s a poignant look at a man who was the ultimate survivor, and it beautifully chronicles his life (warts and all), from his early beginnings in Arkansas to the height of his success with The Band.  Amy says she’s “grateful to be working” and “feels a responsibility to carry parts of him, so that she can share them with others.”  Helm says her father was an “inspiration” to her and others and describes him as “fearless, a great example of a working musician, one of the highest integrity, committed to doing it his way.

So was it the love of music, that kept him going?

Making a living as a working musician can be challenging and at times extremely hard on the musician  and their family.  Amy Helm knows this all too well and that’s the real message in “Ain’t in It for My Health”.  Seeing her father’s struggle with addiction, bankruptcy, and his battle with cancer, was hard, but despite it all, he kept performing: “He lost his voice (due to throat cancer), he was bankrupt, on the skids…yet he packed his drums in the back of his truck, despite not having enough money for gas a lot of the time, and went out there night after night to play music!”  He was deeply “committed.”  There’s a song on Amy’s album called “Spend Our Last Dime“, which beautifully sums that up, and it would be the last time they recorded a song together.

So, have you been to Kentucky?

I have so many memories of driving through Kentucky with my dad, on our way to Arkansas along the Bluegrass Parkway.”  We speak briefly about KSR and sports and Helm says that her dad was a HUGE Arkansas football fan.

What’s the last book you read?

Outside of Thomas Keating and other spiritual stuff, the last book I read was called Orphan Train.

What’s your guilty pleasure when you’re traveling or at home?

Speaking of Kentucky, Helm says she’s fallen into binge-watching shows on Amazon and Netflix, specifically saying she’s “obsessed with the show ‘Justified’.  I know I should be down there writing and recording songs, but I’ve fallen into the rabbit hole of that show.”

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Gosh, where do I start?” I’m sure being stuck in a van with a bunch of guys for long periods of time can get old.  “Oh, I know!” Helm exclaims. “When people crush their plastic water bottles after they finish, and it makes that annoying crunching noise!”

Despite growing up in the shadow of her late father, Amy Helm has clearly found her own voice, and oh how sweet it is.  As the keeper of the flame, she has embraced the time-honored tradition of making music that is true, honest, and of the highest quality.  She not only shares the musical talent and name of her legendary father, but also the burning desire of making euphonious music.   To learn more about Amy Helm and where she’s touring, visit her website here.  Oh, and don’t forget to buy her album too!


Kentucky Thrones Radio: Episode 4

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If you’re fired up about the way that “Book of the Stranger” ended, then you need to listen to the fourth installment of Kentucky Thrones Radio.  Just as the HBO Show hits its stride, so have we.  Everything that happened in the episode is discussed, along with:

—  Tyrion turns Meereen into Minardi Hall.

—  Will Ramsay get Rickon-Rolled?

—  Keep the fan theories coming.

—  Little Finger, the uncle/step-dad/cousin/what?

To listen, just subscribe to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or stream on Podbay.


Khaleesi is Coming to Kentucky

Khaleesi is Coming to Kentucky

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Daenerys Targaryen isn’t crossing the Shivering Sea into Kentucky, but it’s the next best thing.

Emelia Clarke, the actress who portrays the mother of dragons on the HBO hit Game of Thrones, will be starring in a movie titled Above Suspicion. The Herald-Leader reports the movie is being shopped for shooting locations in Central Kentucky and Pike County.

Khaleesi Clarke’s role is to play an FBI informant.  The movie is based off the true story of FBI agent Mark Putnam.  He confessed to killing a pregnant woman he was having an affair with, who was also acting as his informant.  It’s a crazy story that sounds made for Hollywood, but unfortunately it spells an unfortunate ending for our dear Khaleesi.

In unrelated Game of Thrones news, I found this pinball machine last night and may have gotten a little too excited.

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For more on the true story and the movie, the Herald-Leader has you covered.


Common Sense

Common Sense

KING!add.ai

h/t Andrew Haines

Friends, you may not have realized it but this week we have born witness to a new national threat. A true 🌾🐍🌾. As a nation we must come together from time to time to fight tyranny. The tyranny of the rich. The tyranny of the powerful. The tyranny of the mob. The tyranny of the malted. This is our most important civic duty. That’s why, when a known monarchist declared himself a patriotic, freedom loving, leader this week, it has become our solemn duty to counter him at every turn.

Let me be the one to say it and let me be frank: Budweiser, the so-called “King of Beers,” is not the “America” our founders intended.

These United States contain multitudes of people who, due to the foresight of the authors of our Constitution, enjoy the freedom to live life as they see fit, according to their own devices. As a country we’re striving to use the tools we’ve been granted to truly build a society where everyone is given the same opportunity to be down with LLP (life / liberty / pursuit of happiness). Part of the ‘P’ includes the important decision we all make concerning which inexpensive American Lager we’re going to not quite enjoy on the road to getting wasted. This is a time honored tradition and not one to be taken lite-ly.

That’s why it’s disgusting to see a brand with clear monarchist / authoritarian tendencies proclaim itself as the patriotic “choice” of American consumers. How much blatant disregard for our citizenry and our ideals are we willing to take before we show Budweiser the door? I say no more! I say the American people are smarter than that. Budweiser can take their Busch league tactics and get the hell out of my country.

That’s just my opinion anyway. It is indeed up to each and every one of us to decide whether or not Budweiser’s America is the America we all want to live in. Sure, we could ignore everything Bud Heavy has been saying for years about being the “King of Beers” and acknowledge that it is the “Genuine Article“, but can we afford to do that when there are so many important drunk activities and decisions to make this summer? George Washington once probably said, “If it looks like a King, struts like a King, orders you to pay exorbitant taxes on all imported goods while owning all production and transportation verticals like a King, ’tis likely a King,” and I don’t know about you, but I’m with George.

In this modern era, we can’t afford to be bamboozled by a closet monarch like Budweiser. No matter how delicious we imagine it’s going to taste, there’s no doubt that if we choose to drink Bud Heavy we’re going to end up bloated and disappointed. The choice is clear, either end up half naked, burnt to a crisp on the beach, with a warm, frothy, rabid ‘King’ in our hands, or don’t do that. The choice is yours.

For my money, PBR is going to be your best bet. After all, what’s more American than celebrating an irrelevant event long past it’s time?