John Calipari may have not got the best draw in the NCAA Tournament, but he →
KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings
Ladies and gentlemen the wait is over! After a nearly four year hiatus since her debut album Heroine, Lorde has reappeared on the music scene with her single “Green Lights” from the upcoming album Melodrama. Typically I don’t geek over new music, especially that of the pop variety; however, I have made renewed commitment to trying out new music and giving different genres a shot. In fact, if you haven’t checked out Matt Mahone’s post The Jazz Conundrum I highly recommend it, as well as the new Thundercat album. Having said all that I freely admit that I have been somewhat anxiously awaiting Lorde’s new music. Thanks to NBA 2K15 I became a fan of her song “Team” and I eventually discovered “Royals” which I also liked a lot. In a world dominated by Taylor Swift at the time the musical stylings of Lorde was a welcome respite. When “Green Light” was released last week I naturally gave it a listen, or three, and came to the conclusion that it was ok. It didn’t strike the same chord with me as the other two songs, which is fine since I’m certain her target demographic isn’t 30 year old males. As I listened to the song the story told by the lyrics seemed hauntingly familiar so I decided to perform a lyrical analysis to determine the source of the familiarity. What I discovered may blow your mind.
I do my makeup in somebody else’s car
We order different drinks at the same bars
I know about what you did and I wanna scream the truth
She thinks you love the beach, you’re such a damn liar
The song’s opening verse clearly refers to the singer being burned with lies from a former lover. So far this is not unlike most other pop songs, but I continued to dig deeper.
Those great whites, they have big teeth
Hope they bite you
Thought you said that you would always be in love
But you’re not in love no more
Did it frighten you
How we kissed when we danced on the light up floor?
On the light up floor
The beginning of the refrain made me wonder if perhaps she was referring to the book version of Jaws, wherein Chief Brody’s wife, Ellen, has an affair with the scientist Matt Hooper. Further analysis disproved this theory, but I still assume Lorde is a fan of Jaws because she seems to be a woman of decent taste. The key to unlocking this story, however, was the repeated reference to the “light up floor”.
But I hear sounds in my mind
Brand new sounds in my mind
But honey I’ll be seein’ you ‘ever I go
But honey I’ll be seein’ you down every road
I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it
We see here a persistent longing for the lover who has spurned the singer with their lies and deceit. It appears the longing comes from a sad internal desire to hear and see the former love. What if I told you these senses were not triggered by an internal longing, but an external catalyst?
‘Cause honey I’ll come get my things, but I can’t let go
I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it
Oh, I wish I could get my things and just let go
I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it
The chorus is all about waiting for the “green light”, which clearly means to go ahead or to continue. This lyric is actually pretty cut and dry methinks.
All those rumors, they have big teeth
Hope they bite you
Thought you said that you would always be in love
But you’re not in love no more
Did it frighten you
How we kissed when we danced on the light up floor?
On the light up floor
I skipped verse two because it only had two lines which didn’t fit into my conspiracy theory so I chose not to include it in this analysis. The second refrain is similar to the first except that “great whites” is changed to “rumors”. Perhaps the “great whites” are in fact white lies instead of sharks, and the rumors are related to those lies. This is when the light bulb struck and was enhanced by the second reference to the light up floor.
The remaining choruses and pre-choruses are repeats of the above. Piecing together my observational evidence I have concluded that this is the story of a woman who had relationship with a man. Despite the nefarious doings of the man, the woman continued to long for him. The “brand new sounds” and “I’ll be seein’ you down every road” are because she has given birth to his child. The “rumors” are that the child is his and the “lies” are his denials of being the fatherhood. All this brings us to the most electrifying piece of evidence…the light up floor. Clearly the subject of this song is none other than the legendary Billie Jean herself!
It all fits. “She’s just a girl, who thinks that I am the one” references the rumors and “the kid is not my son” is the lie. The lyric “His [the baby’s] eyes were like mine” from “Billie Jean” verifies that the singer of “Green Light” would in fact “see you down every road” of the child’s life. Then of course there’s the oft-repeated reference to the light-up floor:
The evidence is overwhelming. It’s been 35 years since the original release of Billie Jean, but we finally have the companion piece which explains the other side of the story. Thank you Lorde for bringing us the conclusion to this tale of love, betrayal, and life.
The following feature is guest-written for Funkhouser by writer Brad Morris.
Hello again my friends. It’s been a honor to have you following me down the path of The Walking Dead this season. I must apologize for not checking in the last couple of weeks, but sometimes life gets in the way. Now that things are back to normal for me, I can dive in again fellow Walkers and discuss what happened last night on The Walking Dead. Although, was it really TWD? Or a rom-com set in the apocalypse? Let’s talk about Rick and Michonne’s excellent adventure shall we? With a side trip to Rositaville.
How are you sleeping these days? Good I hope. Rick not so much. We find Rick out on a supply run with his mistress of the sword, looking for guns and food. We learn by the end of the episode that Rick has been thinking about the past. All of the good and bad, but mostly about the decisions he’s made along the way that have lead to his friends and families deaths. He specifically mentions Glenn, and how he knew him from the beginning and his inability to keep him alive. We often see Rick make bad decisions, but we never get to see how much weight he carries on his shoulders. This was a great episode to show us just how he’s affected by the carnage. On a side note, I’m loving the dynamic he has with the leader of the Scavengers, Jadis. They have a quirky way of negotiating between them, and I’m looking forward to more banter back and forth. As for Rick and his sleeping problems, I think they’ve put to ease by his main squeeze…
What a great episode for Danai Gurira. We saw such a range of emotion from her this week. Laughing it up, smiling slyly at her bae, losing her composure, and whack off Walker heads. And to be courted over a chili with mac and cheese MRE? Priceless. Michonne seems to be the one doing ok, what with romps in the sack everyday, killing Walkers like swinging a stick in a field, and finding a huge cache of food and guns. Letting your guard down, we find out just how much means to her when it briefly looks like HE has become dinner. At least with Rick’s reemergence, we see that she has the ability to feel something other than dread in this sick world. And she even had her boyfriend take her on a date to the carnival! Several parts of the show make me smile. Seeing Michonne smile is near the top of the list.
Our Latino fox has still got a bug up her ass about killing Negan. Like two days ago. This has not been fun for me to watch because it has driven her character into being so one note, I groan when I see her on screen. Her conversations with Tara and Father Gabriel hammered this point home. At least there may be an end to this soon, because her conversation with Sasha has her pointed down the path to hell finally. If I was a betting man, I’d say by the end of the season we won’t have to worry about her anymore. Speaking of Tara…
Tara has discovered the perfect person to talk to about her dilemma with the Oceansiders, Judith. Who better to bounce ideas off of than a toddler? They can be brutally honest and wise beyond their years. Judith’s response to Tara was to say nothing, which I think eased Tara into knowing she must tell Rick about the place she visited. Oh wise sage Judith, tell us more of your wisdom!
Well that about sums up our character panel this week. We did see that the Scavengers are going all Veruca Salt on Rick. That want more guns and they want them now! To end with my write up, I’d like to invite you this weekend to check out the Lexington Comic and Toy Convention. It runs from Friday to Sunday at the Rupp Arena Convention Center. Amoung the guests announced so far are the Nature Boy Ric Flair, Diamond Dallas Page, and Lee Majors. But for us TWD fans, we’ve got Father Gabriel, Seth Gilliam. Robin Lord Taylor, who’s appeared in only two episodes, but left a lasting impression before heading over to Gotham as the Penquin. And last but not least, Merle will be in the house! Michael Rooker, who has been in so many movies and TV shows, it’d take hours to go over all his characters. We will also be doing a special edition of the Kentucky Deadcast this weekend with Louisville author Tony Acree, whose Victor McCain novels have found a large following, with his foray into the world of demons, God, and a hot chick with a sword. I hope all is well with you. Until next time, ta ta…
The Jazz Conundrum or Now That’s What I Call Jazz! Three Genre-Bending Artists You Should Be Listening To (You Dig?)
By Matthew Mahone on ©March 06th, 2017 @ 10:00am
As music goes, I have a confession to make—I really don’t get jazz. It’s not like I don’t have an open-mind. I want to like it. I’m hip, I’m down. Objection! Your honor, motion to strike that from the record. Sustained. Apart from bro-country and the deathrock genre and everything ever recorded by Maroon 5, I listen to, enjoy, and own just about every kind of music imaginable—hardly any of it’s jazz. There’s just something about the genre that takes so much mental energy, and any attempt to get deep in the cut causes me to lurch around like Elaine Benes, furiously trying to keep rhythm, and more than I’d like to admit, I just end up stopping the song dead in its tracks.
That was until 2015, when rapper Kendrick Lamar changed all that. Maybe not the dancing part, but the album was certainly eye-opening nonetheless.
To Pimp a Butterfly was released in 2015 and upon hearing it, I was immediately rapt, struck by the fact that it was such a powerful and at times poignant record. Complete with stinging lyrics and themes which explored contemporary societal, cultural, and political issues, it’s a damning account coupled with a dynamite sound. On the surface, Butterfly is often labeled as a hip hop album. That’s a bit misleading. While it has customary spoken word cadence of rap, the album incorporates elements of funk, electronic music, and soul, and has been described as “an ambitious avant-garde-jazz-rap statement.” An amalgam of musical styles, the kind of genre-bending music is at the nucleus of what appealed to me most, and it’s the conduit that led me on a year-long journey where I discovered three phenomenal artists whose contributions to the album gave it so much flavor, panache, or jazz—if that’s what you call it.
Saxophonist Kamasi Washington whose string and horn arrangements are featured on Butterfly is one such artist. To put it bluntly—he’s cosmically dope. Complete with a dashiki and Jordan’s, Washington is one of the most accomplished jazz artists the genre has seen in decades. Sorry Miles. His aptly-titled, critically-acclaimed first album Epic was released in 2015, and it’s something to behold. Featuring a 10 piece band, a 32 piece orchestra section, the record clocks in a bit just shy of 3 hours long. It’s sure to appeal to both jazzophiles as well as those of us who need a more modern reintroduction to the genre.
Steven Ellison, the visionary. Under the guise of Flying Lotus, his beats are hard to escape once they seep into your consciousness. In addition to being a musician in his own right, Ellison is an animator, filmmaker, collaborator, and producer—one of twenty on Lamar’s aforementioned award-winning album. If you’re still scratching your head wondering if you’ve heard his auditory concoctions, there’s a good chance you have. Gamers in particular—for which I’m not—might recognize his bumper music courtesy of FlyLo FM, a radio station in Grand Theft Auto V. Or possibly you’ve seen him as the DJ on Comedy Central’s, Why? With Hannibal Buress. Impressively, his record label Brainfeeder, is a repository for more or less thirty artists—including Washington—who are at the vanguard of the alt-electro-dank-jazz-funk-fusion-hip hop movement. If that’s even a thing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ While Flying Lotus’ music is oft-classified as electronic, the thread of jazz permeates throughout, and it’s this remarkably fresh and layered sound that can be heard on his 5th studio album You’re Dead, which was released in 2014.
Which brings me to Thundercat, aka Stephen Bruner, bass guitarist virtuoso, and former member of Suicidal Tendencies, whose album Drunk released in February, may be my newest audio obsession. In fact, in the past week, I’ve purchased everything he’s ever made. Drunk, produced by Flying Lotus, is a sonic gateway drug for sure. An eccentric and surprisingly lighthearted (courtesy of some juvenile humor, meowing, and musing lyrics) album which features Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell and Wiz Khalifa, as well as some surprises, namely legendary and soulful white dudes—Kenny “Danger Zone” Loggins and my own personal favorite, Doobie Bro., Michael “Sweet Freedom” McDonald on the song “Show You the Way”. What more could you want fam? Thundercat’s falsetto voice coupled with his trifurcated velvety noise is immediately mesmerizing. Imagine if Stevie Wonder and Pat Metheny had a baby—the result, a fusion of a multitude of genres including jazz. And somewhere between 70’s R&B, akin to The Brothers Johnson, with bass licks straight from P-Funk, layered with the shear psychedelia of The Vampires’ Sound Incorporation. Thundercat, just like Sturgill Simpson, can’t be categorized and they both are deconstructing, reimagining and reinterpreting a long, storied and sometimes misunderstood—and therefore, neglected—genre of music.
Washington sums it up, “the funny thing is, you’ve probably been into jazz all along, you just didn’t know it!” So if loving jazz is wrong, then….well…you know the rest. Listen for yourself!
(The following review is written by special features contributor Brad Morris)
I have a confession to make. And it’s hard for me to bear my soul regarding this confession. You see, as a geek/nerd/dork (whatever you want to call someone that likes comics and superheroes as much as I do), it is difficult for me to ever speak bad of anything in the pop culture industry. However, I must stay true to my fandom. Growing up having to actually READ comics about superheroes on this thing called paper, I never dreamed that we’d get to the point that we’re getting a new Marvel or D.C. movie every 3-5 months versus… well… never. So here’s my confession:
Except for 2 or 3 comic book movies in the last 20 years…. I’ve hated them. Not disliked… Hated them.
My reasons for this blasphemy are simple. It has always felt to me that the true story has been put on paper in the past, some great artwork done by amazing artists, and the characters seen on the page; have never been truly and/or correctly fleshed out on the silver screen. Major movie studios are in the money making business. And while they correctly deduced that comic books were a treasure trove of wonderful characters and stories, they’ve very rarely let the new artists (actors, directors, screenwriters), tell these stories as they were meant to be seen. It’s a big risk to let someone tell a story without wanting some control over the final product. And while a dork like myself would jump every time Harrison Ford says “Trust me.”, studios haven’t had that luxury. Until now. The only 3 movies that have reached a true representation of their characters and stories for me are The Dark Knight, Deadpool, and now added to the list Logan.
First things first when it comes to Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the Wolverine. While having no physical resemblance to the comic characters physical traits (Jackman is too tall and slender compared to his comic counterpart), the first time he donned the hair, cigar, and claws, Jackman BECAME the Wolverine. People really dug his take on the character when he first appeared in the first X-Men in 2000. There has been a problem with the past 17 years of X-Men and Wolverine movies that has always frustrated me, and that is rating, namely PG and PG-13. The Wolverine has been watered down and stuck in these ratings shackles. And thanks to Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool, studios seem to be realizing that they shouldn’t be afraid of letting characters this well known and loved to pop up in a R rated movie. Wolverine says F#*$, Wolverine cuts off limbs, Wolverine stabs people in the head with blood flying. We haven’t been shown these in theaters… until now.
I’m going to avoid spoilers as much as I can, so this will be a basic plot description. Loosely based on the Marvel comic arc Old Man Logan, we begin the movie seeing Logan working as a limousine driver in the year 2029. He’s taking care of an aging Professor Xavier, with help from the mutant Caliban, played fabulously by Stephen Merchant. Logan is approached by a woman regarding a young girl, begging him for help. A series of adventures and advisories come along, and turns into an unbelievable ride.
This is the Wolverine finally unleashed. No holds barred, no cuss word censored, gallons of blood spilled, cats and dogs living together, MASS HYSTERIA! It may have taken 17 years for Hugh Jackman to get to this type of Wolverine movie, but I believe it’s all been worth it. If you ground your characters with a great story, it doesn’t matter what kind of movie it is. Rom-com, drama, comedy, horror, etc. Story matters. Seeing Logan at his full potential is stunning. You do feel cheated that it’s taken so long to get here, especially since this is it for Jackman and his adamantium claws, but it’s a fitting finale for him.
This also is Patrick Stewart’s last turn as Professor X. Besides Jackman, Stewart has been the most consistent of the X-Men through the years. The movie is a wonderful finale for him, as well. He’s allowed to expand on Professor X’s history and really walk around in those well worn shoes.
The introduction of Dafne Keen’s character Laura/X-23 is an amazing beginning. A mostly unspoken role, Keen shows what appears to be years of experience in her subtleties of facial expressions and body movements. If at any point we see her in this role in the future, we can expect a fun ride.
And last but not least, the bad guys are BAD GUYS. I wouldn’t want to cross their paths ever. Not in a dark alley, not on a street corner at noon. There is always a danger with the various evil doers and they constitute a real threat. So kudos to the storytelling from their angle.
So how would I rate Logan? I’d give it 4.9/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. It is as close to a perfect movie as I’ve seen in quite some time. Everything from setting, to action, characters, to pace, this is a wild and emotional ride. I HIGHLY recommend this movie to you as a great escape into the true realm of what a comic book movie should be.
P.S. Speaking of Ryan Reynolds ☠️💩L, you’re in for a very small, but enticing treat. Just make sure you’re there on time or you might miss it.
Thank you for your interest in becoming a “Yell Leader” for the upcoming 2017-18 Texas A&M athletics season. We have received and are currently processing your written application and audition video (submitted in one of the requested media formats). In the meantime, we would like to take this opportunity to instill in you the importance and reverence which comes with being one of the university’s recognized “Yell Leaders.” It is hoped that you will take this position as seriously as those who have come before you and take pride in your work.
The Aggie Yell Leader tradition dates back to 1907 and has becoma a crucial part of Aggie sports over the last hundred years. IT IS NOT A SILLY POSITION. If you believe this to be a position to be one where you make “jokes,” “gags” or “goof ’em ups” then you have vastly misjudged the charge of the Yell Leader. THIS IS ALL COMPLETELY SERIOUS AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH.
Taking on the responsibility of being a Texas A&M Yell Leader requires more of you than just donning some white coveralls (though, if you are selected to serve as a Yell Leader you will be required to wear such during games and will receive your designated coveralls — one to two times sizes smaller than the size you have designated on your application — within four to six weeks before football season begins). You will also need to commit to memory and be able to accurately perform, on command, such classic yell leader moves as:
-Clasped-hand air-fist shake
-Open palmed, bent wrist backward windmill
-Knee-down finger gun point (to the left side)
-Knee-down finger gun point (to the right side)
-Double thumblock (waist, one footed)
-Up-and-down clasped fist pump (waist to above head)
-Vaudeville-act-finishing hand sparkles
-Tiptoe air punch
It is also important, as a Yell Leader, that you work out enough to look like you could beat someone’s ass at any time. This is how it’s been since 1907 and it is a tenet we take very seriously.
THINGS TO REMEMBER AS AN AGGIE YELL LEADER
-Bellows, whoops, hoots and shouts are not yells. Such non-yells will incur a written warning, and dismissal upon second offense.
-Never take advantage of your Yell Leader status to encourage crowds at birthday parties, children’s swim meets or concerts (a full list of yell-restricted gatherings will be provided)
-A&M Yell Leaders are disqualified from any pedestrian yelling competitions or events
-A.B.Y.: Always Be Yelling
Your initiation period, should you be selected as a Texas A&M Yell Leader, will consist of two weeks of yelling practices and fourteen weekly hours of hand motion work with a gesticulation professional. As a designated Yell Leader, you will be required to yell whenever the situation calls for such; however, normal speaking voices may still be used for intimate gatherings. You will also be required to cut your hair really short, despite not being a recognized member of the United States military. Being a Yell Leader is hard, but it will all pay off with all the action you’re going to get from the ladies. Trust us on this.
We will be in touch soon with your approval status based on the information you have provided to the Texas A&M Yell Leader Offices. We wish you the best of luck during this process and can’t wait to hear more of your yelling in the near future for our Aggies!
By KSR on ©March 02nd, 2017 @ 8:45pm
Welcome back to Easy Street! Unfortunately for viewers, we are subjected to that horrible, mind numbing song again. But Eugene not only likes it, he can do a little head banging to it. This week Brad and Josh discuss the episode “Hostiles and Calamities “. The chit chat includes:
– Dwight and his troubles with Negan
– Negan getting convinced his Doctor is the problem
– Eugene hanging out in a teenage nerds dream
You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes, streaming on Podbay, or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.
By Josh Corman on ©March 02nd, 2017 @ 9:00am
So, I’ve got a couple of questions for you.
Question #1: Have you ever heard a song and thought, “That sounds like something I would’ve liked in high school?”
Question #2: If your answer to question #1 is “yes,” then tell me this: is that a good thing or a bad thing?
There is, of course, no universal answer here. For instance, there was this thing going around social media a couple of weeks ago where people were posting the albums they listened to in high school, and I found it fascinating to see how people framed the music from that time in their lives. Some people still listen to a lot of the same stuff, while some regard their former tastes in roughly the same way you might think about a long-ago meal that gave you food poisoning.
It’s a wide-ranging spectrum of feeling, is what I’m saying.
Which leads me back to my two questions. For many of us, the implication that a given song has something (or many things) in common with our high school music tastes would be an automatic mark against it. If we see our taste as something that’s evolved for the better (which, of course we do; we’re arrogant that way), then the version of our self that would’ve found something (or many things) to love about the song in question has, by definition, less developed (and therefore inferior) tastes.
I get why we sometimes cringe at the memory of our high school selves, but isn’t there something about the music that spoke to us when (A) our minds were uncluttered with concerns about what was Good with a capital “G,” and (B) we didn’t have the entire weight of our own musical experience to stack against every new release?
After more than a decade in the dismissive, boy-what-an-idiot-I-was-back-then camp, I’m ready to answer that question in the affirmative. What cued the reversal? Nothing much — a few power chords, an earnest lyric or two and my favorite album of 2017 so far: Japandroids’ Near to the Wild Heart of Life.
Check out these lyrics from “In a Body Like a Grave,” the album’s final track:
Christ will call you out / School will deepen debt / Work will sap the soul / Hometown haunts what’s left / Love will scar the heart / Sun will burn the skin / Just the way it is / And way it’s always been
If those aren’t high school lyrics, then I don’t know what are. And in no way do I mean that as an insult. There’s enough specificity there — oppressive small-town religious conservatism, the specter of burdensome college loans, the boredom of your shift at the local fast food joint — to make the song feel personal to the artist. But the lines are also vague enough to allow for the intense emotional projection that made, say, Dashboard Confessional, feel so essential when I was 16.
From the opening track, Japandroids manages this balancing act deftly, all while drenching the proceedings in deliciously catchy riffs and sha-la-la backing vocals. The result is a batch of songs that make you want to roll down your windows and reenact your own personal scene from an imaginary Cameron Crowe movie as you peel out of the school parking lot on a sunny afternoon.
That’s how this Japandroids record makes me feel, anyway. Like I’m half a lifetime away, eager and impatient and convinced that the world is my oyster. And If the kind of music that makes me feel that way is wrong, then I don’t want to be right, age be damned.
Don’t ever let the Academy Awards think they are too important. The red carpet coverage discussed the possibilities of what you can do with pockets in a dress. (You can put your phone in there! You pose with your hands in your pockets or out!) Honestly, they can’t even be trusted with announcing the correct winner. There are many moments that expose the silliness of taking the awards too seriously and yet, we still return year after year. There is something about the Oscars that makes everyone feel like their opinion is correct and must be heard. Even Dickie V. had a hot take about a ceremony celebrating movies he has most definitely never watched…
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) February 27, 2017
Here are some of the moments that make all of the dress/pocket analysis worthy of our time:
- Best Picture Confusion- Whether the confusion about who won was genuine or a prank, the result was still entertaining. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunnaway’s bumbled announcement is all that anyone will ever remember about this show. As an American, I’m beginning to have a lot of trust issues with election results and this “Moon-land” debacle doesn’t help. Regardless, the mistake did help to take the “stuffy air” out of the ceremony. Jordan Horowitz’s revelation might be the most genuine thing on screen the whole night.
- The Hidden Figures Photo-Op:
Katherine Johnson and the cast of Hidden Figures’ moment early in the broadcast might be forgotten, but the moment is still cool nonetheless.
- Viola Davis: she deserves an Academy Award for her acceptance speech. Davis said, “We are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.” Live your life. Speak your truth. Win your award Ms. Davis. It is a pretty self-important thing to say, but why put so much effort and creativity into something that isn’t worthy of your time and effort?
- The Tourist Bit-
In an attempt to make a stuffy ceremony seem more off the cuff, producers dropped a bus full of Hollywood tourists off at the venue. They were adorable. I could watch Gary and Jackie schmooze with celebrities all day. Denzel married them with his wonky fingers! GARY WAS HOLDING HER PURSE THE WHOLE TIME! It was so kind of them to let the common folk in their fancy award ceremony.
- Presenters Paired People Who Inspire Them – Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan proved that sometimes co-stars dislike each other and forcing them to present is painful. Producers might as well pair actors with people who inspire them like Charlize Theron and Shirley MacLaine and Seth Rogan and Michael J. Fox. The pairings are more natural and interesting. It also speaks to the theme that movies are awesome!
For every important moment, there are a few moments that fell short:
- Best Picture Confusion- I’m torn about the “Moon-Land” mistake. I don’t want to encourage more ceremonies to mess with the results. We are now in a “Boy cried wolf” situation and we don’t need to encourage this type of behavior. As a side note, can you imagine how much Twitter would riot if they had announced that Moonlight won and then had to re-gift it to La La Land?
- Dropping snack food from the ceiling – In an attempt to create a viral, food-centered award show moment, candy was dropped from the ceiling. It truly added nothing to the show.
- The Receipt Overkill- Now that Amazon is in the movie business, Wal-Mart felt the need to expand as well. The “competing” trailers for fictitious movie just reminds me that audiences can easily be tricked into wanting to watch a movie that is literally impossible to watch. (Which speaks to the theme that movie trailers are fake news.)
- Live Tweets – I get uncomfortable when I watch people who are not proficient at operating phones try to tweet. Jimmy Kimmel attempted to live tweet the President. His fumbling fingers were painful to watch, but he does get bonus points for the #MerylSaysHi.
You can read all of the results after the jump!
By Jack Pilgrim on ©February 26th, 2017 @ 9:15pm
The numbers are officially in! University of Kentucky’s annual DanceBlue event brought in a whopping $1,785,286.96 to fight pediatric cancer!
The 24-hour dance marathon began yesterday at 8:00 p.m., and finished in dramatic fashion when the final total came through.
DanceBlue is the largest philanthropy event at UK, where hundreds of students gathered at Memorial Coliseum and danced the day and night away for an unbelievable cause.
Check out some moments from the event:
— DanceBlue (@UKDanceBlue) February 26, 2017
— DanceBlue (@UKDanceBlue) February 26, 2017
— DanceBlue (@UKDanceBlue) February 26, 2017
Something’s coming… pic.twitter.com/yqFKJ8QrdO
— DanceBlue (@UKDanceBlue) February 26, 2017
Thank you to all who participated and/or donated to the cause. Your efforts are more appreciated than you realize.
By Nick Roush on ©February 24th, 2017 @ 5:30pm
Each week KSR’s Funkhouser features the best of pop culture. The Entertation Index collects the best of the week for your consumption.
Beyonce — Beyonce, set to headline this year’s Coachella music festival, has dropped herself from the 2017 lineup after the singer, pregnant with twins, received orders from her doctor to start keeping a “less rigorous schedule.” But let’s be honest — there’s a probably a big jump between “keeping a less rigorous schedule” and “being carried around by acrobats who bow in worship to you on stage while you do yoga poses dressed like a sun goddess.” How about we split the difference, Bey? Thx.
Link: Beyonce has Officially Dropped Out of Coachella and Fans Aren’t Happy
Cannon, Nick — The former Mr. Mariah Carey this week posted a photo of his new baby boy with former Miss Arizona Brittany Bell, whom he has chosen to name Golden “Sagon” Cannon. Those wishing to give a gift to the baby are asked to send toys, while those looking to give Nick Cannon a gift can try to find him SOMEONE WHO WILL TELL HIM NO.
Link: Nick Cannon Welcomes Son Golden “Sagon” Cannon
Chrisley, Todd — After it was revealed via social media that Chrisley Knows Best daughter Savannah has begun to date Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons, weird dad Todd went on Access Hollywood to tell the world that we all know NBA players are “ho hounds” and went on to school us on how professional basketball players have two phones — “one for the main chick, one for the side chick.” Todd Chrisley may have said some more after this stuff but my television literally chose that moment to grow sentient and light itself on fire, so I don’t know.
Link: Todd Chrisley Admits Concern over Savannah’s NBA Boyfriend
Oscars — The New York Times has announced its predictions for this Sunday’s Academy Awards and has the musical-throwback La La Land slated for not only Best Picture, but Best Director and Best Actress (Emma Stone) — not to mention an almost certain statuette for Best Song. You can watch La La Land before Sunday, or I can just summarize it for you here: Acting is hard! Music is Hard! Los Angeles is SO Amazing! But also hard! Believe in your dreams! It’s a virtual lock that anyone in the entertainment industry wasn’t losing their sh*t over the self-congratulatory exercise, so get used to hearing about it Sunday.
Link: And the Oscar Winners Will Be…
Springsteen, Bruce — A 14 year-old Australian boy skipped school to see a Brisbane Bruce Springsteen concert only to find himself on-stage jamming with The Boss himself, further proving the old adage “Don’t go to school.” I envy this kid; when I skipped school at 14 I slept late, walked two miles to watch Terminator 2 twice in a row and went boob-spotting on a VHS copy of European Vacation. Advantage: this Australian kid.
Link: Kid Skips School to See Bruce Springsteen, Ends Up Performing With Him
Trebek, Alex — If you’ve been on the internet this week, and if you’re seeing this you have, so stop lying, you’ve seen peeks of Jeopardy host Alex Trebek reading rap lyrics. Someone graciously put all those together in a compilation, so enjoy this from Trebek — or, as he was known in the day, Big ‘Stache Hustla.
Link: Alex Trebek Reads Rap Lyrics
Tri-State, Good Morning — I tweeted about this yesterday, but if you somehow missed the beautiful-but-failed pilot Good Morning Tri-State from director Jason Woliner and actor Mark Proksch, block off nineteen minutes today to remedy that. The premise, a staged morning news program which features escalating mania from its bizarre anchor, features co-hosts and guests who aren’t in on the joke and an unnatural attachment to the 2001 Hugh Jackman movie Swordfish. Take my word for it.
Link: Check out Mark Proksch and Jason Woliner’s Unaired 2013 Pilot “Good Morning Tri-State
Planet Earth II opens with British narrator David Attenborough (whose brother was tragically killed by dinosaurs in the late 1990s*), riding in a hot air balloon and telling us that since the original Planet Earth first aired ten years ago (yes, yes, we all feel very old), improvements in technology have made it possible to document earth’s many incredible ecosystems and animals in far greater detail than ever before.
I don’t know about you, but that’s the best news I’ve heard in months. I mean, just the thought of losing myself for an hour in the wonders of the natural world (without having to leave my house, thankfully) is a tonic for my soul during these troubled times. There are a lot of rehashes, sequels, reboots, and remakes out there, and we could do without 95% of them, but I’ll take a new Planet Earth every few years till I drop dead.
I believed all that to be true before I even watched the first episode of this new iteration, and I believe it even more now that I’ve watched the first episode, Islands. Spoiler Alert: islands are freakin’ awesome, and PE II makes absolutely sure that its round two debut reminds us what was so amazing about the series in the first place.
- There are a lot of penguins in this episode, and since penguins are without question the best animals on planet earth (I will absolutely fight you if you say different; get out of here with your lions and sharks and whatever other mainstream animals you think are so great), this one had crowd-pleaser written all over it, and there’s no reason to suspect that other episodes won’t follow suit.
- That scene that they posted a few months ago of the baby iguana running from that Evil of snakes (I don’t know what the technical name is for a group of snakes, but it should definitely be an Evil) is from this episode, and it is so much better and more tense than that preview indicates. Which is saying something, since that original clip made me yell like I was watching an old And-1 mixtape. By the end, I had ripped off my shirt and sprinted, screaming, right out of the room.
- Speaking of yelling: I actually shouted at my television several times over the course of the show’s hour runtime, which is impressive, since I probably haven’t actually shouted in surprise/horror/disbelief at a scripted drama in years. I don’t know what that means, exactly, but I’d say its a pretty revealing metric for just how incredible some of the stuff on Planet Earth II really is. It’s like, the Potential for Shock and Amazement Rankings go (1) sports, (2) Planet Earth, and (3) all other forms of televised entertainment.
- When Planet Earth debuted, it was essentially its own argument for owning an HDTV (which were still fairly rare at the time). In the same way, Planet Earth II is its own argument for upgrading to 4K (actually, now that I think about it, the Potential for Shock and Amazement rankings are the same as the Reasons to Get a 4K TV and TV Provider rankings). I have 20/20 vision and I can promise you that the real world does not look as good as PE II does in 4K. My eyes are sad when they have to look at anything that isn’t PE II in 4K. My computer screen is making me sad.
- David Attenborough is the only narrator who gives Morgan Freeman a run for his money. In fact, Freeman’s ubiquity (he’s even the spokesman for Turkish Airlines now) has diluted some of the joy I once experienced when I heard his dulcet tones. Attenborough doesn’t just speak English, he performs it. He takes the wonder, suspense, and comedy in every scene and amplifies it without ever stepping on the awesomeness of the footage. Also, he pronounces sloth with a long ‘o’ so that it comes out ‘slow-th. I don’t know if that’s just a British thing or if David Attenborough is entertaining himself by coming up with new, more appropriate names for animals on the fly. Either way, I’m rolling with slow-th from now on.
We both know that there are more than five reasons to watch Planet Earth II. In fact, the biggest reason is one I didn’t even mention: being a responsible citizen is exhausting right now, and Planet Earth II is the perfect way to recharge the ol’ mental batteries before diving in for another round of “Which Fictional Terrorist Attack Will The President Cite Today?”
That’s not to say Planet Earth II isn’t without reminders that the world is dark and full of terrors (anybody who saw the Great White Shark scene from the first series knows that even the cutest animals can meet a grisly fate), but at least animals can’t be faulted for their unsettling, devious, bloodthirsty behavior.
These days, we’ve got to take an honest approach wherever we can find it.
*In the book. In the movies, they made his brother out to be a much nicer dude than he was in real life. Still, a bummer that he was devoured by tiny dinosaurs.
HBO’s Big Little Lies begins with a murder. Unlike most stories the mystery isn’t centered on who is the murderer, but who has been murdered. The series, based off of Liane Moriarty’s best selling novel, takes place in a small, affluent community. The show pits working moms v. stay-at-home moms, ex-husbands v. current spouses and assumptions v. reality. The book is the perfect beach read. Even though the roster for the series is stacked (Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Adam Scott, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley) the series comes up short. The biggest lie from Big Little Lies is that the show is worth watching. Here are some of the little fibs that HBO’s newest series tells that turn into one big little lie.
Lie: The Cover.
The cover leads you to believe that there is a playfulness to this story. In reality, the image of a fragmented lollipop suspended in time contradicts the new-agey aesthetic that the story actually tells. The cover suggests fun and whimsy, but there is nothing vibrant and cheerful about the series. Even the children are more mature that the six year olds I know. Chloe (Reese Witherspoon’s daughter) has already made career plans and Shailene Woodley’s character’s son is named after a dead rock star’s famous song. It is all muted and mellow, the exact opposite of sugary sweets being blasted to smithereens. It goes without saying that these women would never eat a lollipop.
Lies: Everything that comes out of Reese Witherspoon’s mouth
Everything that comes out of Madeline Martha Mackenzie’s mouth tumbles out awkward and forced. As Witherspoon teeters around in her heels, her character’s words do not come across as believable. At one point Witherspoon says that someone “whooshed” by a while ago. When she said “whooshed” she meant hurried, but the damage was already done. Madeline Martha Mackenzie, the character with the worst monogram of all time, loses all credibility. Characters who are folksy and homely say “whooshed.” Characters who are not concerned with appearances and status say “whooshed.” Upper-crusty women named Madeline Martha MacKenzie don’t use the word “whooshed.” It is the most shining example of the disconnect between what MMM would say and what she actually says on the show.
The exception that proves the rule is when Mrs. Mackenzie tells one of her fellow characters that she “has no idea what she is talking about.” Ditto. Retweet. Preach.
Lie: How the teacher handles the conflict
According to the series, the murder would never have happened if it hadn’t been for the incident on the first day of school. Ziggy, Shailene Woodley’s character’s son, not Bob Marley’s kid, is accused of choking the daughter of one of the richest parents at the school. The teacher gathers up all of the parents and asks the little girl to point out the student who did this to her. The little girl points out Ziggy. Ziggy’s mom whooshes in and declares that her son would never do that to another student. The crowd gasps.
It literally could not have been handled worse. There is no way that a teacher would handle this type of incident this way. It is impossible to be committed to solving the murder mystery when the creators aren’t committed to creating a believable plot.
I really want to like this series. I love exploding treats. I love backyards that use large redwood trees as focal points in the center of patios. I love themed costume parties. A good “whodunnit” will always have space on my DVR. But, the biggest little lie is that all of these things are enough to make Big Little Lies the next drama worth watching.
By Josh Juckett on ©February 21st, 2017 @ 3:00pm
It’s been a busy week for Kyrie Irving. Over the weekend Irving’s Flat-Earth belief stirred up the NBA and the internet, prompting everybody from the KSR comments section up to the NBA commissioner to comment on whether the shape of the Earth. While this was certainly an entertaining aside to the All-Star weekend, the more interesting Irving story was the news that broke on Thursday. Irving’s Pepsi commercial character Uncle Drew is getting a movie. Reported by ESPN’s Darren Rovell and confirmed by Pepsi, the movie is actually happening and already has a writer, a loose plot, and Baron Davis. In a weekend where Irving was on top of the ridiculous totem pole, this may actually take the cake.
First things first, it’s egregious that Uncle Drew is making the jump from commercial to movie when the greatest NBA pitch man never made it past the small screen. That of course would be Lil Penny who dominated the scene in the mid-90s. Fox Sports did a great Lil Penny retrospective last year which can be seen here , but in case you forgot…Lil Penny was a legit star. Superbowl commercials, music videos, and he was even designed by the company run by Mythbuster Jamie Hyneman. Uncle Drew is a good gimmick, but Pepsi went that route with a few sports figures (Jeff Gordon and Kevin Love) to create a sort-of “viral” feel to the ads. There was only one Lil Penny and he deserves his shot.
The next reason why this is so ridiculous is the extremely bad history of NBA players starring in movies. I’m not talking about Space Jam, it’s a classic which I will never disparage. It, along with He Got Game, are also anomalies. Along with their NBA stars, those two movies featured solid supporting casts and are entertaining. Other NBA player movies have not fared so well: anything Shaq starred in (Kazaam, Steel), Thunderstruck featuring Kevin Durant (and Mark Krebs)
, and My Giant (Gheorghe Muresan) all come to mind. Along with Irving there will probably many other NBA stars which jump in for bit parts in the Uncle Drew movie. Baron Davis is already attached and everybody knows Lebron likes to expand his brand when possible. Kevin Love will probably show up in his old man makeup as well. In any case, this has the makings of a pretty bad acting cast.
Ultimately, an Uncle Drew movie will serve the same purpose the Uncle Drew commercials serve: promote Pepsi. I can’t imagine how paying the cost of a feature film would be profitable, but it might work. Could a bunch of NBA players in old man makeup be a funny movie? Probably not on their own. If they wanted to do this as part of Grown Ups 7 then it might be worth checking out, but anything else will probably be pretty awful. In the meantime I think the KSR crew needs to start on their own Drew movie called Earned, Not Given. Don’t worry, I’ve already prepared the synopsis:
A young man trying to break into the world of sports journalism falls on hard times as his gambling debt causes him to miss his big opportunity. Just when he thinks his dream is over, an old curmudgeon sees a glint of talent and offers him the second shot he so desperately wants. As Drew starts this journey to redemption, it’s up to him to learn that success in life is truly…earned, not given.
The Creative Connection. Netflix’s Series ‘Abstract: The Art of Design’ Speaks to the Artists, the Dreamers, and Me
By Matthew Mahone on ©February 20th, 2017 @ 12:09pm
ake a look around you—it’s ok, I’ll give you a second or two—what do you see? Whatever it is, it was more than likely designed by some “artsy” or “creative-type” person. Admittedly, I abhor labels. Maybe it’s my own insecurities about my own work—including the piece you’re reading now—or already stopped reading I assume. Or simply because I feel that those monikers are hackneyed and often misapplied—stereotyping and classifying individuals into the haves and have nots. Some would say I fall in the later. Regardless, ideas and ultimately the process of creating stuff—some of which you interact with daily—doesn’t happen by happenstance, nor is it a result of black magic. That’s not what the dark arts refers to. Rather it’s birthed out of an invigorating, thoughtful, systematic and at times painstaking process. In fact, as Hal Riney said in the 2009 documentary Art & Copy, “the frightening and most difficult thing about being what somebody calls a creative person is that you have absolutely no idea where any of your thoughts come from, really. And especially, you don’t have any idea about where they’re going to come from tomorrow.”
While I believe everyone possesses uniquely primal creative traits, not everyone has the ability to successfully translate their ideas into actual execution, let alone create work, i.e. posters, logos, furniture, etc., that connects with and speaks to others in intimate and powerful ways. That’s evident to anyone who’s ever attempted, persisted or absconded any artistic endeavor. Truly great designers see the world different from most. Above all they’re curious. Drawing inspiration from both the present and the past, and from familiar and even the unlikeliest of places. Listening and always looking to solve pragmatic problems—they just do so in their own, sometimes unconventional—I’d even go so far as to say radical—ways. Great designs are all around us. Some have dramatically transformed and influenced our culture and many have made a profound impact on the world around us. But how did they get that way?
Netflix’s new documentary, Abstract: The Art of Design focuses on such designers, pioneers who are shaping the way we look at and interact with the world. Akin to Chef’s Table, the eight-part series, each episode focuses on a particular artist, exploring the genesis behind their work in the fields of: graphic design and illustration, footwear design, stage and runway design, architecture, photography, and interior design. It’s a fascinating and rare glimpse into the minds of some really unique “creative-type” visionaries, who are at the forefront of artistic exploration and cultural change—where art begets design and design becomes art. The series feels cinematic, and is aesthetically captivating and the approach is extremely winsome. Likewise, each 45 minute episode is singularly focused, fast-paced, chic, and as idiosyncratic as the designers it features. That’s not to say that each one will speak to you, but it’s certainly binge-worthy nonetheless.
Three episodes in particular really connected with me the most. First, the inaugural episode featuring illustrator and award-winning artist, Christoph Niemann, who’s known for his New Yorker covers and Instagram sketches. His quirky, inquisitive nature and playfulness shine through his eccentricities. Whether he’s toiling with LEGOs, explaining communication through design using the Abstract-O-Meter, or working on his Sunday Sketches where he combines traditional art mediums like pen and ink with everyday objects to make beautiful works of art, this episode will surely delight you.
Next, is actually Episode 6 which explores the world of typography, and showcases Paula Scher, who has been described as “the most influential graphic designer on the planet”. From her album covers to her recognizable logos, Scher does more than simply arrange letters, words, and images together: She creates an emotional connection through her work which finds ways to influence our everyday lives including what we read, how we process information, and even our buying decisions. There’s also a lesson in the episode on poor design—in this case, the 2001 Florida ballot fiasco.
Lastly, Episode 2, featuring a former athlete who studied architecture, but whose name ended up being synonymous with sneaker culture which continues to leave an indelible footprint on pop culture, footwear designer, Tinker Hatfield. Nike wasn’t always the brand that it is today, and its success can be directly linked to Hatfield’s designs. While he’s best known for his collaborations with Michael Jordan, Tinker is also a forward-thinker, developing revolutionary, wearable technology, turning sci-fi fantasy into real world applications. He’s a bit of a mad scientist—part Picasso, part rock star—and all around fascinating.
So take a look for yourself and let me know which moments or episodes speak to you.
Abstract: The Art of Design is rated TV-14.