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Glee Tag

This story of Journey is about three men: Herbie Herbert, the visionary former manager of the band, Steve Perry, the enigmatic lead singer who helped take the band to great heights, and Neal Schon, the guitar virtuoso Herbert built the band around and who carries the Journey legacy into the 21st Century.

Herbert and Schon met in the early 70’s when the former was the road manager for the original Santana lineup, which included 15-year-old prodigy, Schon, and keyboardist, vocalist, Gregg Rolie. Fed up with the new direction Carlos Santana was taking his band, Herbert decided to form a new one around Schon and act as manager. Having bonded with Rolie, the lead singer of Santana who sang all of the band’s signature tunes, Herbert convinced him to come on board.  With these two in place, Herbert recruited Ross Valory on bass (formerly of the Steve Miller Band); David Bowie vet, Ansley Dunbar, on drums, and George Tickner on guitar.  Calling themselves Journey, they began touring the Bay area before landing a record deal with Columbia Records.

A look at songs that aren’t necessarily good or bad, merely ones that, because of the climate of the music world during their release, somehow, someway, were not the massive hit songs they should logically have been.

"Robin Thicke"'s

With a lockout threatening the NFL next year, the league couldn’t have asked for a better way to complete this season. Two storied franchises from blue collar cities meeting in the Super Bowl, both led by quarterbacks trying to climb out of the shadows. Green Bay Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers was looking to cast aside the comparisons to Green Bay’s legendary Brett Favre; Pittsburgh Steeler QB, Ben Roethlisberger was hoping to prove that he’d reformed his bad boy image after an off season of legal trouble. All fans of football could ask for in a big game like this is that it be played well and that the final score wasn’t a blow-out. Despite an uneven first half, the end result of Super Bowl XLV, which aired on Fox, should have pleased just about anyone who wasn’t rooting for the Steelers.

The Super Bowl has become such a huge pop culture phenomenon that sometimes the football gets lost in all of the hype. All day long, celebrities are on camera talking about their upcoming films, just bout anyone who’s ever picked up a football is analyzing the two teams and offering a prediction, and of course there are the commercials. The Sunday of the Super Bowl is circled on every marketing calendar as a chance to grab eyes for the latest gadgets, the newest variety of snack food, and any upcoming summer film release.

The year 2010 wasn’t necessarily the most groundbreaking in television, but it certainly wasn’t one that will soon be forgotten. With hit cable dramas like Mad Men, the farewell to one of the most innovative series in the past decade, Lost, and an obsession with singing sensations on Glee, there was unquestionably a lot to talk about at the water cooler. Take a look back at the year with some of my favorites.

Best Drama: Breaking Bad (AMC)

This was not an easy category to choose a winner. With great character dramas like Friday Night Lights, fantastic writing on shows like Mad Men, and edge-of-your-seat dramas like Sons of Anarchy, I ultimately landed on the show that encompasses all three: Breaking Bad. Bryan Cranston is superb as Walt, the humble chemistry teacher and family man that starts cooking meth to pay for his cancer treatments, and over time becomes the morally ambiguous big bad that we love watching so much. At his right hand is the underrated Aaron Paul as Jesse, the crass and profane former student that introduces him to this world. Each episode has an underlying slow simmer, a tension that builds over time into an explosive, and often bloody, final few minutes. Only Breaking Bad could base an entire hour of television on the idea that there is a fly loose in the lab, and turn it into a compelling mesh of breaking points, motivations, and secrets. Walt always has his identity and life on the line, running from the DEA, creepy Mexican twins, and the truth. I just hope he keeps on running; I’m hooked for the rest of his journey.

Best Comedy: Community (NBC)

Community stands out as best comedy this year because of its innovation. From the action-spoof hit episode “Modern Warfare” that featured a paintball game that goes awry on the community college’s campus, the show had a new identity. Following up with spoofs of gangster films, space expeditions, zombie epidemics, and a Claymation new Christmas classic, it quickly became the cleverest comedy on the air. TV for TV people, chock full of pop culture references, delivered by a diverse and strong cast, hopefully this show will rise beyond cult status and get the attention it deserves.

Before we kick off today’s round of exquisite Mellowmas torture, how about some discount music and a contest? Our friends at Rhino are celebrating the Twelve Days of Chri — er, Rhino, and for the sixth day, they’re not only offering a whopping 40% discount on the five-CD Chicago box set, but they’re giving away a $25 promo code to one lucky Popdose reader! Here’s what you need to do to enter:

Visit the Rhino site and find out how much you need to spend to get free shipping on your order. Then email the answer to Kelly Stitzel with the subject line “I know a Rhino.” Our winner will be chosen at random, and all entries must be received by noon PST tomorrow. Good luck!

Jason: Wait a minute, what is this?

Jeff: It’s a Christmas album tie-in to one of the hottest shows on television!

Jason: “Last Christmas” by the cast of Glee? There are two things wrong here. First of all, I think I’ve told you this for the past three years: I never need to hear a version of “Last Christmas” that’s not by Wham!.

Jeff: Which is why I keep sending you new ones.

Jason: Second of all, I can’t STAND the Auto-Tune that Glee insists on using on every single track, even if it’s unnecessary.

Jeff: As you may know, I’ve only seen one episode of this show. So I’m not really familiar with what they do, except in a vague “I don’t want to watch Glee” sense.

Jason: I watched the first half of the first season.

Jeff: And you bought the issue of GQ with the Glee cast photoshoot.

Jason: Yes, but only because I was oddly fascinated by Lea Michele’s face.

Jeff: Lea Michele is sort of a butterface, isn’t she?

Jason: To paraphrase Family Guy, it looked liked someone threw up in a shoe.

Jeff: Yeah, she’s no Alison Brie. When is SHE going to make a Christmas album?

Jason: LOVE Alison Brie.

Jeff: uncomfortable extended silence

Jason: I enjoyed a few episodes of Glee. I could even suspend disbelief like you do when you’re watching musicals — when songs start out of nowhere. But the Auto-Tune drove me insane.

Jeff: Yeah, I know what you mean. But we’re obviously in the minority. This is how I felt about drum machines in the ’80s.

Jason: There were some other things about the show that totally pissed me off, too, but I can’t remember what they were. I actually did intend to continue watching it, but I fell behind and just gave up. It wasn’t important enough to me.

Jeff: Look at the bright side, though. These kids are supposedly actual singers, right? I mean, last year, didn’t we have to listen to Leighton Meester do this song?

Jason: What the hell is a Leighton Meester?

Jeff: I think I found one growing in a Tupperware in my fridge this morning.

Jason: Actually, last Christmas (ha!), it was Ashley Tisdale. And to my dismay, I liked it. A bunch. Although I just put it on for a second, and I can’t remember what I liked about it. Maybe I was just worn down when we listened to it last year.

Jeff: I always look forward to the “Last Christmas” part of Mellowmas.

Jason: I always hate it.

Jeff: You’re a “Last Christmas” expert.

Jason: I am.

Jeff: This is you, in your element.

Jason: I have, like, three different versions by Wham!. “Single Mix,” “Pudding Mix” (you don’t want to know), “Instrumental Mix”…

Jeff: It’s fascinating to watch you go to work, dissecting every moment of this song.

Jason: Well, I have to sing it every year as part of the Acoustic ’80s Christmas show.

Jeff: You should use Auto-Tune this year.

Jason: Ha! That would actually be kind of awesome! Maybe you could buy me Auto-Tune for Christmas, right after the talkbox.

Jeff: First I’m buying you an electric ukulele.

Jason: You are? Wow!

Jeff: Then the Auto-Tune on top. And a reindeer sweater and a wheelchair, so you can do a Glee/Israel Kamakawiwoʻole “Last Christmas” mash-up.

Jason: I’ll start a Crisco diet now.

Jeff: What did I just write? I don’t even know. Mellowmas is killing me.

Jason: Maybe we should just listen to the song. Although watching you get delirious is kind of enjoyable.

Jeff: sigh

Glee Cast — Last Christmas (download)


From Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album

Before we kick off today’s round of exquisite Mellowmas torture, how about some discount music and a contest? Our friends at Rhino are celebrating the Twelve Days of Chri — er, Rhino, and for the second day, they’re not only offering a whopping 40% discount on the essential What It Is! Funky Soul And Rare Grooves box, but they’re giving away a $25 promo code to one lucky Popdose reader! Here’s what you need to do to enter:

Visit the Rhino site and find the Christmas ornament that puts the “hey, hey” in your holidays. Then email the answer to Michael Parr with the subject line “You should see what your wife is wearing right now.” Our winner will be chosen at random, and all entries must be received by noon PST tomorrow. Good luck!


Jason: Oh, look, Jeff. Wilson Phillips released a Christmas album. Just what none of us were waiting for.

Jeff: Remember how Jellyfish broke up after two albums?

Jason: Don’t remind me.

Jeff: And yet here we are, 20 years after Wilson Phillips’ debut, and they keep resurfacing. And even worse, their albums are total shit. Remember the last one?

Jason: Was that California?

Jeff: It was.

Jason: I vaguely remember an Eagles cover.

Jeff: Who does that? Who releases a crappy album of covers more than a decade after their last record?

Jason: …Artists who couldn’t write songs in the first place and have lost the budget to hire good songwriters?

Jeff: They go away just long enough to trick you into thinking they’re gone for good. And then wham! Back with something even shittier than before.

Jason: Oh, you got me excited there. I thought Wham! was getting back together.

Jeff: Not even Wilson Phillips has any use for Andrew Ridgeley anymore. I don’t know what’s next for them. A live album?

Jason: I hope not. Matt Wardlaw sent me a Wilson Phillips live bootleg a few months back. And worse, I actually listened to it.

Jeff: I’d forgotten about that. Wasn’t it from this year or something?

Jason: Yes.

Jeff: You guys have lots of problems.

Jason: It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. The biggest problem was that I listened to it two days before my triathlon, and wound up with “You’re In Love” in my head the whole race.

Jeff: Did they do that song about their housekeeper?

Jason: What song is that?

Jeff: I think it was called “Goodbye Carmen.”

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: Or maybe the full title was “Goodbye Carmen (Make Sure You Folded the Toilet Paper the Way I Like It).”

Jason: You think Wilson Phillips can still afford housekeepers?

Jeff: Well, I think Jesus takes care of Chynna’s housecleaning needs.

Jason: Easy, Jeff, or a Baldwin is going to invade our comment section.

Jeff: Sample “Goodbye Carmen” lyric: “And her eyes are like skies that will rain / But there’s work to be done, and she does not complain”

Jason: That’s poetry.

Jeff: “Goodbye, Carmen / Hasta mañana or who knows when (it all depends)”

Jason: You write like you actually know this song. I feel bad for you.

Jeff: Google is a powerful thing. Also, it’s probably the only adult contemporary ballad about a maid. I mean, unless you count Richard Marx’s “Angelia.”

Jason: SHUT UP
“ANGELIA” IS A GREAT SONG
ONE OF HIS BEST

Jeff: “Goodbye Carmen” is just about the only thing I remember about Wilson Phillips’ second album. That and the sight of Carnie on the beach in flowing lingerie.

Jason: There goes breakfast.

Jeff: You may throw up, Jason. But you won’t see her cry.

Jason: Well, now that my stomach is empty, I think it’s time to listen to a song from this new Christmas album.

Jeff: Christmas in Harmony!

Jason: I wonder how long it took them to come up with that title?

Jeff: I wonder how long the three of them were actually in the same studio for this?

Jason: I took a sneak listen to their cover of the Beach Boys’ “Our Prayer.” (Which, by the way, is not a Christmas song.)

Jeff: Didn’t Carnie and Wendy do their own Christmas album in the ’90s?

Jason: …did they? And if so, why haven’t we covered it?

Jeff: Because you keep refusing my request to make Mellowmas 365 days long?

Jason: Oh look, apparently I had some breakfast left. And there it goes.

Jeff: Wendy and Carnie also made an album with their dad, renowned fake keyboard player Brian Wilson.

Jason: snicker

Jeff: Maybe “Our Prayer” was on that. Or left over from the sessions.

Jason: Well, honestly, “Our Prayer” was excellent.

Jeff: I don’t think anyone has ever accused these women of not being able to sing.

Jason: That’s true.

Jeff: I wonder what their prayers are at this point? Carnie: Another talk show.

Jason: Wendy: Stay hot.

Jeff: Chynna: Painful death for Matthew Bolin.

Jeff: As uninspired as this album’s title is, I have to hand it to Wilson Phillips for coming up with an interestingly titled original number: “Warm Lovin’ Christmastime.”

Jason: …that wasn’t on the Keith Sweat Christmas album? Seems like Keith Sweat would be the one to give us warm lovin’.

Jeff: I think that was a Jeffrey Osborne cover, actually. Plop!

Jason: Okay, let’s give it a listen. We’ve made our readers wait long enough. If we still have readers.

Jeff: I doubt they’re in any rush, but okay.

Jason: Ready?

Jeff: Yes. But no.

Wilson Phillips — Warm Lovin’ Christmastime (download)

From Christmas in Harmony

There is no subtle way into this post, so let me just grab the band-aid and rip it off.

Last year, editor-in-chief Jeff Giles wrote a television review about the show Glee. In case you are a reader who hasn’t seen the piece yet, you can check it out here. If you’re not all that interested, the long/short is that Jeff found it pleasant but not thoroughly engaging. It was something he would get back to when the mood strikes him. Overall, it was a positive but not necessarily enthusiastic summation.

That post is on track to become one of our most popular posts ever, in the history of the site, just behind the Beatles Remasters posts. It’s even breathing on the neck of the Front Page as our most viewed item. The recent GQ Magazine photographs made things worse; where “Glee” was the second most grabbed search engine term, now we had “Glee Pics,” “Glee Photos,” “Glee Pictures,” and “Glee Images,” all squatting in our top ten like Okies and Arkies tenting out by the orchard.

So I have to ask the question, I can’t deny it any longer, and I’ve been trying to be the shepherd. I’ve been trying REAL HARD. tamp down the curiosity. Frankly, my obsessive-compulsive tendencies have been getting a workout from my abstaining, but like a tiny kid with a tiny bladder and a Super Big Gulp, I can’t hold it any longer.

What do you see in Glee?

“Hello, suckers!” Sue Sylvester chastised (from her perch on the video screens) as the lights came down for the final L.A. performance of “Glee Live” Saturday night. Similar sentiments no doubt abound among music purists who have spent the last year agog over the elevation to full-fledged Cultural Phenomenon of a show that, admittedly, features a vaguely Up With People musical aesthetic. Yet among the 6,000 devotees who packed the Gibson Amphitheatre for the fourth time over three days, few emerged feeling that they had been taken – after all, no matter how much we might one day regret having fallen so hard for Glee, it certainly has inspired rabid devotion on an increasingly international level. It also has, in many senses, provided something of a public service: Who can really argue with a show that simultaneously has revived popular interest in arts education, has gotten a new generation hooked on musical theater, and has rendered “Don’t Stop Believin’” not merely hip (thanks, Sopranos) but relevant to the tween multitudes?

The Journey classic provided Glee’s seminal moment, and it served, fittingly, as an enthusiasm-goosing opener for the cast’s concert of favorite tunes from the series. (The band apparently has a future on the show as well: “Faithfully” will be performed during the season finale next week, and the Glee kids tore through a mashup of “Any Way You Want It” and “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” near the end of Saturday’s performance.) Following its out-of-the-gate high point, “Glee Live” settled into a rather predictable selection of show highlights, bouncing from “My Life Would Suck Without You” to “Push It” to “Sweet Caroline” to “The Boy is Mine” to “The Lady is a Tramp” with little concern for genre barriers (or, in too many cases, the Wonder-bread quality of the arrangements and vocals – though at least there was no lip-syncing in evidence, except perhaps on the crazy-costumed tribute to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”).

Throughout, the cast members performed their glorified karaoke while remaining in character – leading this jaded observer to wonder, more than once, how tens of thousands of fans could have been hoodwinked into attending Brady Kids concerts back in the 1970s. (Have there been other instances when a TV-series cast toured in character? I can’t think of one — apart from the Monkees, sorta.) As much of an in-the-moment blast as it is for a Glee fan to watch Rachel and Finn and Puck and Quinn and Mercedes and Kurt perform onstage, the euphoria was tempered by the nagging sense that there’s not much difference between watching wheelchair-bound Artie (played by the not-paralyzed-in-real-life Kevin McHale) spin around to his god-awful version of “Dancing With Myself,” and a kid of the ’70s watching Christopher Knight-as-Peter Brady sing that paean to adolescent vocal cords, “Time to Change.” With their occasional video-screen commentaries, adult Glee stars Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch even seemed like a latter-day Mike and Carol coupling … well, perhaps with Sue Sylvester as the anti-Carol.

glee-cast[1]

So this is it, huh? This is what you guys were freaking out about all summer? I admit, I haven’t seen the supposedly wonderful pilot, and picking up a series at its second episode probably isn’t the best idea, but…still, I have to say, I don’t really understand all the fuss about Glee.

A Fox summer sensation, Glee follows the occasionally musical adventures at William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio, centering on the school’s glee club (hence, duh, the title). Led by the school’s Spanish teacher, Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), the club combats all the usual stuff — indifferent school administrators, hostile popular kids, et cetera — while singing and dancing their way through covers of songs like “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and “Gold Digger.” As you might imagine, given the title of the series, there’s an awful lot of perky, quirky humor on display here — but there’s also a strong underlying note of melancholy; not only are the kids in the glee club as dumped on as you might expect (in the first five minutes, club star Rachel [played by Lea Michele] stands up to a cheerleader and gets a pair of blue Slurpees to the face for her comeuppance), but the adults in their lives are also utterly unfulfilled.