The Geek Challenge once more rears its ugly head, this time to a dark and somber tune. That’s right, Paul and AJ have decided to talk about music again, a subject which they famously lack the words to discuss. But that won’t stop ’em! AJ has challenged Paul to John Lennon’s debut solo album, 1970’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
, known for its direct and confessional lyrics; while Paul has challenged AJ to the middle album in The Sisters of Mercy catalogue, 1987’s Floodland
, a dark and alluring set of songs which may make no sense whatsoever. How much will Paul and AJ embarrass themselves? Tune in and find out!
Next: Fantastic Four? Don’t get ahead of yourself.
(Show notes for “Merciful Ono.”)
Smoke Gets in Your Ears: A Mad Men Podcast episode 23 is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
For their final episode of 2014, AJ, Kenn, and Joe continue their discussion of Mad Men season 5 with looks at “At the Codfish Ball,” in which someone’s cod is getting fished, if you know what I mean; “Lady Lazarus,” wherein Don lets the needle drop; and “Dark Shadows,” in which smog invades Thanksgiving. Plus, don’t miss another exciting installment of Hamm Watch!
(Show notes for Smoke Gets in Your Ears episode 23.)
Gobbledygeek episode 164, “Spinning Patellas,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
This week, Paul and AJ lack a plan. As always, when they lack a plan, they tend to just talk a whole bunch. Like, a whole bunch. First up, AJ gives the audience what he knows they want: an update on his health. (Here at Gobbledygeek, we want to make you feel like you’re part of the family.) Then there’s talk of music, with the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ second album coinciding with the release of On Air: Live at the BBC – Vol. 2, along with Paul McCartney’s New. On the movie front, Paul falls in love with About Time while AJ falls decidedly out of love with Robert Rodriguez after witnessing Machete Kills. Then they talk about comics. Boy, do they talk about comics.
Next: the boys take the week off, while Bat-Turkey sharpens his claws for the annual killing season known as Thanksgiving. The week after, Gobbledygeek returns to talk with friend of the show Joseph Lewis about his upcoming pilot, Nowheresville.
(Show notes for “Spinning Patellas.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 154, “Aeolian Cadences (feat. Anna Williams),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
It’s an even-numbered episode, which theoretically puts Paul in the driver’s seat for this week, but he completely phones it in, so AJ Wiley takes the reins and redeems himself, more or less, for many of his prior podcast failures. He welcomes foul-mouthed fiddle player Anna Williams to the show to school the boys on how to talk about music. Also pet gender, cast announcements for Fifty Shades of Grey, and Gobbledygeek being so bad it’s driven Hayao Miyazaki into retirement. Meanwhile, Paul’s only contribution is the pitch for League of Extraordinarily Awkward Auteur Directors.
Next: the boys continue to fail at this job.
(Show notes for “Aeolian Cadences.”)
On this, the eve of 2013, Paul and I begin to look back at some of our favorite things of 2012. First up, our ten favorite TV series.
Also, let’s give a slow clap to Paul, who struggled through severe illness just to get these words to you, dear reader. A speedy recovery to you, sir!
PAUL: 10. PARKS AND RECREATION (NBC)
Season 5 gets out of the office a little bit, with Ben and April in Washington D.C. (with an evil robot congressman). Ron gets a new love interest (the always lovely Lucy Lawless). Tom starts a new business. And Andy finds a new career.
AJ: 10. GAME OF THRONES (HBO)
What Game of Thrones did in its first season was nothing short of exceptional, a 10-episode narrative that goes down as one of the finest accomplishments the medium has seen thus far. And while the second season struggled at times to recapture that majesty, it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. The scope and breadth of George R.R. Martin’s world remains impressive; the cast, especially Peter Dinklage as the kind of noble imp Tyrion Lannister, continues to knock out high fantasy material that would crush lesser actors; and thrilling hours like “Blackwater” remind us that this is the closest thing we have to a Lord of the Rings on TV. And it’s a whole lot nastier and sexier, too.
I’ve often wondered about tribute acts. What’s it like to devote your life to recreating the sounds of another band? Don’t you ever want to play your own material? The tribute groups I’d seen before were Beatles acts, and though some of them were very impressive (I’ve seen Rain twice, and I’d like to see them again), they attempted to slavishly recreate everything about the band, which included adopting fake Liverpudlian accents and calling each other “John” or “Ringo.” Inevitably, a little something was lost in translation. As Lez Zeppelin took the stage at Musica here in Akron, Ohio, this past Saturday, I was curious to see how they would attempt to recreate the sound and fury of Led Zeppelin, especially since their gimmick is that–as their name implies–they’re an all-girl band.
Turns out, their gimmick isn’t so much a gimmick. From the moment they launched into a ferocious “Immigrant Song,” all of my questions seemed suddenly irrelevant. Lez Zeppelin rocks so hard that you don’t want to think about why they would perform the music of a decades-gone band; you just want to revel in the how. And how, indeed. Musica is a pretty small place, one that would seem more suited to opening act Thom Chacon, a Dylanesque singer-songwriter. Yet those close quarters played to the band’s strengths. I’m sure they can kick up quite a ruckus in a larger venue, but at Musica, the audience simply found itself dwarfed by sheer, glorious noise.
I am not the half of Gobbledygeek who loathes the Oscars; in fact, they’re an annual tradition in my house. This year, we even ponied up for chocolate Oscar statuettes powdered with gold. We don’t mess around. Amazingly, I even liked seven of this year’s nine Best Picture nominees (the odd ones out being War Horse and, ugh, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close). At the same time, I realize that the Academy often fails to recognize some truly brilliant films, and in the interest of counter-programming, I thought I’d point out some of the ones it missed this year.
These films didn’t garner a single Oscar nod this year (if it wasn’t for Sound Editing, Drive would be all up in here), and were actually eligible by Academy rules (otherwise, I would have spotlighted The Sunset Limited yet again, alongside the hilarious concert film Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater).
We’ve got 11 great movies here, divided up into three categories. To get us started…