Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Countdown! Goodbye September!

Autumn is being kind of a tease this week, but I am anticipating blustery chilly days and it's going to be soooo nice. :)

I'm down in Virginia Beach this weekend and, boy, it sure is nice to have a laptop that doesn't need to be attached to a power cord (aka not a laptop). You guys, I think laptops might be the future of business on the go. Spread the word. ;-)

Countdown #122

Alex Clare
The Black Keys
Green Day
Imagine Dragons
The Killers
The Lumineers
Mumford & Sons

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Fangs

It's always really cool when members of a band you really liked start new projects.

I was super bummed when My First Earthquake announced that they were going to be taking a break (indefinite hiatus, hanging up their hats, etc. (basically not making music for a while as MFE) and so it was very cool to get an email announcing that Rebecca (sometimes I call her Rob-ecca, because she can do a killer (as in good, not deadly....well, maybe both) from MFE had started a new band with a guy named Mike Cobra from the band King Loses Crown. 

The band sent this teaser video:

Happy Fangs will be playing on October 1st (that's THIS Monday) at the Rickshaw Stop with Blood Red Shoes and Starskate. You can buy tickets here
When I asked them on Twitter (@happyfangs) about any tracks that they might have to release, they told me that they're mixing their first demo on Friday. So maybe they'll send me a track or two to post soon!
I've said it before, but it is always REALLY exciting to get news of a band like this. I'm very excited to hear more from them!

Monday, September 24, 2012

MacGyver Mondays: Off Week! Season 1 Catch Up!

So, I'm going to do the season finale next week instead of this week. It's a purely procrastinational change, but I thought I could do something semi-fun/quick this week.

So, here are the five MacGyver Monday episodes that, if Google Stats are any indication,  you may not have seen. I'm going to give them a quick little synopsis and then link you to them so that you can check them out if you haven't already, or check them out again if you have!

To up the already miniscule odds slightly, I will be doing the synopses from memory!

Hellfire - Things begin to heat up when MacGyver visits some old friends and helps them battle the forces of nature and thermodynamics so that they might be able to live out their dream of being rich off of black gold, Texas tea.

Every Time She Smiles - MacGyver is on his way home with some very important microfilm when he meets the lovely Penny Parker (Teri Hatcher) and things take a series of unexpected twists and hilarious (and dangerous!) turns.

Slow Death - It's a case of whodunit on a train that has been stopped by bandits on the wild plains of India! Can MacGyver keep the peace AND discover the culprits so that the bandits allow him to get his information across the border?!

The Enemy Within - A former Soviet agent has defected and Pete is using her to identify the traitor in their midst. MacGyver, with the help of a fellow agent and friend, must protect her while they attempt to unmask this deadly mole!

Nightmares - MacGyver must race against the clock and use all the help he can get from a new friend before the poison in his bloodstream kills him! Will he tell his captors where he stashed the microfilm or die trying to get the antidote??

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Countdown: Loving This Fall Weather

Happy Fall Everyone! Hope your Equinox was spectacularly Autumnal!

It's another great countdown this week. We say goodbye to a feature that we've been doing for around 2 years now and we prepare for a feature we'll be doing for just about 2 years! It's past, present and future around here, folks!

Countdown #121

Alex Clare
The Black Keys
Green Day
Imagine Dragons
The Killers
Linkin Park
The Lumineers
Mumford & Sons

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

MacGyver Mondays: "A Prisoner of Conscience" (Season 1, Episode 21)

Pay no attention to the man in the reflection (my first "screen shot" which is an actual shot of the screen :) )
Title: A Prisoner of Conscience
Airdate: 4/30/1986
My Age at Airdate: 2 years, 9 months, 14 days
Episode Type: Prison Break

The menu for the last disc of the First Season has a picture of MacGyver in a priest's collar. I can only assume that that is either from THIS episode or the Season Finale. It just seems to me that "A Prisoner of Conscience" stands much more of a chance for this kind of thing than "The Assassin" does, you know?


We open on the Kremlin in Moscow. Looks to be a pretty nice city. A motorboat is pulling up to a beach. And MacGyver is sitting on a bench eating an apple. Pete runs up to him and asks why he's there, Mac asks why Pete is there.  Pete left without notice and took a map of Russia, so of course MacGyver tracked him down. Pete is investigating the death of this Russian scientist guy who was killed because of being in contact with an American agent....Pete. 

Pete was helping this Russian guy deliver letters of political prisoners but the Russian guy got caught. And now Pete has heard that the Russians are after this guy (Let's call him The Postman)'s daughter.

So Mac asks how they're going to do it and Pete tells Mac that he doesn't want to endanger another friend.

MacGyver, of course, stubbornly refuses to be brushed off. Pete acquiesces but says that the Postman's daughter is going to be nervous about meeting new people so he should go by himself to make contact.

Mac lets him go for a couple seconds and then follows.

Pete goes to PD's house and she greets him warmly. Pete says that he's sorry, but she says that she has to be strong because the Russians are evicting her.

MacGyver walks up the path to the house and sees some potatoes. And then he moves on.

Then a car pulls up. MacGyver's voiceover tells us that this can only be the secret police and it looks like Pete has come to the same conclusion. Mac has hidden and Pete is preparing to help PD. 

She opens the door, they tell her to come with them, she refuses and Pete slams the door. Then, somehow, the police men (including the one that looks like the black-haired guy in Hall and Oates that was standing nowhere near the door, but I guess he was standing behind the guy that looks like EVERY RUSSIAN YOU'VE SEEN IN ANY MOVIE WHERE RUSSIANS ARE THE BAD GUYS) fall into the lake on which the house that PD lives in is located.

Pete and PD run for it. Mac breaks cover, grabs one of the potatoes and shoves it in the tailpipe of the police car. 

AFTER. So, that means that MacGyver is basically cribbing a trick from Axel Foley. Amazing

Pete, PD, and MacGyver run off. The soaking wet policemen try to chase in their car, but, of course, they break their car.

Our heroes run to the beach that we saw at the beginning, hop in a motorboat and take off. The policemen apparently have a boat on that same beach, so they get in that and take chase, occasionally firing a shotgun at their prey (stormtrooper aim, natch).

They need to get these guys off their tail. Mac and Pete start to tear up a blanket, ripping it to shreds. Hopefully that wasn't an heirloom.

Is Moscow really as much like Louisiana as it looks in this chase scene?

MacGyver ties the blanket to a gas can to jam the intake of their jet...thing on their boat. Oh and some lifeboats. He tosses all of that in the water and they run over it and then their boat goes ashore, the policemen get out and the boat blows up. Blows up? Really? Hmm

Well, it looks like everyone's safe and sound.....

WAIT. PD tells them that her father is not dead! He's incarcerated in like a mental hospital. Near Leningrad. She plans to get her father out. And Pete says he's going to help. And MacGyver says he will too.

So now we're in Leningrad. They have secured lots of official paperwork.

So now they're going to execute this plan. We don't know what it is. It's kind of like Ocean's Eleven.

Pete is posing as a doctor. MacGyver is playing crazy.

We also have Man Doctor (Bad) and Woman Doctor (I'm not sure if she's bad or not. Maybe not.)

Man Doctor takes MacGyver to the room with all the other crazy people (but there are political prisoners and actual crazy people)

We've got Big Guy, Room Leader, and Chess Guy.

Man Doctor takes Chess Guy's chessboard and Chess Guy kind of freaks out, but Mac puts on a crazy show where he snatches the board and starts making a scene. A guard runs in and Big Guy clotheslines him. Then more guards run in and MacGyver surrenders, but they beat him anyway. But Chess Guy gets his board back. 

Oh, I don't remember if it's important, but Room Leader had a little altercation with Man Doctor right before this, where he claimed that he was political and insulted Man Doctor, but then MD (hehe. MD) threatened to quiet him down and so he immediately withdrew his statement and acted crazy as a demonstration that he wasn't political.

Anyways. So Dr. Pete and Woman Doctor are touring the grounds. She's kind of old-school good, so that's good.

A guy comes and tells Dr. Pete that "his patient became violent".

So now Pete is with MacGyver who has been like, straight-blanketed. It's like he's swaddled. In fact, that's EXACTLY what he is, and I bet it's for the same reason. He had an outburst and swaddling is designed to calm you down. 

Mac and Pete have a brief exchange where Pete tells Mac that he only brought one set of lockpicks, even though they both need lockpicks. Pete needs them to get into the medicine cabinet to get the psychotropic drugs (for the after party) and Mac needs them to...well, break out of the whole place. Macgyver tells Pete that he'll take care of his own lockpicking needs.

MacGyver is talking to Room Leader. Trying to find The Postman. Room Leader doesn't have any information, but Chess Guy does. He tells MacGyver where The Postman is and then Room Leader decides to trust MacGyver because an impostor wouldn't take a beating just to save Chess Guy's chess set.

MacGyver breaks the light bulb of the lamp in the room and uses the filament as a lockpick. It is literally THE easiest lock picking I've ever seen in my life. Easy damn peasy.

Room Leader will create a diversion while MacGyver gets The Postman out. Only, when MacGyver gets up to the ward where The Postman should be, there are a bunch of rooms and a guard. 

So he goes into the janitor's closet (and inspirational "You Can Do It" music starts playing) he gets a bucket, stops up the sink and smears caulking compound on the side and rim of the bucket. He's making "Russian Crazy Glue". He pours another liquid all over it and then puts a mop handle through the bucket. He lures the guard into the janitor's closet. The guard grabs the bucket and his hands are immediately stuck to the bucket.

MacGyver sneaks by, but the guard sees him and hits the alarm. But Big Guy grabs him and holds him tight. The guards and doctors are on high alert, but I think they're all heading for the wing where Room Leader, Chess Guy and the others are making a huge hubbub. 

MacGyver meets The Postman. He tells TP that PD sent him. He picks the lock to TP's door. Just as easily. But the guards are on their way to the Ward where TP is being kept. TP tells MacGyver that he is the only prisoner in the ward and that his room will certainly be searched.

So MacGyver decides to take him out of there. He relocks the cell door.

The guards get to the Ward (It's called Ward Zero) and find the first guard hanging from a door by his toes. They open the door and he falls and Big Guy attacks them. 

Down in Ward K (the other ward), guards are arriving.

Meanwhile, Pete has snuck into Woman Doctor's office. He picks the lock to the drug cabinet and take some stuff, but then he hears a rustling at the door. It's a cleaning woman. Pete hides in a closet.

The guards have subdued Big Guy and Man Doctor is going to inject BG with something, but Chess Guy starts rattling off side effects that the drug will have. So MD threatens to burn the chess set. He tells CG not to touch the chess set until he gave him permission. CG is upset.

Mac sneaks TP down the hall.

The cleaning lady leaves and Pete sneaks out of the room. He drops something on the ground, but doesn't notice. He walks into the hall the MD is coming down. MD calls out to him, but he just walks across the hall into another room. MD looks in the first room and see the bag of drugs that Pete dropped.

The guard is asking MacGyver where he's been. MacGyver takes him over to the window while Room Leader sneaks TP into the room. Then RL asks the guard for some medicine and the guard leaves to get it.

TP and MacGyver talk about why Mac, Pete and PD are there.

Mac lets TP (and us) in on the second and third phases of the plan.  PD will pose as a local girl and work in the hospital's cafeteria. She'll somehow take out the guards (I'm thinking with the drugs, perhaps?) and then Pete will kick of Phase III somehow.

Pete and Woman Doctor are talking when Man Doctor casually bursts in. He accuses her and Pete of trying to steal drugs and sell them on the black market. He places the both of them under house arrest.

PD meets with the cafeteria manager. He tells her how to set the table and tells her she only has 20 minutes before the staff arrives to eat breakfast.

Big Guy is doing some Tai Chi. Man Doctor walks in and indicates the MacGyver is involved with the drug thing.

MacGyver starts to act like he's been investigating the same crime, but MD stops him and tells him he plans to subject the three of them (I guess Chess Guy, MacGyver, and Room Leader? to chemical interrogation.

Chess Guy snaps. He breaks his chessboard over MD's head. MacGyver kicks the gun out of the guard's hand and punches him. Then Room Leader breaks a chair over that guard's head. Mac runs for the door and double fist-punches the guard outside it.

Big Guy gags MD and wraps him tight in a blanket and holds him. Chess Guy gets his broken board and chess pieces and walks contentedly over to the table. Room Leader takes one of the guard's guns and tells Mac that he knows where WD and Pete will be. TP leads two prisoners we haven't met out to follow RL and MacGyver.

MacGyver gets Pete and WD. RL locks the guard he has at gunpoint in WD's office closet.

PD meets with Pete and MacGyver to get the drugs to drug the guards and the Cafeteria Manager comes out and asks what's going on. There's a tense moment, but then MacGyver just says

MacGyver: We're breaking out.
Manager: Oh
Pete: We wouldn't LIKE it if you interfered.
Manager: No no no. You can lock me in the closet, or the supply room, or the basement...
MacGyver: Closet will do fine.
--badass. It's important to know your adversary.

PD spikes the tea of the guards.

Chess Guy is playing both sides of a game with MD who is gagged and bound and trying to yell through his gag. It's a pretty delightful scene to see this mousy guy (CG) get the upper hand.

So now all the guards are slumping over and TP and PD are reunited. Right in front of the guards and orderlies.

WD agrees to help them. They all run off. They bag the guards in front of the building and all the patients escape.

TP says that he is now too big to kill. He will stay in Russia and continue his good work.

Now it's later. Pete has spread the word the TP is still alive. PD is going to go to America at her father's insistence so that she can't be used against him. 

There's lots of handshaking and stuff.

I'm not sure if WD is staying in Russia or not. I think not. But I don't know.

TP walks off and an excited crowd forms around him, thrilled that he's alive.


So, I have a question. Who was the title "Prisoner of Conscience"? Is a prisoner of conscience the same thing as a political prisoner?

Anyways, I'll see you next week for the SEASON FINALE!!!! I guess that's when we'll see MacGyver in the priest's collar. Interesting :)


Sunday, September 16, 2012

New Countdown! Feeling SO good!

It's getting to be Fall again, folks, and I couldn't be more stoked. The possible cold I was feeling never actually materialized and that is such a nice little gift.

And we have another debut on the chart this week! And we're keeping the rundown of the bottom 10 that I've been doing! Everything's coming up Milhouse!

Alex Clare
The Black Keys
Green Day
Imagine Dragons
The Killers
Kings of Leon
Linkin Park
The Lumineers
Mumford & Sons

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Toad Tuesdays: Jesus H. Foxx - Endless Knocking

Jesus H. Foxx are one of the other flagship bands on Song, By Toad Records and, they're also one of the other bands that I hadn't listened to very much of before now. And that's something I very much regret.

I always imagined that when I finally got to college, they are exactly the kind of thing I would be listening to. They have a little bit smoother sound than Meursault, though if you told me you heard similarities between the two, I wouldn't disagree with you.

There's a comparison that I came up with while listening to the album (It's called Endless Knocking, by the way. I am literally the worst. Who waits until the THIRD paragraph to mention the name of the album?? I suppose this is also a post to talk about the band in general. Ok, I feel better.) at the grocery story and I feel like it's apt. Here's where I make the disclaimer that I recognize that making this kind of comparison is a bit lazy, but this comparison really helps me wrap my head around the band and so I'm going to say it. In a separate paragraph. Ready?

Jesus H. Foxx (on this album, at least) sound like what the Talking Heads would have sounded like if Matt Berninger (lead singer of The National) were the singer.

And I think that's not only a good comparison, but it's a very good thing to sound like. I am looking forward to exploring this album more as the weeks and months go by.

Here's a taste of the album. I feel like it gives a good idea of the range that these guys are capable of. There are other songs that make the Talking Heads/National thing make more sense, but I think you'll be able to get the gist of what I mean.

Jesus H. Foxx - I'm Half the Man You Were from Endless Knocking

(buy it from Song, By Toad Records!)
(or Amazon!)
(or iTunes!)

New P.O.S video! "Fuck Your Stuff" + Tour Dates!

Here's the link to the new P.O.S video. It's for an amazing song called "Fuck Your Stuff" and the video is just as incendiary. I saw him perform this on the Doomtree tour this spring. It was. Amazing.

Fuck Your Stuff (Video)

Enjoy this and then pre-order the album here!

And I just checked my email. And I have P.O.S tour dates!!

10/26/12 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
11/01/12 Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
11/02/12 Chicago, IL - The Bottom Lounge
11/03/12 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
11/04/12 Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop
11/05/12 Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar
11/07/12 New York, NY - Irving Plaza
11/08/12 Boston, MA - Royale
11/09/12 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
11/10/12 Washington, D.C. - Rock and Roll Hotel
11/11/12 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
11/13/12 Orlando, FL - The Social
11/14/12 Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder
11/15/12 Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
11/16/12 Houston, TX - Fitzgerald's Downstairs 
11/17/12 Austin, TX - Mohawk
11/18/12 Dallas, TX - The Loft

Go to for more info!

Monday, September 10, 2012

MacGyver Mondays: "The Escape" (Season 1, Episode 20)

Title: The Escape
Airdate: 4/16/1986
My Age at Airdate: 2 years, 9 months
Episode Type: Prison Break, Arms Dealing

It's the last episode of Disc 5 and then we only have 2 more before the end of the first season!! So let's see what or whom MacGyver has to escape from.


We open on North Africa. A bustling cityscape. Mac is playing soccer with some North African kids at some sort of convent or something. There are nuns. 

A truck pulls up with a bunch of metal. And then this Blonde walks up with some clothing. The romantic theme music plays. MacGyver is smitten.

Whoa. She needs him to break her brother out of prison. Things just got real. Her brother is a medical missionary. He brought in some supplies. The government tried to take them because they're valuable, so he hid them and they locked him away.

HAHA. So she finishes telling him this and Mac's like, Ok let's get him out. And Blondie's like, But it's a maximum security prison! If she thought it was impossible, why is she asking Mac to do it?

So MacGyver is going to go in, see where things are. I guess he's going to get himself arrested. Two soldiers are picking on a storekeeper. Mac goes over there, and sprays them in the face with soda and boom he's arrested. Easy peasy.

Now he's in a truck with a bunch of other people.

And now he's talking to the Warden. The guy is a sleaze ball. Mac needs to get money or he won't be fed or have shelter. Such a corrupt place.

The helpful janitor takes him out of the room and they have some bonding time.

So now the prisoners are playing soccer. It's like a theme.

Mac asks Janitor who lives in this nice swanky section of the prison. Janitor tells him that Baldy, and his henchman, Mustache live there. Baldy owns the prison. Mustache is his enforcer.

While Mac is noticing Baldy and Mustache, and Baldy and Mustache are noticing him! Baldy tells Mustache to found out all he can about MacGyver.

Janitor takes MacGyver to his cell. He gives Mac the top bunk. Is that good or bad?

Janitor tells Mac that escape is impossible. Mac takes Janitor's soccer ball and his olive oil. It looks like he's making a papier mache something with the soccer ball as the mold. He's made a hot air balloon! He lights some cotton balls that he has attached to the wire at the bottom of the balloon and off it sails. One of the coolest things I've seen on this show.

Blondie sees the signal. She smiles and drives off.

MacGyver asks Janitor if he wants to come with him when he escapes, but Janitor says that he only has six months until he's released. And then Janitor realizes that not trying to escape basically means the prison has taken away his humanity and so he will help.

Blondie's Brother is being held in a special wing of the prison designated for political prisoners. Heavy security, extra guards, etc.

Mustache tells MacGyver that Baldy wants to see him. When MacGyver asks why, Mustache attacks him. Then MacGyver briefly gets the upper hand and Baldy sends two prisoners in to hold MacGyver while Mustache beats on him a little bit. Before Mustache can land the final blow, Baldy stops him and the three of them go back to Baldy's pad.

Mustache deposits Mac on the floor and Baldy gives Mac a towel to wipe himself up (so that he doesn't dirty Baldy's carpet).

Right off the bat, both men's attentions are drawn to a radio that sounds awful. MacGyver sets to fixing it. Haha right after he fixes it, he tells Baldy that he could also fix the refrigerator in his PCP (angel dust) lab. Which he says hilariously nonchalantly. Apparently the easiest drug to make in prison is PCP. Mac tells Baldy that he can double the PCP output if Baldy will get him in to see Blondie's Brother. Baldy agrees.

Hilariously, and bafflingly, they're going to do the visitation first. If I was Baldy, I'd have Mac do the drug stuff first and then, once I saw that he wasn't trying to blow up my operation or something, I'd hold up my end. 

I should write an instruction manual for MacGyver villains. It would be called Lock The Doors To Your Cars and Trucks: A Tutorial for Enemies of MacGyver and it'd go to the TOP OF THE CHARTS (the villainy advice hardcover charts)

So, Mac gets to see Blondie's Brother. It's the guy who plays Q on Star Trek: TNG. Everything's bugged and the Warden is listening, but Mac knows that he's not alone with the guy so they start improvising a little scene about gunships and huey choppers and stuff to throw the Warden off. 

The Warden hears the lie that BBQ (Blondie's Brother: Q) and Mac cook up about a whole bunch of money that BBQ hid and tells Baldy to find out everything about that and then kill MacGyver.

Janitor and MacGyver are talking. About friendship and freedom. Like Frenchmen and Americans of old. Mac asks Janitor if he knows how to run the PA system, but then a guard comes in before Janitor can answer. The guard tells Mac that his wife is here and they take him to meet her.

Of course it's Blondie. They kiss (kiss slut) and kiss and kiss. The Warden is listening to more false information, but he's slyly smiling. I wonder what that's about.

The next morning, MacGyver is peppy like he had a very enjoyable evening and he makes his way over to Baldy's place to work on the drug lab. He swipes a tape recorder under his jacket right away. And then Baldy leads him to the PCP lab.

Baldy begins to "casually" ask Mac about his meeting with BBQ. And then he leaves him alone. (Chapter 4 of the book: DON'T LEAVE YOUR ENEMY ALONE)

MacGyver starts to do something with a fan while Warden and Baldy have a weird, vaguely romantic moment.

Mac has hooked up things that have rubber blades that you would use if you were making a cake but didn't have an electric mixer? You know? He hooks that up to the fan and gets the tape recorder going. 

Then he grabs some PCP (they're in nice little blocks!) and puts it in his jacket pocket. He pours some "volatile liquid" on the pocket and has made "a bomb you can wear anywhere".

Warden is preparing for the helicopter/gunship attacks. He's basically putting the prison on full alert.

Now he's fashioning a PCP bomb with a good old-fashioned ice timer. He's hooking wires up so that they'll touch the metal of this washbasin when the ice melts. And then the PCP will blow up.

Janitor brings BBQ's guard some food he likes and slyly tells BBQ to be ready to escape today at noon.

Mac almost forgets to take the tape recorder and take down the cake thing. Then he knocks on the door to be let out. Mustache leads him into the room where Baldy confronts him. About all the phony information. Mac gives him some more hogwash. And leads them out of the cell.

Blondie pulls up in a funky old-looking taxi, gets out and makes like she's having car trouble right in front of the prison gates. The guards at the door look interested.

Mac passes the coat with the PCP bomb and the tape recorder to Janitor.

He leads Baldy and Mustache to the fire pit and tells them that the information about the Swiss bank account where all the money was going to be deposited was buried under that fire.

Janitor sets a timer and sets up the tape recorder in the Warden's office. Then he takes the jacket down to BBQ's cell and tells him to light the pocket of the jacket in 3 minutes.

The timer in the Warden's office hits zero and the tape recorder (which has been switched to a faster speed) starts and plays over the PA. It sounds like approaching helicopters. The guards start to go nuts. They sound the alarm.

Mac throws ash in Mustache's face and punches Baldy. He runs off.

BBQ's guard gets a call and leaves.

BBQ lights the pocket and ducks out of the way. An explosion busts the lock and BBQ runs with Janitor down the darkened hallway.

The ice melts and the wire touches metal and the PCP lab explodes. The guards think that the choppers are doing all this.

Blondie gets her car and smashes the gate in. Mac quickly hugs Janitor goodbye and MacGyver and BBQ escape.

Warden tells Baldy that he will be in an isolation cell for the rest of his sentence. I guess Baldy's lucky Warden didn't kill him.

Blondie pulls the car in crooked and they all get out. BBQ goes and stands by another car, Blondie shoots the engine of the first car. And Mac is confused. BBQ says that they don't need MacGyver anymore and now they can kill him.

Blondie points the gun at him.

The story unravels. Mac has been played. Blondie is a Soviet agent. She's delivering weapons to the third-world. BBQ is an arms dealer.

BBQ: Must we have all this maudlin revelations? Just kill him and get it over with before the Gendarmes show up.

--Now THIS is a proper villain. Perhaps he can write my book.

Blondie is having a change of heart. She points the gun at BBQ and tells him that she won't be killing anyone. BBQ gets in the car and Blondie slowly backs towards the car. BBQ grabs her gun hand and fires at MacGyver (stormtrooper aim, but really you can't fault him for his poor aim with someone else holding the gun and him firing backwards and all) and drives off, leaving Blondie with Mac.

She says that if she doesn't get the weapons, BBQ will sell them to terrorists.

BBQ is driving up to a dock. Presumably it's where the weapons are. Mac and Blondie are following on foot.

Mac agrees to help Blondie if she'll agree to destroy the weapons if they find them.

BBQ is meeting with some terrorists.

Mac and Blondie find BBQ's car. They sneak in to where BBQ is showing the terrorists the weapons. Mac sends Blondie to go get the car, the terrorists are haggling.

MacGyver grabs a box of grenades that still use gunpowder (they're very old) and he's going to leave a trail of gunpowder that leads to the pile of the other grenades and the rest of the weapons.

He tosses one grenade near to BBQ and the terrorists, they duck for cover. And he lights the trail.

Blondie pulls BBQ's car?! He left the keys in the car?! Sigh. I was so hopeful for him.

She pulls up right next to the lit gunpowder trail, but the wind raised by her arrival didn't disturb any of the loose powder and cause the flame to run out of fuel. So that was lucky....

Mac snatches the briefcase of money and hops in the backseat and they speed off.

BBQ's whole stash blows up.

Now we're back at the mission. Mac has turned the pile of scrap metal into a jungle gym. Blondie and Mac give the briefcase of money to the nun. (If she's a Mother Superior, it's still ok to call her a nun, right?)

And that's it!


Hope you enjoyed the episode as much as I did!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Countdown 119

I'm worried that I'm starting to come down with something, so I'm going to make this quick. Here's a new countdown! It's a great one!

Think healthy thoughts for me!

Countdown #119

Air Traffic Controller
Alex Clare
Green Day
Imagine Dragons
The Killers
Linkin Park
The Lumineers
Mumford & Sons
Of Monsters and Men

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Shy Around Strangers - Shy Around Strangers EP

So, I have finally heard the rest of the debut EP from Shy Around Strangers (click the label at the bottom to see the other posts about them) and, though I wouldn't have thought it possible, it's so much better than the first two singles would suggest.

I'm worried that that sounds like a backhanded compliment or something. But I hope you understand me: I was already stoked to hear this thing. I knew it would be special. I just didn't realize it would be THIS special.

I saw another review that ended by saying that they are anxiously waiting for a full-length. Add me to that list.

You can stream the EP here or here

And then when you fall in love with it like I have, you can buy it on iTunes, Amazon, or (and of course I'd recommend this option if you don't have GC's to spend) the band's website.

If you buy it from the band's website, you also get acoustic versions of the songs I've posted by them in earlier posts. Also, it's the least expensive of the three options. So, more songs, for less money. Whatta deal!

This is my 300th post. I'm glad that this is what I posted about on my 300th post.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Toad Tuesdays: Meursault - Something For the Weakened

This is going to be a new feature on my blog for a bit. This summer, Song, By Toad Records released several new albums and Matthew sent along review copies during the time I didn't have a working computer. So when I got one, I decided that I not only wanted to write about the three albums that came out this summer, but I also wanted to write about the other bands on this label that I have loved in the past couple years. 

What you're going to find in these Toad Tuesday posts is that I have a hard time figuring out Song, By Toad artists. I don't know what it is, but I can't put into words why I can't stop listening to them. And it's true for every band/singer I've heard on the label. It makes it hard to write posts about them, but it makes the effort so worth it.

And now without any further ado, Meursault.

So I'm on the treadmill (it's still a kind of new thing and it's weird for me to start a blog post by talking about it) and I'm laughing.

I wanted to listen to Something For the Weakened one more time before I started writing about it and the thought occurred to me that I could be listening to it while I ran. I was laughing because the impression that I had of the music was that it was very enjoyable, but not uptempo and kind of a downer.

Don't get me wrong, I like music that fits that description. Alicia Silverstone called it "sad bastard music" in Clueless, if I'm not mistaken.

But the music that came into my ears tonight while I ran was anthemic. It was inspiring!

"We will not be weakened anymore"is the mantra that makes up the majority of "Thumb", the first track. And when I heard this, I felt the weakness leave my body. I felt stronger, more confident. Now, maybe I was just taking that feeling and reapplying it to the music that followed, but the rest of the tracks I listened to had this glint of sunshine that I hadn't noticed before.

I know that there is a track-by-track breakdown of what the thoughts behind each song were, but I'm too excited about my interpretation to look it up.

Listening to Meursault (and this is true for many SBT bands) is a little like being in a dream. I am fully engaged, loving my surroundings, excited and curious about what's around the next corner. And then it's over. And I'm disoriented and have that nostalgic feeling I sometimes get upon waking. The only solution to this weird feeling is to listen again. And again and again.

Yes, I'll be returning to this particular dream many times.

Meursault - Thumb from Something for the Weakened (buy it here!) (or here!)

And you can go HERE to look at all the splendor of the Song, By Toad Catalog. It'll help prepare you for future installments of this little feature!

Monday, September 3, 2012

MacGyver Mondays: "Slow Death" (Season 1, Episode 19)

Sorry it's late, folks. But I suppose it's not THAT late. Enjoy!

Title: Slow Death
Airdate: 4/2/1986
My Age at Airdate: 2 years, 8 months, 17 days
Episode Type: Hostage, Hijacking, Didactic (I may stop putting this one if MacGyver keeps teaching lessons every episode ;-) )

Y'know, a lot of people say reading these MacGyver Monday posts is like a slow death. STOP LAUGHING! :)


A train is rolling by. At the wheel is a Hispanic man with VERY large glasses. Ok, maybe not Hispanic. I immediately regret saying he was Hispanic.

So between looking at some of the passengers on the train, we are seeing a bunch of guys pulling sticks of what appears to be dynamite out of boxes and loading them near the tracks. I suddenly remember this episode, I think.

Now MacGyver is racing along the side of the train in the back of a taxi. All the passengers are looking and laughing at him. The engineer refuses to stop the train for a bit and then he gives in. With basically no further argument than "C'mon! Please?"

Mac is friendly with everyone and particularly to a young girl who is staring at him. He does a little magic trick. Wait, no. Not a magic trick. He's making her a doll. Awww :) What a sweet little moment.

Ok, they're still loading explosives onto a bridge.

And Mac finishes the doll. The girl smiles widely.

The two factions are about to meet. The bandits are communicating by flashing sunlight with mirrors.

This one-armed Englishman (I KNOW he's English. He has an English accent.) is asking Mac if he wouldn't like something to drink with his sandwich that he's ordering in the dining cart. Bourbon and rye, perhaps. And MacGyver, being MacGyver, orders a glass of milk. He's so wholesome!

An awkward left-to-right-handed-handshake is given. Then the train lurches and the guy I guess goes to catch himself with his right hand and stumbles. Mac catches him and says that a recent loss of limb can be hard. A lady also tries to console him  but he says that he's a cripple and she's black and neither is a case for sympathy and storms off. Mac apologizes to her and she says that she noticed her color a long time ago. Very intense race stuff already in this episode.

They introduce themselves and sit down to eat.

Meanwhile, the guys with the explosives are now unspooling fuse line. This attack is taking FOREVER. But I guess you have to get all the characters on the train introduced.

Mac tells the Lady that he has hijacked proof of an illegal arms deal and so he's rushing it out of the country in the hopes of preventing a war. But I think she doesn't believe him. 

Now we're on this American couple and the guy is trying to get the girl to say that she loves him. But she's reluctant to. 

This episode might be the most complicated yet.

Wait no. They met in Spain, hit it off, and now are about to return to America and he wants to marry her. Whoa. He convinces her in half a speech. Geez. This is the train of effective arguments.

And still the terrorists lay their explosives. You know, the way things are going, they could probably just ask for whatever they want. The people on this train are easily convinced.

Lefty comes back to Lady and apologizes and then they're ok (this train!)

So I guess the last characters we need to talk about are this mom and her daughter. Or, put another way, this woman and her mom. Her mom is snooty and says things like "kids of your generation have no respect" and even MacGyver refers to her as a dragon to be slain. 

This episode is very heavy on the characters, isn't it? Also, I have remembered what the title refers to and it's pretty cerebral. I'll let you know when we get to it.

Now a guy blows a goat horn and two guys on the train draw knives and guns and hijack the train. They shoot the conductor. Lefty says that he's a doctor and he should tend to the guy. The hijacker says that shooting him was an accident.

You couldn't show this episode on TV, I don't think.

Dragon Daughter offers to help Lefty and Dragon Lady (her mom, if my code is too intricate) says that she'll only be a hindrance, but DD shakes her off and goes to help.

The guy that shot the conductor says that they are not bandits. Mac asks what they want. And Quick Draw replies that they are looking for two men on that train. And that it's a matter of justice. They want to execute these men.

MacGyver: A man puts a gun to my head and tells me he's not a terrorist, I take it with a grain of salt

So, Lefty is talking to Quick Draw about the status of the conductor and Mac is doing something with salt. And a seltzer bottle. And some olives. 

Quick Draw walks by to go the sleeping cart, Mac drops the jar of olives on the floor. When Quick Draw pauses to berate him, he hits the seltzer with his elbow, it goes into the bowl of salt and the salt/seltzer combo goes into Quick Draw's eyes.

Mac grabs a jug and runs out and two other terrorists follow him onto the roof of the train car. He pours a line of the liquid that's in the jug (local moon shine: tastes and burns like kerosene) along the length of the car and, as the terrorist reach the top of the ladder, lights it. He manages to light a match on the top of a moving train, so I KNOW the train is magical. 

The flame races towards the terrorists and they both leap off the train.

Mac goes to the engineer's compartment and tells him what's up. The engineer tells Mac that they are being followed on foot but that they'll never be caught. They just have to make it past the bridge up ahead and they'll be out of bandit country. The bridge is the one that they've been loading with explosives for the whole episode, btw.

The engineer picks up speed, confident in his train.

A guy on a horse has a gun ready, another guy has a detonator ready. The gun guy fires, the detonator guy detonates. And detonates. And detonates.

The engineer brings the train to a halt. A whole band of guys on horse and foot with guns and stuff approach.

Meanwhile, a guy we've seen a couple times, but who hasn't had a character establishing mini-scene with MacGyver, stows a briefcase in one of those drop down bunks that trains have. Like in North by Northwest.

Mac rigs the (WARNING: complex train jargon ahead) train-starter-thing to shock anyone but him or the engineer if they try to start the train. Also not being shocked: anyone who sees the bright copper wire wound around the starter thing.

So the fat guy with the gun tells his guys to bring all the westerners out of the train.

Lefty and DD are still tending to the conductor and when Quick Draw tells them to get out, Lefty shames Quick Draw into letting DD stay. There's kind of a romantic theme playing.

Fat Tony talks to the Westerners. He talks about how his villagers all pitched in to buy medicine from two Westerners for the children of the village. The medicine didn't work and 26 people died, including Fat Tony's son. But he doesn't know who the two Westerners are. He tells all the Westerners that they will not have food or water until they find out, among themselves who the two guys are.

So, two guys, one of whom is the shady who hid the briefcase and the other whom we haven't met before come up to MacGyver saying that they need to find these guys. Now, I'm no TV genius, but that seems suspicious, no?

Romeo (the guy who got the girl to agree to marry him before) wants to steal a horse. Juliet is freaking out, but Mac comes over and consoles them both, but he also tells them that no one is going to miss them for a week, so they're on their own.

Lady (I didn't want to call her Black Lady, but I think that distinguishes her more) comes and finds MacGyver. They have some sweet chat.

Lefty and DD are still treating the conductor. Lefty has brought soda to keep the conductor hydrated. And also he brings some charm. It's soul-baring time, folks. He also talks about ghost pain, which is a fascinating aspect of amputation, to me.

DD asks Lefty how he lost his arm. He got it shot off by a shotgun wielding maniac. Yikes. That's awful. He's so brave.

She bares a little soul. And then they kiss.

Black Lady and Mac are talking about this whistle Mac has made from a spigot of some sort. It bugs the horses. Look for it later.

Mac and Black Lady give Fat Tony grief about the wounded conductor. He tells them about all the people that died. But they make the point that death won't bring his son back.

The sun is up. And they're still sitting there. Mac is saying inspirational stuff about mornings. They go inside the train.

Juliet is sleeping, but Romeo gets up. He thinks no one sees him, but Shady Guy is watching him. He sneaks off the train and goes under it, army crawling along the length. He's getting pretty far. He gets out and starts to run. Shady Guy yells at him, Fat Tony comes towards him with a gun. There's turmoil. But then Mac comes and like jump kicks into a guard and runs in between Romeo and Fat Tony and blows his whistle. This pretty much calms things down.

Everyone's outside of the train now and The Other Shady Guy points the finger at Shady Guy for calling attention to the escape attempt. He says that maybe he was trying to draw attention away from himself.

Shady Guy's accent is ALL OVER THE PLACE, PEOPLE.

Mac suggests that they should look in his compartment. He pulls down the bunk and finds the briefcase. And it's lots of money. Shady Guy says that the money is his and that he hid it because he didn't want them to steal it. But Fat Tony confirms that they didn't pay in paper money, but rather in gold. So Shady Guy was just a Red Herring! Gotta love red herrings.

This whole situation has given Mac an idea. He's constructing a lie detector from a blood pressure cuff and an alarm clock (naturally. what do YOU make your lie detectors from?)

He's hooking Romeo up to it. Everyone's watching.

So when the alarm goes off, it's a lie. He demonstrates with Romeo. He declares his love for Juliet and the alarm goes off. Mac tells Fat Tony that that was love, not lying.

Fat Tony says that he intends to have the two men administer the medicine/poison to themselves, killing themselves.

Mac says he won't condone murder. He makes Fat Tony agree to accompany them to Rajmir (I'm not sure how to spell it) where the culprits will stand trial.

Other Shady Guy doesn't trust Fat Tony. MacGyver responds that he does trust him and that Other Shady Guy should go next. He asks Other Shady Guy if he sold the poison. OSG doesn't even say anything, but the alarm goes off. He leaps from his seat and the other conductor (the young British one that I didnt even think to mention!) pulls a gun and gives it to OSG. OSG runs off and Mac follows. OSG shoots at MacGyver but (stormtrooper aim) misses. He runs into the steering compartment. Mac takes off his shoe and throws it onto the roof.

But OSG isn't fooled. He punches MacGyver, but then he tries to start the train and gets shocked and killed.

Fat Tony asks Lefty to be the Village Doctor. DD offers to join him. Dragon Lady questions her sanity, but she stands up to her. And Dragon Lady is pleased and proud. Aww. She offers her help if they need anything.

And then the non-Westerners come back and the little girl gives Mac the doll back.


Hmm, the phrase "Slow Death" didn't appear at all in the episode, that I noticed. I thought it was part of something MacGyver said about revenge or harboring anger or something being a slow death, but I guess I was wrong. So I'll say it.

Harboring vengeance or anger in your heart is like a slow death, kids. Don't do it.

See you next week!!!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

New Countdown: Your Labor Day 2012 Fix For Alternative Music

It's another lovely day in the neighborhood of Alternative music. I hope that you have all enjoyed the first half of the three-day weekend (or, if you're going back to work tomorrow, the first half of the two-day weekend) and that you're ready for some great tunes!

Countdown #118

Alex Clare
Green Day
Imagine Dragons
The Killers
Linkin Park
The Lumineers
Mumford and Sons
Of Monsters and Men

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 2012 Media Update

In my last Media Update, I was gearing up for "BLOGPOCALYPSE 2012!!!" which didn't turn out as amazing as I had hoped, but I suppose I did overhype it even more than I admitted to in the post....oh well :)

August was another blur and, as I mentioned at the end of last month's post, K is now back in school and we are getting on track for all of that. I can't wait for Fall to get into full swing!

Last Song/MP3 I listened to: So I went to the grocery store tonight. As I was finishing, I started the MP3 "Cassandra Geminni - Faminepulse II" which comes from the middle of this 32 minute epic at the end of The Mars Volta's album Frances the Mute. See, the song was split into 8 parts on the CD pressing due to some rule that Soundscan has (or something?) where if your album only has a certain number of songs, it doesn't count as an LP, it counts as an EP. I'm not sure if this is still a rule that's in effect or if it's just folklore or what, but that is the reason I heard given for why that last song was split up like that.

Last TV show I watched: Well, I watched some of an episode of Teen Mom with K tonight, but the last FULL EPISODE of a show that I watched was the latest episode of Awkward. which continues to amaze me with the surprising comedy that it can muster up. The episode was called "Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me" (there aren't links to individual episodes and Hulu is waaayyy behind on the episodes it has available).

Last Movie I watched: We rekindled our relationship with Netflix sometime last week. We made Snickerdoodles and had hoped to watch "Betty and Veronica" which is the episode of Veronica Mars in which she makes Snickerdoodles and when we originally watched the series, we first made Snickerdoodles (and I had my first taste of a Snickerdoodle, ever) after watching that episode. BUT Veronica Mars isn't on Netflix anymore. Boo. So, instead, we watched Morning Glory which is a lot better than I thought it would be. Although, I felt like Harrison Ford was a LITTLE stiff for a lot of the movie and Diane Keaton wasn't used enough. But Rachel McAdams was GREAT.

Last Written Work I read: You guys, I'M CAUGHT UP WITH NEW YORKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I finished the most recent issue yesterday. I submitted to the caption contest, I voted on the nominees of the other caption contest that's going on. It was great and I feel so nice being caught up like that! So, I decided to work on my Star Wars books. I am currently reading the relatively new book Darth Plagueis which is telling the story of the guy who trained the guy who would be the Emperor in the movies. It's really good so far. And I have checked it out of the library onto my Kindle app on my iPad and iPhone so I have lots of opportunities to read it. 

So it was a big month for Media! Next month, TV shows will be in full swing, so there might be some interesting things to talk about there!!