the Buzz for April 2010

28
Apr

 

April comes to a close with an explosion of new material from a handful of the coolest, most fascinating dames in the bidness. Dig in with glee:

 

Hot on the heels of her second high-profile breakup — and how much did you love her bemused proclamation to Oprah last week that she can’t understand why people keep saying there is no such thing as gay marriage (“I have two ex-wives!”) — comes Fearless Love, the tenth studio album from this generation’s pioneering rock chick Melissa Etheridge. Even though I’m crazy about her in general, I’ll admit I haven’t been so wild about her last couple of records, but the title track from Fearless is easily her strongest single since 2001’s fabulous “I Want to Be in Love” and is garnering her the first real traction she has had at radio in years, so color me cautiously optimistic. (Editor’s note: I found out the hard way tonight, after purchasing this at Best Buy, that the Target edition contains two exclusive bonus tracks, so now I have two of these if someone would like to purchase one.)

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22
Apr

“My sex life is like the Soviet Union — it ended 19 years ago!”

— legendary comedienne Joan Rivers, via a tweet sent this morning.
(I figured my favorite Russian would find this amusing, even if nobody else does.)

21
Apr

 

Lotsa great stuff in the pipeline this week, including the latest effort from a much-deserved Grammy winner who, regrettably, has never gotten her proper due from the record-buying public. I probably won’t be able to change that with one measly paragraph inside the Buzz’s record store report. But I can damn well try.

 

Head on over to your local Target store this week, as Bravo has teamed up with the retail giant to release exclusive DVD season sets of some of their most-watched series, including their insanely popular Real Housewives franchise, Flipping Out, Top Chef, and Kathy Griffin’s riotous My Life on the D-List. A was particularly agog about this promotion, because while on a transcontinental JetBlue flight some time back, he got sucked into watching a four-hour marathon of a Bravo program entitled Million Dollar Listing, which follows three egocentric, young, ridiculously telegenic real estate agents as they wheel and deal their way through the mega-intense shark tank that is the greater Los Angeles housing market. I am man enough to admit that I was enormously dubious when he first told me about this show, because as a man who openly detests television — and simplistic, slickly edited reality television, at that! — A is not at all within eighteen miles of Bravo’s target demographic, but having now watched four of the six episodes which comprise Listing‘s second season — the DVD set of which is available as part of the aforementioned Target promotion — I can attest that this is a fabulous, fascinating program. (And having just bought a house last year, I can testify that all the minutiae contained therein — the haggling, the negotiating, the whittling down of purchase price, the endless inspections — are not exaggerated in the slightest for the benefit of television.) If you’re at all curious about the madcap world of high-end real estate, this is definitely worth a look-see, and I wish to take this opportunity to publicly thank A (of all people!) for bringing it to my attention.

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20
Apr

two years down

posted at 4:27 pm by brandon in and many more, from channel four

In all the overwhelming madness of my day from hell yesterday — it sure was Monday, Mark — I completely allowed the Buzz’s second anniversary slip right past me. As I’ve recounted several times before, this blog hit cyberspace two years ago yesterday with a whimper and a writer’s promise to his patient webmaster that I would give him at least ten entries before growing tired of this endeavor and moving on. (I still love you, Mike!)

This endeavor, instead, has both comprised and documented the most fun I’ve ever had: right this second, you’re reading Brandon’s Buzz post number 385, and — if the statistics provided to me by Google are to be believed — you’re among the 12,000 absolute unique people from around the world that have visited this site at least once since it opened for business. I’m told that no fewer than six people from every state in the union (plus the District of Columbia!) have visited this site — apparently, I’m most popular in Texas, California, and New York, while the good folks of Wyoming, North Dakota, and Alaska have been most reticent to catch this particular wave — in addition to the residents of 116 other nations across the globe who have also spent some time here. In total, this evolving series of rambling thoughts has been accessed some 36,000 times over the past twenty-four months, and to those of you who have made this blog a daily stop on your online journey, all I can say is a very sincere thank you. I hope you’re never disappointed by anything you may find here, and I hope you will all keep comin’ on back for more Buzz.

16
Apr

 

 

Because his knowledge of her remains woefully inadequate, despite my best efforts to indoctrinate him on the fly, A has been impatiently awaiting a Buzz playlist celebrating the worthy tuneage of Madonna for the best part of two years now. I’ve been letting the idea percolate for the whole of that time, penning its prose catch as catch can and waiting for the perfect moment to unleash the final product. Said moment has arrived at last: last year, the Material Girl marked her twenty-fifth anniversary of her gale-force arrival on the pop charts with a sterling double-disc Celebration of a handful of the most famous hits in pop music history, and this coming Tuesday, a much-ballyhooed installment of Fox’s zeitgeist-capturing smash series Glee themed exclusively around her iconic catalogue hits the air surfing a raging tidal wave of unfettered hype (magazine covers and profiles galore, and even a companion CD!), and if last week’s delicious sneak preview — a spot-on shot-for-shot spoof of the stylish, groundbreaking videoclip for “Vogue,” with the uproarious Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch, clearly relishing this role of a lifetime) stealing center stage — is an accurate indication of what’s in store, the Gleeks are in for one heck of a joyous, raucous ride.

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14
Apr

 

In my rush to get last week’s record store report published, I regretfully missed a pair of titles that definitely warranted discussion. So before we move on to this week’s goodies, allow me a moment to correct my foolishness:

 

One of the finest performers I’ve ever seen in my life is the terrific, utterly ravishing Beth Hart, who is best known for her riveting 1999 smash
“L.A. Song (Out of This Town),” and who last week staged phase one of what deserves to be a ferocious comeback effort with an appearance on guitar god Slash‘s brand new eponymous all-star mixtape, which also features contributions from and collaborations with Kid Rock, Fergie, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, Chris Cornell, and the fabulous Myles Kennedy (late of Alter Bridge). But it’s with the peerless, authentically gritty Hart that this project explodes to life, and hearing her tear through the “Mother Maria” is like getting a genuine master class in gorgeous, gut-wrenching singing. Beth, my dear: you’ve never sounded better, you’re still kicking ass a decade after your breathtaking breakthrough, and welcome the hell back, babe.

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12
Apr

10
Apr

I have been sitting here for the past ninety minutes trying to find a graceful way to put into words how I felt about a glorious human angel name of Dixie Carter, who is without question best known for her seven-year run as ultra-eloquent Julia Sugarbaker on the classic CBS sitcom “Designing Women,” and who passed away earlier today at the age of 70. Words fail me tonight, and even after having sat with this devastating news for a couple of hours now — the vast majority of which have been spent watching a handful of my favorite third-season “Women” episodes in rapid-fire succession — my thoughts are hurtling all over the place, and I’m still so verklempt over the announcement that I just don’t even know where to begin. So until I do, all I can say is: Godspeed, you graceful, gorgeous woman. You taught all of us how to try to get to heaven, and no fewer than one of us has absolutely no doubt that you glided through those pearly gates today with utmost ease.

6
Apr

 

April arrives in high style, as a boatload of estrogen descends upon poor David Byrne, and a handful of hotly-anticipated sophomore projects make their entrances. Take a look:

 

Because she is his biggest fan on the planet, bar none, I asked my remarkable best friend Sherry Ann to pen a paragraph about one of this week’s record store report residents. Herewith in its entirety, her novel-length dissertation: “First name Cary, last name Brothers.”  This is how Nashville singer/songwriter Cary Brothers describes himself on his Facebook page.  My guess is to keep people from searching for that ever elusive second Cary Brother that completes the band. Brothers, whose second album Under Control drops this week, got his big break in 2004 when college friend Zach Braff featured his song “Blue Eyes” on the soundtrack to his hit film Garden State. His music has since been used in shows like “One Tree Hill,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Scrubs,” and if I were a betting person, I would put some money down that Mark Schwann will feature the new album in [this season’s] remaining four episodes of OTH.  Under Control is a ten track set (twelve if you buy it on iTunes) that stays in the vein of Brothers’ previous music — indie acoustic pop — but with a lot more production by Dashboard Confessional producer Bill Lefler. If you like Joshua Radin or Mat Kearney, then this album should be right up your alley.  Having already heard his covers of Spandau Ballet’s “True” and the Thompson Twins’ “If You Were Here,” which are available on iTunes, I personally can’t wait to hear Brothers’ take on Level 42’s “Something About You.” The only thing I can possibly add to that is, “Me either.”

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