Friday, December 21, 2007

Underrated's Top Twenty Albums Of 2007

It was an interesting year. I always am keen to the discovery of new music, which is why most of my top albums are debuts from unsigned or relatively new bands. There's nothing like that first try, and when succeeded, it will always be how they will be remembered. So without further adieu, my top 20 albums of the year, with a brief one-sentence recap, and a zip file of a selected track from each album below. See you in '08!

01. Port O’Brien – The Wind And The Swell
Never have I had such a visceral reaction to an album, where its lo-fi screams and yelps from start to finish prove this young band has so much more to give.

02. Radiohead – In Rainbows
A combination of its execution and actual sound, Radiohead's latest album marks revolution in the music and its most melodic effort to date.

03. White Rabbits – Fort Nightly
A late-night booze brawl, complete with a piano and dueling guitars, is what best defines White Rabbit’s debut Fort Nightly—the strong debut from this clean-cut six piece teeters between innocence and mystery with the slight tweak of a minor chord.

04. Ra Ra Riot – Ra Ra Riot EP
Ra Ra Riot's long awaited EP breathes new life into a sound that is attempted upon by so many bands, but never sounds as polished as each song this rowdy six-piece creates.

05. Tim Williams – When Work Is Done
Confidence shouldn't be a worry for this young troubadour, as his second effort is as thoughtful and honest as his previous one, but for the first time the songs are full of hopeful resolution.

06. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
An orchestra masterpiece from beginning to end, Arcade Fire prove once again why they have become one of the more important acts of our generation.

07. Kate Nash – Made Of Bricks
The quick witted Nash brings a dark side to pop music, seamlessly combining cocky lyrics with playful tunes.

08. Jens Lekman – Night Falls Over Kortedala
Thanks to Pat, this album demanded repeat listens, as Lekman delves deeper into story-telling arrangements with his classic vocals.

09. Tegan And Sara – The Con
Pure pop perfection from start to finish, the Canadian twins do it again with their more complex and rash fifth album

10. A Brief Smile – Now We All Have Horns
This band never ceases to amaze me, as they seem to have found their stride—and epic sound—on their self-produced and self-released LP

Best Of The Rest:
11. Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
12. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga
13. Georgie James – Places
14. Kanye West – Graduation
15. Wakey!Wakey – Silent As A Movie
16. Ryan Adams – Easy, Tiger
17. Los Campesinos! – Sticking Fingers Into Sockets
18. Coconut Records – Nighttiming
19. Interpol – Our Love To Admire
20. The Shins – Wincing The Night Away

DOWNLOAD: Underrated Top Twenty Albums Of 2007 [zip]

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Heroes Volume III Sneak Peek

Thanks to TV Squad for this video. Tim Kring presented this at the Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival of Los Angeles, which includes scenes from episode 12 and 13 which were shot before the strike. And holy crap!! Sylar is ready to kick some ass next season. Please end the strike so I can get back into my TV obsession. Please?

Underrated's Top Twenty Songs Of 2007

I have had this list decided upon for some time now, but the thought of rehashing every detail about why these songs are great didn't seem worth anyone's time. In the end, they are good songs and deserve a listen, so I attempted at one-liner summations. Instead of featuring an MP3 for each song, I gave them all the merit they deserve, by providing a zip file at the end. Enjoy!

01. Jukebox The Ghost – Good Day
Yes, its true—every time I listen to this song, I seem to automatically have a good day.

02. Ingrid Michaelson – The Way I Am
Old Navy sweaters or not, Michaelson's sweet romantic song is cozy enough for repeat listens.

03. Mika – Grace Kelly
I had a bit of an obsession with this song when it first came out, and for good reason—the Freddy Mercury-esque stylings of Mika are both nostalgic and impressive

04. Rhianna – Umbrella
Any time you can get "ella ella ella" stuck in your head for all of eternity is a success in my book.

05. Wakey!Wakey! – Clinton Street Girl
I was one block away from pretending this song was about me, but nonetheless its a heart-on-your sleeves tune and ode to the greatest neighborhood of New York.

06. Feist – 1, 2, 3, 4
I don't think there is anyone in the whole world—thanks in part to Apple—that didn't fall in love with this playful ditty.

07. Justice – D.A.N.C.E.
Bringing in the best of old and new dance techniques, Justice's song complemented the mainstream fans and hipsters alike.

08. Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby
This chorus became part of my regular vocabulary for a long time.

09. Ra Ra Riot – Suspended In Gaffa
For some reason, this Kate Bush cover became an immediate favorite—highlighting singer Wesley Miles' impressive falsetto and the stomping orchestral talents of this young band.

10. Vampire Weekend – Oxford Comma
For a band who has jumped into the limelight so quickly, this song shows exactly that reason why.

11. Fujia & Miyagi – Collarbone
I heard this song having no idea who it was, and yet sung it in my head for months afterwards...try sitting still, I dare you.

12. M.I.A. – Paper Planes
I'm not totally sold on Kala, but this powerful and innovative dance number makes the whole disc worthwhile...gun shots and all.

13. Sia – The Girl You Lost To Cocaine
Sia's back with a vengeance with one of the tracks off her impressive new disc, a favorite to belt out when no one else is around.

14. Rilo Kiley – The Moneymaker
I wasn't keen on this side of Miss Jenny Lewis until I saw her perform it live—she owns up to every purr and rasp on the risky tune.

15. Architecture In Helsinki – Heart It Races
Thanks to Pat, I was introduced to this highly intoxicating number, where a simple "bum" will get you moving.

16. Tim Fite – It’s All Right Here
As someone who isn't a fan of hip hop, I have to say I'm quite taken by Mr. Tim Fite and his sarcastic rhymes.

17. The Diggs – Careen
Local boys the Diggs never cease to amaze me, especially in this emotional track off their upcoming sophomore album.

18. Datarock – Fa Fa Fa Fa
There are certain songs I want to turn up really loud and dance like a maniac....this is one of them.

19. White Stripes – Icky Thump
The album wasn't the best, but this track still shows that the White Stripes have something worth holding on for.

20. The Fratellis – Flat Head
There's a certain charm about Scottish boys and this song is quintessentially charming.

DOWNLOAD: Underrated Top Twenty Songs Of 2007 [zip]

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Underrated's Top Ten Movies Of 2007

This year turned out to be a quality year all around in both TV, music, and film. I wish that films weren't as expensive (or someone would like to hook me up with my screenings, hint hint) because there's so many I haven't had the chance to see yet, and are just waiting to become available on Netflix. Regardless, I think the 10 below were all worthwhile investments of the ones I did get out to the big screen to enjoy. Keep close watch here, as Top Songs and Top Albums are still yet to come!

01. Juno
Having just seem this film on Friday, it may be considered a bit quick to put this at the top of my list. But when you put the genius that is Ellen Page on screen with some of my favorite Arrested Development-ers (Michael Cera and Jason Bateman), and throw in some great tunes from Kimya Dawson, there's really no doing wrong. In a understated tale of a women going through some, er, changes Juno plays at every emotion in the most genuine way. I wanted to be Juno throughout most of the film, and yet also identified with her misplacement among a suburban world. Every actor (yes, even Jennifer Garner) played their characters in the most un-stereotypical way, and yet even invoked a kind of familiar laugh. I'd like to see this film again, not only for the free orange tic tacs at the end, but for the heart, and music that feels so inviting.

02. Lars And The Real Girl
Ryan Gosling is, hands down, one of the most talented actors of our generation. Ever since Half Nelson I've looked at this Canadian as a breath of fresh air into a somewhat mundane collection of young talents. Lars And The Real Girl showed Gosling at his most vulnerable. Somehow, some way, this film turned a perverse subject of a blow up doll as a girlfriend, into something heartwarming and purse. Gosling's every facial expression invoked a new emotion, and it was an absolute pleasure to see him, as Lars, working through his mental state on screen. Often times hilarious, this emotionally driven ensemble piece is one that shouldn't be overlooked by prejudgment. Now Mr. Gosling, I'm rather curious to see how you will manage to top this.

03. Control
This film left me speechless. And now, almost two months later I still don't know how to put into words the experience of seeing Control. Directed by the fabulous Anton Corbijn, and staring newcomer Sam Riley, the film tells the tale of the infamous Ian Curtis, however it isn't a typical biopic. The film is mostly from the perspective of his wife Debroah (and based off her memoirs) and the always wonderful Samantha Morton plays the role with such force and apt that you feel physically uncomfortable at numerous times during the film. Paying homage to the music, and with a tasteful, yet horrifying take on Curtis' eventual demise, Control is a film worthy of high praise, personally putting it up right against Sid And Nancy in top musical films.

04. Waitress
It's no shocker that I'm a huge Keri Russell. She was my hero growing up, watching her on the Mickey Mouse Club and finding solace in our shared curly hair. Felicity may have been my biggest obsession to date—all I'll say is MTV's FANatic— and while watching Mission Impossible III last week, I couldn't stop asking Pat if Felicity was going to come back to life. Needless to say, I was excited about her latest project Waitress a dark comedy about a lonely housewife who becomes pregnant and yearns for a new life. Russell is at her top game here, playing with fellow castmates emotions, doing what Jennifer Aniston should have done in The Good Girl and she does it with grace. Equal parts humorous and heartbreaking Waitress is one of those rare film gems, where you are happy to escape to someone else's world—which may or may not be better than your own—just to root for the protagonist. Plus, it never hurts to have Six Feet Under's Jeremy Sisto in the mix.

05. Knocked Up
As a huge fan of Freaks And Geeks, I basically adore everything Judd Apatow has a part in. Although still a bit hesitant of casting Izzie, I mean Katherine Heigl in the lead female role, Knocked Up was a hodgepodge of familiar faces, grotesque laughs, and water cooler moments. Personally I think the relationship between Paul Rudd and Apatow's real-life wife Leslie Mann stole the show, but each character and scene was perfectly pieced together for an almost realistic view of the worst fear of a one-night stand. Seth Rogen did a stand up job altering his character throughout the film to show a genuine growing up, while still keeping it light and fresh. And let's be honest, any chance to have Martin Starr in a film, is a-okay with me. Give that guy a leading role already!

06. Wind That Shakes The Barley
I actually saw this film two summers ago in London, but it was released in the US here, so we'll stick to that release date. I'm not a huge fan of historical flicks, but this one seemed to successful portray a real life event with a compelling tale. A sympathetic look at Republicans in early 20th century Ireland, two brothers, played brilliantly by Cillian Murphy and Padraic Delaney are torn apart by anti-Brit rebellion over the years. I'm not one to get super emotional during films—okay, kind of a lie—but watching it with my mother, who knows first-hand the after-effects of this time, was a bit surreal. Played by real Irish, the tale will leave you stunned and shocked, in an un-traditional film with outstanding performances.

07. Superbad
Two things we need to get straight: I am not a 17 year old boy, and I don't typically like gross-out humor. With that said, I throughouly enjoyed Superbad because even in spite of the two previous statements, the quick wit and hilarity of Michael Cera and Jonah Hill's night out is enough for any skeptics to be won over. And sure, I will forever be disgusted at the stain on Hill's pants, and certain crude references could have been left behind, but in the end, I was left satisfied with a film that borders on immature and sophisticated humor the entire length of the film. That takes skill. And it seems like I'm always more of a fan of the b-plot, this flick is no different. Christopher Mintz-Plasse's McLovin deserves a big high-five for the convenience store scene alone, and is only heightened with the addition of director and writer Seth Rogen and his partner in crime SNL's Bill Hader.

08. Ratatouille
I had to keep reminding myself that the rats in Ratatouille were not real. The computer animation in this film are at top-notch, and its ability to write a sophisticated children's story in a way that doesn't have some jokes for adults and some for kids (a la Shrek), instead making a wholesome film that everyone can enjoy. Complete with a great collection of guest voices from less-obvious choices like Patton Oswalt, Will Arnett, and Ian Holm, in the end, it's not the most hysterical film ever made, no, but it is one of the more entertaining ones. And that, I think, always should win out in the end.

09. Hot Fuzz
Pat introduced me to the wonder that is Shaun Of The Dead earlier this year, so I was pumped to catch the second coming off the duo, this time as police officers heading to a strange town in Hot Fuzz. While it did not live up to the former, it did have its moments—the usual homage to classics with smart one liners and clever references. The film succeeded in both working as a action film and as a comedy, which is hard to come by these days.

10. The Simpsons Movie
The Simpsons Movie wouldn't stand up to some of the episode greats of the iconic television series, but seeing our favorite yellow family on the big screen was enough to warrant this movie a favorite. From the opening scenes, of seeing the entire town of Springfield, to the classic story line of Homer screwing up and then trying to make right, the film was a nice celebration of what we've come to expect—unexpectedly sophisticated story telling and a moral to every tale. It was a long time coming, and well worth the wait, and I have a sneaking suspicion this film, like most Simpsons episodes will stand the test of time.

Monday, December 17, 2007

After The Jump's New Years Eve

After the Jump presents New Year's Eve 2007
New York City
taking over two levels of the
Knitting Factory
in support of
Education Through Music

Dirty Projectors
Foreign Islands
Care Bears on Fire
after-party hosted by Cex, with special guests Ecstatic Sunshine, Alan Astor, Wzt Hearts

Tickets on sale now via ticketweb or ShopText through the Knitting Factory site

curated by the people behind:
themusicslut . batteringroom . disconap . earfarm . ryspace . irockiroll . musicsnobbery . merryswankster . softcommunication . theunderratedblog . sitdownstandup . watercoolergossip . bumpershine . themodernage . productshopnyc . yetidontdance . slapyouinpublic . subinev . punkphoto . poptartssucktoasted . stereoactivenyc . fingeronthepulse

for more information, please email:


Milo Ventimiglia's 'Winter Tales'

Heroes' Milo Ventimiglia isn't sitting still during the writer's strike, instead, he's out promoting AE Winter Tales a strange off-beat clamation series that tells true-life tales of the actor's life. Co-star and Miss Veronica Mars herself Kirsten Bell, alongside Pete Wentz, Lil John, and Friday Night Lights' Adrianne Palicki narrate the five shorts that are available now at (yes, American Eagle Outfitters). After watching the first one, entitled "Home for the Holidays'" where Ventimiglia recounts a flight from hell, I'm surprised at the level of wit and sarcasm coming from a sponsored-project. The Gilmore Girls referenced-line "'Why did you grow your hair out so long, Jess? Was it because Dean made fun of your pompadour 'do?" was enough to win me over.

Check out the first one here:

Friday, December 14, 2007

LOST Season Four Trailers, Cloverfield

I cannot wait until this show comes back. Check out the trailer for Season Four; it's a nice little recap with a couple upcoming shots. February cant come soon enough!

Another one:

And while we are at it, check out the trailer to J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield. I hope two hours of hand-held cameras wont make me nauseas.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Top Ten TV Shows Of 2007

Sorry for the brief hiatus...things in my world have been a bit busy lately, as I have now started blogging for the Limewire Blog, while still working at CMJ. It's been fun to write in the new home over there, so keep checking back for more old-school Underrated style posts. But don't worry, I'm here to stay. I'm going to be rolling out my top 10 lists over the next few weeks (although I am not as ambitious as my very talented boyfriend), so I figured I'd start with something more familiar. While this blog is and always will be a music blog, since I spend so much of my time writing about music I've used this space to delve deeper into my other entertainment loves. Recently, it's been a lot of TV, so here are my top ten. Since it looks like this strike may last for a while, go ahead and rent some of these shows on DVD. You will not be disappointed!

10. How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
In the age where new sitcoms are less than inviting, CBS's HIMYM somehow manages to turn formulaic plot lines into hearty laughs. It comes down to the fluidity of this fantastic cast, as each plays off each other in a way that isn't contrite. Everything, from a New Year's Eve limo ride to a slap count, doesn't try too hard to be funny and instead feels an experience you could have had, however without as witty of a banter. Neil Patrick Harris has done a superb job playing Barney, carefully hovering over the thin line between awesome and exaggerated. In the end, you don't care if Ted stays with Robin or who the actual overarching mother is. It's an episode by episode enjoyment, with never a low point. Even if one night you think it will be dragging, there will be one line that will leave you chuckling until well past Monday night.

09. Weeds (Showtime)
Sure, it wasn't the best season of the critically acclaimed Showtime season, but even when Weeds is at its worst, it still beats out 90% of what is on TV. Mary Louise Parker is, hands down, one of the greatest female actresses of our time, and with each mistake Nancy brings on upon herself, you want to root for her to keep being sassy and sarcastic and incredibly strong—all at the same time. Who would have thought that a show about a pot dealing suburban mom would be so socially aware without being preachy? This season's finale left a lot to be wondered about where the family will go, but as long as Mary-Kate stays out of too many scenes and the wonderful Kevin Nealon is in more, I'll be just fine.

08. Top Chef (Bravo)
Okay so I'm not the best cook, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a good cooking show once in a while. So when I'm not feeling gathering inspiration from the food network, I'm watching aspiring chefs duke it out on Bravo's most delicious reality show, Top Chef. This network knows how to do reality TV, focusing more on the competition than the drama and letting true talents, rather than true crazies, shine. This season didn't have the Ilan I fell in love with, but it did have a fantastic grouping of odd flavors and spices. Yes, I wasn't thrilled that Hung took the top prize (was rooting for the underdog Dale), you can't argue with that boy's knife skills. Wowee.

07. House (FOX)
Hugh Laurie can do no wrong. How is it that I completely adore an arrogant pompous Vicodin popping loner? Because he's a genius, that is. Both Laurie and the character he plays make a somewhat redundant show increasingly entertaining with one quip-witted line. Someone will always have a seizure and they will always (well most of the time) solve the mysterious case, but no matter how ridiculous the story lines seem to get, Laurie and his team's banter keep me tuning in each week. This season's Survivor-esque showdown created some humorous moments, and although it was quite obvious who he was going to pick at the end, the rose/tribal ceremonies made it all worthwhile.

06. The Sopranos (HBO)
It had to come to an end, and in the final moments of a black screen all I could think of is how truly remarkable this show is. Get over the initial shock and it all becomes so clear. David Chase's mob drama was easily one of the best television shows of our time, with its complex story arches and metaphors growing deeper with each season of the show. Violence became art, as Tony and his crew reminded us what old-school justice is all about. Growing up in Jersey it was easy to see how genuine the show attempted to be—no, I'm not in the mob—while still revolutionizing hour-long dramas on the small screen. Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" will always be remembered as my final farewell to the Soprano clan, and whatever your interpretation is of how this fantastic show came to a close, just think about how refreshing that lack of clarity really is.

05. The Office (NBC)
What can I say about this gem of a show that hasn't already been said? There's nothing better than an awkward laugh at the folks at Dunder Mifflin sure know how to make an experience awkward. I cant help but laugh out loud as Michael tries to do his best and fails, while Dwight stands noble and Jim gives funny looks to Pam. It's as formulaic of a show as you are going to be, which makes its location even the more appropriate. Offices are a humorous thing when you really think about it, but this remarkable cast has gone above and beyond to deliver crafty lines on a regular basis. Sure, I wasn't thrilled with the Pam and Jim story line this season, but even so—I never, ever, stopped laughing.

04. Californication (Showtime)
Hands down the best new show of the year, Califonication successfully brings back the screwed up world of shows like Six Feet Under where dark comedy rules, and characters are flawed. Hank Moody, played so well by the enjoyable David Duchovney can't get his life together, and he shouldn't. Because while he's screwing up everything around him he's helping us look at a world that isn't perfect and isn't supposed to be. From the first minute that I watched the show all I wanted to do was get back into writing creativily because the mind of a writer is something so relatable. We're all trying to figure out the meaning of life, and if I had a choice, I'd let Moody be my guide.

03. Heroes (NBC)
Stop your complaining. Stop expecting everything to happen all at once. Think about reality television. Think about the idea of a comic book series on TV. Think about the number and diversity of the cast and think about the success of a silly tagline like "Save The Cheerleader, Save The World." It really bothers me sometimes when viewers will not have patience with television shows. If you loved the first season, trust the writers and creators the next time around. Sure, there were some mistakes (ahem, Wonder Twins) and interesting dialogue but it is always worthwhile in the end. Remember that Heroes is divided into "Chapters" and not every page of every chapter in a book will be some crazy fight scene. We're beginning to unravel the scale of what we've grown accustomed to in this show, so take a deep breath, ogle at Peter's pecs, and just enjoy this show.

02. Lost (ABC)
Oh Lost how I love you so. My relationship with this show is much like any close relationship in life, it has its ups and it has its down. But I always admire intelligence and passion, and this show has proved that you can have both on primetime TV. The second half of the third season proved to be its most ambitious yet, with the reveal of Jacob, the flash-forwards, and Dharma's intentions. Locke and Ben are easily the most intriguing characters out there, with a very weary confusion between good and evil. With its grand themes and carefully places references to pop culture's past, Lost continues to wow me with each twist and turn, and you can bet I'll be sticking with it to the very end.

01. Dexter (Showtime)
I didn't watch the first season of Dexter when it aired on Showtime, but sometime during the summer I decided to give this strange show a try. What I discovered is now a deep obsession with the most complex character I've grown to love, played so brilliantly by Michael C. Hall. I can't even begin to explain the trials me as a viewer goes through on a weekly basis trying to understand the workings of a serial killer. But he's a justified serial killer, we think, but as Season Two has unwound we are not so sure. I sit on the edge of my couch with every piece of evidence shown, as its growing closer and closer to our dear Dex getting caught. A cast of characters that are both in tune and out to the world around them is terribly interesting, and its deathly disturbing not knowing how it will all play out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sing Happy Birthday To Pat On Friday!

So something awesome is going down on Friday night for someone equally awesome, and no I'm not biased....okay maybe a bit but I heard its true. My wonderful boyfriend's birthday is this weekend and since he was sweet enough to book the best party of my life in June, I had to return the favor (although I doubt I'll live up to it). It wouldn't be Pat's party unless it was in Staten Island, so get ready to take the ferry (it's free) for some great music (also free), lots of drinks (not free!), and fun times (always free!).

Here's the info. See you there!

Friday, November 23
Happy Birthday Pat!
The Heavenly Tenants - 10 PM
Aeroplane Pageant - 11 PM
at Martini Red
372 Van Duzer Blvd
Staten Island, New York

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ra Ra Riot - Suspended In Gaffa | Shows

I am having an obsessive addiction to Ra Ra Riot's Kate Bush cover of "Suspended In Gaffa." I always loved the song like but when I downloaded their Daytrotter session last week, it seems like this song is all I want to listen to. First reaction? 100 times better than the original. This isn't the first Kate Bush cover, their popular "Hounds Of Love" cover is pretty fab as well, but for some reason every time I try and listen to some other artists, all I want to do is come back to "Gaffa." There's something about Wes' incredible falsettos and the oom-pah pah rhythm that makes me so happy. I've even resorted to writing emails just about the song.

In other Ra Ra Riot news, Pat and I will be driving down to Washington, D.C. to catch them and our other favorites, Jukebox The Ghost play at the Rock and Roll Hotel next next next Friday. And yes, I know that they are playing New York at Union Hall the next night, but why shouldn't I have a weekend full of two of my favorite bands? I'm sure Pat would like me to mention this was all my idea, but trust me—he's not complaining either. Tickets are still available for the Washington show (road trip!) but Union Hall is currently sold out. And even if you are going to both those shows, you should also make sure you take a trip to the John Pike Memorial Show featuring Vampire Weekend, Tokyo Police Club (and of course RRR) December 15 in Boston. More information on the show, or how to donate to the fund, can be found here.

And now, that tune that will make your Friday so much sweeter.

  • Ra Ra Riot - Suspended In Gaffa (via their Daytrotter Session)
  • Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Hey! Readers. Vote for me...if you want.

    I'm not sure I totally understand this contest but I sure am honored to be nominated with my fellow blogsters. So if you like reading my nonsense on a daily basis, first have your head checked, then vote for me! I could use some funny comments too to cheer me up on this rainy day, so use that space to write your own nonsense! Oh, and while you are there, you should vote for Pat too.

    Project Runway 4.1

    Did you watch last night's premiere? I already have my favorite.

    I have to admit, however, that with four years under its belt, the show has sort of become a farce of itself. The whole "make it work" which I don't think Tim Gunn ever intended to be as popular of a catch line, has become almost the reason these people are on the show. From writing in the blackboard in their apartment to saying it out loud with Tim, I had to cringe at the cult status the show has now achieved. What I love so much abut Bravo shows is that they don't give into the terrible aspects of "reality television" only the parts that we as humans can't live without—voyeurism and competition. I don't want to think that the judges kept crazy lady with the poo-poo dress on just for drama, but I can't kick it out of my mind.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    Strike Watch: How Long Til My Favorite Show Runs Out?

    I'm trying not to get too depressed about this strike, but as the December hiatus is quickly approaching, I know that this post-holiday season is going to even more depressing that usual. Thanks to my favorite pop culture blogger, we now have this updated list of how many episodes are left of our favorite shows. I don't know about you, but I think this TV season has been the strongest yet—I've picked up a lot of new shows that I didn't think I'd enjoy and with Heroes now back to its greatness, I look forward to my DVR catch-up each weekend. What am I going to do when this all comes to an end? I've decided to support my writers and not pick up any new crazy reality show the networks have to offer, but I can't say no to Project Runway (which starts tonight!) Anyways, here's the countdown. One episode of The Office left. Ugh. Get out the Kleenex (or facial tissues as Ted from How I Met Your Mother would correct me, how great was this week's ep?)

    30 Rock: Ten episodes will be produced. Five episodes have aired, so there are five left.

    Brothers & Sisters: Twelve episodes will be produced. Seven episodes have aired, so there are five left.

    Chuck: Thirteen episodes will be produced. Eight episodes have aired, so there are five left.

    Dirty Sexy Money: Eleven episodes will be produced. Six episodes have aired, so there are five left.

    Gossip Girl: Thirteen episodes will be produced. Seven episodes have aired, so there are six left.

    Heroes: Eleven episodes will be produced. Eight episodes have aired, so there are three left.

    House: Twelve episodes will be produced. Seven episodes have aired, so there are five left.

    Lost: Eight episodes will be produced. None have aired yet, so there are eight episodes left.

    The Office: Twelve half-hour episodes will be produced. Eleven half-hour episodes have aired, so there is one half-hour episode left.

    Pushing Daisies: Nine episodes will be produced. Five episodes have aired, so there are four left.

    Say It IS So! Wakey finally sets his release.

    Pat and I may be battling for who can post the most about our dear friend Wakey!Wakey!, but today CMJ was lucky enough to premiere his cover of Weezer's "Say It Aint So" and finally some solid information about his debut album and release party. Horray!

    Click here to read and download!

    Friday, November 9, 2007

    the mtvU Woodies

    So last night I was honored to be asked to work the red carpet for the mtvU Woodies, and although the chaos was a lot for me to handle it ended up being a pretty fun night. Yes, I saw Pete Wentz and Jenny Lewis, chatted with the lovely Tokyo Police Club and took loads of pictures, but the little dork in me was so pumped to see two of the three members of Guster. They ended up taking home the award for "Good Woddie" for the band's create of Reverb, and so later in the night I got up the courage to personally say hi. What resulted from that was a Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy Josh Cain from Motion City Soundtrack walk by, to which Ryan grabbed him to take a picture. Classic.

    My whole red carpet experience can be found here.

    Thursday, November 8, 2007

    Save The Date: After The Jump Winter Fest

    New York City, December 8, 2007
    taking over all three levels of the Knitting Factory

    curated by the people behind: themusicslut . batteringroom . disconap . earfarm . ryspace . irockiroll . musicsnobbery . merryswankster . softcommunication . theunderratedblog . sitdownstandup . watercoolergossip . bumpershine . themodernage . productshopnyc . yetidontdance . slapyouinpublic . subinev . punkphoto . poptartssucktoasted . stereoactivenyc . fingeronthepulse

    for more information, please email: booking: charity: sponsors: publicity:

    This is making me very sad/angry...

    Looks like we'll get just a peak at Lost when it returns in February. If the strike continues, they will only air the first 8 episodes instead of the full 16. Ugh...Damon Lindelof explains.

    At the end of the eighth episode, is there any sense of conclusion whatsoever?
    It's as much of a conclusion as, say, Ana-Lucia and Libby getting shot.

    Wow. Really?
    Yes. And you'd be, like, oh my god, I can't believe I have to wait another year and two months for episode nine of this season.

    Read: Strikewatch: Why Lost Fans Will Cheer—and Cry (from E!Online)

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    Heroes 2.7 "Out Of Time"

    It's baaaaaaaaaaaaack. Will wait to chat until next week. Take that all Heroes-haters! I knew they would get back into the groove soon enough.

    The Back To Reality Mix

    I woke up this morning, ready to grab my badge and camera and head to Fader Lounge for a breakfast Red Stripe. Once I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, I realized that it was Monday. Back to work. No more free drinks. No more bandfest during the day. Sigh. I was a little bit sad.

    I'm sure the sadness will lessen as the days go by and I start to count down the days to SXSW. Austin is already calling my name. Anyways, here's a mix for you to enjoy. Back to regularly scheduled posts tomorrow.

  • The Changes - On A String
  • The Receiver - Corner (Pt 1)
  • Michael Leviton - For Lydia
  • La Rocca - The Truth
  • Kevin Devine - Just Stay
  • Division Day - Lights Out
  • DeVotchKa - Somethin' Stupid
  • ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - And The Rest Will Follow
  • Professor Murder - Champion
  • Asobi Seksu - Strawberries
  • The Wrens - Built In Girls
  • Jamie Lidell - Multiply (Gonzales Remix)
  • Wednesday, October 31, 2007

    Wakey!Wakey! | Apology Song

    It has been a tough week (and it's only Wednesday) and I'm leaving New York tomorrow for a trip out to Chicago to deal with some family business. But it was nice to wake up this morning and feel that excitement again, this time in the form of a Decemberists cover by one of my favorites, Wakey!Wakey!. It's just superb—Mike totally nailed this one. Now I'm even more excited to see what covers we have yet to come...

    This is all, of course, in preparation of their debut album release, which hopefully wont be too far from now. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to hear Silent As A Movie in all its glory.

  • Wakey!Wakey! - Apology Song (Decemberists Cover)
  • Tuesday, October 30, 2007

    Californication 1.12 - "The Last Waltz"

    Hank Moody is my hero.

    Favorite new series of the season? I think so. Last episode perfectly wrapped up an incredible debut season from this Showtime series. I've become to adore and loathe David Duchovny's take on the washed-up obnoxious and charming character of Hank Moody and that's why he's my hero. No one is one dimensional. Why is it only network TV that realizes that?

    Can't wait until this show comes back again.

    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    Movies That Rock: Lars And The Real Girl

    Last night I had one of those perfect New York nights. It was raining, the seasons were changing, and Pat and I walked down the block to catch some new quirky indie film—you really cant get more New York than that. We went to watch Lars And The Real Girl, a film that I had only heard the largest of raves for, for the story itself, its execution and the wonderful acting by who I think is one of the most talented actors of our generation. Ryan Gosling can choose the oddest of characters—in this case a lonely 20-something who deals with his deep issues in the form of a plastic doll named Bianca—and yet when watching him on screen, you forget that is acting. He succeeded beautifully in portraying what could be considered a sad character in an honest and heart-warming way. With every twitch and movement, you see deep within a character, opposed to seeing what is on the surface, which in a way, is what the entire film is about.

    Not a whole lot of music in the film, except for one pivotal scene that so perfectly used the Talking Head's "This Must be The Place (Naive Melody)," which you can download below. But please see the movie as well. It's worth the 11 dollars, I promise. Still need some convincing? Watch the trailer here.

  • Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)
  • Sunday, October 21, 2007

    CMJ '07: A Quick Recap

    Well, it's over. And I'm still exhausted, but satisfied. I had a great week working and hanging out at Indaba and meeting tons of people along the way. First of all, a HUGE thanks goes out to the wonderful folks at Indaba Music for letting Seth and I take over their work and home space for an amazing lineup of bands. Every person that climbed those stairs was happy they did in the end, and we couldn't have had such a great time without them. All of the bands that played were simply wonderful. I'll have all my pics and a couple videos up in a bit, but for now..let's look at what went on this week.

    Best Show (Other Than Indaba): We Are Wolves @ Annex. Wasn't expecting these guys to do much for me live, but I was totally blown away. Talk about a nice way to rock out on a Thursday night. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.

    We Are Wolves @ Annex

    Worst Show: Black Kids @ Annex. Perhaps due to the technical difficulties, but it was an uncomfortable show going experience. Took the band too long to get on stage, and when they finally did, after one song their guitar amp blew out. I still like the band, from the four songs I've heard, but would have passed on this had I known it would have ended this way.

    Black Kids @ Annex

    Overrated Act: Cut Off Your Hands. One big "eh".

    Cut Off Your Hands @ Indaba Music Loft

    Underrated Act: Tim Williams. Saw him twice and was completely blown away both times. His album is quickly rising to the top of my favorites this year, and his live show has been brought to new levels with his band. Totally amazing. Followed, of course by Wakey!Wakey!, Mason Proper and...

    Tim Williams @ Annex
    Mason Proper @ Indaba Music Loft
    Wakey!Wakey! @ Indaba Music Loft

    Best crowd: Jukebox The Ghost @ Indaba. Holy Crap! Packed to capacity and all singing along. I found myself front and center of a sweaty sweaty room and the boys just nailed each number to their adoring fans. The "yeah's yeahs" during "Good Day" was classic. Close second? The intense fans at the Jesse Lacey and Vince Accardi show at Mercury. Pretty cool to see first hand.

    Jukebox The Ghost @ Indaba Music Loft

    Best meet up: Shiv from WOXY! I heard his voice across the way at San Loco and couldn't have mistaken it for anything. Was so nice to finally meet the guy, albeit short. Followed by West Coast favorites, Princeton and Let's Go Sailing.

    Princeton @ Indaba Music Loft
    Let's Go Sailing@ Indaba Music Loft

    Best panel: The Almighty Blog. Was horribly disappointed the day before sitting through "PR On A Shoestring" (where they blatantly bashed blogs and gave no help for bands trying to get their names out on a small budget) but was brought back to sanity by the amazing panel for "The Almighty Blog." It was nice to see a very diverse panel with a unique conversation about where we are going in this crazy world of musical journalism.

    I didn't see a whole lot outside of Indaba, but must say I had a great week seeing some of my favorite people and bands. Can't say I'm not ready to get back into a regular schedule though. My TV is calling me...

    Friday, October 19, 2007

    I'm just about ready for this week to be over and to go back to a regular schedule, but not before we host one more day party, and our rockin party tomorrow night. Today marks the welcoming of Princeton, followed by what is sure to be an amazing set from Eagle*Seagull, anchored by our dear friend Wakey!Wakey! I'll be a little late getting to the loft today to finish up some work for the week, but you can bet I'll be in a celebrating mood after that.

    PS - Illinois was just added to Saturday night, to replace Catfish Haven. They will go on at 11 PM, following Jukebox The Ghost. Horrah!

    The Indaba Loft is located at 268 Bowery, just below Houston. All parties are free, all ages, and 21+ for free beer (until it lasts).

    This flyer was not the most recent one, as Mook has been replaced by the Late Greats at 3.

    The Sister Lovers - He's Not It
    Princeton - Blackbeard
    Eagle*Seagull - Your Beauty Is A Knife I Turn On My Throat
    Wakey!Wakey - Fallin' Apart

    Thursday, October 18, 2007

    Thursday @ Indaba Loft

    I feel reenergized today. Yesterday was a bit rough—I was hungover and exhausted for most of the day, but managed to make it out til about 11 PM when I decided to call it quits. After a nice sleep and a lot of water, I'm ready to go back out there. Let's see if I can make it to Highline Ballroom for Islands tonight. Probably doubtful, but it's early, so let's be optimistic.

    Today at the Indaba Loft are some of Underrated's all-time favorites, from A Brief Smile kicking things off to Tim Williams (who killed it last night at the Dovecote Showcaset), Mason Proper, The Jaguar name it, we probably booked them.

    Indaba Loft is located at 268 Bowery. It is a free show for all ages, and free beer for those 21+. See you there!

  • A Brief Smile - Big Sky
  • Let's Go Sailing - Icicles
  • Tim Williams - Novel
  • Mason Proper - My My (Bad Fruit)
  • The Jaguar Club - The Sirens
  • Mancino - Five Blades
  • Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    Wednesday@Indaba Loft! Day Two!

    Holy crazy crap. It's only day two and I'm already in need of a very long nap. Yesterday was amazing—we had such a weird slew of bands that it worked for everyone. Best moment? Lead singer of Cut Off Your Hands climbing on the ceiling pipes. Mmhmm. Nuts.

    Day two is here and I'm so excited for Division Day to be back in New York City and an early evening set from my loves, the Undisputed Heavyweights. With those bookends and incredible acts in between, no nap will be allowed.

    Indaba Loft is located at 268 Bowery, just below Houston. All shows are free, for all ages, and free beer for 21+. See you there!

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    Tuesday @ Indaba Loft. CMJ Begins!!

    Holy crap. Here we go. I'll be working this morning then at Indaba all day, followed by some Mercury and Pianos tonight. I'm tired already!

    Indaba Loft is located at 268 Bowery, just below Houston. All shows are free, all ages, and will have FREE beer! Sets will be running on time, so make sure you stop by! Find the full lineup here.

  • Arizona - Some Kind Of Chill
  • Cut Off Your Hands! - You And I
  • Matt Singer - Outrageous
  • Monday, October 15, 2007

    Indaba / Underrated / This Side Up Presents...CMJ

    I've been working really hard with the wonderful people at Indaba Music and This Side Up to put together an amazing roster of day shows and a Saturday night party for this year's CMJ. Every day during the festival, you are invited to the Indaba Loft on Bowery and Houston to grab a free drink, learn about Indaba and listen to some of my favorite acts from across the country. I'm so incredibly excited to see everyone, so start planning your schedules and make sure the Indaba Loft is a stop on the way! (Did I mention free beer?!?)

    [click to enlarge]

    Indaba Music / Underrated Magazine / This Side Up Sounds PRESENTS...

    TUESDAY Oct 16
    3 - QUINTIS
    4 - ARIZONA
    website| Some Kind Of Chill [mp3]
    website | You And I [mp3]
    website | Outrageous [mp3]

    WEDNESDAY Oct 17
    website| Tigers [mp3]
    website | The Sun & The Earth [mp3]
    website | Shiver [mp3]
    website | Never Satisfied [mp3]
    6 – BEAT RADIO
    website | Mexico [mp3]
    website | Roll Your Windows Down [mp3]

    THURSDAY Oct 18
    website | Big Sky [mp3]
    website | Icicles [mp3]
    website | Novel [mp3]
    website | My My (Bad Fruit) [mp3]
    website | The Sirens [mp3]
    7 - MANCINO
    website | Five Blades [mp3]

    FRIDAY Oct 19
    website | He's Not It [mp3]
    website | Blackbeard [mp3]
    5 - PEASANT
    website | Your Beauty Is A Knife I Turn On My Throat [mp3]
    7 - WAKEY!WAKEY!
    website | Fallin' Apart [mp3]

    7 – SURE JUROR
    website | The Once-Great Gender Debate [mp3]
    8 – THE DIGGS
    website | Careen [mp3]
    website | Allo Allo [mp3]
    website | Hold It In [mp3]
    11 – TBA

    See you there!

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    In Rainbows

    "Today has been the most perfect day I've ever seen..."

    What an amazing feeling it was to wake up this morning in anticipation of new music. That hasn't been felt since I was a kid where release dates actually meant something and music was a shared, universal experience. I woke up this morning and downloaded In Rainbows, Radiohead's revolutionary new album, and listened to it once. Then on my walk to work I was listening to it for a second time and I began to wonder how many millions of people are listening to this same album on this very day? It's quite an extraordinary though, when you really think about it.

    Anyways, love the album. Need to listen to it about 100 more times to actually have a solid opinion. But figured this would be a good time to say that this blog will probably be quiet over the week week or so. CMJ Music Marathon is next week and I'll be running around like a crazy person, updating over at, so bear with me until my life gets back into some sort of order the week following. Don't forget about the Indaba/Underrated/This Side Up showcases next week. We should have a flyer that I will put here once it's ready!

    Veronica Mars Contest - Win Season 3 DVD!

    Since this blog has sort of become TV centric, I have been offered the chance to give away two copies of season three of one of my favorite shows Veronica Mars (R.I.P)! All you have to do is email me (underratedmagazine at gmail dot com) with the subject line : VERONICA MARS DVD. I will be picking two winners at random Monday, October 22.

    Good luck and here's a preview of the third season!

    Monday, October 8, 2007

    Pushing Daisies 1.1 - "Pie-lette"

    At the beginning of each TV season, I'm always reluctant to take on a new series. Most new series that I end up liking will be canceled, and my schedule is already too busy that I have to watch most of my TV on a Saturday morning or Sunday night. So far this season, I'm keeping up with Californication, Gossip Girl, and Chuck. But after hearing the critical acclaim and knowing that a new show was being brought to ABC by the fantastic creator of Dead Like Me (was on Showtime, go rent it ASAP), I couldn't help but add Pushing Daisies to the increasing roster.

    It's so charming. But having charm, especially on network TV is never a bad idea. I applaud ABC for green-lighting a quirky drama that is full of stylized color and dialog, taking a chance of what is looking like a hit show. The feel-good nature of the fairy-style centered mystery could be too much for some to handle. But frankly, I'd take this show over some silly reality nonsense, or Housewives-esque knockoff. I think finally, our dear networks, are realizing that some of us are smarter than a 5th grader.

    Check out the opening scene below. The first episode of the series is currently up for free viewing over at

    Weeds 3.8 - "The Two Mrs. Scottsons"

    I'm a little behind on my TV, but I didn't want to post about last week's Weeds after tonight's episode for one main issue: Man Man. The band was the featured musical act on last week's episode which meant they got to sing the series' theme song and have a couple songs featured throughout. Some great moments of Nancy chasing after the ex-wife, psuedo incognito and our dear Andy getting into a tricky situation. Thankfully, not too much MK and a lot more Shane. I think I'm ready for our friend Sullivan out there or it's going to be another major catfish between Nancy and Celia. Actually, that could be fun. Seems like there's only a couple more episodes to go in this season and I can tell its leading to something major. Until then enjoy the fantastic rendition of "Little Boxes."

  • Man Man - Little Boxes
  • Friday, October 5, 2007

    The Office 4.2 - "Dunder Mifflin Infinity"

    Am I the only one who isn't a fan of Pam and Jim actually being together? I, of course, was a huge fan of their will they or wont they story line, but frankly these googly eyes over from desk to desk are kind of making me sick. Let's be honest, the best comedy does not derive from happiness, so let's break them up as soon as possible. Team Toby all the way!

    In other story lines, Dwight and Angela may be the best couple of the season, followed very closely behind Ryan and Kelly. That look on her face to the camera when she said she was pregnant was pure genius. But best moment overall of last night's episode? Creed's "hair." Thank goodness he is now a series regular.

    Thursday, October 4, 2007


    Last night there was a guy making margaritas on stage at the Nightmare of You show at Bowery Ballroom. Coolest thing ever? Perhaps.

    I forgot how much fun it is to go to a show and dance and sing like an idiot. I think it helped to have a crowd of mainly 16 year olds. Oh well.

    I hope you and Marcel live happily ever after.

    To be honest, I wasn't really rooting hard for anyone this season (long live the days of Ilan!) But it's still a great show, and Hung maybe deserved it, although Dale was definitely who I was pulling for at the end. CJ and Brian were show favorites, but obviously didn't make the cut.

    Until next season...

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