Get SF Weekly Newsletters


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Voice Finals, Part 1: Praise Be! It's Almost Over!

Posted By on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 8:26 AM


It's an unexpectedly somber start to the long-awaited finale of The Voice, with hosts, contestants and coaches all gathered for a heart-wrenching rendition of "Hallelujah." Each of them carries a card with the name and age of one of the victims of last Friday's horrific Newtown massacre. It's a sight so sobering that Carson Daly manages an actual facial expression.

Then, after the tribute, and a quick recap, it's back to the regular business of The Voice -- deciding who of the Top 3 -- Cassadee Pope, Terry McDermott or Nicholas David -- will win this year. (Trevin Hunte was voted off last Tuesday). Tonight is the last opportunity the contestants have to prove themselves. Each will perform three times -- a duet with their coach, a reprise of one of their best performances of the season and, finally, a brand new cover. Better make this good, kids...

Continue reading »

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Too $hort Retires His Player Card on VH1's Couples Therapy

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Too $hort and Monica Payne. - MONICA-PAYNE.COM
  • Too $hort and Monica Payne.

After seven weeks of sifting through the eye-rolling antics of teenager Courtney Stodden and her 52-year-old husband Doug Hutchison on VH1's Couples Therapy just in order to get two-minute glimpses of the far more genuine explorations of Oakland-reared rapper Too $hort (aka Todd Shaw) and his on-again, off-again girlfriend Monica Payne, the latest episode finally centered on our rap hero and the woman he wants to call his own.

It was a shock to see $hort on this show at all, since he's spent the past quarter-century perfecting the image of a callous player, declaring the lifestyle with album titles like Born to Mack, $horty the Pimp, and Married to the Game. But at age 45 (and following an eye-opening Internet scandal earlier this year), he feels it's "time to man up," as he tells the program's counselor Dr. Jenn Berman, and put his player card down for Payne.

See Also:

* What The Hell Is Too $hort Doing on VH1's Couples Therapy?

* The New Too $hort: Oakland Rapper Reconsiders Image After Scandal

* Watch: E-40 and Too $hort Pretend They're Insensitive Men in 'Dump Truck'

Continue reading »

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why Doesn't MTV Play Music Videos Anymore? Brian Firenzi Knows Why (Hint: It's Filesharing)

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Brian Firenzi in "Why Doesn't MTV Play Music Videos Anymore?"
  • Brian Firenzi in "Why Doesn't MTV Play Music Videos Anymore?"

Maybe you remember the hilarious video we (and lots of others) posted earlier this week, in which a (fake) MTV executive answered a question that bugs many of us: Why doesn't MTV play music videos anymore?

Brutally, cruelly funny -- and probably way too accurate -- the clip made by Brian Firenzi and Maria Del Carmen has officially gone viral. It's been posted on Gawker, made the front page of Reddit, and got responses from both Tommy Lee and MTV itself. While Firenzi's sketch comedy videos typically get 10,000 to 20,00 views, this one has so far been seen more than 1.2 million times.

To find out what inspired the video, how it came together, and what he really thinks of MTV, we fired off a few questions to Firenzi via email. Turns out he really does wish the channel would still play music videos.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

'Smells Like Teen Spirit' Is the Stunningly Original Title of a New CBS Comedy

Posted By on Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM


Hope no one has any emotional attachment to the phrase "Smells Like Teen Spirit" -- either the song, its mystique, or the band that played it -- 'cause if so, they're about to get quite a mindfuck.

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" is the (working) title of a new family sitcom just sold to CBS, about "an 18-year-old budding entrepreneur who forgoes Harvard and instead opts to launch a multibillion-dollar Internet company from his garage with the assistance of his sister, best friend and his 1990s indie-rock parents," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Excuse us while we go puke on our Chuck Taylors?

Continue reading »

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Billie Joe Armstrong Debuts on 'The Voice', Doesn't Say Much

Posted By on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Billie Joe Armstrong on the Voice - TYLER GOLDEN/NBC

You won't be seeing a lot of Billie Joe Armstrong in person these days -- the Green Day singer is currently in rehab working on some substance abuse issues. But the Oakland rocker's pretaped appearances on NBC singing competition the Voice began airing last night, giving us a first look at how the pop-punk frontman will help out Christina Aguilera's team

Continue reading »

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What the Hell Is Too $hort Doing on VH1's Couples Therapy?

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Couples Therapy Season 2 premieres on October 3. - VH1
  • VH1
  • Couples Therapy Season 2 premieres on October 3.

Legendary Oakland mack Too $hort has found himself in a very unlikely place: on the cast for the second season of VH1 reality show Couples Therapy 2, which premieres on Oct. 3. The pimp-tight rapper, whose real name is Todd Shaw, appears with Monica Payne, a music manager and former recording artist who's been described as his on-again, off-again love for some 15 years.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

Friday, July 27, 2012

Billie Joe Armstrong to Become Mentor on 'The Voice'

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Billie Joe
  • Billie Joe

Well, we certainly didn't see this coming: Rolling Stone reports today (via AP) that Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong will be a mentor on the upcoming season of NBC's hit TV music competition The Voice, helping the members of Christina Aguilera's team sing their best.

His primetime TV arrival comes just as Green Day prepares to release a trio of new albums this fall, making it a rather genius promotional move, if we may say so ourselves.

Mentors on the voice are used by the judges -- Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Cee Lo Green -- to give their team members extra guidance and perspective on the songs they're preparing to sing in competition. Mary J. Blige will be a mentor for Adam Levine's team this fall as well.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,

Friday, May 25, 2012

Duets Premieres on ABC: a Timeline of the Mediocrity

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 8:45 AM


And here it is. The vocal talent show that America neither needed nor wanted. The only talent involved that we actually wanted to watch (Lionel Ritchie) is no longer part of the show, but we're ready to suffer through this nonsense regardless. 

0.00.3: A ridiculous plethora of dancers throw shapes in a sea of dry ice and part, as each of the judges emerges singing Robbie Williams' (mostly British) hit, "Let Me Entertain You". We're irritated already, but relieved the producers had the good sense to get Kelly Clarkson onto the stage first (she's the most interesting judge now).

0:01: That Jennifer Nettles woman has one of the most annoying voices on earth. Why does she sing like she's trying to not throw up? It's only making us want to vomit more.

0:02: The drum section of a motherfucking marching band is on stage. Bucket, please!

Continue reading »

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Before Hip-Hop Squares: Eight Links Between Rap Music and TV Game Shows

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2012 at 4:00 AM


A game show that people have ever cared about -- even a little bit -- can go down, but it will never truly be out. Know the Dick Clark version of Pyramid that started in the 1970s and continued throughout the decade? No? Well, you've probably encountered the Bill Cullen version (also from the '70s), the John Davidson version (from the '90s) or the Donny Osmond version (from the '00s). And that's just one of many examples. If a dead title had any luster to it at all, odds are very good that it's going to be remade at some point.

Such is the case with Hip-Hop Squares, MTV2's revamp of Hollywood Squares, which debuts tonight (Tuesday, May 22). Hollywood Squares has drifted on and off the air waves since the mid-'60s, but you probably know the name best for the 1998 version that ran for six years and housed Whoopi Goldberg in the center square. The gist of Squares is that two non-celebrity players participate in a giant game of tic-tac-toe, with a rotating crew of celebrities ("celebrity" is often used loosely here) fielding trivia questions. The celebrity panelists are briefed with the answers before the game starts, so they can give various joke responses ("joke" is often used loosely here) to potentially trip up players. It's up to players to decide which answers are correct and which are bunk, and try to get three in the proper order.

Hip-Hop Squares already looks to be way better than Hollywood Squares based on the host alone. The show will be run by Hot 97 DJ Pete Rosenberg, who is approximately 30,000 times more genuine-feeling than Tom Bergeron. The rotating cast of rappers and other hip-hop-related celebrities impressively includes Common, Mac Miller, Fat Joe, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Biz Markie, Nick Cannon, Machine Gun Kelly, Childish Gambino, Tech N9Ne, Amber Rose, and DJ Khaled. Throwing a hip-hop makeover on the Squares concept is a cheesy, contrived move, yeah -- but it still looks like a whole lot of dumb fun. Plus, anything that brings Ghostface to the world is a beautiful thing.

Before Hip-Hop Squares launches tonight, let's look at eight (or so) past connections between hip-hop and game shows:

Continue reading »

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Voice Finale: Dear TV-Watching America, Chris Mann Is Too Dull Even For You

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2012 at 4:30 AM

Chris Mann: Capable singer, flavorless contestant.
  • Chris Mann: Capable singer, flavorless contestant.

Granted, the show is called The Voice, thus emphasizing contestants' ability to sing; and granted, Chris Mann can expertly render notes given to him on a sheet of music, which many others (probably including his coach, Christina Aguilera) can't do as well; and granted, Mann's Vanderbilt training and opera experience may lend this enjoyable contrivance of a television program some new credibility; and granted, he did make your mom cry with that whole "Ave Maria" performance. But, dear, The Voice-watching America, there is something Chris Mann doesn't have, and it is kind of important:


Continue reading »

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"