Friday, February 27, 2009

Arrested Development Movie is On!

At the Oscars, Ron Howard confirmed that the Arrested Development movie is in the very early stages of being completed! http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/02/23/exclusive-ron-howard-on-arrested-development-film-its-going-ahead/ Some very good news for people who have awaited the reunion of the Bluth's since the show got canceled in 2003.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Book Blog #2: Christopher Moore


In my previous Book Blog I said I was trying to re-read New Moon by Stephenie Meyer. Well, I tried and just couldn't get into it. I think after seeing the Twilight film adaptation and being disappointed with it, my passion and interest for the series died along with Robert Pattinson's ability to have any sort of privacy.
Now, I'm starting to read A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. Moore is one of my favorite authors of all time and is also very underrated. I read Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, about a year and a half ago and have been a fan of his ever since.
Moore usually writes satirically whether it be about bloodsucking vampires or King Lear in Medieval Times. His comedic timing and dry humor along with his fantastic story telling ability is what makes Moore one of the best current authors.
His newest novel is Fool and has been getting really great reviews however, I'd start with Lamb and then A Dirty Job.

Check out his Web site: http://www.chrismoore.com/

(Picture courtesy of Amazon.com)

Obama's State of the Union Address

The NY Times analyze President Obama's State of the Union speech last night.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Book Blog #1: Watchmen, New Moon and How I Live Now

Since yesterday, I've been reading Watchmen: The Absolute Edition by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons non-stop. I've been really excited about the movie (releasing March 6,) ever since I saw the trailer for the first time when I went to see "Zach and Miri Make a Porno":
Muse's "Take A Bow" is the perfect song choice for this trailer, by the way!

Anyway, the Watchmen series takes place in New York City during the cold war. After the death of Edward Blake (superhero aka "The Comedian,") other superheroes who have been either outlawed, in retirement or working for the government, are starting to get suspicious thinking that perhaps the government was behind The Comedian's death. The main instigator of this theory, Rorschach, is also the one who tries to get all the superheroes together to investigate.

Watchmen closely mirrors the contemporary world of the late 1970's-early 1980's. In the graphic novel, the superheroes' existence have dramatically affected and altered the outcomes of real-world events such as the Vietnam War and the presidency of Richard Nixon. Although the Watchmen are commonly called "superheroes," the only character who possesses obvious superhuman powers is Doctor Manhattan. The existence of Doctor Manhattan and the ownership the U.S. have over him has given the U.S. a strategic advantage over the Soviet Union, which has increased tensions between the two nations.

Superheroes have become unpopular among the public, which in the novel had led to the passage of legislation in 1977 to outlaw them. While many of the heroes retired, Doctor Manhattan and the Comedian operate as government-sanctioned agents. Rorschach continues to operate outside the law.
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Another book I'm starting to read again is New Moon by Stephenie Meyer. New Moon is the second book of the Twilight saga. I read Twilight in about a month which is really fast for me and then after that, saw the film and was really into the series for a while. Because of that, I felt like I needed a break and that's why it's taken me so long to finally start reading the second one. Something about the series is compelling, I don't know why because both Bella and Edward aren't very interesting. Something about these characters make you care about the story. When I find out what that is, I'll let readers know.
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In between Twilight and New Moon, I read How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. Rosoff is a new writer and a very talented one at that. The story is about a teenage girl who goes to England to visit her aunt and cousins in England. During that time, a nuclear war abrupts in Europe and eventually spreads to the United States.

Out of all three of these books, I'd say Watchmen is the one I'd start with first. I'm almost in the middle of the series and it's highly recommended.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lily Allen Featured in the NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/arts/music/08ryzi.html?scp=4&sq=lily%20allen&st=cse

New Rihanna Photos Released

TMZ.com have released new photos of a brutally beaten Rihanna after the alleged altercation with boyfriend (or, let's be hopeful, ex-boyfriend?) Chris Brown.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Album releases for the week 2/17

Here are the album releases for the week Courtesy of Prefixmag.com!

Albums you should really get on this list: Beirut - March of the Zapotec EP, M. Ward - Hold Time, Morrissey - Years of Refusal and Thursday - Common Existence

Friday, February 13, 2009

Really Great Lost Blog

Eventually, I really want to write a post about one of my favorite shows, Lost but because the show is so intricate and has many factors that need explaining, I'm going to need a lot more time! Perhaps in the future I'll also write a weekly Lost post. For now, I'm sharing my absolute favorite blog about Lost and I read it every week to find out clues about the most recent episode. It's called Pop Candy: Let's Talk About Lost. Here's the most recent blog.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Album releases for the week.

Thanks to Prefixmag.com, here's a list of albums coming out this week: http://www.prefixmag.com/features/week-in-preview/february-10-2009-wip/25923/
Album You should really get on this list: Lily Allen's It's Not Me, It's You (OF COURSE!!! I have it already and it's great. Review of that coming soon.)
Also try Ben Lee's new one The Rebirth Of Venus. I haven't listened yet but it's Ben Lee so it will be worth a try. Another good one on this list is Ryan Adams' Ryan Adams Valentine's Day EP.
It's a good week for music! There really aren't any albums on that list I would skip!

Video Blog One: Topic: Blink 182 Reunion

Monday, February 9, 2009

Grammy Post!

First of all, here are some of the notable wins of the night:

Winners of the televised awards included:

Pop male vocal performance - John Mayer, Say

Record of the year - Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, Please Read the Letter

New artist - Adele

Rock album - Coldplay, Viva La Vida

Pop collaboration with vocals - Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, Rich Woman

Song of the year - Coldplay, Viva La Vida

Country performance by duo/group - Sugarland, Stay

R&B Album - Jennifer Hudson, Self Titled

Short-form music video - Weezer, Pork and Beans

Long-form music video - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Runnin' Down a Dream

Contemporary folk/Americana - Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Raising Sand

Female R&B vocal performance - Alicia Keys, Superwoman

Male R&B vocal performance - Ne-Yo, Miss Independent

Spoken-word album - Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth

Female pop vocal performance - Adele, Chasing Pavements

Pop duo/group - Coldplay, Viva La Vida

Pop vocal album - Duffy, Rockferry

Alternative album - Radiohead, In Rainbows

Solo Rock Vocal - John Mayer, Gravity

Rock duo/group - Kings of Leon, Sex on Fire

Hard rock performance - The Mars Volta, Wax Simulacra

Metal performance - Metallica, My Apocalypse

Producer of the year, non-classical - Rick Rubin

Rock song - Bruce Springsteen, Girls in their Summer Clothes


This year's Grammy Awards were probably the most entertaining it's been in a couple of years and everyone who won was very much deserving of it. Probably the highlight of my night would have to be Blink 182 announcing they're reuniting when presenting the award for Best Rock Album. According to Blink182.com, an album should be out by Summer 2009. (More to come later in a video blog about that!)

Big winners of the night included Robert Plant and Allison Krauss for their brilliant collaboration Raising Sand and Coldplay for their album, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends. I was also very pleased to see Adele win for Best New Artist and Female Pop Vocal Perfomance and Duffy for Best Pop Album. Kings of Leon's "Sex on Fire" was also a pleasant surprise when they won Best Rock Duo or Group. John Mayer is another artist who I feel made some brilliant music on Continuum and deserved his two wins.
Also, great performances by Coldplay, Katy Perry, Radiohead and M.I.A.


Last.fm Charts for feb. 2-8


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Interesting last minute Performance Change at the Grammy Awards

According to Rolling Stone, Rihanna has cancelled her performance as well as her appearance at tonight's Grammy awards. Reports are surfacing that it's because of her boyfriend and fellow r&b singer Chris Brown's recent arrest for battery. Justin Timberlake and Al Green's performance was a last minute decision to fill the time Rihanna was supposed to perform.

Testing my Windows Movie Maker Skills!


Has anyone else seen this guy in the city? I thought he was brilliant. Too bad my camera battery was about to die...I would have videotaped his entire performance. Video is also uploaded to The Preston Beat's very own YouTube Channel! Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/user/theprestonbeat

Another thing completely unrelated...I'm watching the Grammy's right now and congratulations to Allison Krauss and Robert Plant on their win! It's very much deserved. I'll have a Grammy post later.

My Last.fm charts from last week


Friday, February 6, 2009

Stimulus Update thanks to Talking Points Memo

According to the political blog Talking Points Memo, reports have been surfacing that the Senate has agreed to a $780 billion stimulus package.

PostSecret Announces 2009 College Tour

PostSecret, the ongoing community mail art project created by Frank Warren has just announced a 2009 college tour where Warren will be talking to students about the project and experiences he's had with the project.
How PostSecret works is a very simple and efficient way for people to stay anonymous if they choose to. People mail their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. Select secrets are then posted on the PostSecret website, or used for PostSecret's books or museum exhibits. (The books are fascinating, by the way and I definitely recommended them!)
Be sure to look at the Post Secret blog...featured on my blog list!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fat Mike is at it again...

Lead singer of NOFX, Fat Mike, called Avenged Sevenfold "the epitome of what's wrong with rock n' roll" in a recent interview with www.CampusCircle.com. This is reminiscent of a feud that happened between NOFX and Underoath in 2006 during Warped Tour when Mike criticized the Christian emphasized hardcore band from Florida for discussing their religion heavily in their lyrics. Kevin Lyman, developer and creator of the annual festival, threatened to ban NOFX from the tour if the taunting continued. A couple of weeks after the initial taunt, which happened onstage in front of the audience, Underoath decided to quit the tour. Whether it was because of Mike's remarks is still unknown however in an interview with PunkNews.Org, Mike reassured everyone that the bands settled their differences off stage and the split from the tour was not because of them.

What's up with all of these celebrities getting Twitter account's now!?

www.twitter.com/lilyroseallen

You can now follow Lily Allen on twitter! She posted this on her blog earlier today.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Preston Beat remembers The Format


It's been exactly one year since Peoria, Arizona's favorite powerhouse music duo, The Format broke up because of creative differences. I really can't believe it's been a year already...I miss Sam Means and Nate Ruess terribly. Their work together wasn't finished...it seemed like they were really becoming in sync creatively on their sophomore album, Dog Problems, which was an instant classic for me. Apparently, it was the exact opposite!
I look forward to Nate's solo project. As of now, it's pretty much at a stand still. If I hear any news, it will definitely be posted here.
If you haven't already, I encourage you to listen to them! They sound like a more experimental Beach Boys mixed with Jack's Mannequin and The Early November with the lead singer of The Manchester Orchestra.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Album releases for the week.

Prefixmag.com is amazing and they like lists just as much as I do. So here's their weekly list of new albums that were released this week: http://www.prefixmag.com/features/week-in-preview/february-3-2009-wip/25634/
The album you should really get on this list: Ben Kweller - Changing Horses
The album you should really skip on this list: The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Lonely Road
A lot of people are hating on The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus HARD...but the question I ask is, were they even really THAT good to begin with?

Can we discuss "Funny Games"? OH MY GOD!


A couple days ago, I watched "Funny Games" starring Naomi Watts, Michael Pitt and Tim Roth. I wasn't really sure what to expect going into it, I've just heard about it on imdb and sites like that. I've also heard that it's one of those movies you either love or hate, which I can say now that I've seen it, is definitely the case.
I can't seem to get the images out of my mind. It's not that I was scared by the film, it's like I was completely blown away.

Here's a synopsis, if you will. The movie is about a fairly wealthy family who are staying at their vacation home for "a week or two," as Naomi says in the film. When they arrive, they're visited by two young men dressed in golf attire asking for the family's neighbor if she could borrow some eggs for whatever she's cooking. After asking for the eggs, they never leave and after asking them to couple of times, Ann and George, Naomi Watts and Tim Roth's characters, realize these men are up to no good. The men then begin terrorizing the family and playing games with them. If the family do not agree to these games, the men threaten to kill them.

Here's also the Wikipedia page for the film: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funny_Games_(2008_film)

Anyway, I know it just sounds like some random horror movie you've watched before but it's the way it's shot and the characters in the film. Michael Pitt, who plays one of the young men, it chilling and gives you the feeling that there are definitely some screws loose in his head. He breaks the fourth wall many times, talking to the audience, which I think is the most terrifying part about the movie. The way he smirks at the audience and his obvious power trip he has over this family is something I've never seen in a character.

You should really just watch it! I know you'll either love it or hate it but there's that 50% chance that you'll love it like I did!