Five Covers Live


All Good Things

Some brief notes:

Kelly Clarkson - "My Life Would Suck Without You" Its title--a regretful though no less rawking flip-side to "Since U Been Gone"'s fill-in-the-blank--is prose poetry for Generation Facebook, but it doesn't explain why these three and a half minutes sound (no less persuasively than "SUBG") like our early single-of-the-year frontrunner. The key difference was that "Since" sideswiped our critical faculties, the likes of "Miss Independent" having not suggested rock-pop so vital. Since "Since" plus "Because of You" and "How I Feel," etcetera, the bar has simply been raised, and yet again, remarkably, she's up to it. So, with all due respect to Carrie Underwood, yeah, she's still the finest Idol product--duh.

Pink - "Sober" Pink aches almost as persuasively as Clarkson, and sings almost as good, too, when she feels like it, which she seems to here. If "Sober" isn't on the same level as "My Life..."--and it isn't--it's probably better, if not as immediately infectious, than "So What" (not to mention, for what it's worth, Tool's "Sober" and Evanescence's "Call Me When You're Sober"). Unlike most of her peers, of whom the reverse is true, Pink's always done fucked-up personal-melodrama better than let's-get-the-party-started-y'all and this slice of life-sucks is no exception. She might overplay her hand with that nutso video, but, right, it's Pink we're talking about here. Don't let her get her. She's a hazard to herself.

Beyonce - "Halo" Ballads with a sick beat are almost always preferable to the blander alternative, a truth it took Beyonce--for all her undeniable pop smarts--way too long to arrive at. Maybe one of these days she'll actually put out a long-player that doesn't require easy access to the 'skip' button. And, no, the inevitable/essential solo best-of doesn't count.

[REC] Trust me--to call this Spanish stunner the scariest movie I'd ever seen didn't feel at all like an overstatement for, say, the first week or two after I'd watched it; upon reflection, arguing that it's some sort of masterpiece doesn't feel like hyperbole either. On paper, it's 28 Days of the Living Blair Witch Dead. On screen, it's something else entirely--something unexpectedly frightening and impossibly claustrophobic, much more than the sum of its parts and altogether perfectly executed. Just do yourself a favor (or not, depending on your personal terror/suspense threshold) and rent it ASAP.

Dollhouse I've found something to like in every episode thus far, including the one about the suicidal singer that everyone else seems to hate. The last two were the best yet. Supposedly, this week is where it ascends from Mostly Really Good to Joss Fucking Whedon Good. We're psyched.

Castle Another Whedon alum doing--hooray!--something other than slumming. Well, that's the verdict after one episode anyway. I'm crossing my fingers that tonight's installment, and subsequent ones, will continue providing Nathan Fillion (and the seemingly solid cast around him) with such juicy comic-noir material. I don't really care if, big picture-wise, the show itself turns out to be something great per se, though that would be a cool bonus. For the time being, let's just hope Capt. Mal can keep this ship in the air.