Fleetwood Mac Announces ‘On With the Show’ Tour… with Christine McVie

Posted in Live Shows, Music on March 27th, 2014 by Nick

FleetwoodMac_News_ImageThis is pretty huge news. On one hand, it’s pretty miraculous that Fleetwood Mac, living legends really, are even still touring. Kudos to them. If news about the new tour wasn’t big enough, after a 16-year absence, Christine McVie will be re-joining band for the 34-show, 33-city tour that the band is calling the “On With the Show” tour.

So cool.

This feels like a great opportunity to see Fleetwood Mac play, with the hands of all its major players at the wheel.

If this tickles your fancy, here are the deets:

American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Monday, March 31 at 10:00 a.m. through Sunday, April 6 at 10:00 p.m. Tickets go on sale beginning Monday, April 7 through the Live Nation mobile app and at www.livenation.com.

On With The Show Tour Dates:

Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center

Chicago, IL @ United Center

New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden

Boston, MA @ TD Garden

Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center

Pittsburgh, PA @ Consol Energy Center

Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center

Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre

Columbus, OH @ Nationwide Arena

Indianapolis, IN @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Detroit, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills

Ottawa, ON @ Canadian Tire Centre

Washington, DC @ Verizon Center

Hartford, CT @ XL Center

Winnipeg, MB @ MTS Centre

Saskatoon, SK @ Credit Union Centre

Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome

Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place

Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena

Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome

Portland, OR @ Moda Center

Sacramento, CA @ Sleep Train Arena

San Jose, CA @ SAP Center at San Jose

Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum

Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum

San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena at SD State University

Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena

Phoenix, AZ @ US Airways Center

Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center

Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center

Houston, TX @ Toyota Center

Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena

Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ BB&T Center

Tampa, FL @ Tampa Bay Times Forum

Props to Josh for the tip!

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Lollapalooza Announces 2014 Lineup

Posted in Music on March 26th, 2014 by Nick

Here you go, line-up nerds (click to enlarge):

LOL2014-FullLineup1-page-001Pretty weak headliners, if you ask me. To add to that, I personally think the Firefly and Bonnaroo lineups destroy this one, but hey, I’m sure Chicago will still have a good time.

I’m really excited, myself, to be seeing Outkast, but the fact that they’re playing every single festival in the history of man kind of makes it less special, right!?

I’ll be at the Firefly Festival in less than 3 months. The countdown is ON!

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4B Festival New Haven, 2 B’s Short

Posted in Bacon, Food on March 25th, 2014 by Nick

4Bfest-1Bourbon, bacon, beer and barbeque. Who wouldn’t love a festival full of all those mouth-watering B’s? Created by Digital Surgeons/David Salinas, 4B celebrated its inaugural year on Saturday at The Old Swimsuit Factory in New Haven. With a concept so appetizing, it’s regrettable to report that not many of its attendees were celebrating along.

Before we arrived to the festival, word had already begun to break on Twitter from the afternoon attendees that the wait to get inside the door was well over an hour. Reading the tweets that were flying in just minutes before what was supposed to be the best bacon experience of the year left me with a lingering feeling of doubt that I couldn’t shake. Though line issues seemed to have been mostly alleviated for the second wave of bourbon-guzzling bacon lovers, there were still plenty of foreseeable problems awaiting us through the doors.

In sum: the 4B Festival was more like a 2B Festival. Having said that, let’s start with the Pros: The beer and bourbon.

On the beer side of things, there was a pretty OK showing. Local favorites like Two Roads and Thimble Island were pouring out tastings, but my favorite beer of the day was Shebeen Brewing’s Bacon Kona Stout. Unlike Rouge’s awful bacon attempt last year, Shebeen’s brew had just the right amount of smoke added to an already solid stout that wasn’t too heavy in body. I went back multiple times.

Crabbie’s Ginger Beer was a highlight as well. Served on the rocks with a lemon or orange slice, Crabbie’s offered their original (alcoholic) ginger flavored beer along with an orange variety – both were tasty!

Other breweries showing face included Lagunitas, Founders, Goose Island, Dogfish Head, Bluepoint and more, though we quickly learned that it wasn’t the breweries themselves taking pride in their creations…it was their local distributors. Minus cool points.

IMG_3038The bourbon was the best B to be found. If you wanted to, you could’ve gotten fall-down, shithouse wasted on the bourbon alone. These were also the shortest lines to wait in (and believe me, there were LINES FOR DAYS). The two favorites in this department were both from the Willet Distillery out of Kentucky. Their Willet Pot Still Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon had hints of honey and citrus with a nice smooth finish. For the braver souls, the Rowan’s Creek Small Batch Bourbon boasted a 100.5 proof glass of liquid courage without any of the harshness of the usual higher-proof spirits. Delicious and recommended – both of them.

IMG_3039The usual suspects, Maker’s Mark 46 (yum!) as well as Jim Beam and Jack Daniels, were also in attendance. But beyond the Boozy B’s, everything utterly fell apart.

After all that delicious alcohol, you’re going to want some serious barbeque, right? Sure, the BBQ Pork Pizza from Bobby Q’s was out of this world and my friends enjoyed some deviled eggs topped with local veal bacon from Oak Haven Table & Bar, but beyond that – food was scarce. Like Hunger Games-scarce.

If you attended 4B hoping to make the rounds and fill up as you went, you were sorely mistaken. Besides these vendors and Deep River Snacks (really good chips!), I couldn’t name any other vendor serving up hearty samples. There were five or six food trucks outside, but (wait for it…) they were all charging additional money. To clarify: 4B charged $50 and $80 a ticket, and then people had to unknowingly cough up even more money to fill their bellies.

That’s weak.

And to the food trucks we went. Dinosaur Barbeque hooked us up with some pretty affordable, and beyond amazing beef brisket sliders – a cool 2 for $5 deal. (We should’ve skipped 4B and just made the trek to Stamford instead. Because DINOSAUR. BARBEQUE.)

IMG_3030I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we did stop by The Jerky Hut a few times – they graciously gave us scraps of delicious meat, like their hottest variation, Chernobyl, or their rightfully recommended Habanero Teriyaki. Their jerky was SERIOUS, but we were too hungry to spend enough time there or to even consider buying a $20 bag of dehydrated deliciousness considering the circumstances. They’re worth looking into though.

Now for that elusive fourth B – maybe I shouldn’t even mention bacon. Maybe that would help explain the amount of meat candy (or lack thereof) that was at this BACON FESTIVAL. Apparently there were two bacon eating competitions, but no one knew about them. So I guess in order to have any bacon, you had to have a contest and eat 100 slices of it? Binge on the bacon, or get none at all! If I had known, I would’ve thrown my hat into the ring.

$80 tickets. Hungry people. No bacon.IMG_3028

Even the guy running the Bacon Bites booth, a store showcasing chocolate covered bacon/pretzel concoctions – ran out of samples 30 minutes into the second session. I would’ve bought something from him had I gotten to try some more of his product (I had one single chocolate covered pretzel with a small bit of bacon on top.) His booth looked rad though.

Needless to say, the 4B Festival has a lot of work to do. To start, they’re going to have to respond to the hundreds of people complaining on their Facebook and Twitter pages right now (good luck with that). They did send an apology email, explaining last-minute cancellations of some vendors, the lack of attention to ticket-taking, and a plethora of other grievances that are too long to list here. The fest insists that they gave a large portion to charity. I hope that’s true.

This year’s guinea pigs will have the option to buy tickets in advance for next year along with a 25 percent discount to make up for the lack of pizzazz, but with the less-than-stellar word of mouth that’s floating around right now, it’s going to be an uphill battle to turn this around. Personally, I’ll most likely skip Round 2 and await reviews, though I do hope they can pull it together. But for this year, all that’s left to say is that they had a fantastic concept, but poor execution.

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Bacon-ize Your Favorite Movies

Posted in Bacon on March 20th, 2014 by Nick


I just unfollowed someone for tweeting: “No one with anything interesting to say gushes about bacon.” Well, fuck that guy, because BACON. Ya hear?

Curtis sent me this fun image and because I wish it was eternally Friday, I’m going to bacon-ize some of my favorite movies. For no reason whatsoever, except to say the word “bacon” a lot.

Chime in with your faves here or on Facebook/Twitter!

The Breakfast Bacon.
The Good, the Bad, and the Bacon.
Empire Bacon.
The Return of the Bacon.
Bacon Takes Manhattan. (I realize this could be either “Muppets” or “Jason” and I’m fine with either.)
The Texas Bacon Massacre.
Lethal Bacon.
All About Bacon.
The Silence of the Bacon.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Bacon.

I’ll take, “How to Kill Time at Work” for $500, Alex.


The ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie: Ramblings from a Kickstarting Marshmallow

Posted in Movies, TV on March 19th, 2014 by Nick

vmarsA long time ago, we used to be friends with the sassiest teen sleuth since Nancy Drew, and her name was Veronica Mars. The latest cult-favorite returning from the dead (think: Firefly/Serenity), the original series ran on UPN/The CW from 2004-2007. After three seasons, a heap of murders, a horrifying bus crash and some major network meddling, the doors of Mars Investigations closed for good.

Until now.

If you haven’t been living under a rock (or locked inside a closet like Meg’s sister), then surely you’ve heard about a wee little Kickstarter campaign that raised $5.7 million dollars to get Veronica back in action. Thanks to 91,585 die-hard fans (hey, I’m one of ‘em!), creator Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell got to write and produce a full-length feature film following the events of the TV series.

Veronica has truly left her stamp on the industry. Since then, others like Zach Braff and Spike Lee took to Kickstarter to raise funds for their next projects. The Internet is abuzz, wondering if the Veronica Mars movie is changing the rules for the future. If the movie is profitable, will Hollywood continue reaching out to the fans in order to fund smaller, cultier films for niche audiences? And should fans even have to keep ponying up the goods?

I won’t dive into the nitty-gritty here. Rather, I’d like to post my thoughts about the movie in an informal, non-review format. Let’s ramble:

Minor SPOILERS to follow. Don’t read on unless you’ve seen the movie!

It’s surreal to be sitting here discussing a Veronica Mars movie with you. Since the beginning of the Kickstarter campaign, I’ve been giddy at the prospects of seeing Kristen Bell and the rest of the cast back in action at their former stomping ground of Neptune, California. Seeing as they were working with their fans’ hard-earned money, I’ll start by saying this: Team Mars DELIVERED. So, thank you Rob Thomas, Kristen and the rest of the cast. Fans of the show see your passion for the series and it fuels our own.

A brief summary: We find Veronica living in New York City with Piz. She’s finished law school and is shopping around to find a new job and continue her new life. Logan calls. He’s being charged with murdering his pop-star girlfriend, Bonnie Deville, and surprise! He needs Veronica’s help. She agrees to fly home just to help him choose the right lawyer and nothing more, giving Veronica time to reunite with her pals Mac and Wallace, and get conned into attending the gang’s 10 year high school reunion.

Some may think that the 10 year reunion thing was a little contrived, but as Thomas stated, the film needed a reason to bring back all of the characters we’ve loved (and hated) in the past. I think the reunion served that purpose without sucking up too much of the film’s run-time. I loved seeing minor characters like Corny and Principal Clemmons, and watching Veronica finally knock the shit out of Madison Sinclair was worth every single penny that I handed over to them.

Another highlight was Ken Marino, back as the slimy private dickVeronica-Mars-Movie-Kristen-Bell-Percy-Daggs-III-Tina-Majorino Vinnie Van Lowe, who was selling illegal footage of celebrities to whoever would pay the highest price. The film perfectly weaves in these older characters in ways that made sense to the story and made sense to our yearnings for nostalgia. Well done!

Overall, the story totally worked. Sure, it could feel like an overblown episode at times, but a murder equals some pretty high stakes, and once we found out that other characters were wrapped up in it (Gia Goodman! I absolutely love Krysten Ritter.), the story unfolded nicely, clues, scumbags, witty one-liners, and all. I was trying to keep my expectations in check while watching, but caught myself a couple of times thinking, “Wow! They are doing a fantastic job!” I really think any former fan will be beyond pleased. Will the movie appeal to fresh newbies just checking in? I’m not sure. But if a year full of intense media coverage, cast interviews, crazy Internet buzz, and more didn’t convince you to stop by Neptune already, well, I guess I don’t really care. It’s your complete and utter loss.

Logan-and-Veronica-in-the-Veronica-Mars-MovieThings that didn’t really make sense for me: I was hoping for a brief Lily Kane cameo during the “Lost classmates” reel at the reunion. Sure, it could’ve been a little cheesy, but I wonder why Thomas opted against that. Also, the Celeste Kane cameo didn’t really have any traction. She shoots Weevil because she’s scared and then that’s it? I was completely shocked to see her and elated about it, but by film’s end I was wondering why they even bothered (Token Kane?).

I also could have gone for a longer final chase scene. After Veronica figures out who the killer is, she escapes danger rather quickly. It was very unlike the Season 1 final episode where she gets locked inside a refrigerator and set on fire. That was an intense finale full of struggle and emotion. Our heroine takes down this person pretty easily (maybe because she has experience now?), and I’m left wondering if that was just to save some time.

After everything is said and done, I can talk about this movie for days and days – and I’ve only seen it one time so far! From the cameos (the best ones are from non-Mars actors, but I won’t ruin those surprises here) and witty dialogue, to the relationships between characters and all that action (car crashes! injured loved ones! bitchslaps!), I couldn’t be any happier with how it all turned out.

Fingers crossed for a sequel, Marshmallows.

Grade: A….+  A++ Like, “I got a 4.3 GPA in college, A+”

If you’re still hungry for more, check out Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line. The story continues where the movie leaves off, and is written by Thomas and Jennifer Graham.  The book hits stores on March 25 and is the first in an upcoming series of stories.

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Watch the Teaser Trailer for the New ‘Peanuts’ Movie

Posted in Trailer Park on March 18th, 2014 by Nick

peanuts-1Charles Schulz’s super-famous comic strip about a boy, his dog, and his grief is getting a re-do. Peanuts is loosely slated to hit theaters in November of 2015 and today, the Internet got its first glimpse at Snoopy Redux.

Is the Internet praising the return of a nostalgic former love or are we Angry Mobbing over the travesty? It’s a little too early to tell…however, this blogger thinks the CGI looks pretty damn spiffy.

To ease any potential Troll fury, Craig Schulz, Charles’ son, will produce, and his grandson, Bryan, wrote the script. Being kept in the family, it seems the franchise is in very good hands.

Here’s the first look! What do you think?

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‘Community’ Reminds Us That ‘Community’ is Still Awesome: Dean Pelton’s Rap

Posted in TV on March 14th, 2014 by Nick


On last night’s Community, Dean Pelton delivered a message to the Save Greendale Committee in the best possible way: through a hardcore, freestyle gangsta rap.


Yes. Community is still better than most things. Their creativity is unparalleled.

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SXSW: Lady Gaga Gets Vomited On, Rides Mechanical ‘Swine’

Posted in Music on March 14th, 2014 by Nick

gaga2Did she actually just get vomited on?

While performing “Swine” at her SXSW show, Lady Gaga was puked on by performance artist Millie Brown — known for painting with her own vomit — who appeared to drink a green liquid before regurgitating it all over Gaga.

Whether it was real or not (probably not), Gaga has lost her fucking mind, and I love it.

Then, both women climb aboard a mechanical swine with a keyboard attached. They spin around and it happens again while Gaga smashes the keys with her feet and finishes singing the song.

You really need to see this (or then again, maybe you don’t…):


Gaga may be a mainstream pop artist, but I dig her punk attitude. In Gaga’s world, zero fucks are given.


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Meet BABYMETAL: Japan’s Hottest New… Teen-Pop Metal Band?

Posted in Music on March 13th, 2014 by Nick

babyI like to think that I’m pretty open in terms of music. Any decade, any genre, whatever – I want to hear it all. I’ll give anything a fair shot (well, except for those RuPaul songs Jamie keeps sending me on Spotify).

One particular sector of music that I often struggle with, though, is Korean and Japanese Pop – which definitely has a sizable niche following here in the States. But then I heard BABYMETAL. And everything was awesome in the heaviest and girliest way possible.

BABYMETAL is a trio of Japanese teen girl pop stars, choreographed dance moves and all. They sing over booming, torturous, pounding death metal riffs. Even the band name signifies something that shouldn’t exist, but does. Baby. Metal. Music just got weird.

The girls’ ages range from 14-16. Their names? Su-metal, Yuimetal, and Moametal, of course. They just released their debut full-length album last month and the first single is called: “Gimme Chocolate.” So, uh, you’re gonna need to check this out:


And another:


It makes me feel kinda weird. Like when we used to climb the rope in gym class.

I can’t decide if it’s frightening or absolutely adorable. (It is probably the most badass metal song about eating chocolate ever, though.)

Japan, you’re weird, man.

If you want more info or to hear more BABYMETAL, check out The Daily Dot. Thanks to Dennis for the tip!

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Kevin Costner Dances (Naked) with Wolves

Posted in Epic Film Quest! on March 12th, 2014 by Nick

dances-with-wolves1The latest stop on my quest to watch every single Best Picture winner involved some Kevin Costner butt. A LOT of Kevin Costner butt, actually.

In Dances with Wolves (directed by The Bodyguard, himself), Costner plays Union Army lieutenant John J. Dunbar who travels to the American frontier to find a military post after narrowly escaping a leg amputation and a suicide mission. He gets into it with some wolves and some Native Americans and later, befriends them both. Surface level: Wow, I can’t believe I watched that for three hours.

Digging deeper, Wolves was enjoyable, and I dug it for everything it did right and even for its sillier moments, i.e. Costner’s voiceovers. When you’re watching a film where one character is isolated in the middle of nowhere (here, the undeveloped western frontier), hearing a character provide a voiceover is like listening to someone narrate his or her entire day. It can get pretty tiresome, to say the least. He talks about the possibility of other military folk finding his post. He wonders if he’ll stay in the frontier forever. He questions whether he remembered to set the DVR to record The Amazing Race. If Dunbar existed today, he’d be that annoying, oversharing Facebook friend you have (Which one, amiright?).

But throughout the course of the film, we find out that Dunbar is a likable guy. He’s even a lover of animals. We castaway533watch Dunbar attempt to feed a wolf. Then he tries again. And again. And then they’re besties. On paper, it sounds horribly boring, but at least his new friend wasn’t a volleyball with a face painted on it, right?

It’s far easier to poke fun at this, so I guess that’s the direction this review is taking. Cue Costner’s ass. If I was alone in the frontier in 1863, you can almost guarantee that I’d be walking around in my birthday suit. Dunbar, I don’t blame ya, pal! I’m just thankful that Costner spared us on the full-frontal – because not everything has to be done “for the art.”

The relationship Dunbar ends up forming with the Sioux Indians is palpable and nice and makes you happy. He learns their language and they learn a little of his. Then he starts shacking up with Stands With A Fist, the white adopted daughter of the tribe who also turns out to be President Roslin from Battlestar Galactica. They’re both white, so they have RELATIONS, naturally.

In all seriousness though, there’s a beauty in Dunbar’s newfound relationships. Definitely with the Native Americans, and less-so with the wolf. But again, the wolf is NOT a volleyball, so I guess I can get down with it.

The lesson here: Be kind to people who are different from you. Get to know something or someone outside of your comfort zone. (But for realsies, I probably wouldn’t try to talk to the wolf that keeps chasing your dog or eating your sheep. It probably won’t go well.)

Let’s talk shop: Dances with Wolves was the first Western film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture since 1931′s Cimarron (still on my list). It was also nominated for a slew of other awards; notably, Costner won for Best Director.

Also, my countdown doesn’t decrease this time! We have crowned a new winner since I last wrote about The Quest. Sadly, I haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave yet, so my number remains this time.

Sorry this was long.
Grade: B+

Eats With Nutella

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