Tag Archives: UK

“Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” starts tomorrow on ABC

OK, I know it’s a whole day away, but, we are so excited about the season two premiere of “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” tomorrow night on ABC that we just had to blog about it today…er, well…tonight. In any case, now you have a full day’s notice to set your Tivo’s!

And, trust me, you’re gonna wanna them set for this. Because, from the trailers we’ve seen, Tivo-worthy is the name of the game this season on “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”. I mean, seriously, if you thought those mean old lunch ladies in West Virginia were hard core, just wait till you see Jamie facing off with the shriveled old coots on the L.A. Unified Board of Education. Yikes!

Yep, you read that correctly, this season’s “Food Revolution” is set right here in sunny SoCal, or at least it was until Jamie and company had their permits pulled mid-shoot. The Board also banned “Food Revolution” camera crews from shooting at all public school campuses in Los Angeles to boot! See, I told you this season would be juicy!

So, set your Tivo’s, whip up a healthy snack and tuck on in, because “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” is taking flight tomorrow on ABC!

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The Return of Alexa Chung!

Hooray! for the first time in, like, well…forever…NBC’s Golden Globe Pre-Show was actually worth watching. And it had nothing to do with a strangely-overdressed Natalie Morales or that stupid-old WGA scab, Carson Daly. Nope, this time, they had a real fashionista on the red carpet, someone who knew their shit and had a rocking sense of humor to boot. And guess who that fair lass was?

That’s right, my girl, Alexa Chung, has returned to American television, amigos! I don’t even know why they needed those other two layabouts, because when it came to hip, fresh, and fun red carpet interviews, Alexa Chung ruled the roost.

So, if anyone at NBC is listening, please, for the love of God, ditch the three-host approach and give Alexa full-reign over the red carpet next year. She’ll kill it!

Long live the new queen of all media, Alexa Chung!

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Countdown to London 2012…

Yesterday, our friend and fellow Olympics-nerd, James, mentioned on his Facebook page that the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England are due to begin exactly two years from now. Hooray! I know it’s a little early to set up a season pass on our Tivo — seriously, I would if I could — but, it’s never too early to start talking about the latest Olympic mascots!

Introduced to the world back in May, the official mascots for the London games are a pair of strangely-hideous, one-eyed blobs named Wenlock and Mandeville.

And while they are not nearly as cute as the Fuwa Friendlies from the Beijing games, or the epically-cool Quatchi and friends from the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Wenlock and Mandeville do have a pretty interesting origin story, and the animated clip explaining it all (below) is even cooler!

I won’t spoil it for you by giving any of the plot away, but, their names do carry great meaning for folks in the UK and the story behind how they were “born” is really kinda cool. And on top of all that, the clip holds up very well on repeat views. We’ve watched it dozens of times already on YouTubeGreta is obsessed with the rainbows! — and I still get misty-eyed at the ending every time.

Anyway, though I probably won’t be dashing across the pond to buy plush figures of these new mascots (if they even come in plush!) when the games begin, I do heartily approve of them in concept.

So, check out the first of what I’m assuming will be many videos celebrating the world’s next big Olympic mascots…and by all means, let the countdown to London 2012 begin!

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Doc Martens turn 50!

Well, amigos…it looks like Susan Boyle, Jon Gosselin, Debbie Reynolds and I not the only cool things that were born on April 1st. Yep, that’s right, the makers of those iconic, ass-kicking boots, Doc Martens, celebrated a major birthday two days ago as well…their 50th to be exact. Wow…who knew?

I bought my first pair of Doc Marten boots back in the grungy 1990′s and, man, did they make me feel cool. I swear to God, I hadn’t felt that hip since my parents finally broke down and bought me a pair of Sperry Topsiders ten years earlier. It didn’t matter if every other person on the mean streets of San Francisco was wearing them or not, to me, Doc Martens defined awesomeness in those days.

Not only were they comfortable as all get out, but those boots could take a beating too. I wore them to work, with shorts, at the beach, you name it…I wore the shit out of those things and they just kept on trucking.

And when my feet finally wore through those amazingly cushy soles, I got another pair, and another after that. Hell, I still have a pair of the dress shoe version (pictured below) under the bed. They haven’t fit me in years, and even though Christine keeps urging me to get rid of them…I just can’t.

So, happy birthday to one of our favorite shoe makers of all time. And here’s to fifty more years of boot-stomping fun! To read more about the cool ways Doc Martens are celebrating their 50th, check out their rocking official site here.

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Radiohead and the USC Marching Band make Grammy magic!

Just as Nostradamus predicted, this year’s Grammy Awards were as boring and fast-forwardable as usual, but there was one live performance that truly rocked our world. You guessed it…our boys from Radiohead did it again.

Radiohead @ the Grammys!

Not only did Thom Yorke and company take home two awards (one for Best Alternative Album and one for Best Box or Limited Edition Package) for their rocking “In Rainbows” album last night, but they also performed for the first time on the Grammy stage with the very able backing of the USC Trojan Marching Band. I know it sounds crazy, but, holy crap…it was awesome!

While several of the other performers last night sounded kinda shaky in that big old Staples Center, Radiohead and that badass marching band sounded freaking amazing. And you just know those USC dudes — who wore matching “In Rainbows” tour t-shirts like the super soft one I bought earlier this year at the Hollywood Bowl –were loving being up there with the premiere act of the night. Seriously, it was kind of magical.

I could have done without presenter Gwyneth Paltrow’s strange, 80′s street whore ensemble, but hey, she introduced our favorite act of the night, so, I can live with it. I do wonder though if she had a hand in those fugly-ass military jackets her husband, Coldplay front man Chris Martin, and his band have been wearing this year. Love their music, and glad to see them get some Grammy love last night, but, wow…those jackets gotta go.

Coldplay at the Grammys!

Adele at the Grammys!

Oh yeah, also very excited to see Adele pick up the Best New Artist Grammy. Yay! Finally someone good and musically relevant wins in a category that usually celebrates the greatness of such luminaries as Paula Cole, Hootie and the Blowfish and the Starland Vocal Band. And best of all, the Jonas Brothers went home empty handed. Ha ha, suck it Jo Bros!

Anyway, dying to hear what the rest of you thought of the show, so, comment away, amigos. And in the meantime, kudos again to Radiohead for making our night! You know, they were so good, I think I’m gonna go undelete that shit and watch it again…

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Coldplay: “Violet Hill”

On Tuesday, mood-meisters extraordinaire Coldplay released the first rocking single, “Violet Hill”, from their upcoming album “Viva La Vida”. But the big news isn’t the song itself — which is awesome! — but the fact that it is available for one week only for FREE on the band’s website! Yeah, you heard me…free.

Even non-fans of the band will have a hard time resisting the simple beauty that is “Violet Hill”. Perhaps as a reaction to criticism that their sound was becoming stale — especially in light of the flood of like-sounding imitators they have spawned over the years — the band has really changed up their sound this time.

Not only is Chris Martin’s usually smooth, melodic voice a bit raspier than usual, but the song itself is infused with a lush, orchestral vibe that will leave you a little bit breathless. Seriously, it’s kind of hypnotic…

And did I mention it’s totally free? Apparently borrowing a page from fellow UK mood-meisters, Radiohead, Coldplay is offering the single as a free download for one week only. And whether the free song is a callous marketing gimmick, or a heartfelt thank-you to their die hard fans hardly seems to matter as the single was downloaded a whopping 600,000 times in the first day alone.

And the free download is just the beginning as Coldplay has also announced plans to stage two free shows for fans in New York and London in June. Cool, huh?

So, until Chris Martin and company announce plans to put on a free show in Los Angeles, I guess I’ll have to take solace in my free MP3. To download the song for yourself, check out the band’s website at: coldplay.com, and remember to act now as the song is only free until May 6th.

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Radiohead: “In Rainbows”

Avid Radiohead fans rejoice! For today, October 10th, marks the release of the band’s new package-free download-only album, “In Rainbows”.

Their first album — not including Thom Yorke’s 2006 solo outing “The Eraser” — since 2003′s incendiary “Hail To The Thief”, “Rainbows” marks a turning point in the band’s career and the music business in general, as it has no set retail price.

That’s right, go the album’s website: www.inrainbows.com create an account with an active e-mail address and then pay whatever price you like for the download. Could be $10.00, could be $0.00. Pay what you think is fair and the album is yours to download. Crazy, huh? Or brilliant?!

Radiohead Discbox!

Bypassing the major labels and the superstore chains altogether, the band is betting that their true fans will pay for the album, which judging by their hip, generally older-skewing demo is probably true. Christine and I ordered the album last weekend and paid somewhere around $11.00. The price is a little murky as it is listed on the website in pounds, but seems fair considering the price of CD’s these days.

After three sleepless nights of waiting, the link to the download page arrived in my inbox this morning and aside from a few technical difficulties (which they promptly addressed via email from London!) the album has been playing on my Macbook ever since. And all I can say is…wow. Totally worth the four year wait!

Hauntingly beautiful and surprisingly accessible, the album positively shimmers. So far my favorite track is a thumping, ethereal number called “Reckoner” but really, the whole album rocks. It is definitely worth 5.4o pounds or whatever other price you chose to pay for it.

And for die-hard fans with deep pockets there is a larger packaged version of the album (pictured above) due out in December. Called the Discbox, this version includes a hardback book, a couple of vinyl records, a slew of extra songs and a price tag of roughly $80.00. A bit steep for my blood at the moment, but hey, Christmas does fall in December, so you never know…

Anyway, check out the album, pay what you can and most importantly enjoy the supersonic splendor that is Radiohead!

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