Tag Archives: Alabama Shakes

SNL: 38.13 – Christoph Waltz & Alabama Shakes

After the “let’s just get through this” host that was Justin Bieber, I was really looking forward to this week’s SNL with Christoph Waltz. There’s just something about real actors coming to do the show that makes it worth sitting through the teen idols. Waltz did not disappoint, at all.

Who ate Coco?
Credit to: bloggymoynihan

The cold open was quite strong. I thought they were going to stick with a political open but I was pleasantly surprised when instead the show opened with Jason Sudeikis and Cecily Strong as cruise directors for the ill-fated Carnival Triumph. Unlike last episode’s Super Bowl cold open, the cruise directors were well paced, the rest of the cruise staff was quick and funny, and the jokes were good; sad that this is out of the norm, but it was and it was good. However Ms. Strong, as a daughter of the great city of Mobile, Alabama, it is pronounced “mo-beal” not “mo-bile”. Come on, we are always a little sensitive this time of year, given how no one ever remembers that we were the ones that brought Mardi Gras to America but to not even know how to pronounce our fair city’s name? Well that’s just rude.

As for the monologue, that made me nervous. Here was a great cold open only to have a visibly nervous Christoph Waltz come out and sing. How many musical monologues does that bring us up to for the season? Way too many. I feared that his nervousness would make the rest of the show laborious but thankfully, it was short-lived. Actually you could tell Waltz was battling nerves in many of the sketches but he did a great job despite it.

Game show host Christoph Waltz
Credit to: waltzs

“What Have You Become” has the distinction of probably being my new favorite game show sketch. I would hope that it’d become a recurring sketch but it would be difficult to have the same payoff as the question being turned on the host so I’ll just have to re-watch this one numerous times. Christoph Waltz talking about his overbearing mother making him go to “game show school” was obviously the highlight but almost as good was Aidy Bryant having the chance to say anything about herself and choosing mediocre knitting. Well, mediocre knitting and her bitch of a daughter.

Christoph Waltz as retired pope SNL

In the first of two pre-recorded bits, Waltz played the retired Pope Benedict. I’m not a retiring pontiff but I was seconds away from setting up a meeting with my local “Papal Securities” office. Something about Jason Sudeikis in a pair of glasses makes me want fork over money.

While I enjoyed seeing Nasim Pedrard getting her own character, Tippy just didn’t do it for me. I respect that it’s difficult to get out of the shadow of a personality such as Kristin Wiig but it’s probably not wise to try to use a character that she would certainly excel at, as a vehicle. That being said, perhaps if it’s a recurring character Nasim can make it her own and work her way out of that shadow. Best of luck.
http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n32896

The best part of the night was the second pre-recorded sketch, this time a movie trailer for the newest Quentin Tarantino film, Djesus Uncrossed. I am a huge SNL fan and usually laugh pretty heartily at various sketches, but I have not laughed as hard at something in quite some time that I did to this trailer. It was perfect. Anyone who has seen even half a Tarantino film recognized his style immediately, that style being very bloody, and often involving swords. Christoph Waltz was perfect as the freshly resurrected Djesus who sets out to take his revenge on the Romans. If there were any doubts about Taran Killam’s ability to impersonate Brad Pitt, they were put to rest as he did a great job and now I can’t even see the word “Roman” without pronouncing it as “R0-Mans”.

Credit to: wilderthanbilly
Credit to: wilderthanbilly

If the sketch itself wasn’t entertaining, the backlash certainly has been. Long story short, people are losing their shit. It has certainly kept my attention this morning and has been quite educational. Apparently if you thought the bit was funny you are either a god-less heathen, atheist, or a “libretard”. Oh and you are most certainly going to hell. I imagine the FCC is fielding their fair share of complaints this morning, and if this compilation of SNL complaints through the years is any indication, they probably make for fun reading. Good times.

Christoph Waltz

By the time the CD commercial came up for the JaMarcus Brothers, the show was on a roll unlike one I’ve seen all year. You could tell that everyone in the cast knew it as well. JaMarcus Brothers was probably one of the funniest “Time Life Music” bits they’ve had in a while, thanks to Waltz as the adopted white virgin. Hysterical.

I’m a huge fan of Alabama Shakes so no surprise that I really enjoyed their two pieces of the night. Brittany Howard is amazing, and I’ve decided that I would like her to follow me around and sing-narrate my life.

Mohawk and Bangs

Much in line with the rest of the night, Weekend Update was fantastic. No surprise to anyone, Marco Rubio (Taran Killam) made an appearance with his infamous thirst and dedication to maintaining eye contact with the camera. I wouldn’t have pictured Rubio as one to take on a YouTube meme such as the “cinnamon challenge” so you learn something new everyday. I’m waiting for his “Harlem Shake” video to hit the internet.

Credit to: stupidf***questions
Credit to: stupidf***questions

Kate McKinnon continues her campaign for full cast member status and this week, it came behind the Weekend Update desk. I don’t know if she’s writing these characters herself, or someone is writing for her, but whoever it is, they are hitting it out of the park.  Ann Romney and Cecilia Gimenez were both great but they pale in comparison to the Russian woman hoping the meteor was there to turn her into dust so she could be eaten by a goat and finally warm. So good.

Credit to: 3swallows
Credit to: 3swallows

If I had to choose to low point of the night? For me it’d be the return of Regine. The only plus to Fred Armisen’s crotch flashing drag sketch is watching the other cast members trying to keep it together. Of course when Bill Hader is involved, there’s not much chance of him keeping a straight face, and this week was no different.

Fox and Friends may seem tired, but it still makes me laugh, no doubt thanks to Bobby Moynihan and his absolutely ridiculous character. He certainly has a talent when it comes to making the dim bulb, Brian Kilmeade, very entertaining to watch. I think we can all agree that it’s about time they start crediting the fourth host of the Fox morning show, Vanessa Bayer’s rack. Woowee she had the girls out for a walk this week!

I probably shouldn’t have enjoyed the “Secret Valentine Admirer” sketch as much as I did. Awkward Christoph Waltz certainly is adorable and the payoff with Keenan Thompson’s reaction to a second “valentine” was great.

Overall? Easily the best episode of the season, if not the best of recent seasons. Even though there are plenty of people pissing and moaning that they are no longer watching the show due to the whole Djesus thing, there were enough of us who loved it that hopefully NBC won’t see any substantial blow-back. It was nice to see the writers taking a step back onto the unsafe and daring ledge, a refreshing change of pace from the somewhat predictable and pedantic.

Next week is a rerun, likely due to the Oscars on Sunday night, but they return on March 2nd with what looks to be a promising episode with host Kevin Hart and musical guest Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

Kevin Hart

Until then SNL fans!

The 2012 Grammy Nominations Are Out, Apparently a Concert Also Happened?

The 55th Grammy Awards are being given out on February 10th, 2013 so that means we have to have some nominees, right? They definitely accomplished that as the Grammy Nominations concert aired last night and featured performances from Fun., Maroon 5, Hunter Hayes, The Who, Ne-Yo and a couple of country artists who escape me. We also got to see Taylor Swift awkwardly host with LL Cool J so that was fun.

Leading the nominees are Fun., Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean, Jay-Z and Kanye West with six noms each. The Black Keys, Chick Corea and Miguel follow that with five nominations. Notably, Justin Bieber was not hit up for ANY nominations so single tear for that. But that didn’t stop him from making the news as his manager declared the Grammys a travesty because Bieber HAS to be the underdog according to EW.com. Dude, you’re a millionaire teenager that keeps tricking Selena Gomez to go out with you. You’re the opposite of underdog, you’re just a douche at this point if you need a chip on your shoulder. Just be happy you have tickets to the party. Regardless, some highlights have to be Frank Ocean and Fun. just dominated the nominations despite the fact that they were first time nominees. Frank Ocean is great people and you should listen to him.

Also Detroit’s own Jack White gets an Album of the Year nomination for Blunderbuss, which is richly deserved. Alabama Shakes probably cut Carly Rae Jepsen off the Best New Artist and I’m perfectly fine by that.

Mild entertainment at the expense of the Biebs.

There is a cool pattern that Hollywood Reporter noticed and that four out of the five nominees for Album of the Year are rock albums, with Frank Ocean being R&B. No pop nominations in there. Maybe it’s the sign of the times and that everyone is looking for something original out there in the world. No offense to the pop music world, myself being a defender of the pop persuasion despite the shame it brings me, but most of it is the same drivel and more producer based than actual artist based. In fact, pop music is full of entertainers, not musicians so it’s good to see the right people get their due. Speaking of pop music, man did they ever get shut out. Bieber got zero nominations, One Direction got the shaft, and Nicki Minaj got nothing (it’s not rap or hip hop anymore people, she’s gone pure pop). A lot of people are complaining because these artists (or entertainers I guess) sold the most albums out of anyone, they should be nominated right? People, this isn’t the people’s choice awards, or the Billboard Awards for that matter. If the Grammy Awards are trying to set a precedent about actual substance in the music, then bravo. Like I said, these artists/entertainers got nothing because it’s all production work. Yeah, its beautiful escapism but you couldn’t tell me that if they took a random member of One Direction, gave him Bieber’s team and production values, all his marketing and that I would tell the difference between the two? I sincerely doubt it. There were some other snubs like Coldplay, which I buy because as much as I like Mylo Xyloto, this was not as great as Viva La Vida. Lady Gaga was also snubbed as well but I think that also factored in that her last album sort of came off like a fart sound. Also yes, I consider Lady Gaga to be more artist than entertainer just because she does a lot of her own writing and production and has value as a musician, even if some of her songs don’t reflect that.

Anyways, below is a list of the nominees with in some of the major categories and this link will bring you to the full list. Again, the awards are on February 10th, 2013 on CBS so we’ll see if anyone walks away as the new Adele with her gaggle of awards.

http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?rt=tf_cw&ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fgrizbomb-20%2F8010%2F0edfd9b5-62d1-4314-91c2-c7fd707ec83b&Operation=GetDisplayTemplate

<a HREF=”http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?rt=tf_cw&ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fgrizbomb-20%2F8010%2F0edfd9b5-62d1-4314-91c2-c7fd707ec83b&Operation=NoScript”>Amazon.com Widgets</a>Album of the Year:
Black Keys, El Camino
Fun., Some Nights
Mumford & Sons, Babel
Frank Ocean, Channel Orange
Jack White, Blunderbuss

Song of the Year:
Ed Sheeran, “The A Team”
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”
Miguel, “Adorn”
Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, “We Are Young”

Record of the Year:
Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”
Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, “We Are Young”
Gotye feat. Kimbra, “Somebody That I Used to Know”
Frank Ocean, “Thinkin Bout You”
Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

Best New Artist:
Alabama Shakes
Fun.
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

Pop Vocal Album:
Kelly Clarkson, Stronger
Florence + the Machine, Ceremonials
Fun., Some Nights
Maroon 5, Overexposed
P!nk, The Truth About Love

Best Rock Album:
The Black Keys, El Camino
Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto
Muse, The 2nd Law
Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball
Jack White, Blunderbuss

Best Alternative Music Album:
Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel…
Bjork, Biophilia
Gotye, Making Mirrors
M83, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Tom Waits, Bad as Me

Best Rap Album:
Drake, Take Care
Lupe Fiasco, Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1
Nas, Life Is Good
The Roots, Undun
Rick Ross, God Forgives, I Don’t
2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story

Best Country Album:
Zac Brown Band, Uncaged
Hunter Hayes, Hunter Hayes
Jamey Johnson, Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran
Miranda Lambert, For the Record
The Time Jumpers, The Time Jumpers

Best Dance/Electronica Album:
Steve Aoki, Wonderland
The Chemical Brothers, Don’t Think
Deadmau5, > Album Title Goes Here <
Kaskade, Fire & Ice
Skrillex, Bangarang

Country Solo Performance:
Dierks Bentley, “Home”
Eric Church, “Springsteen”
Hunter Hayes, “Wanted”
Ronnie Dunn, “Cost of Livin’”
Blake Shelton, “Over”
Carrie Underwood, “Blown Away