Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Keep Austin Weird Edition

I finally leave tomorrow morning for my mini-vacation to Austin. I’m not packed, I have a ton to do before I leave, work is driving me crazy, and I’m exhausted – which is pretty much par for the course for any of my trips. It’s always semi-organized chaos when I go away and this trip is no different. But it always falls together and I’m sure I’ll have a good time – Austin has been on my list for quite some time as a place I wanted to visit and it will be nice to spend time with old friends. I just need to get through the rest of today first.

So while I try to get everything done, get yourself caught up on all the pop culture that you might have missed in the last week. It’s been a crazy week for television in particular – lots of cancellations, renewals, and pickups happening in the last few days. Find out what’s what with this week’s installment of the roundup.


Here’s your status update on recent cancelations and renewals:



  • War Machine:


  • Glow:


  • Home Again:


  • Battle of the Sexes:


  • Top of the Lake, season 2:


  • Gypsy:


  • Girls Trip:


  • Lost in Paris:


  • War For The Planet Of The Apes:


  • Cars 3:


  • Baywatch (red band trailer):


  • Hounds of Love:


  • Band Aid:






Odds and Ends

Supercuts and Mashup

  • The Rock takes on some classic movie roles:

H to the Izzo, B to the Birthday

Today is Shawn Carter’s 45th birthday, better known to most of you as the ubiquitous rapper Jay Z (husband of Beyoncé and father to our future overlord Blue Ivy). I’ve been listening to Jay Z for pretty much as long as I can remember; his debut album dropped around the time that I was really getting into rap and hip hop and he’s provided the soundtrack to a lot of my adult life. As I’ve gotten older and my musical tastes have continued to diversify and expand, I’ve found that I’m not as current on rap as I used to be but that I always know what Mr. Carter is up to. I have every album that he’s ever done on my iPod. He’s one of the rarified artists that I’ve seen multiple times in concert and would still go to see multiple more times; he always puts on a good show and while some critics and fans bemoan that his best work is behind him, I still dig pretty much everything he does. I even read his book Decoded, which is part autobiography, part annotated lyrics and I thought it was fascinating. Basically, if you tell me that Jay Z is involved in anything, I’m interested. I’ve even forgiven him for his role in stealing Robinson Cano away from the Yankees. Well, mostly forgiven anyway.

So in honor of his birthday today, let’s take a quick stroll through some of my favorite Jay Z songs. His catalog is pretty prolific and I had a tough time narrowing this down, but if I could only select a few of his songs to listen to while trapped on a desert island, these would be my choices.

99 Problems – The Black Album


Every time that I’ve seen Jay Z in concert, this song always gets the crowd pumped up. That’s not surprising, since it’s a great freaking song.


Show Me What You Got – Kingdom Come


I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but this song was pretty much my unofficial theme song for the mid to late 2000s. Featured in a Budweiser commercial, I never failed to stop what I was doing to watch it, usually mimicking Jay Z’s minimalist dance moves in the process. I’m sure that got real annoying to everyone else, but it never failed to amuse me.


Empire State of Mind – The Blueprint 3


A love letter to a city that I also love, this song is also forever connected for me with the Yankees 2009 World Series win. That alone is reason enough for the song to crack my list.


Big Pimpin – Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter


This song reminds me of pretty much every night out in my twenties after college.


Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) – Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life


Rap + a song from Annie = mind blown. When I first heard this song I had no idea what to make of it, but once I processed the creativity of mashing these two things together it became a fast favorite.


03 Bonnie & Clyde – The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse


Even non-Jay Z fans like this song, thanks to the presence of his future wife Beyoncé.


Dirt Off Your Shoulder – The Black Album


An equal opportunity tune – “Ladies is pimps too, go and brush your shoulders off


Tom Ford – Magna Carta Holy Grail


This one won me over after hearing it live. There’s something about the repetition of the designer’s name that becomes hypnotic.

So happy birthday Jay Z; you’re pretty much living your best life anyway, but I hope you have a great birthday.

Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Still Loving Guardians of the Galaxy Edition

It’s been almost a week since I saw Guardians of the Galaxy and I’m still singing its praises to anyone who will listen. I haven’t yet seen it again in the theater, but that’s probably going to happen in the next few weeks. I’m just so happy to be excited about a movie again. It’s been way too long since that happened. My Groot bobblehead has arrived and has take an place of honor in the bobblehead army:


Even my student assistant, who has not yet seen the movie, agreed that Groot was pretty adorable. And it appears that my promptness paid off as my friend alerted me that this boblehead has doubled in price in the last week! The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack is still on pretty heavy rotation as well; I’ll tire of all things GOTG soon enough, but right now I’m just having fun with it. I assure you that if I could have pre-ordered the movie on Blu-Ray I would have already done so already.

But it turns out that there is more to life than just Guardians of the Galaxy – though if you haven’t done so, go see it! – as this week’s roundup of pop culture stories demonstrates. Even though all the excitement of Comic Con and the Television Critics Association is over, there is still plenty going on in the world of pop culture. Everyone in my office may be taking vacation , but there is no rest for a pop culture aficionado. Get yourself caught up with a quick rundown of the last week in pop.

  • The Foo Fighters are teasing some sort of big announcement on Monday:



  • Conan had the cast of Orange is the New Black on his talkshow; here’s the cold open:


  • Chris Pratt is slowly taking over the Internet; here he is rapping on a morning radio show:


  • Y’all ready to feel ANCIENT? Adam Duritz, is on the cover of AARP magazine:


  • Jeff Bridges channeled “The Dude” when he threw out the first pitch at a Dodgers game:


  • An actress whose role was recast on Game of Thrones had a pretty great reaction:

  • Obviously trying to cash in on that sweet Sharknado money, Tara Reid had released a new perfume – Shark by Tara. I’m guessing she didn’t watch her own movie, since they made a pretty big deal out of how terrible sharks smell.



  • Beyonce and Nicki Minaj collaborated on a remix of “Flawless” that has sparked further speculation of the state of the Carter marriage:


Time for some new trailers

  • A live action/animated Spongebob Squarepants movie:


  • A look at the new season of Total Divas on E!:


  • Here’s a trailer for the documentary Mudbloods, about real-life quidditch teams:


  • See Jon Snow with short hair in the trailer for Testament of Youth:


  • Kate Beckinsale, Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley in Stonehearst Asylum:


  • The first trailer for Disney’s Into The Woods:


  • A final trailer for The Expendables 3:


  • Michael Keaton in Birdman:


  • Night at the Museum 3:


  • Pierce Brosnan in The November Man:


  • Kingdom First, an original series on DirecTV:


  • A trailer for the new Netflix series, BoJack Horseman:


  • A documentary about the man who inspired the movie Dog Day Afternoon:



  • Someone did not take kindly to the Washington Post smearing Fred Flintstone’s good name in a story about Ray Rice.
  • A poster for the upcoming Tarantino movie:


  • The good people at EconPop look at the economics of The LEGO Movie:



As always, we end with the mashups and supercuts

  • A musical with Doctor Who and Sherlock:


Joey-Spiotto-Breaking-Bad-260x325 Joey-Spiotto-Pulp-Fiction-260x325


  • A supercut of Tom Haverford’s business ideas on Parks and Recreation:



  • I’ve enjoyed these while they lasted, but this is the final Saturday Morning Slow Jam – the original My Little Pony theme:




  • Here’s a trailer for Harry Potter done in the style of Scott Pilgrim:


  • And finally….President Obama sings “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea: