Sunday, December 25, 2011

Winter Movie Round-up

Greetings from (Wh)Oregon.

Due to the fact that I am currently isolated from normal humanity in southeastern Oregon, I am much more prolific on the old blog. I've also been much better about catching Oscar bait films. So, I have a bounty of mini reviews for you to help you make the most of what's out there. Or just read this and make up your own mind about what you want to see. It's up to you.

I'm going to do "Ten word reviews." Let's see how this goes.

The Artist

Very charming. Rips Vertigo score. I loved it. Dog Oscar?

War Horse

Emotionally manipulative, but I cried. So I liked. Horse Oscar?

My Week with Marilyn

Sort of blah. Williams was great. No Redmayne nudity. Sigh.

The Descendants

People find it blah. I loved. I must be old.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Didn't know story before. Was quite excellent. Brace for rape.




Depressing, but beautiful. Not just talking about the Dunst titties.

Midnight in Paris

Cotillard is goddess. Super charming. Maybe my favorite Woody Allen?

Mission Impossible 4

Lots of fun. Paula Patton rules. Wanting a sequel. Penis.

That's all for now, folks! If I had to rank the list (to help you out), it would look like this:

1. Hugo
2. The Artist
3. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
4. Melancholia
5. The Descendants
6. Mission Impossible 4
7. War Horse
8. Midnight in Paris
9. My Week with Marilyn.

That's my two cents, yo. PS only part of this review was written in Whoregon. The rest was in Boston. Transparency. What up.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Top 10 Albums of 2011

Hey Everyone!

This post comes to you from OUTER SPACE. Well…not really. I’m writing this on an airplane, so I’m closer to outer space than normal, but not quite there yet.

INTERJECTION: This fucking geezer in the seat in front of me just leaned his seat back. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am super duper tall. This is unacceptable. I want to cut the cord on his oxygen tank.

Ok, he doesn’t have an oxygen tank. But oh, if he did…

Anyway, back to my space fantasy/list. Here are my top 10 (technically top 11, yes I cheated) albums of the year. Although it starts on a super poppy note, I think you will be surprised to see how adventurous this list is. And by adventurous, I mean still super poppy with like four other albums thrown in. That’s about as far out of the mainstream as I’ll ever get. UGH CAN HE PLEASE LEAN FORWARD. If he dies on this flight, I’m going to be mad. I have a tight layover

10 (tie). Femme Fatale by Britney Spears/Born This Way by Lady Gaga

A good year for pop, overall. Brit turned in one of her strongest showings, and Gags released an album that didn’t infuriate me (like I thought it would beforehand). Kudos ladies. Before I cheated, I couldn’t decide which I wanted to put in the list. Brit’s showing is very solid across the board--a tight album with no real lags (well, except Big Fat Bass, but I’ll let that slide). Gags’ album is a lot longer and feels more uneven, but seems to be more ambitious that Brit. Some of the things that she tries for are pretty clever. So I decided to cop out and call a tie.

9. Heaven by Rebecca Ferguson

Just go out and listen to her CD. Short and sweet, like a great CD should be. Not that there aren't great CDs out there that are also long. I don't really know what kind of point I'm trying to make. Anyway, this is retro-soul magic. Most reviews are calling this the greatest album to come from an X Factor winner, which is incredibly faint praise...BUT TRUE.

8. 21 by ADELE

CLICHED OBVIOUS CHOICE ALERT. But yes, this album is the tits. I hope her throat heals.

7. City of Refuge by Abigail Washburn

Since this album is like the perfect folk disc, I thought a Google image search of "folk music" would be an appropriate tribute. I shit you not this was one of the first things to pop up:

It's also her album in a nutshell.

6. Wounded Rhymes by Lykki Li

Lykke Li is one weird ass chick, but I love her music. She was the only non-mainstream (assuming you include UK mainstream) artist to make my singles list. Also, this CD makes me more nostalgic for Amy Winehouse than most other obvious choices. Not sure how to explain that one.

5. On a Mission by Katy B

I'm not going to lie. If you played a random song from this CD there's like a two percent chance I could name it. But this CD is gdamn seamless. Each song just perfectly flows into the next. Also, it's super sassy Eurodance music. So bonus points for that. Short sentences reversion. Stylistic writing, yo.

4. Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes

MORE FOLK! MORE PELICANS WITH A GUITAR! I actually dove a little deeper into the Google image search for "folk music" (aka I looked at the first 15 pictures that came up) and decided to post this picto-review for Fleet Foxes:

This CD is "old man with milk" good!!

3. Hell on Heels by Pistol Annies

Please. Like you think I'd go a year without honoring Miranda Lambert as much as possible? Although her solo album this year was a little disappointing, luckily she provided this slice of heaven (with the help of two other randos I can't remember right now). Accolades!

2. 4 by Beyonce

This is her, "GIVE ME A BABY, JAY-Z" album. He must have gotten the message. But even though nobody liked any of the singles, this whole CD is fire. Her best, by far. Well, I do like B'Day a No. This one. Yes. Ask me in a week, I'll probably change my mind. BUT FOR NOW!

1. El Camino by The Black Keys

They make me want to have sex. More than any other artist ever. Jesus. I don't know what it is, but they WORK FOR ME. UGH. This album is fantastic and I'm excited to see what comes next. Note--their music gets me hot and bothered. Not the actual physical appearance of the artists. Just want to make that clear.

OK! Happy 2011 comma music category!! I thought I would look for one last image, based on a search for "2011 music." So naturally, this came up immediately:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Top 10 Singles of 2011

Hello world.

2011 is coming to an end, which is super exciting since I get to write about my favorite things from the year without feeling super narcissistic. If real critics and legit bloggers can do it, why can't I?

However, unlike those people, I don't get paid to sit and listen to tons of songs/albums or watch tv/movies. I do it on my own g-damn dime and, as evidenced by the lack of frequency with which I've blogged recently, I don't have as much time as I want. Sigh. My life is so hard. Melodrama.

Anyway, that's a long-winded way of saying this post should more accurately be called, "Riha's top 10 songs that come from the 15 artists he likes that actually released music this year." Only with proper capitalization rules for a title. Imagine that happening as well.

And we're off.

10. You and I, Lady Gaga

There were two strong Gaga songs, two crap Gaga songs, and one solid Gaga song released this year as singles. You can guess which is which, but in my mind You and I takes the cake. Yes, it's been floating around for years now and yes, there's some weird German sideways colon that I'm supposed to write over the letter "u" in the title of the song. Those things are unrelated both to each other and to the quality of the song. Yet I find them relevant.

Anyway, good showing from Gagzilla.

9. The One That Got Away, Katy Perry

I think that this song was actually one of my top 10 songs of 2010 since that's when her album was released, but it's a single now. And since I set up arbitrary eligibility rules for my lists, it's counting now. The video is worth watching, mainly for seeing Katy in age makeup and discovering that in the future coffee is served out of a bridge. Anywho, this song makes me sad. Not "nobody tried to play out their Nicole Scherzinger death threats" sad, but sad nonetheless. And I'm a sucker for a good sad song. And a sucker for started sentences with the word "and."

8. How to Love, Lil Wayne

Sir Lil Wayne is the only gentleman to appear on the list. Love the song. I haven't actually watched the video. From what I understand, there's something about hospital/birth and generally anything related to placenta makes me run in the opposite direction. So for now, the song is more than enough.

7. With Ur Love, Cher Lloyd

I forgive her for the "ur" in the title (who the fuck does she think she is, Prince?) because the song is so damn catchy. She's a Brit, btw. Just look her up on Youtube because the 14 people that actually read this blog probably don't know the song. However, don't watch the video too closely--just listen. The video is blah to the blah.

6. Hell On Heels, Pistol Annies

I'm taking a break from promiscuously honoring Miranda Lambert at every chance I get and instead am honoring her Pistol Annies side project this year. LOOK HOW DIVERSE MY TASTE ARE, PEOPLE!

5. We Found Love, Rihanna

I think my feelings for the song are best embodied in this image:

I love it so much I barf happy ribbons. I'm sure I'll read the previous sentence weeks later and think it's mega stupid, but I like it now (1:06AM on a Wednesday).

4. Sadness is a Blessing, Lykke Li

OMG I'M SO EMO, Y'ALL. Much like Cher Lloyd, just look this one up. However, I will encourage you to pay attention to this video. It's pretty much a direct reenactment of every date I ever go on.

3. Till the World Ends, Britney Spears

WHY THE FUCK IS IT SPELLED, "TILL"? Shouldn't it be "Til' the World Ends"? "Till", to me, implies that Britney is at the edge of the world, tilling the soil. Regardless, the song is fire and one of her best yet. Get it, girl.

2. Someone Like You, Adele

Sure, Rolling in the Deep is super mega popular and awesome, but I like this single better. Again, falling into the sad song motif. Much like this:

Don't worry, I'm not going all internet cat lady on you.

1. Super Bass, Nicki Minaj

Sure, it's not the most critically acclaimed choice. Sure, it's not the most inventive subject matter. And sure, I know a few of you out there are thinking that I could have gone with a whiter song. Well, too bad. I love this song. I know all the damn words, which was special before that selfish toddler bitch went on Youtube/Ellen and ruined it for me. Now it's not fun when I do it. What a whore.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

TV Review: Top Model All Stars

Once and a while, baby Jesus gives you a gift so precious and wonderful that you almost can't believe it's happening. The All Star Cycle of Top Model is such a gift.

I can summarize this cycle in one picture:

The above actually happened this cycle. Tonight is the finale, so hopefully something epic happens. If my favorite doesn't win, expect a tantrum post about the show.

OH! There's an episode where they write their own songs and do music videos. If you need more incentive to check out this cycle, watch this.

Rating: 5/5. For sheer entertainment value.

Friday, December 2, 2011

TV Review: X Factor

I pretty much start every post with an apology about a delay in posting. At this point it's just sad to think that :

1. I'll ever be able to post as much as I did when I worked for my university.
2. I'm deluding myself into thinking I feel bad about this. Ok, maybe a little bad. Wait, no. That was the delusion again.

So anyway, given my affinity for reality television, washed up has-beens making a comeback, talentless assholes being given more credit than they deserve, and chair dancing, I decided to watch the X Factor. And I knew I was going to get what I want just from the judging panel. PS if it weren't clear, Nicole is the asshole. More on that waste of human garbage in a second.

The premise of the show is simple. American Idol+Performance Production Value+Judge Mentorship-Hosting Ability-Age restrictions=X Factor. Contestants perform each week with guidance from one of the judges, the public votes, and then the bottom two sing for their lives and the judges decide who goes home. The decision regarding who to send home is usually based on wildly inconsistent criteria. Frequently vocal talent isn't part of the criteria.

Let's recap who the judges are:


Brit extraordinaire. Known for harsh judgments, v-neck shirts, and man boobs. He's on the far left I think.


Music mogel, famous for chair dancing and harshness. A black, more qualified (has actually put famous people on the map like Mariah Carey, TLC, Rihanna, etc) Simon Cowell. LA is in this picture somewhere.


Here's a picture of Paula and her fiance.


Nicole is actually such a non-star I don't really know what she looks like. I decided to post one of those "time lapsed" pictures. This is what Nicole will look like 20 months from now.

So anyway, this show is all about spectacle. People perform songs with somewhere from four to eight back up dancers, while a laser light show takes place and giant images of nonsensical items (houses, gates, clouds, butterflies) appear in the background. Then the host, Steve Jones, says something really fucking awkward. But you forgive it because he's hot. So so awkward. But so fine.

So yes, it's another reality show. Normally I would rank the remaining contestants, but I don't care anymore so I won't.

Rating: Depends on mood. Ranges from 4/5 stars to negative 7 out of 5 stars.