Tuesday, June 30, 2020

AEW Fyter Fest 2020 Preview & Predictions

AEW Fyter Fest is upon us for the second time, and while still a free show it'll be spread over two AEW Dynamite episodes instead of being presented as a BR Live broadcast.  The eleven matches all have some promise, and the July 1st lineup seems a bit more stacked.  AEW always brings a sense of fun spontaneity to the table, so I'm looking forward to two enjoyable "telecasts" as Tony Schiavone would say.  Sorta feels like the old Clash of the Champions shows, which I always looked forward to as a kid.  Let's dive in.

Night One

Private Party vs. Santana & Ortiz

This would be perfect in the opening slot; a high energy, super-athletic tag team showcase to get everyone revved up.  I expect this to be a dazzling 12 minutes or so, with high spots galore just to piss off everyone who complains about flips.  Santana & Ortiz should win this I think, to reestablish them as an upper tier team.

Pick: Santana & Ortiz

Jurassic Express vs. MJF & Wardlow

I'm really excited for this one.  MJF vs. Jungle Boy was a fantastic Double or Nothing match, while Luchasaurus vs. Wardlow last week was a thrilling athletic big man contest.  Wardlow has IT; push this monster to the moon.  All four guys will get lots of opportunities to shine.  MJF is still undefeated and Wardlow shouldn't lose yet, so I expect them to win.

Pick: MJF & Wardlow

Friday, June 26, 2020

Parents' Night In #39: Scrooged (1988)

It's only six months till Christmas, have you gotten your shopping done?  Welcome to another Parents' Night In boozy movie review, where Justin & Kelly enjoy some beers and watch a movie!  Recorded last November, this episode is about the Bill Murray 80s classic Scrooged!  Based on the immortal Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol, Scrooged brings everyone's favorite holiday tale into the modern age, with Bill Murray's character Frank Cross standing in for mean old Ebenezer.  Also starring Alfre Woodard, John Forsythe, David Johanssen, Carol Kane, and Robert Mitchum, Scrooged has become a cult classic for everyone too cynical to admit they like Christmas movies.  

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Top Ten Things: Haken Songs

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Things, here at Enuffa.com, where I count down the ten things at the top of the mountain (get it?)....

Today I'll be talking about the ten finest compositions by British prog-metal masters Haken!  I discovered Haken only recently, after seeing in a Newbury Comics newsletter that their newest album Vector was set to be released.  I looked 'em up and read all about their brand of progressive rock, not to mention all the accolades their albums have gotten, and gave them a listen.  I was hooked immediately, and have spent the last few months immersed in their catalog.  Haken's music somehow grabs the listener instantly with stunningly crafted songs, but also rewards multiple spins with loads of ear candy, unusual influences, odd time signatures, and dense vocal harmonies.  This six-piece is unquestionably the real deal, and one of the most exciting bands of any genre that I've encountered in years.  Where I find many prog bands too eager to dazzle at the expense of good old-fashioned songwriting, Haken's songs are rock-solid first and technically marvelous second.  Their music is instantly addictive but simultaneously reveals new layers with each listen.  I can't recommend them enough.  Click HERE for my full review of The Mountain....

Here are my ten Haken favorites....

10. Earthrise

One of Haken's most uplifting songs, "Earthrise" starts out with a sycopated verse and builds to a soaring, harmonized chorus (one of their most instantly hooky), eventually returning to a modulated version of said chorus toward the end of the tune.  Like "Insomnia," my only gripe with this song is that it's too short.  This is a chorus that could be repeated on a loop without getting old.  This is one of the standouts from the Affinity album.

9. Crystallised

The 19-minute epic from Haken's Restoration EP, "Crystallised" kicks off with a bouncy 7/8 jazz fusion verse that opens up into a wondrous rock chorus.  Right away the song sticks with you (as do so many of Haken's tracks), but the bridge takes it to another level with an a capella counterpoint piece that builds into full minstrel-inspired segment.  It's unlike anything else in their catalog and immediately captures your attention.  The song finds its way back to the chorus and then to a climactic, multi-layered outro about accepting change and moving on.  This section reminds me of some of Dream Theater's long-form tunes and is yet another instantly memorable hook in a song full of them.  This is one of Haken's great marathon tracks.

8. The Architect

The extravagant centerpiece of Affinity is this near-sixteen-minute epic, featuring a guest death vocal by Einar Solberg of Leprous.  The greatest strength of "The Architect" is its ever-changing Fear Factory-esque chorus hook over a jackhammering syncopated guitar riff.  At the end of the song this chorus is brought back over a totally different riff and in a different time signature, but the melody is so strong you almost don't notice the change at first.  "The Architect" is one of many Haken epics whose running time flies by.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Parents' Night In #38: Stand By Me (1986)

Kelly & Justin are back for a movie review our favorite coming-of-age movie, Rob Reiner's Stand By Me!  Based on Stephen King's novella The Body, SBM tells the story of four 12-year-old boys who go off on an adventure to find the body of Ray Brower, who went missing a few days earlier.  With excellent performances by Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell, and Kiefer Sutherland, SBM is timeless, funny, poignant, and makes us reminisce about our own childhood and loss of innocence.  We'll discuss the various child actors in the film, Kiefer, Stephen King's reputation for writing bad endings, and when we found our respective selves as teenagers.

So grab a cold drink, sit back, and hang out with us as we talk Stand By Me!

Kelly is drinking some Pionetto prosecco while Justin is enjoying craft beer from Vitamin Sea Brewing and Widowmaker Brewing!

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"Stand By Me" snippet from Sing King Karaoke (https://link.singking.com/YouTube)

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Sunday, June 14, 2020

WWE Backlash 2020 Preview & Predictions

Welcome to a last-minute round of WWE Predictions, here at Enuffa.com!  It's WWE Backlash, and this year's edition proves to be one of the most forgettable ever.  Jesus, look at this half-assed lineup.  And it's being main evented, almost certainly, by what WWE is choosing to call The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.  Yeah okay guys....

Yeah, WWE actually wants to convince us that Randy Orton vs. Edge is going to be better than Flair-Steamboat, Okada-Omega, Angle-Benoit, Bret-Owen, HBK-Taker, and all the other classic bouts this won't come close to touching.  I can't recall a more desperate marketing gimmick from this promotion.  On top of that, look how poorly received the previous Edge-Orton match was.  I went easy on it, but it was overly long, dull, plodding, and contained one of the WWE's most offensive moments, when they did a weight machine spot that echoed Chris Benoit's suicide.  What's also hilarious is that WWE just had the finals of their Intercontinental Title tournament, a Daniel Bryan-AJ Styles epic that is being called one of the best free TV matches in years.  Why didn't it get saved for the PPV two days later?  Gee, I wonder....  Could it be so that it wouldn't easily overshadow the match they're trying to pass off as an all-time classic?  Eff this company.  Let's pick the winners.

Women's Tag Team Championship: Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. The IIconics

Jeezus this is weak.  Is this literally all that's left of the Women's Tag division?  Bayley and Sasha, and two other teams?  Might be time to beef up the division guys.  Bayley and Sasha just won these, so they shouldn't lose them yet.  Why are the IIconics still a thing?

Pick: Bayley & Sasha retain

US Championship: Apollo Crews vs. Andrade

These midcard titles have just been jumping around like crazy this year.  It's hard to even keep track of them now.  Crews just won his first WWE piece of gold, so he oughta keep it too.  The match itself should be solid.

Pick: Apollo retains

Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus

Boy do I not care about this.  Yay, let's exploit Jeff's substance abuse issues yet again.  That always works out well, doesn't it?  The match should be alright but I've been pretty over Jeff for years now.

Pick: Sheamus I guess?

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Parents' Night In #37: Anchorman (2004) - RIP Fred Willard

Alright, so we tried to record a movie review podcast episode about this monumentally hilarious film once before, and it didn't go well.  Mostly because it was our second recording of the night, we started at 2am, and we were plastered.  But we're back to make it right, discussing Anchorman, Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Christina Applegate, and Fred Willard (RIP).  Also we'll talk about Saturday Night Live, local beers, Manhattans, jazz flute, why we don't like the big rumble scene with Tim Robbins, Luke Wilson and Ben Stiller, and much more!  Join us for some fun as we resist the urge to simply quote one of the most quotable movies of all time, Anchorman!

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

NXT TakeOver: In Your House Preview & Predictions

Welcome to another round of NXT Predictions, here at Enuffa.com!  Someone will have to let me know if this weekend's show is good since I don't have the Network anymore.  On paper it looks quite strong, as usual.  It's a pity WWE's main roster pissed me off to the point that I felt like I had to drop them, as I always enjoy NXT's offerings.

Given the COVID situation, for this particular NXT TakeOver they've adopted the old In Your House moniker, a nod of course to the PPV series that ran from 1995-1999 (before many of today's AEW fans were even born).  I always thought IYH was a goofy name for a wrestling event as it seems to imply the acton is actually taking place at my home (The original In Your House included a sweepstakes where they actually gave away a house), but I get why they're using it here.  See cuz we're all stuck In Our Houses.  Get it?

Eh, fuck it, let's predict the matches...

Mia Yim, Shotzi Blackheart & Tegan Nox vs. Candice LaRae, Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez

This should be a high-energy, nonstop action kinda match.  The good women vs. the bad women.  No idea who wins this but I'll go with the bad women I guess.

Pick: Candice, Dakota & Raquel

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Karrion Kross

Ciampa fell short of winning back the NXT Title in Portland and his best friend-turned worst enemy-turned best friend, turned on him.  This guy needs some good news.  I reckon he beats Kross here to get him back into the NXT Title picture.

Pick: Ciampa

Finn Balor vs. Damien Priest

This looks pretty great on paper.  Could steal the show potentially.  The point of it seems to be to give Priest a big win over an established star, or to hang move for move with Balor and be elevated even in a loss.  Finn wouldn't be hurt by a loss here, but I suppose if you're going to beat him you want to have a huge plan for whoever does it.  I dunno.

Pick: Balor I guess?

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Parents' Night In #36: Forrest Gump (1994)

Kelly & Justin are back with your favorite movie podcast/movie review/YouTube sensation to discuss a 90s favorite, Forrest Gump, starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Sally Field and Gary Sinise, directed by Robert Zemeckis!  Join us as we enjoy some local craft beers and talk about the movie, how we bonded over it very early in our friendship,  why Gary Sinise is a real-life hero, how Justin got sick during a theatrical viewing of the film, why we don't agree with the movie's depiction of 1960s anti-war protesters, why the CGI is pretty bad when Forrest rubs elbows with JFK, LBJ, Richard Nixon and especially John Lennon, what we'd do if we had unlimited funds, and Forrest Gump's status as a popcorn film disguised as Oscar bait.  Also, Justin gets a little tipsy by the end and has a Mexican standoff with our mean old cat.  Sit back, open a beverage and have some fun with Parents' Night In!

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