Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday TV - It's Back

After a three episode story arc wherein our hero becomes a pirate king and summarily spends every bit of the pirate's loot on incredible parties and threesomes with pirate-party babes (who may or may not've been prostitutes), super spy extraordinaire Sterling Archer returns tonight at 10pm on FX. Archer is a perfect example of when consistently good writing and well-developed (if not, at times, broadly drawn) characters can make a ridiculous concept and, frankly, silly situations into an uproariously hilarious program. The humor of the show does not lie in the mission at hand, nor in the main story arc that's unfolding. The true humor comes from the sharp, witty dialogue and the relationships the characters have with each other. You can bet we'll be watching tonight, as Archer returns to FX at 10pm EST.

Of course, no mention of Thursday television has ever been complete if one does not mention the perennially hilarious, infinitely rewatchable 30 Rock. The show started its sixth season (purportedly Baldwin's last with the show) last week with a vengeance, hitting all the right, laughable notes while showing us that the characters have continued to develop while our eyes were not glued to them; Jack Donaghy is settling into his role as patriarch-sans-matriarch, Liz Lemon has a new secret beau (that commercials have revealed to be James Marsden (and there's something wrong with him (of course there is))). Featuring the return of Kelsey Grammer and the aforementioned Marsden guest spot, 30 Rock is on NBC tonight at 8pm EST.

But wait, there's more:

Bruce Springsteen Releases New Single

Springsteen released "We Take Care Of Our Own"
as the first single off of "Wrecking Ball"
due out 03/06/12.
Earlier today, we reported on the slew of Leonard Cohen singles from his upcoming release. Now it seems The Boss is following suit. His new album, "Wrecking Ball," is apparently his "angriest" album ever, but you wouldn't know that from the freshly released single, "We Take Care Of Our Own." It's treads the familiar grounds of "Born In The USA," with thundering drums, a chugging rhythm and a superficially pro-America chorus (replete with strings) wherein Bruce howls "We take care of our own/wherever this flag's flown." Like "Born In The USA," the lyrics reach a little deeper than that, mentioning some recent instances where perhaps we haven't taken care of our own, "From the shotgun shack to the Super Dome/There ain't no help, the cavalry stayed home/Ain't nobody hearin' the bugle blowin'." There's a point of unintentional humor; the opening lyrics, "I've been knocking on the door that holds the throne," conjure up (to me) a scene where Bruce has been trying unsuccessfully to get into the bathroom. Regardless, it is a new Bruce Springsteen song that's been released on the heels of a new Bruce Springsteen album, which is cause enough for celebration. You have to figure that someone realized releasing the new "angrier" Springsteen as a single would not build sufficient buzz, whereas this song follows a tried-and-true model that will (theoretically) see to the success of the album, "Wrecking Ball" due out March 6th, 2012. The video for the single is posted below.

Leonard Cohen's Forthcoming Release, "Old Ideas"

Leonard Cohen's "Old Ideas" will be
released January 31st, 2012 on Columbia Records.
After seven years of studio silence, the master songwriter Leonard Cohen will return with a new batch of songs at the end of the month. My excitement hangs in the air like a veil (the type you'd have to draw aside to see the serpent eat its tail), as Leonard Cohen holds an eternal place in my personal pantheon of critically important musicians. To build buzz for the release (because "Leonard Cohen is releasing a new album," is, for some reason, not enough for people), there have been three tracks from the forthcoming album released. The first to hit the net was "Show Me The Place," a vocal/piano number with a slow string build and Cohen's trademark lyrical depth and raspy vocals.  That was followed by "Darkness," whose swirling organ perfectly counterpoints the depth and darkness of Cohen's sound, and, most recently, a thinly-veiled battle with mortality, streaming from the New Yorker's culture desk, "Going Home." Click the link at left to listen to "Going Home," the other songs and the complete track list are after the jump.