Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cheap Pop Podcast Episode 79




NOTE: I say that this is Episode 80 TWICE in this episode, when it's actually 79. I'm an idiot. Just clearing that up.

This week we talk about the wreck that was RAW, Vince Re-writing the script, Brock Lesnars heart problems, The Monday Night War, and much more!
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Game Complainers Episode 68



This week the Game Complainers once again talk about Destiny, the WWE 2k15 trailer, and answer some of your viewer mail.


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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cheap Pop Culture Episode 8



Episode 8 of Cheap Pop Culture is finally here! This week we recap the summer movies season, Talk about the Deadpool Movie a bit, and discuss the iPhone 6, plus a bit more. Enjoy.
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cheap Pop Podcast Episode 78




*NOTE* This episode was recorded last night before the news on the Roman Reigns injury, so just keep that in mind when we are talking about the Reigns/Rollins match. Also, the uality is lower than usual on Perry's end since he was on the road and not sing his usual internet or his set up. But he still comes across fine the whole show.

This week we talk RAW, Night Of Champions predictions, Steve Austin wrestling again, Ric Flair's recovery, and more!



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Friday, September 19, 2014

TV Review - Red Band Society (Pilot Episode)


Shows and movies about kids with illnesses seems to be a trend in Hollywood today, and will continue to be one, especially after the success of John Green's The Fault In Our Stars. I started seeing trailers and commercials for this show Red Band Society about a month ago. I didn't know much about it, except that it was developed by Margaret Nagle (writer from Boardwalk Empire) and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. I then looked it up and found out the premise.

"Based upon the Catalan drama series Polseres vermelles, the series is a dark dramedy focused on a group of teenagers living together as patients in a hospital's pediatric ward."

I was interested. A Dark Dramedy, with a decent premise that hasn't been done to death? Count me in. It even had a big name attached to it in one of the lead roles (Octavia Spencer as Nurse Jackson). So when I heard all of this, I was interested.

Then the reviews of the pilot came out.

I was hearing a bunch of mixed opinions. Some critics really dug the show, and some didn't care for it at all. So I almost skipped the pilot. I was gonna wait it out and see if the reviews got better as the season progressed. But late last night, I had the pilot DVR'd, so I said fuck it, and gave it a watch.

I'm all in.

Before I get into my review of the episode, let me just give a quick run down of all the characters in the show.



As soon as the show starts, you realize that the show has a narrator. The narrator is a kid named Charlie (Played by Griffin Gluck). You don't know much about him, except for the fact that he is narrating the whole show while in a coma. You don't know how he got in this coma, although they do reference an "accident" a few times, yet never go into detail, but it's only the pilot so I'm sure that will be slowly revealed as the show progresses.

So the show starts off at a high school where this cheerleader named Kara (Played by Zoe Levin) is at Cheer practice, and is doing some stunts, when she blacks out and falls to the gym floor. Instead of calling 911, all the kids take out their phones and start taking pictures and video and put them on Instagram. Except one girl finally does call 911 and Kara gets sent to the hospital.

Quickly you find out that Kara is a stuck up bitch. No seriously, she is. She is your typical "Stuck up popular cheerleader" type, and while Zoe Levin really has the character down, it sometimes feel a bit to over the top. For the most part though she makes it work.We will get back to her in a bit.

Then the show introduces us to 2 more characters,  Leo and Dash. Leo (Played by Charlie Rowe) is a cancer patient who had cancer in his leg and had to get it removed, so now he is confined to a wheel chair and crutches. Dash (Played by Child Rapper/Actor Astro) has a problem with is lungs. I don't know if its specifically cancer, or if they even go into that, I honestly forget. But anyway, you quickly find out that these guys are the troublemakers of the show, as the first scene they show them smoking weed in a supply closet.

They then get caught by one of the shows main characters, Nurse Jackson. Nurse Jackson is probably one of the best characters so far. She has most of the funny punch lines in the episode, and Octavia Spencer really nails this character down. You quickly see that she is hard on all of these kids, but she does care about them in the long run and only does it to keep them in check.

You then get introduced to a few other characters, Such as Jordi (Played by Nolan Sotillo) who becomes Leo's new roommate and also has cancer in his leg, Dr Jack McAndrew (Played by Dave Annable) who Jordi tracks down because he's the ONLY doctor he wants to operate on him. Then you also have Emma (Played by Ciara Bravo) who has an eating disorder and is an ex lover of Leo's, and then finally you have Nurse Brittany (Played by Rebecca Rittenhouse) who is the new nurse on staff that tries too hard to get along with everyone.



Now that we got all that out of the way, I'll go into my overall thoughts. Pretty much, this episode explains sort of the back story to all the characters, and you find out why they are all in the hospital. They all end up getting together to throw a party for Jordi, who is getting his leg amputated the next day. Thats how they all pretty much get together in this episode. They all get together on the roof of the hospital and they all quickly form a bond with one another. Leo gives each of them one of his many "Red Bands", which are just bands that he kept from each surgery/procedure he has had since he's been in the hospital. Hence the name, "Red Band Society".

The actors on the show are for the most part very solid and all the kids have good chemistry together. The weakest one of the group to me is Nolan Sotillo, who plays Jordi. I don't know if it was just me, but he seemed like he was reading his lines from a script half the time.

Some of the love/sappy stuff is done well, but at times it can seem way over the top. I get that with the audience this is targeting (Teenagers), they have to put that stuff in there, but some of it is just a little too much. They did a good job in this Pilot of giving everyone equal screen time and letting you get to know each characters traits and personality. They did a great job of making these characters feel real and not too over the top.

I won't go too much into some of the stuff that gets revealed in the episode, but the stuff they do with Kara is great. Even with the little time spent in the hospital, she already is starting to reflecting on herself and why she acts the way she does. Plus, things really get put into perspective when she finds out her condition. I already really dig the angle they are going for with her character and can't wait to see how it progresses.

I'm also really interested to see how the Charlie character plays out. I'm guessing he will be in a coma for most of the season (if not the whole thing), but I'm still interested to hear about the accident, and for them to expand on a certain plot point I wont spoil. And Octavia Spencer is great in this show so far. Also really excited to see her character get revealed a bit more.

I honestly can't say much more, as this episode was basically just the set up for the overall show, and also I don't want to spoil anything. Overall, this Pilot episode wasn't perfect, but it was still a great way to start out. The cons are very minor. The over the top love plot lines are noticeable, but everything else surrounding those plot points are so good that you kind of just give it a pass. This did everything a Pilot should do, and did it very well. They got me very interested to see how each character is fleshed out. I will for sure be tuning in every week.

RATING-8/10

Monday, September 15, 2014

Concert Review - The Gaslight Anthem, Jimmy Eat World, and Against Me!



On Friday, September 12th, I attended The Gaslight Anthem concert at The Mann Center in Philadelphia. They played with Jimmy Eat World and Against Me! Since their is no Cheap Pop Culture this week, I decided to fill this spot with a review of the concert. This is my first concert review, so *WARNING*, it's gonna suck ass. But I'll give a try.

Note: For every album I mention in the article, I put a link to the album on iTunes. If you can, please support these bands if you like what you hear. Thanks.

The Gaslight Anthem is one of my favorite bands out right now. I have been a huge fan of the band ever since I first heard their 2008 album The 59 Sound  back when it first came out. To see them grow and evolve to where they are now is insane. Also, they are from Jersey, so what's not to love? And even after loving the band for so many years, I had NEVER seen them live. Ever.

So when I heard they were coming to Philadelphia with another one of my favorite bands, Jimmy Eat World, I knew I couldn't miss this. I bought the tickets as soon as they went on sale. I had a feeling for months this would be a night to remember, and boy was I right.

Before I break down all 3 bands that performed and the set lists I want to take this time to praise the venue this was held at. This concert took place at The Mann Center in Philadelphia. The Mann Center has been around awhile but this concert was outside on the "Skyline Stage" which just opened a few years ago. To say it was amazing would be an understatement. From the bar/eating area to the scenery, the whole atmosphere of the place was amazing. On top of that the weather was PERFECT for an outdoor concert. Also, I got there early enough to get close to the stage, since all the seating is GA, which also enhanced the experience being so close. If you ever hear of a favorite band or artist of yours playing The Mann, GO. You won't regret it.

So, lets get into the bands shall we?

AGAINST ME!



Out of the 3 bands that played on this night, Against Me! was the one I was the least familiar with. I had heard a few songs by them before, but never really dove into their catalog. Sad to say, but the most I knew about them was that their front man (at the time) Tom Gabel came out as transgender woman in 2012, after suffering from gender dysphoria since childhood. Gabel, now named Laura Jane Grace, had seen a ton of support from people in the rock community, with one of those people being Brian Fallon, the lead singer of The Gaslight Anthem. So it was only natural that Brian asked them to come on tour with the band. Man, am I glad they did.

I didn't know much about Against Me! before this show, but I wont forget their name now. They were the PERFECT opener. They got the crowd moving, and a shit ton of people knew all the words to their songs. It was a great performance and they really set the tone and atmosphere for the rest of the night. Laura has such a great stage presence, and you can tell she was enjoying every minute up there. The drummer for the band, Atom Willard, was killing it behind the drums, both in this set, and a set later on in the night that I'll get into later.


Overall, These guys made a fan out of me. I already started digging through their discography, starting with Transgender Dysphoria Blues, their most recent release. You should definitely give it a listen, it's really fucking good.

Setlist:
  1. Pints of Guinness Make You Strong
  2. New Wave
  3. Walking Is Still Honest
  4. FuckMyLife666
  5. Unconditional Love
  6. Cliché Guevara
  7. Don't Lose Touch
  8. Transgender Dysphoria Blues
  9. I Was a Teenage Anarchist
  10. Thrash Unreal
  11. White Crosses
  12. True Trans Soul Rebel
JIMMY EAT WORLD



After Against Me! got the crowd hot, it was time for Jimmy Eat World to take the stage. I have been a fan of these guys even longer than I have been a fan of The Gaslight Anthem. I remember first listening to Bleed American (AKA Self Titled) in full in late 2001/early 2002 and loving it. I can relate to that album a lot these days, and I can still listen to it without skipping a track. To me, it's the best album the band has put out.

Anyway, they took the stage, and man did they not disappoint. They were banging out tracks left and right, playing all of their major hits except "Pain" off of the album Futures, which makes sense, since they will touring for the 10 year anniversary of that album next month, so they will be playing that song a ton. They also played a bunch of deep cuts, as well as some fan favorites. They also played my 2 favorite songs of theirs, Bleed American and Let It Happen! I figured that both those songs would make it into the set, but I still flipped out when I heard them start playing both those songs.


Jimmy Eat World has a stellar set and had some great interaction with the fans as well. They really had their A game on, and I was happy as hell to finally get to see them perform live. Will for sure see them again next time they are around.

Setlist:
 1. A Praise Chorus
 2. Big Casino
 3. My Best Theory
 4. Get It Faster
 5. Lucky Denver Mint
 6. Appreciation
 7. Let It Happen
 8. Work
 9. Futures
10. 23
11. I Will Steal You Back
12. Bleed American
13. Sweetness
14. The Middle

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM



Then, it was time for the grand finale, The Gaslight Anthem. I mentioned in the Against Me! section of the review, Atom Willard, the drummer for Against Me!, played 2 sets night: The Against Me! set and The Gaslight Anthem set. The Gaslight Anthem came on at the beginning of their set and said that their drummer, Benny Horowitz, had a emergency and had to go home so he wouldn't be behind the kit tonight. So Atom from Against Me! filled in for him. He learned 12 songs in only a few hours! He did great for having to learn the songs on such short notice.

The band fucking killed it. They played a great diverse set, taking from all 5 of their albums. They even  played a few songs off of Sink or Swim, the bands debut album. The song "The 59 Sound" was even better live, and the new single currently impacting radio, "Get Hurt" (from the bands great new album Get Hurt) was amazing with everybody in the crowd singing every word.


After the first 12 songs, the band said that Atom had only enough time to learn those songs, and that the band was gonna switch things up a bit to the end the set, by doing the last 8 songs acoustic. This was the best part of the whole show to me. It was great hearing stripped down versions of some of my favorite songs, including "Blue Jeans and White T-shirts", "Navesink Banks", and "Break Your Heart". They even ended with "1930" from their first album, which made the place go absolutely nuts.


Even down a drummer, the band still put on an incredible performance to finish up the night. Atom Willard looked like he had been playing those songs his whole life, and the acoustic set at the end was fucking incredible. The boys in The Gaslight Anthem did not disappoint. If they are coming to your are, go see them. They are definitely worth it.

Setlist:
 1. Stay Vicious
 2. Wooderson
 3. Rollin' And Tumblin' 
 4. The '59 Sound
 5. Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?
 6. Get Hurt
 7. Howl
 8. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
 9. American Slang
10. Great Expectations
11. Stray Paper
12. The House of the Rising Sun (Ashley & Foster Cover)
13. Dark Places (acoustic)
14. Have Mercy (acoustic)
15. The Navesink Banks (acoustic)
16. She Loves You (acoustic)
17. Break Your Heart (acoustic)
18. High Lonesome (acoustic)
19. Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts (acoustic)
20. 1930 (acoustic)

Overall, all 3 bands put on an amazing show, and gave me a night I will never forget. I have been to a ton of concerts, but this was the best one I had been to in awhile. If any of these 3 bands come to your area, please go see them. You won't regret it.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cheap Pop Culture Episode 7



NOTE: This podcast was recorded back in the middle of June, but never got put up because I started working on the relaunch of the site at the same time. So this show is almost 3 months old, but next Monday we will debut with a new, up to date show.

This show sort of previews the summer movie season, and we talk about a few movies. We will also talk about some other news in the movie world. Check it out!
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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cheap Pop Podcast Episode 76



Welcome to the first episode on the new site! This week we talk RAW (No Really), CM Punk and his lawsuit, ADR free to wrestle, give a Jake The Snake update, and more!

Welcome to CheapPopInc.com!


 Most of you reading this probably have no idea how you got here, and have no idea who I am, so let me introduce myself. My name is Nick Luzzi. For the last year and a half, I have hosted a wrestling podcast called the Cheap Pop Podcast with my good friend Perry. This newly launched site is a spinoff of that podcast. For those still confused, let me explain.

When me and Perry started the podcast over a year and a half ago, we didn't know who would listen, or even care about our thoughts on wrestling. Since then, our views have grown little by little each episode, and we thank all of you for that.

Once we got the hang of doing the wrestling podcast, we started another podcast called Cheap Pop Culture. The podcast was based around another thing we loved talking about, pop culture. Movies, TV, Music, other celeb news, etc. We started the podcast, but didn't have a set schedule, and just did it whenever we felt like it.

That also then spawned another podcast that Perry and my younger brother Anthony created, called The Game Complainers. It's a video game podcast where Perry and Anthony talk (and complain) about video game news and other stuff in the video game world.

So, you are probably wondering, "Why are you telling me all this?"

This brings us to the launch of CheapPopInc.com, the most unprofessional site on the internet.(Hopefully that sticks) This newly launched site will feature all 3 podcasts, with a new episode every week. The schedule isn't set for good but it should be:

Cheap Pop Culture on Monday

The Game Complainers on Wednesday

Cheap Pop Podcast on Friday (As usual)

You are probably thinking "WOW! That's a ton of content!" But that's not all.

The plan is, for future anyway, to have articles going up every Tuesday and Thursday. Some will be video game related, some will be wrestling related, and some will be entertainment (TV, Movie, etc) related. So that means content every single day.

I have been wanting to this for awhile now, and finally found the time to do this. I really think this site can go somewhere, and it's a great way to expand the audience for all 3 shows. I hope you guys really enjoy it.

The site may have a few bugs, so bear with us. Some stuff is still under construction. If you want to, you can a hold of me on Twitter. You can also find the site on Facebook and Twitter at the social icons above. Give us a follow and a like to stay updated when new content goes up.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope you enjoy the site.