MTO Opening

Oscar the Grouch

Written by Meg Walter on . Posted in Film

Because sometimes Oscar is just mean. And so if the world were a fair place, and if I were in charge, the following films would win at Sunday night’s Academy Awards show (as compared to those that will):


The Meaning Behind Britney Spears’ "Hold It Against Me" Music Video

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

It’s Britney vs. Britney in her music video for “Hold It Against Me.”

If it hadn’t been for the two weeks worth of teaser clips released on Britney Spears’ Twitter account, the Jonas Akerlund-directed music video for “Hold It Against Me” would have been a complete shock when it was released. Rather than portray the song literally by setting it in a club or having Spears chase a love interest, Akerlund took the video in a different direction and created something unlike any else in Britney’s catalog of videos.

The video is dark, deep, and can be interpreted many ways, as her manager Larry Rudolph pointed out in an MTV broadcast after the video premiered. Regardless, the overriding theme of the piece is the trials and trappings of celebrity.

Velour Live

In Defense of the Provo Scene

Written by Chance Clift on . Posted in Music

On Friday afternoon, I was shocked to see online buzz among the Provo music community over an article published in The Daily Universe about the “exclusiveness” of the Provo scene. At this point, I hadn’t even read the article — I was simply shocked over the fact that The Daily Universe, known for its sparse (if not bland) coverage of Provo music, had anyone talking at all. Then I actually read the article.

As a person who has been a participant, observer, and employee of Provo music for nearly a decade, I thought I would add my opinion to those floating around the 100Block-o-sphere over the contents of this article.

While I was at first amused by some of the biases and inaccuracies found in this piece, I soon realized it wasn’t so much the article that was flawed as it was the musicians who were quoted in it. The article actually represents a common misconception among many Provo musicians — that the Velour scene is a fiercely competitive popularity contest that can only be won by a combination of 1) being “indie-folk,” and 2) being “connected”/networking with the “right people.” (?) After a long and bitter fight, these Provo musicians become jaded and give up on their lifelong dream of headlining a Velour show (“I didn’t wanna play there anyway!”), turning instead to bashing Velour and any band who plays there.


Highlights from Billboard Hot 100′s 1,000 No. 1 Hits: 20 Songs that Broke Records, Made History

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

This week, the Billboard Hot 100 crowned Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” the 1,000th song to top its chart since it was created in 1958. Here are some of the highlights from the past 1,000 No. 1s, including songs by the Beatles, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey.

1958: “Poor Little Fool” — Ricky Nelson

First No. 1

Ricky Nelson, a star on the television show The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, began his recording career to impress his girlfriend and was lucky enough to have the top song in the country the week Billboard introduced the Hot 100.



Jersey Riviera: Will Anyone Notice the MTV Housemates in Italy?

Written by Jim Dalrymple on . Posted in TV

MTV’s recent announcement that the cast of Jersey Shore will head to Italy has brought mostly groans and grimaces from the blogosphere. But what many people may not realize is that crew of self-proclaimed guidos and guidettes has already been in what MTV described as the “birthplace of culture” for some time.

Before last summer, I had never seen Jersey Shore, nor did I even know anyone who watched it (or, at least, who admitted to watching it). Despite the hype and the controversy, it seemed like just another bunch of clowns in a house — entertaining, perhaps, but ultimately pretty boring too.

But then, over the summer, I went on a trip. To Italy. And I got hooked.

Carmelo Anthony Knicks

Podcast: NBA Trade Deadline

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Sports

The PB&J Report guys recorded an emergency podcast on Wednesday to hash out their thoughts on some of the biggest NBA trades right before the league’s deadline. The big ones are all here, including Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks and Deron Williams to the Nets. Are the Jazz smart or stupid for shipping D-Will out early? Did the Knicks overpay for an underperforming Carmelo? Click on the link below to get the PB&J take. Enjoy!

Black Griffin

Podcast: BYU Basketball, NBA All-Star Weekend

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Sports

This is posting a little late — this podcast was recorded on Friday — but it’s all good. The PB&J Report guys rap about BYU basketball and The Jimmer (of course), as well as the weekend’s (at that point) upcoming NBA All-Star festivities. Sure, most of these things might have changed since Friday — but what’s more fun than looking back and laughing at the crew’s (possibly) incorrect predictions? The answer: Nothing. Enjoy!


Review: Vetri Ristorante

Written by Kasey Yardley on . Posted in Food

I had a landmark experience in eating last week. It was one of those infrequent happenings that only come along every now and again, if you’re lucky. Like being a Boston Red Sox fan and living in Utah — you’ll probably make it up to Fenway only once or twice in your life, but the experience means everything when you finally do. Walking into Vetri in downtown Philadelphia was like that for me — like going to Fenway and smelling the freshly cut grass, except for me it was the smell of the best pasta in the country.

Marc Vetri received his training in Bergamo, Italy by some of the country’s most noted chefs. Since then, he has opened both his 40-seat restaurant Vetri in 1998 and Osteria in 2007. He’s won several awards for his culinary aptitude, including the prestigious James Beard Award for “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” in 2005. Even Chef Mario Batali is quoted, saying, “This is possibly the best Italian restaurant on the East Coast,” which is quite the compliment, especially from a man with his own Italian restaurant in New York City.


CHART WATCH: Born To Reign: Lady Gaga Lands Billboard’s 1,000th No. 1

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Chart Watch is 17 Tracks’ weekly look at the happenings on the Billboard Hot 100 with chart expert Hunter Schwarz.

This week, Lady Gaga scores her third No. 1 single as “Born This Way” storms the Hot 100, debuting at No. 1 and earning the distinction of being the 1,000th No. 1 in Billboard history. What makes it all the more impressive was that she did it in less than three days.

Billboard was so excited about its 1,000th No. 1 that they leaked news of the occasion three days before the new charts are posted. And what better time is there to be excited and take a look back at the Hot 100 — the Dow Jones of music.

The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards - Show

Shock and Surprise at the 2011 Grammy Awards

Written by Hunter Schwarz on . Posted in Music

Montreal band Arcade Fire were shocked after winning the coveted Album of the Year award for The Suburbs. They lost out in the Alternative Album category earlier in the night, and beat the likes of Eminem and Lady Gaga for the honor.

The 53rd annual Grammy Awards were broadcast Sunday, and Lady Antebellum, Jay-Z and Lady Gaga walked away the big winners. Lady Antebellum won five Grammy awards, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Need You Now.” Although Jay-Z and Lady Gaga didn’t win in any of the general categories, each took home three Grammys apiece in the rap and pop categories, respectively. Arcade Fire won Album of the Year for The Suburbs, shocking everyone who assumed Eminem’s Recovery was a shew-in. Slim Shady was nominated for 10 Grammys — the most of any artist — but he only won two, one for Best Rap Album and the other for Best Rap Solo Performance for “Not Afraid.”