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September 30, 2008

A tuneful Yo Gabba


When was the last time you saw a non-multi-platinum, non-arena-filler, non-Grammy-hoarding band on "Saturday Night Live" or any other late-night TV show?

Been a while. A very long while.

Know where you need to look for some interesting/emerging/cutting-edge alt/indie musical talent? A kiddie show with "Banana Splits" overtones.

We've waxed on about the acid-trippy star-laden Emmy-nominated "Yo Gabba Gabba" before, but there's a new season coming (Oct. 20) so there are new reasons to sing its praises, so to speak. I'm From Barcelona, Datarock, and Beastie Boys protege Money Mark are among those stopping by for music, goofiness and shades of Pufnstuf.

Other celebs hitting the world of the Dancey Dance Bunch? Jack McBrayer and Paul Scheer ("30 Rock," pictured here with Plex -- the robot -- and green monster thingie Brobee), actress/comedian/writer Amy Sedaris and Rhys Darby ("Flight of the Conchords" and the upcoming Jim Carrey comedy "Yes Man").

The show's on Nick Jr., nestled somewhere around "Wow Wow Wubbzy" and "Dora the Explorer." No way you should be embarrassed about watching, right? Or checking out the soundtrack, via iTunes, with music from the Ting Tings, The Roots, Tahiti 80 and on-set mixmaster Biz Markie. For catching up, there's the DVD of season 1 (Elijah Wood! Mark Mothersbaugh!) coming out Oct. 14.

Preschoolers not required.




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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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