What Songs Should Metallica Play on The Late Late Show?

Photo by Craig Hlavaty
Metallica at Toyota Center in 2008
Tonight Metallica will begin a week-long residency on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson as a sendoff for the departing late-night host. It marks one of the highest-profile television appearances the band has made since the '90s, all at the request of Ferguson himself.

During the residency, they'll have a sit-down interview and five nights to play. Anyone who has been watching Ferguson's last few months has discovered that he basically no longer gives a fuck and is putting anything he wants on the air. That means good news for Metallica fans, since the band should be free to play whatever they want to.

That leads us to the obvious question, though: what should their set list look like this week?

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The New Foo Fighters HBO Series Is Pretty Great

Categories: TV Party

Photos courtesy of Nasty Little Man
Dave Grohl sees his new HBO series Sonic Highways as "his "love letter to American music."
It makes sense that the first two episodes of the new HBO series Sonic Highways, chronicling the recording of eight songs in eight separate cities for the Foo Fighters' forthcoming album of the same name, would take place in Chicago and Washington D.C. Both represent a sort of homecoming: the former a metaphorical one for fans returning to (or visiting for the first time) the city that incubated the blues, the roots and soul of America's complicated relationship with homegrown music; the latter a literal one as Foos front man Dave Grohl visits his hometown.

The ambitious project, conceived by Grohl while filming the documentary Sound City about the life and death of the iconic California recording studio, is more than just a look at a rock band making a record. In fact, strict fans of the Foos will likely be disappointed by the fact that music from the band occupies only small portions of each one-hour episode.

This series is something much more, a look deep into the DNA of this country's music through the eyes of one of its most successful bands. Grohl calls it, "a love letter to the history of American music."

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Five Songs About Real Freaks for AHS: Freak Show

So now that the fourth season of American Horror Story is apparently going to be a musical, it got me thinking about songs that have been dedicated to human oddities over the years. There have been a fair few of them, actually, and today we sing their praises for the part they've played in history.

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A Dozen Houston Highlights From Austin City Limits

Categories: TV Party, Texas Me

Photo by 33stradale via Wikimedia Commons
Lightnin' Hopkins' mojo hand was still plenty strong at his 1979 Austin City Limits appearance.
Austin City Limits wasn't always a cultural institution, nor a repository of some of the finest musical performances ever committed to videotape. In the show's earliest days it was an unusual experiment even for public television, and creator Bill Arhos and his staff did not have the benefit of the sterling reputation it enjoys today. But now, among musicians, ACL is arguably the most coveted booking on the airwaves, perhaps even more prestigious than Saturday Night Live.

Back then, though, the now-retired Arhos was program manager of Austin's PBS affiliate KLRN (later KLRU). He had read Jan Reid's 1974 book The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock and hatched an idea that he might be able to base a TV show around the scene surrounding Austin's Armadillo World Headquarters. That near-mythical nexus of the post-'60s counterculture and traditional Texas values (with tasty nachos, too) was conveniently personified in Willie Nelson, who appeared in Austin City Limits' 1974 pilot episode. Arhos somehow convinced KLRN and PBS to sign off on a series, and ACL was born.

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Five Bands That Are Obvious Doctor Who Fans

Categories: TV Party

Doctor Who fandom has spread across every corner of the Earth. To celebrate the return of the show to its eighth season, the cast took a worldwide trip to meet fans.

Some of those fans are rock stars you know and love, and sometimes they let you know in the lyrics of their songs. Bands like...

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Just Give Blue Ivy Carter All the VMAs, Please

Are we tired of twerking yet?
Sunday night was the billionth year for the MTV Video Music Awards, and only one thing can be taken away from the whole unfunny shebang: just give Blue Ivy Carter all of the VMAs, now and forever, and let's be done with the whole thing. Seriously.

So in case you were wondering (or were smart enough to skip it), the whole show -- from Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" yawn-fest to Miley Cyrus' well-intentioned but still somehow totally stunt-queen stand-in antics -- was just kinda meh. Everything but Blue of course, but we'll get to that. Here's what happened.

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The 10 Best Songs From True Blood

Categories: TV Party

For the past seven years, each episode of HBO's True Blood was named after a song, and in those seven years I've watched great tracks come and go. Here's the ten best the show had to offer.

10. Massive Attack, "Paradise Circus"
In Season 3 there's the wonderful visit to a strip club, and this is the song the stripper works to. If you ever find a stripper taking it off to Massive Attack, that girl needs professional help, and it made for a wonderfully weird NSFW moment.

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True Blood: Like a Lead Zeppelin

There's no other way to say this. True Blood went out weak. Really, really weak.

For almost the entire running time of the finale there was no plot. Nothing was really resolved because there was really nothing left to resolve. For all intents and purposes the supporting cast had been driven away or killed leading up to this, and the only real question was how Vampire Bill was going to die.

Stupidly, that's how.

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True Blood: Your Warpaint Is Running

Categories: TV Party

Back when I was a big wrestling fan I had a rule; never watch the show before a big pay-per-view. For God's sake, never waste money going to a live show before the PPV.

It's not that it's a ripoff per se. It's just that whatever you're going to see is going to be the last of the beginning of what comes after, you know? It's like the ending of Kill Bill Vol. 1. Everyone who saw that in the theater left their seats with an enormous set of Blue Plot Balls, and often the episode before a season finale is the same.

True Blood is frankly notorious for this sort of thing. In seven years, I cannot name a single episode before the finale that was even passable.

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True Blood: Moby vs. Mopey

Categories: TV Party

Spoilers ahead in this one. Big spoilers.

As the last season of True Blood comes to a close, it's pretty clear that we're saying goodbye to better aspects of the show the way you say goodbye to a friend who is very sick and is never going to get better.

Well excuse me, because I'm not that guy and I expect the best you have to offer right up until the flatline. True Blood once again underwhelms in its final days.

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