Friday, December 30

What Are You Doing For New Year's Eve?

If you're Zooey Deschanel or Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it's something adorable. If you've seen 500 Days of Summer, you know this twosome has a fantastic chemistry. And they've put together a little song called "What Are You Doing For New Year's Eve?" which builds on that chemistry. Enjoy the duet below.

Thursday, December 29

Ranking the Pokemon: #118- Shellder

I don't know why Nintendo is obsessed with putting big, long tongues on its creatures, but whatever works, I guess. I'm a big fan of Shellder's evolved form, which we'll get to eventually. But for now, Shellder is a black hole with a tongue and eyes that happens to be encased in a shell. That means it has pretty good defense and...well, that's about it. I've mentioned before that there are a ton of crappy Water types out there. Shellder is a bit cooler than those other crappy ones, and I think it and Cloyster are the only Gen. I Pokes that learn the move Clamp. Again, it's a unique move that isn't very good, but uniqueness gets a little bit of a bonus, even if the move is an annoying one to go against.

Grade: C-

Monday, December 26

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 12

Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger (feat. Christina Aguilera)

Well friends, we've sadly reached the end of another year of counting down top karaoke songs for you to perform. Wayyyy back at the beginning of this bad boy, I said ideally the countdown would be of songs from 2011. But since the year was filled with karaoke duds like "Someone Like You" and  "Grenade", there just simply weren't enough enjoyable songs to create a 2011-exclusive list. Actually, I guess there were, but with songs like "Party Rock Anthem" getting over played to the max, I don't want to hear that at karaoke, since I can just turn on one of like 11 radio stations and hear it.

This next song gets overplayed a lot, too, but it's at least catchier and pays homage to a legend. It's good for duets, too, since Christina Aguilera has a part in it. It's by no means easy to sing, but since it's a good danceable number, people will be too busy trying to imitate the Rolling Stones frontman to notice.

Sunday, December 25

NBA Bobbleheads - Happy Together

As any fan of A Hot Cup knows, we LOVE the NBA's bobblehead commercials. And with the NBA's season tipping off today (and my Bulls starting off 1-0 thanks to Derrick Rose and company's late game heroics), the bobbleheads have returned. This time, there's no on-court action, but this may be the best of the bunch. Several NBA players, with quite the hilarious facial expressions, are in like a 20-person jazz band, playing to the Turtles' "So Happy Together." And goodness, does it make me happy. Welcome back, NBA, and Merry Christmas to all.

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 11

No Doubt - Just a Girl

Once again, we have another song from the 90s making this list. This song TEARS IT UP every time I play it as the "in between" music when I'm hosting karaoke. People just get excited as fock hearing the phaser/wah wah/whatever effect that opening guitar riff has. When girls sing it people freak out and start skanking (that ska dance, you know what I'm talking about), and when dudes sing it, there's some confusion at first, but then enjoyment. It's got "whoas" to belt out, and that solo, at least for me, is just super bouncy and fun. Kind of like the whole song. Definitely a winner.


Yes, friends, the NBA is back. With a Christmas Day tipoff, TNT unveiled a promo that's pretty amazing. The tagline appears to be "NBA Forever," and to demonstrate that point, the spot shows several interactions between current greats and retired legends. Now you can see Pistol Pete Maravich hanging out with Steve Nash, Kobe and Magic together during the starting lineup announcements, and Michael Jordan giving some dap to Derrick Rose with a fist bump, set to an acoustic, somber melody--"Live Forever" by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. And the whole thing is beautiful. Check out the spot below.

Saturday, December 24

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 10

Lit - My Own Worst Enemy

You may notice that a recurring theme of this year's list is that a lot of these songs are from the 90s. That's not necessarily an accident--maybe it's because it's the decade I grew up in, but I notice that songs from 1990-1999 seem to get the biggest reaction when they first start up. Then it's up to the performer to keep that energy going, but if you can start a game up 10-0, you do it. The same principle applies here. This song in particular is a fan of old and young alike, from the simple but easily distinguishable opening guitar riff, to the "ahh oooooohs" toward the end of the song, there's plenty to enjoy. It also gets brownie points for me by being the only song I've successfully played on any Rock Band iteration with the guitar behind my head for the duration of the song. And that's pretty cool.

Jerome Simpson Gets a Perfect 10

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson took a pass from QB Andy Dalton in today's game against the Arizona Cardinals. It was a pass much like any other--a short drag route over the middle of the field. But it was what Simpson did after the catch that is truly impressive. He leaped over an Arizona defender, and by leaped, I mean flipped. A complete flip. And then he landed ON HIS FEET, and threw up his arms as if he was dismounting off the parallel bars. Amazing. Check it out below.

Friday, December 23

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 9

Sam Cooke - Wonderful World

Sam Cooke unfortunately died way too early, at the tender age of 33, but luckily for us, he provided the world with a number of catchy songs. The best of the bunch, though, was "Wonderful World." The odds of hearing this song and not smiling and/or singing along hovers right around zero percent. Go ahead--listen to the video below and try not to enjoy it. And since that's not humanly possible, the crowd will love it, too.

Thursday, December 22

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 8

Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl

I don't know what it is about this song, but when that opening guitar riff comes in (palm muting FTW!), people just start going crazy. It's probably because it's super catchy, and most people can relate to wanting to be with one of their friend's significant others at some point or another. And if one of the Penny Arcade guys says it's the greatest song ever, well, who am I to disagree? Particularly when I don't like being manslaughtered. I think this was also on Hot Tub Time Machine, as well as featured in other movies, so it gets bonus points for being popular but not overplayed. That's a fine line to cross.

I personally like it because of the music video. I know karaoke rarely has the video going on at the same time, but if your spot of choice does, you're in luck. Springfield's propensity for staring at the camera and unwillingness to blink make for a creepy, yet fantastic music video, complete with 80s clothing. Enjoy.

Meme-Themed Proposal(eme)

While A Hot Cup doesn't usually partake in Internet memes (although there are some notable exceptions), this fellow Tim warms the hearts of us all with his meme-themed proposal to his girlfriend Audrey. Fortunately for us, Tim had his buddies document the whole thing, as he turned over multiple placards with random memes on them to eventually propose. I'm glad the Yao Ming face made it in there, and the kid on the "she said yes" card is fantastic. I'd want a picture of that in my room as a motivational poster. I think an underrated part is that you can also see Tim came prepared with a "she said no" card, as well. Way to plan ahead, son. Definitely a good story around the holiday season, and we wish the best for both of them.

Thanks to Gizmodo for initially bringing this to our attention.

Meme Proposal | Tim * Audrey from Crazy Monkey Studio on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 21

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 7

Harvey Danger - Flagpole Sitta

Fun fact about this song: It was apparently featured in trailers for Scooby Doo 2, but didn't appear on the soundtrack. Another fun fact: People absolutely love it. I don't know if it's the "whoas" in the chorus, the fairly easy-to-follow words (which are pretty clever for a song that made it to the radio), or that it's just so 90s that people get excited when they hear it, but this song has something in it for everyone. And everyone appreciates that, and will certainly get geeked when you try to perform it.

Tuesday, December 20

Ranking the Pokemon: #119- Ekans

Ekans probably shouldn't be this high up on the list, for a number of reasons. For starters: It's a toy of Team Rocket's, which is the enemy in the R/B/Y series of games. Granted, that "enemy" is full of incompetence, but still, Ekans is technically a "bad guy" Pokemon. Second: He was only available in the Red version of the game. I generally don't like the exclusive Pokemon. You shouldn't have to buy both versions just to get all 151 (I know, I know, you can trade, too), especially since most of the version exclusives are awful. Third: You may not have realized this, but Ekans is a snake. Snakes are kinda creepy. We don't like creepy things. Fourth: You also may not have realized this, but Ekans is "snake" backwards. Well, I guess it's "snakE," but either way, it's a fairly lazy naming job. I guess it's better than Seel or Krabby, but I still don't approve.

Really the only thing Ekans has going for it is that, since in the Blue version you can't catch it, you only see it as an enemy, and almost exclusively with Team Rocket Grunts. And since the grunts tend to be in heavily populated areas, you have to fight a lot of them at once. But since Poison is generally easy to kill (especially since you should always carry a Psychic with you), that means Ekans are easy to kill. And when you really don't want to have to backtrack all the way to a Pokemon Center to heal up, an easy kill is always welcome.

Grade: D+

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 6

Katy Perry - Hot 'n' Cold

Look, whether you like Katy Perry or not, you can't deny that she has had FIVE #1 songs from the same album (Teenage Dream), tying only Michael Jackson's Bad with that feat. And with "The One That Got Away"  climbing up the charts, she may very likely set a record. I must admit I do like some of her songs, and she's actually sort of funny (see her "Last Friday Night" video for proof of that). While songs like "California Gurls" and "Teenage Dream" might be more popular (and are actually from the album that has five #1 hits), not every karaoke place has them, AND I personally don't enjoy the songs where Perry is just screaming in the chorus--"YOU! MAKE! ME! Feel like I'm living a TEE! NAGE! DREAM!," etc.

"Hot 'n' Cold" solves both of those problems by offering sweet-sounding verses with a fun chorus, and the beat is danceable enough for people to enjoy. A good time is had by all when you pop this on, and as I said earlier, you can actually do it at most places, since it's pretty common as far as Katy Perry karaoke selections go.

Shaq's Parking Spot

As the NBA season draws near, the promos for TNT have begun rolling out. And they are fantastic. Shaquille O'Neal is joining the studio team, and as Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley find out, he's bringing some big things with him.

Monday, December 19

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 5

Outkast - Roses

Call. Response. Repeat. People love "Sweet Caroline," so they love saying that name. And it gets plenty of mention in this song, with plenty of opportunities for the audience to yell back at ya. The rap part is really fun, too, and if you're really lucky, you'll get the "crazy bitch" part at the end to sing along with. If not, you can just say it. Women also seem to love this song for whatever reason, so if you're a guy trying to score through song, this may be your best choice.

Google "Let It Snow"

Goodness, I love Google's Easter Eggs.

Sunday, December 18

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 4

Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now

Nods back to the 80s are always welcome at karaoke, and this is no exception. From the simple bass line to the grooving synthesizer throughout the song, Tiffany provides for some good moments to act out what you're singing ("running just as fast as we can/holding onto one another's hand," etc.), and can allow for some solid interaction with the crowd. Alternative choices to this version include the Tommy James and the Shondells original, or the Weird Al parody, "I Think I'm a Clone Now." All will work.

NBA, Welcome Back

After a five-month lockout that made people all over the world renounce the NBA and vow to never watch a game again (yeah, right), we are now one week away from tipping off the abbreviated 2011-2012 season. And Kia has made a promo for its five game grandstand on opening day, made of images from last year. Pretty cool to check out and should get you geeked up for the season.

Saturday, December 17

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 3

Metro Station - Shake It

If there is one thing I know about women, it's that if an opportunity to dance presents itself, they will jump on it. And this song clearly tells you what to do in the chorus. You shake it. And since Metro Station is one of those hipster-ish bands, you can dance like a tool and get away with it. Very easy to sing along with, as well, which, as you should know by now, is a big plus for karaoke songs. Plus the resulting chaos of guys trying to dance with said girls--when clearly they just want to stand in a circle around their shoes and pocketbooks and dance--is quite amusing for the singer and non-participants to watch.

Friday, December 16

Old Spice Holiday Cheer

The folks over at Old Spice have done it again. International heartthrob Isaiah Mustafa is back, with a series of messages targeted at different groups of people. And while they're all worth checking out, this one, addressed to every woman on the planet, is the best. And don't worry, ladies--Mustafa has saved a special gift just for you.

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 2

Lupe Fiasco- The Show Goes On

I heard this song roughly a year ago, and to be honest at first listen I just thought it was okay. I'm a huge Lupe Fiasco fan, but this seemed sort of formulaic and didn't have as many of the clever lines that peppered the songs on his first two studio releases. But my goodness, is it catchy. And that's why it makes a great karaoke song. People are continuously amazed when I perform this, but really the rap is not that hard. Lupe has plenty of songs where he's spittin' rapid fire; this is not one of them. And since everyone and their mother heard Modest Mouse's "Float On," which this song heavily samples, they can at least sing along for the chorus. Coupled with a positive message and a fun counting section to start the second verse, and you've got yourself a winner.

Note: My buddy Chris suggested I go to a karaoke spot every night and do each of these songs. While that's not going to happen, I was able to do this song last night, so here's a performance below, in case you wanted to call shenanigans on my ability.

Thursday, December 15

12 Days of Karaoke 2011- Day 1

Recurrent readers of A Hot Cup may remember a gimmick I did last year, entitled the "12 Days of Karaoke." As a karaoke fiend (and sometimes host), I cringe when people choose "Don't Stop Believin'," "Bohemian Rhapsody" or "Total Eclipse of the Heart." There are soooo many better songs out there to pick, and as a Christmas special, I'll give ya one each day. The original plan was to do 12 songs that came out in 2011, but to be honest I don't think there are that many good songs from this year that you COULD do at karaoke, so we may have to stretch the timeframe a bit.

And that stretching will actually start right now.

Cee-Lo Green: F*** You

Whether you know it as its vulgar title or the more tame "Forget You," this song tore up the radio waves as soon as it came out last summer, and has continued to be an earworm ever since. Yes, it's overplayed, but you legitimately cannot help tapping your toes and nodding your head to it. Seriously. Try to listen to this song without smiling or singing along. You literally cannot do it. It's even better by the fact it's so expletive-filled for a song that sounds so cheery. And whilst crooning it at karaoke, there are TONS of good singalong parts, from the "ooh ooh OOOHs" to "Whyyyyy?" during the bridge. Plus the music video is fantastic as well. A great way to start off our list.

If someone tries to sing the Glee version, though, you have every right to boo and mock them. Santa can't punish you for that.

Wednesday, December 14

No Exaggeration: This is the Greatest Catch Ever

Here at A Hot Cup we love fantastic football catches. As an aspiring NFL wide receiver, it's easy to appreciate when something beautiful happens. And that something happened over the weekend in a game between Montana State and Sam Houston State during the "Final Four" of the FCS playoffs. Never mind that the Bearkats won 49-13, it was the Bobcats' Elvis Akpla (great name, by the way) that made, seriously, the best catch I've ever seen. That's not even hyperbole. Yes, there have obviously been better catches if you consider context of when the catch occurred in the game, but as far as quarterback throwing and receiver catching, this is insane. Akpla catches the ball behind the defender's back, holds it with one hand against his helmet, appears to break his arm as he's still holding it (he didn't; I'm just amazed an arm can bend like his did and not break) and somehow doesn't let it hit the ground. Simply. Amazing. Please watch the video below, even if you're not a football fan--you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, December 13

Ranking the Pokemon: #120- Pikachu

Ahh, yes. We've finally come to the one Pokemon virtually anyone can name. No, folks--just because Pikachu is the most popular Pokemon ever and has been the face of the franchise (hell, you even start out with one that follows you around in the Yellow version), it is not the best Pokemon. It actually loses a lot of points for annoyance, despite the fact it's fairly formidable in battle. When Pokemon Stadium came out it was even able to overcome its one super weakness--Ground types, since you could obtain a Surfing Pikachu.

But still, Pikachu was ALL OVER the place, from Pop Tart boxes to having its own voice recognition game for the Nintendo 64 (which I can say wasn't very good, despite not having played it). And its oversaturation on the market drops it down several spots. It's also just very annoying, with its cries of "Pikaaaaa!" Unless it's when you demolish it with a baseball bat on Super Smash Bros., then the cries are not so bad. As a battler, though, Pikachu is quick enough and learns a few useful moves (i.e. Thunder Wave and Thunderbolt, which are really the only two good Electric attacks)...toss in Surf and something like Light Screen or Double Team, and we have ourselves the first Pokemon with a grade higher than a C-. It's not much higher, but hey, baby steps.

Grade: C

Previously: #121- Krabby

S*** Girls Say

In an effort to bring in more female readers, we'll post "Shit Girls Say," episode 1, which was uploaded by a YouTube user of the same name. I don't really find any of this particularly funny (although it does ring true), but since girls seem to love Gilmore Girls and this reminds me of an abbreviated and less annoying version of that, it'll work.

Awesome Noire

YouTuber egoraptor, otherwise known as Arin Hanson, has done this world a great service with his "Awesome" series. Essentially, these are just animated versions of popular shows/games, with extreme voice acting and super cartoonish drawings. Very well done, and I'm sure more than one will be featured on here, but for now, enjoy a little "Awesome Noire," based off the video game LA Noire. And while it's NSFW, you'll still LOL.

Thursday, December 8

Philadelphia 76ers...What Are You Doing???

Take a look at these drawings. Or as Simon would say, "drawerings." These are the possible options for the new Philadelphia 76ers mascot. On the left we have Ben Franklin, the middle is B. Franklin Dogg, and on the right is Phil E. Moose. The Sixers have provided bios for all three, so let's get to it! Ben Franklin, you're up!

One of the most revered figures in American history, and a man who needs no introduction as an honorable representation of this city and nation, "Big Ben" Franklin will now come back to serve Philadelphia yet once again. An avid basketball fan, Big Ben was thrilled to be asked to join Philadelphia sports fans in cheering the 76ers on to greatness. As the Sixers new mascot, he will bring electricity to the Wells Fargo Center, and be a towering presence at Sixers games both figuratively and literally as he stands seven-feet tall. 

Well, that's pretty cool! Except...would this mascot be similar to what the Washington Nationals do with their presidents race? You know, oversized heads and all?  Or would it actually be like a 65-year old man that's athletic enough to jump off trampolines while still keeping his bifocals on? Either way, this is my vote for the new mascot. But, of course, my favorite usually doesn't make it, so let's check out the other competitors, continuing with B. Franklin Dogg.

The All-American pet, B. Franklin Dogg is a loyal Philadelphia resident who can be seen in artist drawings from the day nestled under the table beside Ben Franklin as he deliberated on the founding of the nation. In the revolutionary fervor of the times, B. Franklin Dogg proudly wore patriotic colonial garb to show his spirit. Over the years, B. Franklin Dogg was occasionally seen playing with a basketball around the historic landmarks of Philadelphia, before finally making his way down Broad St. to the Wells Fargo Center.

That's my dog, dawg! Any time a pooch can hoop it just reminds me of Air Bud, and this is no exception. But the thing that bothers me is the "nestled under the table beside Ben Franklin" part. Many basketball games are at night, so Ben Franklin will come home after a busy day of kite flying, and where the heck is his dog? He's entertaining a three-quarters full stadium as the Sixers struggle to beat a mediocre Utah Jazz team on a cold January evening. Not very loyal at all!

And finally, we have Phil E. Moose, by far the most bizarre of the three choices:

One of the most regal animals to roam the wild, Phil E. Moose certainly fits that bill, standing tall as he represents the Sixers (he stands over seven-feet tall in fact, with the antlers). In his youth, Phil E. Moose would often be seen dunking a basketball with ease, aided by his great height. Throughout his high school, collegiate and professional games, Phil E. Moose was a scoring star, and was excited to learn he had been "traded" to the 76ers in order to entertain fans during games at the Wells Fargo Center.

I think this is supposed to be a nod to Wilt Chamberlain, who as far as I know was never nicknamed or referred to as a "moose." It's also kind of weird that Philthadelphia is going after a moose mascot, when the Milwaukee Bucks already have an antlered-animal, as well as the fact that moose aren't very commonplace in Philly. Oops. This is my least favorite of the three, right down to the lame name. It's like Doug A. Hole, but even worse.

I've been partial to the Sixers lately, so I kind of have a vested interest in this. Maybe it's because in both NBA 2K11 and 2K12 my My Player character has ended up there (PG Rodney Dawson in 2K11 and SF Charlie Galloway in 2K12). And ya gotta support the team you play for, right? With any luck, we'll have an old man dunking basketballs after jumping through a burning hoop very soon.

Tuesday, December 6

Ranking the Pokemon: #121- Krabby

Here's another case of a Pokemon that's so mundane I forgot completely about it. But Krabby will be high up on the list because crab legs as a meal are delicious, and it looks it has some succulent ones. It also kind of irritates me when the folks at Game Freak base Pokemon off of real things, without really mutating them at all. See my previous rant on Seel for more information on that.

In any case, Krabby is frustrating because it's a Water type, but only excels in Attack. That means it's about as effective dropping a Body Slam as it is in getting STAB and Surf-ing. I suppose it gets bonus points for being (along with Kingler, its evolution) the only Pokemon that can learn the move Crabhammer. But then you realize that all of these "unique" moves (e.g. Goldeen with Waterfall) are just, ahem, watered-down versions of better attacks. And Krabby's really just a watered-down version of some better Pokemon. Toss it in with some Fettucini Alfredo though, and you're good to go. 

Grade: D+

Touchback? More Like Touchdown!

Like many other kick returners, Wofford's kick Stepon Shelton fielded a kick on Saturday. But none of those other returners had the same issue that Shelton Had. To start the fourth quarter of Saturday's game against Northern Iowa, Shelton caught the kick about three yards deep in the endzone, walked over to the official, and dropped the ball behind him. He then appears to get angry as a Panther defender runs into him. Except that defender is one of many alert players on Northern Iowa, as ultimately it's the Panthers' Phil Wright who gets the gift touchdown. You see, Shelton forgot to take a knee before he dropped the ball, so rather than a touchback, it's a fumble. The Panthers went up 28-14 after the score, and ultimately won the game 28-21. Soooo if that kickoff return blunder didn't happen, the Terriers possibly could have been victorious. Even more disheartening is that this was an FCS playoff game (a second round one, in fact), so Wofford will go home with the bitter taste of defeat, in large part thanks to a mental error by Shelton.

On a side note, why can the FCS get it right with a playoff system, but the BCS continues to exist?

Monday, December 5

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Occupies Wall Street

Roughly a month ago, Team Coco sent out Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog to the Occupy Wall Street protests. And it was quite hilarious. I'm not usually a fan of Triumph's, but this is really funny stuff. The "Piano Parallelogram" is my favorite part. Well done, Conan and co.

Friday, December 2

More Drive-Thru Antics

A while back, we posted about some fun at the drive-thru, with floating dollar bills and whatnot. Well, there are more shenanigans, this time courtesy of YouTubers Rhett and Link. They perform a folk song at a  Taco Bell with quite a laundry list of food, and the man working the drive-thru totally owns them by getting their order almost entirely right. Yes, I'm aware this video is nearly three years old now, but I'm also aware that fun stuff like this never happens at any drive-thru I've been to, so we might as well enjoy it, right? Right.

Thursday, December 1

Brian Williams is a Boss

Of all the nightly news anchors, I've always enjoyed Brian Williams on NBC the most. He's trustworthy, has a good voice, and seems like the kind of guy you could go out and crack a beer with. He's always had a sort of wry sense of humor that doesn't always show up since he's usually reporting on depressing topics, but earlier this week he had a chance to shine. The NBC studios had a fire alarm test, and they conveniently decided to run it about a minute into the NBC nightly broadcast. And Williams showed why he's the best, with a fantastic response while maintaining his composure. Well done.