Category Archives: Pop Culture Ephemera

Natural Born Reviewers | Todd in the Shadows

We’re going meta today with a review of a reviewer. Todd in the Shadows is on the Channel Awesome team at ThatGuyWithTheGlasses (TGWTG.) As part of the persona he appears in silhouette during his video reviews, always wears a grey hoodie, and in direct light keeps his face hidden with a half-mask. Liamfer suspects Todd’s half-mask is just a t-shirt pulled over his face, in a botched attempt at shirt ninja.

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He covers hit pop songs, one-hit wonders, and has even done several music-related movies. He explores the prevalence of auto-tune and the creeping influence of EDM in popular music. Todd is a skilled piano player, and his keyboard is always part of each episode. When reviewing songs, he translates and plays the basic melody on keyboard. It’s fun and weird to hear “Sexy and I Know It” or “Like a G6” on piano, and some songs come off surprisingly elegant when you hear Todd’s reimagining. Todd is funny, musically well-versed, and even the worst songs are bearable (even entertaining) because of his analysis of the lyrics, song structure, and music video.

Todd in the Shadows Gangnam Style

Marnifer: Todd in the Shadows (TIS) started with a channel on YouTube prior to joining the TGWTG family. He does really smart takedowns of primarily stupid, stupid music. His first episode on the site was a review of Ke$ha’s ear-busting “BlahBlahBlah” and from the moment he pronounced her name “Kuh-dollar sign-HA!” I was hooked. Because of Todd, we’re developing a taste for bad pop music. Because of Todd’s reviews, I have pop culture reference points I was missing before hearing these songs. I didn’t get that Project Runway teaser trailer where Heidi keeps yelling, “Turn down for what!” until I watched Todd’s episode on the Lil Jon song she was quoting.

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London Bus Stop Made Of 100,000 LEGO Bricks

London’s buses have been running for 200 years this summer. Yes, that’s nearly 100 longer than there have been combustible engines. Think of London as just being way ahead of the curve.

So how does one celebrate such a milestone? How about….a Lego Bus Stop?

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Yes, a whole stop made of lego bricks. It took 100,000 of them, and will probably will probably serve as a tourist attraction for the rest of the summer, or until it is dismantled because the kids were bored and wanted to build something else. Whichever comes first.

More pics, after the jump.

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Reading Rainbow: Kickstarter Campaign

We can start with the fact that I didn’t know Reading Rainbow had gone off the air. Apparently that’s been a fact since 2009. That in and of itself is terrible. I loved Reading Rainbow as a kid. Though I’ll admit my favorite episode had nothing to do with books–it was when they went behind the scene on Star Trek TNG. Proof perhaps, even at the tender age of nine I was destined to become a scifi nerd.

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Now LeVar wants to bring it back. But he needs the help of the viewers like you. The ones who remember how great this program was, and want to make sure that there are generations who don’t miss out on that.

To give to the campaign, click here. Below the cut, Reading Rainbow, in it’s 1980s prime.

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