Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I Wanna Be Upside Your Head

Further proof that the general public must hate music ...Carrie Underwood's "Inside Your Heaven" is #1 on four Billboard charts. Don't get me wrong, I like Carrie. I watched all of American Idol, and picked her early on to win. She's got the stage presence of a cyborg, but she's got a set of pipes. The whole problem I have with the show (and I mentioned this in my Bo Bice post) is that America goes on an exhaustive search to find the next great talent and when we find him or her, what happens? The producers shove the winner into their stable of "artists" and saddle them with the most insipid material their crack team of monkey songwriters can churn out. Let's examine the lyrics to this one, shall we?

I've been down but now I'm blessed
I felt a revelation comin’ around
I guess it's right, it's so amazing
Every time I see you I'm alive
(Life sucked until you came along. Gee, you're swell.)

You're all I’ve got, you lift me up
The sun and moonlight
All my dreams are in your eyes
(Being co-dependent is the best!)

I wanna be inside your heaven
Take me to the place you cry from
When the storm blows your way
(Ok...what? Take me to the place you cry from? I'm at a loss. I have no idea what the hell this is supposed to mean. The line could've just as easily been 'Flip me upside down and spank me'. The words are merely placeholders. And this is the CHORUS.)

I wanna be the earth to hold you
Every bit of air you’re breathing in, a soothing wind
I wanna be inside your heaven
(You'll never get away from me now. Let's talk about your feelings for hours on end!)

When minutes turn to days and years
If mountains fall I’ll still be here
Holding you until the day I die
(Mmm, this is probably the best part of the song. I always tend to go for the bridges. This one really isn't bad. Unless you count all the cliches. There are 3. There are also 3 lines. Strange coincidence.)

I wanna be inside your heaven
Take me to the place you cry from
When the storm blows your way... (repeat)
(Keep repeating it all you want, it still makes no friggin' sense.)

Of course, these poetic words are put to the standard mid-tempo melody that is the basis for all Idol singles. And if the original (and I use that term loosely) songs aren't bad enough, all the Idols end up having to slap on a cover of a song that they performed on the show as their single's B-side. Now, I'm not blaming the Idols, as they're just victims of circumstance. Although, the show has been on for 4 years now so you have to think that the contestants know full well what they're in for should they win, and they just don't care if they have to suffer for a few years as a Mindless Pop Posterchild. As far as Carrie goes, it's a shame because she really does have an amazing voice similiar to Martina McBride. And if you're unsure of that, Clive Davis will poke her with a stick and she'll sing "Indpendence Day" for the 423rd time.

What American Idol needs to do is either find contestants who can write their own songs (like Bumpkin Idol, aka Nashville Star), or create another show to find the best undiscovered songwriter in America. Then the winner of that show can write the single for the winner of AI. Anything's better than this feces being flung at us now. And believe me, I have nothing against pop music per se, I'm just tired of that genre becoming a garbage dump for uninspired pastiches of every other successful (or not) pop act that came before. And I realize that it's tough to be completely original these days when pretty much everyone writes about the same things - love, sex, life, death, booze, etc. - but a real artist is at least able to rise above over-mined material and turn a colorful phrase, bust out a really great riff or, at the very least, perform with real heart. Passion always makes the difference.

Don't go thinking I'm a music snob now. I have my moments when all I wanna do is get jiggy with it and just be-bop around to some catchy tunes that I don't have to think about. Several moments, actually. Life would just be kind of boring without some bubblegum. The thing is though, you can only chew bubblegum for so long before it starts to lose its flavor. And while you may buy one pack of gum at the market, you fill your cart with items that will actually fill you up and sustain you. (That was for my best friend Angela, who once called me the "Analogy Queen".) Point being that fluffy acts certainly have their place in the music biz. But they're entertainers, not artists. And the whole problem with the music scene today is that the balance between the two is completely skewed. It's become all glitz and no guts. And that's a damn shame.

For a taste of the aforementioned "passionate pop", here are some CD recommendations:

East Side Story - Squeeze - An oldie, but goodie. With Glenn Tilbrook's beautiful voice and upbeat tunes and Chris Difford's clever lyrics, their songs are templates for anyone looking to write that perfect pop song.
Utopia Parkway - Fountains of Wayne - Very reminiscent of Squeeze, they broke big with Welcome Interstate Managers. This record is so much better though, in my opinion.
Closer - Better Than Ezra - One of my faves, and a totally underrated band. Kevin Griffin's voice is the definition of "earnest".
Fireworks on TV - Bill Janovitz and Crown Victoria - Essentially, this is good old fashioned rock, but Bill has amazing pop sensibilities and knows how to craft really infectious tunes.
Killed By the Lights - Knockout Drops - Same can be said as above, just substitute "Chris Campion" for "Bill Janovitz".
Supergrass is 10 - Supergrass - Yeah it's a greatest hits compilation, but so worth it for the new song "Kiss of Life".
Human Amusements at Hourly Rates - Guided By Voices - Another "best of" record, but if you're just trying to get in to them, this is the best way to go because they have about 200 albums. And since it's a greatest hits, you can skip over a lot of their punky, artsier stuff if you just want to dig right into their jangly, power pop side.

Or just go listen to some Kelly Clarkson. Some of her songs might be trite, but they're not boring. She knows how to deliver.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Under Her Thumb

I don't believe in the term "guilty pleasure". I like what I like and make no apologies for it. However, I still feel a teensy bit dirty getting so much enjoyment out of VH-1's latest train wreck of a show. I'm speaking of Kept, which revolves around Jerry Hall's quest to find a kept man. This show is at once hilarious and revolting. For those of you who haven't seen it, I'll summarize why I get so much satisfaction from it. (Rolling Stones pun #2, if you're keeping score.)

1. As a woman, there is a duality to this whole concept. On one hand, I have to think it would be quite something to have a hot piece of meat at my beck and call. And not merely hot! No, no! As this show is teaching me, the perfect "kept" man needs to be cultured...which so far consists of being able to skeet shoot, carry on a conversation with Yoko Ono and dance while wearing a powdered wig. On the other hand, you have to think about the kind of guy who would be willing to live this kind of life. And thanks to this show, seeing just those types of guys will pretty much knock that kept man fantasy out of most women's heads.

2. I can't help wondering while watching this if Mick Jagger justifies the outrageous cost of Stones tickets by arguing that his divorce settlement with Jerry brought him down from billionaire to run-of-the-mill millioniare level, and he needs to make up the difference somehow.

3. I'm fascinated that a rich, still reasonably attractive woman who could have her pick of men would feel the need to sell her soul to VH-1 to find a mate. But I'm sure she's as serious about the whole process as these himbos are. There's no greater love than love of oneself, and how better to show that love than by plastering your face all over TV?

Now, the show might be Jerry's but it really belongs to her prospective men. You gotta hand it to VH-1's casting directors; they really know how to pick 'em. Introducing...

Slavco - A 24 year old bartender from...New Jersey? I seriously thought this dude was from some fashionable little secret village in Lithuania. He doesn't say much, because historically, hot bartenders don't need to say much. And usually when they do talk for more than 5 minutes, all you can think about is pounding another Long Island Iced Tea.

Devonric - A retail store manager from Texas. For a store manager, his sales skills aren't the strongest...I can't remember anything this guy has done on the show. But I do like to say "Devonric". I can totally hear Jerry introducing him at some weird European fashion show as "my lovah, Devonric".

Brian - A 34 year old singer from Brooklyn with brown hair and blue eyes. What??? Where the hell was I when this guy was on? Apparently he's already been voted off. Hey, he sounds like my kind of guy....oh good Lord. I just happened upon his picture and he's wearing a bastardized version of the white Tony Manero suit. Can I dig it? I can't.

Jon - Our little (a half inch shorter than me) barista from Connecticut. This is the guy who's been the butt of all the other guy's jokes, basically because he is a bit of a dweeb. Therefore, he's guaranteed to make it into the Top 5.

Maurizio - Ok, I've stopped saying "Devonric" and I'm now bellowing "Maurizio" in my best Count von Count accent. Maurizio is 1..2..3..4..5..6....6 feet tall! Mwaaah ha ha ha!

Anwar - Anwar seems to be impressing Jerry so far, and why not? He's tall, dark and handsome. He's also a zookeeper...and you know what they say about zookeepers, don't you? Hmmm? No? Well, basically they always smell like shit. Hey, I never meant to imply it was something good.

Austen - If you laid out all of Jerry and Austen's teeth end to end, you could build a trail from New York to LA. I imagine that makes them compatible in some sense. This guy seems nice enough, but he just looks like every smackoff to ever grace a Polo ad.

Michael - A 31 year old computer consultant from the Garden State. Surprise, surprise...he wasn't kept, just schlepped all the way back to Jersey.

Jason - Jason looks like every asshole frat boy I've ever had the misfortune of being simulataneously hit on and drenched in beer by. Shock of all shocks, he failed one of Jerry's tests and got caught playing tonsil hockey with some chick in a bar.

Frank -!! Hey, just kidding. Frank seems like a stand-up guy. He's a 33 year old, no-neck fireman from Rochester, NY. He's so hot for her (Jerry, of course) but she's so cold. (There's #3!)

Ricardo - Ah, Ricardo. No doubt the breakout star of the show. Too bad he got voted off last week! Every woman's dream on first glance and every woman's nightmare the second he opens his mouth. And if anyone has any doubts that Ricardo is a complete turd (on the run), he clarifies things by often speaking in 3rd person. Some girls might think he's hot, but the respectable ones will see him for the ass that he is. Bye, bye Rico Suave...we won't miss you. (Still keeping score? Damn, after that I'm spent!)

Seth - Seth is my kind of guy. Well, he would be if he weren't on this show. He's got that "could be a business man/could be a stripper" look about him. And best of all, he's quite the sarcastic little devil. He'd never last as a "kept" man. He just wants to get his cute little ass on TV.

So that's a little about the original contesants, and now only 7 remain. This week's show promises to be interesting. (Or so I tell myself to soften the blow of having nothing to do on Thursday night.) The guys have to learn how to cook and throw a fabulous dinner party for Jerry and her pack of boring friends. I'm anticipating that brown sugar will be used, lots of "shrimp" jokes will be made at Jon's expense, Jerry will say something about having sticky fingers and at least one guy (probably Seth) will make a sexual reference to bouillabaisse. it too late to make a pun about the zookeeper guy being a Monkey Man?? Damn, I should've had that one!

What's In BeckEye's Ear

This will most likely turn into a recurring post...just a list of the songs that I can't (and don't want to) get out of my head:

1. Revealed, Bill Janovitz and Crown Victoria - The record, "Fireworks on TV", came out last year, but I just discovered it (or, more to the point, was led to it) about a month or so ago. I've only owned it for 3 days, and it has yet to leave my CD player. In the span of 3 days, I think almost every song has taken a turn being my favorite. I think I've settled on this one though. It just rocks, plain and simple. It also contains my newest favorite lyrics, "You’re just a little monkey brain/With a forty dollar chain".

2. Tell Your Children Not To Look At The President, Vic Thrill - One of my favorite bands. Their new record is scheduled for release in September, but you can hear this song as well as a few others (old and new) on their MySpace page. It's a groovy little number....kind of like a mix of David Bowie, Outkast and Devo.

3. My Window Faces The South, Los Super Seven - I originally thought this was a Lyle Lovett tune, turns out he's just the guest vocalist on this particular song. Great, toe-tapping rockabilly stuff.

4. Driver Education, Amy Ray - One of the chicks from the Indigo Girls. I like some of their songs, but have never been a huge follower, so I couldn't tell you which one she is. Very cool tune. Weird though, it sounds like something that would come out of Liz Phair or Juliana Hatfield.

5. Because We Love You, Juliana Hatfield - Speak of the devil and she appears. I have a love/hate thing with this girl...but she hit the nail on the head with this one. Such a sweet pop confection, with just enough of that indie vibe to keep her off the Top 40 stations.

6. Since U Been Gone, Kelly Clarkson - Speak of that other devil (Top 40 radio) and it also rears its ugly head. All of you hipster doofuses out there snickering at me for this, I guarantee that you know the words to this song and when it comes on in the car and you're alone you roll all the windows up and sing it at the top of your lungs. You're not fooling anyone. Come on, this song is so freaking catchy, it would be silly to deny it. Go Kelly. You go, girl.

7. How You Play The Game, Michelle Shocked - This is a great song. Very Dylan-esque. Michelle is in fine voice here.

8. Trouble With Dreams, The Eels - Kind of a weird song...very ethereal sounding. But it's got a very pretty melody.

9. Boomerang, Roomful of Blues - Damn, I just wanna do the twist and smoke cigarettes when I hear this song. And not just any cigarettes, Pall Malls or Lucky Strikes or something along those lines. Very old-school dance-hall bluesy fun.

10. Speed Of Sound, Coldplay - Yeah, I know it sounds pretty much like every other Coldplay song, but I pretty much like every other Coldplay song.

Monday, June 27, 2005

All Quiet in the Hundred Acre Wood

Paul Winchell and John Fiedler, the voices behind Winnie the Pooh's Tigger and Piglet, respectively, both passed away this weekend. Both men enjoyed lengthy careers which included other voiceover work as well as several television and movie roles. However, they will probably always be best known for bringing life to Pooh's pals. Rest in peace, gentlemen.

Yahoo News Story

Summer Movie Mish-Mash

Yes, it's summer movie season...and folks are lining up around the block to drop $10 or more on a bunch of stuff that will be out on DVD in a few months. I don't know what it is, but since I've gotten older, I no longer enjoy going to movie theaters. Scratch the first part of that sentence, I do know what it is. It's this:

1. Why pay $10 to see something now when you can pay about $2 or $3 to see it a little later? Not that I'm super-cheap (having a shitty-paying job doesn't help) but I hate dropping all that money on a flick that I may very well end up hating.

2. $10 for a movie ticket is nothing compared to $10 for a drink and some popcorn.

3. Sticky floors make me want to puke. (Not limited to porn theaters.)

4. I invariably sit:
a)In front of some jackass who has already seen the movie and feels the need to narrate for everyone.
b)In front of some jackass who can't follow the plot and constantly has to ask questions or make stupid comments.
c)In front of some pig who can't chew with his mouth closed or drink without slurping.
d)In front of some little brat with a death wish who continuously kicks the back of my seat.
e)Behind some Amazonian freak of nature with Kramer hair.
f)Near a pack of teenagers who only want to make out or make noise.
g)Within 10 rows of some uber-important toad who "forgets" to turn his/her cell phone off.

5. Most theaters keep their climate control settings somewhere around "Antarctic".

Mix all those ingredients together to make one very angry girl. Nine times out of ten, I'll opt for the Blockbuster night.

Now then, here are the "big deal" movies out this summer that we're all supposed to be clamoring to see, and my take on them:

Batman Begins - Bruce Wayne dons the mask in the origin of the Dark Knight.
Even with the presence of Katie Holmes, this does pique my interest. I wasn't too fond of the other Batman movies, but did really enjoy both Spiderman flicks. I'm hoping that this one is more along the lines of the latter. And Christian Bale is a hottie. But, I'll still probably wait for it to come out on DVD.

Fantastic Four - Marvel Comics' original family of heroes takes on Dr. Doom.
Another superhero tale. I vaguely remember reading some of these comics when I was younger, since my oldest brother is an artist and always had that stuff around. From the trailers, this looks pretty interesting and The Thing looks cool. I'll still wait until I can watch it with cheap-o store-bought popcorn.

War of the Worlds - Tom Cruise faces alien invaders.
I don't know if you can tell by the rest of my blog, but I'm not much of a Tom Cruise fan. I'm not much of a remake fan either. And I've never been a fan of movies about aliens. I'm just hoping this turns out to be worse than Battlefield Earth so the media can leave my poor Johnny alone.

Herbie: Fully Loaded - Lindsay Lohan drives the VW with a mind of its own to victory.
Hmm, another remake. My niece went to see this the other day and thought it was great. But she liked Spy Kids and watching that made me want to poke my eyes out.

The Honeymooners - Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton are still hoping to get rich quick.
Ok, now this isn't really a remake, because the original Honeymooners were white. Oh, those studio execs are so incredibly original.

Bewitched - An actor (Will Ferrell) learns his co-star (Nicole Kidman) is a real witch.
Well...I won't say anything bad about a Will Ferrell vehicle. I just can't.

The Dukes of Hazzard - Good ol' boys Bo and Luke Duke hit the big screen.
I never missed this show when I was younger. I tried watching a rerun a few years back and came to the discovery that I was easily entertained as a child. I wonder how long it will be before we're treated to the big-screen version of B.J. and the Bear? I already have a casting suggestion - have Adrian Grenier play B.J. He looks the part. And how about instead of "Bear" being a chimp, he's actually a real bear? That would be super-awesome! Can you imagine a big ol' bear riding shotgun in a big rig? That's worth $10 alone.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Starring Johnny Depp.
Yeah, that was Yahoo's whole plot synopsis for the movie..."starring Johnny Depp". Well, I guess you can't blame them. Everyone already knows what the story's about because it's another damn remake!

Dark Water - A new apartment holds an evil spirit. With Jennifer Connelly.
Oh, another attempt at the psychological thriller and I think another attempt to remake a successful Japanese horror film. Since The Sixth Sense, the studios have been trying to give us more scares, but I haven't seen one genuinely good movie in that genre since.

The Island - Clones created for organ harvesting try to escape their fate.
Ewan McGregor. More than one Ewan McGregor. Uh, this one might be worth seeing. Although, it might benefit me more to watch the DVD in the privacy of my own home. Wink wink, nudge nudge, know what I mean, know what I mean?

Wedding Crashers - No bridesmaids are safe around Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.
I have been in 10 weddings in my 32 years and NEVER have I seen a wedding party member or guest that came even close to looking like Vince Vaughn. It's not fair, I tell you! All I got out of my bridesmaid career is a closet full of $200 dresses that I'll never wear again. Well, anyway, Vince and Owen are always extremely funny and I'm sure there's a Ben Stiller cameo in this one somewhere. Out of all the summer movies, this is one I'd be most likely to go see at the cinema.

Master Cruise Knows the Power of the Dark Side

While short, this is one of the funnier things I've seen on the internet recently:
Tom Cruise Kills Oprah

Hit Me With Your Worst Shot

When I first heard about the new show, Hit Me Baby, One More Time, I was sure I'd love it. As a fan of all things '80s, I was excited to see some of my favorite acts vie for another shot at fame. Well, so far I haven't seen anyone whose comeback would really be all that welcome (Wang Chung? Loverboy? The Knack?). And I don't know...the whole show just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I haven't been able to sit through more than 5 minutes at a time, and Wang Chung's version of "Hot in Herre" was enough to decide that 5 minutes was far too long.

Most bands that were flashes in the pan were so for a reason. They really had nothing more to offer, as this show is perfectly illustrating. (Although I do still think Howard Jones is a pretty talented guy.) The ones that do have more than one leg to stand on have survived, and therefore don't need shows like this. (See Duran Duran, U2 and Bon Jovi as examples.) And as unfair as it may be, a lot of people want to remember our '80s bands as they were. If they had a certain schtick, that may have worked well for them at the time but it's going to be a disadvantage now. For instance, no one wants to see Flock of Seagulls doing quasi-pop rock songs while wearing jeans and baseball hats. Everyone wants to see guys in makeup with weird-ass hairstyles singing "I Ran", maybe "Wishing", and that's it. It may not seem fair, but take a listen to their last album, Light at the End of the World and you'll understand why they're better off sticking to their old hits. The same can be said for a lot of the popular bands who peaked in the '80s.

Kenya dig it?

There is this weird little site called Weebl's Stuff that has really odd cartoons. So odd that you just can't look away. The original "Badgers" toon may already be an internet legend by now, who knows. The tune in that toon will bury itself in your brain and refuse to leave if you listen to it for more than 10 seconds. Also recommended are "Patrick Moore" (my personal favorite) and "Kenya".

Hey cat, got your tongue!

I thought stuff like this only happened in the movies...
Grandfather Kills Leopard with His Hands

Basically, a 73 year old Kenyan man was attacked by a leopard, and he managed to keep his wits about him long enough to reach into the beast's mouth and rip out its tongue! I think it's safe to say that if a leopard ever attacked me, you'd be reading about me in the obituaries, not the "odd news" section. Good Lord...what even makes a person think they could do such a thing? And what kind of weights is this guy lifting to be strong enough to do it?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Whatever happened to good cartoons?

I see some of the cartoons that my nieces and nephew watch and I wonder where truly funny, entertaining cartoons went. All these shows today are so similar that I can't tell them apart. I grew up on Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry and Scooby-Doo just to name a few. Even older cartoons like Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right and Tennessee Tuxedo were in heavy rotation when I was a kid, and they were all great. Looney Tunes were always my favorite, and Daffy Duck is the greatest cartoon character ever created. Yeah, that's right, all you Bugs fans... you can all bite me! Don't get me wrong, I love Bugs too. Just that Daffy is so completely demented that I gotta love him. He's easier to relate to than smooth, cool, calm and collected Bugs.

I don't know that I can put my finger on what it was about those cartoons that made them so much better than this garbage we have now, but I'll try.

First of all, cartoon violence was great back in the day. Nothing cracked me up more than Jerry whacking Tom in the face with a frying pan or Bugs tricking Yosemite Sam into blowing himself up. But for some reason it was decided that cartoons were too violent and everything had to be changed. Did you ever watch a latter-day Tom & Jerry or Looney Tunes cartoon? No, most people didn't, because all the fun was sucked right out of them. So, apparently kids aren't smart enough to know that if you drop an anvil on someone's head, they won't actually get up and walk away. Yet, it's ok to let them play video games where characters are pulling out each other's spines and cutting their heads off. I guess if cartoons show the consequences of violent acts, then they can continue to be violent? Yeah, because it would be so much fun to actually see Elmer Fudd shoot Bugs and Daffy and then cook them up for dinner. (Although I will admit that I always secretly hoped that Sylvester would catch that damn Tweety Bird and kill it.) It's just odd that after the big crack-down on cartoon violence, the amount of violence depicted on TV shows, movies and video games got progressively worse. I've heard of a lot of kids acting out things they saw in a movie or game, but never heard of any kid trying to kill someone by painting a fake tunnel on the side of a mountain.

Still, it's not just the slapstick violence that made old cartoons so great. There was always a great balance between entertaining kids and adults. Cartoons today are either so childish that no adult can sit through more than 5 minutes without wanting to put their fist through the screen, or they're trying too hard to be accepted by adults. In my eyes, only 2 really good cartoons have been created within the last 10 years or so:

The Simpsons
Now, this really isn't a cartoon for young kids, but I would say that kids 10 and older can truly enjoy this show. And since it actually is targeted toward adults, we never feel like it's overcompensating to keep us interested. It has lost a bit of it's lustre over the past couple years, but most shows do after being on as long as this one has.

Spongebob Squarepants
I know a lot of adults who absolutely hate this show, but I have no idea why. This is one of those shows that, like Looney Tunes, knows exactly who its audience is and is able to perfectly mix kiddie humor with more mature material. It's smart and stupid all at the same time, which is exactly what a good cartoon should be! For any of you who have never watched the show, I advise you to go out and rent whatever DVD has the episode "Band Geeks" on it. This is the episode that sold me on the show. I still crack up at the ending every time I see it. And yes, I saw the movie, and yes I loved it!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The PopEye Hot, 10

Since this is an equal opportunity blog, I didn't think it was right to give all that attention to the hot ladies and not the hot men. But, since I can't seem to find any "hot men" lists and I never agree with them anyway, I figured I'd make my own. My opinion is just as good as some schmoe from People, right? I don't have time to make a top 100, or even a top 25, but it was pretty easy to round up 10 guys I find drool-worthy.

1. John Travolta - He's always been my #1, since the tender age of 5. He's gorgeous, a great actor, a great dancer and seems to be the nicest, most genuine celebrity out there. (Yes, even nicer than Tom Hanks.) He's gorgeous at any age, size or shape.

2. Eddie Vedder - I don't care how somber or intense he is, his lyrics touch me like no one else's and he's absolutely adorable. If he wasn't so intense, he'd probably just be a cute guy. It's that whole brooding thing that makes him HOT.

3. Jeremy Sisto - What is it that I love about this guy? He plays all these really weird roles and he's a terrific actor. Yeah, that's part of it. Oh, then there's that deep voice and the sexy, messed up hair. That's most of it.

4. Brad Pitt - He's probably on most women's hot lists. He's just unbelievably good looking. Zoolander good looking. He might be higher up my list, but I'm almost annoyed that any one person should be this good looking.

5. Ewan McGregor - I love a man with an accent. He's another great actor that plays a lot of strange roles. I was also blown away when I found out he could sing. But it's when he's doing interviews and such that he's at his most hot. He just comes off as super-confident, but not cocky, with a great sense of humor and a very flirtatious side. And the guy rode cross-country on a motorcycle...that's textbook hot, manly stuff!

6. Johnny Depp - I could kind of say some of the same things about Johnny as I did about Brad Pitt. He's a little more on the odd side though. And he seems to try harder to cover up the fact that he's so freaking handsome. Why? We all take you seriously as an actor Johnny, now take off your shirt already.

7. Mark Vanderloo - I have never really been into male models. They always seemed kind of cheesy to me. But this guy is undeniably hot. I know in this picture he looks a lot like Brad Pitt, but he's got more chiseled features and is bigger, body-wise. He does a lot of Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss ads.

8. Chris Cornell - Believe it or not, there was a time when I didn't think Chris was hot. Well, it was back in the Soundgarden days when he had that giant mass of hair and I never really could see his face! As soon as he cut it off though....hello. He's probably got the sexiest voice in rock as well.

9. Will Ferrell - Now, I know a lot of people will think this is a joke, because Will isn't exactly what most people consider "hot". I don't know if I would think of him as "hot" either, but this is exactly the kind of guy I want to marry. He's just average looking, but he is quite possibly the funniest guy on Earth. He's funny without even trying, and he's not always "on" like annoying Robin Williams or overanxious Jim Carrey. And hey, he's got great hair.

10. William Petersen - I always thought Petersen was hot, from the first time I saw him in this really cheesy baseball movie on HBO, Long Gone. He looked so good in that tight uniform. He's aged very well, as most men do...lucky bastards! And I loooove CSI. (Shout-outs to his hot co-stars, Gary Dourdan and George Eads as well.)

Paging Dr. Cruise

Matt, you don't understand...I have a PhD in Jackassery, ok?

I told you I'd be back for more on Tom! I really don't want this blog to turn into all Tom Cruise all the time, but the guy won't move out of the spotlight for one damn minute. And every time he's there, he continues to prove what a self-important jerkoff he's become. Now he's telling Matt Lauer that he knows everything about psychiatry and drugs, etc and shoving his beliefs down everyone's throats about taking medication for mental illness. I'm starting to think that Tom himself is actually one step away from the loony bin, judging by the way he's been acting lately.

Erectus Maximus

I'm not a lesbian. I'm not even bi. However, I can appreciate female beauty. And since there doesn't seem to be quite the abundance of "hot men" lists as there are "hot women" lists, I'm forced to comment on Maxim's Hot 100. Well, no one is actually forcing me, but I have nothing better to do right now than let my inner lesbian and/or bitch come out to play. After looking over the list though, I realized I don't know who half of these women are, especially in the higher numbers. So, I'll just stick to the top 10. I've also noticed that Catherine Zeta-Jones is nowhere to be found on the list, which leads me to believe that every man who works for Maxim is blind or stupid. (She's the one woman who holds my "Get out of Heterosexuality Free" card.) Anyway, here's my take on these chicks:

1. Eva Longoria - I'm sick of hearing about Desperate Housewives. I never watch it. But she is pretty hot. If I were a guy though, I'd probably go for Teri Hatcher.
2. Evangeline Lilly - Lost is another show everyone talks about that I don't watch. But this woman is also pretty hot. LOVE her hair.
3. Jennifer Garner - Yes, you guessed it, I don't watch Alias either. She just looks like a normal girl to me.
4. Lindsay Lohan - Hot as a redhead, hate her as a blonde. It's just upsetting that yet another pretty girl barely made it to 18 before the media started sexing her up. I mean, I still remember her as the freckled kid from The Parent Trap!
5. Jessica Alba - Never watched that goofy superhero show she was on, but she is very pretty. Better lips than Angelina.
6. Rachel Bilson - Does it need to be said that I don't watch The O.C.? She's pretty, but I see nothing all that super-hot about her.
7. Angelina Jolie - She has her moments, but she's just freaking weird. Apparently a lot of men like scary women.
8. Brittany Murphy - Another weird chick. She's definitely come far since Clueless. But again, she's just kind of a normal looking girl.
9. Jessica Simpson - Hmm...a dumb blonde with a hot ever did she get on this list?
10. Sara Foster - No clue. After looking her up, she kind of looks like Rebecca Romijn. If I were Rebecca Romijn and they put a less famous lookalike on this list in lieu of me, I'd be pissed!

Now then, if I were making a hot women list, these would be my top 10 choices. Let's call it the Top 10 Women Who Make Me Question My Sexuality list, shall we?

1. Catherine Zeta-Jones - Yowsa. I remember the first time I wondered if I might be gay was during The Haunting. I couldn't concentrate on the actual plot because I was too busy staring at her. Of course, the movie sucked, but still.
2. Daniela Pestova - Being that I get about 20 Victoria's Secret catalogs per month (who the hell is their Marketing Director?) I already feel deeply connected to the models. I always thought Daniela was the best looking one out of all of them. Oh, to be a pouty-lipped European chick. What a life that must be.
3. Kelly Preston - One of the most beautiful women in the world who happens to be married to the most beautiful man in the world.
4. Adriana Lima - Another VS model and pouty-lipped European. Er, no...I think she's actually Brazilian. Whatever. Does it matter? She seems to have taken over the catalog lately...and for good reason!
5. Eliza Dushku - I'm noticing that I tend to like women with big lips. I like men with full lips as well. Maybe it's that I covet what I don't have. My lips aren't ultra thin or anything, but I wish they could be plumper. Anyway, Eliza is a very pretty girl with big lips and great hair. (I covet the long, thick, flowing hair as well.)
6. Charlize Theron - Mighty pretty woman. She used to remind me of Sharon Stone, but then I realized she was much better looking and didn't seem like a complete bitch.
7. Kristian Alfonso - Better known as Hope on Days of our Lives. I started watching that show when I was probably much too young to be watching it. I gave up on it this year after the plotlines became progressively idiotic. When I was a kid, I always thought Kristian was one of the prettiest women I had ever seen, and she still looks great several years later.
8. Faith Hill - Faith actually reminds me a lot of Kelly Preston. Gaw-geous.
9. Tiffani Thiessen - Take out the "Amber" and she's still hot. I've recently developed an obsession with her hairstyles and currently have her "choppy" cut going on. Thanks, Tiff, for giving me something I can use. I knew it would look ok on me if it looked good on her because we both have super-round Charlie Brown heads.
10. Sara Racey-Tabrizi - Sara was one of the contestants on America's Next Top Model's 2nd season. She got eliminated much too quickly, in my opinion. They kept telling her that she looked too "sexy" and would be better suited for beer ads rather than high fashion. Whatever, the chick was hot! She lost out to that short, Audrey Hepburn wannabe, who seems to have fallen off the face of the Earth.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Damage Control

As many of you may or may not know, John Travolta is good friends with Oprah Winfrey. Also as many of you may or may not know (if anyone at all is reading this) I love John Travolta about as much as is humanly possible without being completely delusional and/or a stalker. Therefore, since I kind of dissed Oprah in my last post, I feel the need to do a little sucking up. You know, because I'll be lucky if 3 people read my blog, but I'm sure John has nothing better to do than search the web for my nonsense.

As I said before, I actually do like Oprah. Ok? And I know I kind of made it sound like all celebrities are egotistical jerks, but not my John. No no no. He's always proven himself to be a genuine, likeable guy and a true gentleman.

Hmm, now that I think about it, this may be wasted effort. I have already blasted Tom Cruise 3 times here and he is also a friend of John's...and a fellow Scientologist. And, well, I refuse to take back anything I say about TC. I actually plan on skewering him a little bit more later on.

So, I'm sorry John. I don't mean to pick on your friends. But where were Tom Cruise and Oprah when you were off making movies like "Perfect" and "Two of a Kind" and the media loved to pick on you? They weren't there. But me, baby...I was right here, watching you through it all. And even if some of the movies weren't great, you always were. (And really, to be honest, I loved "Two of a Kind".)

Oh BeckEye, don't be silly, I could never be mad at you.

Oprah Fo-pah

Yes, I know it's spelled "faux pas", I was trying to be clever.

The latest shocking story about celebrities not getting everything they want goes as follows: (Story from The Insider on Yahoo!)

The high-end designer boutique (Hermes) publicly apologized this week for denying the TV queen, her friend GAYLE KING and others entry to the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore store when they arrived 15 minutes after its regular closing time at 6:30 p.m.
On that particular night, "a private public relations event was being prepared inside," the statement said. But Oprah's friend Gayle tells "The Insider" that there's more to the story.
"I was there, I saw it," Gayle says. "It was really, really bad. People were in the store and they were shopping. Oprah was at the door and she was not allowed into the store. Oprah describes it herself as one of the most humiliating moments of her life."

Ok, now I like Oprah. She seems like a decent person. But to me, this is just another example of a celebrity thinking she's entitled to the world, having a moment of being treated like a regular Joe and not being able to take it. "There's more to the story"? What? Where's the more? I came across this story, expecting it to be some sort of horrible incident based on racial bias...something that would really warrant such a hissy-fit. But no. Poor, rich Oprah is denied entry into a store that's closed because they were catering to other clients. Boo hoo. Couldn't she make an appointment if she wanted to have private shopping time? No, of course not, because celebrities can just show up anywhere at any time and have their asses kissed. And because that didn't happen this time, everyone is moaning and groaning about it. Oprah's friend Gayle (who, apparently, is famous just for being Oprah's fantastic) goes on to say "Her position is, 'I will choose to shop in places that appreciate my business,'". Mmmm hmmm. I guarantee that Hermes will send Ms. O a truckload of free stuff just to win back her patronage, and probably take out a full-page ad in Vogue, declaring what shit-heels they are for not letting her do whatever she wanted. Oprah, here's some advice, and it's better than anything Dr. Phil could ever spew out. GET OVER IT.

Oh, but the very best part is that TOM "What is that, a water gun?" CRUISE managed to get his face into this story as well! How does he do it? Top Gun was "just shocked" by this news and said, "Oprah is such a great woman. I'm sorry that happened. I'll call her tomorrow." Thank the Lord! Oprah has nothing to fret over anymore, Charlie Babbitt is calling her. Maybe he'll convince her to take her case to People's Court. Definitely. Definitely a case for Wapner. Definitely.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The British Are Grunting

Not to sound like Bill O'Reilly...but this has to be the most ridiculous item of the day: Tennis Players Should Be Dis-Gruntled? (Yahoo News Story)

Apparently one of the Wimbledon referees doesn't like the "loud grunting" coming from tennis players during matches and would like it to stop. Is this guy serious? These players are out there in sometimes excessive heat, putting their whole bodies into this game, and they're not entitled to some bodily noises? Give me a break. Or, more to the point, UUUUUUHHHHHHH!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Just when I thought Tom couldn't be any more annoying...

Aww, so some guy nailed Tom Cruise with a squirt gun. When did being a giant movie star make you exempt from stupid practical jokes? Water guns are a hazard of summer - no one is safe! But Mr. In Love With Love doesn't feel he should be subjected to such tortures. What a freaking baby. I can't believe they arrested the guy who squirted him, either. Apparently he was doing a show about pranked celebrities. His only crime was that he's not Ashton Kutcher.

Full Story

Monday, June 20, 2005

A game to drive the '80s kids insane...

Recently I was reminded of a website that I discovered a while back, called The '80s Server. There are a lot of great '80s resources here, but my favorite item is a game called "Manic Medley". Basically, it's a short audio clip comprised of snippets of ten '80s songs and you have to see how many you can guess. I remember doing fairly well on a lot of them, but I played this week's game and could only get 5 out of 10. There is usually a different theme every week. Give it a try!

Play Manic Medley

Holy Meow!

ABC News - Oregon Cat Born with Two Faces

I always thought Oregon was probably a boring place. Seems this person, Lee Bluetear, was bored enough to start breeding "miniature cats" that only grow to about 4 pounds. (Look out, hamsters and guinea have competition now.) Turns out that this two-faced kitty was the product of one of these mini-cats and a regular cat. See what happens when you try to mess with nature, people?? Actually, the cat isn't really that freakish's oddly cute.

Bice Bice Baby

So, Bo Bice dropped the big bombshell that he's actually happy that he didn't win American Idol. I'm sure everyone who knows anything about the show and/or Bo let out a collective "duh" upon hearing this. Why the hell would anyone who wants to be taken seriously in the music business want to be sucked into that vortex of mediocrity, forced to churn out crappy mid-tempo ballads for the next several years? Of course the guy is better off. But then again, Bo is making a record with Clive Davis. Clive pretty much lost any clue he ever had about rock music back in the '70s. So, good luck Bo. Hope you like singing craptastic Diane Warren songs. To borrow a line from an odd fella named Arvo, "Leave it to Clive D to not know what's happening". (Go ahead, ask me about The Bogmen.)

Full Story

Let's talk about Michael Jackson!

No no, not that Michael Jackson. I don't care if this is a pop culture blog, there will be no discussion of that knucklehead.

Let's devote our time to another Michael Jackson. A simple man who, while most likely is ridiculed daily for having such an unfortunate name, still finds time to tour the world and help everyday folks find meaning in their own lives....through beer. Meet Michael Jackson: The Beer Hunter.

Quite possibly the two most annoying people in the world... was only a matter of time before they hooked up.

I didn't always dislike Tom Cruise. I think he's fine actor, even if he is from the DeNiro school of Repeat-All-Your-Lines-Twice acting. I think he started to grate on my nerves somewhere around Mission:Impossible, because it was an absolutely atrocious movie and his camera-hogging started to become more pronounced. (Yes, I know he was the star but he didn't have to seem so obvious about it.) Then every time I saw him in the news, it was usually an image like the one above, walking around with that stupid fake smile on his face acting like he's the greatest guy to have ever lived.

Then there's Katie Holmes...I never could stand the girl. I hate to admit it, but I did watch Dawson's Creek more than a few times. She was the most irritating thing about that show, if you can believe it. Her character, Joey, basically consisted of the following: unsure of who she's in love with on any particular day, she furrows her brow, bites her lip, shoves her hands into her front pockets, shrugs and utters some ridiculous sentence littered with 50-cent words that no actual teenager would ever use. Now I know that Katie and Joey are not one and the same, but I saw her on SNL once and she got on my nerves there too.

Here's my prediction: Katie and Tom will get hitched, she'll have a baby within the next 2 years, she'll take up Scientology and later have doubts about it, and about a year later (yes, I'm giving it 3 years tops, which is rather generous) he'll leave her for, oh let's see...Lindsay Lohan.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Then God created LEGOs, and saw that they were good...

My sister recently sent me these pictures of a church made entirely out of LEGOs. Whether you think this was built by a person with entirely too much time on her hands or a very creative sort whose talent should be's pretty freaking cool!

Abston Church of Christ

Friday, June 17, 2005

That slow speed chase was 11 years ago??

Seems like just yesterday, doesn't it? But yes, today is the anniversary of O.J. Simpson's famous white Bronco ride. It's also 11 years later and Juice still hasn't found the real killers. Does he not have any mirrors in his house?

This Day in History - The History Channel

Speaking of the Rolling Stones...

Remember back in the day when Mick Jagger was too busy sleeping with David Bowie to count his money? Ahh, some good old Stones legends to take us all back...

A Mars Bar Fills That Gap

Dancin' in the Sheets

Let It Bleed

Sorry, Ron Number

A Rolling Stone gathers no moss...just green

Well, it was just announced recently that Pearl Jam will be opening for the Rolling Stones when they come to Pittsburgh. I checked the Stones' website and it appears that we are the only lucky town (so far) to be treated to this. Now, I've seen the Stones twice already and didn't really feel the need to see them again. There's no denying the guys are legends, but I wish they would just quit already. Actually, I wish they would've quit after Steel Wheels. The music isn't of the same caliber, and they're just destroying their reputation. I've really lost a lot of respect for them in recent years, considering that they've transformed from one of the greatest rock bands in the world into some kind of twisted, money-hungry corporation. But, I still dig the tunes and, since Eddie and the boys were added to the bill, I thought I'd at least take a gander at ticket prices just to see if going to the show was even possible.

The last time I saw them on the Voodoo Lounge tour, I believe I paid somewhere around $60-$75...and I thought that was pretty hefty. I was expecting ticket prices to be a little more outrageous this go round, but I had no idea what sheer balls these guys have. There are 2 price levels available; the cheapest being $173.25 and the most expensive being a whopping $420!! I'm sure there's some ridiculous surcharge added on to that as well. Now, am I crazy or is no one worth that much money? Did Barbra Streisand join the band? What the hell is this world coming to? It makes me sick that such a groundbreaking band who are the epitome of rock 'n' roll to a lot of people have tossed away their musical integrity so they could make room for all that cash. I mean, they're not even touring in support of anything other than themselves. They haven't released a record since about 8 years ago. So, they're basically touring on the strength of their name and all their classic hits, meaning that most of the audience is comprised of die-hard fans who have been around since the beginning (or close to it) and have made them the huge stars that they are today. And this is how they repay those fans? I'm sorry, but unless Jesus shows up after the show and starts performing miracles, there's no way that a two-hour set by the Rolling Stones or anyone else (not even my beloved Pearl Jam) is worth $400.

And back to Pearl Jam...I realize that they're big Stones fans, but I'm a little surprised that they would join up with such a cash cow. Now, whether you love them or hate them, you have to appreciate the respect that they have for their fans. They're big enough at this point that they could charge outrageous ticket prices too, but they've actually fought to keep the prices down. I've seen them 4 times and the most I've ever paid was $35. And that's for any seat in the house, from the nosebleed section to the sweat-splash pit. Of course, most of those seats up front are reserved for their fan club members, but that's only fair.

I think that while a lot of artists will look to the Rolling Stones for musical influence, they should take a long look at Pearl Jam and try to emulate their attitude about the music business. Obviously there are a lot of people who just don't like their music, their politics, Eddie's so-called "sullen demeanor", whatever....and that's fine. They still deserve respect for remembering that the music and the fans come first.

**Update - The Stones did actually release a new record in early September, so they have that going for them. Still, unless their new songs somehow unlock the mysteries of the universe, it's not worth over $100 to hear them live.


Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

My photo
I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.

What Do Others Think of BeckEye?

"You're like an idiot savant of terrible garbage entertainment." - Falwless

"You're my hero." - Candy

"Get yourself a life. Better yet.....eff off." - Ann Onymous

"There's no one like you." - Klaus Meine