Just For Men may be going out of business. Taylor Hicks is our American Idol. He's gray and he's proud. And everyone loves him. Yay gray.
So here I am, suffering from yet another post-Idol funk. I don't know what it is about this show that always makes me reflect on the past few months and wonder why the hell I got so involved in it. I'm glad Taylor won, but now I'm just thinking that it's too bad the poor guy is probably going to be forced to churn out a bland, top-fortyfied record. (Look at this photo. It's as if the invisible hand of Clive Davis has him by the balls.) Or worse, TPTB will decide to have him record an album of standards a la Rod Stewart. Kids wouldn't buy that, but their parents might. Desperate housewives, perhaps. Most of them became "Claymates" back around Season 2, but if their gaydar has finally kicked in, they may have decided to jump ship and join the Soul Patrol.
I was really hoping against hope that the original songs this year would be a little more Taylor-ed to the contestants. No such luck. AI unleashed their crack team of monkey songwriters that has just been hanging out in their cages since last year, and they came through again with a couple more of those treacly, mid-tempo ballads. I can't even remember the one that Katharine sang. Something about destiny. I think the original title was "A Moment Inside Your Heaven Without Wings." Putrid and uninspired, just the way millions of record-buyers seem to like it. I have to give it to Taylor though, he actually rose above the crappy material he was given ("Do I Make You Proud") and made it listenable. He infused it with some white boy soul. I didn't know those songs could be infused with anything, except more sap.
Speaking of sap, I couldn't justify watching the entire two hour finale tonight. It's basically an ad-salesman's wet dream mixed with a bad Vegas revue gone wrong. I'm not much for medleys, commercials and forced banter. Pass. I just happened to catch the Broken Note Cowboys (mildly amusing) and Prince's performance. Prince is usually the highlight of any evening, and this one was no exception. I especially loved how the Purple One just dissed Seacrest by walking off stage before Ryan could get to him. Ha ha. Symbol, out!
By the way, Ryan is such a bonehead. He was reveling in telling the audience how many millions of votes were cast last night and then said, "that's more votes than any President has ever received in history." Yeah, Ryan because they don't let 14 year olds vote in elections, nor do they stick people in a booth and let them pull the lever as many times as they can in two hours. Duh. Moron. And you wonder why Prince dissed you. You're a jughead.
Anyway - good luck, Taylor Hicks! And Simon, I'll see you in my dreams, you evil, sexy British bastard. (I know, I know...I'm sick.)
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Just For Men may be going out of business. Taylor Hicks is our American Idol. He's gray and he's proud. And everyone loves him. Yay gray.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Since music videos have gone the way of the dodo (on TV, anyway) I've decided to scour the net to check some out. Why artists still even bother to make them is beyond me. See one of my MTV rants for more on that. (I'm sure there's more than one on this blog.)
This week, Pearl Jam released their first video since the animated one for "Do The Evolution" in 1998. (There were actually some performance clips floating around on the net of some songs on Riot Act, but I guess they don't really count?) This vid is for the first track from the new Pearl Jam, "Life Wasted." All I can say about it is, "eeeeeeeeewwwwww!" All the guys are bloody and gross, looking like bloated corpses. It's nasty. At one point a worm crawls out of Jeff Ament's forehead. Again, eeeew. And Eddie, my dear Eddie....look pal, if you're going to finally appear in a video after all these years it would be nice if you'd just be effortlessly gorgeous as usual instead of grossing us all out. (Oddly enough, Stone still manages to look pretty good.) I guess there's a message in it somewhere, but I lost it along with my lunch. At least the song rocks.
Nick Lachey's video for "What's Left of Me" is doing well. I know this because it's the only recent video I've actually seen twice on VH-1. It must be #1 on the Video Countdown. I mean, seeing one video is quite something, but seeing the same one more than once is unheard of these days. Anyway, I really don't know what's going on in this video. Nick pouts and feels up some girl on the couch who kind of looks like a poor man's Jessica Alba. I think they're trying to give a nod to "Newlyweds" by showing a film crew in the house. Things in the house keep disappearing. Inexplicably, a chess board is present.(Not in use, of course.) What is Nick telling this girl, "I'm an empty shell of a man since my ditzy wife screwed me over, but uh, I guess you can have whatever's left of me." Swoon. Hey, I shouldn't make fun, I'd take what's left of him for at least one night. The guy is undeniably hot. He's basically walking, talking (and singing) cheese, but I'd spread him on some crackers. Why not? But isn't this a recycled Backstreet Boys song? I swear it is. I've never made a secret of my love for the Boys. Nick's song sounds like "Drowning" mixed with some other song that I can't remember. Still, I kind of like it. It's catchy. I won't run out to buy his album, but I'll be walking around singing "And I want you, and I feel you...za da ba ba bum bum ba...and I something...da da something...ya da boo boo ba ba ba...."
Just discovered the INXS video for "Afterglow." (I immediately thought of that Everclear album title, "So Much For the Afterglow." It's fitting, trust me.) There are no bloody corpse-like dudes in this one, but it made me sicker than the Pearl Jam vid. First of all, the song is so blah. "Not Enough Time" it ain't. Secondly, I've lost all respect for this band that I used to love. Third, I had to suffer this entire craptacular song and barely caught a glimpse of hottie drummer Jon Farriss. They can get all the big-lipped, blonde actresses to prance half naked in their videos that they want, it still isn't going to help. Who is that chick - was she the one in the remake of Planet of the Apes? More importantly, who's that guy? The skinny, trying-to-be-tough-yet-tender one who looks like the forgotten New Kid on the Block after getting into his mommy's makeup bag? Oh yeah, that's the guy who isn't Michael Hutchence. Yeah. Pass.
My best friend told me that the video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Dani California" was pretty funny. I just watched it today and it's....okay. It's kind of amusing, but hasn't this concept been done before? They basically perform in the traditional garb of various genres - embodying everyone from Elvis to Nirvana to the Sex Pistols to Poison. They manage to get a bit of themselves in there as well. It has some funny moments, but I don't know, to me it just seems uninspired. I couldn't help noticing throughout though how pretty the drummer looked any time he was "glammed" up. I guess he might make kind of a hot chick? Anyway, I do like the song. But how many songs can these guys sing about California?
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Like the goop that's always accumulating in the corners of our eyes, the following news items are curiously fascinating:
Chris Daughtry Gets The Offer - Well, I told you so. But, according to USA Today, ol' Baldy said that "he was considering whether to pursue fronting an established rock band or launching a solo career." I'd like to talk to Chris for a moment, directly if I may. Hey, Dummy...take the band gig! Remember Bo Bice? Of course you don't! Take the band gig!
Another Blonde Moment Brought to You By: Jessica Simpson - Ah, silly Jess...do her antics ever get old? Obviously worried that her "Miss Dumb Blonde 2006" crown was in danger of being stolen by ex-Idol contestant, Kellie Pickler, Miss Simpleton almost put her dog, Daisy, through the X-ray machine at LAX airport. Maybe she forgot whether or not she fed Daisy that morning and thought that would be an easy way to find out?
O.J. Simpson is a Tacky, Crazy Jackass - Who knew? You know, if I had gotten away with murder I would want to stay out of the public eye as much as possible, and just enjoy the fact that I wasn't dead or in jail. (Might as well live it up while you can if you're going straight to hell.) I'm so glad this psycho was able to take time out of his busy schedule (golf, searching for the "real killers," creeping people out, practicing that look of mock-outrage) to film this hilarious prank show.
O.J....Meet Michelle Rodriguez - I think it's a love connection! This chick from Lost hasn't killed anyone yet, but if she continues drunk driving, who knows what she can accomplish. After her conviction, Michelle opted for 3 days in jail rather than serving community service. I'm not sure if that makes her crazy or just plain lazy. Either way, she's suddenly become a PR rep for prison, saying, "It was so cool. I love people, and it was a primal crew. The only thing that keeps them going is fighting for salt and making dice out of soap." Uhhhh...ok. So, I guess jail is the new black? I won't be surprised if Britney, Paris and Lindsay all end up in the klink soon. It's the hottest spot in town, and they don't let just anyone in.
Pearl Jam's Newest Record Debuts at #2 - So, I was a bit worried when my beloved PJ signed with J Records. Let's just say that I'm not a fan of Clive Davis. However, J knows how to get behind a pitchable artist and as a result, Pearl Jam is enjoying a ton of publicity and *gasp* radio airplay! I have to say that the new album is amazing. I haven't been able to stop listening to it yet. I'm a bit annoyed by this whole "Tool vs. Pearl Jam" thing going on everywhere I look though. I don't understand the constant comparisons all of a sudden. Just because both records came out on the same day? So what! It's comparing apple to oranges. Let's compare Pearl Jam to Pearl Jam, folks. This may very well be their best record to date. But, I'll need a few more listens until I can fully make up my mind on that. It probably is though. My boys age well.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Big surprise tonight, Idol fans. Chris Daughtry got the boot.
Runner-up conspiracy theory: If Chris ends up joining Fuel anytime soon, I'm inclined to believe that the producers "let him go." Why not? It's a success story for them either way.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Going back to my earlier predictions about American Idol and Nashville Star, I'm once again reminded of how wonderfully accurate I can be at prognostication. With both shows, I named who I thought would end up in the top 4. Check it out:
My Top 4 - Chris, Katharine, Taylor and Mandisa
AI Top 4 - Chris, Katharine, Taylor and Elliott
My Top 4 - Chris, Casey, Nicole and Melanie
NS Top 4 - Chris, Casey, Nicole and Matt
So, am I good or am I good? Three out of four on both counts. And as far as Nashville Star goes, my immediate pick for winner was Chris Young and, sure enough, he won on Tuesday's finale! Well, he was too adorable NOT to win.
I suppose now I have to make a final decision on who I think will take the AI crown. I'm predicting that this will be Year of the Chris-es, because I'm nearly certain that Chris Daughtry has this in the bag. I think Elliott will be the next to go, and then it might be a tough battle between Chris, Katharine and Taylor. Taylor has a pretty strong, supportive fan base but he really doesn't fit the Idol mold, so I don't think he could ever win. I'm not even sure he wants to win. Katharine has a lot of fans, and she's probably the best singer overall this year, but she has kind of an irritating personality and has a tendency to get a little screechy, especially when trying to cover diva-esque songs. Chris has a great voice and the ladies love him. But honestly, the conspiracy theorist in me suspects that the public has a lot less say in who wins this contest than the producers would have us believe. And since the token "rocker" has never won AI, and three out of four (there's that darn 75% again) of the winners have been women, I think they really want Chris to win. You heard it here first, folks - Chris Daughtry is your American Idol.
By the way, my prediction that Kevin Covais would cruise until the Top 5 was absolutely wrong. But that's one thing I was more than happy to be wrong about.
This story is a week late, but that's me. Moving to NYC has only contributed to my procrastination and scatterbraindedness. Is "scatterbraindedness" a word? If it's not, it certainly should be.
So, last Friday I had my first "real New York" experience. I've been waiting for that Big Apple feeling to hit me and it finally did, thanks to the Tribeca Film Festival. My friend, Cass had a film in the Tropfest@Tribeca program. Basically, Tropfest began in Australia as an outdoor festival to celebrate short films. (I was hoping to see more Aussies, but alas, I did not find myself a mate to have a g'day with.) This was the first year Tropfest took place in North America, and was held at the World Financial Center.
First of all, it was absolutely beautiful there. It was pretty damn cold, but it was just a great atmosphere...right down on the water with all the twinkling lights of Jersey off in the distance. NJ looked so lovely from across the river, but as a resident, I know it was just an illusion. Secondly, it was just a cool vibe. As I said, it was the first time I ever got that "New York" feeling.
Cass's film didn't win, but I think he was at a disadvantage for two reasons. #1 - His film kicked the contest off. Going first is always risky, because people with no attention spans may not remember it. #2 - It was the only documentary in the contest. It's hard to judge a documentary against a fictional piece because it's like comparing apples to oranges. Still, it was very well done and I was hoping he would emerge victorious. Honestly, I thought the film that won was a piece of crap. It was about as complex and meaningful as an Afterschool Special. And I'm not just saying that because my friend's film didn't win. It was just so formulaic and emotionally manipulative. I didn't like it. There were a couple of others that were MUCH better, and I would've felt better about the loss had one of them taken the prize. But, oh well. Shit is often rewarded. What can you do?
Three of the celeb judges were Matt Dillon, Naomi Watts and Anthony LaPaglia. It was rather interesting to see them up close. Naomi Watts is just as beautiful as she looks onscreen and Matt Dillon is pretty hunky. I didn't go to the after-party but I heard him later described by another friend who did go as "a bit lecherous." I could certainly deal with a lecherous Matt Dillon. I never found him attractive when he was at his peak, back in the days of The Outsiders and Rumblefish, but the boy has aged well. Those damn men. Always getting better with age.
We also spotted Liev Schrieber and Famke Janssen (not together) outside, just kind of hanging around. I thought I saw Ione Skye walk by me too, but I'm not completely sure. If it wasn't her, it was someone who looked a hell of a lot like her. I know, I know...celebrity lookalikes may cut it in Pittsburgh, but not NYC. Ok, so it was her. I'll just assume it was. I should've called her name to test her. Not much of a chance anyone else would answer to the name "Ione."
God, The Pop Eye has suddenly turned into Gawker.com. I better stop now before George Clooney sniffs out my blog and goes ape-shit on me.
Oh, and no, I wasn't able to get tickets for the "secret" Pearl Jam show at Irving Plaza tonight. And I don't want to talk about it.