Sunday, September 30, 2007

Voulez-Vous Plus d'ABBA?

Anyone wanting to know how Friday night's ABBA party was should head over to Coaster Punchman's site for his recap. His account mistakenly puts me in gold lamé instead of silver, but everything else is pretty much spot-on. Well, his timeline may be a bit off because I could swear that it was after 2:30 when I finally decided to go home. I was the sober one, so you should probably take my word for it.

I will say that the ABBA party provided a few laughs but wasn't that exciting. I had a much better time when we hopped back in our time machine and traveled to 1984 - a time when college kids and gays roamed the floors of The Pyramid Club. Luckily, my ensemble for the evening worked for the late '70s and early '80s, allowing me to transition flawlessly.

Until I come up with something to write about (and hey, the Rock of Love finale is tonight!) I am giving you yet another ABBA video. This is one I'd never seen until Friday night. No matter what songs were playing, the video screens always had ABBA videos playing on mute. When CP, Poor George and I saw this video, we all were a bit frightened and had no idea what song it was for. I looked it up on YouTube today and found that it was "Chiquitita." It's really not all that exciting, but it made us all shriek with nervous laughter when we saw the very famous snowman sitting behind the band. While ABBA may have disappeared when disco died, that creepy snowman obviously went on to become a huge B-movie star.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

Since I'm going to the ABBA disco party tomorrow night with Coaster Punchman, Poor George and, tentatively, Chelene, I've decided to make it easy on myself and just use an ABBA video as this week's forgotten gem.

Since all of their videos pretty much look the same, and all of their songs pretty much sound the same, my choice was based on whatever song popped into my head first. And the winner is, "Waterloo!"

Wow. So much to mock here...where does one even start? Obviously, everyone's clothes were plum awful, but take special notice of the duds on troll-boy, Bjorn. He must have raided Ace Frehley's closet the day of the shoot. Looks like he made his guitar in wood shop, too.

What's funniest about this video, to me, is that I can just imagine the director thinking that he was making a "concept video" simply by throwing a Napoleon bust on set.

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

ANTM 9, Week 2 (With Just a Dash of Top Chef)

When it comes to the Top Chef recaps, I leave all the slicing and dicing to my pal, Deadspot. I just have a couple of comments about tonight's episode.

1. I'm bummed that Brian was the one voted off. He sure was a cutie. Not quite that delicious dork Ilan, but just goony enough for my taste.

2. I had to laugh when Hung, the unwitting star of reality show-within-a reality show, Everybody Hates Hung, said early in the episode, "I am who I am today because of my mother." Boy, I would love to have been a fly on the wall at his parents' house when that aired. Something tells me that Mama Hung's response was something along the lines of, "Oh great. Now everyone thinks I'm a giant douche."

Now on to the mod squad...

I actually missed the first 10 minutes of America's Next Top Model tonight, but I'm sure that's no biggie. The first 5 are usually highlights of what happened last week. And those highlights usually look a lot like what's coming up. I think all I really missed was the girls moving into the Top Model house. If you've seen it one year, that's all you need. They all scream about how they can't believe how big it is, cliques are formed and one bitch always complains about wanting her own room or something. Big deal.

As for today's photo shoot, the theme is smokin'! Actually, the photos are literally about smoking. More specifically, they are to depict the diseases and side effects that can be caused by smoking. Everyone seems to do a pretty good job, especially with the disgusting makeup used for the "side effect" shots. They've got one girl holding a dead fetus, one with a hole in her throat and one losing her hair from chemotherapy. Mila would have us all believe that chemotherapy is super happy fun time, by the way she's carrying on and laughing at her new "look." What a buffoon.

Backstage, Bianca and Lisa start yip-yapping at each other. Lisa tells Bianca that she acts stuck-up, and Bianca shoots back by telling Lisa that an exotic dancer will never be America's Next Top Model. Oh, Bianca, "you wanna take it to that level?" Apparently, Bianca does. I guess calling someone out for being a snob is Level 1 and calling someone out for being a stripper is Level 2. I can't wait to find out what Level 3 is!!

Back at the house, everyone decides to play that old girly game, Let's Make Fun of The Quiet One. Even after Heather tells everyone that she has Asperger's Syndrome and explains what it is, the cats refuse to retract their claws. Kimberly (aka The Girl Who's Kidding Herself if She Thinks She's as Hot as Adriana Lima) gives everyone a brilliant lecture about Asperger's, stressing that no one should be too friendly with Heather because "people like that" are very clingy, and she doesn't want to be the weird girl's "go-to girl." Kimberly should be glad this isn't America's Next Top Human Being, or she would be out on her non-Lima-looking ass.

Miss J. talks to the girls about style and sends them all to...Old Navy? Their challenge is to make a modelesque outfit out of basic items, which they will be judged on at panel. Yes, because, we all know that all top models shop at Old Navy.

Heather calls her mom and cries about not fitting in. Believe me, honey, you don't want to fit in with most of these broads.

Time for judges' panel and - oh yes - the return of Nigel Barker. Woof. The very cute and bubbly Saleisha wins the clothing contest and is rewarded with a $1000 Old Navy shopping spree. Yay! Truckloads of crappy fleece vests and cargo pants! Oh but wait, she also gets to do an Old Navy ad. I guess that's cool.

To go with the smoking theme, Tyra announces that this season is going to be a smoke-free one. Jenah, who claims to have just quit, looks like she's ready to jam a carton of Lucky Strikes up Tyra's booty.

During judging, all of the girls get fairly good marks on their photos, but Mila's and Ebony's are the weakest of the bunch. In the end, it comes down to those two and Mila is the one sent packing. She doesn't cry, as is the norm, but looks strangely calm. She's either completely unaware of what's going on, expertly reigning in her emotions, daydreaming about sunshine and lollipops or secretly planning to plant a pipe bomb in the Top Model pad. It's so hard to tell with her.

Next week, more catfights are promised. Maybe someone will finally bring it to Level 3. Can't wait!

Technorati tags: , , ,

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Watch Out! Baby Who's That? Don't Look Now There's a (Green) Monkey on My Back.

Well, that would explain the pulled muscle.

Joy of joys, I finally got to participate in one of Splotchy's now-legendary Green Monkey Mixes! The Splotch is doing all of Blogdom a great service with the Green Monkey Music Project, the purpose of which is to create interactive mix tapes. Lucky participants get to throw their song selections into each themed mix and then Splotchy does all the heavy lifting to compile the tunes for everyone's downloading pleasure.

The latest is the Can't Wait for Halloween Mix. The entire track listing can be found by following the preceding link, but here I will shed a little light on my song choices.

Concrete Blonde, "Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)" - This one should be fairly obvious. It's about vampires! Can't get more Halloweeny than that. And I love Concrete Blonde.

The Warlocks, "Angels in Heaven, Angels in Hell" - Where else would a band called The Warlocks belong, if not on a Halloween mix? This one is also on my Finetune Fall Mixx, featured on my sidebar, and it's a song that I discovered fairly recently. A guy who sits near me at work was playing it one day and I thought that he had on the Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack, because it reminded me of that song near the end, "Don't Dream It." It's very breathy and strange like that.

Death Cab for Cutie, "I Will Follow You into the Dark" - If you're not paying attention to the lyrics, this sounds like a sweet little love song. But it really seems to be about some psychotic guy who plans to kill himself when his beloved dies, or maybe he's even going to kill her and then kill himself. Even if all the death is consensual, like as in a suicide pact, it's still all a bit unsettling.

The Hooters, "All You Zombies" - Well, I am a huge Hooters fan. Ok, I'm kidding. I do like this song though. I think The Hooters fooled everyone when they first hit the scene with this song. It's kind of a groovy, dark number and then everything else they did afterward was "And We Danced" Parts 1 - 10. I don't know how dark this song can really be since it prominently features that happy instrument, the mandolin, but it's about zombies and zombies love Halloween...and braaaaaains!

Sia, "Breathe Me" - This song has nothing to do with Halloween, but it carries a creepy connotation for me because it was used during the ending sequence of the "Six Feet Under" finale. (Best TV series finale. Ever.) I think the arrangment adds to the "dark" feeling - the very simple piano at the beginning, the bit of goth in the middle and the violins added in at the end, plus the couple of dramatic pauses within the song. And this Sia chick sort of sounds like she's being strangled in parts of this song, so that's kind of scary, eh?

If you can't wait for Halloween, I suggest you download all of these tunes, buy a big bag of candy corn and gorge yourself on both.

I'll Make Friends with Words Again Later

Kids, mama pulled a muscle in her back yesterday, which is why she hasn't gotten back to blogging yet. I should be in the mood again later tonight. Right now, I'm basking in the glow of Ben-Gay fumes and the fact that I've finally cracked the "30 comment" mark here. I owe it all to Holden Caulfield, that crazy kid.

Pulling muscles from myself...pulling muscles from myself...
(Since my name is not Michelle, and I didn't pull this muscle pulling mussels, I have to improvise.)

In the meantime, vote for my blog! Dale is dangerously close to taking that $25 from my very needy hands and, well, let me tell you something about Dale. He is very well-dressed. He sees 10 Broadway shows a year, at least. He was the original Darrin Stevens. Plus, he's ten feet tall and owns a yacht. He doesn't need that $25. I do. I will put it in a high-yield savings account, and in 15 years I'll finally be able to finance my dream Broadway musical, Zabka! Now, you all want to see that, don't you?? Ok then, vote!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Book Snobs, Unite!

I finally got around to reading The Catcher in the Rye recently, and I must say it was quite enjoyable. However, I'm having a hard time understanding what exactly qualifies it as this flaming "classic" that usually makes people foam at the mouth when they talk about it. Perhaps all the build-up it's gotten has ruined its excellence for me? Perhaps I can't fully appreciate it because I never read it as a teenager? Or perhaps it's not quite as great as everyone claims? Help me out with this. I will even make a list of its pros and cons, from my point of view, to get you started.

* Salinger is a very witty writer and I laughed out loud in several spots.
* The story flowed very naturally and held my interest easily.
* The character of Holden Caulfield is incredibly well-developed. He really does jump off the page.
* Salinger is excellent at writing in Holden's "voice." He never does anything that seems out of character.
* I can relate to a lot of the feelings that Holden how the smallest things that strangers do can make him want to puke. (After all, I do ride the subway every day.)

* I'm not really sure what the point was! And is it wrong that I would laugh at this character who is obviously going through some kind of mental breakdown?
* How many times can one kid use the words "goddamn" and "crumby?" I mean, come on. I understand about staying in Holden's voice, but it started to drive me a bit crazy.
* The reveal as to what the title referred was kind of a let-down.

Pull up a chair. Have a cup of tea.* Discuss. But let me repeat for all the Caulfield disciples...I liked the book very much. I'm just not sure I would call it one of the greatest pieces of American literature, as it so often is.

*You know how I feel about coffee. Don't you?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

America's Next Top Model Cycle 9, Week 1

This recap is just one more service I provide here at The Pop Eye - watching all the mindless reality TV I can stomach, so you don't have to!

This season of ANTM kicks off in Puerto Rico, where we discover....what? Bitches get to live on a cruise ship for a week, as they travel the Caribbean. I love boats, so I'm particularly annoyed by this. What did these 33 girls do to deserve such a sweet reward? The show just started! More than half of them won't even be here by the end of the episode. Tsk. Too bad the cast-offs won't actually get thrown overboard. (Or will they? A girl can hope.) Now, that would be a show!

Miss Jay shows up first to put the girls through their paces with a pointless runway show where everyone stomps around wearing their life preservers. Then everyone gathers in a lounge for Tyra's big entrance. She comes out dressed like an Old West saloon girl and puts on some kind of burlesque show that would be more at home in the American Idol "Best of the Worst" reel. Of course, all of the girls take this opportunity to kiss Tyra's ass and shriek for her like she's reanimated Elvis or something.

After Tyra's cornball display, each girl gets a chance to tell her story at panel - which is sadly missing a key member. That gorgeous hunk of British man meat, Nigel Barker, is only seen in a few ANTM commercials. He better return next week. Anyway, as you can imagine, the violins come out in full force as the modelettes tell their tales of abuse, adversity and awkward years. I wonder when one of them will finally give us the old, "I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to be America's Next Top...." Oh. Thanks, Ebony. I knew I wouldn't have to wait much longer.

The first informal photo shoot is on the beach in Antigua and I can't really pay attention. I'm too busy watching to see if John Taylor or Simon LeBon pops up out of the water.

Once the film is in the can (impressive photog jargon) the first cut is made. Thirteen chickies get jettisoned and the ship sails on with only 20 Tyras-in-training.

Before anyone has a chance to celebrate, the second cut is made, whittling the cast down to the final 13. Say hello to the Cycle 9 gals and take a gander at my early predictions, below.

Ambreal (19) - This Dallas student seems a bit fake. You know, she's one of those chicks who acts all happy happy joy joy until you look at her the wrong way and then she punches you in the throat. Mr. Jay said she was a bit "too choreographed" for him. I agree. And what is that name all about? Is that short for "I'm Amber, for real?" Odds: 15:1

Bianca (18) - A Queens native with a "$25 weave." I kinda dig the purple hair she's got going on on top. She's very pretty and seems down to earth, and seems most likely to take a swing at Ebony. Odds: 10:1

Chantal (19) - Another Texas student, but this one's from Austin. Chantal said something at the beginning like, "everyone thinks I'm the perfect little Barbie doll," which doesn't endear her to me in the least. When you're trying to overcome an image, don't put that image in everyone's heads immediately. The judges seem to think she's got top model potential, and they're probably right. A blonde, skinny model? You don't say! Odds: 3:1

Ebony (20) - The over-confident Chicagoan who everyone already loves to hate. Ebony doesn't even look like herself in this picture...I didn't think she was that attractive. But, if she's really a troublemaking drama queen, she will stick around for quite a while like they all do. Especially since she told Tyra that her mother was a crack-head. Now her nastiness is justified. Odds: 10:1

Heather (21) - The Hunchback of Valparaiso. Much was made of Heather's poor posture, which she attributes to too much time spent at work, hunched over the computer. I'm sure Miss Jay can straighten her out. Heather also has Asperger's Syndrome, so she has difficulty socializing. I'm sure she'll become someone's whipping girl in no time and the sympathetic favorite. She's also my early favorite, as she does have a very interesting look. Odds: 2:1

Janet (22) - The token edgy, short-haired girl this season. She simulated an ass-crack wax on Tyra. That's all I remember. These pixie chicks always fall off the radar halfway through the show. Odds: 15:1

Jenah (18) - A student from Connecticut with big, crazy eyes. Jenah said that girls don't like her because she's pretty, hangs out with a lot of guys and reads books. Oh God, yeah, I hate them there book readin' gurlz. Odds: 10:1

Kimberly (20) - Florida native, Kimberly, says that everyone tells her that she looks like Victoria's Secret goddess, Adriana Lima. Yeah, I could see that. If I were really drunk and she was about 20 feet away. Up close she just looks like one of those girls who's always bored, even when she's having fun. Odds: 20:1

Lisa (20) - Is Lisa from New York or New Jersey? It's a mystery. Every time her chyron came up, it read "Jersey City, NY." I lived in Jersey City and I can tell you this - it ain't New York. Close, but no cigar. Anyway, Lisa is very likable, but gets snotty looks from some of the girls when she reveals that she's an exotic dancer...even though she only strips down to a bikini. I hate to tell them, but dancing in a bikini isn't exotic or dirty. It's certainly the most tame activity that goes on during Spring Break. Odds: 3:1

Mila (20) - The longshot. This chick is sure to drive everyone in the house nuts, which is probably why she's here. She's like a cheerleader on crack, who loves to celebrate everything from random people's birthdays to buying a pair of socks. She's a Bostonian with no accent, unlike the much prettier cast-off, Jennifer, who had the most wick-aaahd ahhhh-some accent I ever heard. Odds: 50:1

Saleisha (21) - An L.A. woman who looks cute enough to be the next Tyra. Tyra and the Jays think that with the proper makeover, Saleisha could go very far in the competition. Odds: 5:1

Sarah (20) - The "plus-size" model from Heath, MA. Sarah may very well be the most beautiful girl in the cast. However, she will become a victim of the sizing debate. Everyone kept saying that even though she's the plus-size model, she's on the "small end" of the plus-size range, so they don't know where she would fit in. Finally, Mr. Jay said the smartest thing anyone on ANTM has ever said when he suggested that she could be a "normal size" model. Tyra and Ms. Jay looked thoughtful for a second, then looked at Mr. Jay like his eyeliner was smudged. Odds: 20:1

Victoria (20) - A Yale student who looks like the stereotypical Yale student. In other words, she looks like she has an oar jammed up her ass and just spent all her Daddy's money at J. Crew. Odds: 30:1

Previews for next week reveal that one girl has a hard time fitting in with the others and two cats are already scratching at each other. Something tells me that I will just be copying and pasting this same preview description every week.

Technorati tags: , ,

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

Yeah, I'm still mad at Prince. I thought about trying to find an old, unauthorized video of his on YouTube to post here this week just to spite him, but I changed my mind. I'm not giving him any free publicity! I swear, he can be such a jerk. It's just like that time when Wendy and Lisa gave him their "Purple Rain" demo tape and he acted like a big baby and said he didn't do other people's music, but he was too proud to realize that his music only made sense to himself. Then his dad tried to kill himself and he finally realized that "Purple Rain" was an awesome song, no matter who wrote it. So, what will it take to make him realize that this fight against YouTube is as pointless as Graffiti Bridge? Does someone have to take a lead pipe to Jerome Benton's head?

Anyway, since Wendy and Lisa totally knew what they were talking about, they will provide this week's video. See if you remember "Waterfall" from the gals' 1987 self-titled debut.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Purple Reign of Terror (or No, I Didn't Watch the Emmys So Let's Talk About Something Else, K?)

I ain't tryin' to hear this, BeckEye.

Word on the information superhighway is that Prince is planning to sue YouTube and other sites for unauthorized use of his music and videos. The Purple One doesn't like to think of it as "suing," but "reclaiming his art on the Internet."

Ok, look. I love Prince. That tiny little bastard is a mega-talent and has long been one of my faves. But now he's pissed me off. I will not die 4 him. I will not give him my extra time or my kiss. I mean, what happened to the Prince who didn't think that money mattered 2-night or yesterday? I guess he's gone, because this is clearly more about money than art.

What confuses me here is that YouTube is not like LimeWire. Now, I personally don't think that all file-sharing is bad, but I can at least understand why some artists have a problem with it. But, again, YouTube is not like LimeWire. YouTube is, quite possibly, the greatest thing to ever hit the Internet. It's fantastic for music fans because it's one of the few places we can see music videos these days. Where else are we gonna get them...MTV? VH-1? YouTube has essentially replaced the music video channels since they have become reality TV wastelands. When you go to YouTube to watch a music video, do you really care who posted it? Do you think for one second that the uploader is the owner of that song or video? Do you feel like, just by watching a video, that you're somehow infringing on that artist's copyrights? Let me go out on a limb and answer for, no and no.

Unlike Napster or other file-sharing sites, users can't actually download anything from YouTube. Users can embed the videos into personal sites, as I do weekly, but that still doesn't give anyone ownership of those videos. If anything, it's a form of free advertising for that particular artist! I can't fathom why anyone would be against this. Back in the heyday of MTV, fans could see their favorite videos over and over for free and had the option to tape them on their VCRs! In fact, most people who post videos to YouTube probably taped them from TV. That, or they've transferred videos to their computers from official DVDs or tapes that they purchased. In any case, no one is trying to sell anything. Well, I'm sure a few goofballs have tried selling their poorly-made Betamax video mixes to eBay junkies, but that's not the norm. Most of us just want to get a look at our favorite artists and we'd like to be able to see them whenever we wish. People who post videos to YouTube - especially the old, rare ones that we never see anymore - are doing fans and artists a damn service, as far as I'm concerned.

Prince has already removed about 2,000 videos from YouTube in the battle to "reclaim his art." I think what's gonna happen here is, after this is all over and done with, Prince is going to have to reclaim his fans. Not only will he be "out of sight/out of mind" thanks to his own efforts, but the only image he'll be leaving behind for us all to chew on is that of a greedy schmuck.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Re-Habby Birthday

Best wishes to Amy Winehouse, who celebrates her 24th birthday today. And a very happy birthday to her face, which turns 80.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

One of the programmers at VH-1 Classic must be a big World Party fan, because I've seen more of their videos in the past few weeks than I even knew existed. They're not a band that ever enters my head, but when I saw their vids, I did immediately recognize the songs and remembered them as being pretty good. Still, they weren't exactly the poster boys of the ' I'm not sure where VH-1's fascination stems from.

Whatever the reason for their sudden ubiquity, here is World Party's "Ship of Fools," not to be confused with the Car of Idiots. (The Far Side fans among you will appreciate that reference.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No Pill's Gonna Cure My Ill, I Got a Bad Case of Interviews

Doc wanted to dish out a dose of my own medicine, so he sent me this very in-depth interview. I'll have you all know that my interview of him was merely a throat culture compared to this colonoscopy he's just given me. Ah well, it may not have always been pleasant, but I'm sure all of this probing was for my own good. Take a look at the results...

1. You have your finger on the rapid pulse of our nation's pop culture. In your opinion what were the top five worst trends/fads/fashions of the last twenty years, as well as the five best?

Worst trends: Reality TV, fanny packs, Crocs, the heroin-chic look and blackberries (especially the trend of "walking-and-texting")
Best trends: Reality TV, file sharing (even if it is illegal), the "green" movement (even if I probably don't do that much to help it), sunless tanning products (the ones that don't streak, anyway) and blogging (of course)

2. You are a music lover. What are the top five most overrated/underrated artists or groups in the last twenty years?
Yes I am...making it impossible for me to answer this quickly. I can't just list the artists and say nothing about them. And I can't just say a few words about them. Well, you asked for it. This will be quite a lengthy response and we're only at question #2.

Top 5 Overrated Artists
a. Madonna - She came on to the scene well before 1987, but is obviously still a huge star. It still amazes me. Britney Spears isn't on this list because, although she's tremendously famous and popular, no one actually gives her any serious credit. Yet, Madonna was and is still regarded highly as an artist, when she's basically Britney Sr. Sure, she sings a little better and is a lot smarter, but she didn't do anything to change the face of music. Of course, I won't argue that she had a huge influence on pop culture as a whole, and she probably deserves her inevitable spot in the Rock 'n Roll HOF. But it will be for more rolling (literally) than rocking.

b. Nirvana - I'm sure all the Nirvana disciples will come out of the woodwork to stone me, but I don't care. As a huge Pearl Jam fan, I am sick and tired of hearing PJ constantly compared negatively to Nirvana - a band that, if Kurt Cobain hadn't killed himself, would most likely have broken up years ago. I do like some Nirvana songs and I certainly don't think they were a bad band, but overrated doesn't even begin to describe how they're treated in the press. And they were always well-liked, but after Cobain's death, the world tried to turn him into some Christ-like figure and suddenly the band's contribution to the music world was blown hugely out of proportion. I'm not saying they don't deserve their place in music history. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" still personifies the death of hair metal and a return to gritty rock 'n roll. I absolutely think that they changed the face of music at the time. Do I think they did it all by themselves? Hell, no. "Grunge" (hate that label) was an entire movement and Nirvana just got lucky enough to be the first representative to hit the mainstream.

c. Janet Jackson - Another one who first gained popularity in the early '80s, but was still chugging along until her recent disappearance off the face of the Earth. Like Madonna, I never understood why so many people gave her so much credit for having an impact on the music scene. She never brought anything new or interesting to the table. As crazy as her bro Michael is now, he was still a great artist back in the day, always trying to innovate. I remember hearing MTV VJs wax philosophical about "Rhythm Nation" and it just made me want to hurl. Then she turned into your average sex kitten. And what has she done for us lately, besides adding the term "wardrobe malfunction" to the pop-cultural lexicon?

d. Oasis - Arseholes. They do have a few good songs (in fact, "She's Electric" is in my new Fall playlist over there in the sidebar) but after listening to the best, you really don't need to hear the rest. These guys are pompous jerks who ripped off The Beatles, tried to charmingly convince everyone into thinking that they'd really improved upon them and then actually believed their own bullshit.

e. The Smiths - Man, if anyone should've committed suicide, it was Morrissey. What a whiny little bitch.

Top 5 Underrated Artists
a. Squeeze - Big shock, right? Now, Squeeze released their first album way back in 1978 and they enjoyed some success in the early '80s. But since your question was specifically about artists in the last 20 years, I think they fit here because after 1987's Babylon and On, they seemed to disappear. Although they experienced some revolving door band member action, the core of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook remained intact and they were still making records up until their last in 1998. It is almost impossible to find any latter-day Squeeze records in America unless you buy them from eBay or something. In the '90s, none of those records got much, if any, radio airplay and a lot of fans (myself included!) in the U.S. thought they had broken up again. Luckily, I'd been able to catch up with those lost records over the years and discovered that even though the strong "new-wavey" sound was gone, Squeeze were still creating great pop music thanks to Difford's clever, witty lyrics and Tilbrook's musical mastery. And don't even get me started on Glenn Tilbrook's voice or we'll be here all day. I believe I may have said a few things about him here before.

b. Crowded House - Although their 1986 debut had some hits and they enjoyed a spurt of success, Crowded House was never the giant radio staple that they should have been and still should be! They continued making great records from 1988 - 1993 and officially broke up in 1996 until their recent reformation. Like Glenn Tilbrook, Neil Finn has one of the most gorgeous and recognizable voices in pop music and like Squeeze, Crowded House knew how to craft lyrically complex songs with accessible melodies and super hooks. I haven't heard many songs from them that couldn't have or shouldn't have been hits. And the new CD is fantastic!

c. John Hiatt - Again, this is an artist who's been around a lot longer than 20 years, but he's never gotten the proper credit. He's better known for being the guy who everyone successfully covers! But, if you haven't ever heard a Hiatt record, you're missing out. I would suggest Slow Turning or Perfectly Good Guitar for the beginning listener. They're both a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n roll, but the former is more of the former and the latter is, well...more of the latter. Did that make sense?

d. Maria McKee - I've mentioned this gal on my blog before and with good reason. She simply has an amazing voice. She started out her career in the mid-'80s with Lone Justice but has been quietly cruising along with her solo career since 1989. She's also sung backup for a lot of folks, including U2 and Counting Crows.

e. Tesla - I say this with absolutely no irony. I was just thinking about these guys yesterday. Technically, they started out in 1986, but what's one year more or less? They were always lumped in with the hair bands but they didn't have that look and they weren't formulaic. They just made really good, gritty rock music but with nice melodies...kind of like Def Leppard, another oft-maligned act. I'll admit that I haven't heard anything from them since 1994, but I wanted to mention them because I think they were one of the best "hard rock" bands to come out of the '80s.


3. You have been given the green light to produce a season of Big Brother, what ten of your blogger buddies would you pick for the show and why? Would you appear on the show or remain behind the camera?

I guess this is in retaliation for my Flavor Flav question to you, eh? Well, I've only watched Big Brother once and it was by force. It's not my scene, so I would definitely stay behind the camera. All right, don't anyone get upset if you're not in my cast...I'm gonna try to pick some bloggers quickly and without much thought. I guess each cast member has to have an antagonist, right? So I'd pit Beth against Pistols at Dawn, Write Procrastinator against Splotchy, Barbara B against Barbara L, Dale against Tanya, and Deadspot against Cube (purely for political reasons). I won't say who are the "good guys" and who are the "bad asses." Wait, I'm thinking of the Road Rules/Real World Challenge. Whatever.

4. You have a wonderful sense of sarcasm and snark. What are some of the best insults that you have ever used on someone? What is your favorite swear word?

Well, thank you. Let's see...after Tom Cruise's interview with Matt Lauer, I posted here that Cruise had a "PhD in jackassery," and for some reason that really cracked me up. I can't really think of any other specific ones though, because it's hard to remember all of the insults I've hurled. Especially during American Idol season. As far as my favorite swear word, someone asked me this before and I believe I responded with either the F-word or "balls," which isn't really that bad. I also splice words together to form new curses, especially when I'm so annoyed that I can't think straight.

5. You have the chance to help a fashion victim. He wears nothing but blue jeans, T-shirts, and work boots. He is 35 years old, blonde hair, blue eyes, fair skinned, 5' 10" and a medium build. What would you do to help this poor fashion less schlep?

You might as well ask Jessica Simpson to give you singing lessons. You, right? Or "a friend?" Well, whoever this fashion victim is wouldn't benefit from my fashion advice. I buy what I can afford, which isn't much. And, personally, I like guys who wear jeans and T-shirts. I'm not into the metrosexuals. Any guy who takes longer than me to get ready to go out is not a guy for me.

Well, I'm exhausted. How am I gonna help Joey Pants blow his candles out now? Thanks a lot, Doc.

Happy Birthday to My Adopted Bundle of Joy

Turns out, I'm a terrible "mother." Splotchy had to point out to me that today is Joe Pantoliano's birthday. As most of you know, I adopted Joey Pants from Splotchy's Character Actor Adoption Agency a while back and I couldn't have been happier to welcome him into my family. If, for no other reason, than because he reminds me of one universal truth: swearing is cool.

Anyway, let's all raise a glass to Joey on his big day and then spend the rest of the evening playing with his soundboard. Click below to start the profanity!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

FireSplotch of the Month

Sir Splotchy finally decided to grant my interview request, which I sent him like, 5 years ago or something. But I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on him, since I forced him to create an original fart joke. The resulting interview was a real gas. Click here to let 'er rip.

And don't forget to help me beat Splotchy, Dale, and Barbara out of $25 by voting for me daily!

Caption Crotch-test Contest #3

"OMG, y'all, you should SEE how upset Jayden James gets when I take away his Cheetos! He just CRIES and CRIES! He's such a BABY! Hahaha!!"

And there it is...the winning caption, provided by Alice!

I was somewhat torn between this one and Splotchy's, but Alice's quote won out because I believe that it transcends "comedy" and lands in the realm of "actual stuff that happens in Britney's house on a daily basis." Plus, Splotchy still hasn't completed the interview that I sent him a gazillion weeks ago, so he doesn't deserve that Firecrotch badge. Not yet.

Hence, Alice, that burning sensation in your loins is perfectly normal. Do not consult your doctor. Toss out all your undies and scream it from the rooftops that you are...

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's Career Suicide, Bitch

Well, I already posted my recap of the VMAs (at least the first 12 minutes) but I was a little concerned that some of you haven't actually seen our girl Brit's big comeback. Even if you start to feel a bit queasy, please watch the entire thing. Your rising bile will be replaced with laughter once you see Fiddy Cent's bewilderment, I promise. I haven't seen him look so confused since that time there was a vamp-y-err in his bathtub. (Wait for it....wait for it...)

And hey, the caption contest is still open...but only for the rest of today. Enter! C'mon, who wants to be a firecrotch?

Chock Full Of '80s Nuttiness

When deciding who my newest interview subject would be, I figured it wouldn't be too hard to persuade a Me-generation man to rap about himself. So, I smeared on a bunch of blue eyeshadow and pulled on my hottest neon jumpsuit and headed over to gab with An '80s Nut about a few things. Regardless of what he says, I never promised to post risque pictures of myself online if he participated. I promised to post risque pictures of Popeye and Olive Oyl, which is in high demand if my keyword stats are to be believed. Anyway, catch our full chat here.

Speaking of interviews, I've been interviewed over at, fittingly enough, Blog Interviewer. Apparently there is caaaash money to be won if I get enough good ratings, so help a poor sister out! Click on the little doo-dad below to show your love.

One more thing...not enough of you have gotten in on the Britney caption contest. After last night's VMA debacle, you should all have plenty of good ideas floating around in your noggins. C'mon people...gimme more, gimme more!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Britney Helps Take M(ediocrity) TV to the Next Level

You always hear that phrase, "taking it to the next level." With its VMAs tonight, which are only 12 minutes old as I write this, MTV has definitely reached the next level. Well, sort of. You know how back in the old days of Pac-Man and Centipede, when you got through all of the levels you could turn the game over and start back at the beginning? That's what I'm talking about. MTV may just have to go back to the beginning and start from scratch. They may just have to admit that they haven't just jumped the shark, but that they've been devoured, mashed up into little bits, digested and shat out by the shark, the remnants of which have been disseminated throughout the ocean as little particles which have been eaten by many smaller fish and shat out many more times.

Let's start with the highly anticipated opening performance by Britney. I'm not sure I can even express my thoughts on that display in a coherent manner. First of all, the first thing all the viewers saw was a nice tight shot of her horrible weave. Secondly, Brit's wardrobe choice was much less inspired than any of my suggestions from yesterday's poll. I mean, a sparkly bra and panty set with knee-high boots? That's like business-casual these days. If we can't count on Britney to bring the smut, who can we count on? And hey, I give the girl props for working out, but her body is not back to bra and panty-parading shape just yet.

Brit's bland appearance should have tipped everyone off to the mind-numbing performance that was to follow. I seriously just sat there with my mouth hanging open, occasionally uttering the only words that would come...Is this for real? Is this the rehearsal?? I can't even describe the complete lack of energy that was coming from that VMA stage tonight. Brit's dancing can only be categorized as lackadaisical, at best. MTV could have called me up a minute before the show started and asked me to fill in and I could have done a better job. My roommate was convinced that she was high and/or injured, which are both reasonable assumptions. Her lip synching didn't even seem to be in synch! That "performance" seriously looked like an outtake from the first day of rehearsals on Making the Band. Brit didn't even give me anything to make fun of...there was absolutely nothing there. The most entertaining part of the performance was seeing the befuddled expressions on some of the audience members' faces.

Oh, and where the hell were all the Mindfreak-y special effects that were promised? There were some mildly interesting graphics on a big screen and stripper poles installed on a few tables in the audience. That was it. Was the performance supposed to represent a strip-club party? If I were a stripper, I'd be pretty damn insulted.

Before my shock and disbelief had a chance to wear off, out came Sarah Silverman to give what was, quite possibly, the worst monologue on any show, anywhere, ever. This actually kind of pleased me because I've always seen this chick for the hack that she is and it boggles my mind that she has a career or fans. Watching her die a slow death on the stage was mildly satisfying, but I'm sure as long as she keeps banging that other hack, Jimmy Kimmel, she will still get to pretend to be a professional comedian on many more crappy TV shows to come.

I'm only half-watching the show now and, oh, there's Beyonce with her boobs about to pop out. And there's that turd, Adam Levine trying to look all hard. I'm flipping over to VH-1 now for Rock of Love. That that train-wreck is the preferable alternative really says something. If MTV has any advertisers left after tonight, I'll be amazed.

Flann-ery, You Got Me Now

Since I'm prone to interviews lately, Flannery Alden from Prone to Whimsy threw a few thoughtful questions my way. And as the late, great Merv Griffin so often did, Flannery made sure to end her questionnaire with a request for a haiku about John Travolta. It's so nice to work with such a pro, who truly understands the art of the interview.

1. You have been blogging for over 2 years now, why did you start your blog and how has it changed your life?

I had heard tales of no-name schlubs who started blogs that rocketed them to online fame. I figured I couldn't be any less entertaining than that goofball Perez Hilton or the Pink is the New Blog dude. Apparently, I was wrong. My blog hasn't made me a household name, but perhaps that makes me cooler? I'm like an indie blogger. I'm the Cat Power of the blogging world. Or so I like to think.

Blogging has definitely had a positive effect on me, mostly because I've met a lot of cool people through it and have received some really nice feedback on my writing. I've always been plagued by those "I'm not good enough to pursue this as a career" doubts, but now I think I'm ready to put myself out there more. Hopefully I'll start getting some freelance writing gigs soon!

2. If I gave you Britney's phone number, what would you say to her?

Hi Britney, this is the...uh, President of the Universe. I'm ordering you to have your tubes tied. Thank you for your cooperation. That is all. Um, bye y'all.

3. Marry, kill, f*ck: Tom Cruise, K-Fed, Will Ferrell.

First, let's get the easy part out of the way. I would obviously marry Will Ferrell. That's a no-brainer. Now for the slightly harder and much more disgusting part. I would probably eff K-Fed, because I'm getting a little older and I don't know how many eggs are left in my basket. I hear he's a crack shot with sperm, so he would at least be useful when I finally decide that I'm ready to have a kid. That leaves Tom Cruise for the killing! I would kill him slowly. First, I would give him the American water-gun torture and then I would stuff him in the cushions of a couch and jump up and down on him without mercy. And I would make Oprah watch.

4. As a long time fan of American Idol, what would you say was the best musical moment from the show and why?

I'm sure most people would expect me to pick a Kelly Clarkson moment, but the truth is that she kind of annoyed me while she was on the show. I only came to really like her when Breakaway came out. There were a lot of pretty good moments, but one that always sticks out in my head is Carrie Underwood's performance of Heart's "Alone." She actually gave me chills that night...her voice was so perfect and powerful. (And her hair looked awesome!) It's really hard to cover someone with such a unique and amazing voice as Ann Wilson's, but Carrie nailed it. She blew it out the box. It was a hot one, yo. I also remember that as a time when I was particularly aggravated by how much the show edited down the songs for time.

5. Would you favor us with a haiku outlining your love for John Travolta?

Why, I'd love to!

First love, since age five
Gorgeous, sweet, talented man
I'm obsessed. So what?

But enough about me! Let's talk about Britney! Keep scrolling down to take the Britney VMA poll and to enter the Britney caption contest!! Do it, or I'll continue to abuse these poor, defenseless exclamation points!!!

It's a Britney Poll, Bitch

I'm sure you've all heard by now that Britney Spears will be opening the horror-fest commonly known as the MTV Video Music Awards. It should come as no surprise that Brit would be the star attraction on an awards show held in Las Vegas, home of legalized prostitution.

Since Britney's past VMA appearances have been nothing short of ass-tacular, everyone is wondering what she has in store this year. How can she top the sparkly flesh suit? The disgusting display of beastiality with that poor snake? The disgusting display of beastiality with Madonna? What do she and "collaborator," Criss Angel, have up their sleeves? All I know so far is that it's going to be something with a bunch of Mindfreaky smoke and mirrors, which, I guess, will make the lip synching less obvious.

The biggest question on everyone's minds is what will Britney be wearing?? I have a few ideas, but I thought I'd put it to y'all to help me figure it out. So, without further ado, here is the first-ever Pop Eye poll! (And when you're done with that, don't forget to get in on the Britney caption contest!)

If you're one of those people who always votes "other," feel free to other your little heart out in my comments.

By the way, Blogger must hate Mac users, because I can't use the poll function that I've seen other people use. I had to go to an outside source. This poll is brought to you by Quibblo, the number 2 and the letters V and D.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

This week's video wasn't really prompted by anything special. I have just been scoping out YouTube and MySpace looking for videos that I suspect exist even though I've never actually seen them. I found a bunch by one of my faves, Supergrass, including one of their early hits, "Mansize Rooster." It's only 12 years old, so it may not technically qualify as a classic, but what the hell. I was still in college, which seems like a lifetime ago.

Why does it seem that none of this band's videos have seen the light of day here in the States? What, is the Department of Homeland Security protecting us against another British invasion? Oh, bloody 'ell.

Some Dodgy Questions

Artful Dodger recently twisted my arm to interview him and, since he finished all of his meat and pudding like a good boy, I happily obliged. He rewarded me with all the info I'll ever need about "Hentai," commercial jingles and more...but he had me at his answer to question #1. Click here to consider yourself part of our audience.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Lady Miz Keira

This is some of the best method acting I've ever seen!

Now, someone might want to break it to Keira that she's not actually in Les Misérables. Break her off a piece of a Kit Kat bar too, while you're at it.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Doc(tor) Doc(tor) Gimme the News

This week, Doc faces the toughest interview of his blogging career!

I'm happy to report that Doc isn't at all gruff or unapproachable, like a certain T.V. "doc" who wouldn't even have an audience if he didn't follow the juggernaut that is American Idol. This Doc willingly put himself under the microscope for my, and everyone else's, enjoyment. Click here to investigate further.


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