Thursday, January 31, 2008

One Rose in the Thorny Writers' Strike

Although the writers' strike does suck, I'm happy to get another chance to see one of the funniest episodes of The Office tonight. Michael narrowly escapes being murdered by an evil GPS system and then delivers one of my favorite lines from the show. Best spazz-out ever:

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

This week's video is a special request by Slave to the Dogs, who, apparently, likes her music videos with a heaping helping of homoerotic tension.

Feast your eyes on Clarence Clemons and Jackson Browne overstating the obvious in this video for their 1985 hit, "You're a Friend of Mine." I have a sneaking suspicion that the director must have been a close-talker.

That's Daryl Hannah on the couch and backup vocals. I hear that after the video wrapped, she was seen walking around with a welt on her arm, about the size of a cigar. That's what you get in Jackson Browne's house when you spill paint in the garage.




PS - Happy (early) Birthday, Slave! I doubt any of your other presents will be as awesome as a cheesy '80s vid.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

American Idol 7: Miami Snore Machine

Just 18 minutes into AI's Miami auditions, and the only thing keeping me awake is trying to imagine what a movie-musical of Miami Vice, starring Clay Aiken as Crockett and Ruben Studdard as Tubbs, would be like.

Paula drunkenly stumbles around the room and then starts pawing at one lucky auditioner, who might be Antonio Banderas's long-lost brother. Sigh. I have to go to bed. The rhythm is not gonna get me tonight.

I Mean, WHAT is the Deal with That?

So, I took my nieces to see There Will Be Blood recently. What a disappointment. Turns out, it's not an educational film about female puberty.


Thanks, folks, you've been great! I'll be here all week!

American Idol 7: Just Like a Dream

Last night on AI, a bunch of people auditioned. Some were good, some were bad and there was at least one particularly crazy and deluded person in the mix.

Ok, time to come clean. I actually fell asleep on the couch before the show came on. Shhhh! Don't tell Simon.

Oh oh...looks like he already found out.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Eye Boogers

Like the goop that's always accumulating in the corners of our eyes, the following items are curiously fascinating:

Sean Young is Up to Her Old Tricks - With all the recent shenanigans of Britney and Paris, people started to forget that Sean Young was crazy when crazy wasn't cool. Remember when she refused to accept that Tim Burton wasn't casting her as Catwoman in the second Batman movie, and she turned into - literally - a crazy cat lady? Remember when she went all "Fatal Attraction" on James Woods? JAMES WOODS, for God's sake! Well, upset that she's been overshadowed by rehab-hopping starlets, Sean decided to get her freak on at the Director's Guild of America awards by heckling the winners! See what happens when you take away the writers and, consequently, the awards shows that actually matter? (As much as awards shows can matter.) People get a little nuts. The funniest part is, Young was sitting up front. How the hell did she get a spot up front? Was she like the biggest star there? She probably did that show a big damn favor. None of the papers would've covered it otherwise!

Will The Real Kim Ledger Please Stand Up? - If Heath Ledger's death has you wondering, "Who would call Mary-Kate Olsen before 911?" I've got another question for you. Who would have the balls and complete lack of class to impersonate Heath's father and take advantage of his famous friends? Some nutbag pretended to be Kim Ledger, fooling a funeral home into booking him a ritzy suite at the Carlyle Hotel in New York. He managed to get on the phone with Tom Cruise, who gave him "emotional support" until Cruise learned it was a hoax, and even tried to trick my beloved John Travolta into buying him a plane ticket! How can some people be so shameless? And how do they go about getting Travolta's phone number? Really...can someone help me out here?

Maybe Bill Belichick Should Videotape Eli Manning's Beauty Regimen - While Bahstan retahds and New Yawkers were busy trash talking, the brilliant, sexist minds behind dating site, OkCupid.com, were asking ladies around the country who the hottest QBs in the NFL are. (You know,'cause girls couldn't possibly be watching football for the football.) In a startling turn of events, Patriots lead cyborg, media darling, all-American hunk and impregnator of supermodels, Tom Brady, only made the #7 spot! He even ranked below the Giants' Eli "Little Doofus" Manning. No word on where Peyton "Big Doofus" Manning or Big Ben Roethlisberger, ranked. Taking first place was back-up QB for the Ravens, Kyle Boller. Ok, I'm no fan of Tom Brady's, but give me a break. I can at least admit that he's one helluva good looking dude. This Boller guy looks like a date rapist! Sheesh. Of course, none of these guys can hold a candle to Mr. Concussion 1992, Steve Young.

The Grammys Must Go On - Groan. One silver lining in the cloud of striking writers has been the prospect of no televised Whammy Award ceremony this year. Unfortunately, the writers' guild has come to an agreement that will allow members to write segments of the program. Honestly, I don't even know why this crap-fest needs writers. Like Faith Hill and Kanye West couldn't come up with their own forced, uncomfortable banter while announcing nominees? Speech writers certainly aren't needed. Each of the winners will just thank their personal Lord and Savior - either Clive Davis or P. Diddy.

The Most Shocking News Story of All - Britney Spears's manager recently revealed that Brit has "mental issues." What?? Get out!! You mean she's not really British...or whatever nationality uses this accent?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sonic Sunday: Seven Random Things

A while back, I was tagged by CDP to do the "Seven Random Things" meme. In true BeckEye fashion, I promised to do it and then put it off indefinitely. Originally, I was going to tie it into a 2007 recap, but that never happened. Even though I hate getting tagged, I was still determined to keep my promise since CDP is a relatively new blog-friend who I didn't want to alienate. Plus, she wouldn't have known about my aversion to memes. I mean, let's face it, if I really had that many interesting facts to share about myself, I wouldn't be writing a pop culture blog.

Luckily, I can usually work a pop cultural or musical reference into just about any conversation, so I've decided to turn "Seven Random Things" into...

"Seven Random Tracks from the Soundtrack of My Life"

(Click any link to download the song. Mp3s are available for a limited time, so get 'em while they're hot!)

1. My favorite song when I was a kid this one by Elton John and Kiki Dee. I can't count how many times I sang this in my living room, using a pencil or hairbrush for a microphone. (Of course I only sang Kiki's parts.) It's still one of my faves.
mp3:"Don't Go Breakin' My Heart"

2. The first concert I ever saw was Rick Springfield in...1982? I think!? Unfortunately, all of my saved ticket stubs are at my Dad's house in Pittsburgh so I don't remember the exact date. But, I'm nearly positive that it was the "Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet" tour when I was 9. (This was the answer to a trivia question I posed at the end of the year, but no one ever guessed correctly. Therefore, no one ever won my Top 20 of 2007 mix CD!)
mp3: "Don't Talk To Strangers"

3. Ever since I was old enough to like boys, I've been gifted with the ability to always pick the wrong ones. When this Black Crowes song came out in the early '90s, it didn't help my love life any, but it at least provided me with the perfect "men suck, so I think I'll have another beer" song.
mp3: "Seeing Things"

4. Much of my 20s were spent hanging out at a bar called Kangaroos. It was a giant club with a dance floor and game area in one half and a smaller bar area with live music in the other half. My best friend and I usually went there to dance and meet morons, but there was one band that could pry us off the dance floor in those days: Sleeping Giants. They always kind of reminded me of Extreme, and listening to their CD again, I'm amazed by how much they really do sound like them. I guess it all sounds dated now, but they actually were a pretty good live band, and the lead singer was a really nice guy. They won a college band search in the mid-'90s (even though I think the youngest guy was probably like 30!) and got to play on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Unfortunately, that never did anything to help their career along. Neither the band nor the bar exists anymore. And, saddest of all, my 20s waved bye-bye to me a long time ago. Sigh...nothing gold can stay.
mp3: "Holes In My Pockets"

5. I can not hear this Natalie Imbruglia song and not think of college. This was a song of obsession for my then-roommate and I, along with most of our female friends. Years after graduating, I was maid of honor in her wedding and this was the last song that was played at the reception, "for the IUP girls." Then, I went from maid of honor to nothing in about a year or so, as my friend joined the world of the marrieds and stopped talking to me and returning my calls. Ah, well. That stuff happens between chicks. At least she didn't leave me lying naked on the floor.
mp3: "Torn"

6. The re-discovery of this song and further investigation into all things Bogmen started me down a path that I may have never had the balls to go down without it. I doubt I could have moved to New York without all of the friendships that came out of that chapter of my life. It's kind of a long story that you can probably piece together if you have the energy to search this blog.
mp3: "Suddenly"

7. I'm one of those very anal people (although in some ways, I'm still very much a slob) who has to alphabetize her CDs. The last CD in my collection is Neil Young's Mirror Ball. Obviously, I'm not much of a ZZ Top or Frank Zappa fan. But now I'm kind of wondering why I never bought that Zutons CD.
mp3: "Throw Your Hatred Down"

Friday, January 25, 2008

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

Let's start the weekend off right with a bit of arena rock-balladry!

You might ask why, of all the cheesy Journey videos out there, I would pick "I'll Be Alright Without You," from their 1986 near-death offering, Raised on Radio. Well, I guess it's just because I had a hankering for the days when Steve Perry was rockin' the Philip Pelusi mall-girl 'do. Apparently, he was also rummaging through Sam Harris's closet.

Ok, you got me. My real reasons for posting this have nothing to do with Steve. (Sorry, Pistols.) It's all about The Dawg! Feel the funky fresh flava of Randy Jackson on bass! This is a hot one, yo! He's blowin' it out the box!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

American Idol 7: They Named a Dance After This Town?

Hello, Cleveland!

Allow me to channel Simon for a moment...

Charleston, South Carolina. If I'm being honest, you are the most boring city in America. I mean, you really are. I'm completely serious. One-hundred thousand million percent. Sitting through these Charleston auditions is only marginally more interesting than watching an E! True Hollywood Story on Brian Dunkleman.

Yeah, tonight's show is making me so tired that I can't come up with appropriate adjectives to describe its...um...sucknaciousness. Can't come up with appropriate nouns either.

Simon's revolving door of shirts is driving me insane, once again. The white tee, the gray v-neck, the black tee, the fuzzy gray scoop neck. Dammit, Simon, pick one! He even sports a white tee shirt with a design on it at one point. A design! What is the world coming to? Next thing you know, Michael Kors will show up on Project Runway wearing an off-black jacket. With an onyx boutonnierre!

By the middle of the show, I decide to pay closer attention to Randy and Paula's outfits. I'm starting to suspect that they're filming things out of sequence and Simon is not actually being a fashion diva. But, of course, no one changes outfits for the entire second half. Simon sticks with the fuzzy scoop neck sweater, which looks so wonderfully soft. I just wanna curl up on his lap and drink Earl Gray and eat Welsh rarebit or whatever other disgusting concoctions those lovely and bizarre Brits consider food.

Besides my love for Simon, only one other thing has kept me awake throughout this display tonight. Some guy at the top of the show had to leave the auditions because his wife went into labor, and they've been following his progress like he's the one to watch. I really don't care about the guy or his baby story; I just love the fact that his name is Oliver Hymen. For this entire hour, I've been trying to come up with the perfect childish joke. While trying to choose between "Obviously, his wife doesn't have oliver hymen," and "They named the baby Buster," it's revealed that Oliver's last name is actually spelled Highman. Stupid jerk. Well, wait. That's still funny, I guess. Highman. He's high, man. Huh huh huh huh huh...mmm yeah...huhuhuhuh. He's high.

What's really stupid is that Oliver wasn't even a very good singer and didn't make it through! Why did the producers devote so much time to following him if he was going to end up a reject? BECAUSE CHARLESTON IS BORING. Wasn't I paying attention to myself when I said that earlier??

I need to get away from the TV now so I don't have to endure The Moment of Truth. That show must be the worst example of how people prize money above everything else. Celebrities bitch about never getting to have a "private life," yet more and more average Joes are just chomping at the bit to put every bit of their lives on camera, no matter what the personal cost. Is nothing sacred these days? I saw a promo for Scott Baio Is 46 And Pregnant, where Scott's girlfriend walked into the bathroom to talk to him and he was like, "Don't you realize you're being followed everywhere by cameras and you come in here while I'm trying to take a shit?" Oh, so having the cameras around every other minute of the day doesn't bother him, but they're off-limits during his heavy reading time?

I think it's safe to assume that the next big reality game show will be something like Dump or No Dump. Contestants would be, quite literally, put in the hot seat to see who can produce a pile with the pressures of a watchful audience and a dramatic musical score.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

American Idol 7: Leggo Your Dreams, Sandy Eggo

Dammit, Ryan! You said we were going to San Francisco!

It's all coming back to me now. No, I'm not trying to impress The Dawg by doing my best Celine impression...I'm suddenly remembering why I only began recapping AI last year when it got around to the Top 12. This shit is boring me to death.

The hour of sleep I got last night is surely contributing to my lack of patience, but I can't wait until these stupid auditions are over. Tonight, the judges descend upon San Diego. But while the cities may change, the script stays the same. Hot chicks, guys who sound like Brian McKnight and nice folks with sob stories make it through, while attention-starved, wannabe reality TV stars conjure up their best mock anger when they end up in the reject pile. Rinse, lather, repeat.

And is Simon purposely screwing with me because he knows I'm too tired to play games? For one audition, he's wearing a white tee shirt. Next audition, he's wearing a long-sleeved gray v-neck. Then he's back in the white tee. Then he's in a gray scoop neck. Then the v-neck. Then the tee shirt. It's bad enough that he's refusing to wear black, but now he's gonna taunt me by pulling a Diana Ross with the rest of his limited wardrobe?

Oh! And now he's humoring two hose-hounds who run in and try to put their hands all over him. I guess all my gushing over the little farm boy from last week didn't sit well with him, and now he's childishly trying to turn the tables of jealousy on me. Well, fine. I can keep playing that game.

Did you all get a load of the hot Aussie with the smooth soul voice? Farm Boy and Simon better step up their games.

Okay, I can't deal with this foolishness anymore. I have to go to bed.

OH SNAP! Hold on! What's this Simon's wearing?? Finally! A black shirt!! I guess he needed to change after he let those brazen hussies drool all over that gray number.

Well, in the time it's taken me to type this, the show has plodded on and it's finally at the end. I might as well finish watching. And hey, the last auditioner of the day is a nice Irish gal. Apparently she was picked during the first season and then got disqualified because of visa problems. To be sure, she has a lovely voice.

Let the lass through Simon, ya British feck, if ya like yer spine the way 'tis.

Yay! She's going to Hollywood and more years of violence and bloodshed have been averted.

I'm gonna go pass out now.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sonic Sunday: Random Mixx I

I know that all of my Sonic Sundays have had a theme up to this point, but I don't want you to get too used to that. This is the first of many random playlists to come.

(Click any link to download the song. Mp3s are available for a limited time, so get 'em while they're hot!)

1. "I'll Be By Your Side," Meowskers - I discovered this band quite by accident recently and just fell in love with them. I can't believe I hadn't heard of them before now, since they're based in Brooklyn, but I will make it a point to see an upcoming gig. This is my favorite song from their EP, Fake Orange. Gotta love that bass line and the singer's '80s flair. And if just the name Meowskers doesn't make you smile, well, you're just a crusty old sour-puss.

2. "Rewind," Better Than Ezra - My favorite BTE song that contains one of my favorite lyrics ever - Right there a song became a soundtrack for this space in time. What a beautiful ode to the mix tape and the amazing hold that certain songs can have on us.

3. "Second Minute or Hour," Jack Penate - I've been seeing this guy's mug all over MySpace recently, which prompted me to give in to my superficial side and look him up. He's quite the cutie. I wasn't all that jazzed about the first of his songs that I heard, "Torn on the Platform," but I loved this one right away. It's a nice, tall, fizzy glass of Brit-pop. Every time I hear it, I just picture cute boys in black clothing scampering down narrow cobblestone streets towards their favorite local.

4. "Let's Dance to Joy Division," The Wombats - Keeping the Brit-pop rolling, this is another song and band that I just discovered recently. The song tells of the irony of dancing and being happy while everything is going wrong, but I think the real irony is that this song is more danceable than anything Joy Division ever put out.

5. "Punk Rock Girl," The Dead Milkmen - A goofy, classic song that always reminds me of this guy who I had a monster crush on in high school. Brad. Like most high school boys, he was an asshole. He thought he was cool though, because he had spiked hair and liked The Dead Milkmen.

6. "Push," Prince and The New Power Generation - My favorite song from Diamonds and Pearls, and one of my top 10 Prince tunes of all-time. M@ recently asked me if I could recommend any workout songs, and I mentioned this one. It's not quite fast enough for aerobics, but it was always my favorite song to do crunches to...when I was motivated enough to get my lazy ass off the couch and do crunches.

7. "We Don't Talk Anymore," Cliff Richard - Is this one of those "guilty pleasures" that I always hear people talking about? That phrase does not compute. I don't feel the least bit guilty about loving this song. Why would I? He's Cliff F'ing Richard, for God's sake!

8. "All I Need," Radiohead - At the risk of making Barbara fall over and injure her back again, I have to say that I do not like the new Radiohead record. I think the way they went about distributing it online was fantastic, but once I heard the songs I was just disappointed. "House of Cards" isn't too bad, but I could take or leave it. "All I Need" is the one song that I genuinely like. The last minute or so, where the piano is pounding and Thom is whining, really tugs at my old heartstrings. Also, I like relationship songs that are messed up - like relationships are.

9. "Failsafe," The New Pornographers - This probably should've made it to my Top 20 list for 2007. Although, I was disappointed to learn that the line I thought was "You and me both, kid" was actually "You and me both cared." As is the case with 90% of my misheard lyrics, I like my way better.
(**UPDATE! After Barbara's recent comment, I dug into this further. I still found several lyrics sites that had the line as "you and me both cared," but then I found the band's "Choir Practice" video for this song and they were clearly all singing "you and me both, kid." Then I just did a search for that phrase and found a bunch of other lyrics sites that backed me up. Thank goodness. But now I feel really bad for not putting this on my Top 20.)

10. "Long Hot Summer," The Style Council - I was never a fan of this band back in the '80s, but I caught their concert on VH1 Classic recently and really enjoyed it. I've always thought Paul Weller was fantastic, solo and with The Jam, so I should probably check into The Style Council further. This song is like the best duet that Mick Hucknall and Sade never recorded.

11. "Man's Job," Bruce Springsteen - Originally from Human Touch, this is the live version from Bruce's MTV UnPlugged CD. I think the live version captures the sweetness of the song much better. If any man ever wonders why The Boss is so appealing to women, this song could certainly be offered into evidence as Exhibit C. (Exhibits A & B would probably be "incredibly talented" and "ass looks good in jeans.")

12. "Red Dragon Tattoo," Fountains of Wayne - One of the best pop songs ever written, hands down. Last summer, I had a brief bout of unemployment, so one Monday I took a ride on the N train down to Coney Island. I was halfway there when I realized that I was living this song and I couldn't stop giggling to myself. I was nearly tempted to take the money I saved and get me engraved, but then I remembered that I forgot to bring my Bactine and .38 Special CDs. Hence, I remain tatless.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

Do you people ever just get down on your knees and thank the Lord for my blog? If you don't, you will in a minute.

American Idol madness got me thinking about another reality TV pop creation - Sam Harris. You know, that Ed McMahon lovin', tuxedo-with-tails jacket wearin', over the rainbow flyin' heartthrob for '80s teen girls with no gaydar?

Here is Sam's 1984 semi-hit, "Sugar Don't Bite." Keep on reading for some trivial facts, or rush to the bottom of the post for the lyrics so you can sing along. Trust me, you need these lyrics in your life.



Say what you will about this song (ex: "Good Lord, what the hell was that?," "Take it out of my brain!"), but at least it's not the copy-and-paste quasi-inspirational dreck that every AI winner is forced to release as their first single. It was even "brilliant" enough to catch the ear of Madonna, who was successfully sued by songwriters, Donna Weiss and Bruce Roberts, after "borrowing" the hook for "Papa Don't Preach."

Sam isn't exactly proud of his hit, saying, "'Sugar Don't Bite' is a song I would just as soon...I really don't even remember it. I couldn't even tell you the words to that song."

Well, I could. And I will! Britney! Take notes!

The floors are all made out of wood
The price is sure worth the admission
Dreams of the drifters die hard, y'all
Bodies dance through the dark to submission
Fast feet and Saturday night
Leave you nowhere to stand
But nobody here is leaving

Sugar Don't Bite
Just take me home with you
All through the night
I bet you taste sweeter
Sugar Don't Bite
I just want to please you
Don't make me beg,
Don't make me tease you, no

Sugar Don't Bite
You know I'm a bleeder
Don't make this boy
Commit a misdemeanor, no
Sugar don't bite
Just sprinkle it on me
Do what you can,
Do what you can to me

The beat is a groan and you are
Pounded into my intentions
The heat of the dance, it hits hard, y'all
In a trance, we got no inhibitions
Fast feet and Saturday night
Leave you nowhere to stand, no
But nobody here is leaving

Sugar Don't Bite
Just take me home with you...


Trying to choose a favorite line is like trying to choose between food and shelter. I mean, "Dreams of the drifters die hard, y'all" is like the most delicious cheese ever, but "You know I'm a bleeder?" Man. What was the thought process while writing this song?

Donna: "'I'm a bleeder'? That's kinda gross."
Bruce: "What? If Sugar bites him, he'll bleed. I don't see the problem."
Donna: "It's just, I don't know, blood isn't very sexy."
Bruce: "Yeah. But, look. It's the only word I could think of that rhymes with 'misdemeanor'.

Bruce wakes up one night, five years later, in a cold sweat.
Bruce: *shakes fist* "Sonofabitch. 'Weiner. WEINER'!!"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

American Idol 7: Audition Day Two

The AI crew rolls into Dallas tonight for the first time since Season 1, which ended with Texas native Kelly Clarkson being crowned the original Idol. Of course, all of these Rebs think they're the next Kelly, but if the show hasn't produced an Idol better than her by now, I doubt it ever will. Still, that won't stop the misguided throngs from giving "Since You Been Gone" their best shouts.

Jessica Brown kicks things up a notch from last night's Lifetime drama with her MTV-ready "former meth addict turned stay-at-home mom" story. She doesn't sing Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take The Wheel," her self-appointed theme song, but instead opts for The Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You," which Carrie covered last year. I may have said yesterday that Kristy Lee Cook was this year's Carrie, but Jessica might give her a run for her money. I imagine that whatever she sings, she'll sound great. I'd especially love to hear her take on "Rehab."

Next we are introduced to Paul Stafford, aka Fat Larry Bird. Fat Larry reveals that he's an ACE - American Coaster Enthusiast - and I turn green with envy. I think he said he's a groundskeeper at a baseball field. Where does he get the time and money to roll with those thrill riders?? I've only wanted to be an ACE forever. If this guy goes through to Hollywood, I'll gladly take his spot in the club. Unfortunately for both of us, he spazzes his way through an Elliot Yamin song, much to Simon's befuddlement. Fat Larry isn't even the worst AI has ever seen. How can Simon be surprised by anything anymore? Of course, he may have been surprised to hear Paul say that he was relieved that Simon didn't come down hard on him because "he goes down on just about everybody." Ahem. Soooo, where is the holding room for that?

By the way, I forgot to mention that Simon is wearing a seafoam green shirt tonight. That is an actual color. What is going on? Did he forget to pack a suitcase for this tour? Is he borrowing stuff from Seacrest?

Beth Maddocks sings a Chipmunk-esque version of Kelly Clarkson's "Beautiful Disaster," which kicks off a string of disastrous auditions. Then, in walks Alaina Whitaker, who looks like a bitchier version of Carrie Underwood. She just reminds me of any sorority girl I wanted to beat down during my drunken college years. She sings a Faith Hill song well, but she's one of those heavy breathers who likes to hit those "creaking door" notes that are supposed to be sexy. She's good enough to go to Hollywood, but Simon makes my heart sweat when he tells her bluntly, "I don't think you're as good as you think you are." Oh Simon, let's go to Vegas.

Bruce Dickson (no, not Dickinson, babies) tries to convince America that he's never kissed a girl and is "saving himself" for marriage, when he looks like he just walked off the set of Gossip Girl. He obviously has an unhealthy relationship with his Dad, but I still don't believe that Dad has instilled all this virtue in him. Then he tries to boy-bandardize "Ain't No Sunshine." If the guy's never had a girlfriend, how would he know how it feels when his woman's gone? This kid's full of shit. Luckily, his boy-next-door gimmick doesn't work and he gets the old heave-ho.

Brandon Green teaches America what kids who live "way down in Louisiana" do to pass the time by showing off his disgusting collection of fingernail shavings. Then, he gives a pretty good performance of the yacht rock classic, "Rich Girl," despite his obvious lack of Oates-tache. Simon doesn't really like him, but Paula and Randy want to put him through. When Randy tries to act like Brandon's savior by painting Cowell as the bad guy, the kid pisses Randy off by praising Simon as the "truth teller." Randy gets all bitchy and practically threatens Brandon with rejection unless he says he likes Randy better than Simon. (In the end, he gave him a yes.) I guess the pressure of being the judge no one cares about is finally starting to break him.

Kayla Hatfield starts up the violins again with her tragic car wreck story and wins all the judges over with her "just happy to be alive" attitude. Honestly, I think she might still be medicating. Who does she remind me of? Ah....Honey Bunny. I keep waiting for her to jump up on the judges' table with a gun and threaten to execute every motherf**king last one of them. Her growling, loud performance of "Piece of My Heart" is just as scary, but somehow the judges all agree to send her to Hollywood. Maybe Pumpkin had a gun on them, who knows.

The last audition of the day belongs to Kady (I'm gonna call her "Caddy," 'cause I'm a mean girl) Malloy, who claims to be a female Rich Little. She really does an excellent impression of Britney Spears, with all the grunting and groaning. She stopped short at shaving her head though, which, to me, shows a lack of commitment. Oh well. The judges ask her to be Kady and she starts singing "Before He Cheats" rather Underwoodenly. I don't even think she realized that she was still in mimic mode. Simon reminds her to be herself and then she sings a very nice version of "Unchained Melody." That little tramp. She knows that's one of Simon's favorite songs! Her little ploy works well, because Simon proclaims Kady "the best so far." Neither Randy nor I would go that far, but she's aight.

* * * * * * * *


For Day 2 of the Dallas auditions, Simon sports a gray shirt (getting closer) with a deep v-neck. I hope they remember to put a 4th chair at the judges' table for Simon's chest hairs.

Vying for this year's "Keith Award" is Douglas Davidson, another weirdo with Daddy issues. After baffling the judges with his bizarre vocal warm-up exercises and even stranger rendition of "Livin' on a Prayer," Simon puts everyone's thoughts into words by cautiously asking, "What the bloody hell was that?" Ooh, I love a good British curse. Saucy! Doug doesn't answer, he just goes right into another song that no one recognizes. The whole time he's singing, he keeps doing this weird motion with his arms, like a half hug or something. It's like he's trying to squeeze the words out of his diaphragm. Security guards, or maybe they were a couple of butterfly catchers, finally come to take him away, ha ha.

Another girl needing a beat down, Angela Riley, comes in and starts blathering on about her husband, who's a professional model. Yay. You aren't going to Hollywood, honey, but you got to make all your ex-friends from high school jealous because you married a hunk. Himbo comes in under the guise of "loving support," and pretends to listen to his wife sing bad karaoke while trying not to get busted making eyes at the camera the entire time.

Nerdy Kyle Ersley wants to be the American Idol, but he also wants to be the governor of Oklahoma. Hey, if Arnold can be The Terminator and rule California, why not? He announces that he's going to sing my favorite Queen song, "Somebody to Love." I wince in expectation, but he actually isn't that bad. He can certainly carry a tune, but he's no Freddie Mercury. He's not even a Clay Aiken. There just wasn't much soul to the performance, but he's a likable kid and that helps him get through.

The freak montage makes me wonder if Dubya knows how many cross-dressers there are in Texas.

That thought is suddenly interrupted, and my love for Simon is threatened, by the appearance of Drew Poppelreiter, a little farm boy who's cuter'n a sack full of possums. New crush! It's amazing how some people with Southern accents (e.g., Britney) just come off as stupid and others (e.g., Dierks Bentley) come off as super-hot. Drew is in the latter category. He drives a tractor. (Yes, it's sexy.) He gnaws on a toothpick. He refers to his family members as "rascals." He spins cornfield wisdom like, "To git somewhere, ya gotta give up some stuff sometimes." Oh, that's so true. What, like I'm gonna argue with that? Look at the way he fills out that flannel shirt! I can't believe Paula says he doesn't have a "wow factor." Is she seeing his legs in those jeans? Maybe he should've done a turn so she could've gotten a better view of that back forty. Yeah, I know this is about the voice, but I can't remember if he actually sang.

Finally, the inevitable montage of people mangling "Since You Been Gone" is here. Then, a girl from Burleson, Kelly's hometown, does a very over-the-top performance of Whitney Houston's "Run to You," and somehow makes it through to Hollywood. Prediction: there will not be another Idol from Burleson, TX. At least not this year.

Now, I want you to imagine this: What if Jackie Chan were an astronaut-pimp? Well, you would have Renaldo Lapuz, the last auditioner of the day. He offers up an original song called "We're Brothers Forever," and what's sad about this is that he definitely sings better than I do. However, I think I'm a better lyricist because there are about 3 lines in that song. Somehow, that still doesn't stop it from lasting about 20 minutes. The craziness devolves into a dance and sing-along, and Paula has a rare, genuinely funny moment (if you're easily amused) when she pretends to sign out the lyrics for Simon's enjoyment. At the end of it all, Renaldo's dream comes true when he gets a hug from Cowell. Lucky bastard.

Post-audition, Renaldo gives a teary-eyed speech about the glory that is Simon, the man who gives everyone a chance to sing for the world. He explains that even though people "throw him negative words," Simon is "Heaven's chosen to give chance to any talent, free of charge." And, if Paul Stafford is to be believed, he goes down on just about everybody. I don't know if that's free of charge too, but I'll look into it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

American Idol 7: It Begins

Ah, finally. After many, many months of kissing a bunch of other reality shows with one eye open, I'm back in the arms of my true love.

You may recall that, last year, I only started recapping AI when it got to the Top 12. After much thought, I've determined that that schedule wasn't socially or intellectually debilitating enough, so I'm in for the long haul. My slow death starts a little something like this...

The first day of auditions kicks off in Philadelphia, also known as the City of Brotherly Love or the City With Just As Much Crime and Filth as New York But Without As Much Cool Stuff to Do. Simon even broke out his one white shirt for the occasion. Hopefully he won't get any cheesesteak drippings on it.

Kicking things off is Joey Catalano, who tells Seacrest that he lost over 200 pounds. He didn't lose his bad taste in music, as evidenced by his choice to sing Maroon 5's "Sunday Morning." He does sing it well, but it's not hard to top that turd, Adam Levine. Suddenly, eight minutes of the show are gone. They spent the whole first segment on this guy because of his weight-loss story? I go out of my way not to watch The Biggest Loser and crappy, made-for-cable empowerment movies. Take this to Dr. Phil and give me more Simon.

Next up is Youkaa, who can only be described as the Egyptian version of Yakov Smirnoff. I love this country! I love American girls! I love-a da music! I have sexy face! I love Bee-Gees! His performance of "How Deep is Your Love" just felt like a missing scene from Borat, even though I haven't seen it...and now I don't want to. Paula reaches new heights in insincerity when she refuses to just be honest and tell the guy he can't sing. She just tells him that she "appreciates him." But not the same way that she "appreciated" Corey Clark.

Here comes some chick who sang backup for Taylor Hicks. She's good. But if Aaron Neville's backup singer couldn't win last year, Taylor Hicks' backup singer doesn't have a shot.

Now, a guy named James Lewis is saying that his voice is similar to Eddie Vedder's. Oh, this should be good. First of all, he's a costumed tour guide so you know he's not right. Secondly, he opts to sing "Go Down, Moses," which isn't exactly targeted toward teenybopper record-buyers. Well, they would be entertained by the title for a few minutes. Anyway, this won't really make sense to anyone not in New York, but when this guy sings he sounds like that one (supposedly) homeless guy who always gets on the train and gives that same loud, robotic speech about collecting food money for the shelter.

The first of many montages focuses on people who sing to extremes - too high, too low, too loud, too soft, too monotonous. No real "best of the worst" break-out stars here.

* * * * * * * *


Junot Joyner comes in and announces that he's singing "The Blues" by Elton John. I'm thinking this must be a new song until I realize he's talking about "I Guess That's Why They Call it The Blues." Despite his aversion to long song titles, he sounds pretty good. I wish they would've let him sing more because I'd be interested to know if he can actually decipher the line that sounds like "dust out the lemons inside."

More guys are sent through, including José Whatshisface, who sang "Unbreak-o My Corazon" and a boy-bandish dude who I immediately dubbed "McGellin" and then just as quickly forgot about.

The made-for-TV drama picks up again with big-hearted and big-boned Temptress Browne. Her mama's sick, she sings the Dreamgirls song badly, she cries, Paula and Randy hug her like she's their little girl who just got rebuffed by the cool boy at school and then all three judges escort her out to the lobby to join her family. I keep waiting for Ty Pennington to show up and toss a sledgehammer through the audition room wall. What gives with all the sob stories tonight??

And from the Famly Channel to Cinemax after dark...as the judges head back to their room, Simon's nipples are noticeably large and erect. Oh please let him change into one of his black shirts soon.

* * * * * * * *


Mark Hayes can make really cool cricket sounds, and after he speaks his way through "White Christmas," you can...oh hell, the sound effects guys beat me to it. Crickets.

Some doofy Indian guy named Udgeet shows up wearing the standard jackhole uniform - black shirt, black pants and a thick gold chain. I think this guy has tried to pick me up before. Like every Saturday night throughout my 20s. He sings like a robot, and for some reason I find him kind of amusing. When he can't seem to grasp what the judges mean when they say "no," I decide that he's either a complete moron or the greatest deadpan comic since that chubby kid from Superbad.

The next montage features horrible singers murdering Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'N' Roll," and as we head into the next commercial break, I've forgotten Simon's earlier, slightly disturbing display of moobage, and I'm right back in love again just like Jeffrey Osborne. Speaking of - why doesn't anyone ever opt for "On the Wings of Love" over the done-to-death "Ribbon in the Sky?"

* * * * * * * *


After the break, we meet Alexis Cohen, who looks like the love child of Ace Frehley and Jem, and she is truly outrageous. She's an Allentown native who is under the impression that Bon Jovi sings "Allentown" and that she will some day be a vetenarian. I was expecting her to completely suck, but she pulls out kind of an awesome scream-through of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love," channeling her inner drugged-out Grace Slick as best she can. None of the judges really say anything bad, just that she would be better suited to fronting a '60s cover band than competing on AI. Her stunned silence only lasts until she gets out the door and then she just goes apeshit. Most of her profanities are directed at Simon, who she feels is "so snug." She also lets the world know that she's "going to go for actressing" now. I suppose if that doesn't pan out, there's always vetenary school. Maybe she should look into becoming a notarary while she's at it? Actually, since her rambling exit speech was nonsensical and full of empty promises, I think she should consider a career in politics. She could be presidentress one day.

Angela Martin is a pretty girl with a sad story, so guess what? She makes it through to Hollywood! She sings well but Simon calls her on her cornball stage presence and suggests that she "de-weddingize" herself. He must have been talking to Alexis between auditions. I'm learning all kinds of new words tonight.

* * * * * * * *


For the second hour, Simon goes for the grey shirt. The nips are finally under control!

Milo Turk, a middle-aged dude who looks like the nerdy guy from Bachelor Party, pointlessly auditions with an original song called "No Sex Allowed." He kind of sounds like Wall of Voodoo - if they ever decided to sing odes to chastity, or anything other than "Mexican Radio."

Following that goober is Kristy Lee Cook, a gorgeous all-American girl with an all-American name (wearing an unfortunate, white trashy shirt) who sings "Amazing Grace." Ladies and gentlemen, I give you this year's Carrie Underwood. If she doesn't make it through to the Top 12, I will be amazed like Grace, yo.

Paula talks some disgusting guy in a belly dancer costume into waxing his chest for no reason and another montage gives us all a glimpse of more weirdos and pissed-off rejects dropping F-bombs.

* * * * * * * *


The biggest weirdo, Paul Something-or-Other, freaks everyone out with his original stalker/cross-dressing love song to Paula Abdul. Ok, I take back what I said about the deadpan Indian guy before. This is the guy who tried to pick me up every Saturday during my 20s. I do have to give him props for coming up with the line, "If she were a bathtub, I would caulk her," because that's pure gold. K-Fed wishes he could think up that shit. Simon had security escort Paul away from Paula, out into the lobby where he was free to prey on all the vulnerable, unchaperoned, crying teenage girls.

In a brilliant segue, we go from a stalker to Beth Stalker! She looks a little bit like Scarlett Johansen, so I'm surprised when Simon says no. Oh, she's 28. Too old for Cowell. Well, ancient or not, Randy and Paula like her and out-vote Simon to send this non-threatening Stalker to Hollywood.

Chris Watson wows everyone with his voice and his cute, dreadlocked looks but he totally deserves to not go through just for the fact that he is singing an Uncle Kracker song. He goes through anyway.

Only two girls are left - Christina, a Star Wars geek with Princess Leia buns and all, and Brooke, a beautiful blonde from California. Any bets?

Neither the force nor the voice is with Christina. Unfortunately for her, her only hope, Obi-Wan, didn't get her holographic voicemail in time to make it to the judges' table, so she is sent back to whatever planet she's from. (So I know a few references, but I'm not that much of a geek to remember where Leia was from. And I'm too uninterested to Google it.) Her sweet, supportive grandparents greet her post-rejection and she treats them to a string of obscenities. Nice. You kiss Padmé Amidala with that mouth?

Brooke is certainly no nerd (even though she claims to have never even seen an R-rated movie) - she's a nanny. Oh, I bet the wife she works for loves her. Come to think of it, Brooke looks a bit like a young Rebecca DeMornay with curly hair. She makes it through to Hollywood, and I'm sure she's already planning to kill Paula so she can steal her job and sleep with Simon. Get in line, honey.

More of this madness tomorrow.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Caption Crotch-test Contest #6

"My publicist says I should take one picture a month where I keep my legs closed. I hope the bitch is happy now."




There it is - the winner of the first caption contest of the year, lovingly supplied by Pistols at Dawn. The girls' crotches were on fire in 2007...could Pistols be paving the way for male domination in 2008?



Now, I know that many of you thought that Beth should have won, so let me explain. Her line, "It's a vagina, Lindsay, not a clown car!" was extremely funny but she admitted to "borrowing" it and, while a very accurate statement about the way Li-Lo treats her "special area," it doesn't really fit the picture. Maybe when the greasy Italian gangbang photos surface, we can put Beth's quote to good use.

I have to also give a shout-out to Gifted Typist, who must have figured out that the quickest way to my heart is through bad puns. Her very simple, groan-worthy, "I kneed you" cracked me up. It was a real knee-slapper. My knee-jerk reaction was to name her the winner, but Pistols gave me money.

By the way, I realize the picture in my sidebar is of Steve Perry, but if you know Pistols like I know Pistols, it makes perfect sense.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Forgotten Classic Video of the Week

This song has been in my head since I posted my top songs of the year. Ever since I mentioned how I was driving and started nearly crying when I heard a particular Crowded House song. Have you figured it out yet, rock 'n rollas??

Here is the fist-pumping (now) classic, "Fly Me Courageous," from the band with, quite possibly, the most apostrophes in its name, Drivin' N' Cryin'. Technically, they're one apostrophe short since the "N" is standing in for "and," which means there should be an apostrophe before and after the N. Guns N' Roses is also guilty of this grammatical error, but they rocked hard enough to get away with it. One-hit wonders don't get a pass.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

More Lazy Blogging (in Some Other Blogger's Territory, No Less)

Overheard this morning on the N train:

Random Girl: "I'm taking courses to be a notarary."

....

I think she just failed her first test.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Catching Up With the Firecrotches Three

Hey Lindsay, Paris and Britney, it's a brand new year! What are your resolutions for 2008?

Lindsay Lohan: Last year, I resolved to hook up with as many random Italian dudes as I could and it just didn't happen. But, I'm so much more mature now and realize that I can do anything if I really apply myself. I already have three under my belt and it's only the first week of 2008! I think this shows how much more responsible I've become. Like, with drinking. A lot of people didn't think my 3rd...or was it my 4th...I don't know, whatever...people thought my 5th trip to rehab wouldn't take. But it totally has. I'm sober and loving it. Being sober just feels great. I don't need alcohol to...hey, what is that, champagne? Well, there's nothing wrong with toasting the new year, right? It's not like I have a problem. I mean, at least I'm not driving or anything! So, I'll give up drinking for Lent. No biggie.

Paris Hilton: Well, like, last year I totally realized that I'm kinda human and that I have so much to give other humans. I know I said I wanted to be more philan...philateral...philly...um, money-giving and good deed doing and all that stuff last year. But since it was kinda near the end of the year, I thought a lot of things would get fixed before this year but, like, there's still Rwandians who are, like, hungry and stuff, and people are still dying from cancerish tumors and multiple sclerioliosis and irritable bowel symptom and bad diseases like that. And all those ladies who will have no place to live when they get out of jail, like I totally still wanna build them a house and stuff, 'cause you know, they're like my sisters. So my resolution was to help fix all these problems in the world, but now I can't because, like I might need someone to start a charity for me. My grandfather went totally senile and gave away a bunch of money that I earned when I was born. So, now I only get like 3 million bucks when he finally croaks. I used to spend 3 million every weekend...now what am I supposed to do? It's not like I can live a normal life AND help other people on that kind of allowance! Old people are so stupid. If Gramps left me more bucks, I would've even tried to find a cure for old man smell, but now I so can't. He took all my dreams and resolutions away from me. Sigh...people just don't understand how hard it is to be me.

Britney Spears: God, y'all...I think we should put an end to all the revolutions in 2008. There's just like, too much war and killin' in the world already so I don't think anyone should start any more revolutions. But, I might start a war with my dumb sister 'cause she totally stole my act by gettin' pregnit and gettin' talked about all up in the press all the time. I mean, God, it's like the paps totally forgot where I lived for a few weeks 'cause of her. What's the big deal? Like, anyone can get pregnit once. Well, whatevs, she don't know who she's dealing with. Alls I gotta do is have my kids over for a visit, take a whole buncha drugs, ignore them, and then act all crazy when K-Fed's gopher comes to pick 'em up. Then, boom, I'm back on the front page! Yeeeee-haw!

 

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