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Because I’ve stopped watching American Idol this season, it only makes sense that I’d come across Casey Abrams’ performance of Smells Like Teen Spirit via the brilliant Joel McHale, who tore it apart on The Soup. I’ve been told by a close friend that my blog has become “too negative” and all I can say is that someone has to point this out, and I’m the fortunate volunteer. To be fair, most of the performances on that night were pretty terrible, because the theme was “the year you were born,” which has always proven to be a disaster for the Idol contestants. When I first saw the video below, I had to see what the judges said, and it’s official — they are completely crazy. They actually liked the performance. Bring back Simon Cowell.
Dave Grohl has joined the list of musicians that refuse to feature their music on Glee, and he insulted Ryan Murphy in the process. Though I usually come to Ryan Murphy’s defense, Grohl has officially changed my mind. He said that he has no interest in featuring his songs on the hit show, and he, along with other musicians who feel the same way, should not be attacked for their choice. He referenced Slash who turned down the show because he “hates musicals,” which subsequently led to Ryan Murphy calling him a “washed up old rock star.” According to Grohl, every musician has a right to reject the show without Ryan Murphy attacking them for doing so. Murphy’s personal attacks also include Kings of Leon, who he called “arrogant a*sholes.” Murphy has always said that his show is about musical education, so it’s terrible when musicians don’t want to be included in something with such a positive message. Though I see his point, Dave Grohl has a better one. Just because someone as legendary as Slash doesn’t want his music on your show, doesn’t warrant you bludgeoning him over the head with your anger. May I also point out that I’m a huge Dave Grohl fan? There’s no better guy to interview. To read one of his greatest interviews, click the link below.
Stern fans everywhere likely know why it’s so hilarious that he played Louie Louie on Jimmy Fallon. For those that don’t listen to his show, aside from being ashamed of yourself, you should know that Jimmy Kimmel threw Howard Stern a party the last time Stern visited Los Angeles, and Stern took great pride in playing Louie Louie with the other musicians at the party. It’s apparently the only thing he can play, so it only makes sense that he’d break out his best hit for his Fallon appearance. Stern revealed during his interview that he’s only there to promote the new Sirius phone app, and he’s finished with talk show appearances altogether. “It’s a lot of pressure to come out here, he said. What, I gotta prove myself to you? I mean come on, really” Since Jimmy Fallon is such a huge Howard Stern fan, he didn’t take offense. I’m absolutely positive that we’ll see Stern on again, despite his retirement declaration. His curmudgeon proclamations are always temporary.
It always shocks me when celebrities appear on reality shows and openly broadcast their bad behavior. In the case of Star Jones, it’s especially surprising. First, Jones has some major career cleanup to do after being fired from The View and subsequently bad-mouthing the staff. You would think she’d make a considerable effort to appear agreeable — even if she has to lie to do so. If you watched the most recent episode of The Apprentice, then you know that Star Jones and Dionne Warwick were exceptionally disagreeable. The challenge was to draft a children’s book, and both Star and Dionne insisted that they receive writing credit on the book apart from the team’s general credit. If you’re familiar with entertainment contracts, then you know that credit is a big deal in the industry, so it’s understandable that both Star and Dionne would be knowledgeable of receiving separate credit. That being said, this is faux task on Celebrity Apprentice and not a legitimate book deal for a major studio. Their immaturity was ridiculous, as was their condescending conversations with team leader, Lisa Rinna. That brings me to my favorite line of the episode, which came from Lisa Rinna when she said, “those bitches are not going to take me down.”
Nikki Sixx is angry with the Facebook censors after deleting three photos he posted, which included: a 350 pound naked woman; a naked transgender man; and a girl with half her face burned off. He insisted that his photos were “art,” and he responded by posting half naked pictures of himself, which Facebook allowed. This reminds me of a very boring lecture on Dada given by my high school English teacher, which ended with me verbally badgering him about how a naked man covered in feathers while standing on a table in the middle of a museum — is not art. Apparently, Facebook agrees. Plus, if Nikki Sixx had his way, I imagine his theory would justify Facebook becoming a porn site. After all, isn’t porn “art?”
Last Sunday my friend invited me to The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles to see Harper Blynn play. The venue opened in 2000, and it is known for featuring new singer/songwriters. Harper Blynn started their performance with singer/songwriter Schuyler Fisk, who I later found out is Sissy Spacek’s daughter. Despite her often described “folk” music, I actually found her to be a confusing cross between pop and country, with a strange resemblance (physically and musically) to Colbie Caillat. To be fair, I must confess my limited musical knowledge, which explains why my only legitimate criticism of their combined performance is the strange blend of Fisk’s sweet looking, polished demeanor and the unwashed looking Harper Blynn boys. To put it plainly, the chemistry was odd. As soon as Harper Blynn played alone, the energy in the room completely changed. The band is comprised of four band members, including: Pete Harper (keys and rhythm guitar); Jason Blynn (lead guitar); Sarab Singh (drums); and Whynot Jansveld (bass), and to quote Paste Magazine, who voted Harper Blynn the #1 new discovery of the CMJ Festival, “despite their Brooklyn address and hipster credentials, there’s nothing remotely indie rock about the band-the harmonies recall Simon & Garfunkel, and the melodies would make Elvis Costello proud.” They promoted their new self-titled EP during the show, leaving out songs from their debut album, Loneliest Generation. They closed the show with a cover of Beyonce’s Halo, which they’ve become known for after a previous performance of the cover went viral. The biggest applause of the night came from the Halo cover, which I pondered for a bit before stumbling across a very well-written article by Jim Malec. He said, “massively popular mainstream hits can be adapted under an indie aesthetic and made appealing to a young, hip crowd.” And “It’s surprising that more indie artists don’t strive for that same type of catchiness in their own tunes.” While I’m not sure I agree that Harper Blynn’s music lacks catchiness, I will say that their upcoming EP certainly sounds more catchy than their debut album. It will be worth the wait. Watch their video for Loneliest Generation below.
Whenever a notable part of a show neglects to show up for an important appearance, I can’t help but question their mysterious absence. At last night’s Paley Center panel for American Idol, Jennifer Lopez was a no show. This was particularly strange because the other two judges were in attendance, and one of those judges includes the legendary Steven Tyler. So is the question-and-answer session good enough for Steven Tyler and not Jennifer Lopez? My guess is that Jennifer Lopez thinks the appearance is beneath her and therefore decided not to show. This is a dangerous assumption, but I feel it’s a relatively safe guess. Why? Because not one person mentioned the elephant in the room. If she had some sort of important personal commitment, I’m confident that the moderator would have explained it, so as to make her look better. Things only go unexplained when there’s guilt afoot.
My friend invited me to Jenny O.’s performance last night at Diane Von Furstenberg’s store, and I embarrassingly canceled at the last minute to attend the Paley Center’s American Idol panel. I’m told by my drummer friends that Jenny O. was very good. Watch the video below and judge for yourself. It’s excellent.
If you watch Jersey Shore, then you’re familiar with the term “grenade.” Basically, it describes a fat, ugly chick. The guys on the show (who sometimes refer to themselves as “M.V.P’ — for Mike, Vinny, Pauly), often bring home hot chicks to their house, and those hot chicks sometimes bring their girlfriends along, and those girlfriends are problematic “grenades.” What’s curious is that anyone who appears on the show has to sign a waiver allowing MTV to put their face on camera. So why would any girl in their right mind allow MTV to put their face on camera after the guys on the show lambaste their looks? Here’s the answer. The waiver allows MTV the right to use their footage, no matter what’s discussed. Since these women aren’t aware of their “grenade” status when they sign the waiver, they must be pretty damn confident with their looks. Note to self: If I ever get invited to the Jersey Shore house — DON’T SIGN THE WAIVER.
When people ask me if I’m a “writer,” I always say no. I tell them I’m “aspiring.” The reason? Every so often I read articles like the one Alec Baldwin just wrote for Huffington Post, and it’s confirmed that I have a lot of work to do before I get there. Baldwin wrote an open letter to Charlie Sheen, and it’s brilliant. He told Sheen to “beg for his job back,” and he shared a very personal anecdote that illustrated his own frustrations with the entertainment industry. When I studied film in college, my professor actually discussed this story about Baldwin, and he told the class that Baldwin turned down the opportunity to star in the sequels to The Hunt for Red October, because he wanted to star in A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway in hopes that it would solidify his status as an A-list actor. My professor said it’s considered one of the greatest blunders in Hollywood history. After reading Alec Baldwin’s recanting of what really happened, I’m convinced that Baldwin would kill my professor. It turns out the the movie studio (Paramount) was negotiating simultaneous deals with Alec Baldwin and another A-list actor for the same part, thus breaking the law. The movie studio owed this unnamed actor money for a previous deal that fell apart, and casting him in Alec’s role would not only save them money, but potentially help their film by casting someone who’s a bigger box-office draw. The studio knew Alec wanted to star in the play, and they insisted that the production schedule could not accommodate Baldwin. The implication from Baldwin’s letter is that the studio played hard-ball in hopes that Alec would drop out so they could employ the other actor. If that’s true, it worked. So what’s the thesis of Baldwin’s lesson? “You can’t win,” and “no actor is greater than the show itself when the show is a hit.” He therefore thinks Sheen should “sober up,” “get back on TV” and “buy John Cryer a really nice car.”