Are you perhaps craving more of my Rock Critic wit and wisdom? Then cruise on over to East Portland Blog for my revealing and candid take on Live’s version of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line.” (You know, it’s the arrangement American Idol Contestant Chris Daughtry ripped off from Live and then took all the credit for!)
I have a shameful, embarrassing confession to make: in another life, I watched two entire seasons of American Idol — the one where Fantasia (deservedly) won (I think that was Season 3) and the one where the ridiculously fantastic Bo Bice inexplicably lost to the robotic automaton known as Carrie Underwood. That’s when I decided this program was bullshit and I would never never ever ever watch it again. I have spent this entire season of American Idol openly hating on this show (while watching it sporadically in secret) and having my intense hatred of all that American Idol stands for reaffirmed every time someone with a pulse, like Carly or Syesha, got slammed to the mat while all the judges collectively felated finalist (and let’s face it, he was the “chosen winner” right out of the gate) David Archuleta, the worlds most obvious puppet-boy plant. And I’ve never been a huge fan of AI’s other Season Gazillion finalist, David Cook, because I think the world has enough Scott Stapp-by-Way-of-Chris Daughtry clones. But let’s face it: the guy can fucking sing and seems to have the ability to actually rock.
But anyway, I did end up watching last night’s season finale, the Battle of the Two Davids, while I enjoyed a delicious burger I’d grilled up for my dinner and waited for Hell’s Kitchen to start. Jacob over at Television Without Pity has a full-on righteous recap that is way more hilarious and scathing than anything I could possibly pull out of my ass on such short notice, so I’m going to defer to him, because he said it all.
Backstory: It’s not always easy to lure me out of the Chickpad on a weeknight, but just last evening I hopped the M21 bus to Houston and Elizabeth Street to hang out at a listening party for the new album by some band called Motion City Soundtrack — a group of unwashed-looking guys pushing thirty who sing songs about what it’s like to be 15 years old and have “problems.” Aside from the fact that the party was held in a place where you have to make an appointment to custom design your own over-priced Nike sneakers, attendees were promised an “open bar” and snacks, so it really could have been any crappy band and I would have been there, because free food is free food.
The upcoming new album by Motion City Soundtrack turns out to be pretty much the typical “Poppy-Punk-meets-Emo” fare by your garden variety signed-to-Epitaph band that wishes it had the nads to be Bad Religion. You know: not horrifying but not anything I would ever listen to if I wasn’t being paid to write about the drummer. I will say that the production is top notch, being that the songs are alternately produced by either Ric Ocasek or the team of Eli Janney (Girls Against Boys) and Adam Schlessinger (Fountains of Wayne). So you know they threw down a few bucks to get the thing recorded. I sincerely wish these guys some good fortune in selling lots of copies of this album, the name of which escapes me at the moment, because I might even be into their music if I wasn’t in my forties and didn’t have my shit completely together.
Oh, and speaking of the free food, can I just say that I was served what was definitely the single most delicious cheeseburger I have ever eaten in my entire life? I’m not even exaggerating. That burger was so fucking awesome, I’ll be talking about it for the rest of my life. When I’m on my death bed, the last word that slips from my withered mouth will likely be, “cheeseburger….” Mmmm…Count on it.
But I digress. What I really wanted to blog about today is Hey Paula (Thursdays at 10:00 PM on Bravo) the new reality TV show starring professional train wreck and washed-up has-been, Paula Abdul. I happened to get home from the party early enough to catch the debut episode and it was just insane. Jesus god, this show is so ridiculously, desperately heinous, it makes Britney and Kevin: Chaotic look like The Sopranos by comparison. If there was ever any doubt that Abdul – whose histrionics and incoherent babbling have made American Idol almost unwatchable to me — is a pill-popping lunatic with, at best, a tenuous grasp on reality, this show blasts that doubt to smithereens. I can’t believe she actually allowed cameras to follow her around and immortalize her on film acting like an overwrought, pathetic loser. It would almost be sad if she hadn’t volunteered to let the whole world (or at least those with basic cable) witness behavior that makes a freak like Courtney Love seem like the paragon of self-control. You can bet I will be watching this show every week until they take it off the air, because Hey Paula must be seen to be believed.
I take lot of heat for being such a shameless, diehard fan of reality TV shows like The Amazing Race, Survivor, American Idol and all those embarrassingly addictive programs on Bravo such as Project Runway, Top Chef and Top Design. Clothes, food, home décor: It’s like there is a reality show specifically geared to feed each of my secret obsessions! Hurray for digital cable!
I guess it follows then that I also love to watch a good documentary and often prefer that genre of film to the garden variety comedy or action/thriller. I recently joined Netlflix and you’ll find my queue is loaded with documentary selections like The Nomi Song — which was just awesome — and this cool movie about the guy who invented the Theramin and ended up getting kidnapped by the KGB. That’s a more convoluted and compelling storyline than any fiction plot you could dream up! So I was particularly thrilled out of my mind to discover that the radio show, This American Life has been translated for television.
Next week on American Idol, the contestants try their hands at completely butchering the songs of Queen, one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Holy mother of god, I can see that 60 minute train wreck approaching right now. How much do you want to bet that Ace (the contestant who most makes my skin crawl) attempts to take on “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Chris does what amounts to Creed’s reinterpretation of “Tie Your Mother Down”?
Actually, I am betting that Chris is the only one of the bunch who will have ever even heard of Queen beyond the ridiculously overplayed sporting event anthem “We Are the Champions/We Will Rock You” and an eight-minute, mini-rock opera that was released before any of them were even born (with the possible exception of Taylor, who I suspect is actually in his 40s) and brought in to contemporary pop culture consciousness by its inclusion on the soundtrack of Wayne’s World.
Just for shits and giggles, here’s my fantasy Queen playlist as I’d hope to hear the show go down:
Chris: “I’m In Love With My Car”
Taylor: “Good Company”
Ace: “The Night Comes Down”
Elliott: “Bring Back That Leroy Brown”
Bucky: “Stormtrooper In Stilettos”
Paris: “Killer Queen”
Katherine: “You’re My Best Friend”
Kellie: “Fat Bottomed Girls”
Personally, I can’t wait for next Tuesday.