Friday, October 29, 2004

Went to see Tears for Fears at the Beacon last night. Yeah, I know, it's 2004... fortunately I ran until Ultragrrl there, and having a hip Spin columnist in attendance made me feel much less embarrassed to be there. Watching the show, I wondered if the band realizes that we aren't living in the 70's: the set was littered with Monty Python-esque cartoon cutouts, and their new album, "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending," borrows extensively from ELO. The concert was good, not great... not much different than listening to their albums, except that the instrumentation and vocals aren't as lush (although Roland Orzabal's voice is still incredibly strong). Yet the longer I sat among the crowd, listening to them cheer a band play a hit like "Shout" that's 20 years old (scary thought), the more I realized that going to a concert like this isn't really about hearing a quality performance. It's about revisiting your past. Nostalgia is great. TfF must know that they're passe. But when they play "Sowing the Seeds of Love," it makes their fans happy. So they play it, and people cheer, and even though it may be lame, there's nothing wrong with that.
P.S. I have to wonder, has Roland ever had a decent haircut? 1982: nope. 1985: nope. 1989: nope. 1993: nope. Present day: nope.

TRL Moment of the Week (Backstage)
On Monday we premiered the new video, "Lose My Breath," from Destiny's Child. The VJ's are watching it on the monitor, which leads to this exchange:
La La: Oh, hell no!
Damien: What?
La: I just bought that jacket.
Damien: Which one?
La: The one Beyonce's wearing.
Damien: Cool.
La: That's not cool! I spent 2 G's on that thing! Now I'm gonna have to burn it!

TRL Moment of the Week (On Air)
As they always do, a group of audience members was dancing during the commercial breaks yesterday. One member of indeterminate gender was leading the pack and shaking what he/she (it?) had. The control room decided to tape it and roll the clip once we returned from break. I told Quddus to reference the dancer, and as the clip is rolling, he says "Check out that dancer... he's doing his thing." As it turns out, he was, in fact, a she. The audience casting director avoided a scene by giving her VIP passes to a future show. Still, next time maybe wear a little make-up... please?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I recently got to see Finding Neverland and Ray. Both are Oscar-hopeful biopics, but I had very different reactions to them.
Let's start with Neverland. I loved it. It had the potential to be very sappy and cheesy, but it wasn't. Kate Winslett gives a knockout performance (when doesn't she?), and while I prefer movies where Johnny Depp has latitude to really tear into a role, he was wonderfully subtle and understated. The stagings of Barrie's plays and the fantasy sequences are visually spectacular. The only drawback is the four children. Their acting is fine, especially as far as child actors go, but their dialogue made me want to cringe. Yes, I understand that upper-class British children at the turn of the century were held to stricter codes of behavior and etiquette, but the filmmakers took it way too far. These weren't kids... they were miniature aristocrats. Still, it's a minor fault in an otherwise great movie.
Ray, on the other hand, had a terrific performance of young Ray Charles, and an even better one by Jamie Foxx as adult Ray, but the movie sucked overall. Amazing how such a fascinating life (and incredible music) could be such a boring movie. The film takes place mostly from 1948-1964, and it felt like it was moving in real time. I began to panic at the 2 1/2 hour mark, since we were still 40 years from the present, but then the movie draws to a jarringly-abrupt conclusion. Foxx does his best to bring life to the movie, and I can't see anyone beating him come Oscar time, but his performance is just not enough to salvage Ray.
P.S. Anyone who does see Ray, note that when Foxx is shirtless at one point, his nipple looks like a vagina. I'd never seen anything like it before. Are pussy-nips a common occurrence?

2 quick television notes:
1) I was watching Tuesday's Scrubs when suddenly I noticed my friend Amy Ferguson... she was the blonde talking to J.D. in the bar before he's set on fire. Amy had appeared with Zach Braff in Garden State as the girl he makes out with at the high-school party, which is probably how she landed this gig. I'm always happy to see my friends succeeding, and she recently moved out to L.A., so who knows if I'll ever see her again... but I wish her the best of luck.
2) South Park has done it again. Last night's season premiere was a terrific commentary on the election, showing the students voting for a new school mascot. Their choices: a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich. When Stan refuses to vote, saying he doesn't want to support either a turd or a douche, the town becomes outraged at his lack of understanding for our electoral process. Their parody of P. Diddy's Vote or Die! campaign was brilliant, their slaughter (literally) of PETA hilarious. People who don't watch the show will never admit it, but South Park remains the smartest comedy on television. If you missed it last night, please catch one of the repeats over the next few days.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The other day my mom, who is totally clueless about baseball, says, "Wouldn't it be the ultimate irony if Boston went up 3 games to none, only to lose the series?" Personally, I would love nothing more than that. And I'm hoping that tonight's lunar eclipse, which the Red Sox nation is taking as a sign that the curse will end, is more like a power-shift to St. Louis. I mean, the Cardinals are red too, aren't they? They have as much claim to a red moon than anyone...

Forget Freddy vs. Jason... here's Chucky vs. Britney!

Happy Birthday!
Some quick birthday wishes today to Scott Weiland (37), Simon LeBon (46), Roberto Benigni (48), and John Cleese (65). Is it just me, or are people getting old way to quickly?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Eminem will be calling in to premiere his new, highly-charged video on TRL today (at least 80% chance of it happening)... but if you don't want to wait (or, if you're normal and don't want to watch TRL), you can check it out here. The video is very well made, and it's a strong statement from Em... but between this today and having the Kerry daughters on yesterday, TRL is turning into a very political (and very Democratic) show.

Ashlee's Singing Is So Bad, She Makes Herself Throw-Up
So Ashlee Simpson's explanation for her SNL meltdown? Acid reflux (or "reflex," as she pronounced it when she called in to yesterday's TRL), which caused her to lose her voice hours before her scheduled performance. Yet even though she's "totally against [lip-synching] and offended by it" and would "never lip-synch," luckily she had a backing track ready to go. But don't worry, Ashlee fans... this is the first time she's ever used a backing track, and hopefully the last.
Yet isn't it amazing how often these mishaps happen the first time a celebrity does something wrong? Like when Sammy Sosa accidentally mixed up a corked bat he used in batting practice with his game bats and accidentally grabbed that one bat? Or when Hugh Grant was busted with a prostitute? Incredible timing, don't you think?

Monday, October 25, 2004

People can be so mean, but that Ashlee Simpson sure has a temper...

Watched the Party at the Palace DVD (to be honest, I skipped past about 50% of it) over the weekend, which was the 2002 Queen's Jubilee concert commemorating her 50 years on the throne. Some (albeit 2-years-late) thoughts:
- The UK sure has gone downhill in terms of its musical exports. Gone are the days of the Beatles, Stones, Bowie, Pink Floyd, and Zeppelin... the modern British acts who performed included Atomic Kitten, S Club 7, Will Young, and Blue, all of whom lacked any noticeable talent.
- Obviously I'm biased, being such a huge fan, but Brian Wilson really did steal the show. Surprisingly, he was given the longest set of the night: 4 songs, when artists such as Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton only got 1 (even Paul McCartney only played 3, 2 of which were giant group sing-alongs). Brian's voice was strong, his band was tight (even with intrusions by Emma Bunton, Atomic Kitten, and Cliff Richard during "Good Vibrations"), and after "California Girls" he displayed the biggest smile he's had since the 70's. Of course it vanished and his look of tremendous discomfort returned during the group finale of "Hey Jude" (he didn't even attempt to sing), but he nailed it when it mattered.
- Queen's set included a terrible plug for the musical We Will Rock You, when the cast stormed the stage for "Bohemian Rhapsody." Their costumes were a cross between Road Warrior and Fraggle Rock. It has the potential to be the worst theatrical show ever (and based on some posts from this thread, I'm not the only one who thinks so). We'll find out when it supposedly hits Broadway in the near future.
- My new celebrity crush is Andrea Corr. Sure, I've never heard a Corrs song before, and their cover of "The Long & Winding Road" for the concert wasn't great. But when she sings, her Irish accent bubbles to the surface in certain syllables, and... well, look at her.
- The song selection by many artists was quite bizarre. Besides the proliferation of covers by artists with vast catalogs (Annie Lennox doing "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves," the aforementioned Corrs, Rod Stewart doing "Handbags and Gladrags"), many of the songs seemed wildly inappropriate in a concert aimed at the Queen. Sure, Ray Davies singing "Lola" was fantastic, but does the Queen want to hear about transvestites? Or hear Tom Jones croon "Sex Bomb?"
- Dame Shirley Bassey's performance of "Goldfinger" played more like a Maya Rudolph parody than the actual thing.
- One of the more bizarre things one can see is Phil Collins wailing on drums during an Ozzy Osbourne performance of "Paranoid."

I'm sure Ashlee Simpson's SNL fiasco will be everywhere, but for those of you who haven't seen it, here it is...

P.S. I don't care what happened... there is NO explanation for the way she dances.

Friday, October 22, 2004

TRL Moment of the Week (Rehearsal)
For yesterday's stunt with Sarah Michelle Gellar, in which we tested how much of the language she picked up shooting a movie in Tokyo with a Japanese director and crew, we had Damien whisper questions to a Japanese translator, who then asked the question to SMG in Japanese. SMG had to answer in English, even if she had no idea what the question was (which she didn't for either one). During rehearsal, I asked for the translator's name, so I could write it on the cue card.
"Ben," the segment producer told me.
"Ben? That's not very Japanese," I said incredulously.
"Well you can use my Japanese name, if you want," came the irritated response from the translator himself, who had been standing right behind me the entire time.
"No, it's fine," I said, trying to play it cool.
But cool I am not.

I know I'll just come off sounding bitter, but this is exactly why Boston doesn't deserve to go to the World Series. If the mayor bans alcohol sales in the city, I will laugh, and laugh... and laugh...

2 Quick Links
1) Ever wonder what U2 would sound like if you swapped out Bono and substituted President Bush? Well, wonder no more... (and yes, I totally stole this from EW)
2) My oldest friend of all time (as in I've known him since we were 3, not that he's 90 years old) worked on this in L.A.'s Second City and got it posted on iFilm. Sort of funny, but I'm obligated to post it.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Yes, I'm Going to Hell
I'm not sure what I find funnier about this site: the photos of the models, or the descriptions such as "the men's shirts have been adjusted to fit men with shorter arms and larger necks"... or maybe just the fact that this site exists at all...

Saw an advance screening of Coach Carter last night (spoiler alert!). Is there anything lower than a zero-star review I can give it? This movie trots out every cliché imaginable, then makes them worse. I can only imagine how the pitch meeting went…
Dumbass Exec: So what’s the movie about?
Dumbass Screenwriter: Have you seen Lean on Me? It’s basically the same exact movie, but instead of a principal, it’s about a basketball coach, and we've got Samuel L. Jackson instead of Morgan Freeman. Oh, and it’s much, much worse.*
DE: I’m listening…
DS: There’s this really rough, ghetto high school with a terrible basketball team that constantly fights with each other and their coach. So the coach recruits his friend, a former star player from that very high school, to take over and turn them into winners.
DE: But how do we get the audience to know this Carter guy used to be a star on the team?
DS: Easy. Even though they’re friends and see each other all the time, the first time they get together in the film the current coach will say, “Hey, Ken Carter, Richmond High All-Star basketball player 1972.”
DE: I like it! It sounds very subtle and natural.
DS: I thought so, too. That’s why I did the same thing to set up the problem with one of the players. He’s walking with a teammate, and the teammate points over to a girl and says, “Isn’t that your girl? And isn’t she pregnant?”
DE: I love it! Such realistic dialogue.
DS: I also make one of the players say “hella” a lot. I’m very down with the street lingo.
DE: Nice. So is the new coach successful?
DS: You better believe it. The team goes from 4-22 the previous year to undefeated. They never lose a game!
DE: Jeez, that Carter is a good coach. But it seems too easy.
DS: That’s where the catch comes in. He is actually more interested in making the players better students. So when they start failing their classes, he cancels basketball.
DE: No!
DS: Yes! Naturally the parents and townsfolk get upset and persuade the school board to overturn the lockout, causing Coach Carter to quit.
DE: No way! What happens next?
DS: As Carter goes to collect his stuff, he finds that the students are willingly studying instead of practicing because they want to do things the “Carter way,” and it moves him to come back.
DE: Wow, I never saw that coming.
DS: Then the movie ends by having the team play in the state championship tournament, against the team that destroyed them at the beginning of the film.
DE: And I take it they win and all live happily ever after?
DS: Wrong! They play an awesome game but lose on a last-second jump-shot by the other team’s star player.
DE: That’s so sad. I think I’m gonna cry.
DS: Don’t cry. Coach Carter gives a very inspirational speech to the team saying how proud he is, so even though they lost, they’re champs nonetheless.
DE: I've heard enough. I’m giving you millions and millions of dollars to make this movie. Go to it!

*Note: Even if it hadn't sucked, Coach Carter is automatically worse than Lean on Me because it doesn't start with GnR's "Welcome to the Jungle."

I'm too drained and annoyed to write anything coherent about the Yankees... all I'll say is that they didn't deserve to win, it's an embarrassment, and I hope the Astros (or the Cards, but preferably Houston) crush the Sox in the Series. The Curse deserves to live on.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Cheers to Fox's NLCS coverage today... yes, their graphics department did in fact put up a graphic reading Pu-Holes in the Line-up to show how Albert Pujols has batted compared to the rest of the Cardinals. Pu-Holes! Come on!

Cheers to Fox's NLCS coverage today... yes, their graphics department did in fact put up a graphic reading Pu-Holes in the Line-up to show how Albert Pujols has batted compared to the rest of the Cardinals. Pu-Holes! Come on!

Tommy Lee has come a long way since his drumset that spun over the audience's head.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Saw The Office Special at the Museum of TV & Radio last night. At almost two hours, it's a bit long. Yet it is a hilarious, touching, and fulfilling conclusion to the series... and yes, Ricky Gervais guaranteed that this is the end. His Q&A after the screening was extremely entertaining, and he seemed genuinely delighted to be speaking to his fans, at times becoming giddy in anticipation of telling a funny story. (One note: next time they should get a moderator who doesn't confuse Ricky with his fictional character, David Brent, during the interview). The crowd went nuts for him and the show, giving several roaring rounds of applause and two standing ovations. A show like The Office comes around so rarely, and I'm upset that there will be no more episodes, but I'll always have the DVD's and look forward to his next project, Extras.

Monday, October 18, 2004

How Many Things Can You Find Wrong With This?
Overheard a male intern saying this to a female intern:
"I had my date last night, and it was awesome! We were gonna go to the Olive Garden, but ended up at Chuck E. Cheese's."

Had anyone else noticed that Anthony Kiedis is starting to look like Jackson Browne?

P.S. I really have to learn to post pictures up here... linking is lame.

I finally got a chance to watch the final Vote for Change concert that Sundance Channel televised live last Monday night. 5 1/2 hours of Bruce Springsteen, Jurassic 5, DMB, R.E.M, James Taylor, and more (DVR's power to let me fast-forward through most of the crap was a godsend). However, watching Pearl Jam's set really made me question whether it's the smartest move to push these people to the polls. Eddie Vedder made a speech about how everyone is saying America will start anew on November 3rd, but with all the talk about November 3rd, he wanted to make sure that people don't think they should go out to vote on November 3rd. So he asked the audience what day they should vote and held 2 fingers in the air (a delightful double-entendre to vote on the 2nd and vote for peace). Then the producers cut to a camera shooting the show from the upper levels of the arena, where some clueless schmuck sitting directly below the camera held up 3 fingers directly into the lens, completely oblivious to what Eddie had been saying.
And these are the people who should be persuaded to vote?

Friday, October 15, 2004

TRL Moment of the Week
On Tuesday, Mark Wahlberg was in the studio, in the middle of answering a fan question about what movie he most regrets doing. Suddenly a girl in the audience shrieks out, "I love you, Mark!" and makes a mad-dash for the stage. Slipping past the stage manager, she grabs Mark by his waste and holds him in a bear hug that four security guards can't break. VJ Vanessa takes us to commercial, and eventually security pries the girl off of Mark and arrests her. We take Mark backstage, asking if he's alright. He says he's fine, although the girl was latched onto his nuts, and he's just upset that he didn't get to answer the fan's question. He then says, "Well, at least now I have another episode of Entourage." When we return from break, he comes back out, graciously finishes answering the question, and says good-bye. We later discover that the crazy fan had smuggled the head of a Chucky doll in under her skirt and was petting its hair while being questioned by the police. I think this leads to the end of my suggestion to bring Chucky on the show to promote Seed of Chucky.
P.S. Upon looking at the slow-motion replay after the show, when Vanessa spots the fan rumbling towards Mark, she mouths "Oh, shit!" and ducks behind Mark, using him as a human shield. Way to protect the talent, Vanessa!

OMG! I was on a downtown 2 train this morning, totally minding my own business, when, like, I noticed this ad for the Learning Annex Real Estate Wealth Expo. Apparently I can totally make so much money I can fire Donald Trump. Seriously! He says so himself in the ad. Can you imagine making that much money just by going to a weekend seminar? That's, like, so cool! Cause Trump is really rich and powerful... so to be able to fire him, I'd have to be, like, twice as rich and powerful as he is. I'm so stoked right now!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

These Bush's Debate Notes are hilarious, especially page 5... but of course I'm a sucker for racist humor.

According to this article, Jamie Foxx has been cast as Tubbs for the upcoming Miami Vice movie. Now, rumor around the office is that Colin Farrell has been cast as Crockett. You heard it here first...

Come Sail Away
What a contest... a chance to win a week-long cruise with Styx, Journey, and REO Speedwagon. Now don't everyone enter at once...

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Finding stories about the arrests of Elvis and Belushi impersonators is the reason they invented the internet.

I Missed the Yanks Pounding Schilling, But Check Out My SMiLE...
I take it back. I take it all back. Anything disparaging, negative, or even questioning that I wrote in my review of the SMiLE album was wrong. I just couldn't realize it until I heard the album live, which I did last night at sold-out Carnegie Hall. Brian's voice? As strong as I've heard it in ages. The fact that he jumps between melodies too often? On the album it sometimes sounds spliced together and overbaked, but performed live I wouldn't change a note. It's impossible to explain in words how this sounds without doing it justice... one simply has to see and hear it for themselves.
For the concert in general, it came as no surprise that the band was practically flawless. The show started with Brian surrounded by the 10 members of his backing band, doing a 9-song a capella / acoustic set including "Surfer Girl," "Wendy," and "Please Let Me Wonder." When they picked up their instruments and launched into "Sloop John B.," I got goosebumps. Another dozen songs followed, featuring tracks from his most recent solo album interspersed with late Beach Boys works like "Sail On, Sailor" and "Forever." After a brief intermission, the band (and an 8-piece string section) played SMiLE with such clarity and precision, it boggles the mind. I can't even begin to count how many different instruments (or objects such as drills and saws) were employed to create a sound I once thought impossible to achieve outside a studio. After SMiLE, the band returned for a party set of 7 classic Beach Boys tunes such as "I Get Around" and "Help Me Rhonda," and finished off the night with his closer, "Love & Mercy."
2 1/2 hours, almost 50 songs, a crowd hanging on every note and inundating Brian and the band with standing ovations... it's truly a night I (and I hope Tommy) will never forget.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

On a serious note, I want to say some goodbyes, first and foremost to my Great-Aunt Lola. I didn't know her very well, but the times that I spent with her are fond memories. She was very old and decided to stop taking her medication because she felt she had nothing else to live for... so I'm glad that she's happier now and relieved that her passing was relatively quick and painless.
Also goodbye to Janet Leigh, Christopher Reeve, Rodney Dangerfield, and Ken Caminiti. They were all special in their own way and will all be missed.

Better Christmas Gift Than Funzo
Season 5 of The Simpsons comes out on DVD Dec. 21. If this is starting a trend of 2 seasons per year, I'll be very happy.

Monday, October 11, 2004

This just in: naked Dubya is creepy.

An Open Letter to Tilly & the Wall:

Dear Tilly Gang,

It's me, Brian... you know, Tommy's friend who writes for TRL. I just wanted to say how great your concert at Bowery was. To be fair, until Friday night I had only heard your cover of "Hey Ya." But Tommy is a huge fan, and he generally has great taste in music, so I trusted his judgment... and am very glad I did. You write songs that are at once amazingly catchy and lyrically stunning, and it took me less than 24 hours from the end of your set to order your album. It was also "rad" (as you would say) to hang out with you and get to know you after the show. You are so gracious to your fans, and not just to Tommy and his friends, but to anyone who approached you. I'll look back on the night with fond memories, especially since Tommy was smart enough to bring his camera, and if there's anything I can do to get your video played on MTV, you know I'll try. Best of luck on the rest of your tour, and I hope to see you the next time you come to NYC.


P.S. When you talk to Rilo Kiley, tell them that their set was also phenomenal.

At long last, I’ve had an opportunity to listen to Brian Wilson’s SMiLE (as opposed to the Beach Boys’ Smile), laying in bed with the lights out and the stereo cranking to give me a full sensory experience. And I can now say that the album is incredible. Given the cookie-cutter music mass-produced these days, you can’t help but appreciate an album that takes such risks and uses everything from accordions to xylophones. It’s not the greatest album of all time, and it has its problems, but despite its shortcomings, SMiLE is undeniably beautiful.
The album stars with “Our Prayer/Gee,” which has the tightest harmonizing on a mainstream record since, well, probably since “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” (which you must listen to the a capella version from the Pet Sounds box set to fully appreciate). It’s a gorgeous 2 minute introduction to the talent that listeners will be exposed to over the next 45. From there you’re launched into “Heroes and Villains,” complete with the legendary Cantina section. “Roll Plymouth Rock” keeps many of the same musical themes of “Heroes,” and to a lesser extent so do “Barnyard,” “Old Master Painter/You Are My Sunshine,” and “Cabin Essence,” which comprise the first movement (SMiLE is broken up into 3 movements). Wilson’s transposition of “You Are My Sunshine” into a minor key is ingenious, and would be even more effective had it not been usurped by The Simpsons (in the episode where Bart and Lisa go to military school).
The second movement is the weakest, made up of “Wonderful,” “Song for Children,” “Child Is Father of the Man,” and “Surf’s Up.” The songs in this section display the album’s biggest weakness: despite terrific harmonies and instrumentation, Wilson cannot maintain a single melody for more than 30-45 seconds… that is, until the genius “Surf’s Up,” which has long been considered one of his finest compositions.
The third movement has the worst introduction, “I’m in Great Shape/I Wanna Be Around/Workshop," but quickly picks up steam. “Vege-Tables” is sublimely surreal, “Wind Chimes” begins gently before launching into a frenzied instrumental variation on “Heroes and Villains,” and the start of “In Blue Heaven” really highlights the power of his backing band, the Wondermints, as vocalists. The album concludes with “Good Vibrations,” which is so embedded into musical history that very little can be said about it except to note that it is longer and has different lyrics.
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that the album has problems. I touched on the biggest, which is the freneticness of the album in jumping among different melodies too frequently, particularly during the second movement. I can also agree with Mike Love that the lyrics make very little sense to me, but given the sound of the album, I am willing to overlook them. Another problem is with Wilson’s vocals. True, he sounds better here than he has on the other studio and live albums he’s released over the past decade, but his voice is still a far cry from his baritone and soaring falsetto of the 60’s. He is fine blending with other musicians, but when forced to sing lead, his vocals are rather rough when they should be soothing. Finally, and this may not be a criticism that everyone agrees with, but it is very disconcerting to hear differences in music and lyrics after hearing the original versions thousands of times. “Good Vibrations” in particular is vastly altered; when you expect to hear “And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair,” but instead hear “And she’s already workin’ on my brain,” you are taken out of the moment. I may get used to these changes in time, but probably not.
All in all, I’m a big fan of the album, and recommend it to everyone, whether you’re a fan of the Beach Boys or not. I also cannot wait until tomorrow night, because I cannot fathom how this album can be recreated live. But I'll find out soon enough.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Yes, I Watch Way Too Much TV
2 notes on last night (beware spoilers!):

1) On Survivor: Vanatu, the prize for the women after the reward challenge was the services of island local, Dah. He spent 24 hours with the women, teaching them where to find food, how to improve their living quarters, etc. I can just imagine the negotiations with the tribe to convince Dah to go into a day of indentured servitude:
Tribe (in broken English): We sick. Need medicine.
Producers: Medicine, huh? Oh, we can give you medicine... but it'll cost you.
Tribe: Children dying. We do anything.
Producers: Anything, huh?

2) On The Apprentice, after Pamela is forced to leave the male team to become project manager of the females, she defends her bossy, bitchy attitude by saying, "I'm a competitor first and a woman second." No, actually she's a lot of other things before she's a woman... including a man.
*And was I the only one cracking up during the footage of her shooting hoops? She missed all four shots... and two of them were easy put-ins! Maybe she should spend more time on her game and less time doing single arm rows with 80 pound dumbells... and she'll have time to do that now that she's been fired.

This montage summarizing the RNC is great... note that Schwarzenegger does a better job pronouncing "terrorism" than Bush does.

TRL Moment of the Week (Backstage)
Regis Philbin, picking up a copy of his CD and immediately dropping it, exclaiming, "That's hotness, I tell ya!"

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Say it isn't so... VH1 Classic is starting to show real commercials (as opposed to just VH1 promos), most prominently terrible ads for E-Harmony. I don't know why I'm linking to it... I think everyone should boycott the site... it's taking up precious airtime that could be filled by Genesis' "Land of Confusion."

Saw an advance, unfinished screening of Team America: World Police last night. I had very high expectations for it, being a huge fan of the South Park series and an even bigger fan of the movie... and the movie has about as many good jokes as a typical episode of South Park (which is good), although it's spread out over 90 minutes instead of 30 (which is bad). Without revealing too much, it has a great parody of Rent, a hilarious song making fun of Pearl Harbor and Michael Bay, and a vomit scene that rivals the one in Stand By Me as the best ever put on celluloid. It also directly lifts the "Montage" song from the "Asspen" episode of South Park, and while that's one of the best songs they've ever written, it's a little disappointing that they recycled material (maybe it will be changed by the time the movie hits theaters, but I doubt it). But aside from the humor, the technical aspect of the movie is simply mind-boggling... it's incredible what they accomplished with marionettes. Not sure if it's worth $10 (or $10.25 that some theaters are now charging), but if you live somewhere outside of Manhattan that only charges $6-7, then go for it.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Rejected introductions for today's guest, Bethany Hamilton:
- She can surf, she can write, just don't ask her to clap...
- When her friends call her "chum," they really mean it...
- Everything about this girl is "hang ten," except for her fingers...
- Give her a hand... no, seriously...

Also, rejected entrance music (although it would've been appropriate on several levels): Def Leppard, "Love Bites."
(think about it... think about it... think about it... there it is!)

Duff Crush Curse Strikes Again
My co-worker Shawn, who was Hilary Duff's segment producer yesterday, told me after the show that he now has "the biggest crush on her." Yes, I'm familiar with this syndrome, and as low as he feels right now, fear not: it shall pass. I don't know what song she'll have to butcher in concert for him to change his mind... All You Need Is Fun? (I Can Get Some) Satisfaction? Bridge Over Tranquil Water? Only time will tell...

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

In case you didn't know: breaking into a stranger's dorm room and shitting in her closet = BAD!

Jimmy Fallon really is unbelievable. Not only could he never get through a sketch on Saturday Night Live without laughing, yesterday he couldn't even get through our cold open with Good Charlotte. He cracked up during his second line, ran off-screen, then popped back in at the end of the skit to improv a line while still laughing. Here's hoping he jumped onto the Joe Piscopo / Victoria Jackson / Tony Rosato / Gary Kroeger train out of SNL's station, never to be heard from again.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Thirsty Like the Wolf
From the opening paragraph of a profile on Duran Duran in Sunday's New York Times Arts & Leisure section:
THERE are things you don't forget about being a rock star. Sequestered for an interview in a private chamber at a posh hotel in downtown Manhattan, Simon LeBon motions for an assistant to come over. Pointing to his sparkling water, he says, with practiced derision: "They made the ice with tap water - I can taste the chlorine in it. Can you bring me another?"
I can't wait for the day when I can get away with saying something like that.

The Agony of Defeat
It's the end of the regular season in Major League Baseball, so this morning I checked my MTV fantasy baseball league to find that I came in 2nd place, 166-164.5. After 188 days, in a league with 14 teams and 16 categories, and a grand total of 1680 points alloted, I lost by 1.5 friggin' points! This was after an insane comeback in which I had gained 30 points in less than a month. This pill is hard to swallow.

Friday, October 01, 2004

TRL Moment of the Week (On-screen)
Ladder 49's John Travolta, being put through The Wringer, is asked to do his best impression of a fire engine siren. He responds by going (very loudly), "WOOOOOOOOOOONK WOOOOOOOOOOONK!!!!!"

TRL Moment of the Week (Backstage)
Ladder 49's Joaquin Phoenix shows up wearing a t-shirt bearing the photo of Johnny Cash giving the finger. His sweatshirt is unzipped enough to clearly show the photo. The segment producer assigned to him politely asks him to zip up... he says no. She says that if he doesn't zip up, he can't go on... he says no. She asks again, more firmly... he says that if he zips it up, he'll just unzip it once he's onstage. We send John Travolta on without him as Joaquin's rep from MTV Talent tries to convince him to zip up. He asks if it's okay if he zips up the shirt but then gives the finger himself... the talent rep says no. After it becomes clear that we're doing the segment with just John, Jay Russell (the director of the film) tells Joaquin to stop messing around, and Joaquin finally zips up and goes onstage. After 3 questions and a brief discussion about on-set pranks in which he contributes nothing, he leaves.
Worst... Guest... Ever.