Friday, November 30, 2007

I feel a poke coming through...on you

Best line: "The way that you shake it on me/Makes me want you so bad sex-ually/Oh girl"
I can't fathom ever listening to this band as a pubescent.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Landlord

I had visions of Candace Bushell-whimsy for my first post-college apartment in New York City. It was to be sex with the modern homosexual as I sipped cosmopolitans and thumbed through the racks of haute culture.

But ambition led to an inevitable wake-up call.

Instead of Sex and the City brownstone, I found myself schlepping in a dismally gray, pockmarked railroader in working-class Queens, with light fixtures caked in dust and a homeless cat named Squints who suffered from the mange.

The stairwells reeked of dried dog feces, too. My landlord's 90-year-old mother, bless her heart, stockpiled metallic buckets of the stuff in her kitchen window, letting them bake in the summer sun.

The smell wafted, causing the building to drown in that dry, putrid odor, one that broke my Sex and the City dreams near in two.

After snorting through the muck for weeks, I decided The Health Department of New York City would provide my final comeuppance.

My roommate Kevin advised against it. "Our landlord will go ape-shit," he warned.
But I drudged up Sarah Jessica Parker, thinking that she wouldn't stand for it. I went through with the call.

The next day, Kevin and I woke to a pounding on our front door. It was a ferocious thudding that nearly rattled the cracked glass window out of the paper-thin door. We both knew it was our landlord, Jan Urie.

Kevin shot me a look of "what the hell are we supposed to do?' I shot him a look back of 'I don't know' unbridled terror. We finally decided to reluctantly open the door, finding Jan Urie and her Polish sexagenarian henchman huddled over our stoop.

Jan Urie had an electrical edge about her with a look as if she could spit nails.
"Who called the Health Department? Did you call the Health Department?" she screeched while jabbing her crooked finger in Kevin's gut.

I saddled up behind Jan Urie. It was time to come clean. "You know, I'm actually the one who called the Health Department."

"You?" Jan Urie pounced. "After everything I've done for you including giving you that couch."

Long silence. "First of all, that couch has pee stains on it," I casually reminded her, "secondly, anyone who lets her own mother live in filth is real bitch who
deserves to have the Health Department called on her."

Yes, this exactly wasn't the right thing to say at the moment. Jan Urie let out a howl like a wild banshee and began hurling obscenities my way. "She's calling the police department on you. They're going to arrest you for verbal assault," the henchman taunted.

I slumped over on the couch with pee stains on it. "Kevin, what are we going to do?" The words fell out of my mouth with a quiet exasperation.

Kevin didn't know the answers to that question, either. We did know that police wouldn't arrest me for verbal assault despite Jan Urie's belligerent reassurances that I was in a "Mexican street gang back in Nashville."

A few weeks later, the Health Department ordered Jan Urie to make a few changes around the building, which she grudgingly accepted.We weren't any closer to the Sarah Jessica Parker-ideal, but things were certainly getting better.

My Shameful Addiction

American Idol pol pot Simon Fuller, fresh off cementing Clay Aiken to late life career of panty-wetting Manliow-esque arena tours, has greased the wheels of fluff-pop further by unleashing Idol spin-off The Next Great American Band on unsuspecting FOX viewers in dire need of their Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? fix.
Instead of chirpy Mariah clones ransacking stanzas for superfluous melisma, The Next Great American Band forks over well coiffed Nickelback facsimiles and calls it even.
Band cribs an entire chapter from the American Idol playbook with an acid tongued old codger in the “Simon” role (Australian Idol’s Dicko Dickinson), a sympathetic sister-in-arms in the “Paula” role (Shelia E.) and Goo Goo Doll Johnny Rzeznik filling Randy Jackson’s nonsensical blather. Below, I've charted the show contenders.

Light of Doom
The Skinny: A butt-rockin’ fivepiece comprised of 12- and 13-year-olds with wispy golden locks and vapid Children of the Corn gapes, Light of Doom has been panned by online tropiocolotes as a “metal Hanson.” The parents of these sleaze glam guttersnipes have yet to tell them that Superunknown snuffed Whitesnake’s career.
Vegas Odds: 8:1. Dicko calls them, “creepy and gimmicky,” but the aw-shucks factor is hard to resist.

Dot Dot Dot
The Skinny: A synth-riddled mess, Dot Dot Dot’s fashion-challenged frontman liberally dabs eyeliner on his painfully emo peepers and hops around onstage like Crispin Glover on Ritalin. Their frenetic midtempo take on Elton John’s uber-ballad “Your Song” could be considered a form of torture under some bylaws of the Geneva Convention.
Vegas Odds: 15:1. We’ve already got a Brandon Flowers. We sure as hell don’t need another.

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra
The Skinny: The swing music revival crumbled with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s This Beautiful Life, but Belmont University music business alums Denver and the Mile High Orchestra have yet to receive the oxidized memo. Lead vocalist Denver Bierman lays on the schmaltz extra-thick with a cavalcade of brassy horn arrangements punctuating his every calculated over-emotion.
Vegas Odds: 10:1. Judge Shelia E has nearly pegged Denver and the Mile High Orchestra as the second coming of Chicago. But we can’t take Ms. E too seriously. She was the TV bandleader for The Magic Hour.

The Skinny: Warner Bros. Nashville evictees Sixwire smidges a tweak of twangy git’tar and then lobs almost criminal Appalachian a cappella harmonies down our willing Sing Out throats.
Vegas Odds: 2:1. For unleashing the banal countrypolitan vanilla better known as Carrie Underwood, it’s the least Mr. Fuller could do to let those Sixwire boys win.