Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Next Project

Got it. Rehearsals start Sunday...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jaywalking Sucks

Stuff from today:

1) I have not heard whether or not I have a part in The Odd Couple. Believe me, if and when I find out, I will let all two of you who read this know.

2) I hate Jay Leno. Not only is the man a comedy black hole - he's where jokes go to die! - but he's also been an insufferable pig during this whole NBC/Conan O'Brien thing. And while he earned a bit of goodwill from me for his pretty damn funny Superbowl ad with David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey, he's back on my shitlist for starring in a commercial for The Stealing of The Tonight Show - whoops, I simply mean The Tonight Show - that is basically a big "Fuck You" to Conan. A shot of Jay driving one of his super-expensive cars down a California road while The Beatles' "Get Back" plays, all it does is make me want to punch him in his smirking face. Thank God for clever people on Youtube. Someone pulled "Get Back" out and replaced it with Radiohead's "Creep," a more suitable and appropriate song choice.

3) I just read a DVD review of Mr. Belvedere: The Complete Fourth Season. Yes, they've released all four seasons of Mr. Belvedere. Meanwhile the remaining three seasons of WKRP in Cincinnati remain unreleased. (Granted, I'm guessing there's no Pink Floyd musical clearance challenges to hurdle with a Mr. Belvedere release, but still.) Not to mention Ishtar and Scavenger Hunt, two movies that need to be put on DVD pronto. Apparently there are a lot of Mr. Belvedere fans out there. I'm just amazed that people are actually buying that crap.

4) Quick Julie and Julia review: The Julia portions were great. Both Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci were phenomenal. The Julie portions were stick-a-fork-in-my-eye bad featuring a grating performance by Amy Adams as the world's most self-involved blogger. Streep more than deserves her Best Actress nomination. She was a joy to watch.

4) I had a fitness evaluation this morning and epically failed it. I'm thinking of hiring a personal trainer again, although on a much less intense scale than I did with Jen in the early aughts. (Back then I didn't have a Fishers mortgage.) I'm thinking 30 minutes a week, mainly to keep me motivated. (And to hold me personally accountable to someone other than myself.) The guy was nice but as the machines were spitting out my body mass index and my fat percentage I couldn't help but laugh. I blame...well, myself. And the Totino's corporation.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Next Jack Klugman?

I auditioned for The Odd Couple tonight in Zionsville. Some pretty stiff competition was there, but overall I think it went well. We'll see...

In other news, I joined a new gym last week. Lifestyle Family Fitness in Fishers, about five minutes from my house. Thank God, because Cardinal Fitness - while cheap - was just too damn far away and was giving me too many excuses not to go. Lifestyle is more like Lifetime was, a big, huge facility with thousands of pieces of equipment, but I'm alright with that. I kind of missed the grandness of Lifetime.

Oh, and I started a new diet today as well, because I'm just too damn fat. So if I turn down cookies or cake, don't take it personally.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ten Reasons My Ears Are On Fire

Before I begin, let me just say that I was never a big fan of the original "We are the World." I always found it inane and repetitive and extremely self-serving for the artists. (Look! Huey Lewis cares about Ethiopians! His heart of rock and roll does Cleveland.) That said, I did think it was better than the snide "Do You Think It's Christmas?" that the Brits released around the same time. (As many famous comics have said, "No, Bono, I don't think those kids know its Christmas...because they're fucking starving to death!") "We are the World" exists today as some sort of bizarre time capsule, a kind of greatest-artists-of-the-decade boiled down to seven minutes.

And now, twenty five years nearly to the date, co-writer Lionel Richie has reassembled a bunch of superstars just like he did in 1985. He did this after the Grammy Awards just like in 1985. And he still invited actors for no reason, just like in 1985. Behold the 2010 version of "We are the World":

And, for posterity, the 1985 clip:

Now, comparing this clip to the 1985 one, here are some thoughts:

1) Apparently no one can sing now. It's obvious that a lot of those artists used pitch control to alter their voices after the fact, making it seem like 70% of this song is being sung by robots. Mock the '85 clip all you want, every single one of those voices - from Bruce Springsteen to Bob Dylan to Cyndi Lauper to Tina Turner to Willie Nelson - had distinctive voices that could sing notes without the aid of computers. Sadly, none of those artists would make it in today's music industry. I'm sure if he was 25 today, Sony execs would force The Boss to use pitch-control on "Born to Run."

2) Both Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones were adamant that no repeats from the first "We are the World" would appear again. So color me surprised when 1985 Michael Jackson showed up. Look, I get it, the guy's dead now and his death was the death of our childhood and he never lost the magic and blah blah blah. Remember after 9/11 when Michael tried to do this very same thing, gather a bunch of people together to record a charity single and no one wanted to touch it with a ten foot pole? Other than his death, what's changed?

3) The '85 version was all about the hip artists of the day. The new clip is all about the people soccer moms think are hip. Celine Dion? The Jonas Brothers? Justin Bieber? T-Pain? If this is popular music today, man, this generation is seriously going to be messed up when they get older.

4) Before the new clip even started I thought, "I bet they use computerized faux beat-box drums on this." Sure enough...

5) I don't condone terrorism, but if a bomb had wiped out the studio during the big sing-along chorus at the end, the music industry - and the country - would have been much better for it. We would have lost Jeff Bridges, but that's a small price to pay.

6) Jeff Bridges is the Dan Aykroyd of 2009.

7) I don't know where that rap at the end came from, but it was obviously shoehorned in there by people who don't understand rap or how to properly use it. My guess is Quincy Jones spent the entire evening thinking, "Who the fuck are all these people?"

8) Jaime Fox. Go away. No one likes your smug intro and everyone is tired of your Ray Charles impression.

9) Brian Wilson was there, standing around looking like a zombie, which is his M.O. But he's a genius! The dude added sleigh bells to a pop song in 1964! Al Jardine was there as well. No Mike Love, however. He's probably still feeling the aftershocks from his awesome bridge-burning Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech from 1988.

10) Watching this thing was like seeing a visual aid documenting why the music industry is dying. Of course, a lot of people probably said the same thing in 1985...

One reason I did like the new version: Jennifer Nettles. She's a cutie.