Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Anyone who had a heart

Managed to make it through Monday. In the morning I had an appointment with Dr. Dempsey (I so want to say Dusty) Springfield up at Mt. Sinai. He seemed like a very nice proper Southern gentleman with his hand-tied bow tie. Unfortunately, I didn't have with me the one piece of information that would have helped him diagnose whether I have a fibrosarcoma or a fibromitosis: my latest biopsy slides. And this was the whole reason I was there to see him. I did have my most recent MRI and CT scan but those weren't much help. His assistant called Dr. Kenan's office and had them fax over the written results and found out that with the last biopsy, the pathologist wouldn't call it a sarcoma or mitosis, which is why Dr. Kenan was having me get a second opinion. Why I was finding this out NOW since I had the biopsy in APRIL is a mystery to me. So the whole appointment was me describing my long, stupid leg journey and him looking at me with disbelief before telling me that if I have a sarcoma in my leg, I'm living with a time bomb and should have my leg amputated yesterday. They honestly could not understand what I was doing there without my pathology slides and I left feeling like I had wasted my time and his. Nice guy, though.

Then when I got back I had to change quick and head over to Rick's memorial service. Unfortunately, I got there about halfway in (I was late due to crying and nerves) and missed the music they were playing, which was mostly The Buzzcocks, which is not exactly standard memorial service music but was one of his favorite bands. I came in at the middle of Bruce's tribute to him (probably his closest friend) and couldn't hear it because it was so crowded I had to wedge myself between a fat man and the air conditioning unit. I did hear other people's rememberances and stories and honestly, I don't know when he had time to sleep. There were all sorts of stories of him calling people at 4am just to chat and tales of him spending days and weeks with people having fun and introducing them to new experiences and always knowing where to find great food. Here's a great Rick story: this guy Howard had a lot of health problems and had to go into the hospital. While he was hooked up to an IV, he started to get funky smelling because he couldn't change his shirt. Rick went to Howard's apartment and took two of his shirts to a tailor and had them open the seams along the arms and put velcro in so he'd be able to get a new shirt on while still attached to the IV unit. That's the kind of friend Rick was. I was crying throughout the service and afterwards I really started to lose it because there was a big board of photos of Rick in the main room. Childhood photos, pics of his parents, headshots of when he was trying to be an actor. I really started to lose it so I went to the Great Jones for the after service drinking. I was like a cartoon of the mourning friend, sobbing into my beer. Of course, some git had to make it worse by first saying, 'you're too pretty to be crying.' and then, 'Rick wouldn't want you to be sad'. I left there soon afterward. One nice thing though, I did find another picture I managed to sneak of Rick in San Francisco. I'm carrying a copy of it in my Filofax now so I can always remember how special he was.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I just heard (through email yet) that my friend Rick is dead. I feel sick. My face feels numb. I’m so fucking sad, I have so many regrets where he is concerned. For example, I never got a chance to know him better than I did. I had a party last Saturday and surprisingly, Rick came. I never expected him to show up. He’s one of the most reclusive people I know, not a person who invites you to hang out with him at his house (I’ve known him since 1994 and have never seen his apartment). I was so happy to see Rick; I spent most of the evening talking to him, from around 10 to five-thirty am. We talked about our similar taste in watches, past indiscretions, past misunderstandings. It was probably the deepest conversation I’ve ever had with him. I even admitted that I wrote a blog, but neglected to give him the address because I was afraid of him just seeing me as a dilettante (he wrote for an electronics magazine and was one of the smartest people I knew). I was never sure of where I’d see him next. Sometimes it was at a show, sometimes I would quickly see him riding his bike on the street, or would run into him at the movies, spotting his baseball cap in the fourth row. He was in great shape, he wasn’t sick, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t do drugs. I don’t know what happened to him and neither did the people who did the autopsy. And I was one of the last people to see him alive, apparently. He said goodnight to me at 5:30 on Sunday morning and passed on sometime between then and Tuesday. The next to last time I saw him we drank and drank at the Lakeside, then got hungry. So we went to a Japanese restaurant at 4am and he literally begged on his knees for the manager to let us get some food. He ordered everything for us and it was all delicious, especially the clams steamed in sake. One of my other biggest regrets, I never took a decent picture of him. I only have this picture of his back in San Francisco before he took off his motorcycle helmet. Before then he would cover his face or turn away whenever I tried to take his picture. This was the closest I got. I’m so sorry I never got any closer. Godspeed, Rick. I miss you already.

Monday, August 22, 2005

I need perfection, some twisted selection

G’evening, roos. It’s RockStar:INXS, the elimination episode from last week. Somehow I managed to erase the performance episode from last week, so I have no idea what happened. I’m assuming everyone did the singing thing, Dave N. made creepy comments about the female contestants’ appearances, and INXS were frustratingly polite. Oh yeah, and J!D! Fortune! was a tool.

So it’s elimination time! New sensation, blah blah. Only eight contestants left! Does that mean we have to suffer, er, enjoy two more months of this show? Just curious…Brooke Burke is wearing brown pants and a tube top with four feet of tinsel around her neck. Give ‘it’ up for INXS! The same for Dave ‘black is the new black’ Navarro. Apparently, last night was an all-acoustic night with the contestants performing songs that INXS had picked out for them. The worldwide response was ‘huge’. The voting has doubled over the past two weeks. There’s silence then people start applauding, like they don’t know how to feel about that. Now we get to find out who the top three were – Jordis, Marty, and Mig. Mig gets an extra ‘EEEE’ reaction from the audience. Dave N. says they were all good but one song saved him a fortune in couples’s therapy – Mig gets the encore performance. Judging by his reaction, he’s either really surprised or a fabulous actor. I’m going with the latter, because he asks Jordis and Marty to come sing with him on stage, and in the world of Mark Burnett there’s no such thing as a surprise moment.

Mig takes to the piano (played very nicely) and, well, comes alive. Marty and Jordis chime in with harmonies on the chorus. I’m having an big ol’ ‘70’s flashback to when I was at gymnastics camp, when some girl came rushing into the dorm holding the Frampton album squealing, ‘I’ve got it!’ No stereo to be had, though. Back to the show, they singsingsing and Mig does a lot of high-end runs with the chorus, but he manages to pull it off, because he’s Mig. The three of them finish, are safe, and get to go back to the peanut gallery.

The plaintive piano of elimination starts playing and Brooke reads the name of the three lowest vote getters. They are Jessica, Deanna, and Ty. Jessica and Deanna are more or less resigned to be in the bottom three. Not Ty. He was quite happy with his performance, but he ‘can’t wait’ to get to perform an INXS song for the band. But the voting changed over the evening and Ty is actually safe. The other lowest vote getter was Suzie. How does she feel? After a long pause she blurts out, ‘bad!’

Back from ads, Brooke notes that the bottom three is all women. Also, tonight’s show was written by No-Duh McObvious. Dave is bummed to see one of these really similar women going home. And by really similar I actually mean ‘gorgeous’. Sax player Kirk jumps in and assures us that they are completely open to the idea of either a woman or a man as INXS’s new lead singer. Audience? ‘EEE!’ Hermaphrodites? Are out of luck.

Suzie gets to sing ‘By My Side’. It’s a slow, swingy song with soft verses and a loud high chorus. She’s wearing a jacket, black T, olive shorts, and high heels. She sings well and sings the last verse/chorus on her knees at the edge of the stage. Good performance.

Jessica is up on the block next. She is asked to ‘do her best’ with ‘Mystify’, an upbeat swingy rock song. She has on a green cut-off jacket, ripped cut-off t, and low slung jeans. All the better to midriff around the stage. She’s off on the low notes and is trying to be throaty on the rest of the song but it comes off as stagy. Garry ‘Garry’ seems to be enjoying her though. Strictly meh.

Deanna’s up now. She is asked to sing ‘Never Tear Us Apart’. ‘Gladly’, she says. The outfit is a black leather corset thing and a three-tiered blue hippie skirt, and while she’s singing at one point, she grabs the skirt right at her crotch level and bounces up and down, so it looks like she forgot to go potty before she hit the stage. As for the singing, it’s a big slow ballad and she kind of wobbly with the beginning, which is pretty soft and low-key. You can tell she’s dying to start ‘cornbread’ing it up and belting it out. She gets her wish soon enough and belts out the rest of the song, adding extra runs with her voice during the guitar solo. It’s different for her and not exactly what I’d call good, but whatever.

Deliberations! Plaintive piano starts playing again and Tim Farriss gets to drop the axe this week. He calls tonight’s elimination ‘the hardest yet’. It’s getting really tough because they were all good last night and were all ‘great tonight’. But to cut to the point, it’s now about who isn’t right for the band and Jessica. Is. Not right for the band INXS. There is much wooing from the audience and the peanut gallery stands up and claps for her. Strangely, Ty doesn’t clap but rubs his hands together, like Mr. Burns going ‘excellent’. Jessica says she had an excellent time, and she has lots of new friends. Now go say goodbye to INXS.

The other end of the telescope

Hi kids. Sorry for the hiatus, things have been crazy. First, I erased last week's performance episode of RockStar:INXS so here's the recap - the contestants sang good, some sang bad. More importantly, I met with Dr. Kenan on Friday. I was fully expecting one of two things – either a fight or an appointment for the amputation. Instead I got door number three, which was him convincing me to see two more doctors for yet another couple of second opinions. One is a sarcoma specialist/surgeon at Mt. Sinai, one is the head of Radiology at Beth Israel. So both of them will get to look at my most recent MRIs and tell me if they think I have a fibrosarcoma or a fibromitosis. That’s all guessing, mind you. Oh yeah, and my biopsy slides are being sent to some big deal Pathologist in Boston, so he can guess whether or not I have a fibrosarcoma or a fibromitosis. Gah. On one hand, I’m so sick of having cancer. On the other I’m in no rush to have my leg chopped off. So it’s more doctors, tests, and waiting for now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

When I'm not with you I lose my mind

Monday night! RockStar:INXS! Are you ready for a new sensation?? Or are you ready to watch a bunch of never-will-bes demean themselves for a part-time gig that will be soon forgotten? I thought so! Tonight also means black is white, up is down and right is wrong. All because in tonight’s ‘action’ packed episode, I find myself… agreeing with Dave ‘Rico Suave’ Navarro. Yeah, I know, who would have thought? Now I have this sudden urge to overgroom myself…

Afternoon? Morning? At the Rock Haüs. No crying. I guess Brandon wasn’t worth wasting good booze and vegetables over. But yon! ‘Tis Dave Navarro putting in a personal appearance. Marty notes that something must be up because Dave’s at the mansion. Actually he was just in the neighborhood, his boas are being refeathered right down the street. This week’s rock clinic is all about songwriting and INXS will test the contestants’ ability to collaborate on a song. Tomorrow they will be presenting their songs to Andrew “the Quiet One” Farriss and Dave N. J!D! Fortune! is really! really! excited! Singing in front of Dave and Andrew Farriss is a dream come true. But doesn’t he get to do that every week? Dave has the brand-new unreleased INXS track and is splitting the eight into two groups of four. Because he won the encore, Ty gets to choose someone first. He picks Marty. But guess what? Instead of being on Ty’s team, Marty is the opposite team’s leader! Psych, Ty! Ty chooses Suzie, Deanna and Mig (my spell-check will not accept the word Mig). Marty picks Jordis, J!D! and Jessica. But what will the winning group receive? Some fancy-schmancy sound system designed by Quincy Jones (J!D! says ‘oh, nice!’) and a night out on the town with INXS. Woo! So get to work, kids.

Ty’s team encamps in one room and listens to the track. To my ears, it sounds a lot like a Rolling Stones song, ‘Mixed Emotions’, all rhythm guitar-y. Suzie is a big fan of collaberation so she was ‘certain’ they could come up with a good song. Ty, perhaps feeling not like the center of attention, starts free-associating to the playback. He’s not using real words though, so the first line is ‘do can dee wha can dee, a wha day moh an moh, I can zee wha jor vel down on lay ja ba.’ Ty interviews that if anyone had an idea for a verse, they put it down on track one and he put his verse down on track two. It was extremely ‘diplomatic’, which is about as rock and roll as sobriety and vegetables.

In room two, J!D! immediately wants to know if Marty is the musical director. Marty says he would like to be musical director. J!D! continues,’ and he has veto power. However. If the song ends up sucking, it’s his fault.’ The others laugh nervously. Good thing they got assigning the blame out of the way. That’s a lot more like a real rock band. The track is listened to. More importantly, candles are lit. Jessica thinks this experience is the biggest learning experience of all the clinics so far. She admits she’s only written six songs in her life. Marty, taking a great role as leader, meekly asks what is the best way to work on this song. Jordis says, ‘um, I don’t really know.’

Back to room one! Mig is making up words now and he and Ty agree there should be a ‘stop, something’ in the song. Now the words have become, ‘juh cuh say whatchu want, ju can say whatcha knee, stop get what you wanted!’ There is happiness! Hand slapping! Peace signs! Laughter! Back to room two. J!D! sings, ‘some way you’ll find there’s duh duh duhhh.’ Jordis says she likes what he’s doing but it worries her that it’s a very obvious melody. J!D! says, ‘yeah it’s just the first thing out’. Room one! Ty and Jessica are singing together, ‘don’t duh!’ and there is more dancing. There’s the holding-hands-as-a-charge-electrocutes-them-all dance. There’s the I’m-pulling-the-camel toe-out-of-my-crotch dance. Ty says they were acting like little kids for like the first time since they’d been there. Not playing up for the cameras at ALL. Nope. Ty says to the group ‘stop go. Like the person is giving, like sometime it’s stop, sometime it’s go.’ Mig looks uncertain but gives ‘stop go’ the old college try. Then they all harmonize ‘stop go’ … and finale! Jazz hands, everybody!

Meanwhile, back in room two, Jordis has written down, ‘Someone once told me I could never have enough of what I asked of in this day in the life of…what I could never have I want how bad do you want it back’ and sings it to the playback. Unsurprisingly, J!D! is upset that he is not the center of attention and notes that Marty and Jordis had become a unit during the last week and that made him feel ‘not ganged up on but I felt like I was getting the short end of the stick.’ J!D! tries running his ideas past Jordis. ‘Here’s the premise. Metaphors.’ He sings ‘falling asleep at the wheel again baby. We’re drifting over the line. My hands are tied and I’m losing grip baby. We’re stopping here for the night.’ Jordis looks impressed but says that she liked his lines, but she likes the vagueness of not having a storyline. She admits she likes the way J!D! writes but that the lyrics were very obvious. Guess who takes it the wrong way?

Back inside and Marty thinks it works best if they all work on the song but then add the ‘genius lyrics’ later. J!D! snots, ‘thanks, man’ and goes outside along with his writing materials (cigarettes and mug o’ frosty beer) to finish his own lyrics. He says this made him feel happy and accepted. But while he’s outside, Jordis tells Marty she likes what J!D! is doing but she prefers what they did before better. She says time is running out and they needed to focus on an idea instead of going back and forth. Back inside now and J!D! sings over Marty’s magnetic shoulder, ‘thumbing your way to Vegas daddy, dreaming of the other side. Save your tears and laughter baby it doesn’t matter what you find. It ain’t pretty!’ ‘That’s the first verse, man,’ J!D! says. Marty says that Jordis liked the direction of her verse better. J!D! is hurt and thinks that his lines were stronger than being vague. Marty says ‘as musical director’ he wants to hear Jordis’s previous lyrics, reminding J!D! who’s running the show,. J!D! looks unhappy. Marty says, ‘so that’s the direction we’re going to move in, now at least we have the flow going,’ J!D! denied!

The Gallant Group! Ty enthuses that ‘Stop Go’ is such a great (his own) idea, it’s like ‘Kick’. Mig thinks the song really kicks ass. Suzie agrees. Ty notes that they all have really good social skills. Why do I think that’s going to become important later? Ty thinks if they don’t win, it’s because the other group has written ‘Yesterday’ or ‘Let It Be.’ Deanna wonders aloud how they are doing in the other room. ‘Same’ say Ty and Mig. But! We cut to Marty telling J!D! that he’s ‘slightly hard-headed on what you want’. Marty adds that J!D! was the one who made Marty musical director but he’s not willing to give him that power now and that ‘I love the way you write. I just don’t like the way you co-write.’ Snap! J!D! asks if he’s been difficult to work with? Huh, huh, has he? Someone’s taking this a biiiiit personally. Welcome to how the music world works, J!D! Does he really think that if he wins and becomes INXS’s lead singer he’s going to have as much say as the Farriss brothers? Think again, Human Being. Anyway they get on with the writing thing with Jordis singing her lyrics, ‘stop fast in the name of the right song, what are we talking about, I’m done move on I can thank you for that.’ Jessica says she loves it. J!D! interviews that he doesn’t think Jordis’s lyrics are all that. He says he doesn’t have to ‘be right’ he just wants to be associated with something with ‘quality’.

Say what’s that smell? Could it be a passive-aggressive temper tantrum? J!D! snits that he isn’t moved by what they’re doing now, he doesn’t need a new stereo (so much for ‘oh, nice’), he doesn’t need to go out on the town. He just wants to attach his name to something that’s cool, so he’s going to bow out of the group. He doesn’t find their song interesting, he wouldn’t go out of his way to listen to that, he thinks it’s very safe and (snaps fingers twice). ‘There’s nothing being said there.’ Marty, sounding like he’s holding back either anger or tears, says that trying to get this song done has been very difficult. J!D! snots back, ‘well you know what, I’d rather write a song about something a little more inspiring than being in this (fucking) house and writing a song.’ Marty believes what he wrote was the beginning of an INXS song. Jordis says she’s just trying to get something done. J!D! wants to know why they should bother writing this. Jordis replies, ‘because they gave us a project’. J!D! continues to argue and wants to only do things his way. Jordis tells him ‘dude, that’s not being in a band.’ J!D! corrects her, ‘we’re competing to be in a band.’

It’s really a damn shame that no one will stand up to J!D! and stop playing right into his passive-aggressive pout-fest. If he tried this shit with a real band, he’d have at the least a big argument in his hands, if not a cymbal to the back of the head. I think he has a bad case of what Robert Plant calls “LSD” – lead singer disease. I’m the center of the universe and if you won’t play my way, I’m taking my ball and going home. Which J!D! does, storming out of the room, beer mug in hand. How sad am I that we’re only ten minutes into this damn show?

We’re back after some ads. Night? Very early morning? and Dave N. and Andrew Farriss are in the hiz-ouse. Dave asks how it went and Ty’s team all thumbs-up. Dave tells Ty’s team to go first. Ty says the name of the song is ‘Stop Go.’ Here we go, kind of Mad Libs Rock Lyrics. The two girls harmonize on one verse. Dave interviews that Ty’s team’s song was’…interesting.’ Note the pause. He also felt that it had a little ‘Electric Company’ feel about it. There. I agree with the hairless grease weasel. J!D! looks mighty amused and notes you can’t approach INXS like it’s band camp or your parents you’re writing for. Yet… it was an assignment. From INXS, yes, but still it was freakin’ homework. The Gallant Team harmonizes to an end on ‘GO!’. Andrew Farriss diplomatically says ‘Stop Go’ was not what he was expecting musically from them. He compliments them on the harmony parts and adds that he can tell that they all enjoy working together. Dave adds quickly, ‘…and that’s what they’re looking for, so nice job.’ Up now is Team Goofus. Playback and Jordis goes into her diary writing from before about ‘not having enough’. Strangely enough, they deliver the song sitting cross-legged on the floor. Dave N. notices J!D! is not participating. Jordis sings something about going ‘full speed ahead down a one-way road,’ which sort of sounds more like J!D!’s idea, so not sure what percentage of the song was actually J!D! After the song ends, Dave asks J!D! why he’s being so quiet. J!D! admits that he wasn’t feeling their song and they weren’t feeling his so he went off alone. Andrew Farriss unfortunately encourages this by telling J!D! that to independently feel the passion to do his own thing is great. However, since he was expected to work together he should have tried to embrace the group thing. Dave jumps in and says they’re not there to say which song is better, but to see how they work together, and because of J!D! Team Goofus loses by default. The two sweetest words in the English language! De fault! De fault!

BUT! Dave’s (bi)curious and he wants to hear J!D! ‘s song, as does Andrew. He half-heartedly asks his ‘team’ if they don’t mind. No one answers. Playback. He goes into his lyrics about ‘falling asleep at the wheel’ and ‘it ain’t pretty’. Dave amusedly admits to us that J!D! wrote the better song. Marty notes that J!D!’s move was ‘psychotically clever’ to move away from the group and do something completely self-focused. Oddly, J!D! sings the whole song from on his knees with everyone else completely away from him. Dave tells J!D! nice job but notes to us while he has the makings of a great lead singer, he doesn’t have what it takes to be a great member of a band. But now it’s time for Ty, Mig, Suzie and Deanna to go out with INXS.

Mig has a nice embroidered green shirt! Ty spikes up his hair again (feeling that confidence again)! They’re out of the house and into the Suburban! In the middle of the day??? Some ‘night’ out on the town. Most real rock stars wouldn’t even be awake by now. Jon Farriss toasts them with champagne and notes the four that are absent. In contrast, J!D! moans at the sight of PB and J … again. ‘And it’s crunchy too, that sucks.’ In the restaurant everyone has a nice looking meal. Mig asks Garry about his billing as Garry ‘Garry’ Beers. An unfunny anecdote follows. Mig marvels about how INXS are totally like real people. Ty brings up his damn song again which leads to an impromptu version in the restaurant of ‘Stop Go.’ INXS look mildly embarrassed.

After selling stuff, we’re back at Rock Haüs. Passing out songs time! But this time is different. Instead of all being up on the board at once, red envelopes are pinned up on the board with their names on them. INXS? Dave N? Mark Burnett? have pre-chosen what songs they are going to do this week! Instead of reading their own envelopes, they pass them out have someone else read what song they have to sing this week. First up is Deanna. She pulls up ‘Baby I Love Your Way.’ Frampton! Comes! Alive! in the form of Mig this week. Mig looks like he just swallowed his gum. He also has a note from INXS telling him he’s explored his talent and range the least and to go with the song’s beautiful melody. Mig opens an envelope containing Sam Cooke’s ‘Bring It On Home To Me.’ It’s for Suzie. Her reaction? ‘I don’t know that song.’ Whoops. J!D! opens his envelope and claims it’s ‘Hit Me Baby, One More Time.’ No one believes him. He takes it out and proves he’s not kidding. It’s for Marty, who howls and drops to his knees as the others laugh. The INXS note says they gave him a not-so-serious, not-so-simple song for a change. Cut to Marty trying it out alone with the acoustic guitar. Not so good. He walks into rehearsal with the least amount of confidence he’s had yet. Aaaand scene! It’s over!

What’s up Tuesday? Only the ‘most emotional RockStar:INXS’ episode yet! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to readjust my leather pants and go have my entire being waxed. Megan out!

Hopping mad

Yeah, bad one-legged pun. Kindly get in line and bite me.

I was first diagnosed with this sarcoma all the way back in February 2004. The very first surgeon I saw said that most of the leg has to come off and that I had about two weeks to make up my mind about it. At the time he terrified me and I couldn't say no fast enough. Now I'm beginning to appreciate his bluntness and efficiency.

Last fall, I was given the name of Dr. Kenan as the person who would be doing the actual operation. Since that initial meeting with Dr. K, I've been MRI'd at least twice, CAT scanned & PET scanned (leg and lungs), angiogrammed, and re-biopsied. The most recent biopsy results were sent to some super-special tumor board because he thought that mayyyyybe my tumor is a fibromitosis instead of a fibrosarcoma. What's the difference? One is locally aggressive (firbosarcoma) the other is... locally agressive, only less cancer-y (fibromitosis). Here's the kicker - the treatment is EXACTLY THE SAME. AMPU-FUCKING-TATION. Just if it's a fibromitosis, you can wait, oh, a few more months to a few more years. Maybe. Because sarcomas are REALLY rare and NO ONE seems to have a good idea of how they behave in the long run. All I know is from what I read on the Sarcoma Alliance Bulletin Board, they can go seemingly dormant only to pop up later (months, years) in the lungs, liver, brain. By that time, amputation is too late and you just end up dying of cancer.

SO. Now Dr. K, after going over my 'options' for treatment (amputation, mutilation and ruination of my leg, leg shortened and on backwards) over and over again, says that he 'strongly recommends' I send my most recent biopsy results to some extra-special pathologist in Boston. Which I will have to pay for ($300). And will take at least two weeks to get a result, maybe longer. And when it comes down to it, he will come to the very same conclusions that all the other doctors who have studied my case have come to, whether it's a fibromitosis or a fibrosarcoma. That I might have some time before my leg is amputated. Weeks, months, years? Who knows? And hopefully it won't grow or metastasize. HOPEFULLY. I am SICK and TIRED of living with cancer. I hate living with this time bomb in my leg. I have no good will or hope left about this. I just want it OUT (by which I mean my leg GONE). But when I call up respectfully declining his recommendation, his secretary makes me make yet another appointment with him for this Friday. So he wants to fight me about this!? I'll give him a fucking fight.

This reminds me of a Bugs Bunny cartoon, where Daffy is tricked into insisting that Elmer Fudd shoot him now instead of waiting until they get home.


Monday, August 15, 2005

She's hooked on the silver screen

Last week, I was a doing a lot of cinema-watching. Partial thanks go to El Brucé since he got me into a couple of free press screenings for two very good samurai movies. Tuesday morning's movie was 'Kill!'. It's based on the same book that 'Sanjuro' came from so it's Tatsuya Nakadai as a free-lance ex-samurai with a three-days growth, slacking his way from town to town. It's fast and funny and looks ridiculously great in inky black and white. It even features a scene out of 'Monty Python' with Nakadai pounding two shells together to fake the sound of hoofbeats. Worked for me. It's at the Film Forum in a couple of weeks, go see it.

Wednesday's movie was 'Samurai Rebellion'. It was also good but a different experience. It was very capital-S serious and mighty slow, but it was a good B/W print and it starred Toshiro Mifune, Mr. Intensity. It's also at Film Forum soon, go see it if you like samurai, Mifune, B/W, and blood-splattered rice screens.

On Friday I went to see 'Grizzly Man', the latest film by Werner Herzog. Awesome movie. It's about ex-surfer dude Timothy Treadwell who thought he had a special connection with Alaskan grizzly bears and lived among them for thirteen summers, until his luck ran out. It may seem like an obvioius point, but stay away from the cute, furry, huge, smelly bears. Just leave them alone unless you want to end up ripped apart and your remains filling four garbage bags. Nature may seem beautiful and peaceful but as Herzog says, it only reminds him of 'chaos...and murder'.

And a couple of weeks ago, I saw 'Last Days', Gus Van Sant's depiction of a Kurt-esque Cobain-ish rock star. Three things: it looked great, sounded great. Yes, there is the guy-on-guy sex scene (it is a Van Sant film, after all). Since it's a 'fictionalized' account of 'Kurt's' last days alive, it's a shame they didn't have him binging on a drug that makes you interesting and talkative.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Say I'm crying, I'm looking at what's on T.V.

Wednesday! Elimination night! Time for one of the pretenders to the throne to go home. INXS is in the house, Dave ‘back in black’ Navarro is also in the house! Last night BBurke gave some early voting results. The bottom three at that time were Deanna, Brandon, and Jessica. Brooke asks them to stand. But wait! It wouldn’t be a Mark Burnett show without a switcheroo. She says as the voting window moved across America and went to Hawaii, Australia and Asia the results changed. Now two other people join the bottom three. They are Suzie and J!D! The crowd groans! Out of disappointment? Pleasure? We’ll soon see.

But more importantly, what is Dave Navarro thinking? He is actually very surprised to see Suzie standing there. He thought her arrangement was great, her style was greatly improved and her vocals ‘were impeccable’. But ultimately it’s the fans that voted who buy the tickets and CDs. Right Tim from INXS? ‘Yes Dave.’ He tells the five to sit down and wants to see an encore performance by Marty or Ty. He liked Marty’s acoustic risk; he thought Ty redeemed himself from the previous week. Ultimately Ty wins out and does an encore of ‘No Woman No Cry’. He gets a big cheer from the crowd and a standing O from INXS and Dave. Enough of the good, on to the bad and the ugly.

Brooke swears this is hard to do, this elimination thing. Ahem. She makes Deanna, Brandon, Jessica, Suzie, and J!D! stand up again. J!D!? Deanna? You are both safe and can sit down. Man, I never thought I’d appreciate the subtlety of Ryan Seacrest, but here we are. The remaining three slog through the crowd to the stage. Brandon is wearing a big. White. Belt. And black pants and a shirt, but especially a big. White. Belt. Once he gets to the stage he does the arms up/WHOO thing like he’s won. Jess has on an undershirt, skirt belt, and jeans, Suzie has on grey pants and a brown shirt with a peek-a-boob hole in it. Jess looks resigned, Suzie looks sad, Brandon looks like he wants another line of the good stuff.

After a plug for a cell phone, Brooke asks us to give it up for Garry and Jon, who will be playing with the bottom three again tonight. Crowd shot of women giving it up. I wonder what the male/female ratio in this audience is? 10/90 by the looks of things. I think the men duck when the camera comes around. Jessica is up first, she’s going to sing ‘Disappear’. It’s an upbeat rock number and not too challenging vocally so she does a fine job with it. She stomps back and forth and jumps along on the chorus, making quick work of it. Andrew from INXS says hi to Brandon and tells him to perform “Don’t Lose Your Head’. It’s an upbeat soul-style song but it seems just out of his vocal range. He sounds strained has trouble remembering all the words in the song. When he sings the chorus, yes, he points to his big shovel-shaped head. Kirk thought Suzie was fantastic last night but the public saw it differently. She has to sing ‘Bitter Tears’. It’s another straight-ahead rock thing, kind of a variation of ‘Disappear’. She’s shaky in the beginning with the lower notes but picks it up in the middle, when she dramatically sinks to her knees to belt out the chorus. She looks very happy by the end.

INXS must now vote and dash somebody’s hopes. Brooke asks for the decision. Tim says this is a hard job to do. He says Suzie proved she didn’t deserve to be there and to head back to the Peanut Gallery, she’s safe. Jessica? Is a ‘resilient performer’ but she has to watch her pitching. But didn’t Dave N. tell us last night that rock and roll wasn’t about hitting all the notes? Easy for him to say, being a guitarist. But she’s not going anywhere either, she can go back and join the others. That leaves Brandon. He yells at the band ‘Why did you give me ‘Don’t Lose Your Head’? What were you thinking?’ Um, okay, way to ingratiate yourself. He then says he can’t even remember the words to songs he knows. This surprises nobody who’s been paying attention. Tim tells him that to forget the lyrics to one of their songs in front of them is not good, and sorry, ‘but he’s not right for our band INXS’. Dude, this is why Dave hates Wednesdays. His waxer has the day off. No, he loves Brandon and thinks he’s so awesome and he’s going to miss him. Does he have anything to say to the guys? As usual he babbles about thanking the band for the opportunity, it’s an honor to be in the top fifteen, he’s learning, he gets to sing to the world wah wah wah. Man, he didn’t learn anything from the journalism course about keeping his answers short. Cut to Suzie crying and Jessica looking like she could care less. Dave waffles that Brandon does what he does extremely well and to keep at it. Andrew invites him over to the Star Banquette to say a proper goodbye. Bye-bye shovel faced hick! You and your shmegeggy have a nice trip home!

There’s a special show on the contestants on Sunday that I may or may not recap. ‘Cause that’s how I roll. Megan out!

My feet is my only carriage so I've got to push on through

Iiiiiit's Tuesday night and that can only mean another 'exciting' performance night on RockStar:INXS. So without further ado, not to mention the fact that I don't have anything else with which to make ado, let's hit the stage. Brooke Burke walks onstage and has forgotten her pants and instead is wearing a metal garland around her hips. The ‘skirt’ sways to and fro like there’s some kind of breeze coming from down there. Dave 'Greasy Kid Stuff' Navarro has an excellent view of her crotch and approves heartily. Hi INXS! Hi Dave! Let's go.

Suzie has 'Losing My Religion' by REM. She's rearranged the song from a painfully earnest i'm-totally-closeted thing into a nu-metal mish-mosh. She's sporting a tan shirt-jacket, very wide leg pants and of course, red fingerless satin gloves, no doubt from the Dave Navarro collection. She pretty much shouts her way on-key through the song, making good use of her diaphram muscles. I wasn't impressed by her loud sounds but apparently I'm totally wrong. Dave N. says, 'Game on, right?'. The game of rock? Shouting? He calls her vocals 'Insane! Great!!' I'd agree with one of the two. INXS guy Garry asks her if that was her arrangement and she says yes but J!D! helped her with it. Cut to J.D. trying to look humble? Or gassy, one or the other. Gary says it was her best performance yet. INXS guy Kirk lays on the corn by saying 'if that was just a dream, I don't want to wake up'. Gah. She is surprised and super-happy and returns to the Peanut Gallery.

Next up we have Mig. If you recall from the last episode, Mig generously gave Seal's 'Crazy' to J!D! and said he'd take whatever was left over. He further interviews that this is the second time he's been stuck with a song that he didn't want. He ends up performing Free's 'All Right Now' and if this is the song he didn't want, he doesn't have any ear for what songs highlight his vocals. It's a Stupid Rock classic with a very simple chord progression, originally sung by Paul Rodgers, who coincidentally is on tour with Queen right now, filling in for the departed Freddie Mercury. Last week Mig was great singing Queen's 'We Will Rock You', so I think now he should have a bracelet made that says "WWPRD" standing for 'What would Paul Rodgers do?" Mig is nearly shirtless but wears a tie/scarf and has tiny stripey trousers accenting his stage romping and hip wiggling. Facially he looks a little detatched but makes up for it by moving around the stage and hitting almost all of his hard notes. In all, a very good Rock performance. Dave N. says he was 'awesome and sang that song great', but notes that Mig gives up his first choice of song often. He reminds Mig that it's a competition and tells him to 'fight for the song you really want to do next time.' Kirk admits Tim and he used to play that song together when they first got together and wishes that Mig 'had been around to have sung that song instead of me.' Tim agrees that he was great rocking out but says he would like to have him tackle a ballad next time around. Dave N. agrees and says that 'it's time to make us weep.' With pleasure and not pain, one would assume. So in short, Mig rocked.

Now it's time for J!D! Fortune! with Seal's 'Crazy' I don't know what got into him, but he's shaved all his hair down to about a quarter-inch and is wearing tan pants and a red t-shirt that he's written in Sharpie 'absent'. Silly rabbit, Sharpie shirts are so 1994. He interviews that he knows he hasn't hit his potential yet and must do better and stronger performances. Too bad about this week then. At first he's totally mush-mouthing the vocals so the first line sounds like, 'ah wha the sa ta buh say bot-tay, yeah' like Pootie-Tang karaoke. He's holding the mike stand with his left hand and keeps fluttering and spasming his right hand to signify 'craziness'. Instead it reminds me of 'Evil Dead 2' when Ash's hand becomes possessed and starts attacking him. He's off-key and weak and then off-key and shouty. His teeth are bared like he's ready to bite someone. Not good at all. Dave N. kindly says the song was a very ambitious choice and claims he did a great job. Cut to Mig looking non-plussed. Tim was glad he didn't actually physically go crazy during the song like some of his past performances and calls him on his pitchiness. Dave thanks him and that's it for J!D! A pretty underwhelming performance overall. Actually, it’s was more like a whelming performance.

Up to bat now is underwearless Jessica. Brooke notes she's been in the elimination bottom two (Elimination. Two. Bottom. Hee heeee) for the past two weeks. She's doing 'Come As You Are' by Nirvana. She has on a leather jacket that shows off her belly and black bell-bottoms that need hemming. She's singing ala Kelly Clarkson more than Kurt C., which is not a good thing. She also keeps pronouncing words funny like 'cyome as you are' and 'yas a friend, yas a known enemyyuh', like today's RockStar:INXS was brought to you by the letter Y and the number 2. Wow, on one of her off-notes they cut to one of the INXS guys who flinches. Not convincing, like someone who isn't really feeling it and just thinks by looking intensely at nothing they'll fool everyone. Dave N. starts off saying that this is the best she's looked ever and wants to know why she fought so intently for this song? She says it really fits her personality. Dave N. says the audience 'seemed to respond' which isn't saying much. Sort of like 'air is necessary' and 'night is dark'. However! He didn't feel passion coming from her performance. Jess is surprised. Garry (the flincher) agrees and says you can't replace 'passion with some slick moves' but that she looks ready for a blowjob, er, GREAT I mean great, she looks great. Jessica doesn't take this well and pouts that she really put her heart into it. Jon counters that if she's really feeling that passionate and it's not coming across then he doesn't know how to make that change for her. Yeow. So thumbs down on Jessica.

Time for Jordis and Eric Clapton's 'Layla'. She says she's the youngest one in the house. That is one old-looking twenty-three year old. I had her pegged at thirty at least. Must be the Rock and Roll lifestyle. Anyhoo. The outfit is a black bustier, black shrug, long black skirt and a rhinestone necktie. Her voice is good but not very powerful although she's able to hit the tricky high note at the end of the chorus. Also, for a song about unrequited love, she’s got a quite casual attitude. Overall she's good but not as great as she was last week. Dave N. first off says the house band is 'the bomb, son'. For anyone over the age of thirty, that means he likes them. He adds that this wasn't her strongest performance but that she takes risks and that's important for this competition. Kirk agrees but adds it's still going to be awhile before they see her perform an INXS song, i.e. in the bottom three. Cut to Jessica looking sad.

Brandon is on stage now and he interviews that he needs to find out who Brendan Calhoun is and claims with this song, we're going to see the whole 'shmegeggy'. Uh, yeah dude. I think pennecilin can clear that up now. The song is The Rolling Stones's 'It's All Over Now'. The outfit is jeans, white shirt blue vest and a fedora crammed down on his head. Instead of a British soul shakedown it sounds like an Allman Brothers song the way Brandon does it. His moving is just hopping up and down on his toes really fast alternating with winging out his legs. He muffs a lot of this last note but INXS seems to like it or is simply amused. Dave N. says everytime he does a song with a bluesy vibe, he excells, but he'd like to hear him do something different. Garry loves The Stones, loves (!) Brandon Calhoun but when you 'put the two of them together I wasn't thinking INXS'. This makes Brandon bust out with some Southern nonsense to the audience about them needing him and is met with mild indifference. Kirk notes that he's awesome at what he does, but INXS's music is really diverse and he worries about how that fits in with them. Dave N. finishes off by commending Brandon on him taking the band's critisism so well. Cut to Jessica’s sour puss yet again. Brandon nonsenses saying 'it's rock and roll baby, it's a beautiful thing.' What. Ev. Er.

It's Marty now with The Killers's 'Mister Brightside', a song that immediately makes me turn the channel or station when I hear it. Oh dear. Ten minutes before the show aired Marty decided he didn't need the band and was going to perform it himself with only an acoustic guitar. I really can't look at him without thinking he looks like Rick Springfield with an Andy Warhol wig. He throws in a bit of a British accent on some of his words for some reason. Does he not know that The Killers are from Las Vegas (useless fact #19340)? So he's strummy and singing and it's okay. The clothes are a black jacket and white pants for a change. Dave N. thinks he was awesome and made a 'great choice'. Cut to J!D! looking worried. Dave continues that Marty doesn't always hit all the notes but that being a Rock Star isn't about hitting all the notes! Wha?? It's about intangible magnetism! And Marty (I keep typing Mary) has it. So says Dave, not me. Tim agrees with Dave. Jon says he's on the right track. Hooray for Marty and his strummin' magnetic guitar skills!

Time for Deanna, who last week got in the band's collective face while she sang her song. This week she's taking on 'Long Train Running' by the Doobie Brothers. Another song that normally makes me change the station. She's wearing a super-tight brocade asian-style dress over black pants and a long clip-on blonde fall. She has a good loud voice although she's doing what they call in soul singing 'cornbread', a lot of overly throaty notes. She's up on the drum riser for most of the song, the better for us to see her. She's adding a lot of 'uh!', 'hey!' and 'people!' to the song. She's interacting with the audience from the stage and really sells the last notes for all they are worth. Dave N. asks if it is possible for her to look hotter and hotter as the weeks go by? He also notes her interaction with the band and the chemistry between them, and calls it a 'killer performance'. Jon says she's a great rock singer but that she tends to oversing a little bit. Tim agrees. Kirk wants to hear her doing something without belting it out for a change. He suggests an all-acoustic week, which is not a bad idea if it is really his idea and not Mark Burnett's.

Ty time! He says he felt defeated last week but this week he got ‘No Woman No Cry’ by Bob Marley which talks about feeling defeated but rising above. This week Ty modestly has his Mohawk pasted down on his head, a olive hoodie jacket, black shirt and yes, black pants. I think they should try to do a black pant free week. So Ty sings very well and cuts out the theatrics for a change. J!D! tries for extra camera time for doing a slow boogie to the song. The crowd and INXS are all really into the song. Sadly, Ty totally gives in at the end and melismas the last note, adding seven or eight extra syllables to ‘cry’. Dave N. knows Ty felt defeated last week but he’s totally redeemed himself. Ty admits sometimes you need what he went through. Dave thought he was ‘awesome’ (This show should also try to have a week without the word ‘awesome’ in it) and was full of real passion. Tim says he’s a guy who really can sing and to keep it up. Garry calls it the most soulful performance he’s seen so far by anyone. Cut to Suzie looking glum.

And that’s it! But wait, Brooke Burke is going to give some early voting results! The present bottom three are Jessica, Brandon, and Deanna. Will everything change tomorrow? See you whenever I can get the next recap together.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Now I'm falling asleep and she's calling a cab

Folks, because S, the usual awesome recapper of RockStar:INXS is off getting married this week (I'm gaining a brother-in-law!), the most recent episodes of the show will be recapped by yours truly. I didn't take notes last night and some of the names of the people I can't remember, so please forgive holes in the narrative.

There's a beginning of the show and everyone is doing the sad thing because Tara is off the show. To no one's surprise, everyone is handling the pain of this loss with drinking and vegetables. People jostle for screen time trying to act the most devastated. Ty grabs the crown by playing the race card, sobbing about how few successful black performers there have been in rock and roll (Little Richard? Chuck Berry? Ike Turner?) and how the odds are against him winning. The contestants look mildly embarassed and chew their vegetables. Mig makes some half-hearted attempt at connecting by saying he's the only Australian there so he knows how Ty feels. Wow, Australian is the new black, you heard it on RockStar!

Everyone loves Jordis and her fifty pounds of hair! It's her birthday! Here's her boyfriend, who is dwarfed by her hair.

Next day, they all go to the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood where Dave 'Wax on-Wax off' Navarro and one of the Farriss brothers await. Today's rock clinic is going to be about dealing with the press. When you are a public figure in a rock band, you have to do constant press, so it's a big interview-a-rama for the contestants. And plus? All that is said will reach the public. There seem to be only four or five journalists, most of whom are from something like, 'The Tumbleweed Daily Tribune'. The only celeb publication I had heard of was Star Magazine. Naturally, the woman from Star tries to get them all to dish the dirt about who is the least liked in the house. All but Mig decline to take the bait. Mig hems and haws and finally admits J! D! Fortune! (hey, that is fun to type!) is the least popular. Star Magazine woman then tells J! D! that everyone hates him, how does that make him feel? He looks mildly surprised at this and claims to be only misunderstood. He also looks a lot like one of the Coreys. He then tells the camera that sometimes after hearing stuff like this, he just wants to be a total bad boy and screw over the other contestants.

Some other journalist asks what their first memory of INXS was. Marty says it was when he was thirteen years old. Some blond skank says the same. Ty gays that a lot of firsts for him happened to INXS music and my gag reflex fails to kick in. Unlike Ty's. Then the journalist asks Ty what his favorite album of INXS is. He says 'Kick' when the journalist swiftly adds, 'but not Kick. What else do you like of theirs? What's your favorite song off of 'Shabooh Shoobah'? Ty flails and finally admits he doesn't really know all their material by album. Brandon is asked something about Australia. He says he knows a lot about Australia because when he was a teenager? He totally played hockey in Australia etc etc etc. Some blonde is asked what would she choose to do, perform with INXS or go to the funeral of a close family member? She actually seems taken aback by this. She finally hedges her bets and says she's try to do both. Because you can't spell 'funeral' without FUN. Or is that just me?

Greatfully for us at home, it ends and Farriss-dude and Dave N. come to give their scores or whatever it is they give them. Brandon is called out for babbling too much. Ty is commended (!) for being honest and saying that he didn't know what songs were on what albums. Dave N. admits when he was first in the Chili Peppers, he didn't know all the songs or what album they were on (which I bet they were really happy to find that out). Dave N. was also surprised about how many people weren't sure if they would go to their family's funeral or play a gig. In one of the least surprising statements yet, Dave N. says he's cancelled appearances because of a sore throat. So that makes the contestants...liars? Bloodthirsty? Parent-haters?? Good band members??? We'll never know.

Back to Casa De Rock. Also back to drinking. And this time (unlike the other times?) people get wasted. Brandon puts a cig in his mouth and says something clever, like 'Oh, look at me, I'm the singer from INXS!' Oscar Wilde rolls in his grave. Boy, don't start the party without Brandon. People laugh, smoke and drinkdrinkdrink. Next day? Same day during a solar eclipse? The new songs are out! Song titles flash by. 'Crazy' (not Patsy Cline's but Seal's), 'No Woman No Cry' (one guess who snatches this one up and says it would be an honor to perform the song. A song by another unsuccessful black rock star, hmm?), 'Losing My Religion'. Suzie takes 'Religion' and tells J!D! that she wants to perform the song in a three-part a capella harmony(!) J!D! actually encourages this idea and adds a trip-hop/human beat box sound to go along with it. She says he shouldn't be helping her and he simpers, 'but I love you'. Geez, one minute he's mister-bad-boy-screw-the-other-contestants the next minute he loves them? Someone here don't have a strategy to stand on. J!D! also admits he plans on doing the same thing with 'Come As You Are' (Nirvana). So he's going to symbolically shoot it full of heroin and shoot it in the head? But uh-oh, Jessica also wants the song (no telling what she'd do with it).

Conflict! Or what passes for it. It boils down to this - Jess and J!D! go head to head in who wants it more. Jessica says she's been in the bottom twice now and needs this risk. J!D! claims he does too. Jessica reminds him when he tried to be risky with 'We Are the Champions' he totally sucked, nothing personal. Personal is how he takes it though. He gets his panties in a twist and says she can have the song and he'll just take whatever is left over. The smallest violin in the world starts playing.

Mig plays the nice guy and says J!D! can have 'Crazy' instead of him. Aww. J!D! has a relating moment with Mig out by the pool. Is anyone at all surprised that J!D! is a 'hey, I really love you guys I can relate to you sooo much' drunk guy? He tells Mig some story, the punchline of which is, 'because sometimes we're just...' and puts his forearms on top of each other. His left arm on top has tattooed on it, 'being' and his right arm is tattooed, 'human'. Then he says, 'but we're always...' and puts his hands knuckle to knuckle so his arms now read, 'human being'. He must have been waiting days! Nay, weeks! to pull that line on somebody. Too bad he couldn't use it to con one of the unwearless skanks on the show into bed.

New day, time for rehearsals with the unluckiest house band ever. Jessica admits she's pretty hung over. The house band disapproves! How unprofessional! Drunk, stupid, and underwearless is no way to go through life, Jess. They rehearse, she supposedly sounds bad, but we never really hear very much of it. Marty comes in to go through The Killers's "Mister Brightside". The band is impressed, he really knows what he wants with the song. That would be more 'boom boom BAP' from the drummer. Good choice, Mart. Finally Suzie comes in to do 'Religion'. Defying the laws of physics she manages to both suck and blow. The band politely question the direction she wants to take the song but she stands firm. A capella/trip-hop/barbershop quartet it is.

So what have we learned about being a RockStar this week? Don't admit to things you don't know! Don't rehearse hungover! Canceling a concert because of a sore throat is fine! I have a better memory then I thought! On to tonight's show....


Today as I was walking past Broadway and 8th Street, I saw a woman run by. She looked to be in her twenties. She was wearing a jogging bra, short tight running shorts, socks and sneakers. And carrying a very unused looking full-sized shovel. Was it a quick errand (she didn't have a purse or fanny pack)? Something she found (she was running with it, holding it in one hand)? A pre-emptive strike against mashers? No idea.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Boys keep swinging, boys always work it out


So, elimination night. I watched a few nights ago, again no notes. Doing the best I can... First off, no surprise- Jordis gets the encore spot. In! Your! Face! J! D! Fortune! She sings her song beautifully; I guess she doesn't need to worry about getting kicked off the show tonight. They are going to have a really hard time getting rid of this chick- she's just too good a singer. Then again, their dismissal line is not, "I'm sorry, but you just don't sing well enough to be part of our band, INXS". It's "You're just not right for our band INXS" which is very vague, not putting the blame on any one thing. The sign off line should be, "I'm sorry, but you don't have a penis and testicles, so you're just not right for our band, INXS". Sorry, back to recap.

Again, Brooke Burke (who by the way is splitting with her husband, a plastic surgeon...if any gentlemen out there are interested! I read that in People magazine) asks the group if any of them think they deserve to be in the bottom three. About half raise their hands, Brooke chides them, "Now are some of you raising your hands to try to be modest?"... Shut up and get on with the bottom three, in no particular order, of course.

The bottom three are: Ty (Everlong), Brandon (If you could only see), and Tara (I still can't remember what she sang! Damn!). They are handed their song challenges: Brandon gets to sing "Devil Inside", Tara gets "Beautiful Girl" ("I love that song!" she simpers), and Ty gets "Kick".

So, Brandon first. I'll give him this- he looks much better tonight- like he had a little makeover. He's shaved the beard/stubble shield he usually has on his shovel chin, but still have some fine sideburns, dressed much better in a lean suit & dark shirt. Dave Navaro gave him major props earlier in the show for his style- "Dude! You look awesome!". And what would you know about style, Mr I have a horrible outfit in the rock & roll hall of fame? Sigh. But, oh lord, Brandon does not at all sing this song well. I feel bad for him. Most of the singing in "Devil Inside" is in the lower range. He's better at the mid-range screamy/shouty kind of singing, not attempting a low, seductive croon. He look awkward, doesn't dance or move well, at least he doesn't do the falling-down thing he's done at least twice. He loses the rhythm a time or two, fluffs a few lines and tries to cover with "Woo! Yeah! C'mon let me hear ya!". I honestly thought he blew it.

Next Tara, singing the really insipid "Beautiful Girl". What a shit choice for a girl to sing. It's just a dull song, she sort of strolls around the stage, smiling beatifically, sings well but oops! My head just hit the keyboard. I dozed off while thinking of Tara's performance. So, so dull. I don't know though... she sang better than Brandon, that's for sure.

Finally we have Ty, who has been very well matched to this song. It's high energy, plus the word "Kick" gives him the opportunity to do many flamboyant kicks! He sings it really well, and he works the stage- the most amazing thing about his performance is that he manages to full teeth bared smile throughout the whole thing. He looks like he's both really enjoying himself and also knows he's totally kicking (hee! pardon the pun) Tara and Brandon's butts. Anyway, really good performance.

Sure enough, after the commercial, Ty is told, go back to sit with the others, you're not going anywhere. He knows it too- he goes over to join the others. So, it's down to Tara (good singer, saddled with a crap song), and Brandon (who isn't a good singer and really blows the opportunity to prove himself better than the previous night). I can imagine who will stay in? If you guesses the contestant with male genitalia, you are right on! Tara is gracious; when they ask her if she has anything she wants to say, she gushes, "Oh I have so many things I want to say..." and if my memory serves correctly, they kind of cut her off mid sentence. It's like, stop wasting our time. Go back to your "successful" singing career.

So, to recap the remaining girls: we have Jordis (amazing singer), Deanna (something to prove, but obviously set up to fail by the age thing mentioned by the vocal coach), Jessie (willing to wear as little underwear as possible), and Suzie (prone to crying on camera, really forgettable)... I think they'll be pretty easy to dispatch.

There was no mention of a Monday show- will we not have another rock clinic? Oh no!!!!! I'll be off "Rock Star" for a week or so because of the wedding trip- so I'll just have to try to pick up where we left off. Who wants to guess which girls go first/next?


Friday, August 05, 2005

I'll crush you like a jellybean

I'm back from my chest CAT scan. What a load of fun. More like an hour of reading followed by ten minutes of waiting finished up with five minutes of actual scan. A couple of things -
- For those unfamiliar with a CAT scan, they stick you on a board and slide you into a big donut-y machine, bringing visions of being fed into a wood chipper. Today's test had me in the tube up to my neck. And what was waiting right in front of me? Why, my favorite warning! "Laser aperature. Do not look into aperature". And where does this cornea-destroying warning appear today? Only a foot away from my precious eyes! Oh, I felt like looking into that shiny shiny aperature SO BADLY. It may as well have said, 'Free candy. Do not eat candy'. I had to finally close my eyes just to get the test done.
- When you need contrast in a CAT scan you have to drink a Barium smoothie, horrible tasting concoctions, a cup for every fifteen minutes for an hour. And the taste? Imagine you have a poisonous metal bar in your mouth and you're for some reason sucking on that. The consistancy is like Milk of Magnesia but more congealed. The 'flavor' is unspeakable and for some reason, no manufacturer has thought of making vanilla or chocolate smoothies. I've seen grown adults whine, cry and trying to plead their way out of finishing a bottle of this toxic goo. Anyway, out in the waiting room there is the registration desk. And what is the only thing on the austere black stone counter? An ad for Barium smoothies and how delicious they are! Like you have a choice in Barium smoothies brands when you get there. And the super-yummy flavors? Banana, berry I had to read that twice.

So never get sick and don't get cancer and stay away from CAT scans and Barium smoothies. The end.

We are family - I got all my sisters with me

So, on with the RockStar:INXS performance episode. Again, no notes were taken, so I might not get all the song names right, or critique in order of appearance. I've got a bad case of Bride Brain. On with the show!

This time, we start off the show right away with a performance... as the camera pans over the crowd and Brooke Burns starts shouting "welcome to blah blah INXS blah blah", a familiar "Boom Boom clap" drum & audience/band noise overwhelms us... yes, it's "We Will Rock You", by Queen. I wonder how Mig persuaded them to let him open the show like this, even before the credits & introductions? The powers of Mig are strong.

He does very well, hits all the notes & works the stage well. The crowd is loving the Mig- he is positively Mignetic! The house band seems to really like him too- they definitely play better depending on the song & performer. You can tell they're just going through the motions with some of the rockers. When the lead guitarist walks upstage playing the big Brian May solo, he & Mig have fun making Rock Face and Guitar Face while the solo lasts. INXS and Dave Navarro (damn, why are you here, man?) all give Mig big thumbs up- one of them takes a swipe at J!D! Fortune! by remarking how "We will Rock You" leads into "We are the Champions"that was performed last week... they all snigger as the camera cuts to J!D! looking constipated. INXS guy says that unlike that performance, Mig would have made Brian May & the rest of Queen proud. Go on with your bad self, you Mignificent Mig!

Next, we have Deanna, who sings "I'm the Only One" by Melissa Etheridge. After seeing Monday's rock clinic vocal coach rip her to shreds and all but tell her to give it up, you know she's got something to prove. She's off in the beginning with the low notes, but once she hits the chorus she starts really belting it out, throwing around her hair and looking mighty strong... then, she moves to the front of the stage and down into the crowd- they scatter from her path and she jumps up onto the sacred Banquet of INXS and Dave Navarro, and screams the choruses till the end right at them, waving her arms and striking a fierce stance. They stare, looking just a little scared- Deanna is pretty statuesque and looks like she could pick up Dave Navaro and snap his little lollipop body in half. When the song finishes, she tunnels back through to the stage, stopping to hug a woman in the audience. When she jumps back up onstage, she pants, "That's my sister, she's right there...". One of the guys cracks, "Wow, your sister, and you managed to not lose it?". The camera cuts to a reaction shot of J!D! Fortune! who looks to have just eaten a rotten lemon. They give Deanna props for a powerful performance, and warn her to watch her timing on the song if she decides to do something like that again.

Next, we have Marty, who sings a Creed song, "With Arms Wide Open". Marty once again turns in a very good performance- I think Creed is awful, and he makes me not hate the song, so it must have been a good performance. He does the standing still thing for most of the song, but does a strange arm-wave "mad conductor" thing during a solo moment when he isn't singing. It's a little too Marcel Marceau for me. DN and INXS praise his performance, and remark on how much he's been improving every week. They like him, they really really like him!

Here's where I get fuzzy on the order- I think Brandon sings next. He does that Tonic song, "If you could only see". I had originally thought Brandon was a shoo-in to win this thing, but I'm starting to waver. He really doesn't have much of a range, and as a house band guy noted on Monday, he has a real problem with rhythm. He's still doing the stooping over thing, which diminishes his tallness (as noted by J!D!) and looks awkward. For some reason, DN and INXS still give a weak performance a solid thumbs up, and say how he has benefited so much from the vocal clinic...maybe the TV distorts the sound, because I really didn't hear it. I'd say he's made a definite move from average to mediocre.

Ty time! He has the Foo Fighters song, "Everlong". Something happened to Ty at the vocal clinic, because he sounds really different this week, and I don't mean in a good way. On one hand, he sounds more masculine than he has before, and more rock appropriate in his moves (read- not gay) but he also loses his stage presence along with his vibrato. I have to agree with the theatrical thing they keep throwing in his face, but when he's not doing that thing he just gets kind of forgettable. Flamboyance is a good rock quality- so what if it's not totally macho? They give him props, DN notes that he did pretty well since he only just heard the song for the first time a few days before. Someone must have been slipping the guys some happy pills along with their cocktails, because their judging this week is way more cheerful and supportive. Did I mention that the editors are going crazy this week showing reaction shots from J!D!? I know they're trying to give us a little drama story, but I just feel really bad whenever they show him because he's so obviously wanting everyone else to fail. I wonder if they are allowed to watch the show in the Rock Mansion? If they are, they would for sure be aware at this point of his "Evil Scheme"...

Our next performance is Jordis, who chose "The Man who Sold the World", by David Bowie. Oh. My. God. She walks out, stands still and does the almost impossible on a show like this- she sings the hell out of this song, and makes it as powerful and special as Mr.. Bowie's.We are now very clear about who is the best singer on this show. She has a gorgeous control of her voice, and also packs a real emotional quality into her performance. Last week we saw Tara sing "Suffragette City" and really make hash out of it- I wince every time I think of her little hip-cocking pose at the end, ugh. Jordis, you might want to try to get yourself off this show as quick as possible- you are way too good to be competing for a lame opportunity like this. You deserve much much better. The INXS guys and DN are stunned too- they fall over themselves telling her how amazing she was; she accepts the praise with a genuine smile & remarks how the song really moves her. She mentions again how it reminds her of a friend who died, and she says to the camera that she wants the guy's family to know she's thinking of them and remembers her friend. Again, Jordis, you are too good for this. Yet AGAIN, the camera shows J!D! off to the side- he now has the unenviable position of having to follow this show-stopping performance. He looks appropriately sick and terrified.

So, J!D! does "The Letter", which he plotted and schemed to get, even though no one else really wanted it (Suzie said she liked it, kind of). Hate to say it, but he does a good job- however, if I would give him an 8 out of 10, I'd also have to subtract 7 points for what a douche bag he is. DN notes it sucked having to follow Jordis, but hey! It was his best performance yet! Oh, Dave, you giant whore. The INXS guys also give good marks, but if they do watch the Monday episodes (which they mentioned earlier in the show they do) don't they see that this guy would be terrible in a band because he obviously can't get along with anyone? Sorry to slip into corporate speak, but if you're in a band, you need to be a team player. If you can't, you become Steve Perry. Or Dennis DeYoung. Alienating the rest of the group as you shove your ideas down everyone's throat- I don't believe for a second that all of Styx was on board with the whole Mr.. Roboto thing (even if Styx sucked before this, the whole song-story of the futureworld of Mr. Roboto really put them over the top into the hall of Shame).

Jessie girl is up- with "Blister in the Sun". Ugh. She's got the really annoying habit of "acting" through her songs- making faces & gestures along with the words. She does try, and does her usual I'm-so-sexy-look-at-me-stroke-my-inner-thigh, but still looks to me like a "Girls gone Wild" outtake. When she finishes, INXS and DN note that she did pretty well with a song that really doesn't show off much singing- hey guys, who picks the damn songs? Oh right- Random McShuffle. DN says, "we've seen you do good performances, but where's Jessie? We need more of your personality". Jessie says with much exasperation, "This is it. This IS my personality. I don't know what else you want from me...". you know the answer to that, Jessie- what they always want from you...

Oh, shit- I can't remember what Tara sings. She's not very good. That i can remember. When she finishes, they note that she's got a successful career already (really?) and ask her rather pointedly how she feels about singing cover songs. She smirks and says, she liked the previous week's song, and this one, and she thinks she's finding herself...damn, it's going to make me nuts, I can't remember her stupid song. Any way, FORESHADOWING. MAJOR FORESHADOWING.

Last but sort of least, is Suzie singing the Lennon/McCartney classic, "Get Back". I'm surprised they can use this song- do they have to pay licensing fees to use the songs? I mean, the Beatles can't be cheap. It's (big sigh) okay... but as is later noticed, much of the song is solos from the band. So, eh... end of show.

Usual voting cues from Brooke Burke... tune in to see what gets the boot!
Got no more Aussie anything. Peter Jackson? Peter Jackson!


Thursday, August 04, 2005

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony

This one's probably going to be a shortie- am tired after a long day & the gym after work.

Plus, this first show wasn't too interesting... my hands-down favorite "Rock Clinic" was definitely the style one, despite Dave Navaro in his white feather boa. Monday's "Rock Clinic" was all about vocal technique & training, hence the subject heading. But first! Who can forget the dramatic elimination episode last Wednesday, and the ensuing competition for biggest show of hysterics? Off we go to the Rock Mansion...

Once again, the banquet table is heavily laden with sensible snacks, and once again again, the rockers are clustered about it, toasting to... the fact that they all hadn't been eliminated! Actually, there was a bit of moaning and pissing about the two recently dispatched ladies, Daphna and Heather. A few quotes...

"The house feels empty- we lost two people!"
"... give a big bomb... a big shake... we can't afford to not be 100%"
"The loss you feel is something you have to come to grips with!"
"I miss Heather and Daphna so much..."

See any difference from last week, when Neil's huge energy went away? Yes, the tide has turned- they don't seem so much sad that the two were kicked off; instead, the remarks and toasting to the newest losers had a perfunctory feeling to them. Several people make comments about how they feel more motivated this week by what happened. Yep, nothing like a faded 80's pop group's power tripping on their own show to give you the kick in the pants you need.

Then, a surprise! An ordinary woman with brownish hair is seen entering the back patio area where the mourning rockers are toasting (isn't it sort of weird to have them sitting around the pool? Somehow I don't think of bright sunlight when I imagine a rock lifestyle... would Keith Richards be out by the pool snacking in the midday sun? I don't think so). It seems that Marty, as an additional treat for performing well during the last competition, has been granted a visit from his sister! I find this a little odd- nice to have family visits and all, but can't they invite people over if they want to? Are the sequestered in the Rock Mansion? And what's the deal with the ongoing sister fixation? Another sister will turn up in the next episode, but you'll have to wait to find out whose sister it is!

Marty's mind is blown by the fact his sister has visited- doesn't take much to blow his mind, I guess. He introduces her around and shows her all his rock stuff, his room, his guitar, tells us that having her there was "like having my whole family walk up!". Aww. It's kind of sweet, actually- after she is seen saying goodbye to everyone, Marty says to the group, "Thanks guys for being so nice to my sister". See, rockers can have good manners, too. Then, an annoying moment- Suzie is shown weeping; one person asks why she's crying and she sobs out how much she misses her family. Sure you do- and you wanted a little camera time by making a dramatic scene. I hate the weepy "pay attention to me" quality of this outburst. We also get a moment with Mig, who says that if having a family member visit is part of your reward for getting the encore performance, he's going to perform like crazy this week (something to that effect- I got bored and stopped taking good notes this week).

So, on we go to vocal coaching. The rockers spontaneously wander en mass into a room, to find DN, an INXS guy, and some other guy who is introduced as one of the top vocal coaches in the music business- his list of clients include Courtney Love (hmm), Axl Rose (great singer, if you like the sound of Ethel Merman screwing a cat), Chris Cornell (i have the feeling he was already a good singer), and Eddie Vedder. I guess this dude was really busy in the 1990's... I didn't write down his name, but I think it was Ron? I'm going to call him Ron.

Jessica the pantiless goes first- she is asked to hum and swallow at the same time. I bet it's not the first time our girl Jessie has been asked to hum and swallow, nudge nudge. She fails! She ends up learning some trick of putting her fingers on her skull and singing; somehow it amplifies her own voice inside her head, and indeed she is suddenly on pitch and sounds much better singing "Never Tear Us Apart". Who knew?

The rest go up one at a time... we get to see all of the doing silly humming, la la la la, ooohhhh, waaaahhh, weee-ooo wee-ooo, noisy embarrassing vocal gymnastics. Brandon shares with us that he's 31, damn'it, and he likes his voice just fine, damn it. If he was watching this show, he'd clearly see that he is in fact the only person who sees no room for improvement. Ty gets yet another "theatre" comment- whenever he gets vibrato, it sounds theatrical. Ty tosses his mohawk and sniffs petulantly. Poor Deanna gets the worst treatment- I know I've not commented much on her performing because I find her pretty dull, but she really doesn't deserve this... Ron informs her that she's got a problem, because if you haven't gotten your vocal technique down by the time you're 35, you can't ever really be a great singer- at that point age changes your anatomy, "begins to break down" and you're just screwed since the flexibility to change is gone. I don't know how old Deanna is, but it really sucked that this guy Ron felt the need to say this in front of INXS guy. She is seen off camera saying she wish he hadn't said that in front of everyone- in a competition for a new singer, it doesn't help to be branded as a hopeless cause. Later, Dave Navaro is softly talking her down, as they sit on the sofa... "Deanna, you need to show us your vulnerability"...I'm sure DN has something he'd like to show Deanna, especially since we now know Susie cannot hum and swallow simultaneously.

Song choices! Gotta wrap this up quickly- getting bleary tired and typing the same things twice typing the same things twice. The usual stupid stupid (I meant that two times) J!D! Fortune! shenanigans ensue as he wants a song badly... but must outwit another singer from choosing it! He needs a lesson in direct communication- just say you want to sing the f*cking song. He does some weird bait and switch thing so he can sing "The Letter" instead of her. Whatever... another cringing moment as we see J!D! singing alone in his room, over-emoting to his biggest fan, himself. Jordis chooses "The Man Who Sold the World", and says it makes her cry, because it makes her think of a friend who died. Brandon chooses "If you could only see" by Tonic- I thought I didn't know this song, until I heard the rehearsal & realized it's one of those MOR pop tunes that was all over the radio a few months/years ago. Ty ends up with a Foo Fighters song, "Everlong"... says the timing is challenging, he doesn't know the song at all & isn't sure it's going to work out for him. Mig takes "We will Rock You".Jessie gets stuck with "Blister in the Sun", which is a fun song, but wouldn't be called a vocal showcase- involves much sneering attitude, which I don't think our Sorority Girl can muster up. There is also much time spent with Jessie confession to another rocker how lousy she feels that she's been in the bottom three two weeks in a row, and everyone must hate her. But, she has the magical ability to not wear underwear and sing simultaneously, so she might pull it off...

I leave you breathless- I said do you speak my language? He just smiled and gave me a vegamite sandwich!


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Not the heat but the stupidity

So you know what I hate? Having someone hijack my knitting group. Like when they tell you that you'll be going to this guy's huge loft in Brooklyn and we can all knit and there's going to be tons of food? And first you can't get out there because not a single cab driver knows Brooklyn streets? So the guy who owns the loft picks you up but you're separated from your friends because there's not enough room in the car, so you're like odd man? Hate that. Then one of the people in the car makes some crack at you about, 'so when are the Chippendale's (dancers) showing up?' and you haven't a clue what they're talking about then they say, 'you're looking at me like I'm crazy' and you're totally busted because you are? Ticks me off. And then you get there and walk in and there's a lot more people then you'd thought there would be and people are there to talk and eat and smoke from the second-biggest bong you've ever seen and suddenly you realize that you're going to be the only two people knitting there? And for the rest of the evening you have to deal with concescending people coming over and smirking, 'knitting, huh?" like you're five years old? Totally chafes me. Then when there is food no one tells you the food is ready, and when you go to get all this food you've been promised it's just little bite-sized pieces of fish so you spend the rest of the time knitting and hungry and making your knitting smell fishy? And everyone is drinking wine including the bottle you brought but you're not drinking because of the heat, so you feel like someone owes you $20 worth of food? Then they put on hideously loud rap music but then change that to horrifying loud FRENCH rap music, very ESL-styling? Awful. Then your friend goes to find some dessert because there's a plate of something nearby that looks like ice cream and you get your hopes up, but then she comes back and reports not only is there no dessert, the 'ice cream' is just a full ashtray? And you get stuck sitting next to a couple of over-tattooed clowns bragging about all the body modification they've had done and you want to call them a couple of pussies because your leg is going to be cut off and that's a lot more radical then some stinkin' tattoos and piercings? Pisses me off. Then somehow you scam a ride home and when you get in your cat goes mental and bites you for no good reason? And the next morning you smell the shirt you were wearing and realize it smells like you've been doing major bong hits all evening, so you'll have to wash it instead of wearing it on your date tonight? Sucks.

I did add about five inches on my scarf though and that I like just fine.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Crawling from the wreckage

Strange being awake and upright for a change. I definintely overdid it on Saturday. I had a 'date' with Catboy who I met on the internet. He's a basic nice guy, but he kind of looks like a serial killer, so I haven't made up my mind about him yet. We went to the Bronx Zoo, going against my better instincts. I try never to go there on the weekends and during the summer because of the crowd factor. Spent too much of the day trying not to step on children so I could see the tigers going through their paces. I had also forgotten how much walking is involved, so by the time we left, I was exhausted and my back was killing me. Then in the middle of changing subways going home, we got separated. We finally met up again at 14th street and headed to the Lakeside for cold refreshing beverages. A few too many cold refreshing beverages. There's a hole in my memory and the next thing I know I was projectile vomiting on my bedroom floor. Very attractive. The Boy put me to bed, slept on the couch and split in the morning. I was still barfy when I woke up (my aim was better this time) so I just stayed in bed the whole day. So now I still have to catch up to the Sunday paper and also have to deal with Social Security today. Good times.

Perhaps as a positive omen there's a cardinal singing out in my backyard (the red bird not the church figure). Should be all uphill from here.

'Cause two out of three ain't bad

Again, the strings of suspense greet us along with Brooke Burke- she reminds us that everyone is just one bad performance away from elimination... points out the exceptional performances of Ty (Everybody Hurt), Jordis (Gimme some Lovin') and Marty (Lithium). She introduces the INXS guys, again sitting in the Judgment Banquet. Along with Dave Navaro, who thankfully is not subjecting us to his hairless man-pits. Dave oozes, "You look exceptionally smokin' tonight, Brooke"... I absolutely hate how he plays the whole "Sweetheart, Honey, you look hot, etc. " kind of bullshit with the lady contestants. He might as well be prefacing every statement with "Since I know a woman won't win this, i automatically do not need to show any respect for you, and will instead focus on your f*ckability and lack of underwear wearing." I'd like to see him pull that shit with the guys. At least American Idol doesn't really slant the competition much towards either gender, and they are also way less appearance focused (they tend to poke fun at the outfits or sometimes praise their appearance, but it doesn't have the overlying tone of sleaze that DN puts across... then again I think he'd sound sleazy communicating anything, like ordering fast-food at a drive through window.).

First, DN states that he and the band talked about it the previous night, and he wanted to say that he had been really wrong with how he judged Marty's performance; Marty was actually awesome. DN also feels the need to share with us that he's only been booed twice in his career, and both times were from his previous evening's remarks. I highly doubt you've only been booed twice, you hairless freak.

Marty reprises Lithium, and again does an OK job... he kind of reverts a bit to his own personal style of jerking and twitching during the loud parts of the song. I figured out what these moves remind me of- the guy in the Devo video for (I can't get no) Satisfaction, who spazzes and jerks in place before he throws himself to the floor and starts flipping around in a crazy rock seizure. Please stop doing this, Marty- it really detracts from what you're doing right.

Yes, so, Brooke opens the Envelope of Doom- first she notes that INXS was pretty harsh the previous night towards some of them, and did any of them think they might be ranked in the bottom three? About half the rockers raise their hands; I am not sure if they really think this or are just trying to appear self-effacing. Before Brooke reads the names, she again tells us that these are in no particular order of sucking.

The three about to be losers are: Jessie (she of the Bird Bustier and Because the Night), Daphna (who train-wrecked way hard with Rock the Casbah), and Heather (Butterfly girl, obviously throwing in the towel with her half- hearted rendition of If It Makes You Happy).

One INXS guy notes how much each of them failed to deliver- first noting Jessie was in the bottom three 2 weeks running, reiterating how Daphna destroyed rock the Casbah (she attempts to lighten the criticism by joking that it's a punk song, and punk songs are meant to be murdered... sound of crickets), and Heather's shaky vocal due to illness.

First up is Daphna, who is asked to sing "What you Need". In a sudden surprising gesture, two INXS guys decide to get up and jam with the band through their own songs. K noted during our first viewing that they really don't sound much better playing their own songs than the house band does... I wonder how long it's been since they've gotten on stage and played out? They sure aren't taking any risks by playing on this show.

Daphna tries, but she still is not a very strong singer; I think it's worth considering that a performer can often only rise to the level of their material. She keeps doing this odd way-too-low singing style when she gets to the chorus "That's what... yoooooouuuuu nneeeeedoooooo". Also she has a really unfortunate way of moving- standing with knees apart, and fanning them back and forth (while wearing gauchos, no less). Also, she seems to be downplaying her hotness tonight, which will surely count against her.

Heather's up next- she's asked to sing "By Your Side", a song we really don't remember at all. The INXS guys note that it is a ballad, and will really show off her voice (in other words, we can really hear how limited your range is). Predictably, she really throws away her performance, but I can't blame her since the song kind of sucks and she seems to have resigned herself to the fact that trying to compete for this "chance of a lifetime" is pretty much finished. She's also not playing up her hotness, which will surely count against her.

Then we have Jessica, who is asked to perform Elegantly Wasted, a stupid song if there ever was one. She really is still trying to stay in the competition- she works the stage, singing her best, and most importantly, appears to be wearing no underwear what so ever. A little halter top, a thin red knit skirt, high shiny boots, and slut-red lipstick all say, I'll do anything to stay, even flash my cooter to the audience.

So, after the break, Jessie is indeed told she is safe for another week (see? Am I not right?). She smiles and exits the stage, no doubt to go blow DN on the side banquet. We're left with Daphna and Heather, who do the girl thing and hold hands. The INXS guys note that although Daphna worked the stage well (if you're into crickets) but her vocal was still pretty shaky. Then one of the guys states that Heather seems to have given up already- she shrugs; why do I think she's giving the finger to the band in her not-held hand. Then, the verdict- the INXS guys say, they've talked, and neither of them is right for the band, and they're both out. Daphna immediately gets tears in her eyes, which seem genuine, and Heather stays pretty expressionless. They hug.

We get sight of the other contestants, who look really horrified and immediately start competing for who can carry on most and get camera attention. Except of course, our leper, J!D! Fortune. Wow, the other rockers are really hating on him, but he is indeed hate-worthy. When asked for a reaction, DN stammers out how shocked he is with the band's decision... I find this pretty funny because it finally shows us that DN has nothing to do with the judging process, begging the question, why are you here, DN? Doesn't anyone want to come out and play with you anymore?

DN asks if either girl wants to say anything to the band- Daphna says she's been bought up right and so accepts this graciously; she's now going to go home and try to support her Mom. GUILT TRIP!!!!! Heather says thanks anyway; she's going home to build a monster SUV, throw her dogs and Guit' pedals in the back, and take off across the USA. Good for you, Heather- I like how she just checked out at some point, knowing this whole thing is a huge embarrassing farce (their being given the chance to what, cover iNXS songs? For no doubt a fairly limited amount of time, and probably very little money).

Again, the other rockers compete to show who can make the biggest spectacle of themselves as the show closes. I'm sure we'll be in for some major hysteria tonight in the rock mansion, as they gather around the Table of Sensible Snacks. Can't wait!

G'day, Sheilas and Mates~