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!

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