Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Idol-The Simon Show

American Idol is on as I write this. The show brought me back to high school. It opened with a thinning white haired Barry Gibb and his brother Robin (when did he become the good looking one?) singing How Deep Is Your Love? The nostalgia continued with a portly Michael MacDonald singing Taking It To The Streets. Hall & Oates performed You Make My Dreams Come True. I was convinced it was minutes away from Eric Carmen's All By Myself or American performing Sister Golden Hair. I will admit that hearing either one of those would have been the highlight of the show.

As the show progressed it turned into a Simon Cowell tribute. A lovely looking Paula Abdul returned as well as a black and white clad cast of past contestants.

On the heels of all of this, Ellen DeGeneres announces she's starting a record label. Is she aware that it might never be the right time to start a record label. Couldn't find out if she's fronting it herself.

They haven't announced a winner yet, but either way, both Crystal or Lee have the talent to be successful.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Live Dates Cancelled, Injuries, Death and Propably Poor Ticket Sales

Bono had emergency back surgery and U2 is unable to play The Glastonbury Festival and has rescheduled the US tour for 2011.

Mastodon's guitarist Bill Kelliher has been diagnosed with Pancreatitis and will cancel a European tour.

Paul Gray bassist of Slipknot was found dead in his hotel room yesterday.

The Eagles have canceled two dates for Hershey and Philadelphia, PA June 14 & 15. Appearing on the bill with the Eagles were the Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban. The band's website does not give a reason for the cancellations. No one seems to be injured.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Female Mets Fans Are Happier

Yes, the Wall St Journal confirms that female Mets fans are happier than female Yankee fans. The subway series begins today and the WSJ polled 650 sports fans in NY. There seems to be a great divide between younger and older Yankee fans. Older women who follow the Yankees are less likely to be traveling this summer on vacation (26% versus 10%) and are bigger fans of public radio (18% versus 12%) and bowling (7% versus 2%). They're also far more likely than their younger counterparts to be Democrats (75% versus 59%). I think younger Yankee fans also think they are entitled to World Series wins. Let's face it, in their lifetime they have seen many.

Mets fans on the other hand didn't have an age divide. In general, "Ms. Met" falls into the statistical middle in most categories, with the younger and older Yankees fans touching either extreme. She is most likely to make between $50,000 and $150,000 (53% versus 44% of young Yankees fans and 38% of older Yankees fans) and you're more likely to see a tattoo creeping across her shoulder than you would with older Yankees fans (17% versus 6%), but less likely than with younger ones (24%). Could Lisbeth Salander be a Mets fan?

Mets women generally feel more enthusiastic in their daily lives..... Mets women are more likely to abstain from alcohol (25%) than older Yankees fans (18%) and younger Yankees fans (14%).

Since this isn't very scientific, I don't think you could say that female Yankee fans are miserable drunks. Being a female Mets fan, I feel (and this goes for the past few years) that taking each game as it comes is a good prescription for a healthy life. Yankee fans haven't had the kind of angst we live with.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

American Idol Losing It's Inspiration

1. Simon chose the second song for Lee DeWyze to sing on Idol tonight. He picked the Leonard Cohen song Hallelujah, most notably sung by Jeff Buckley. Although everyone thought Lee did a wonderful job with the song, I thought it was an uninspired, lazy choice by Simon. The song has been covered way too much, including k.d. lang's version at the Olympics. I used to like the song, but feel like it's been shoved down my throat way too many times.

2. Could Randy have chosen a sleepier song for Casey James? Daughters by John Mayer is not a rock song, which is exactly what Casey needed this week. I don't think Casey wants to win. He's got a better chance at a long career if he doesn't win (see Daughtry) and I think he's aware of that. Kara said he needed to play to his audience which she said is females. Not sure that I agree with her. I think if he wins Idol, that would be his audience. If he's gone tomorrow, he has a good shot at leading a credible rock band that would have male fans. It's not all about the hair (see Greg Allman). Peter Frampton had the hair, played a great guitar wrote good songs, had a massive hit album and then fashioned himself an idol and played to the ladies. His career never recovered.

3. I never would have guessed that Ellen would have the best song choice of the night. Handing Crystal Bowersox Maybe I'm Amazed was an inspired choice and Crystal nailed it.

4. Have the Idols run their course? The hometown visits used to be big events. The Idols rode in open convertibles to cheering fans along a parade route and then played to a crowd of thousands. This year two of them stood in front of an AT&T store with very sparse crowds attending and got a text message letting them know what song they would be singing. One of them got the text on a plane, making you think he didn't even make it home. The producers should cut the home visit segment. I can only liken it to watching a Mets game on TV and all one sees are empty seats behind home plate.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

EMI On Life Support, But Still Breathing

According to the Wall St Journal, Terra Firma (which ironically translates to solid earth), the private equity group that bought EMI a few years ago, has rallied another $150 million from investors to keep the entertainment company from defaulting (for the time being) to Citigroup. Who are these investors and isn't there something a little more stable or innovative they could be putting their money behind? The article goes on to say that the company will probably be split and they will sell off the different divisions, which seems about the only logical thing it can do besides slashing overpaid executive salaries.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hey Mommy!

It's the day after Mother's Day, which is close enough for me to post this special Mother's Day video. It's a tribute to Kaja from her daughter Ariana. Ariana's Dad and Kaja's husband Adam is a great video editor. His specialty is music. I'm sure Adam and Ariana had a blast making it. Move over Toni Basil, it's Ariana!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Who Killed Bambi?

I'd heard about the "lost" Sex Pistols movie Who Killed Bambi? Production stopped after four days of filming. Creative differences were cited as the reason the film was never completed. Snippets were used in Malcolm McLaren's The Great Rock and Roll Swindle. I had no idea that Roger Ebert was the screenwriter. On his blog, Roger has reprinted the second draft of the screenplay. Russ Meyer was the director. He also directed the 1970, Roger Ebert penned Beyond the Valley Of The Dolls. According to an earlier interview with Ebert, he said the Sex Pistols were big fans of Beyond and wanted he and Russ to create a movie for them. The first three minutes of this video are an interview with Russ regarding the doomed movie.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

John Irving Tells His Story at the 92Y

Plot is key in a John Irving novel. According to him, it’s key to any good novel. Any good writer has to feel frightened to make the reader believe the incident they are reading about is frightening. John Irving has made me suspend disbelief in every one of his novels, but somehow I buy into the storyline, because it’s riveting and the characters are so full of life.

John spoke at the 92nd Street Y last night and let us in on his story. He was the child of a theater person. His first love was acting. His mother worked at a local theater. He was 6 at the time and would hang out and watch rehearsals. His mother would tell him the plot of the play before it was produced, which he said may be why he always writes the last line or paragraph of the book first. And that line(s) has never changed. He read us the last part of his uncompleted book last night. The book has the working title In One Person, which he derived from a line in Shakespeare’s Richard ll. This is the tale of a bisexual boy who falls in love with a transgender, but he is unaware that she is a transgender. Although he didn’t reveal more than that, I’m sure there will be a bear or a child who never physically grows up somewhere in the mix.

The youngest of his children will be leaving the house next year to go to college. This is the first time in many years that he will not have a child living at home with him. In a moment of vulnerability, he confessed that being afraid for someone else informed his writing and changed his life.

He studied German in his early 20’s and had a jazz drummer as a roommate. The apartment was above a folk music hall, where the music played into the night. He read this story, which was a memoir of connecting. He asked that it not be recorded. Even though his friend, the writer Edmund White suggested he write his memoirs, he is not interested. He has written about portions of his life and in one instance he regretted it. He felt that story should have been saved and embellished, twisted or played with so that it would end up in one of his novels. John Irving tells a great story.