Video Vault – Rolling Stones two-fer

Here’s two of my fave Rolling Stones tracks brought to you via the power of ancient music video. We have here “Hey Negrita” from Black and Blue and the fine cover of “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” from It’s Only Rock And Roll.

With any luck, this will kill the line dances once and for all

An entire wedding party does the dance sequence to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The camera wasn’t in the best place, and a couple of the fringe dancers are stiff as boards, but hot damn, this is awesome.

Brandy, you’re not such a fine girl after all

Bad times for Brandy. Looks like the singer/actress has been hit with a $50 million lawsuit due to a vehicular manslaughter charge. Brandy had recently struck Awatef Aboudihaj’s Honda with her Land Rover. The Honda then hit another car and then slid into the center divider, only to be struck again by another car. All this because traffic had slowed down and Brandy was obviously not paying attention. Way to go. Celebs and cars just don’t mix.

American Idol: Southern Hospitality

Somehow, some way, Fox spared us by making “American Idol” one hour long last night. Having that extra hour unexpectedly was like finding a $50 bill on the street. I won’t question why, I’ll say “Thank You” to Fox for letting me get back to Rick Reilly’s “Who’s Your Caddy?” a bit earlier. Great book, by the way, that all of you golfers or Reilly fans should read.

Let me start by saying that Paula Abdul is messed up. It took us two weeks to see that drunk, disorderly Paula we’ve come to know and love, but she made an appearance. On the second day of the Birmingham audtions, Paula reportedly had to return home for a family obligation. Just a hunch, but I think that obligation was with her big brother, Tequila Abdul.

With only an hour to show the auditions in Birmingham (the city that brought us Idol faves like Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard and Bo Bice), only five of the really talented contestants’ entries were aired. Katie Bernard was the first of those, and while she sounded like a 3-year old when she spoke, she was all woman when she sang. This kind of disturbed Simon Cowell, but Paula and Randy voted her through to Hollywood.

Then there was young Tatiana from Atlanta. Have you ever woken up with the feeling you’re going to eat fried chicken, and then hours later found yourself in the KFC drive thru? I had that feeling about Tatiana when she was being interviewed, before she even sang. Like, this girl is going to be an awesome singer. And folks, I do have the gift of ESP. She was, as Randy declared, “a natural.” Maybe like Paris Bennett last season, and definitely top 12 material.

Bernard, who sang Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You,” was awesome, but Paula somehow thought he was off-key. Uh, Paula, the only thing off-key is the ringing in your ears from that bender.

Jamie Lee, a cute 16 year old blonde chick, matter of factly stated that her “daddy” is paralyzed, because he shot himself after catching his ex-wife cheating on him. How heartwarming. Somehow, this girl is unfazed by her home situation, and sang well enough to advance.

This chubby dude Chris, who described his look as a cross between Jack Black and Jack Osborne, was hilarious. When asked why he was there, he replied,” Because I want to make David Hasselhoff cry.” That was reference to when Hasselhoff was spotted in the audience teary-eyed during last season’s show. Props to this kid. But he could sing too, and mark my words, Chris is a dark horse to go really far.

As always, there were a few duds. I mean, that’s what drives ratings, so here is a glimpse into last night’s train wrecks….

Erica, a cute blonde from Auburn, was so off key it was painful. But to make things worse, she kept singing until security had to usher her out the door. Diana Warner, who was so round that she may have had a medicine ball in her dress, was also all over the place vocally.

Then there was Margaret, who was literally dressed like Big Bird. Simon called it an “Easter Bunny Nightmare Experiment.” Need I say more?

18 year old Victoria had six foot long hair, but just an average voice. Lakia Hill, who led the league in off-key notes last night, was accurately depicted by Simon as one of the worst contestants in Birmingham.

Then they showed a bunch of bad auditions that ended with contestants being gracious and saying “Thank you for the opportunity.” Talk about Southern charm. This wasn’t New York or any of those northern cities, where everyone thought it was their birthright to earn a golden ticket to Hollywood.

Finally, Brandy sang “Like a Virgin,” and danced with stripper moves, removing her sweater to the horror of Randy and Simon. When told by Simon that it was a “rotten audition,” Brandy claimed that it may have been the way her voice echoed off the fake floor, so they let her step back onto the carpet. Still no dice. So then she was outside being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest and was bad-mouthing both judges, even calling Randy a “fat ass.” Wow. But hey, that’s good television.

All in all, 20 contestants from B-ham made it on to Hollywood, and tonight’s auditions take place in Los Angeles, where a trip to Hollywood will mean a bus pass. See you tomorrow for the recap….

“American Idol” to replace dazed, incomprehensible judge with…Courtney Love?

According to an “exclusive” report from Us Weekly, “American Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe recently contacted Courtney Love to see whether she’d be interested in “sitting in as a judge” on the popular Fox phenomenon. It’s likely Lythgoe was only inquiring about a guest-judge stint for Love…but rumors are now swirling that he is considering replacing frequently woozy, slurry-of-speech perma-judge Paula Abdul with the brazen rocker.

These rumors can’t possibly be true — watch this clip for at least a dozen reasons why Courtney Love should never be placed in a position of prominence on a program that draws flocks of preteen girls — but they’re fun to think about, just the same.

Imagine what might happen the first time Simon and Courtney disagree on something: I smell a new product placement segment for Neosporin, Ace Bandages, or Hollywood’s crack (pun intended) EMT squad.

And just imagine Ryan Seacrest trying to say anything to Courtney. Anything at all. You can’t, can you? Because he’d never have the c-c-c-courage. One raised eyebrow from the former Mrs. Cobain, and Ryan dives behind that red Coca-Cola couch, quivering like a Chihuahua.

So, no: Chances are, Paula’s drunken slurring will probably not be replaced with Courtney’s drug-addled babbling any time soon…but it would certainly make for arresting television. Literally.

You had me, then you lost me.

You had me: Mariah Carey appears on the cover of – and in a layout in – the new issue of Playboy.

You lost me: she’s not naked.

Haven’t we already ALMOST seen everything Mariah’s got to offer…?

Plus, I mean, good lord, this picture is on her official MySpace page…and that’s free. (If that link doesn’t work, here’s another one ; it doesn’t take you to MySpace, but it’s the same photo, I assure you.)

Lost Bands: Gangway

Gangway’s one of those bands who, as far as people in the States are concerned, can’t really be described as lost…because they were never found in the first place! And I don’t mean that in a “their albums didn’t sell well” kind of way; I mean their albums never got released here at ALL. Hell, I’ve never even heard one of their studio albums; all I have is a best-of disc called Compendium, which plays like all your favorite bits by the Pet Shop Boys, the Lightning Seeds, and…well, basically, any band you can think of that incorporates lush keyboard sounds into their pop songs.

There are a couple of fan sites dedicated to the group (like this one), but they don’t appear to have their own website…possibly because they broke up in 1998. Nor do they have a MySpace page, not even an unofficial one, which is somehow even more odd, given how many folks tend to put up fan-run pages for their favorite artists. They do, at least, have a Wikipedia entry, which indicates that, in 2006, guitarist/songwriter Henrik Balling and lead singer Allan Jensen staged a reunion show at a small bar in Copenhagen for all of 125 people. (Oddly, keyboardist Torben Johansen was present in the audience but, the entry implies, did not participate in the performance.)

None of the band’s albums appear to be in print – or, if they are, they’re only available in Denmark (and since I can neither speak nor read Danish, I may never know) – but, for now, you can at least enjoy this video by the band on YouTube.

Conveniently, it’s for one of my favorite songs on Compendium. It’s called “My Girl and Me,” and it features such brilliant lyrics in its chorus that it’s inexplicable that it didn’t get released in the States:

“My girl and me / We hang around in bars / And we’re usually drunk / But we’re never too drunk to fight / Like cats and dogs all night.”

That’s genius.

People don’t like people who mess with The King

It’s hard to fathom the outright anger over making innocent videos from found materials and posting them over at YouTube. But that’s just what I’ve encountered for the past few months regarding my creations “Viva Fat Elvis,” “Elvis Is Still Dead,” and “Don’t Be Cruel,” my “Elvis trilogy,” if you will. And even if you won’t, just have a look at the madness that is the comments section for the first two. There are many scary people out there, and they’re all Elvis fanatics. “Don’t Be Cruel” hasn’t received any comments yet, but I’m sure it will. It’s always just a matter of time.

Viva Fat Elvis

Elvis Is Still Dead

Don’t Be Cruel

Place your bets on when it will end

I’m betting before it even happens. That is, Van Halen reuniting with David Lee Roth. It won’t be a “real” reunion, mind you, as bassist Michael Anthony will be replaced by 15-year-old Wolfgang Van Hagar Halen. Gee, I wonder what kind of booze, drugs, and broads young Wolfgang will encounter while hanging with his crotchety old dad and balding Diamond Dave? Excuse me while I shudder.

Daughtry’s number one, man!

Who? Ah yes, “American Idol” also-ran Chris Daughtry has scored a #1 album on the Billboard chart. Congrats to Mr. Daughtry for continuing to prove that the majority of the record buying public like to be spoon fed their rock through a TV screen on a “Star Search” wannabe. Am I bitter? Of course not. I just know the real thing when I hear it. We all know what happened to “Bonham,” now don’t we?

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