The Voice Rocks And Look Who’s There!

Where do I begin?  Today is day number four for possible severe weather where I live; yesterday, a tornado rushed through just north of my hometown, and then when I returned home from work around 9:30 last night, surrounding areas were under the gun yet again.  To make a long story short, my NBC affiliate had to deliver this important weather information, 30 minutes into the premiere of The Voice, thus taking up the remaining programming time.  So I saw the first few, but just after the weather coverage broke in, a familiar face graced the stage: FRENCHIE DAVIS!!!!  (I watched all of the premiere online)  I thought I saw her in a long shot going into a rehearsal space, but I was like “nah, that’s not Frenchie”, it was!!!  I could not believe it when I found her performance clip earlier today.  We all know what became of Frenchie; she was disqualified from season 2 of American Idol after an internet porn scandal popped up, but then she went on to star in RENT on Broadway, so she hasn’t suffered, but she is now in the position to really make something happen on The Voice.  
Now, onto this bald-headed beauty.  Beverly McClellan has been making music and albums for years now; and yes, she’s a big fixture in the LGBT community.  Side note, one other out lesbian, Vicci Martinez, also made the cut.  That’s what’s wrong with Idol, not enough lebanese!  (Props to last night’s GLEE!)–McClellan is high-energy to the nth degree, and I predict she will do well; and this may sound a little morbid, but when I was watching McClellan’s performance of “Piece of My Heart”, I flashed back to the 2005 Grammys when Melissa Etheridge, bald from chemotherapy, rocked the same song in a tribute to Janis Joplin.  Eerie, but that’s where my mind went.  Now how is Xtina doing so far on the show?  Great; she seemed to be the first one turning around everytime and she was extremely catty with Adam Levine, who I thought would never get a team member.  One other note, when Blake Shelton finally turned around to see Beverly, I got the sense he was a little scared; he said something like “…I don’t want you that mad at me…”  I’m still on the fence about how I feel about Shelton, the guy I saw at P.F. Chang’s in Nashville.  He’s tall.

My Date With Chuck and Severe Weather….

 **I originally published this last Wednesday as a note on Facebook; I thought my Blogger peeps would like to read it too, enjoy**

Today, I am exhausted, but last night was totally worth it.  As soon as I saw Chuck Klosterman (and that’s pronounced “CLOSE-ter-man”, I was so disappointed) was going to speak at WKU, I knew I would try to be there.  I think it’s ironic that I now work for WKU after all these years, but that doesn’t mean I’m still afraid of climbing the hills; oh boy, that climb up to Van Meter was a bitch for this 35-year-old.  It reminded me of my first year; I lived at Bemis-Lawrence, so every class was near or at the top of the hill.  Klosterman had originally been scheduled to speak last month, however, a death in the family would postpone his appearance.  And poor Chuck was fighting a cold last night, oh well, welcome to the Ohio Valley!  I suppose I should provide some background.  You know I can’t remember when I first heard of Klosterman; I may have seen him on a VH1 show; he was interviewed for their “Heavy: The History of Metal” series.  Maybe someone recommended his books?  I really can’t remember.  All I know is, if you know me well, I’m NOT much of a book reader.  I was so glad when I was finished with school because I would  never have to pick up another book as long as I lived.  Okay, well I have read for fun in these twelve years since I graduated and I haven’t a more entertaining experience than reading three of Chuck’s books.  I have IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas, but I just recently started it.  He has since written a novel, Downtown Owl and another book of essays, Eating the Dinosaur.  And all of his books were on sale before and after the lecture for 10 bucks a pop last night, lucky.

Another factor working against me last night was the weather, I’ll get to that later.  When I finally ascended the last step to reach the entrance of Van Meter, I noticed a lot of college kids who I know were only there for extra credit, hell, I would have done it.  And most of these kids were what I call “posers”, yes, they still exist.  You know them, I saw two playing frisbee in front of the Van Meter fountain, the kids with funny haircuts, I saw one dude with a red bandanna on his head.  Yeah, they take me back.  I’d say most posers are appreciative of Klosterman’s work, although he himself, is definitely not one.  I would call Chuck a rural kid, which he’s from North Dakota, who’s into writing, music, and sports.  He may only appear like he was a poser now with the full beard he’s been sporting for a couple of years now.  I should note one poser quality he did possess last night, he had bright neon orange laces in his sneakers, which were probably a well-loved pair of Vans.  I hauled all my Klosterman books and a camera with me in my purse; nerd alert!  However, I had to remove a notepad out of my purse to make room for all my loot.  Thus, I was stuck without anything to jot notes down on.  I know I was surrounded by a lot of people who had a lot of paper, but at the last minute, I turned to an older lady behind me and I asked if I could borrow a piece.  She showed me it was only a piece from a BLUE BOOK!  Wow, I didn’t care…that takes me back too.  It was a piece of paper and it had two sides, I was good to go.

Dr. David Lee, the Dean of Potter College (STILL) introduced Klosterman and one comment he made concerning the books was two were going to be made into movies?!?  What?!?  I freaked out, but I kept my cool.  Then I thought, “which one would make a good movie?” Fargo Rock City for sure!  And probably Killing Yourself to Live which Chuck said last night is his favorite he’s written.  Okay, I won’t go through every single thing he said, but here are some highlights:

-He was fighting a cold and he said everywhere he went, people were offering him medicine/remedies.  He found his favorite was Fisherman’s Friend cough drops, because apparently, fishermen are the sickest people on the planet
-He commented on the many hills and he said all WKU graduates and students have “great calves.”
-He dropped ONE F-bomb.
-He calls pop culture “the soundtrack to your existence” kind of like Dick Clark’s famous quote “music is the soundtrack of your life”, who’s keeping score?
-He took questions and he said people in his audiences usually “try to outweird him”, plus it should be noted, he called WKU one of the more polite campuses he had been to.
-He said Austin TX is full of acid dealers…but he’s never touched the stuff.
-One girl asked if America was losing its culture identity and Klosterman had an interesting answer, he said Nascar fans were a big part–I’m paraphrasing-of keeping our culture alive.
-He was asked if he had seen TRON: Legacy and his answer was hilarious: “You can’t get high enough for that movie to be good.” I guess I would have found it funnier if I had seen it, but hey I get it.
-He admitted he’s traded his physical cds for iTunes, which he’s scared to death it will one day crash, mine did back in December, NOT cool.
-Another great quote, “Irrational matters way more.” this was in referring to an unpublished piece he read for the audience in telling the difference between watching live sporting events as opposed to DVR’ed ones…only HE could write such a piece, one line, “watching a DVR game is like trying to hug a dead body.”

That unpublished piece will be part of a new website Klosterman said he’s working with ESPN on; he’s contributed at lot to the network and he’s been heard on a few network-affiliated podcasts.  He said the site will consist of “60% sports, 40% culture”, he said this would possibly kick off in June.  And now that we are living in a totally social-media dominated world, Klosterman said “everyone wants to break the news”, you know about it before you even read it.  When asked what music he’s been listening to lately, Klosterman sang the praises of new band Yuck, I’ve heard of them, he said they sounded like a cross between Pavement and Dinosaur Jr…aren’t they sort of the same?

The total program lasted about 45 minutes, then Klosterman would be signing books.  YEAH!  Here’s another sign most students were there for extra credit, now WKU has this hand-held scan system that scans a student’s ID to prove he/she was there.  Wow!  I didn’t wait that long in line and I’m sure I looked like an uber-nerd holding all those books and a camera.  When I got to Chuck he opened his eyes really wide and said “Hi!” now I have two theories why he acted so surprised, A: my hair, it was spiky last night and B: I plopped down 4 of his books.  Then we got our picture taken.  I’m so honored to have met one of my literary and my personal heroes.

Now, onto the weather.  I knew it was going to be stormy night, but for Bowling Green, the storms wouldn’t get there until probably after midnight.  I called my friends to ask if a stormy situation developed, would I be able to crash there?  They agreed, plus they wanted me to come over and visit anyway–GLEE NIGHT!  I kept calling my Mom every hour on the hour and she kept telling me nothing had arrived in Hartford yet.  And it wouldn’t until probably about 10:30-11…however, I went ahead and I decided to remain on the side of safety and wait it out and sleep on it.  The storms blew through BG quite quickly around 1:30a.  I slept maybe 3 hours, but again, it was worth it.

By the way, when I asked Chuck which of his books were being turned into movies, he didn’t say which ones specifically and he said they had been optioned, but who knows?

These People Again?…Wait, Only One I Know.

Oh boy; could this be happening again?  Yes! It is.  As you can see, the only “real” lesbian returning from season 1 of The Real L Word is Whitney, well, if you count Romi, which I’m sure Whitney does (do the words strap-on ring a bell?)  She is now a regular for season 2.  I thought female Don Juan, Rose would be back, but it’s not to be.  Although I never recall seeing their wedding they spent all of season 1 planning, Nikki & Jill won’t be back.  Neither will Tracey, the one who struggled to come out to her family and she dated stand-up comedienne Stamie.  
We’ll meet 5 new ladies in season 2, including another couple, Kaci and Cory, who have been married for five years and now they want to start a family.  Claire and her -ex Francine join the mix; Claire is staring an online lesbian magazine while Francine will be the one this season who is struggling to come out to her “traditional Japanese mother”  OY!  We all remember Romi, yeah, okay, and she is now sporting her own girlfriend, Kelsey, which with how flirty Romi can be, this relationship will probably be in trouble.  Last but not least joining the mix is LGBT activist, Sajdah, who was once her high school prom queen and is now “butch”, how sweet!  
The video teaser is up at The Real L Word Season 2 Teaser
Season premiere: June 5th at 9pm-Central-on Showtime…I’ll give it a go…

Deconstructing THAT Album Cover!

Yeah, there’s a part of me that is a little thrown off by Lady GaGa’s recently revealed Born This Way album cover.  I’ll explain; as you may or may not know, GaGa’s second single, “Judas” dropped Friday after it had leaked and of course it was immediately put up for sale on iTunes.  NO, I did not buy it, why? In my opinion, it’s a poor follow-up to “Born This Way.”  Am I wrong?  Thus, my mood concerning GaGa was already clouded, then a little after midnight Friday, I saw this cover.  My first thought? oh, this is some kind of joke, although it’s a little late for April Fools, but I soon realized, no, not a joke, it IS the cover.  The fan comments were all over the place, many loved it and they loved it because it’s totally what GaGa would do, but then the others thought the same way I did, in saying they thought it was a joke.  I’ll admit, it’s campy, but not campy in the same way as Adam Lambert’s For Your Entertainment cover.
 I was all about Lambert’s cover, but GaGa’s is on a whole new strange interpretation of camp.  I guess we now know why she was in the egg, why she was–cosmetically–sharpening her facial features and her shoulder blades.  She was turning into a friggin’ chopper, did anyone honestly expect that?  I was under the impression this was going to be the cover, not just a single cover:
 Not too busy, it’s artistic, it gets to the point.  In the end, GaGa will do whatever she wants, because without a doubt, damnit, she can!  And the best part, she doesn’t care what I or anyone thinks of her new motorcycle album cover deal.  That my friends defines a true artist.  Will I buy Born This Way?  Absolutely!  It’s my American duty!

Something You Don’t Hear Everyday.

I was talking to a friend who went to see Reba McEntire in concert in Louisville last weekend and he said she performed her famous duet “Does He Love You” with tour mate Lee Ann Womack; well, he said Womack couldn’t hold a candle to Reba’s original duet partner, Linda Davis.  And he was right!  Rough.  Rather than torture you with that recent concert version, the clip above is a true gem.  When I looked up “Does He Love You” on Wikipedia, I knew Kelly Clarkson had performed the song with Reba on TV and on tour, but before that tidbit, I discovered Liza Minnelli and Donna Summer covered the song for Liza’s 1996 album, Gently.  WHAT?  Oh you know I immediately surfed to YouTube and I found it!!!!  And it’s really good.  Who knew two of my favorite singers/divas covered one of my favorite songs?  Win all around!  See what you think.  Have a fantastic weekend!

First Daphne, Now Pink Nail Polish?!?

Oh Lord, where do I begin?  You may recall a couple months ago when a boy named “Boo” dressed up as Daphne from Scooby Doo and the internet was set afire with everybody throwing in their two cents on what appropriate gender roles should be.  Well now, a new J.Crew ad featuring a little boy named Beckett, who just happens to be the J.Crew creative director’s son, getting his toenails painted PINK by his mother.  And as you can see the quote in the ad is:
“Lucky for me, I ended up with boy whose favorite color is pink.  Toenail painting is way more fun than neon.”
Let’s not throw stones shall we.  I grew up a tomboy and I played with boys’ toys and I dressed like a boy most of the time; note, I still hate dresses and skirts to this day, however, if you had seen this same ad with a little girl trying to shave her face for example-(yep, I tried that too!)-would you have batted an eye?  Of course not, because it’s Daddy playing with his little girl, it’s cute, it’s acceptable to society.  I know I’m probably repeating myself from something I wrote last year, but I believe it’s all worth repeating again.  Yes, some kids may or may not be influenced by what their parents do or say, but let them at least try and figure it out.  The main argument in this debate is that both “Boo” and Beckett will need a lot of therapy to understand what they went through.  Bullshit!  No matter how these boys turn out, they can look back and reflect how ever they see fit when they get older.  I can’t wait for the day the culture war chills out over gender roles.  It’s not worth anyone’s time.  Children are curious and they are creative; let’s try and understand that rather than keeping parents, or God forbid, their children awake at night wrestling with “did I do the right thing?” 

Levels of Sensitivity

It has been nearly a year since singer and former country music darling, Chely Wright came out of the closet.  I chose this picture, because after a joke that was made at Sunday night’s ACMs, I doubt you will see Wright back on that particular red carpet.  I first read about this Twitter war between Wright and ACM co-host, Blake Shelton, just today. The joke that was made was in reference to Jake Gyllenhaal’s break-up with Taylor Swift and Brokeback Mountain.  And that was the punchline to the joke, “…wasn’t he(Gyllenhaal) in Brokeback Mountain?”  I was live tweeting myself and I heard the joke; I didn’t flinch, because most jokes on award shows are corny, but I admit, this one got a huge laugh/reaction from the audience.  Earlier today, Wright admitted she was NOT watching the ACMs.  Of course, this isn’t the first time Shelton has baited Wright.  Not long after the singer came out, Shelton took to his Twitter and posted this:
And not long after that tweet, Wright’s friend and singerJann Arden, who wrote a song called “Insensitive”, fired back at Shelton. 
Wright has not tweeted anything about the ACMs joke, only to say she wanted to set the record straight that she wasn’t watching the show.  However, Shelton’s fans have weighed in and they have given the singer a pass…see what you think….
  1. “@TeamBiranda: Said it before, Saying it again. I’m a lesbian and you’re still funny.” Yeah!!! I love lesbians!!!! 
  2. “@ethanletter:please tell me you didn’t write that weak brokeback mountain line you said during the awards” Awe.. You’ll be ok little buddy. 

I Love Elton John, But…

What’s not to love about Captain Fantasic?  I guess you could say this was his week; it was “Elton John” week on American Idol, although he did not appear on the results show, and he had the dubious distinction of being both host and musical guest on SNL.  It’s no secret, I have NOT been happy with SNL, especially this season.  Season 36 has been extremely lackluster in the funny department with only a few highlights and I attribute all of those to Nicki Minaj’s appearance; who was even the host that week? (Jesse Eisenberg).  Now if a non-actor, like John, is a host, naturally the writers should try and take advantage and maybe they should try and not make too many gags/jokes that only focus on the host.  Unfortunately, that did not happen.  I would say 70 percent of last night’s skits were all about playing on John’s sexualtiy, which really SNL?  We all know Elton is gay!  And sure, if John was all about it, that’s great, but to a regular viewer, it’s a little insulting.  But even more insulting, a cavalcade of who’s who in Hollywood were there to join in the fun.  Tom Hanks appeared in 2 skits, and in the abysmal “Laser Cats” digital short.  New Knicks acquistion, Carmelo Anthony appeared twice-WHY?  Then out of nowhere, Jake Gyllenhaal popped up during Weekend Update.  I joked on Twitter, I fully expected John Goodman and/or Sarah Palin to pop up.  And one ex-castmember, Will Forte, also appeared, reprising his role as dim-witted ESPN Classic commentator, Greg Stink.  If Elton was all about not caring and having a good time, mission accomplished; and his musical performances with Leon Russell of course were great.  I think I’m more excited about the musical guests this season than anything else.  FYI-next week-another Brit, Helen Mirren is hosting, musical guest-Foo Fighters!!!  Yeah, when I saw cowboy Elton John ride in on a unicorn, I gave up! I blame this man:
Lorne Michaels, you’ve had a great run, but you may want to consider either stepping down or you may want to get rid of your entire writing staff…sorry Seth Myers…even Weekend Update is not funny anymore, unless Aunt Linda’s there…Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?