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October 2005 Archives

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EXCERPTS FROM VH1’S UPCOMING “I LOVE THE AUGHTIES, PART ONE”

[a parody]

This week marks the return of VH1’s guilty-pleasure I Love the... series, in this case, the all-new I Love the 80s 3D, airing from 9 to 11 p.m. EST. VH1 also has an I Love the Holidays series scheduled for December. But here at Snobsite, we’ve got an exclusive on the series after that, I Love the Aughties, Part One, scheduled to air some time in 2006. As everyone knows, these last five years have been a font of hilarity, and VH1’s crack team of commentators are ready as usual to tee off on the absurdities of our time. Below are some excerpts of the programs upcoming.

2001
Footage of the World Trade Center towers aflame, smoke trailing from their tops.

Hal Sparks, actor/comedian: I couldn’t help but think that those huge black plumes of smoke billowing off the top of the towers looked kinda like old-school flat-tops—it was like this huge, epic-scale image of Kid ’N Play.

Return to burning-tower footage, this time with Kid ’n Play’s dancing heads superimposed on the towers’ tops, and the song “Rollin’ with Kid ’n Play” playing on the soundtrack.

Stuart Scott, ESPN: And there were those buggin’-out folks who didn’t wanna wait for the towers to fall, who just up and jumped from a hundred stories high.

Cut to footage of bodies landing with a thud in the lobby of Tower One.

Hal Sparks: Kuh-THUMP!

Rachael Harris, comedian: SPLAT!

Mo Rocca, gadfly: P’toomp! P’toomp!

Michael Ian Black, actor/comedian: Somehow, I don’t think this is quite what the Weather Girls had in mind when they sang “It’s Raining Men.”

Return to the falling-bodies footage, this time with video images of the sashaying Weather Girls superimposed, and “It’s Raining Men” playing on the soundtrack.

Godfrey, actor/comedian: They were calling all those firemen brave for running into those buildings. Brave? More like stupid! When you see a million-story building on fire with people jumpin’ out of it, you’re like, “S**t, man! I’m gettin’ the f**k outta here!”

Mug shot of Richard Reid in orange prison jumpsuit. Newsman voice-over: “Authorities detained a man named Richard Reid, who, witnesses say, tried to light the tongue of his sneaker on firebefore being subdued by fellow passengers. Plastic explosives were later found in the lining of his shoes.”

Michael Ian Black: After 9/11, we were all waiting for the other shoe to drop. How delightfully apt, then, that what dropped was, indeed, a shoe.

Dee Snyder, Twisted Sister: Frickin’ Richard Reid, man! Thanks to that skanky dude, I gotta pull off my boots every time I go through airport security! Do you realize what a pain in the ass that is?

2002
Footage of the Bali nightclub bombing. Newsman voice-over: “The Indonesian resort island of Bali is still shaking from two explosions that destroyed a nightclub and claimed dozens of lives…”

Rachael Harris: Why couldn’t Tara Reid and Paris Hilton have been in that club that night?

2003
Time and Newsweek cover images of Private Jessica Lynch. Voice-over of one of Lynch’s West Virginian neighbors proclaiming, “We consider Jessie an all-American hero.”

Donal Logue, actor: Now, Jessica Lynch was hot! I wanted to do her as soon as she got back to America—even if she was wearing a colostomy bag!

Image of George W. Bush walking on the the tarmac in a flight suit, with a voice-over of his speech aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in which he proclaims, “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.”

Jamie Lynn Spears, actress/singer: I was only, like, eleven when the Iraq war started, and I had this huge crush on the president, especially when he wore that crotch-hugging flight suit. [Looking to someone off-camera.] Is it so gross that I just said that? [Doubling over with laughter, bobbing in and out of frame, with crew and entourage laughter audible.] Oh my god, I can’t believe I just said that! [Snorts.]

2004
Footage of grieving Spanish people on railway platforms. Newsman voice-over: “The death toll from the March 11 bombings of commuter trains in Madrid has risen to 190…”

Mo Rocca: What the Madrid bombings proved, once and for all, is that Spaniards should stick to riding horses in the grand tradition of Don Quixote.

Montage of photographs of Lynndie England posing with humiliated Iraqi prisoners. Newsman voice-over: “Shocking images of alleged abuse of detained Iraqis at the Abu Ghraib prison have come to light…”

Hal Sparks: Where I come from, arranging a bunch of naked guys into a pyramid at gunpoint isn’t called abuse. It’s called pledge week!

Michael Ian Black: Now, there are some who would argue that stripping a man, placing a sandbag on his head, and attaching electrodes to his naked body is a sick, egregious violation of the Geneva Conventions. Not me, however. Sandbags? Forced striptease? Jumper cables hooked to my ’nads?… Me likey.

Footage of the huge waves and shoreline devastation caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami. Newsman voice-over: “Vacationers and fishermen charged for the shore in terror, trying to elude waves thirty to forty feet high.”

Donal Logue: Tsunami? Isn’t that that Japanese beer that comes in the huge bottle? “Dude, pour me another Tsunami!” [Mimicks getting wiped out by a wave.] “Dude, I said just one!

Rachael Harris: Is it just me, or did anyone else notice Amelia Earhart laid out on the beach alongside all those dead babies?

2005
Footage of smoke and carnage in the London Underground after the July 7 bombings.

Hal Sparks: [superimposed against the footage, clutching a guitar, doing a Joe Strummer imitation] “’Cos London is burning and I… I live by the riv-ah! Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-aowww!"

Loni Love, comedian: Damn! Those terrorists even had English accents! They was all like, [plummy accent] “Join me for a suicide bombing and a spot of tea!”

Footage of the water-sodden Lower Ninth Ward in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Godfrey: The Lower! Ninth! Ward! Ohhhhhh, s**t! Just give it up, people! You were in a crappy neighborhood to begin with!

Rachael Harris: Everyone’s like “Where’s Fats Domino? We gotta find Fats Domino!” I’m like, “Fats Domino is alive?

October 25, 2005 More Rock Snobbery »

ODDS AND SODS: POSTHUMOUS PEEL SNOBBERY, CAMERON CROWE COINAGES, AND THE MYSTERIOUS “JOYCE”

Our Canadian mate Joe Clark alerts us to an article in the Guardian that attempts to cobble together a posthumous list of beloved DJ John Peel’s favorite–er, “favourite”–albums of all time. You can link to it here, but what we most appreciated was Joe’s assessment of Peel’s all-time #1: “Oh, dear. Trout Mask Replica. The Brief History of Time of Rock Snobs.”

In the new issue of Blender, Rock Snob Hall of Famer Cameron Crowe offers another sort of list, of his all-time favorite deployments of tunes in movies, a subject of which he knows plenty. His answers are as Snobworthy as expected–e.g., Nilsson’s “Jump Into the Fire” in GoodFellas, Nico’s “These Days” in The Royal Tenenbaums–but the best part is when he tips his hat to fellow jukebox-cinelubricator Quentin Tarantino, calling him “one of the best when it comes to needle drops.” From here on in, “needle drop” will be the Official Snob Term for an expert deployment of a Snobworthy rock song in a movie scene.

Finally, we sometimes go to this site, a section of some guy’s blog devoted to the Worst Album Covers Ever, when we’re feeling blue and need some absurdist cheering up. We’ve long been especially intrigued by the bargain-bin find pictured below–what looks to be a self-financed vanity record, circa 1982, by someone named Joyce, who looks remarkably like Dustin Hoffman in the title role of Tootsie. What were the circumstances under which the album was made? Who is this Joyce? What is her last name? A free copy of The Rock Snob*s Dictionary goes out to whomever can fill us in.

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October 22, 2005 More Rock Snobbery »

MUSIC (AND JOKES) FROM BIG BEARD

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Here at Rock Snob HQ, we’ve long had an obsession with Garth Hudson (above), the soft-spoken, Santa-like keyboard wizard for The Band, who seems to have been time-portal’d into our world from the nineteenth century. The release of the extraordinary new Band box set, The Band: A Musical History, has led us to the unexpected discovery of Garth’s new quasi-blog, which is distinct from his straight-ahead Web site. Much of the site, called garthandmaud.com (after Hudson and his equally folkloric wife, Maud) is still under construction, meaning that it’s not entirely conceptualized and off the ground. But there’s a section called “Garth Rotlings” in which Garth promises to “let you in on my thoughts at the moment, or post a joke that just came my way, or tell you about something that has just happened... maybe about music, maybe about transportation, maybe legal matters, possibly what Thumbs the cat just played on the piano.”

There’s something immensely charming about the idea of this eccentric, prodigiously bearded man, known for scavenging strange old instruments from pawn shops, keeping an online journal of his “Rotlings.”

October 19, 2005 More Rock Snobbery »

GRAM PARSONS: THE DAVID CASSIDY YEARS

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Our Snobroll-recommended blogger Spike Priggen of Bedazzled! offers empirical proof that Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers (above) were much less ROOTS-sensitive (see p. 105 of The Rock Snob*s Dictionary) than previously believed. To wit, Spike has unearthed an old promotional clip for the song “Older Guys” that finds Gram, Chris Hillman, and friends goofing around on a yacht way back when Simon LeBon and Nick Rhodes were still in ruffled diapers. It must be acknowledged, though, that pedal-steel ace “Sneaky Pete” Kleinow remains stoic throughout.

October 05, 2005 More Rock Snobbery »

A LITERAL MINI-MOOG

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What better way to remember the late synthesizer pioneer Bob Moog than visiting the Snobroll-recommended site Turntable Lab and purchasing your own Bob Moog doll (pictured above), complete with a separate keyboard and a real cloth tie for Mini-Bob? It's a terrific value at $29, and every fan of Stevie Wonder and T.O.N.T.O.’s Expanding Headband should have one.

October 04, 2005 More Rock Snobbery »

OUR HANDSOME, ENGLISH, NOVELTY-BOOK-PURVEYING COUSIN

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We look with admiration and envy across the Atlantic at Ben Schott (pictured above), who, like us, has established a cottage industry of novelty books filled with useless information. Ben’s Schott’s Miscellany books are even in hardcover, and he designs and typesets them himself. And he has a whole line of handsome Smythson of Bond Street leather-bound products as well. (We feel fortunate just to be carried by Urban Outfitters.)

We have altered our “Ben Schott” link in our Snobroll to direct you to his Miscellanies site rather than his personal site. And we are delighted that Ben took up a few of our suggestions for the new, U.S. edition of Schott’s Sporting, Gaming & Idling Miscellany, specifically, that he document every one of Evel Knievel’s broken bones, that he include a collection of Muhammad Ali’s spoken-word poetry, and that he include a list of famous catchphrases of sports announcers. Just for the heck of it, we’re going to give you a little item that Ben chose not to use, but which is of interest to Rock Snobs and sports enthusiasts:

The Beatles and Sport
“None of us are athletes… And we don’t particularly like any sport, except swimming.”
—George Harrison, Los Angeles press conference, August 23, 1964

And yet…

U.K. footballer Albert Stubbins, U.S. boxer Sonny Liston, and U.S. swimmer (and later Tarzan star) Johnny Weismuller are on the cover of Sgt. Pepper.

“Faster,” a song about auto racer Jackie Stewart, is featured on the George Harrison album from 1979.

“He got toe-jam football”
—John Lennon, “Come Together,” 1969

“Ken-ny Dalglish!”
—chant uttered by Paul McCartney, alluding to a Scottish soccer player, in response to the crowd’s chant of “Paul Mc-CART-ney!” at the end of “Coming Up (Live at Glasgow),” 1980

The animation of “Eleanor Rigby” in the film Yellow Submarine (1968) features a melancholy soccer game.

October 01, 2005 More Rock Snobbery »

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