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HOT COMMODITIES Eight
Pre-season Hair Metal special 2001
By Scott Speh

Emaciation nation
I just read this post on Fametracker.com's forum.God bless Ukulele King! "Well, the Ukulele King will never put down somebody for a few extra pounds. I think, if you lead a fun life, you're bound to develop a tummy. At least, that's what I tell this rubber tire wrapped around my stomach. "You're just my fun weight, buddy," I tell it." This topic is sadly one of my obsessions - the wasting away of today's young actresses - I shrieked at the ads for the new season of Dark Angel - poor Jessica Alba is going the Jennifer Aniston route - ironing her hair and sharpening her cheekbones. What a pity. And I hear rumors of Rachel Williams from TV's Dawson's Creek is "slimming down." For shame.

BMC/NYT update
Interesting to see Lawrence Kasdan write the New York Times to complain that "two sportswriters" were given so much space to trash those movie directors with artistic pretensions. That's just sad. Kasdan comes off as a whiner, even complaining about another letter to the editor (this article generated a lot of discussion on the letters page) - Larry, thicken your skin buddy. There's nothing more pathetic than an artist trying to defend himself in the letters to the editor page, especially in the face of such irreverence. Do you really think Rushin and Lidz will reconsider after your precious little complaint? No, their laughs will get louder. I know mine did.

This week at the BMC
Our Bad Movie Club recently screened what could be an all-time classic: Sweet November, the Keanu Reeves-Charlize Theron tear-jerker in which Theron, dying of cancer, takes up with a different man each month, attempting to "rescue" them from their ills. October's man was meek and shy - she taught him to be a man. Keanu is November - a hard-driven advertising exec. The gist is that as she's dying, she's teaching him how to live. Utter, utter tripe - treacly, sentimental crud worsened by Keanu's leaden line readings. Often ridiculed for his sub-standard chops, here, he reaches a new low. Some lowlights: a sex scene where Theron seemed to have drifted into a coma, a slumming Frank Langella belittling a waitress and some shockingly insipid dialogue: "Nelson, you're my immortality," and "Every month is November and November is all I know." Watch this movie only in large groups plied with malt liquor and fried foodstuffs.

Trailer Watch
Rockstar
I'm pumped for this movie. It's about time hair metal got its proper canonization on the big screen (no, Airheads does not count). But Jennifer Aniston as the girlfriend. Party foul! She's way too pretty - a dream of the girl next door with her dewy eyes and lips and perfect skin. Rock girlfriends in the 80's, especially girlfriends of wanna-bees in cover bands, are decked out with heavy make-up (eye-liner and mascara city), huge hair-scare hair (hello Aquanet!), and spandex, spandex, spandex. I see none of these things in the trailer. And I don't want to see Aniston in spandex. I want to see her gain 20 pounds, get her boobs back and make Ross Gellar an honest man. And I want Marky Mark to be "breakin the law, breaking the law!"

Death as a career move
SPIN and Rolling Stone, Sept. 2001
Nirvana was a great band but to ascribe all these great powers to them - that they changed everything, yadda, yadda, yadda, is all bunk. Sure they knocked the crass materialism and blatant misogyny and superficiality of hair metal off the charts in the early 90s, but to pave the way for what? Honest rock and roll, art, punk purity? No - what we have now is the crass materialism and blatant misogyny and superficiality of ....hip-hop. Jay-Z is to Poison as WASP is to ODB as Snoop Dogg is to Whitesnake as all hair metal bands are to Limp Bizkit, the Motley Crue of our times. These rags are just pimping the Cobain legacy yet one more time. What's the occasion? Oh yeah, the 10th year anniversary of Nevermind. So in three years do we expect another Cobain cover - the 10th year anniversary of him shooting his face off? Rolling Stone lost any shame years ago, so their pimping is understandable, but SPIN is supposed to be the progressive mag, searching for the new sound, the anti-Rolling stone. But they've been doing as much rockist canonizing as RS does - the 25 years of Punk issue, the secret history segments covering some stupid scene in rock history. Of course, putting Sugar Ray on your cover doesn't do much for street cred. Also in this issue of Spin - a secret of history of the LA Rave scene - at the risk of sounding like the woefully out of touch Nick Hornsby in a recent New Yorker article: Does anyone really care about this shit except of bunch of "e"-ed out techno heads?

Speaking of Hair Metal
Check out these metal revival bands on mp3.com - Art Loinz and Apocalypstick. Seemingly cheap parodies but they gots great chops and show much love for the metal that dare not speak its name. Rawk on!

Scare Metal
Tormentula's Lure of the Grime on Speakeasy Records
Go to Tormentula's to order yourself a copy of their kick-ass new 7-inch. Shockingly professional production captures this power, power, power trio's brand of gut-punching death metal. Another seeming parody, but these death rock chicks monster riffs and bludgeoning dirge will knock you on your ass. Laugh if you dare but prepare to die fuckers. Great album cover too: Alice Bludgeon spandexed ass evokes classics like Motley Crue's Too Fast For Love and Loverboy's Get Lucky. Pure fucking evil.

Fall TV
Important Questions
Will President Bartlett run for reelection? Will his smug staff ever get their just desserts? Will David E. Kelley recycle and bastardize plot lines from all his various shows? Will he continue to starve his actresses? What the deal with the new Jim Belushi vehicle - yet another fat, schlumpy guy (King of Queens being the prime offender - there is no way the lovely Leah Remini would go with that rotund delivery man) with a hot wife? Is James Gandolfini the new sex symbol? If so, there's hope for all us fat, schlumpy guys. Are you as pumped for Undeclared as I am? How will the gang in Capeside adjust to college? Will Felicity grow her hair back? Who's the father of Rachel's baby? Does anyone care about Frasier anymore? Or ER? Or NYPD Blue? Or Walker Texas Ranger? Does anyone care about the main characters on Will & Grace: sexless and annoying? - please more Jack and Karen. Will little Lisa Simpson continue to fight the good fight in spite of her dysfunctional family? Will I continue to watch David E. Kelley shows? You bet your ass.

Fall Art
Does anyone really care about art anymore?
Well, I do. Sort of. It's just that, like that Coaluga books says, "Most art sucks." The shows are depressing, the scene is depressing, the machinations are depressing, the state of my career is depressing. Anyway, I'm pumped that galleries will be open again so that I can waste my time in a more productive fashion. Gawd, my August was dreadfully boring. But the upcoming shows don't exactly get the blood flowing. Here's some crap that might be stir the senses: Jim Lambie at Anton Kern; Spunky at Exit Art; Gelatin at Leo Koenig; Kara Walker at Brent Sikkema; Gerhard Richter at Marian Goodman; Ink Studs at Ten-in-One; Alex Brown and Jim Isermann at Feature; Richard Phillips at Friedrich Pretzel, I mean Petzel; and Joe Scanlan at D'Amelio Terras. Happy Hunting!

One Quickie Rave
Ryan Humphrey at Caren Goldman Fine Arts in the Chelsea Arts Buidling
More art reviews next week after I see more shows. At Thursday night's openings we went 3 for 15, which is a depressingly good batting average for today's art world. By far the best show of the night was Humphrey's. One word: fucking rad! Oh, that was two words. Fucking rad. I almost got into a debate with Shorty whether or not it was good art or just window dressing, but then I didn't care. Totally freakin' rad. Star Wars figures, Van Halen, Pat Benatar, The Misfits, the best use of skateboard culture in a gallery so far, and some wicked painting. Haven't seen My Reality yet at the Brooklyn Museum, but this guy should be in it. Plus the artist (or at least who I thought was the artist)looked young. And that's depressing. Bu the show is RAD!

And finally, football is back
Go Packers, Go Bucs, Go Badgers, Go Browns, Go Redhawks
Because baseball is boring and football is violent.

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HC12
Valentine's Day 2002
Way too much info on my TV watching habits, plus Daniell Tegeder, Brad Tucker and art in Boston and much, much more...

HC11
Best of 2001
Moulin Rouge, Mulholland Drive, Missy Elliot, Jay-Z, James Ensor, Wayne Thiebaud, Radiohead, System of a Down redux

HC10
Thanksgiving from Hawaii
Serra, Pardo, Katz, Coen Brothers all suck. Grabner, Sienna, Prekop, Jay-Z all rock

HC9
Early Fall 2001
The Onion, Rodney Graham, Jim Lambie, Larry King, Music Movie Sundays, sucking up to Jerry Saltz and stuff...

HC8
Early Fall 2001
Skinny actresses, Fall Previews, Hair metal (again), and some other crap...

HC7
Late-Summer 2001
Chicago Art, Radiohead, Tony Kornheiser, another David E. Kelley rip and more...

HC6
Summer 2001
Wane Thiebaud, Printmaking, movies, more summer shows and more...

HC5
Summer 2001
Summer Shows, Paul McCarthy, Me, My Sister and more...

HC4
Spring 2001
James Ensor, Ennui, Journey, New Art Examiner and more...

HC3
Late Winter 2001
Dawson's Creek, Jessica Stockholder, David Salle, Albums of the Year and more...

HC2
Early Winter 2000
riffs on rock-Roll Singles, the West Wing, Bernard Frieze and more...

HC1
Fall 2000
The dirt on Damien Hirst, Jibangus, Cable TV and more...

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