Monthly Archives: April 2012

Wilson Phillips Episode 3 Reaction

I’d say I’m about ass deep in Wilson PhillipsL Still Holding On by now and the phrase “familiarity breeds contempt” is starting to come to mind. Not only can is this an accurate summation of the relationship among the band, but gory details about the band that are coming to my attention as well. For me, seeing all of the in-fighting and chaotic, disorganized and, scattered meanderings of this once proud group have really taken the shine off of the proverbial apple for me.

Chynna Phillips is REALLY starting to irritate me. She actually picked her nose, on camera, as part of a “nasal treatment” in episode 3. Further, the bathroom humor with Carnie is starting to get old. At least based on the footage that we are seeing in the show, it seems like Carnie and her husband are treating the band like a part-time project and acting like kids in a high school garage band.

To say that this reality TV iteration is testing my fan loyalty of Wilson Phillips would be an understatement. I’m hoping it’s one of those six week jobs because I don’t know if I can stay on board for a full season. Here’s hoping it gets better because it sure as hell can’t get much worse.


EXTRA! EXTRA! Black Eyed Peas Promote Children Smoking

As if I didn’t hate The Black Eyed Peas enough, I was infuriated when I heard that they were in bed with the satan-incarnate tobacco giant, Philip Morris, and actually performed at concerts sponsored by Philip Morris (presumably paid by the company with money which it can be assumed was earned on the backs of nicotine addicts) wherein cigarettes were marketed to children in Indonesia.

Christof Putzel of Vanguard appeared on today’s episode of The Young Turks and reported that The Black Eyed Peas were part of a concert in Indonesia that took advantage of that country’s lack of regulation with respect to marketing tobacco to children.  To paraphrase Mr. Putzel’s comments, apparently the concert was directed at young people (which is the M.O. of the tobacco industry to hook people when they’re young so they’re hooked for life) and there were tobacco ads all over the concert and between acts. The idea of The Black Eyed Peas being famous is sickening enough but in the fact which shows a misuse of what is, in my opinon, ill-gotten and underserved fame is reprehensible and deplorable.

Next time you hear a Black Eyed Peas song, keep the image of “the smoking two year old” viral video from a few years back in your head because that is what The Black Eyed Peas are promoting based on their complicity and cooperation with Philip Morris.  Behind their unoriginal dance moves, ridiculous lyrics, and manufactured electronic garbage, The Black Eyed Peas are a bunch of soulless demons who were a cog in the amoral corporate machine and, based on the evidence I have just cited, a reasonable assertion can be made that the actions of The Black Eyed Peas were tantamount to their culpability in marketing cigarettes to children, in my opinion.  Now Fergie has another reason besides her overt ugliness not to be able to look at herself in the mirror.

Oh and shame on Flo-Rida and Slash who were also part of that concert.  However, The Black Eyed Peas deserve the proverbial lion’s share of the blame, in my opinion, because they are arguably the biggest name that was involved based on Mr. Putzel’s comments. Flo-Rida is somewhat of a sideshow and Slash is probably just happy to be playing anywhere still so, based on my estimation, the tacit approval of those two acts supporting youth smoking is nowhere near as detrimental as that of The Black Eyed Peas.

In the above photo, notice the Camel Cigarette logo at the bottom? Yeah. It’s right there. And this poster is from a Venezuelan concert. Looks like The Black Eyed Peas are promoting smoking there too.
I think this says it all

Thoughts on Episode 2 of Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On

Spoiler alert blah blah blah.

I don’t think the intention of the show was to make people hate Chynna Phillips and Wendy Wilson but Sunday’s episode (4/15) sure gave me a shove in that direction. Watching Chynna Phillips badger, bullyrag, and berate Carnie into doing her holistic medical crap was highly irritating. At one point, I think I even saw Chynna Phillips with one of her fingers up Carnie Wilson’s nose telling her to breathe and, if she can’t breathe out of her nose it means that “she feels she doesn’t deserve life.” As an allergy sufferer, I was insulted. Further, the hokum-pokum she was doing on Carnie, who was still recovering from weight loss surgery, was nauseating.

Wendy, on the other hand, proved that she was too dumb to order birthday balloons for her mother and bothered her ailing sister about the difference between balloons that said “Happy Birthday, Mom” or, simply “Happy Birthday.” Again, my respect for another member of the group took a hit.

Also, at no other point does anyone seem concerned about Carnie’s recovery. Both Chynna and Wendy seem like they want Carnie well enough to tour and, if she shows the slightest bit of trepidation or feeling that she is being forced to accelerate her recovery, the other two dismiss her feelings as her being “dramatic” or “lazy.” I know they’re doing a reality show and need wrinkles of drama in the story, I get that. But, if this is truly a sample of how they are when the cameras are off, no wonder the band faded into obscurity for decades.

Regardless of the annoyances and gripes I have with the show, I will still remain a viewer because I want to see more about their upcoming tour and, I think that people turned their backs on this wonderful group early. I just hope one of the producers blows in the respective ears of Chynna and Wendy because how they appeared in the most recent show was shameful and Kardashian-esque.

Still Holding on to Wilson Phillips

Wilson Phillips

I have always enjoyed Wilson Phillips.  I have always enjoyed their clean, new-agey sound even though I was just a child when they burst onto the scene.  I think I may have been the only child in my kindergarten class who preferred Wilson Phillips to Raffi.

Given this, of course I was quite delighted when I saw their new reality show: “Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On.” A few things about the show troubled me, however.

Apparently, Carnie Wilson has had another weight-loss surgery.  Good for her health but, as far as I’m concerned, Wilson Phillips is just not the same with a skinny Carnie Wilson.  As Rip Torn’s character in “The Larry Sanders Show” said:  “The heavy one has such a pretty face.”  Two skinny chicks, one rubenesque beauty, all banging out great music.  That’s Wilson Phillips, in my book.

Carnie was always my favorite because I was heavy as a child (in fact, I’m heavy as an adult) and it made me feel good to see a heavy person being revered and celebrated.  Now save your scathing, badly misspelled comments saying “But I thought you hated Adele because she’s fat, now you’re talking about how you love Carnie Wilson because she’s fat.” To the brainless and inattentive layman, that may appear to be the case.  However, if you can be bothered to demonstrate a first grader’s reading comprehension level, you’ll recall that I despise Adele because she is a cheap imitation of the great singers of yesterday and today.  Further, I would submit that Adele is dangerously close to being a Carnie Wilson rip-off. Adele is a rip-off of many singers, but it would seem that she has pilfered much of her act from Carnie Wilson, if you ask me.

Even years ago when Carnie Wilson was SUPER skinny, I really did not view her as the same entertainer I had come to love.  Selfishly, I was happy to see her heavy again because it was like home base for me.  Watching the new Wilson Phillips reality show just made me excited to see that they are back on the scene doing the damn thing again.

The show really is what you’d expect from a reality show. Manufactured arguments, dramatic pauses, editing to inflate what really happened, etc. The added element of Chynna and Wendy ganging up on Carnie was a bit of a shock inasmuch as I always suspected that this occurred behind the scenes but was surprised that they’d be so barefaced about it in the show.  What was most appalling to me was the fact that they showed Carnie after her surgery and all Chynna and Wendy cared about (according to what was shown) was if she was going to be ready to tour or not.  Also, Carnie’s vulgar and infantile bathroom humor is not only off-putting but a little out of place, I dare say. (But I love her so I’ll let it slide.) I saw this same thing when Carnie was on celebrity wife-swap but hoped it would not reappear in the Wilson Phillips reality show.  Hope springs eternal, I suppose.

Irrespective of all of this, I am still quite happy with the show because it means that Wilson Phillps is back together doing what they do best. I say this because I’m inferring that the show is just one big advertisement for their upcoming tour.  I just hope their tour brings them to San Jose. If that’s the case, I’ll be there screaming my head off in the shirt that I bought at a merch stand there for way over the price it should be.


Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears: A Band You Need to Know

Whilst watching an episode of “Austin City Limits” as I occasionally do, my consumption of public television rewarded me with the discovery of a musical gem. That gem goes by the name of Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears.

I dare say that Black Joe looks like the second coming of Jimi Hendrix. Granted, Black Joe is NOT a Jimi Hendrix imitation. Indeed, Black Joe looks like Jimi Hendrix because he exudes that same, inborn talent which allows him to play the guitar as if it was a body part that he has been living with for his entire life. Further, his voice is really a throwback to the early (and best) days of Rock and Roll. They even have a brass section which, normally I don’t like because the worthless, overrated, Pearl Jam wannabes known as The Dave Matthews Band also have a brass section. However, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears have renewed my faith in the notion of a viable rock band having a brass section.

On the particular episode of Austin City Limits the Dallas, TX gospel/soul group  The Relatives also came up to do a piece with the band.  For me, that was almost too much to ask for.  I will reserve my attestation of admiration for The Relatives for a later date, though.

I think I had such an emotional reaction to Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears because I didn’t think bands like that existed anymore. If you recall, in a previous post, I posited the theory that Bruno Mars could save music for many of the same reasons for which I have professed admiration of Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears (I’m not going to regurgitate my previous post. I linked it for a reason.  Curious? Read it yourself, lazy.) However, this is something which I firmly believe and, I think that, among the pantheon (and very short list) of musical acts that can save music as we know it, I make no hesitation in considering Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears among them.

I really needed to see Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. Add The Relatives to the mix and it was an extra special treat.  It made me realize how few and far between REAL musical acts are and embarking on the journey of fanhood for these groups is a sojourn which I will cherish.

Marina Diamandis is the Anti-Adele; I Guess that Makes Me Pro-Marina Diamandis

I have a new heroine in the music world and she goes by the name Marina Diamandis.  More to the point, she actually is a solo act called “Marina and the Diamonds”  (Obviously a play on the fact that her name sounds very much like the word “diamonds.”)

Irrespective of all of this, she has declared herself the anti-Adele.  Given this, that means that I am, de facto, a Marina and the Diamonds fan.

While the fact that Marina Diamandis is the anti-Adele, that is not the only reason I like her.  I like women with a little edge. . .O.K., I like women with A LOT of edge.Women like Nadia G., (who is not a musician, per se, but still deserves a mention because Nadia G. is gorgeous and I love her.) Lita Ford, Laura Branigan, Joan Jett and, well, you get the picture.  I love a woman who has more than her fair share of tattoos and can rock a guitar, bass, or drum kit. The idea of a woman putting on a faded Screeching Weasel t-shirt and driving to work, Camel wide hanging out of pierced lips and listening to Sevendust whilst traveling at well over the legal speed limit gets me more aroused than I care to admit.

Given what I have learned about Marina Diamandis since I found out about her in a Daily Mail article from today, Marina Diamandis seems to fit the bill.  To be succinct, if Adele is Pat Benatar, Marina Diamandis is Ann Wilson (or Nancy Wilson for that matter.)

In all due and proper honesty, fairness, disclosure, bluster, proclaiming, drum-beating, grandstanding, and chattering, I gave Marina Diamandis a chance because she’s anti-Adele, but I became a fan of hers because she is a top quality performer, the likes of which the world needs desperately.

The Punch Brothers-So Much to Hate

I happened to glance at Letterman tonight as I occasionally do, and I saw that his “musical” guest was a proverbial rogue’s gallery of several individuals who were probably bullied in high school.  I’m not sure who is in charge of Letterman’s booking anymore, but, from the vanilla-extract sized drop of knowledge that I have about how a late night talk show works, I’m guessing that Letterman’s booker has some sort of half-cocked emotional attachment to one of the members of the group and that is why they polluted my airwaves.  The Punch Brothers’ presence in my home (albeit through a satellite signal) was less welcome than a lice-ridden meth addict with a penchant for yodeling.

The Punch Brothers are sort of a melange of asinine garbage.  Is the sum of their parts more than their whole?  Well, I saw three distinct elements:

1) poorly executed bluegrass

2) poorly executed beards

3) the distinct undertone that at least one member of the group could be on a Meagan’s Law website in one of the 50 states.  (Not saying they are, but they did have those same creepy vibes which the individuals on the aforementioned website have, in my opinion.)

So given the three elements I’ve mentioned, is the sum of the parts more than the whole?  Well, 3 x 0=0.  Sorry. They would need at least 4 x 0 to be considered crap.  The Punch Brothers, as presently constituted, are about as entertaining and enjoyable as opening a pizza box hoping for a delicious pizza only to find a maggot-riddled pile of lukewarm garbage.

Then again, The Punch Brothers just played Letterman; I’m sitting here in a dark apartment typing in my underwear.

However, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Whitney Houston, and Michael Jackson are all dead.  The Punch Brothers, while very much alive, do not deserve any attention, are a poor substitute for the chasm left by the late musicians mentioned previously and should not be listened to by anyone, in my opinion.