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wednesday, november 27  

don't choke

before you fill your head with booze tonight and stuff your belly full of turkey and mashed 'taters tomorrow, you should seriously consider stuffing your head full of conversation worthy linkage. nothing's more boring than saying "man, that Marty Morninwheg is an idiot. he should be fired. eh, anyone got some gum?" and what are you going to say if that hottie you always had a crush on in high school ambles over and chats you up, and all you've got to say is "so, uh, anyway, it sure is gettin' cold outside. wonder if it's gonna be cold this winter..." because your Uncle Grambo is a fine, upstanding citizen, here are some quick reference points for you. study them, hone your craft, and good luck this evening.

Music: As a wise native of Rochester Hills once said, "Music makes the people come together." Why not jump into a conversation revolving around something virtually everyone does every day? If recent releases are your bag of tricks, check out The Grizz's recent reviews of Audioslave or TLC's "3D". Or, if you're feeling adventurous, try describing the sonic soundscapes of Iceland's Sigur Ros (Uncle Grambo wishes you good luck wooing the chicks by discussing an album that doesn't have a name or any song titles). Maybe she'd be impressed that you saw the recent Beck / Flaming Lips show ... refresh your memory by reading Robert Hilburn's review of their recent Los Angeles show. If your prospective honey is into epic conversations, show her that you've got a distinct appreciation of every sort of music from the last 400 years by reading Stereophile Magazine's 40 Essential Albums, which covers everything from Beethoven's symphonies to NWA's furious gangsta style.

Television and Film: Perhaps music just doesn't do it for you. A reliable back-up is the double-dip of TV and movies, something everyone can relate to. If film is your poison, a good starter point is remembering that the new James Bond movie is #1 at the box office. Over the years, girls worldwide have proved wooable by the actions and exploits of the debonair superspy, which The Grizz admirably covered in a recent edition of The DetNews. Brush up on your Bond history so you don't make the mistake of saying that Tina Turner played the baddie in "A View To A Kill" and insisting that it was Grace Jones who sang the theme to "Goldeneye." Or if you feel like getty a little frisky and mixing it up, throw out the topic of "Everybody Loves Raymond." yes, I just said "Everybody Loves Raymond." personally, i don't know anybody who loves (or even mildly likes!) Raymond, but Slate.com's Virginia Heffernan recently came up with an interesting theory -- it's "Seinfeld" for Catholics! genius!

Food and Drink: Chances are you won't be sitting around sippin' on a Zima. let's hope not, anyways. Impress that femme fatale with your impressive knowledge of vino ... a good place to start is by throwing out your trump card by immediately declaring that Beaujolais Nouveau is for poseurs and personally you can't stand the hype that such a bland and tasteless wine gets every third Thursday in November. if you have no idea what the hell I am talking about, you might want to avoid this particular topic. but if the tender little Roni brings it up, you'll be glad that you read this article on that very subject.

Obscure Topics: Anyone who's ever spent an evening out with Uncle Grambo knows the game of Russian Roulette that you play whenever you whip out a completely random conversation topic. Either you're a big hit and you generate mad group conversation or people instantly mock you for being one weird ass nutjob. If you're feeling lucky, punk, throw out the name Bobby Fischer. sure, everyone remembers the movie about the boy chess genius starring Joe Montegna and Joan Allen. in fact, that's probably a good intro. but that well will run dry quickly, and you can swoop in with MAD gusto by announcing that it was "paranoia, hubris and hatred" that ruined the career and life of the world's greatest chess player. But before all that happened, he once did a duet with Jackie Wilson! for those who revel in obscurity (such as yours truly), read more in this month's issue of The Atlantic.

Sports: If you have reached this point, I can only assume that you forgot to brush your teeth and your stuck over in the corner with the rest of the dudes talkin' sports. At this point AND AT ONLY THIS POINT is it allowed to bring up the Lions, but why not add a little spirit to the conversation with topics like Rasheed Wallace and Damon Stoudamire's most recent marijuana arrest, the hit that Warren Sapp put on Chad Clifton and how it almost resulted in a fist fight between Sapp and Packers head coach Mike Sherman, or how the BoSox just hired the youngest General Manager in the history of baseball, 28-year old Theo Epstein. If your posse has already discussed the recent SportsCenter rundowns, David Shields just wrote a GREAT article on Charles Barkley entitled "Charles Barkley's Head Fake - He's just pretending to be outrageous". his theory is that, for all the press and controversy that has surrounded Charles Barkley and his "outspoken attitude" for the last fifteen years, he's more "middle of the road" than either he or the media would have you believe.

I hope that any one of the topics above will serve you well on The Biggest Bar Night Of The Year. I wish each and all of you good times, gooder cheer and goodest besteverness over the holiday weekend. Stay safe and try to keep it rizz. Hope to see you out on the town!

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best headline ever?

Supermodel Heidi Klum, Husband Separate

let the drooling commence

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monday, november 25  

nice fansA Wolverine in Nut Country

the following whatevs.org contribution comes courtesy of one JP McKrengels, who made the voyage down to C-Bus this weekend for the Michigan / Ohio State debaucle. what follows is a tale that is simultaneously hilarious and harrowing, a tale of how unadulterated evil mixed with adult beverages turned into a riot. props out to Krengzies for this tigs contribution...

A Wolverine In Nut Country
by JP McKrengels

I went to Columbus with 3 of my college buddies from the University of Michigan and my brother. I've made it back. I'm alive and unharmed physically. However, a once great town in my eyes has forever been tarnished by the fans of The Ohio State University. They are, in the most honest and simple terms, the worst! OSU fans are at the bottom rung of the sports community ladder. I went to Columbus this weekend for some fun loving Inter-state rivalry banter and came home a man disgusted with what he witnessed.

Now of course some of you will say that I'm biased being that I'm a grad of the U of M and to some degree this is true. But this goes beyond wanting "your team" to win. The behavior of the OSU fans and students was violent, hateful, and without any sense of class or dignity. The entire town was a drunken sloppy mess. Every five feet that my 3 friends and I walked, we were shouted at in 3 main varieties of profanity: Fuck Michigan, Michigan Cock-Suckers, Michigan Sucks... you Fag! These same insults were shouted over and over by many different people everywhere we walked. I'm not exaggerating, it was almost like a mantra they had learned. No creativity. Average. Nauseatingly common. This even continued after the game and OSU had won and we were making congratulatory gestures to enthused OSU fans... we just got a drunken "Fuck Michigan" shout in return.

Now I wasn't really phased by these insults... I expected them. Michigan is hated by every Big Ten school. Every game against Michigan is their "Big Game" across the conference. Other schools don't act like this. What pissed me off was the fact that there were young Michigan fathers there with their small children that these insults and slogans were being hurled. I was disgusted with this. I guess though... that my disgust comes more from shock than from offense. I was shocked at the sub-level of the behavior that I experienced. I understand that this is a big rivalry and that big rivalries breed high emotions. But, on the other hand, when Michigan defeated OSU in the last Michigan home game in 1997 and went on to win the National Championship, I was there as a student on campus in the middle of the crowds and celebration, and not one car was set on fire ... Not one beer was dumped on an OSU fan wearing school colors (which happened to Michigan fans this past weekend) ... Grieving OSU fans were not bombarded with constant profanities and insults as they walked back from the game.

One thing has occurred to me that I failed to realize in past years this weekend... and this is that the OSU and the OSU fans are quite possibly suffering from a huge inferiority complex. They have songs that they sing about how much they hate the whole state of Michigan! Michigan fans expect to win every game and when we do, we are reinforced rather than surprised. We are accustomed to a level of performance and excellence not just manifested merely in our football team. Michigan is a great school academically and OSU is not. OSU is not even a good school. It's an average school with average students who perhaps don't know any other way to behave. This was not like a MSU-UofM outing with a good level of good-natured ribbing between rivals. And I'm not upset that UofM lost the game. I was actually partly hoping that OSU would win. This was partly due to the fact that it would mean a Big Ten National Champion but mostly due to my impending bodily harm if OSU had lost. So I'm not writing this out of bad sportsmanship. And while Michigan fans may not be traditionally the best losers, OSU fans are the worst at winning and that's a shame.

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talkin' turkey

easily the best pairing since Gary Busey and Rodney Dangerfield...

meat is murder

(thanks to MacK10 for passing this along!)

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so gay

so i pull up to a stoplight at the corner of Rochester and 12 Mile road this morning. i'm minding my own beeswax and listening to BT (aka "The Express") on WDFN when this gunmetal grey Audi TT pulls up alongside me. i've always admired the TT because of its graceful yet sleek design, and it got me thinking that there must be some sort of Secret Design Council where people from Audi, Apple and Nintendo sit around and collaborate to create the most visually and ergonomically appealing products that are humanly possible. but that is another tangent for another time ... let me get back to my story. anyhow, i'm staring at this TT idling next to me when the stoplight turns green. the TT speeds off, only to reveal itself as the gayest car in the Metro Detroit area. first of all, there is the tell-tale symbol of overt homosexuality blazened on the bumper, the rainbow bumper sticker. having spent close to nine years in Ann Arbor, obvs this doesn't faze me in the slightest. but what got me laughing out loud was the vanity license plate that read "OUTT". get it? this dude was "OUT" of the closet AND he was driving an Audi "TT", hence his custom "OUTT" plate. when i pulled up alongside this car at the next stoplight, i checked to make sure Siggi wasn't driving the car. thankfully, no Siggi.

long time FOWs understand that this is the point where I conclude the entry with an opinion on something that may or may not be related to the story i just told. so in classic whatevs.org fashion, i conclude with this: how come no one drives sportscars anymore? at one point, every self-respecting dude drove or owned a sportscar. back when we were kids, Firebirds and Mustangs and Corvettes and Camaros were all the rage. T-tops and convertible versions of these cars were even more tigs. but as we sit here in the waning few weeks of 2002, who in the fuck would even consider purchasing a sports car? ownership has been relicated to gay males (your TTs, your Kompressors), Macomb County chaches (Camaros, Firebirds) and old white guys in the throes of a mid-life crisis (Corvettes, the new T-Bird). add a convertible-top to the mix and your Desperation Factor is instantly doubled. what happened? how, when and why did the sports car become so emasculated? let's discuss the next time i see you at the bar. obvs.

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wednesday, november 20  

neal pollack excerpt

laugh out loud funny. here is the permanent link. if you haven't done so already, bookmark his site, Neal Pollack's The Maelstrom and check it everyday. what follows is an excerpt from today's column. as i said before, laugh out loud funny.

I Definitely Think I'm Falling In Love With Him -- 11/20/2002

I would like to announced that Bravo has picked up the option for my own reality TV show, American Author. In the highly-original format, twenty-five hopeful young novelists write a chapter every week, with exponential eliminations by a panel consisting of myself, former New Yorker books editor Bill Buford, and Paula Abdul. Our final two contestants will complete their novels as the nation watches. The winner gets their novel published. The loser has to move in with Jonathan Safran Foer.

This information comes not out of a self-publicizing impulse, but rather as part of an ongoing discussion as to why "The Bachelor" has so entranced America. Today, both The Washington Post and The New York Times attempt to answer that question in a high-handed manner? But to me, the show's unique appeal comes down to this: Who among us haven't dreamt of being made love to in a cheesy pre-fab Aspen condo by an intellectually-stunted, socially-coddled mama's boy?

Initially, when the show's producers rejected my videotape, saying I was "too handsome" and "too perceptive" and, "quite frankly, too dangerous," to be The Bachelor, I balked. But then I realized their judgment was sound. For I have never sought a wife. I was just looking for some hot tang, and for clues to help me navigate the current L.A. pickup scene. The Bachelor they DID choose, Aaron McGillicuddy, is perfect. We need semi-sincere guys like him, because then playas like me and Nelly can swoop in after him and sniff out the wet panties...

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baetens!case!cha cha cha

a rare (and likely temporary) slowdown at work gave me the opportunity to surf for a few minutes. got time on yo hands? here's some hot buzz, all framed within a single paragraph. "Since childhood I wanted to do something different and new. For the past one or one-and-a-half years I have tried to smoke through my ears. Now, I will try to do it with my mouth and ears together". last night in Orlando, Graig Kinzler won $15,000 at the first-ever Golden Tee world championship. Janeane Garofalo will star in a new sitcom called "Slice o' Life", as a mid-30s woman in New York who produces the hokey feature pieces that air at the end of a presitigious newsmagazine show. and over at Gigposters.com, you can find concert posters from just about every band imaginable, including Detroit's own Gore Gore Girls (see left) and The Paybacks (see right). speaking of The GGG's, foxy bass player extraordinaire Melody Licious took the time to hunt out an extraordinary website which traces the evolution of Wacko Jacko's face and even includes analysis of his recent court appearance! finalizzy, top dog FOW Nummer reveals a website that celebrates the beauty of Detroit by spotlighting some of our most run-down areas. wham bam thank you Graham!

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btw

i am firmly in the camp that believes that the phrase "jump the shark" has, itself, jumped the shark. just in case you were wondering...

in other related news, some corporate catchphrases that deserve to be axe-murdered are "[X] threw [Y] under the bus" (as in "You finger pointed and blamed me for something in front of a group of superiors in an effort to bolster your own reputation"), and "let's take this conversation offline" (when, in any sort of group meeting, people get off on a tangent or are unwilling to disclose some sort of "secret" and promise to finish said conversation outside of the group environment). anyone else have any contributions?

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an epic meeting of the mindsthe adventures of link

— first and foremost, what kind of circumstances would lead to a conversation between Gary Busey and Rodney Dangerfield? and more importantly, why didn't I know about it beforehand? this is the kind of epic moment that comes but once a lifetime...regrets that I missed it but tigs that a photog captured this pic

— the latest installment of SNL-SEASON 28 REVEALED has been posted. you can find the review of the recent Nia Vardalos / Eve extravaganza by clicking through here.

— when it comes to literary analysis of pop culture trends, there really is no better read than The Village Voice. this week's issue deconstructs the success of DJ Sammy, whose tranced-out version of "Heaven" has been all over DRQ for months. while i still think that the song is cheezed out bunk, i gained a modicum of respect for the guy -- he clearly tapped a vein and took advantage of a weak-spot in our collective conciousness. they also talk about Daniel Bedingfield's "Gotta Get Through This" (another DRQ staple) as "ace confectionery from 2step's diminishing serotonin supply."

— memo to The Detroit News: it's called "YESTERDAY'S NEWS" for a reason! after Sminty broke the story about the merger between Channel 7 and Channel 50 news, The DetNews had the audacity to run virtually the exact same story one day later. worst.

— this will be especially relevant for The Grizz and Mandypantalons, two patrons of The Detroit Zoo. last night at 10:15pm, a female polar bear arrived at Detroit Metro and will take residence at the zoo's PolarPalooza as soon as possible. the best part? the polar bear came via FedEx. i'm not kidding!

— last but not least, it looks like the vultures are circling Salon.com. the rumours of Salon's demise have been swirling for years, but it seems that they are in a tight spot with their recent launch of interactive "Ultramercials." my homeyz in the ad biz (props out to Krengels, Seantizz and The Gorilla) will be very interested in reading this piece. it seems that Salon is waiving their subscription fees for customers who are willing to take 10 seconds to click-through these interactive commercials sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. the article also mentions that Salon could very well run out of money by the end of this month, which would be a crying shame. i, for one, would certainly miss their wonderfully diverse content, such as the review of "Afterglow: A Last Conversation With Pauline Kael" that is featured today. surf over there today and give them some click-throughs, it might just be enough to stave off bankruptcy for a few more weeks...

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tuesday, november 19  

badly drizz - prophet of the future?

on Badly Drawn Boy's fantastic new album, "Have You Fed The Fish", he sings of a dream where he is married to The Queen with Madonna living next door. how could he possibly have known that the two would meet for the first time on 11.18.02? Badly Drizz has some definite Miss Cleo buzz...

maddie meets the q mum

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wacko jacko

as if his nose wasn't causing enough controversey, Michael Jackson "caused a stir" in Berlin earlier today by precariously dangling a baby outside of a hotel room window!!! while this is weird, scary and alarming on its own, for some reason the baby was waving while wearing a towel over its head! what the f?

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hipper than thou

every now and then I stumble across Pitchfork when i'm web surfing for Indie Rock related material. well in my travels late last night, I stumbled upon their most recent article, The Top 100 Albums of the 1980s. while their list is indie as fuck, i was pretty encouraged to see that I own 21 albums that appear on their list. the list is populated with essential rock, indie, hip-hop and Tom Waits selections, and it's worth investing the twenty or so minutes it takes to wade through the list. and if this piques your interest, take a look back and check out the "Grahammy's 90 / 90", where I took a look at the Top 45 Albums Of The `90s and the Top 45 Singles Of The `90s. yes, another heaping dose of shameless self-promotion from your Uncle Grambo. untz.

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mark barkback from the brink

yesterday was one of those soul-shattering days at work. rolled in at about 8:30 expecting Monday, November 18th to be just like any other monday. you know, it's a drag to get back to work (especially after a 3-day weekend), but i walked into a world of shite and didn't get out of here until after 10pm. which is worst. but don't fret kidz, i'm back with a rejuvinated spirit and ready to give you some Bloggity Goodness today (thanks to Nessa over at Unapologetics for letting me steal that term from you). so prepare to rock...

— 'Tis the season that the Oscar race officially begins to heat up. Fox News columnist Roger Friedman spent Friday's column fawning all over "Gangs Of New York", NY Post columnist Liz Smith is trumpeting "The Hours" (I'd link to the story but it's already moved to a pay-per-view), and David Poland is calling "Solaris" a "film of deep, deep emotion and passion", noting that "It is easily one of the finest films of this year and will probably outlast City of God and Adaptation as an enduring piece of art". when all is said and done, we will look back at 2002 as being one of the deceptively best years for film since 1997 ("Boogie Nights", "LA Confidential", "The Ice Storm", "Titanic" -- see THE 1998 GRAHAMMY AWARDS for a complete recap).

— even though Flava Flav slammed The New York Post way back on "Apocalypse `91: The Enemy Strikes Black", it's still one of the most entertaining fishwraps going. and sometimes they come through with an investigative piece that is really quite sharp. and, in this case, it revolves around the recent execution style murder of Jam Master Jay. The Post theorizes that it all has to do with a drug deal that went awry back in the mid 1990s. check it out.

— when you get right down to it, there really is no better reason for the World Wide Web to exist than to spontaneously rifle through all 15 series of Garbage Pail Kids. best. if your memory isn't as good as mine (i remembered that Mark Bark was Card #74a, Series 2...obvs!), you can look up your Garbage Pail Kid name and then refer back to the Geocities site. best best best!

— when it comes to breaking news about local media, look no further than Sminty. in today's Freep, he drops the bombshell that Channel 62 is dropping altogether out of the TV News business, and perhaps more importantly, Channel 50 is going to align with Channel 7. whoah, the implications of this are just too far-reaching for me to even put thoughts together on the issue. developing and there is certainly more to follow...

— did we really need U2 to release their Greatest Hits from 1990-2000? is there anyone in the free world who doesn't already own "Achtung Baby", "Zooropa" and "All That You Can't Leave Behind"? for that matter, is there anyone who didn't buy the soundtrack for "Batman Forever" just to get "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" back in the pre-Napster days? well, Salon.com's Annie Zaleski actually makes a pretty convincing argument why you should.

— and in the last post for now, you're not really obvs unless you check out Drudge like three times a day. who else reveals that Robbie Williams isn't interested in breaking America, ABC is preparing a new reality game show called "Are You Hot?" and that one of the world's worst environmental disasters is occuring as we speak off the coast of Spain. and all on the same page! best.

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thursday, november 14  

snl season 28...revealed!

EPISODE 6: Brittany Murphy / Nelly (11.6.02)

PRE-SHOW COMMENTS:

Nummer
H-Bomb
Well, as most of you probably heard, Heather and I had a 50/50 chance of actually attending this Saturday's show LIVE! NBC representatives were even telling me our chances were good! Alas, in the end, it was not meant to be. I must throw props to my esteemed employer for trying as hard as they did (and hey, they are giving us VIP Conan passes as a consolation!).

Anyway, most of you also know Sandler was supposed to host and musical guest this episode. While the last minute cancellation isn't clear, sources are saying he will still be making a guest appearance. This leaves the question, if he is in fact going to be hanging around NBC all night, what the hell is going on with the hosting? Who knows.

Murphy should be good. She's cute and a pretty decent actress. She also boasts a resume better than some would think: the short lived Drexell's Class, Clueless, Summer Catch and she voices Luann on the seldom talked about King of the Hill. As for Nelly, I say no buzz.

In other SNL news today, it has been confirmed that Norah Jones will take on musical guest duties for the next live show (not until 12/7). In MUCH MORE EXCITING NEWS: Phish (fresh from their self imposed hiatus) are in talks to play musical guest on the 2002 finale opposite Al Gore! This would be a perfect way to close out 2002 in my opinion since Phish has always held a place high in my CD collection.

About a month ago I found out that the supposed host / musical guest of this week's SNL was going to be none other than alumni Adam Sandler. Needless to say, when I heard this I was ecstatic. I am a huge fan and being that I was also going to be in NYC the same weekend, I was convinced it would be one the best shows ever. When it was revealed, however, that Brittany Murphy was hosting instead, I was pretty bummed, mostly because I don't really know any of her work. But I've been trying to keep an open mind and now I think it might end up being a pretty decent episode, especially given the surprisingly good Vardalos episode last week. There's a lot of buzz around an 8 Mile spoof, but I'm curious as to who would play Eminem. Parnell?? And definitely Poehler as the mom!! I'm praying there is no Brian Fellows or Boston Teens, but I wouldn't mind an Astronaut Jones sketch. As far as Nelly goes, I guess I would consider myself a fan. I like most of his stuff (with the exception of Dilemma featuring Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child fame), and I even own Country Grammar. But seriously you guys, what is up with SNL's obsession with rap artist musical guests these past few weeks?? Regardless, I'm leaning towards a decent show this Saturday.

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concert of the year

the biggest bar night of the year is primed to fuckin' blow UP as this week's Real Detroit reveals that Richie Hawtin and Sven Vath are storming into Detroit's renowned City Club on Wednesday, November 27!!! as beautiful FOW GKVizz will attest, Hawtin at City Club is a night not to be missed. we were both in attendance of Hawtin's last Detroit gig during the DEMF weekend and it was positively best evs. i'm talkin' bone-rattling bass mixed with booty-quakin' hotties and, best of all, dancing in complete darkness! hot hott hottt! the best part is that i'm sure the show won't even start until 2am, so you'll be able to meet up with your high school cronies (as everyone always does on this night) and then make your way down to the Ramada at Cass and Bagley. this is guaranteed to be a supremely tigs night that will change your life...be there!

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FOWs vs F.O.W

how do you like your power pop? if you're like me and you prefer candy-coated hooks and lyrics that are alternately pointed and poignant, hopefully you were at The Shelter last night for the Fountains Of Wayne show. after strategically avoiding last night's opening act OK GO (more like "OK LEAVE!"), The Grizz, Mandypantalons and I strolled into The Shelter for the first time since seeing "8 Mile." the only evidence of Eminem carry-over was the black guy wearing the t-shirt that said "Where The Hell Is My Beeyatch?" that's probably a good thing. anyway, the band came out around 9:15 and immediately launched into "Survival Car" from their 1996 self-titled debut, setting a great standard for the night. two songs in, after finishing up "Utopia Parkway", Chris Collingwood (lead singer) modestly declared that "I had forgot how hot it was in this bitch" ... if you've ever been to The Shelter, you know what he's talkin' about. the F.O.W.'s set mixed crowd faves ("Denise" and their triumphant "Radiation Vibe") with self-described "Anne Murray songs" ("Troubled Times", "She's Got A Problem"), alongside a healthy dose of songs that will presumably be included on their forthcoming LP. as soon as they line up a new record label, songs like "Mexican Wine", "Hackinsack" and the catchy-as-all-get-out "Bright Future In Sales" (could be Coach Glinka's 2003 theme song!) are guaranteed to become instant classics among anyone who considers themself to be a music fan. closing their second encore by announcing that Detroit was the "most bestest" crowd that they've played for on this tour, they tore into another new song ("about drugs") called "Supercollider", which could best be described as a song that Noel Gallagher would've been proud to author during his creative heyday. all in all, their 70-minute set was one of the best shows of 2002, hopefully i'll see more of you there next time around when they tour in support of the new album.

as i launch into a section of links, it is only proper to begin with Brian McCollum's Fountains of Wayne profile from yesterday's Freep. other hot buzz involves the overwhelming J. Lo backlash, who Julia Roberts can thank for usurping the title of Most Disliked Hollywood Superstar. The Boston Globe features an editorial entitled "Earth to Planet J.Lo: Who cares?", and the always reliable New York Post reveals photos of her childhood home, the one that she sings about in her new monstrosity "Jenny From The Block". residents who still live in that neighborhood accuse Lopez of exploiting her roots to enhance her "street" cred without even giving autographs to people on that block. and i quote:

Massiel Pages, 13, doesn't think J.Lo is a good role model for women from The Bronx.

"She should be called J.Ho," says Pages. "I don't appreciate people getting married and divorced over and over again."

At this comment, a pack of boisterous kids start chanting, "J.Ho," directly across from the house where the diva grew up.

"She doesn't represent, like Mariah and Nelly and Eminem," shouts Angelina Williams, 13. "She won't come to our graduation, or our dance marathon. She just says no. That's not right."


last but not least, i'm sure you've already seen the photos of Michael Jackson's hideously scarred face revealed by Drudge or via email, so i'm not going to ruin any of your lunches with a repost. but if you haven't, here's a link to a story from ThisLondon.com, where details of his courtroom appearance yesterday are discussed. it's safe to say that i will have a difficult time falling asleep tonight after seeing these shots...worst.

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wednesday, november 13  

blue crizzystart me up

how come this didn't make news downstate? leave it to the Traverse City Record-Eagle to break the news that District Judge Thomas Gilbert has recently taken a leave of absence after he was spotted smoking a joint during the recent Rolling Stones concert at Ford Field. best.

meanwhile, over at DavisDVD.com, our good friend Davis himself reveals the DVD menus for the upcoming release of "Blue Crush". some say disappointing menu screens! some say that the cover art is even MORE disappointing. why ruin a good thing? if you're gonna F with the one-sheet, why not add some Penny Chatwicke buzz? "Blue Crush" streets on January 14 (along with "About A Boy").

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alfred e. besthas The Onion jumped the shark?

this parody from Mad Magazine (of all the places!) makes a relatively convincing argument. i'm still of the opinion that The Onion still puts out some pretty funny shit, but reading it just ain't the same as it used to be. but then again, besides porn and Mario Party, what is?

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red fusion revealed

upon second thought, not that noteworthy. good commercial, mediocre product. that is all. thank you for your time.

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goin' crazy

goin' crazy from the heat, David Lee Roth style. sorry, no time for posts today. fuckin' crazy insane bizzay. so as not to leave you parched, here are two quick items. an epic convergence of FOWs occured in this morning's Detroit News, where Nummer was interviewed by The Grizz in an article detailing the frenzy over yesterday's release of the LOTR:SE and Clones. and NME.com reveals the Top 10 singles of all-time. what, no "Sk8r Boi"???

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tuesday, november 12  

it's not TV, it's HBO

buzz. "Officials at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said Monday that a cable network, which industry sources identified as HBO, tentatively has agreed to pay the nonprofit group $50 million over five years to exclusively carry the TV industry's most prestigious awards show, beginning next year." today's Los Angeles Times reports on the announcement that "left network TV executives flabbergasted." CBS has already threatened that, if this deal goes through, they "will no longer participate in the Emmys in any way, shape or form and withdraw all support." developing!

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bestkibbles and bits

— yesterday's New York Times featured an article about the declining importance of Generation X. it seems that marketers have already wrote us off because, as a whole, we're "a generation that celebrates its diversity and individuality", which makes us "the first truly tough generation to sell to." everyone realizes that Gen Y (now being called "millenials") are a bunch of candy-ass sellouts, just like their tail-end baby boomin' parents. those with foresight already have already witnessed the TRLification of an entire generation and grasped that these hoodie-wearin' teens have Mass Marketing written all over them. obvs. more on this topic lates...

— ever since i first read David Foster Wallace's essay on cruise ships called "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again", I have realized that cruise ships should be avoided, bubonic style. and yesterday's revelation that 163 passengers on a Carribean cruise fell ill due to the Norwalk virus just sealed it for me. what is the Norwalk virus, you ask? it is (and i quote) "an intestinal illness that is passed by the feces of infected people. New victims get ill by eating feces-contaminated food or water." which is worst. evs. obvs.

— i gotta throw mad props to Todd Wicks (loyal FOWs will recognize him as the charismatic lead singer of The Prime Ministers) for introducing me to The Velvet Rope. no, i'm not talking about some strip club in Wyandotte or the 1997 Janet Jackson album. i'm talking about a message board that is intended for music industry insiders to share dirt on artists and labels. if you have any interest in music at all, it is a fascinating read. for instance, a recent thread was posted entitled "Insane Clowns? Who is buying this stuff?", which is obviously all about the ICP. i was surprised not to find a healthy gulp of Haterade -- instead I discovered that virtually anyone who knows anything about the music business heralds these guys as revolutionary. laugh at them, laugh at their lyrics, laugh at the Juggalos, even laugh at their face-paint. when you're done laughing, you'll see a rare example of a band who has been able to develop a brand and sell records from coast-to-coast consistently for the last 10 years. it's worth a read for every music fan out there.

— last but not lizzles, the venerable NME.com reveals that Damon Albarn will be contributing guest vocals to the new Massive Attack album arriving in early 2003. other confirmed guests include longtime collaborator Horace Andy and Sinead O'Connor, who follows in the footsteps of Shara Nelson ("Unfinished Sympathy"), Tracey Thorn ("Protection") and Liz Fraser ("Teardrop") as the featured female vocalist. obvs that this is high on the list for Best Albums of 2003...

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monday, november 11  

grand theft auto: vice city

i have had ZERO luck trying to score a copy of the hottest videogame since, well, Grand Theft Auto 3. i've searched high and low, even stopping into the local Toys 'R' Us. i've been to multiple Best Buys (Madison Heights, Southfield and Auburn Hills), KMarts, Targets, GameStops, Electronics Boutiques and every other store you can think of. Amazon.com currently lists the game as "Available in 1-2 weeks". harrumph! until then, i'll guess that I'll have to live with reading reviews, like the one posted this morning on Salon.com, which boldly states "Vice City makes GTA3 feel like a warm-up, a developmental practice lap (albeit one fueled by several lines of coke, every 100 yards)". truth be told, i'm still playing GTA3 (i've been recently distracted by Madden 2003, MP4, Mario Sunshine and Eternal Darkness), so i should probably concentrate on finishing that one first. easier said than done for a Disposable Income junkie like myself...

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weekend recap

question for the guys out there. have you ever been hit on by a gay, 6'4", red-headed Icelandic male rock star? didn't think so. and until friday night, neither had i. it all started innocently enough. Damore, Nummer, Andrew Moore and myself were watching the Sigur Ros show from the bar area of the State Theatre, tossing back beers and enjoying the intensity of the show. all of a sudden this giant dude wanders up to us and starts asking if we enjoyed the opening act. i speak for the group when i say, "nah, we were at the bar and unfortunately missed the opening act." well, this giant dude starts talking to me and explains that his name is Siggi and that he was the opening act. i start chatting with the dude, asking him how he got hooked up with Sigur Ros, how the tour was going, was this his first trip to the States...you know, just conversational shit. to be a good Detroiter (and American in general), i bought the dude a beer. he thanked me by giving me a giant hug. i was a little bewildered by the hug, but i shrugged it off as not really knowing a whole helluva lot about Icelandic culture. i mean, the only things that I know about Iceland I learned from Bjork and the game of Risk (no wait, that was Greenland...never mind). having been to Europe a few times myself, it just seemed to me that people are a little more affectionate over there, as evidenced by that whole European double cheek-kissing introduction thing. well then Siggi bought me a shot of Jager, and after it was downed he gave me ANOTHER giant hug. at was at this point that the whole thing got confusing, but not really. one hug, i can write off as being a culture thing. after Hug #2, it got to be a little gay. Damore just stood there laughing at me the whole time, while i stood there bewildered and confused and wanting to politely escape. well just about the time that I was getting ready to bolt, Siggi explained that the show was almost over and that he had to get onstage to take a bow. i was like "phew!" and then he took off. but then it turned out that Sigur Ros had a few more songs and he came back for more! i tried deflecting conversation to The Grizz and Mandypantalons who had showed up, but Siggi only had eyes for me. which was worst. thankfully, the convo ended and Siggi took off. on an equally thankful note, i was too drunk to really absorb the fact that i've had like zero success in the dating arena for the last few months and that the only person who's shown any interest was a gay Nordic rock star. worst.

ah, but just when you think that story ended, it didn't. a few of us went over to the new Fifth Avenue at the CoPa (aka Comerica Park) for "Sofa", which is kind of like the hard partying little brother of "Sugar Hiccup" (also hosted by DJ Quig). met up with JP McKrengels, E Dubz, Little Krengels, Little Peabody and assorted other kidz. we were enjoying beers and the great music when, relatively out of nowhere, appeared our boy Siggi. once again, he somehow got his arms around me and gave me a Polar Bear hug. i was like "worst!" and everyone proceeded to laugh at me when he left. oh well. since i tend to be on the self-deprecating side of things on Monday morning, i thought my humiliation was worth sharing with you to brighten the start of our work week. but kidz, the good news is that i met a little alterna-hottie on Friday night too and got the digits (OBVS!). we made plans to meet up at "Sugar Hiccup" on Wednesday night, but then i remembered on Saturday morning that I'll be at the Fountains Of Wayne show on Wednesday. which is both best (cuz it's the original FOW) and worst (gotta call the girl to cancel the plans and hopefully reschedule). oh well. i'll keep you posted.

as far as Monday morning news is concerned, the big news is that "8 Mizz" pulled in almost $55 mills at the box office this weekend. both The Grizz (click for the story) and The Freep's Terry Lawson (click for the story) cover the phenomenal opening in this morning's paper. T. Lawson reveals that the Star Southfield pulled in almost $50,000 this weekend by itself, not too shabbs. on the music scene, yesterday's New York Times featured a stellar (if not spectacular) look at the maturation of Pearl Jam, and David Samuels of Slate.com reports from the CMJ Music Festival on Idlewild, the band that is earning buzz as "The Next Radiohead". too bad Glavzies and I saw them at the Magic Stick about two and a half years ago. yes, we are trendsetters. and they're not really "the next Radiohead." that's a bad tag for these boys, they're more like a punk-pop British version of R.E.M.. last but not lizz, The Grizz is back with reviews of two of the five albums i bought at Best Buy last week, The Donnas' "Spend the Night" and the Insane Clown Posse's "The Wraith: Shangri-La".

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friday, november 8  

sing to me

some selected FOWs received an email on wednesday night soliciting feedback on who their Top 10 favorite female singers of all-time were. what follows below are the compiled results from dedicated FOWs who took the time and effort to put their lists together. some sent in ranked lists, some went far over the 10 limit, some included dudes, but all responses were delightfully tigs to read. and as i have been compiling this list, i am surprised to see that very few chanteuses were altogether absent from this list. you won't see Ann Wilson (Heart), Whitney Houston, Billie Holiday, any of the chicks from En Vogue, Ronnie Spector, Diana Ross, Gloria Gaynor or even Kelly Clarkson, but trust me when i tell you that you WILL be impressed with this list's diversity. in fact, these lists were so impressive that I intend to build a special wing of Whatevs.org to house this list (and others like it that will follow), but that is a larger task for another time. until then, delight in the splendor of The Best Evs Female Singers of All-Tizz:

Uncle Grambo (ranked): 10. Sarah Cracknell (Saint Etienne) 9. Belinda Carlisle (The Go-Go's) 8. Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star) 7. Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney) 6. Dido 5. Bjork 4. Liz Phair 3. Sinead O'Connor 2. Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) 1. Tracey Thorn (Everything But The Girl)

Melody Licious (in no particular order): Fiona Apple, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Wendy Case (The Paybacks), Muffy Kroha (The Sirens), Janis Joplin, Jessicka (formerly of Jack Off Jill), Dolly Parton, Cyndi Lauper / Cher

Nummer (in no particular order): Fiona Apple, Tanya Donelly (Solo/Belly), Manda Rin (Bis), Juliana Hatfield (Solo/Blake Babies), Tracey Bonham, Muffin Spencer (Brassy), Kylie Minogue, Nina Persson (The Cardigans), Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori tie (Cibo Matto), Justine Frischmann (Elastica), Angie Hart (Frente), Allison Goldfrapp (Goldfrapp), Nina Gordon (Solo/Veruca Salt), PJ Harvey, Geike Arnaert (Hooverphonic), Anna Waronker (that dog), Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo), Aimee Mann, Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star), Liz Phair, Beth Gibbons (Postishead), Katharine Whalen (Squirrel Nut Zippers), Margaret Fiedler (Laika)

Mack10 (ranked): 1. Kate Bush 2. Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) 3. Toni Halliday (Curve) 4. Laura Nyro 5. Dusty Springfield 6. Beth Orton 7. Shirley Manson (Garbage) 8. Liz Fraser (Cocteau Twins) 9. Gillian Welch 10. Syd Straw. (Honorable Mention: Carly Simon, PJ Harvey, Holly Cole, Jane Siberry, Lisa Germano, Bjork, Tanya Donelly, Carole King)

WinkleBest #1 - Rosie Gains (Prince's New Power Generation.) Runner-ups: Tracy Chapman, Madonna, Carly Simon, Barbara Streisand (the Bee Gee years in particular), Gwen McCrae, Shirley Manson (Garbage), Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), Elton John, TLC

GKVizz (ranked) 1. Skye Edwards (Morcheeba) 2. Madonna 3. Bjork 4. Sade 5. Ella Fitzgerald 6. Kylie Minogue

Friggedy: A#1 - Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (pronounced Mary Nee Mooney from Altan...Irish folk - angelic voice, and no neo-Celtic BS). Rizunner-ups: Kate Bush (HOUNDS OF LOVE is one of the finest concept albums ever), Nina Persson (The Cardigans - forget "Lovefool" and check out "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - live"), Dolores O'Riordan (The Cranberries - proved she's still got it this summer), Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays - makes me wanna move to Northern England with my girl), Elisabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins - without her, no Sugar Hiccup, both literally and in terms of good ambient music necessitating a Wednesday night happening), Madonna (yeah, not always a great voice, but still Madge rules!), Shania Twain (bestevs! no really, good singer AND songwriter), Kate Pierson (kickass harmonies), Enya (obvs). Close but no cigar: Karen Carpenter (Sonic Youth said it - she died for our sins), Nina Simone (Sinna man, where you gonna run to?), Sheryl Crow (rocks out despite recent sell-outs), Beth Gibbons (Portishead), Bjork

StephDMB #1 - Patty Griffin. Runner-ups: Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morrissette, Etta James, Christina Aguilera, Diana Krall, Karen Carpenter, Juliana Hatfield, Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls), Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays), Gwyneth Paltrow

Gorilla (unranked): Joni Mitchell, Liz Phair, Fiona Apple, Emmy Lou Harris, Gabby Glaser (Luscious Jackson), Dolly Parton, Etta James, Alison Krauss, Thornetta Davis, Yoshimi

Hanszie (in no particular order): Aimee Mann, Natalie Merchant, Fiona Apple, Tracey Thorn (Everything But The Girl), Annie Lennox, Margo Timmons (Cowboy Junkies), Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks), Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks

Kegzies (ranked): 1. PJ Harvey 2. Bjork 3. Justine Frischmann (Elastica) 4. Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) 5. Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) 6. Ella Fitzgerald 7. Edith Piaf 8. Louise Wener (Sleeper) 9. Kylie Minogue (obvs) 10. Sophie Ellis Bextor (obvs)

APLarcadia (ranked): 1. ani difranco 2. kim gordon (sonic youth) 3. bjork 4. patti smith 5. kim warnick (the fastbacks) 6. laetitia sadier (stereolab) 7. pj harvey 8. corin tucker (sleater-kinney) 9. kim deal (the breeders) 10. mary timony (solo stuff + helium)

Seantizz: What about Christine McVie? She's the real female talent of Fleetwood Mac.

Pieps (ranked): 5. Madonna 4. Gwen Stefani 3. Sarah McLachlan 2. Fiona Apple 1. Lucinda Williams

Kotoroboto: 1) Laetitia Sadier & Mary Hansen - Stereolab. The close seconds: Nico (Velvet Underground), Hope Sandoval (mazzy star), PJ Harvey, Asha Bhosle (the "brimful on the 45" one), Morrissey, Bjork

Wartinsmooth (ranked): 1. Mary Timony (Helium) 2. Joni Mitchell 3. PJ Harvey 4. Sinead O'Connor 5. Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) 6. Tori Amos 7. Patti Smith 8. Liz Phair 9. Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) 10. Michael Jackson

The Grizz (ranked): 10. Nina Persson (The Cardigans) 9. Louise Wener (Sleeper) 8. Peaches 7. Hanin Elias (Atari Teenage Riot) 6. Justine Frischmann (Elastica) 5. Mariah Carey 4. Baby Spice 3. Bjork 2. Courtney Love 1. Madonna

H-Bomb (ranked): 1. Tori Amos 2. Bjork 3. Allison Goldfrapp (Goldfrapp) 4. PJ Harvey 5. Fiona Apple 6. Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) 7. Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star) 8. Geike Arnaert (Hooverphonic) 9. Kristy Thirsk (Rose Chronicles) 10. Audrey Gallaghar (Scheer)

ConnieNYC (ranked): 1. Dusty Springfield (Dusty In Memphis is one of my all-time favorites. The marriage of brit soul (Dusty), Brill Building songwriting (carole king/gerry goffin, bacharach/david, even randy newman) and Memphis instrumentation. Hey, thats a three-way marriage!) 2. Martha Reeves (martha and the vandellas - "(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave" - classic) 3. Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles - Heavenly vocals on the last ten seconds of "If She Knew What She Wants") 4. Linda Thompson (Especially on "I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight") 5. Emmylou Harris (Beautiful when she comes in on the second verse of The Band's "Evangeline")

MandyPantalons (in no particular order): Kate Bush, Madonna, Tori Amos, Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays), Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Belinda Carlisle (The Go-Go's), Andrea Corr (The Corrs), Debbie Harry (Blondie), Alison Krauss

LEADING VOTE GETTERS:
BJORK (9 votes)
PJ HARVEY (7 votes)
FIONA APPLE / MADONNA (Tied with 6 votes)
HARRIET WHEELER (5 votes)
TORI AMOS / KATE BUSH / LIZ PHAIR / HOPE SANDOVAL (Tied with 4 votes)

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lose yourself8 mizz

well, the reviews are in. both The Freep's Terry Lawson ("it will touch people who thought they hated hip-hop and/or Eminem in ways they would have never expected") and The Detroit News' Susan Stark ("("like "Rocky"), it will inspire noisy, vocal rooting all the way back to the last rows in theaters nationwide") gave it their maximum rating of four stars/roses (respectively). And The DetNews even devotes a page to other critic's praiseworthy reviews, including Ken Turan (LA Times) and David Denby (The New Yorker). Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times semi-politely slams the firm as "an 80's go-for-it movie (the picture feels like some odd combination of "Flashdance" and "Purple Rain")", but at the same time compares it to the "echoey, haunted heart of Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt": maybe the project doesn't make sense in the abstract, but once you submit to it, it works." David Edelstein of Slate.com argues that some of the films "nefarious cliches" are "overwhelmed by the pulsing, grinding, hopped-up camerawork and the soulful star turn of Eminem", and Salon.com's Stephanie Zacharek concludes her review with the following: "Eminem is still a mystery, and "8 Mile" doesn't come close to explaining him. It's probably safe to assume that part of the reason that older, more straitlaced white audiences don't respond to hip-hop is because they feel intimidated by the image -- whether it's real or merely just perceived -- of the angry black male. So what do we make of an angry white one, particularly one like Eminem, who's intimidating because of his sheer intensity? When Jimmy, a scrawny, hunched-over white kid with darting eyes, goes head-to-head in a battle of wits (and wit) with a buffed-up black guy in a muscle T-shirt, there's no question which character is more unnerving. We just don't know what makes Jimmy, or Eminem, tick. But we can hear it, and sometimes it sounds suspiciously like a heartbeat."

All in all, this movie is poised to blow up this weekend. Dave Poland is predicting an opening of $29.7 million, while The Box Office Guru Gitesh Pandaya is predicting around $25 mills. Go see this film. It's well worth your time and could very well see itself on The Grahammy's Top Ten Films of 2k3 list...don't miss out.

posted by uncle grambo | click me
 

snl season 28...revealed!

the ever vigilant Nummer and H-Bomb have been working hard behind-the-scenes to deliver you the very best reporting on this season of Saturday Night Live. unfortunately i have not been up to the task, as it took me well over a week to get around to posting their very fine review of the Halloween episode, but I managed to turn around the Eric McCormack / Jay-Z recap fairly quickly. and if those write-ups aren't enough to whet your appetite, they've also provided their pre-show comments on this weekend's Nia Vardolos / Eve episode. obvs!

SNL SEASON 28...REVEALED! Halloween Special (10.26.02)

SNL SEASON 28...REVEALED! Episode 4: Eric McCormack / Jay-Z (11.2.02)

SNL SEASON 28...REVEALED! Episode 5: Nia Vardalos / Eve (11.9.02)
Pre-Show Comments

Jason: This episode has absolutely no buzz at all. I've never seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and have no desire to EVER. I also know a grand total of zero songs by Eve. Hence, I'm not too upset that I'll be missing this episode live due to a Chicago trip Saturday night to catch Joseph Arthur at Martyrs.

However, the last two live episodes (McCain and McCormack) were decent. Hopefully the writers can continue their streak. I've noticed that in the past when they have a lesser known host on, Lorne seems to set aside the recurring sketches and approve the more fresh and edgier ones. Hopefully this will be the case. The quickest way to make the Verdalos episode lose even more buzz is to start throwing in Jarrett's Room, Brian Fellows, etc. Still, I expect Vardalos to be on par with Gellar. We'll see.

In other SNL news, the rest of the year's hosts have been "confirmed":
11/16/02: Brittany Murphy/Nelly
12/7/02: Robert DeNiro/TBA
12/14/02: Al Gore/TBA

Heather: Well, if I had no idea what to expect with last week's McCormack episode, I really, really don't have a clue about Nia Vardalos. My Big Fat Greek Wedding held no appeal for a viewing, so I don't have any thoughts on Vardalos as an actor. And since I feel a little jaded by the McCormack episode, I don't imagine this one being much better. Hopefully, I'm wrong. I agree with Nummer in that I'm looking forward to some good, break-out, off-the-wall sketches.

posted by uncle grambo | click me
thursday, november 7  

from the "you have GOT to be shitting me" files

this comes from a Canadian newspaper called The Globe and Mail: "A New Brunswick father is suing the provincial amateur hockey association after his 16-year-old son failed to win the league's most-valuable-player award. Michael Croteau is seeking $300,000 in psychological and punitive damages from the association. He is also demanding that the MVP trophy be taken from the boy who won it and given to his son, Steven, as well as the league's playmaker award, which was awarded to a different boy."

you have GOT to be shitting me.

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inbox

sometimes you're so fargin' swamped you have no idea where to start. well, i thought i would start by filling you all in on some of the subject lines i need to respond to this evening. it goes great lengths to show that I truly have no life, because i understand and can eloquently respond to all of these items! off the top of my head! worst!

CVO Winback list.
WEB COPY FOR DEACTIVATION.
RE: Bank One Approval for Q3 Winback.
PREZ R2 L&L versions, copy decks.
Bank One Testing Recap.
RE: Revision to Canadian Q1'03 UFR Matrices.
FW: 3.0 Package Codes.
MARY KAY Renewal Confirm: Decision Needed.
RE: Answers to VME - CN R4/Nov Test File.
Fleet Meeting Recap-APPROVALS/ANSWERS needed.
RE: August Winback - Go with MAKE.
Project J Schedule. FOR APPROVAL: Celebration R1 GM FF, S&S Offers & G1 versions.
RE: R2 Matrix and quick question.
RE: Jan-March'03 Canada UFR Campaign Data Requests.

posted by uncle grambo | click me
 

Dead Or Alive IIIbuzz

— remember the banners at Crisler Arena celebrating the `92 and `93 Final Fours? well, they're gone. U of M has self-imposed some major sanctions on its basketball program in the fallout from the Ed Martin scandal, including a ban from post-season play in 2003, forfeiting all the wins from the Fab Five era and taking down the banners. worst.

— "I'd hate to believe race played a factor." Brains Williams speaks! Listen up dude, it wasn't your race that got you fired. it had nothing to do with that. it was the fact that you admitted you lost control of your team. it was the fact that your team sucked. it was the fact that your team quit on you. it was the fact that your star quarterback and star running back decided to fall apart within two weeks of each other. it was the fact that you had just lost to your in-state rival by the biggest margin in over forty years. isolate any of these situations and the coach wouldn't have been fired. when all of these things happen within a month, it's time to pack your bags.

— videogames have come a long way since the days of Leisure Suit Larry. an article in today's New York Times explains how video game companies are reacting to our culture's "changing tastes and standards in mass entertainment in an age that is less "American Graffiti" than "American Pie." for an example of what i'm talking about, see the Jpeg to the rizz. obvs.

— good news! this year's Academy Awards (March 23) will be hosted by Steve Martin!

— while most critics have good things to say about "8 Mile", Hot Button columnist David Poland has this to say: "8 Mile is a movie about youth and race and sex and growth that has no respect for youth, has a disturbing undercurrent of hatred for Blacks, thinks all women are whores and for which growth is as simple as not being too afraid to let your voice out." for the record, he's wrong on every count. more on that later.

Mike Kegler of Glamorama fame is back from his trip to the Ukraine, of all places. i think the closest i'll ever get to the Ukraine will be the next time I sit down to play Risk. but it's good to have Kegzies back, not only because Glamorama is the Harper's to my US Weekly, but also because of this week's "Glamorama MP3 Of The Week", which features Radiohead's Thom Yorke performing a solo piano version of "Everything In Its Right Place" from the recent Bridge School Benefit. tatts!

and finally, thanks to The Grizz for forwarding along the news that Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach (writer/director of the terminally underrated masterpieces "Kicking and Screaming" and "Mr. Jealousy") are collaborating to make "Squid and Whale", in which Baumbach will direct Bill Murray, Laura Linney and John Turturro. whoah BEST!

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day onesee through thisfallen idol

it is difficult to pinpoint the exact place in time where Winona lost her luster. she's been on my radar ever since she appeared alongside Corey Haim and Chuck Sheen in "Lucas", way back in 1986. there was just something behind those dark brown eyes that you could just sense was capable of intoxicating an entire generation. with the 1-2-3 combo of "Beetlejuice", "Heathers" and "Edward Scissorhands" in `88-`90, she rose to stardom and became the shining beacon of what was to become Generation X, though Douglas Coupland had yet to coin the phrase. i think what made Winonzies so appealing to everyone was that she seemed so much like us. she excelled at portraying characters who were proud to sit outside of mainstream popularity and weren't ultra-concerned with going along with the crowd. her individuality was always her most alluring trait, and Hollywood saw big things for her. in the early `90s, she worked with big-time directors like Coppola and Scorsese, and also found time to squeeze in a supporting role in indie-stalwart Jim Jarmusch's "Night On Earth". she continued to build her indie cred while simultaneously courting Oscar. Unfortunately, at this same time, Winona's personal life was fair game for the tabloids and her relationship with Johnny Depp became a media fixation. around the time that they broke up, she starred in "Reality Bites", a role that Salon.com calls "Queen Alternababe". It's true. The year was 1994 and the film matched up the Slacker Prince Ethan Hawke with the Queen Alternababe in a slugfest of slackerness. While I loved this film then and continue to love it now, it was on this set where she met Dave Pirner (of Soul Aslyum fame) and stole him from his long-time girlfriend. Bad move. While this particular relationship has never really been noticed as a focal point for Shark Jumping, I firmly believe that it began to show who the "real" Winona is. Stealing Pirner (btw - why steal Pirner? did you really love "Runaway Train" *THAT* much?) cast a subtly negative light on her -- she began moving away from being sexy shy (appealing to both guys and girls) and into the kind of girl who can AND WILL steal your man (girls HATE this), but always has one eye looking off in the other direction for something better (guys REALLY HATE this). she somehow acquired that "can't trust her" label, and it was from this point on that the glow began to wear off. Remember "Boys"? Didn't think so. Remember "The Crucible"? If you do, you remember Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen, not Winona. "Alien Resurrection"? No ah ah. Flop followed flop followed flop, and her full-blown attempt at Oscar cred in the ChickFlick Cuckoo's Nest "Girl, Interrupted" was wholly usurped by Angelina Jolie. She dated Ryan Adams on the sly and dumped him, inspiring a number of the songs on last year's "Gold". She began hanging with Courtney Hole, who I love but I also acknowledge is probably not what one would call a "good influence". After her famous words of "Not...since...The...Replacements" after seeing The Strokes perform for the first time, she proceeded to wig out on Julian when he admitted that he never really dug U2 or Bono. Something was awry and everyone knew it, then came the big shoplifting arrest which ended with yesterday's guilty verdict. While she likely won't do any hard time, this arrest is the nail in the coffin of the "old Winona's" grave. While this controversy is guaranteed to stir interest in her career, I'm going to have a tough time warming up to an actress who I once found to be as close to perfect as you could possibly be. While we'll always have "Heathers", it's kind of sad to know that a 31-year old actresses glory days are a full 10 years behind her. Oh Winona.

posted by uncle grambo | click me
wednesday, november 6  

WINONA GUILTY!!!

breaking news! Actress Winona Ryder Found Guilty of Shoplifting (AP) !!!

no way!

posted by uncle grambo | click me
 

teenage wasteland

as the reviews start pouring in on the newly issued journals of Kurt Cobain, I'm not sure you'll read a more interesting take than the one published in The London Observer. why? because it was written by Pete Townshend, someone who knows a thing or two about addiction, rock and roll and the daunting pressures of being famous. it is especially interesting because Cobain wrote in his journals that "I hope I die before I become Pete Townshend", presumably because he found it impossible to live with the inevitability that someday his cultural relevance would fade.

posted by uncle grambo | click me
tuesday, november 5  

take me back to dear ol' blighty

before i get started to say, first i must thank the UAW and their powerful contingent for today. "why thank the UAW on Election Day?" you wonder. BECAUSE WHILE YOU'RE AT WORK, I'M SITTING AT HOME PLAYING NINTENDO GAMECUBE!!! ah yes, when you work for one of the Big Three, this is one of the perks of the job. while i plan on getting out to the polls early this afternoon, i thought i would chip in a few links for the faithful FOWs throughout the course of the day. so without further ado, i bring you linkage...

it was just last Wednesday at Sugar Hiccup when Damore, a FOW who could appropriately be described as a "long-time listener, first time caller", told me that there was a new band called Haven that I just HAD to listen to. well my resulting trip to Best Buy this weekend revealed no Haven buzz, but that didn't stop Johnny Marr from performing with them on Saturday night at an industry showcase in NYC. according to Smiths lore, this is Marr's first onstage appearance in New York in 10 years! in other Smiths news, props out to Glavzies for informing me that Morrissey was just voted the greatest Mancunian of all-time, over such stalwarts as David Beckham and computer pioneer Alan Turing. booya!

and to top you off this morning, it's already obvs that Brains Williams was fired as the Sparty football coach last night. duh. what is not quite as obvs is that The Breeders are guest starring on Buffy tonight. 8pm, UPN stizz. yum.

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monday, november 4  

RIP-DMC

limited edition. obvs.

they're tricky tricky tricky tricky HUH!

posted by uncle grambo | click me
 

mom's spaghetti

unless you've been hanging out in rural Cambodia over the last few weeks, you know that "8 mile" hits theatres nationwide this Friday, November 8th. and while Eminem hasn't been as forthcoming with the press as, say, Bruce Springsteen, it is impossible to avoid the avalanche of press that this movie is going to accumulate over the next few days and i will feature as much as i can here on whatevs.org. of all the profiles i've read on Marshall over the years, this weekend's New York Times Magazine featured one of the best; Frank Rich's interview / film review / artistic deconstruction is a vivid portrait of the man AND his myth and is definitely considered a "must-read" by yours truly. terry lawson, lead film critic at The Freep, contributed a 4-star review of the film in yesterday's paper, scooping just about everyone else in the country besides Jeffrey Wells. Today, both of Detroit's dailies feature an article on 7-year old Chloe Greenfield, a local girl who plays Eminem's little sister in the movie. for the better article, check out this interview she conducted with The Grizz; if you're left wanting more, too bad because the interview she conducts with The Freep's John Monaghan lacks depth and totally blows in comparison. obvs. it is The Grizz we're talking about, after all...

but if you're waiting for Em to sit with Letterman, Leno, Conan or Katie Couric, it ain't gonna happen. in what is being billed as an "exclusive", he sat down with Pat O'Brien for a lengthy interview that has been airing in small chunks over the last few days on "Access Hollywood". if you're down, it airs at 7pm on CBS, Channel 62 in Detroit. punch 62! obvs!

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i got more links than Bob Evans

— in box office news this weekend, "The Santa Clause 2" ho-ho-ho'd its way to $29 mills, which is kinda sorta not really an impressive debut. it's Tim Allen's best opening since his "Toy Story" days and is mildly impressive considering we've still got over eight weeks until Christmas hits, but it pales in comparison to "Spiderman's" take of over $125 mills in DVD / VHS sales this weekend. "Spidey" sold an estimated 7 million copies on Friday (!!!) and another 4 million on Saturday and Sunday. now that's amazing. who knew that Dunst in a wet t-shirt could make 11 million americans THAT weak in the knees? hubba hubbzies!

— in the latest round of foiled celebrity kidnapping attempts, five UK blokes have been arrested for planning to kidnap Posh Spice. i don't want to make light of what could've been a grisly situation, but Posh only ranks above Scary Spice as the Spice Girl that I would be least likely to kidnap. i know that her and Becks are rolling in dough, but seriously, she is so NAST and so bitchy! kidnapping Victoria would've been the worst decision since Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater decided to kidnap Bette Midler in "Ruthless People"!

— while I have the utmost respect for esteemed Los Angeles Times music writer Robert Hilburn, his review of The Strokes' recent performance at the Greek Theater in LA will disappoint a lot of their fans. although he praises Julian and crew as having a "sensualist, minimal sound", he openly questions "whether the Strokes will eventually be a chapter or a footnote in this movement"; the movement he is referring to is, of course, the revitalization of rock music's importance in the US. he alludes to the fact that bands like The Vines, The Hives, and The White Stripes will have more long-term success and a bigger impact on music than The Strokes, but i must take a stand and vehemently disagree. personally, the music of The Vines and The Hives feels ultra-gimmicky to me, and it's hard to forsee The White Stripes outlasting the media's curiousity with Jack and Meg's "are they or aren't they" relationship. The Strokes were thisclose to making a perfect album their first time out, and if you have seen them live, you know they've got the chops to hang around as long as they want. while Hilburn is one of my fave music journo's, he's way off this time.

— last but not lizz, here are sneak previews of the new J. Lo and Mariah album covers (thanks to The Grizz for supplying the J.Lo J.Peg):
this is me...thencharmbracelet

posted by uncle grambo | click me
 

nice captains

the only captains i've seen with less buzz than Jeff Smoker and Dawan Moss are Captain America (is he ever going to get a movie?), and Cap'n Crunch (even Franken-Berry has more relevance to today's youths). after Saturday's royal ass whuppin' at The Big House, the shiznit hit the fan as Moss was arrested and Smoker's parents admitted their son has a "substance abuse problem". shatts. things have been on a downhill slide for the Spartys ever since Coach Glinka, Jillycakes, Malbersblows, Jen and myself invaded East Lansing during Week 3 for the debaucle that was the MSU vs. California game. don't get me wrong, I do not derive pleasure from seeing the Spartys fail. but this football season has been an atrocity, especially for a team that was picked by many to compete for the Big Ten title. and it might not get any better when the T. Izzo and his ballers hit the hardwood; the team lost Marcus Taylor to the NBA and, in their first exhibition game of the season, lost to Magic Johnson's All-Scrub Team on Friday night by a healthy margin.

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friday, november 1  

j-lo battles the nipple tweakers

obvs this is the hottest thing since that Jewel see-through dress at The Grammys a few years back...

beforeafter

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scrambling

i'm preparing and scrambling to put together a report for the President of our company that is due at 2:30pm, so time is wicked short this morning. to keep your whatevs.org cravings in check, here is a preview of tomorrow night's Eric McCormack / Jay-Z episode of Saturday Night Live...

SNL Season 28 Revealed!

Episode 4 Pre-Show Comments: Eric McCormack / Jay-Z (11.2.02)

Jason: I've never seen a complete episode of "Will and Grace" in my life. I once saw half an episode with the story line revolving around characters from the show trying to scam Sandra Bernhard into letting them sublease her apartment or something. With this as my only background, telling me that W&G star Eric McCormack is hosting doesn't do much for the old excitement engine. I guess the only other thing I can compare it to is the February 2001 hosting duties from co-W&G star Sean Hayes. That episode was pretty solid. Strong sketches included Hardball, the yet to be overused Brian Fellows and Action Week. Can McCormack deliver after the strong showing from McCain? We'll know Sunday morning at 1:00 AM.

In other SNL news, sources are saying Nia Vardalos, Brittany Murphy and Jennifer Garner are close to the final stages of confirming upcoming hosting spots. Garner and Murphy could be cool. I'm not too familiar with Nia.

Heather: I really have no idea what to expect from this week's SNL with host Eric McCormack. I never watch Will & Grace, so I'm not at all familiar with his comedic style. Anyone's guess is as good as mine as to how good this episode is going to be. While McCain will be tough to follow, I'm hoping that since McCormack is a comedian, he'll do a decent job. I heard that Jay-Z will be performing "Bonnie & Clyde" with Beyonce. But as always with SNL rap performances, I'm wondering two things: how many people he will have on stage and will he be backed by a live band. But seriously, in all honesty, I don't have high hopes for this episode.

posted by uncle grambo | click me
quote-a-matic
"A warning sign / It came back to haunt me, and I realized / That you were an island and I passed you by / And you were an island to discover"
Coldplay, "Warning Sign"
be like mark
adventures w/disposable income
date: 11.26.02
source: Panera
amount: $6.24
(1) Caeser Salad w/Grilled Chicken
where's grambo?
november 27: richie hawtin wsg Sven Vath @ city club
november 28: turkey-giving @ rochester hills
november 29: 10 year high school reunion @ southfield
december 4: sugar hiccup @ fifth avenue royal oak
december 6: paul oakenfold @ state theater
december 11: OnStar holiday party
december 12: stacey pullen @ the necto
december 18: sugar hiccup @ fifth avenue royal oak
twenty word reviews
rodger dodger
****
REVIEW TK.
femme fatale
*
REVIEW TK.
auto-focus
***
REVIEW TK.
scooby-doo
**
REVIEW TK.
death to smoochy
WORST EVS!
REVIEW TK.
jackass
***
REVIEW TK.
punch drunk love
****1/2
REVIEW TK.
bloody sunday
****
REVIEW TK.
the ring
***1/2
REVIEW TK.
the transporter
***

REVIEW TK.
swept away
*

REVIEW TK.
the rules of attraction
***

REVIEW TK.
my big fat greek wedding
**1/2

REVIEW TK.
secretary
***

REVIEW TK.
spirited away
****

REVIEW TK.
red dragon
*1/2

REVIEW TK.
igby goes down
*****

REVIEW TK.
metropolis
***1/2

REVIEW TK.
we were soldiers
**

REVIEW TK.
the time machine
WORST EVER!!!

REVIEW TK.
8 mile
***1/2

REVIEW TK.
winged migration
***1/2

REVIEW TK.
gerry
****

REVIEW TK.
bowling for columbine
****1/2

REVIEW TK.
bubba ho-tep
***

REVIEW TK.
welcome to collinwood
*

REVIEW TK.
frida
**1/2

REVIEW TK.
lost in la mancha
***

REVIEW TK.
the good thief
***1/2

REVIEW TK.
white oleander
***1/2

REVIEW TK.
spun
**

jonas akerlund's disappointing directorial debut lacks cohesion and buzz, mainly because it's chock full of sleazy and uninteresting characters/situations.
city of god
****1/2

nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece, this film focuses on the impossible struggle to survive the "Mean Streets" of Rio.
les diables
***

blend "natural born killers", "what's eating gilbert grape?", "Stand By Me" and pre-teen nudity and voila! you've got les diables.
the kid stays in the picture
****

adapted from robert evans' infamous autobiography, this documentary brims with the grandiose glory of a life lived to the fullest.
xXx
***

kinda like simultaneoulsy drinking jolt, red bull and mountain dew, this concoction of loud music + dazzling stunts is pure fun.
the sweetest thing
**1/2 (RENTAL)

a cinematic equivalent of "Tomcats" on Midol where Cameron Diaz and her galpals cuss incessantly and have sex with purple elephants.
blue crush
****

a talented young hottie conquers NFL quarterbacks, battles tasty waves, and plays Xbox outside (!!!) in this incredibly enjoyable summer spectacular .
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