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Friday, November 04, 2005
Got any weekend plans? Your Uncle Grambo HIGHLY suggests making a run to your local videostore or Best Buy to pick up what is SURE to go down as the all-time best straight-to-DVD video collection evs ... R. Kelly's triumphantly bizarre "Trapped In The Closet: Chapters 1-12." Along with The Grizz (see his DetNews review), Mandypantalons and Run KMC, I managed to sneak in a viewing of the latest installments a few nights ago and, believe you me, it's nothing short of BRILLS MURRAY. I mean, not to reveal any spoiler buzz or anything, but when was the last time you saw a midget with a 10 inch wang and cherry pie crumbs all of his fizz shit his pants and then pass out on top of a kitchen table after almost getting capped by an R&B superstar who likes to piss on underage girls? Thought so. BEST! [buttons available for purchase via April, "BRILLS MURRAY" reset via Skeet]
Former Detroit Red Wings coach Jacques Demers has revealed that he can't read. Also revealed? He can't coach! (rimshot) HA! I kill me!
G.E. Smith Is Probably Rocking the Fuck Out Somewhere, Right Now. There's no denying that Alex Blagg is a top-notch blogpimp. Welcome to the Creme de la Creme, biatchabatuka.
Remember when I railed on Bill Simmons a few weeks back? While I'm not quite to the point of saying that "All is forgiven", his off the chains b-e-s-t two-part NBA preview on ESPN.com is well-worth spending 20 minutes with. For those of you who are as fired up about the return of NBA basketball as I am, be sure and check out Part 1 and Part 2 for the kind of blend of analytical insight and bellyachin' laughs that only Simmons can pull off. Keep up the good work, holmes; stay off the BoSox and I'm sure we can be bests once again.
That said, there are myriad other basketblogs out there that are not only worth your time but have the kinda prose that will proverbially back you down into the lowpost and rock the fadeaway Dream Shake all over your tees, Olajuwon stizz. It's a mystery to this reader as to why mainstream publications have failed to pick up what sites like WizzNutzz, Chauncey Billups, Hard Wood and Free Darko are throwing down. Each of these sites boasts the kind of dazzling, singularly unique voice that made The Blogosphere™ such an interesting space to stake out in the first place. MmmmmBest.
Mariah Carey Is Too Healthy! I call bullshit. Yeah, these pix suggest that maybs she ponied up for a one-way ticket to LizTaylorVille, but have you SEEN the new vidds for "Don't Forget About Us"??? Holy moly best evs, she hasn't looked this good since the "Honey" video. [via Hollywood Tuna]
Speaking of Mariah, who else is fired to up to see that the new trend is ladies fashion is NOT TO WEAR PANTS?!? It'd be one thing if it was only Mariah taking this fashion plunge, but when Madge rocks it both on video ("Hung Up") and on stage (at the European VMAs), you know it's only a matter of time before other choice young starlets (I'm talkin' to you, Bynes!) decide to follow suit. Mars.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
There's no two ways about it, 2005 has not been kind to those of us here in The D™ who enjoy catching the occasional rock show. In fact, your Uncle Grambo would characterize the year as tremendously shitty, at best. For instance, the last time I stepped foot in either St. Andrew's or The Shelter was WAY the eff back in February (for Luna's final show, RIP). I've played pool more times at the Magic Stick (3x) than I've been there for shows (2x). And a lot of national acts are seem to be honing in on the Ann Arbor area, if not skipping the state entirely. It's almost enough to make you want to give up on the music scene entirely.
But every now and again, the storm clouds part and a band descends from above and delivers the kind of show that makes you remember how electric it can be to pay witness to live music. Especially live ROCK music -- as much as your Uncle Grambo hearts the indie rock and electronic scene, NOTHING compares to pounding back a High Life or three while guitars crunch and drums crash and keyboards wail with furious Classic Rock abandon. That's why I'm not ashamed to say that last night, The Hold Steady saved my life.
Everyone who has heard The Hold Steady's "Separation Sunday" knows that it's far and away the best album of the year. Bar none. From the first guitar riff on the record, there's something that's immediately timeless about their sound. It clearly owes a debt of gratitude to the pioneering work of mid-`70s era Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band, but thanks to the masterfully gruff (and almost punk) lyrical brushstrokes painted by lead singer Craig Finn, they don't come anywhere near resembling a tired tribute band. Their songs tread over the a territory that's best described as dark and dingy ("keys jangling in the stalls"), but somehow end up coming off as oddly optimistic and, at times, maybe even hopeful.
But the album is, at its heart, an ALBUM. It requires and even demands your attention -- sure, there are one or two radio ready singles, but casual listening to "Separation Sunday" won't get you anywhere. That's why I was nervous about their live show last night; I was afraid that hearing the epic tales of Holly, Charlemagne and the crew outside of their natural sequence might be akin to reading only every third chapter of a book. Thankfully, that was not the case.
After seeing last night's show, your Uncle Grambo is convinced that Craig Finn is the second-best rock & roll frontman performing today (#1? Liam, obvs). His presence is somehow simultaneously spastic and refined; this is a man who knows how to draw the audience into his world both lyrically and physically (lots of frenetic hand claps, lots of shouting outside of microphone range). He also has the sort of between-song storytelling skills to rival The Boss himself; last night, he paid tribute to Detroit with stories about seeing pit bulls outside of Small's in Hamtramck and recanting how Kiss "Alive" (parts of which were recorded at Cobo Hall) forever changed his life.
That said, there are a lot of bands with charismatic frontmen whose promise remains unfulfilled due to less-than-stellar backing bands. Thankfully, that's not the case with THS. Over at stage left, Franz Nicolay spent the evening hovering over his keyboards and pogo-ing around the stage radiating enthusiastic energy; he even led a few "Jungleland" style breakdowns that surely have "The Professor" Roy Bittan looking over his shoulder. Their rhythm section was powerfully capable and seemingly content with letting others handle the spotlight. And let's not forget Tad Kubler's dynamic yet workmanlike efforts on lead guitar; he's clearly got the classic rock textbook memorized forwards and back.
I guess that the best way to summarize the strength and power of last night's show by The Hold Steady is to explain that these five dudes operate in such a cohesive fashion that, while you are watching them, you can't really separate any one part from the whole. In the end, you can't really ask more of a band than that. Trust your Uncle Grambo when he says that, whatever you do, don't miss them when they come to your town. SO BEST!
Monday, October 31, 2005
If there's one thing that we all can agree upon, it's that the world would be a much better place if Stephanie McMahon (probably NSFW) decided to pose for Playbs. Am I right or am I right? Of course I'm rizz. Natch.
Happy Hallowicked, boys and ghouls. My apologies for last week ... allz I can is that you should just be glad you didn't spend the week of October 24th, 2005 in your Uncle Grambo's shoes. But that was then and this is now, Emilio Estevez stizz. Let's get on with the blogging.
Open question. Why is it that whenever anyone talks about "real girls", they're always talking about fatties? Take, for example, Dove's recent foray onto the Internerd™, the highly exclusional Campaign For Real Beauty. Featuring Ann Arbor's own Stacy Nadeau (whose favorite food is french fries -- SHOCKER!), the campaign attempts to celebrate "real beauty" by focusing on chicks with "real" bodies. We're talkin' lovely lady lumps, y'all. What is that even supposed to mean? After explaining that "Firming the thighs of a size 2 supermodel is no challenge", the ad wizards at Dove go on to create what is quite possibly the most divisive ad campaign in recent memory. Even IF we decide to go along with the notion that Dove is attempting to be semi-altruistic and pro-female by launching this campaign in the first place, the house of cards comes tumbling down with the not-so-coincidental product launch of their brand-new intensive firming cream at the same time. The lesson learned? You can't have it both ways, Dove.
Propers go out to Joe DUUUUUUMARRRRRS for inking Tayshaun to a five year contract extension for $47 mills. While Tay isn't really worth $9 mills a year at this stage in his career, it's apparent that the brass upstairs think he's well on his way. He could be a bargain at that price three years from now. And call your Uncle Grambo a blasphemer, but if I were Joey D., I'd be taking a hard look at what kind of trade value a guy like Ben Wallace has on the open market right now.
"And though (Gwen Stefani) makes great dance music, she can't dance. The set was somewhat less than bananas." The Grizz, in today's Detroit News, on Gwen Stefani's mediocre Saturday night concert at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Talk about CRAZED! In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Exxon just posted $100 billion in sales during the third quarter, good for $10 billion in earnings and the best quarter in the history of American public companies. That sound you hear is the snickering coming from all the Texas oil barons who got away with charging you over $3 a gallon about eight weeks ago.
Darci Kittenpants presents "iPod War." Best.
And finally, if you haven't done so already, go see Saw 2. Don't listen to Mike Clark's lamentable (at best) play on words that he'd "rather try standing drunk on a see-saw than see 'SAW'", your Uncle Grambo is here to tell you that the twist ending is worth the price of admission by its own right. While this sequel does not performing anywhere near the best ever level of the orig (mainly b/c Jigsy doesn't get to call as many bluffs this time around), any film that can get Kurt Loder to drop the word "exsanguinate" in a review is worth shelling out nine clams at the local multiplex for. Bovs.posted by Uncle Grambo |