Monthly Archives: May 2006

Back to Life, Back to Reality…

Quote of the Day: “It’s just a television wonderland/It’s one more fairytale about a rich bitch lying by the swimming pool/Life is so cool/Easy living when you make the rules…” Tina Turner, “Steel Claw”

I’m back. I guess it took this season’s best episode of The Sopranos and a surprisingly rich season finale of Desperate Housewives, and a final performance by Elliot Yamin on American Idol to pull me out of my new-job/trying-to-find-a-place/trying-to-outline-my-new-book doldrums and get me back to blogging. But in salute to a nice hot summer of fun, I’m returning with what the gossips call a…

BLIND ITEM (okay, maybe a DEAF one since it’s about music…) : There is a CD coming out this summer. It is smart in places, stuffed full of fluid, fun, funky melodies and some hiphop/dance beats. It’s sorta well-sung–much better sung than one expects it to be. It’s a debut CD–imagine the first CD releases of Madonna and Kylie Minogue and Janet Jackson…this CD seems to be influenced by all of those girls but has more personality and edge than any of their debuts–and, interestingly, better vocals, too: pop-savvy, irony-drenched yet never distant, inviting and flirty and coy. If you’re into dance music you will be into this CD. Perhaps you’ll be shaking your head in amazement as you shake your booty to some of the beats and rhymes, but, well, sometimes life is full of surprises. I’m not at liberty yet to say the name of the artist but I can tell you that she does, indeed, sizzle when she has to…

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Okay, back to biz…Poor Vito. Judged and whacked for sucking dick by a group of pseudo-religious wise guys who mutilate kill, lie, cheat and steal for a living. Or was it because at the end of the day, the fat gay guy was actually the best earner Tony had in his crew? Sadly, the Vito storyline came to an end, a week after “I love you, Johnnycakes,” became my all-time favorite line in a TV series. If anyone had told me that I’d be shedding tears watching The Sopranos, hoping against hope that the fat gay mobster with the bad hips would find love and happiness in the rolling hills and laws of New Hampshire—I would have had ‘em whacked. How good has The Sopranos gotten this season? I’m not one of those peeps who hated the show, who thought it had jumped the shark or run out of steam, or gave up on it because there weren’t enough whacks. My love of The Sopranos always lie in the subtle wordplay and daring ways that the scripts found new and interesting ways to investigate the state of masculinity and family relations in America. And I love Edie Falco, my Long Island homegirl can do no acting wrong in my book. Her scenes in Paris with Rosalie Aprile in last night’s episode were so resonant and powerful to me exactly because, for all the love and support between these two women, their lives are built on almost as much lies and hyprocrisy as their husbands traffick (or, in Jackie’s case, trafficked) in every day, and Edie Falco can play that subtle stuff so effortlessly ad fluently that I find myself asking, every time, what exactly, and how much, does Carmela know?

Who knew that Marc Cherry and those writers at Desperate Housewives had enough tricks up their sleeves to yank out last night’s season finale? Nice touch, having Mary Alice in last night’s ep, not just narrating, but guiding us through the Wisteria Lane arrivals of all the principals. Loved the introduction of the Scavos, with Lynette already laying down the law about the baby thing with Tom. Loved Huffman’s long hair and the bangs to hide her wrinkles. Loved Bree’s standing-up to her daughter’s boyfriend, all Mother Lion Courage, willing to let herself be taken out just to prove what her girl had in store. Loved the twist on Betty Applewhite’s family—Alfre Woodward is in that Edie Falco category for me, and she made brilliance out of a season worth of nothingness, until last night. It’s rare you get to see a woman play what she had to play: does she, in fact, love one child more than the other? Woodward made the soap-operatics sing. Now scurry your ass back to Broadway girl, where we appreciate you…One other question, though, that someone might be able to answer: How do the people on Wisteria Lane so easily and effortlessly resort to murder when something doesn’t go his or her way?

My Elliot is gone. The thrill is gone. The nice little Jewish boy from VA is gone. Gone, baby, gone. The best male singer ever to play the American Idol room is gone. The only singer to sing what he wanted to sing, who wanted to raise the taste level of American Idol viewers, even if it meant getting his cute, plug-eared self tossed off just when it mattered most. Oh well. All I can do I wait for the CD he inevitably puts out, hopefully featuring a coupla Donny Hathaway covers, an R. Kelly jam or two, and Stevie’s “If You Really Love Me”. Elliot rebuilt my faith in Idol as fabulously as Katherine McPhee tears it down. Here’s a fun post-show interview with Yamin. But I’ll say this: If Taylor wins I won’t be mad at homeboy. He seems to love music and love performing. He seems to appreciate the power of music. Katherine seems like she’s on the Fame Train. She’s typical. There’s no real there there.

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Check out GIANT MAGAZINE if you can. I wrote the cover story of Jacinda Barrett, one of the stars of Poseidon. I’m now the Editorial Director at GIANT, working with my boy Smokey Fontainse (the ed-in-chief) to make a decent magazine into something fiercely fun. Right now it’s being re-designed etc (less frat-boy, more multi-cultural, less snarky), and the first issue with our stamp on it will be on newstands this July. If any of you remember AMERICA magazine, this know this: GIANT will be AMERICA for the masses: beautiful to look at, smart and fun to read, lush and lavishly produced. I’ve been having a ball working up there, trying to create something peeps will like and appreciate. Look out for it in JULY and let me know what you guys think…

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