Archive for April, 2007
Anticipating “Music and Passion” at the Las Vegas Hilton
Every generation has their heart throb. Today Justin Timberlake titillates young women and gay men everywhere with his high sexy voice, smooth dance moves, and cocky demeanor. In the 80s George Michael filled girls’ rooms everywhere with his poster displaying his rough five o’clock shadow, black leather jacket, and skin tight blue jeans. Yes, every generation has a man to lust after. But as every decade comes and goes so does the heart throb attached with it. Their looks fade with time and they are no longer the sweet pieces of meat that they once were. This is pretty much the standard procedure for famous idols. They have their time in the sun and then they fade away as fast as the night. However, there are the rare few who go beyond all expectations and who linger around longer than they were supposed to. The elite that are still able to capture audiences in their old age and maintain the prestigious status that they held in their youth. While these men are uncommon, they can still be found. And one such man that has been able to captivate audiences for over 40 years comes in the form of Barry Manilow.
While no one has ever accused Barry Manilow of ever being a sexy young thing, he was and still is viewed as a heart throb. While many would doubt this claim, seeing as how Barry is a short Jewish man with wavy blond streaked hair and a face that has seen more botox than Joan Rivers, his popularity and heart throb status can not be argued, solely judged by his concert at the Las Vegas Hilton. I had the opportunity to not only attend Barry’s concert, but was fortunate enough to sit on the second row stage side at his April 26th show. Now I have been a Barry Manilow fan ever since the 8th grade. His songs have lifted me through rough, angry times and made me forget the world. I have an appreciation for him which runs deep and I am an avid fan and supporter. However, even with my profound respect and admiration for Barry, I was expecting a somewhat paraplegic performance from him. I figured that he would have a glass of water in his hand at all times and that I would be lucky if he stood for more than 3 songs. I also thought I would be stuck in an audience full of seniors hooked up to oxygen tanks and IV drips. It turns out that I was wrong about all of the above, well maybe except for the part about the ailing seniors.
Barry Manilow pauses and prepares for the Copacabana at the concert
What I am about to say is a great claim to make, but I am going to make it anyway. Barry Manilow is the greatest performer of the century. How can this be you may wonder? The man is ancient, he looks like the love child of Siegfried and Roy, and to be perfectly honest the man’s singing about his deep love for the opposite sex while he obviously bats
for the other team. Well even with all those factors playing against him let me just ask you this. Do you know any other 63-year old man who can dance and belt out songs for two solid hours with out stopping for a breather? Do you know any old man who can get away with wearing multi-colored neon jackets and shake his bony rear end to a crowd and still get sighs from 70 year old women in the audience? Do you know any man who can get people out of their wheel chairs and shaking what’s left of their decaying bodies to the Copacabana? Well the answer is that there is only one man who can do all this, and that man is non other than Barry Manilow.
Winding down at the end of the show
His performance at the concert was outstanding. He never stopped moving. He has a genuine compassion to his voice that can make any soul on this earth trust him with their life savings. This trust and compassion, mixed with a jaw dropping talent on the piano and a voice that still belts out the high notes for seconds on end, is all encompassed in what is Barry Manilow. Barry’s concert was in no way shape or form a disappointment. He sang all his hits one after the other. He riled up the crowd and even brought up one lucky soul to come up and slow dance with him. He won the crowd over within seconds and I got to see it all up close from the second row, with my very own Barry Manilow champagne glass (which I had them fill with orange juice) and a personalized Barry Manilow glow stick (all of which came free with the my seat, seeing as how I had to pay a pretty penny to get the upfront action). Looking in the crowd I was the youngest person there at the ripe age of 19. But being there made me feel sorry for my generation. The songs on the radio today are about the pure superficial nature of love, or I should say lust. No one is digging deeper. We get lyrics like “I saw you in the club! I’d like to go take you and make sweet love!” and that’s what my generation is plugging into, as where Barry is singing about something deeper, something more than skin deep. Sure it may sound a bit idealistic, but isn’t that what songs are for. To take you out of reality for just three or four sweet minutes and make you forget about the harsh reality that is life. Well that’s what Barry did for me. His concert was one mesmerizing two hour escape from the rest of the world. I could forget about school, problems, and all the other junk that life throws at you and just have a brief period where I could have hope. That is the magic that Barry can give. For anyone who thinks his music is facile and stupid you’re missing the point. The man has sold over 75 million albums worldwide and just last year his CD of 1950s classics topped the billboard chart at number 1. A man who is facile and stupid could never do that. But more than his impressive resume is the message that his music gives. It leaves you feeling good, uplifted and just plain happy. For anyone in Vegas I highly recommend that you give Barry a chance. You will not be disappointed.
*Thanks to JL’s little sister for this thoughtful review of Barry’s concert. While she is prepared to defend her pro-Barry stance, she maintains that this passion is certainly less bizarre than her older sister’s preoccupation with Manny.
There is no doubt in my mind that American Idol is the best show ever. You may disagree with me. But you would be wrong. American Idol is amazing. Even though I have stopped watching the show following the fall of the great Sanjaya, I have not lost one ounce of respect for the creators, producers, and stars of the best darn show I have ever seen.
For those of you who may not know me very well, I am a music enthusiast. I own a large music collection. I play both guitar and bass. Some people even would go so far as to suggest that “I rock.” I guess that is why everyone is shocked when I tell them that I love American Idol. Immediately people think that I am on the “Vote for the Worst” bandwagon, which I obviously am not. I think it is foolhardy at best to assume that Howard Stern and a bunch of haters could possibly take down the most popular show in television history. No, my love of American Idol runs deep. Real deep.
I guess I love the show because I have never seen such mediocre talent plastered before my eyes every single week. Sure, there are the Melinda Doolittles of the competition, but who gives a rip about her. She is obviously going to win and blah, blah, blah. Who really cares? I will never buy a Melinda Doolittle album. But to see someone like Phil Stacey, or Bucky Covington, or Nikki McKibbin go down singing some terrible rendition of a Rod Stewart classic in front of MILLLIONS is so friggin funny that I can hardly contain myself. What keeps me watching is that despite the fact that every season there is an obvious winner (Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, and Melinda Doolittle) the bulk of contestants actually think they can win. This is priceless. I love to see someone get up there and try to ‘bring it.’ It reminds me of the time that my little sister was in the Sunshine Generation song and dance troop and some sassy little 4 year old would steal the show with her rendition of Gloria Estefan’s version of Conga. And yes, I am talking about you Jordin Sparks.
The truth is that those who don’t appreciate Idol simply don’t get it, the same way that some people don’t get Waiting For Guffman. Sure, there are those feel-gooders out there that watch the show for its ‘star power’ or because the think that Ryan Seacrest is actually talented, or because they actually like one of the contestants. Heaven Forbid. But the rest of us realize that for every one person who succeeds on idol there are thousands that get sent home. And everyone of those losers is actually wondering why. That is what makes Idol amazing; watching the truly talented perform on the same stage as the truly talentless.
It is my prayer that American Idol last forever.
I was just channel surfing and came across a Sex and The City episode. Truthfully, I don’t care for the show–aside from it being devoid of class and morals, it has more bad puns than a James Bond movie. I DID enjoy, however, this quote by Samantha and thought it was worth sharing:
“If you’re not wearing something the kids can’t afford, how will they know to look up to you?”
Maybe this is why I’m now one of Nordstrom’s MVP’s… The epiphany was three years ago when my 3 year old niece said with a sympathetic look on her face, “Auntie LeMare, I’m sad you live all alone, but at least you have a good company!” While 3 year olds don’t read the Journal, they apparently understand spinsterhood (and I am MORE than a little interested to know what she overheard at home). Never one to be pitied, however, I realized I needed to turn up the glam–how else would the kids know to look up to me?
Welcome to the first installment of “I Can Hear You Now,” a tribute to overheard cellphone conversations. This little gem happened on Thursday night in Dupont Circle. A twenty-something business woman with a nice strand of pearls on said loudly:
“What I’m wishing you’d do is just die.”
Now this is a line that I’ll have to remember one day…
Each Golden Girl fan has identified his or her own personal Golden Girl. I had a few college roommates who used to fight over who got to be Blanche (Rue McLanahan). No one ever campaigned for the title of Rose (Betty White), but the Roses among us are always all too obvious. I have the utmost appreciation for Dorothy (Bea Arthur). My heart, however, will always belong to Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty).
Everything I need to know in life, I learned from The Golden Girls. My education blessedly continues every time I tune into Lifetime, Television for Women. Out of the mercy of my heart, today I share with you the important life lessons that I have learned from the quotations of Dorothy, Sophia, Blanche, and Rose.
Game Show Host: For one hundred dollars, complete this famous phrase: “Better late than…”
Game Show Host: No, Blanche, that’s incorrect… though not entirely untrue.
Dorothy: We’re here to pay for a funeral.
Mr. Pfeiffer: Oh, the three of you planning ahead for mother?
Sophia: [walks a little bit closer] Hey Puh-feiffer, how would you like a punch in your puh-face?
Blanche: I swear with God as my witness, I will never pick up another man!… in a library… on a Saturday… unless he’s cute… and drives a nice car… Amen
Rose: Belief can be powerful. I had a sty once, and every night I would close my eyes and think about it getting smaller and smaller until it went away!
[Sophia leans on the fridge with her eyes closed]
Dorothy: Ma, what’s wrong?
Sophia: Nothing. I’m just trying to make Rose go away.
Blanche: I’ll give you anything. I’ll give you one of my sons.
Blanche: Dorothy, I’ve given this a lot of thought. I’ve had 3 sons, I’ve never had a Mercedes. Which one do you want? Biff, Doug, Skippy? No, don’t take Skippy, he’s got asthma.
Fashion/Dressing for any occasion:
Sophia: Why do blessings wear disguises? If I were a blessing, I’d run around naked.
Dorothy: [to Sophia] You’re a furry little gnome and we feed you too much.
Sophia: If this sauce were a person, I’d get naked and make love to it.
Dorothy: Well Blanche is certainly taking her sister’s novel better than I would. I would kill my sister Gloria if she ever wrote about my sex life.
Sophia: You would kill your sister over a pamphlet?
Comforting friends in their time of need:
Rose: How long were Jean and Pat married?
Dorothy: I think about eight years.
Rose: I wish there was something I could do… I know! I’ll make my world-famous ice cream clown sundaes! You know, the kind with the little raisin eyes and the sugar cone caps.
Dorothy: Wow, Rose, if that doesn’t fill the void, nothing will.
Rose: Blanche, did you really start shaving at eleven? That seems so young!
Blanche: Oh, I did it on a dare. You know, back where I come from, everybody thought that once you started shaving your legs, why, you’d become loose. So I shaved ‘em!
Rose: What happened?
Blanche: Oh, it was an old wives’ tale. I didn’t become loose for another year and a half.
Dorothy: Anyway, Ma told me that once I started shaving I’d never be able to stop. I mean, she said I’d regret it for the rest of my life because my legs would have bristles.
Sophia: I was right! By the time you were sixteen I could grate cheese on your knees!
Blanche: You know, a lot of those European girls don’t shave under their arms.
Rose: Is that true?
Blanche: They just let it all hang out.
Blanche: Bushy as can be.
Rose: Well, what do they look like in a strapless dress?
Dorothy: Like Milton Berle.
Cherishing Old Friends:
I encourage all of you homage by leaving comments with some of YOUR favorite Golden Girls quotes.
Yesterday, my curiosity got the best of me. I have been toying with the idea of trading in my loyal 2001 Nissan Sentra for some time, and having some time to kill I decided to check out my local Toyota dealership. Little did I know I was about to venture into very dangerous territory. I was immediately greeted by a salesman named Scott. Now even if I were able to ignore his shaved head, earrings, and a visible wrist tattoo (tribal design – nuff said), Scott would still not be the type of individual with whom I would associate, let alone accept car advice. I congenially extended my hand at his offer (although later I literally baptized it twice with hand sanitizer) and greeted him with my name and intention of only checking out what was available. Apparently to Scott, this meant that I am the perfect candidate for a hybrid car. Scott then gave me his 50 cent sales pitch which went on to cover the fact that hybrids get great gas mileage and the fact that you can drive solo in the car pool lane. Both great things. Unfortunately Scott lost me with his attempt at convincing me that I was saving the planet by buying his ugly car. He claimed that buying a hybrid is our ‘eco-responsibility’. I think what Scott was implying was that that if I was to buy his strange looking Toyota Prius, that not only would I be a savvy consumer, but I would be a great humanitarian. Scott was appealing to my smug inner nature. “Wow Scott, do you mean that if I buy your car, I am a national hero? Can I pat myself on the back? If I buy your car, can I be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize?” Unfortunately for Scott, what he failed to realize, is that I LOVE global warming.
How can I not?
Correct me if I am wrong, but geologically speaking, haven’t we just emerged from an ice age? A friggin’ ice age, people! Do you have any idea how cold an ice age is? Let me get this straight, I’m supposed to stop using gasoline, only buy recycled paper, and wipe with one square of toilet paper per day, and then after all doing all of that, I get to wear a parka to bed. No thank you.
Can you imagine what it must have been like for our ancestors marching along on the frozen tundra, spearing wooly mammoths, just trying to get warm? I gladly thank Fred Flintstone for firing up the old BBQ and releasing some carbon based pollution into our atmosphere. If it wasn’t for our frozen cavemen ancestors we would be eating snow cones for breakfast lunch and dinner. This brings me to another point;
Question Number 1: How many fruits and vegetables like to grow in cold icy climates?
Question Number 2: How many fruits and vegetables like to grow in hot temperate climates?
Answer: Only the most tasty and delicious ones!
I guess what I am saying is that when faced with the alternative Global Warming is heavenly! There is a reason that I live in California and not in
Antarctica! For those of you who want to keep the planet nice and cold, I advise that you move to
Canada. We’ve seen what excessive cold has done to those people. I only pray that the bitter cold doesn’t do the same to you.
In conclusion, you may be asking yourself, well, did you buy the car, or didn’t you? The answer is no. I am now looking for something that guzzles a lot more gasoline. I leave saving the world up to hippies like Scott with his goatee, piercing and tats. It’s funny that the same people who treat their body like a bathroom stall at Kentucky Fried Chicken feel the moral capacity to advise me on saving the planet. Go figure.
Seven years of the “tell him I’m not here” routine with the Myrt nickname, and it resurfaces like the pesky ex who always seems to craft one more scheme to inch back in. Alas, I’m choosing to embrace this old friend rather than flipping off the lights, hitting the ground, and belly-crawling around until he finally gives up and goes away. So without running that hyperbolic metaphor further into exhaustion, I give you my column. Myrt’s Blurts: meanderings, musings, and maybe nonsensical but mostly inane mishmash of life as I see it. Frightened as I’m sure you are to read on, my only defense is this: blame JL and LeMare.
Rob with Oldtimer’s in Walla Walla, Washington
In my middle school health class, we were discussing neglect, and I relayed the news bit about a man with oldtimer’s disease left to fend for himself. Back in college, my mother read an article in Ricks’ newspaper about a student excited to make his first voyage to the Big Apple. On his list of things to do: see the newly hyped Broadway play, Lame Is Rob.
I understand and often forgive these gaffes, blunders, and phonetic mishaps. Until only a few years ago, I thought a quick bite could tie me over. All too frequently, I hear or read “for now on,” “I could care less,” “first come, first serve,” and a plethora of other misused idioms and mixed metaphors.
But nothing prepared me for this. Working on an article submitted to the publication for which I am the editor, I came across this gem: “After you review the information, you will click the “accept” button and WALA! You are done.”
What do you even do with that?
During last night’s two hour Idol event, the following thoughts occurred to me:
-How did Annie Lennox become famous? Is her voice that bad now or was her mic messed up?
-Paula has become the official spokesperson for Aging Hipsters. Her push up corset number was in poor taste, particularly on a night attempting to take a somber look at HIV/AIDS, malaria and poverty.
-There was a huge A-list divide between the celebrities featured in the One TV spot versus the celebrities who haven’t worked in awhile in the lip-sync “Stayin’ Alive” video during the show. Let’s examine: the One spot features Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake, Al Pacino, George Clooney, Bono, Tom Hanks and Penelope Cruz, among others. The lip-sync time killer during the two-hour show included Lisa Kudrow, Gwyneth Paltrow and David Schwimmer.
-The “duet” between Celine Deon and Elvis didn’t quite work. And Ryan, it was not, as you called it, “television history.” A viewer in my home described it as trying to put a creme brulee finish on fried chicken.
-Kelly Clarkson is truly the most talented singer Idol has produced, although Melinda may be able to reach the same level of success.
Aplogies for having two Pageant posts in a row, but this is too good not to cover! Yesterday we learn about Miss America 1944 exercising her second amendment rights and shooting out the tires of would-be thieves. TODAY, we learn that the current Miss America, Lauren Nelson, is ALSO a crime fighter!
Ms. Nelson, in cahoots with the police department and America’s Most Wanted posted pictures of herself at 14 and waited for people to come and start talking to her. She told them she was 14 and lived in Long Island… And then it was just like Dateline’s To Catch a Predator.
What will Miss America do next???
I take back everything bad I’ve ever said about beauty queens.
OK, not everything.
Good for her. Take no prisoners! Only fitting that a feisty woman like this be the first red-headed Miss America! I would maybe watch if target practice took the place of the swim suit competition.