Wednesday, April 08, 2009

On The Topic Of: Liza Fucking Minnelli

Hey boy, girls and combinations thereof...

So, if there was one thing to rocket me back to blogginghood, it would be to remark about what I experienced last night...

Last night, in a move terribly uncharacteristic of me, I paid actual dollars - that's right, no trade nor barter - to take in a live concert. This never happens. Anyone or anything that I see live is either free or discounted well below the price of a pack of cigarettes. But not last night.

Because, y'see, it's not every night that one Miss Liza Minnelli comes rollin' in to town.

I can't say that I was a die hard fan. I've always found her entertaining - particularly in her appearances on Larry King Live (I STRONGLY urge you to watch and savor every second of the clip below... particularly when she receives a call from a musical theater major at approximately 1:03...):

... but all that basically cracked down to was a borderline ironic fascination with her. Certainly not enough for me to plop down top dollar to see her live, right? So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself at the Roy Thomson box office Monday afternoon asking for Liza Minnelli tickets... which is something in itself... buying Liza tickets is pretty much the most declaratively gay thing you can do besides assfucking in public... but anyballs... for some reason, my intuition told me that I wouldn't want to miss this... well...

In a word: EPIC.

I just simply don't know how else to describe it. I was dead-set on describing it as "jazz, spazz and razzmatazz!", but I feel that belittles it. It was just surreal.

To set the scene for you:

We got there at 7:30. I was immediately taken by the interesting cross-section of people that were making up this audience: silver-haired couples who were likely Roy Thomson subscribers and gays, gays, gays. If I was to stretch the description - I'd say literate gays. Gays who had done their cultural homework, as it were. This isn't CeCe Peniston performing to a canned backing track of "Finally" at 2 AM at Fly, afterall - it's motherfucking Liza Minnelli. You gotsta know your shit and spend some coin to see her, baby...

8 PM. Her orchestra - old dudes in tuxes, YES! - trickle on to stage and assume their positions. This shit is actually starting on time - good on ya, Liza. The opening chords of "New York, New York"... 'ba da da-da-da, ba da da-da-da"... and out flounces Liza, dripping in her trademark black sequines. Or rather, out jazz-walks Liza - toes pointed, mime-tipping her fake top-hat - in the same manner I imagine she transports herself anywhere. Everyone lost their shit. LOST it. The first of about 15 standing O's of the evening greets her. She sings some song called "Teach Me" or something... it really doesn't matter. People are still losing their shit. She finishes the song and people lose it some more. She's apparently overwhelmed, and responds - AND I QUOTE - "Holy Toledo! What a reception!"... That's right - we're not 5 minutes into this, and we've already gotten a "Holy Toledo!". AMAZING!

The rest of it is a glittery haze... I can distinctly remember her performing a song called "If" that I saw her perform on her episode of Inside The Actors Studio. It's a very patter-y, wordy song about a woman who kills her cheatin' boyfriend... like about 100 words per second... you couldn't understand a fucking word she was saying with her recently acquired speech impediment - BUT IT DIDN'T FUCKING MATTER!!! It's Liza!!!

She's got stage patter down to a science... Britney Spears could really take a page from her book... Whereas at a Britney concert, the most audience interaction you could hope for is her exclaiming "My pussy is hangin' out!", Liza fucking takes you there... she is just consummately engaging - I was actually hoping for her to talk more than sing, actually - and hilariously self-deprecating... she made light of all her failed marriages, her various addictions past and present, and I think at one point she made reference to vaginal dryness... but maybe I was just hearing what I wanted to hear. It's possible.

She would do shit that NOBODY else could get away with... NOBODY... you would NOT take someone else seriously if they did the shit that she did. She recounted the famous story about how she subbed in for an ailing Gwen Verdon in the original production of Chicago - long story short: Gwen Verdon, original "Roxie Hart" and Bob Fosse's muse, accidentally swallowed a feather off one of her boas, it got wrapped around her vocal chord, needed surgery, would be out of the show, since Chicago wasn't a runaway hit they needed to have their stars in it to keep it open and this was back in the bad ol' days when musicals didn't play for years and have different cast members coming in and out through a revolving door, Liza did it completely unpublicized, and this was back before the internet when shit like that could actually be kept to mythical word-of-mouth and it was a big shit deal. There ya go - and she went from telling that story, to explaining the plot of Chicago, DIRECTLY into the character of Roxie Hart and sang the fuck out of "I Am My Own Best Friend"... FUCKING NUTS!!!

Her songs from Cabaret were personal favorites of mine... I'd actually wager to say that "Maybe This Time" was the highlight of the night for me, at least musically, anyway... Because number A.) It's a gorgeous fucking song and letter B.) there is a SEARING truth to that song when she sings it... this bitch is maybe the unluckiest bitch in the history of unlucky bitches when it comes to love... a chronic, genetically-predisposed fag-hag who loves fast and hard, when she unleashed her weathered, wobbly vocal chords on the closing refrain of that song with a mile-wide smile filled with the promise of someone just starting life, you fucking BELIEVED that even though she's 62-years-old and part-robot, HE - IS - STILL - OUT -  THERE... and y'know what? Maybe this time, she'll win... maybe... it was magnificent. 

Her performance - and first-act closer - of "Cabaret" was pretty fucking awesome, too. I counted three kick-ball-change's... and one of her numerous heavy-lidded winks to her personal life during the lyric "The day she died the neighbor's came to snicker / Well that's what comes from too much pills and liquor..." [long pause and knowing glance to all five balconies as if to say "shit, girrrl, I used to get fucked up whaaaaat!"... 

After an all-too brief intermission - in which many an instance of awkward eye-contact with older professional gays were made - we were eagerly planted back in our seats to witness the re-entry of Mz. Minnelli... and oh, wouldn't you know it, there was a wardrobe change. This time bitch is swathed in CHOCOLATE sequins... her top? A PONCHO/CAPE. Yes. A sequined poncho. An evening poncho, as it were. Priceless. 

More priceless? Her first fucking song of the second act is "Liza With A 'Z'"! CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE? If you are sitting there being like "So, you're telling me that this was just showstopper after showstopper? Hit after hit after hit? Never a dull moment?" - yes. Yes. Yes, that is what I'm telling you. It was out of fucking control. She even took requests, apparently. She sang a song, upon request, called "Mammy". It was about a mammy and one's fondness for said mammy. Mammy's really need to come back, methinks... But fuck me, I had no idea she was taking requests, or else surely I would have pressed for a reprise of this number:


... BAD. So yeah. More song, dance, and analogical magic and all of a sudden it's 10 PM. Holy fuck - you could have fooled me. It had ONLY been 2 hours at this point? It felt like it was about 1 AM... in the best possible "my, how time flies!" sense... and at this point, if you are reading this and have even a SLIGHT inclination of rue and remorse that you did not go to see this concert, this bit of information is going to jerk the last nerve left restraining your finger from pulling the trigger attached to the pistol pointed at your head... 

Her closing number: ... single spotlight, backlighting her silhouette... her back is to us, one hand on hip, her other arm outstretched... snapping - SNAPPING. "New York, New York" ensues. 

I can honestly say that watching Liza motherfucking Minnelli perform "New York, New York" live will go down in history as one of the most memorable moments of my life. As will anyone else who was there. Wow. 

And it's not even over yet. She came back for an encore, feigning reluctance. That was actually pretty funny... watching her go through the motions of "oh my! What ever would I sing?!" - She and her pianist/right-hand man, the incomparable Billy Stritch (questionaly related to the prized Elaine), parked it at the piano for "Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye". We cried a little.

It didn't stop there. Everyone was STILL going ape shit, so Liza came BACK OUT. This time, she stripped off her sequined poncho and a significant portion of her hair-piece - I swear to fuck she was wearing an XL "Ghostbusters" T-Shirt that one might wear as their jammy's, but I'm told it was an Ed Hardy T, the same one she wore on an episode of Arrested Development - and sang a song of longing, a cappella. 

And that is what you missed.

Allow me to restate that I was never a die-hard fan of Liza. I went to this concert merely on a lark - my intuition told me "get it while it's still here because you'll regret it if you don't". And holy fuck - best decision I ever made.

I actually think it'd be an understatement to say that Liza is a dying breed... I think she's the last of her kind. The shit that I witnessed last night isn't cyclical; try as they might, even the most promising performers of my generation are NEVER going to be able to do what that bitch can do and NEVER have what that bitch has... this was a master class in pure, unadulterated charisma. It was starkly clear that performing was this woman's lifeblood. And that was inspiring.

In short: Best. Show. EVER!

Until... of course... 


Sorry. I'm back to whoring. Click on it for all its hi-res glory... 

But this show is going to be absolutely BONKERS - look at that lineup!!!

Anyballs... that's what I have to say about that... 

I'm going to attempt an America's Next Top Model: Cycle 30 dopplegang-bang tomorrow... 

--- Aj

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Catchin' Up: American Idol...

And a good Wednesday to you.

Ah Wednesday's. Named after the mythical Welsh god Woden. From what I can deduce, he was into humping. Which is why they named this day after him. Who the balls knows.

So... as you can imagine, on the eve of the first elimination of the American Idol's 8th season, I felt compelled to m'blog. I've been offering musings on Idol for nigh on 4 seasons now via my blog, so it just didn't seem right to abandon that tradition the way 60% of this season's female contestants have abandoned their children (for, at most, a span of 12 weeks... any way...)

Which brings me to my first point... what is with the gaggle of young mothers this season? And not just in the finals - the ratio in the finals is actually quite on point with the number the dozen or so that were in the semi-finals, and furthermore, the hundreds in the preliminaries... okay... maybe that's an exaggeration... but still!

Anyballs... this is what I make out of last night/this season so far...

In order of appearance.

Lil Rounds... Don't think I need to tell you that I love her on sheer principle. I'm kind of predisposed to love sassy, quirkily-named, animated black chicks who are both generously voiced and generously buttock'd. That would be one Lil Rounds to a tee. She'll fill this season's requiste-black- diva-who-sails-to-the-second-runner-up-position quite nicely... although she's not as vocally blessed as others who've filled that role before her (think: Kimberley Locke, Vonzell Solomon, Melinda Doolittle), she's got delivery, poise and moxie to more than make up for it. Expect her to stick around for a while... well, until precisely the Top 3, as I just said.

Scott McIntyre... is blind and don't you forget it, asshole. This season has well established itself as THE season of the backstory and Scott is its poster boy - his intro clip package literally ran for a milisecond before he said "I've been blind since birth...". His vocals are middling at best... reminiscent of a young Christopher Cross (some dead fucking sexy stuff here, people...) BUT HE'S BLIND, SO YOU HAVE TO VOTE FOR HIM!!! Methinks this going to be one bumpy ride we're in for with him... think Sanjaya, but with an actual physical disability.

If Danny Gokey wasn't a.) a dead wife pity-monger b.) a Jesus freak and c.) actually named "Danny Gokey", I think I'd like him. He's got a great voice - a perfectly palatable growl reminiscent of a young Michael Bolton (which I actually mean as a compliment... I do enjoy the Bolton from time to time...) and an unassuming charisma about him. Unfortunately items a.), b.) and c.) still stand. So no fucking dice. Meh. Pending a Chris Sligh-esque flameout in the next couple of weeks, expect him to go far.

Michael Sarver... would last a lot longer if he succumbed to stereotype and went country. Instead he's just another Color-Me-Badd-esque R&B-warbling wigger about 15 years too late. He probably delivered the best performance he could have hoped for last night, and should stave off elimination for one week and one week only... but m'afraid he's back to the oil rigs after that. Which is apparently the most dangerous job ever, or something.

Jasmine Murray... has the face that Li'l Kim had initially envisioned at the onset of her plastic surgery. I'm convinced of it. And her mother is the hottest tranny I've ever laid eyes upon. She's got about all the potential in the world - a potentially great voice, a potentially great look, a potentially great performance style - but it's all undercooked at this point. And considering the fact that she wasn't actually voted IN to the competition in the first place, things are looking pretty grim for her tonight...

Kris Allen... is fine, if you like that sort of thing. I think he's terribly nondescript and doesn't even give me half a boner. He rode the heartthrob wave into the finals (snatching that position away from much better-singing, boner-inducing candidates... Ricky Braddy, natch) on an exceptionally impressive vocal showing, and I guess he's now trying to carve out his niche as some sort of Jason Mraz tribute act... something, I fear, might just work to his advantage. Blah!

Allison Iraheta... (or "Allison Mojito", as I've called her for the past couple of weeks completely unaware of what her actual last name was, just knowing it was something Latin) is the hottest bitch alive. FOR REAL - she's only 16? NUTS. Her voice is RIDICULOUS (think present-day, lived-in Pink), she works the stage masterfully and is wonderfully unguarded (in response to Simon telling her she needs to lighten up: "It's not like I cut myself or anything!")... AMAZING. I both hope and expect she goes far...

Anoop Desai... is set to benefit off America's Slumdog-mania about a million times more than any of those child actors who were actually IN the movie will... I can tell you THAT for free... Seriously. Does American Idol seriously need an everyman every season? Could we not do without the nerdy kid who can kind of carry a tune and "oh, good for him! GO AMERICAN DREAM!" for ONE season? No. I guess we can't. Expect this to go south... and FAST!
Jorge Nunez... will be in for at LEAST three more weeks based solely on the votes he gets from the members of his extended family who were gathered around his television for his intro-clip package. He's got a good voice... reminiscent of a young Marc Anthony (and I'm not just "meh... who's a Spanish singer?"-generalizing when I say that!)... but is increasingly uneasy to watch and look at... I'd bet on him making a Bottom 3 visit tonight...

Megan Corkrey... has the most solid reason for becoming a teenage mother I've ever heard: she couldn't get into her high school musical. Or something like that, BASICALLY. But yeah - perhaps showing her dissolve into tears explaining her separation anxiety during her intro package wasn't the greatest case to be made about why you should vote for her, but I guess we'll see... She's quirky. Bjork-meets-Hilary Duff. She looks like Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls. She's definitely going to be the pretty girl who's in the Bottom Three for 4 consecutive weeks before she's ultimately sent packing...

Adam Lambert... is a good old fashioned over-bronzed power bottom and I say more power to him! I do kind of feel like he's a bit of a Chris Kattan-character, and I'm far from feelin' the fuck out of his voice, but ever since those photos of him tonguing another dude came out, I'm all aboard his train. And the judges seem to be championing him, too. So that's a good thing. I'm super hoping that he actually does something brashly faggy and provacative and makes a statement...

Matt Giraud... is really nothing spectacular. Don't be fooled. He's worked very hard at affecting himself with all the trappings of a Robin Thicke-esque neo-soul man, but as the all-over-the-place-ness of his performance demonstrated, he lacks the musicality. Expect the cracks to start showing as the weeks trapse on...

Alexis Grace... is maybe better than I thought she was. That was downright Pat Benetar-ian last night! Good on her! The judges apparently spend all their boner juice, because they were nonplussed - which was bullshit. She did quite a nice little job on it. Another front runner!

I'm going to call the bottom three as being Jasmine, Jorge and Megan, although I'm sure I'm wrong about it. There are 13 of them. It's kind of a crapshoot at this point. I'd like to think that with all the overlap of ghastly R&B-singing white dudes, at least one of them bottoms out...

Beyond that, apparently there's some sort of twist happening - I'm 99% certain that the judges will throw down some sort of sing-off and decide who stays and who goes. Which will be SCANDALOUS.



--- Aj

Monday, February 23, 2009

On The Topic Of: The Oscars


How's your winter been? Notice that broad stroke? How I can ask you how an entire season of your life has been? And why? Because I've been so shamefully M.I.A. (missing in action, that is... not birthing a little Sri Lankan heir to my rap throne a mere 3 days after appearing at the Grammy's, mind you...)

I'm very sorry about that. I've made several attempts to post in the past couple of weeks, and they always start out the same way... me explaining where I've been - in truth, just working... - and it's never remotely funny and then POOF - time to leave before I've even started to wax engagingly regarding Jessica Simpson's overblown weight gain. But fuck it. I'm just going to go balls deep without any lube or preparatory taint massage, so bite ya pillows, y'all...

So yeah... Last night... OSCARS.

A snail paced marathon that I'll simply never tire of. Last night's seemed exceptionally snail paced, but was not without its charms.

I've got to say: I felt the fuck out of that thing that they did with the five past winners welcoming this year's recipient into the club. My first impression was that the multiple introductions and the wedding-esque speeches would get a little long and a little nauseatingly precious, but nope. Felt the fuck out of it, did I. I'm someone who loves that sort of stuff, though - over-appreciation sort of stuff. Almost like delivering an obituary early... remarking overly fondly about living people... I do it a lot to my friends when I'm drunk, so yeah. That was very up my alley. That was one wheel whose reinvention went off without a hitch...

Some things that I most absolutely did NOT feel the fuck out of:

I thought the In Memoriam was handled disgracefully.

I'll admit it: I love the In Memoriam. I look forward to it. First off, I loves me a montage. Secondly, I love trivia. Thirdly, I love a popularity contest. Alternately, I'm not entirely impartial to moody, swelling strings. The In Memoriam montage has all these things... AND MORE! I was quite comfortable with the classic paradigm of having a full screen, hastily spliced-together montage flashing clips and pictures of those we lost this year to intermittent applause breaks and the requisite dimming of the lights to close. Whomever's idea it was to have Queen Latifah serenade us with a frumpy jazz standard while skirting the camera back and forth, short and wide so the names and faces were respectively unrecognizable and [Heath] illeg[er]ible needs a swift kick in the box. It was an arrogant attempt to put a personal stamp on something that hardly needed fixing in the first place... and totally undermined the people it was supposed to be pay tribute to in the first place. Not to mention the GROTESQUE oversight of Estelle Getty and Anita Page.

After substantial rumination, I've concluded that the musical is most definitely not back. Even if it was enjoying a modest upswing at the moment, it was a dealt a massive setback last night in the form of that deplorable salute to the movie musical care of host Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Vanessa "Pizza Beav" Hudgens, glorified chorus members Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper of Mamma Mia, and of course, Beyonce. Because no one can embarrass themselves in a musical number at the Oscars quite like Beyonce... or have you forgotten about this:

Now I don't speak French, but have heard from those who do, that it's almost insulting. Also, did anyone else notice that part when she busted into "At Last"? What did that have to do with movie musicals? Was that a deleted number from "Meet Me In St. Louis" or some shit? Nope? Nope. Methinks it was a boldfaced jab at Etta James - yet another manoeuvre in my second favourite May-December cat fight of late (my favourite, of course, being the Faye Dunaway v. Hilary Duff bout currently in progress... LOVESIT!!!) ...

Aaanyballs - other highlights came c/o that mischievous French tightropist (that's right... take THAT Beyonce and your smoke 'n mirrors... you was upstaged by a fucking street mime who could balance an Oscar on his chin and make a coin disappear up his sleeve... awesome...), Tina Fey's mere presence (and holy BALLS how gorgeous did she look?), and, of course, the completely unnecessary panning to Angelina Jolie during a visibly flustered Jennifer Aniston's award presentation for animated features. That was actually amazing. I live for that shit. At one point, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie were quite actually steps apart from each other. AMAZING.

The statues followed a pretty predictable course... Penny Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Viola Davis WILL rise again!)... Heathcliff Ledger for The Dark Knight (Why was there 0.0 mention of Michelle Williams? She's KIND of the mother of his child/most underrated member of Destiny's Child)... Kate Winslet for The Reader (which they kinda HAD to give her at this point)... the only surprise was Sean Penn for Milk - not that he didn't deserve it, because holy fuckfuckfuck he sooo did... I wept at that movie. WEPT - but because the old boys club that is the Academy is notoriously stingy about lionizing gays.

Well I guess a lot of those old dudes died between Brokeback and Milk, because Milk totally won a bunch of important shit! ... And generated the two most heartbreakingly memorable moments of the telecast... Sean Penn's hilarious and poignant acceptance speech - in which he addressed the Academy as "commie, homo-loving songs of guns" [half-facetiously, maybe], made light of his not-always-so-agreeable nature, and sternly urged for equal rights for all. And with that, a very unlikely gay icon was made. Like for real - busted, serious, "Jude Law Is One Of Our Finest Actors"-saying Sean Penn. Pretty crazy stuff.

The highlight of the night for me, and, I assume, every other gay dude on the planet (excluding that bunch that were on last week's episode of The Tyra Banks Show, topic: I Hate Being Gay... ohhhhhh brother...) when Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black won best original screenplay.

I was really hoping for a soap-box moment, and boy-oh-boy did I get one. His speech, below:

Class frickin' act, I tells ya. Not to mention, the boy has a standing invitation to sit, full weight, on my face at any space and/or place in time. Yes, that invitation honours the possibility of time travel.

Anyballs... that was that with that.

What's is what with what, however?

That's right. Another one. All new girls!!! I'd strongly urge you to click the above image and see it in all it's high-ish resolution glory.

Back tomorrow. Let's talk about this Rihanna/Chris Brown 'Domestic Disturbiance' stuff.


--- Aj

Monday, January 05, 2009

Viral Video Vixens of '08

Haaaappy New Year!

It's Aught 9 and I have to guess that you're feelin' fine. Primarily, because that shit rhymes.

How was your new year rung in? Fun-ly? I assume so. Mine was good? I say that as a questionstatement, because I don't really remember too much. I drank m'self 2 - AS IN TWO - bottles of champagne. It wasn't nearly as elegant as it sounds. Anyballs, shinanigoats ensued and I stumbled home at around 4 AM to gorge on Havarti and watch Hello Again - the quintessential Shelley Long film. For realz - bitch says her patented "Yoo-Hoo!" upwards to and including (but not limited to) 12 times. Amazing.

All in all, I think it was the most fun I've had on New Years since being in Toronto. Bearing in mind that there's not a terribly high bar - my first Toronto-based new years was spent with my then-University beau who did coke at 2 AM, got mad at me for letting him do coke, then couldn't get erect. (Sidebar: isn't an alert, sturdy boner one of the few up-sides to cocaine use? That's always what I was lead to believe... b'ooohhh well)... another new years saw me go to this house party wherein I knew 3 people, only to discover my lone romantic prospect for the evening passed out on the toilet... and of course last year, when I served as the most unnecessary host in the history of hosts for New Years at the Drake Hotel, and realized 5 seconds before counting down to midnight that I didn't have the most remote idea of how the lyrics to "Auld Lang Syne" went - a song I was supposed to lead the crowd in. As you can imagine, I desecrated the shit. Terrible.

Anyballs - that's all in the past. A fresh year awaits! But before we dust off our knees, shout "EXCELSIOR!" and do one of those on-the-spot Barney Rubble runs into what is promised to be the most fabulous year that anyone's e'er had E'ER, one more FINAL look back on 2008 before we bid adieu to it once and for all... 

2008 - much like any other year in the recent single-digits of the millennium - won't be remembered for its hot-button political figures... nor for it's pop-star comeback queens... or even for its salsa-dancing grandma's... but for its youtube personalities.

That's right - one again, I give you My Top 10 Viral Video Vixens... of 2008!!!

There they are. Let's see how the cards fall...

2008 was an interesting year in viral video stars. As the public and private spheres collide, it seems harder and harder to find truly authentic, earnest, candid video subjects that have no idea how entertaining they are and better yet, how sensational their impact will be. Still, 2008's VVV's aren't lookin' too shabby... 


Ah Gwen Verdon. Little did the Broadway legend and original Fosse muse know that she'd be sky-rocketed back into fame courtesy of some glorious jackass synching her kitschy performance of "Mexican Breakfast" on The Ed Sullivan Show with rapper Unk's "Walk It Out". The originatress of such roles as 'Lola' in Damn Yankees, 'Charity' in Sweet Charity and 'Roxie Hart' in Chicago - Gwen Verdon was passing stripper moves off as legitimate dancing before Britney Spears was even a murky twinkle in Lynne and Jamie's eyes. Gwen is worth mentioning for two reasons: she's example of something that was made, at its time, to be completely devoid of irony, only to become wholly ironic years later when circulated via youtube (just like 2007's top Viral Video Vixen, Brenda Dickson) and also because this video is directly responsible for the most user generated viral content this past year. But more on that later...


Why did/does everything that was made in the 70's seem like it's a bizarre horror-porno? Like in how - tonally or cinematically - there's no difference between Deep Throat and Carrie? This was originally to be a sex education film to be shown to high-schoolers back in the 70's - dealing specifically with masturbation. Even more specifically - a shaggy little dude named Ricky having an organ recital only to be walked in on by his FUCKING SUPER CREEPY mother. Who, make no mistake about it, "knew what [he was] doing... and [is] sorry for interrupting [his] privacy..." If you've ever needed to laugh nervously, scream in horror, then laugh hysterically, then apprehensively ponder what it was you just saw... THIS is the clip for YOU!


ADORABLENESS ALERT!!! Sound the alarms!!! ... that sound like newborn's cooing... because this is the most adorable shit I've seen all year. She's this little cherub from France... depending on how you look at it, she's either a precursor to Amelie or a postcursor to Madeleine (yes... I know... I've made two references to Madeleine in two consecutive blogs... and you know what, motherfucker? I'mma make another one tomorrow... SUCK IT!) - either way, hog-tying Hamas operatives and making them watch this clip might just be the key to peace in the Middle East. Here, she tells a story freestyle - or, rather, en francais, liberer le style - about... oh... who the fuck cares what it's about - SHE'S ADORABLE!!!


If that last clip was enough to extinguish my great disdain for children, this next one is enough to reignite it in one powerful blast... Backstory: this past season on American Idol, the crown came down to two David's... David Cook, a scruffy, apathetic rocker who had cornered and ultimately triumphed with the elusive cougar vote... and David Achuleta, a squeaky-clean, baby-faced 16-year-old who made David Cassidy look like Charles Manson... understandably, David Archuleta had somewhat of a fervent teenage female fan base. Just how fervent, well, I don't think any of us had the slightest clue... until... 


Ahem. Miss Sheppard-Misset started from humble beginnings: a lowly jazz-dance teacher in the late 60's, she saw dwindling numbers in her classes (despite the stellar example set by Gwen Verdon, apparently)... so, on a lark, she decided to do away with the mirrors and the moves and focus on just havin' some fun. So was born JAZZERCISE! Below is her somewhat enthusiastic routine to "Move Your Boogie Body" from one of I can only hope is many Jazzercize home videos... there is absolutely nothing NOT to love about this fucking video... 

Pallette Cleanser: PROP 8, THE MUSICAL

Certainly constructed to be viewed... and viewed... AND VIEWED!!!... Prop 8: The Musical doesn't really fit into this list of what I consider truly grass-roots sensations, but it was just too fucking good and significant to be left out. That, AND it features the out-and-out love of my life, Maya P.K. Rudolph


Thanks to the power and glory of youtube, this past year saw the comedic genius' of Klausner & Clarke brought to my attention. Funnily enough it was their spot-on, note-for-note perfect parody of last year's VVV of the year, the ultra-glamorous Brenda Dickson (worth linking to again), in one of their many, many, MANY (<<<--- especially that one. Mommy Time. AMAZING!) brilliant viral offerings, "Welcome To Our House" that first caught my eye, and that I'm choosing to highlight here - although, really, you should thoroughly watch and re-watch each and every last drop of their shit if you know what's good for you. How these two have eluded Saturday Night Live in lieu of the lowly Casey Wilson's of the world astounds, confounds and disturbs me... 


Once upon a time, #10 VVV of 2008 Gwen Verdon's "Mexican Breakfast/Walk It Out" video hit the internet. Then, one Beyonce Giselle Knowles - as she's prone to do - took wind of it, skank-ified it ever so slightly and used it as inspiration for the video of her current number 1 smash single, "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)". Talk about a butterfly effect - the next thing you know, some tranny with entirely too much time on his hands records himself performing a beat-for-beat choreographic reenactment of the dance from the video in his dorm room and voila: global cyber-sensation. What the taut, nimble Mr. Mercado set off has been unprecedented... everyone and their fucking mother recorded their own "response video" with results ranging from hilarious to bizarre to grotesque... not to mention an appearance on The Bonnie Hunt show - who could ask for anything more?


Hmm. Umm. Yeah. I don't know quite what to say about this one. I'm not sure anyone does. I have no idea what the origins of this video is nor of this lady are. I've heard people refer to this as the "2 Girls, 1 Cup" of 2008 - only y'know, not involving two girls shitting and puking on each other - but equally disturbing and perplexing. Don't worry - it's completely SFW (safe for work). It just might not be SFYS (safe for your sanity)... 


ALL HAIL SCARLETT... America's next top R&B singer-songwriter/spinal-transplant-recipient. When the zaftig Scarlett took to her webcam earlier this year, recording herself singing an original R&B composition all of her own, A capella, whilst pacing around her rumpus room, only to find herself atop a coffee table that ultimately proved no match for her... things took a nasty (AND HILARIOUS) left turn - and history was made. Yes. History. As much for her death-defying 'tumble' as for her ability to popularize the abbreviation "tha'urt" out of "that hurt"... Scarlett, we can't wait to see what ELSE you have up your sleeve/pant leg... 







Bling, bling, expensive things? That's Rojo Caliente. Movie stars, magazines? Rojo Caliente. Drivin' in your car, that's also very expensive? Again, Rojo Caliente. Yes. Some of you may know her as Meagan Taylor... I, however, know her as the things that dreams are made of. The pudgy, teenage Jewess (and current Queen's student... *starts the oil thigh [a Queen's thing. I went to Queen's, if you didn't know]*) who, legend has it, received a million dollars from her father for her Bat Mitzvah and spent it on recording a reggae-hip-hop single and corresponding video entitled "Rojo Caliente" - loosely translated: Red Hot. While this video is every kind of WRONG under the sun, Meagan Taylor is every kind of right - reminder to all of us to never, EVER, stop reachin' for those stars.

And that's the note I'd prefer to leave you on with that.

In other news:

John Travolta [basically] murdered his disabled son.

More on that tomorrow.

Feel fine in 09,

--- Aj