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The Video for Kelly Rowland's "Like This"

Just who's idea was it to set this song on the set of some guy's dream idea of http://www.WeLiveTogether.com? A toweled Rowland walks into a bedroom, presumably from the shower, sees a podcast of herself on her computer sporting a digicam, and throws her towel over it. Then she gets all dolled up, doing some Flashdance seated in a chair dancing, and heads to what's presumably her living room for a party, where Eve shows up for her verse. Throughout are short snippets of what looks like low-grade cam footage of a sofa where, presumably, lucky guys get to make out with girls? Did the video creators even listen to the song? John From Cincinnati (HBO) Admittedly, it took a few episodes of David Milch's Deadwood before its riches started to manifest themselves, but that series drew you in enough to make you want to get into it. Milch's new John From Cincinnati, thus far, feels like a big gob of quasi-spiritual hogwash clumsily grafted onto a multigenerational melodrama in a Southern California surfer family. Mitch (Bruce Greenwood) is the hotheaded father and surfing legend, Butchie (Brian Van Holt) is his surfing revolutionary son, now strung-out on smack, and Shaun (Greyson Fletcher) is Butchie's teenaged son, who wants to enter competitive surfing while living under his more responsible grandparents' care. And John (Austin Nichols) is the show's titular wild card/red herring, who for three episodes has spouted Starman-fragmentary dialogue and, in general, acted like a combination soothsayer cum extraterrestrial cum grown-up "special kid." And, really, now, any show that makes you want to switch away from Rebecca DeMornay playing not only a Southern California surfer MILF but also a grandmother (uh, GILF?)—and the only sane person in this entire family—needs to find its rudder. No idea where Milch is going with this one, but if John From Cincinnati doesn't intimate some kind of story line soon, people are going to give up on it—if they haven't already. Everett True's Nirvana: The Biography (Da Capo) Talk about wasted opportunities. The single most annoying thing in this 646-page band biography—which is a generous claim, since perpetually self-promoting former New Music Express/Melody Makerscribe True constantly reminds you that he was there, man; name-drops a celebrity blogger; lets everybody talk about how "goofy" and "shy" Kurt Cobain was, how "goofy" and "tall" Krist Novoselic was, and how "goofy" and "cute" Dave Grohl was; intersperses more recent interviews with early-'90s interviews and freely quotes from any source he wishes; leaps from first-person remembrances to quasi-reporting to interview recollections; and whose index entry is just as long as "Cobain, Kurt" and "Love, Courntey"-- is that there is a fabulous 300-page book somewhere inside of it. Only a foreigner would so acutely recognize the class lines separating Cobain's Aberdeen, Wash., home from Olympia and Seattle and how that shaped his metal and punk worldviews, and only a guy who had been there would be able to garner the wide range of interviews True compiles here. Too bad nobody even tried to edit him. Shop Boyz "Party Like a Rockstar" One of those song you love instantly the first time you hear it and then, after a 20-minute car ride and you've heard the song another 900 times, the luster is entirely gone. Corporate radio playing a song to death is nothing new—speaking of Nirvana, there is a reason why some of us respond to the opening chords of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with spasmodic, Pavlovian muscle twitches—but when just about every portable electronic device plays music these days, songs are especially inescapable. "Party Like a Rockstar" is the No. 1 ringtone download according to the Billboard magazine chart for the July 7 issue, and you can bet the song is playing on some radio station within range right at this very moment—it's the No. 1 song on the 92Q playlist as of July 1. And since outdoor summer party in the city season has started, this slice of brain rot may be pouring out of cars and pumped out of rowhouse windows for the next two months. The "New Republic" vs. 92Q On May 8 an e-mail with the subject line "Major Radio One Scandal **Read Immediately**" arrived in our in box—and the in boxes of some 37 other public figures and regional media outlets, if its cc: list is to be believed. It came from an e-mail account named "victorstarr92q@gmail.com"--an obvious alias. Starr is the current program director at 92Q, Baltimore's No. 1 radio station, and it's highly unlikely he mass e-mailed this missive that casts accusations of payola and dodgy protocols for getting local music played on the station. It was signed only "New Republic," and since it was sent, we've heard nothing else from the eponymous authors. Now, the missive's claims are not all that new around here--City Paper contributor Al Shipley posted the e-mail to his Government Names blog May 6—but this time some people are taking an interest. On June 25 Shipley posted a follow-up, saying that Sun reporter Nick Madigan is researching the story and "would like to speak to the authors of the letter, as well as anyone with relevent [sic] firsthand experience with the station." We wish Madigan the best of luck getting anybody to respond—my e-mails to the address remain unanswered—as well as ferreting out the story here, but it's really lame that the e-mail's authors choose to remain anonymous. The so-called "New Republic" needs to show its face if it wants to lend any credence to its claims—if they're already being shafted by the powers that be, saying so in their out-loud voice isn't going to change anything. Besides, if you want to change the game, at some point you're going to have to step on the field. Only cowards throw hand grenades and let bystanders sort out the mess. Kelly Clarkson "Never Again" "Since You've Been Gone" was a pop pleasure I felt I had to closet; these days "Walk Away" still occasionally blasts from the office. Both tunes were ex-lover kiss-offs coming from an all-American girl from the Fort Worth, Texas, suburb Burleson, the sort of almost entirely lily-white Bible-belt small burg that even other suburbs ridicule: Burleson was a dry jurisdiction until 2006. As in, both "Since You've Been Gone" and "Walk Away" were don't-need-a-man jams coming from a family values-proud small town woman in her breeding prime. Now comes "Never Again," the lead single from her new My December, and it's disappointingly generic scorned-woman power pop. Ms. Clarkson, please don't become Pat Benatar just yet.

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