Last week on ANTM: a swarm of crying bitches! 21 instances of tears (or teary-ness), to be exact. This week was no match for that, I'm afraid, as you'll see on this week's edition of the America's Next Top Model Rolling Crying Count:
Matthew Dear and Ellen Allien spun at Cielo on Tuesday night, though not in that order, or together, as the picture above suggests. After seeing Ellen at dancing-deficient NYC venues like the Knitting Factory and Apt., it was at least a great idea for her to spin at a New York spot with a real, live dance floor and a real great sound system.
All the Tyra has me and Winston, uh, tyred, so move along, nothing to see . . .
. . . except one final plug for my DJ gig with Dan Selzer tonight at Capone's in Brooklyn. If you're interested, click here for all the information you could possibly want. I realize that Roll Bounce is opening tonight, so, y'know, no pressure.
Oh, and here's some pre-party music, regardless of where you end up: three tracks (one '70s, one '80s, one '90s) that I won't be spinning tonight, as I don't own them on vinyl. My loss, your luck.
Stephanie Mills "Never Knew Love Like This Before" Fingers Inc. "Bring Down the Walls" Michael Jackson "Rock With You (Frankie's Favorite Club Mix)"
Finally, Gail at knifefight in BK picks up fourfour's catless slack this week with an exploration of her two, cute weirdos, Mog and Optimus Prime, the latter of which is still in the running for having America's Next Top Cat Name.
Welcome to the official start of fourfour's ANTM coverage. Instead of doing blow-by-blow recaps, which will be done extremely well at Television Without Pity and (I think) TVgasm and which would inevitably have me packing my bags (y'all) for an institution mid-season (I'm still making up for the sleep I lost at the gnarled hands of Whit and Bobby), I've devised another way to cover the show: the America's Next Top Model Rolling Crying Count. Since Tyra's (fierce!) emotional manipulation and editing suggests that a model must be ready to blubber at a moment's notice, I'll be documenting the tear-shed every step of the way. Beyond the considerable mock factor, I'm legitimately interested in how many instances of crying bitches we can rack up by the cycle's end. And since ANTM is camp-drama in a modeling competition's designer-impostor garb, it seems only appropriate to focus our gaze on emotional outpouring.
A few notes on what constitutes a notch in the tally: basically, it's up to my case-by-case discretion. Since ANTM is as counterfeit as it wants to be, fake crying counts as long as effort is put into it (I don't need to see actual tears, but I need serious facial contorting and voice warbling). Multiple instances of the same girl crying in the same scene over the same thing will not count (i.e. if Sarah bites one of her absurdly gigantic lips and makes herself cry during the course of a scene and then we cut to a confessional in which Sarah recounts the pain and cries about it all over again, that counts as one cry).
Tuesday's episode of The Tyra Banks Show hit the premiere's three-ring heights, thanks to the pervasive theme: Victoria's Secret shilling boobs. My three favorite things (besides the introduction of the concept of "bra makeovers") from the breastisode were . . .
Last night's what-happened-to-the-Cycle-4-hoes-anyway ANTM special, Return to the Runway, was way complicated. Just so you lose no sleep over the current status of your favorite loser, I've assembled sort of a visual Cliff's Notes with minimal text. This is no time for literacy!
It is a -- how you say? -- fierce week to be a fan of America's Next Top Model, a show so cultish, it seems increasingly unpretentious about its status as solely a means to an end of good television, not flourishing careers (Work it, Naima . . . what's that? You can't find work?). Tonight, UPN will air the special Return to the Runway. I have no idea what it's about, but I'm guessing it'll be a clue-in on how far the Cycle 4 hoes have not proceeded on the great runway ahead. Then, and maybe most excitingly, Wednesday's The Tyra Banks Show will reunite 14 past contestants of all four cycles for no good reason, except to promote the ANTM premiere (beware, though -- if you clicked the link you can see that Jay "The Real Miss" Manuel will be appearing, too -- he's seriously like a fucking annoying relative or co-worker that you have no chance of ever shaking). Then the Cycle 5, two-hour premiere happens tomorrow night.
So that's four hours of ANTM-related viewing (not counting the endless bonus footage UPN throws on its site -- the digital equivalent of spiked Kool-Aid). I'll be watching all of it and commenting on most of it. Yeah, it's gonna be that kind of a week.
To kick things off, I want to share one of my favorite things about ANTM -- singing along to its supposed-to-be-wordless theme song (wordless except for the "You wanna be on top?" interjections of the beginning). Anyway, here, listen to it. Hear how after a few bars, it starts in with the main, high-pitched melody? I like to sing, "Top model-model-model" along to that. It works! (A similar insert-title-here effect can be had via the DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH-DUUUHHHHHHH of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire -- it's all about working the show's title or a variation into a given amount of notes). Anyway, I realize this may sound confusing and, truth be told, is more stupid than Jay Manuel's reasoning that he should always look as orange as possible. If this isn't clear and you're feeling brave, here's a more detailed example of how it should go: ANTM theme sing-along.
You'll notice that besides the obligatory ANTM one, I've added a new category to my bar on the right: Dumbness. Now that ANTM is back in session, there's going to be a lot of that. Can't wait!
Check it out, party people: on Friday (Sept. 23), I'm going to be spinning alongside the venerable Dan Sezler at Capone's weekly party The Beat Club. Really, I can't wait and I'm honored that Dan, whose taste, knowledge and all-around awesomeness I respect so so much, has asked me to join him. He runs great parties there every week on Friday and Saturday and I'm thrilled to take part.
For those who haven't been and can't follow the link above, Capone's is in Williamsburg on N. 9th between Roebling and Driggs (that's off the Bedford L stop). Stop by and say hi -- I'll play CeCe Peniston for you!
I'm not even kidding. Look around here and you'll get a good idea of what I'll be dropping -- definitely heavy on the old-school house tip. It'll be weird to be allowed (encouraged, even!) to play house. Also, it'll be weird to work at a place where people don't come on me.
Put on your dancin' shoes, and make sure they look something like this . . .
Before reading further, please listen to the song, if you're the type that does that sort of thing. I want to try a little experiment. While your ears are occupied, keep your eyes busy with these super scorchin' pics of '80s teen sex-pot and "Attack" singer, Stacy Lattisaw.
Now that you've endured that, do you have any idea how to play Ms. Lattisaw's proposed game? Me neither, and I've been listening to this song for years! Way to speak to your target demo (I'm guessing five-year-olds, or those with the mental capacity of such), Stace.
1982's "Attack of the Name Game" takes novelty to the Nth degree, presenting enough gags (a 16-year-old who's more squeaker than rapper, a wiggily voiced alien character, nameplay, a cameo from the squeaker's younger sibling) to make Lattisaw seem like an inspiration to the similarly eager-eager-eager-to-please Mariah Carey (is it a surprise that the no-less-gimmicky Mariah sampled "Attack" in 1999's "Heartbreaker?!?"). A lot of people look back fondly on Lattisaw, with good reason -- though she saw the height of her popularity during the early '80s, when she was a teenager, her youth was rarely exploited in her songs. She was (is?) a surprisingly powerful singer, sounding grown and often fantastic despite herself.
But not on "Attack," a place were candy-shop cutesy meets geriatric pacing (hit-or-miss producer Narada Michael Walden plays shuffleboard -- poorly! -- instead of crafting a beat Stacy would want to keep her time to). Un-funkified lameness aside, the major offense of "Attack," and what makes it so crappily intoxicating, is its aforementioned, sloppily realized setup. This is a high-level name-game, unnecessarily complicated by scattered consonants and the fact that we're introduced to it by that damn alien voice. Let's check the lyrics to try to figure out what the game is all about:
It’s Clack it back, I gotta Clack attack, I gotta Clee Cly Cloe the Clack a jack. Turn the Tyde, you gotta move the Myde, You gotta wham-bam funkify the Fyde: Clyde!
OK, the alien's name is Clyde, so that makes this the template:
It's (first sound of name before vowel)-ack it, back I gotta (first sound of name before vowel)-ack attack, I gotta (first sound of name before vowel)-ee (first sound of name before vowel)-y (first sound of name before vowel)-oe the (first sound of name before vowel)-ack a jack. Turn the T-(unused, last portion of name) you gotta move the M-(last portion of name), You gotta wham-bam funkify the F-(last portion of name): (name)!
Let's try "Rich!"
It's Rack it back I gotta Rack attack I gotta Ree Ry Roe the Rack a jack. Turn the Tich you gotta move the Mich, You gotta wham-bam funkify the Fich: Rich!
If this whole post isn't too Pee-Wee's Playhouse for you, I suggest you give this a try (and, as usual, if your name is "Chuck," you're in luck!). But seriously, the shit's hard and I don't think I'd be able to do it without looking off my template. Unless I heard the song like a million times, which I haven't, nor have many others as the song wasn't a huge hit or anything (AllMusic says it peaked at No. 14 on the R&B chart and at No. 70 on pop). Shocker that this one didn't catch on like it was supposed to!
Two more things that make "Attack of the Name Game" fantastic crap:
Alien Clyde's description of his dance during the breakdown, which is just as confusing (if not more) than the name game: "Now, now put your left foot down / Now put your other left foot down / Now put your right foot down / Now put your good foot down / And walk like this / Well, get down earthlings, get down / Now put all three hands together and clap." Yeah, like that's possible.
Stacy implores, "Come on, let's do Tina!" Whatever it takes to make it exciting.
Just to prove that I'm not a Stacy hater, I'm offering the non-crap bonus "I'm Down for You", which comes directly after "Attack" on her Sneakin' Out full-length, is a good example of her woman-child persona and finds Narada giving her something to really croon to. Love the call-and-response synth overload.
And, I'd also like to point to point you in the direction of two MP3 sites that consistently offer music that is actually, uh, good (imagine!): one soulful negro, which is home to exactly what its name implies (including some fantastic boogie, which rarely gets any kinda blog love) and B-Side Wins Again, which is concentrated on non-album rap tracks from (mostly) the '90s and sometimes is in French. I never really thought of structuring a sentence using the phrases "ooh la la" and "hip-hop." BSWA made me reconsider.
File this under "extremely easily amused": this store can be found in the main downtown shopping area of my hometown, Ocean City, N.J. . . .
The last picture makes me think that it's unfortunately named after the unfortunately named. I realize it's probably pronounced with the long "e" sound ("Vergeena"), but it's infinitely more entertaining to pronounce it with a long "i."
Entertaining, that is, if like me, you have the sense of humor of your average 11-year-old.