Nobody cares about that antiquated three-hour celebration of fuddy-duddies and their cold clammy takes on movies anymore! Roll with the times…it’s time for an awards show that gets that you’re too busy.
Best Thing: Exposure of the dirty creeps working in the movies. Within a few years the movies being made will be more diverse and intelligent as a result of more women being able to get greater positions of power. Gonna be awesome.
I used to devour those British music magazines in the 2000s. Q, Mojo, NME, ate them up and each of them always referred to David Bowie reverentially and most often as the thin white duke. Unquestionably, discovering and exploring his musical catalogue was a damn odyssey in my life and though I couldn’t get into the Berlin stuff, I thought David sang with more soul than most people gave him credit for. Yeah, I just called him DAVID. First time I saw him I think was a video on MTV Classic of Let’s Dance. Young me thought in my little brain “That guy is on drugs.” I was mostly right but when I discovered Changesbowie in high school, it was a wrap. I felt then and now that that album is the single best Greatest Hits album of all time. And please know that I recognize this is a very serious claim.
This one is my favorite Bowie song to play on a jukebox. And an amazing live performance from the man I proudly share my birthday with. (Birthsake?)
This is my favorite Bowie movie moment. With respect to The Prestige, Zoolander, and others, his musical accompaniment to the dance scene in A Knight’s Tale was pure gold. Puts a smile on your ole kisser every time.
For somebody who doesn’t change much and has had one “look” in his life, I still feel like Bowie and I are totally in sync on this anthem. I have sung this in the car countless times and that sax at the end, ooh boy. That’ll do, Bowie, that’ll do.
This one is just one that always comes to mind. So rich with imagery and such a kick ass rock song. The lyrics are below the video and look like a poem, the gray letters on white. Memories of driving in New Jersey and ending the night with this on in my old Toyota.
From the moment
I drafted Terrell Owens with my first pick ever
And heard chuckles and whispers around the table
100 yard, 2 touchdown games
Flexing like a jerk after a 7 yard gain on a wide open slant route
making me feel like a champion
I knew one thing was real:
I wanted to keep believing I knew more about sports than everyone else.
A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.
As a 22-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one with a ton of dollars in my hand.
And so I drafted.
I drafted on sight, on rumors, on hearsay.
Winners, losers, busts, sleepers.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more.
I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as gambling has made me feel.
You gave a dude his goal of being a GM
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my soul/wallet knows it’s time to say goodbye.
And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have.
And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that dude
With the cheat sheet and the
highlighter in the corner
:05 seconds on the clock
Mouse in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1
One of my favorite things that happens in rock & roll is when a performer is a really shy person who just transforms into a champion tour de force who just grabs everybody in the stadium’s heart when he or she lets their talent rip. That burst of confidence that just lets them flow like pure steel in front of 50,000 people when they are doing their thing, when they can’t barely handle doing one sit-down interview because of shyness. I’m thinking Freddie Mercury at Live Aid. But I keep thinking that with these John Frusciante live clips too. He’s so good and the crowds at the gigs are so good I alternately fantasize about being him on this stage at Slane Castle in Ireland, or one of these swaying Irish in attendance.
I also love the song choice, homie is covering a 1958 song that critics call the emergence of the girl group sound that would become so huge in the 60s, it’s so beautiful lyrically but the standout feature of the song for me is the lead singer’s vocal performance – her voice – dang! Heartbreaking!
I still feel her pain 58 years after they recorded it, shoutout to Arlene Smith from the Bronx! The Chantels, ladies and gentlemen…a song I never would have heard of if not for John Frusciante taking a step forward in front of half of Ireland with an axe to shred and a soul to bear.
Spent Oscar evening how I spend every Oscar evening, watching old Youtube clips of Oscar speeches during the actual live event.
Through my circuit of favorite Oscar speeches – Jamie Foxx, Russell Crowe, Matt & Ben, Cuba and more, I kept one ear on the 2015 festivities. The red carpet has always been ridiculously dollhouse and hard for me and my unfashionable brethren to watch, so yesterday my ears perked up when I heard people taking umbrage to the red carpet show & tell. Those people were mostly women in dresses worth more than my car. Not judging, but I was surprised.
#AskHerMore is a hashtag popularized to make Red Carpet “reporters” take heed to ask more important questions than what designer an actress is wearing. Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette talked about how Hollywood had to change this. I empathized because I could never have the patience to do a red carpet, but I also wondered who is that question being asked for? Is the suggestion that it’s sexist? Men don’t care one iota who designed a single actress’ dress. That, you can take as gospel. Also, the dresses don’t do as much for male hormones circa 2015 as they did in the 1940s. The entire fashion aspect of the show is done for women (consumers) and the labels. It has nothing to do with us! (red-blooded civilian males). It’s big business, and every woman in the world knows that.
I thought the #AskHerMore thing was similar to how Marshawn Lynch or other athletes have been thinking in the recent past. Remember him getting in trouble for wearing his own hat at the Superbowl presser? And him saying he wanted to wear his own shoes? And refusing to answer questions. That’s because he got annoyed with the fact that someone else was profiting over what he was forced to wear. That seems like a possible cause here, actresses essentially feeling like they are walking the world’s most viewed catwalk, and not being compensated with anything other than a free dress rental.
One argument I heard is that if these actresses didn’t want to hear that question (“Who are you wearing?”) then they should dress down. That makes zero sense, they are at a work obligation that requires a certain level of attire. If an actress wore jeans, they’d probably bar her from entering. The dressing up is part of the game. It’s the prom. And if you are not paying for your own clothes then the person who clothed you is going to want a shout-out or twenty. I wonder what would happen if the actress refused to answer the question? Would the label be offended? Would she have to buy her own clothes now? With the media and business line getting blurrier every day, It’s increasingly interesting to me when these new grievances come up. I understand the frustration but I don’t think it’s a sexism issue personally. Apart from those few actresses, I saw a parade of women who were only too happy to name their designer and jeweler and make up people and Serena Williams even answered by saying ” ____ _____. They dress me every time.” Being dressed? She is literally ceding control like a toddler. She probably sees this as some sort of Cinderella deal, get dolled up by the fairy godmother and go out on the town till midnight et cetera. I think it would be a very tempting offer.
Favorite Speech of the Night:
Graham Moore, screenwriter of The Imitation Game. He got personal as you can, but still somehow kept it light and inspirational. Good guy Graham was a much-needed dose of caffeine in a lagging part of the show. Another great speech was given by Lonnie and Johnny better known as Common and John Legend. Their performance and their speeches (seconds later?) were powerful.
Favorite Joke of the Night:
Not many. My favorite was by far the comedy stylings of John Travolta. The hapless former ballet dude and disco god put his foot in his mouth last year by mispronouncing Idina Menzel’s name while introducing her, and he spent the whole telecast yesterday trying to tapdance his way out of that. Seeing how insecure a big star can be is really charming in a way, getting all sweaty and nervous and making jokes that don’t make sense, it’s the first time I’ve empathized with Travolta. Not your fault that she’s got a tongue-twister of a name Johnny!
My favorite of the nominated films was The Grand Budapest Hotel though I wholeheartedly believe the best movie of 2014 was Nightcrawler which was criminally under nominated. Jake Gylenhaal deserved a Best Actor nomination at the very least. He also came up with the concept for this trailer for the film:
Another overlooked performance was Chadwick Boseman in Get On Up. He was a mesmerizing James Brown, a top-notch song and dance man who also captured the exuberant joy and tortured genius of the Godfather of Soul. I also especially loved A Most Wanted Man, the very last movie Philip Seymour Hoffman made. His portrayal of a beat-down by life German spy carries the film and his German accent is great. Another performance that stayed with me is Miles Teller in Whiplash, he was in my tempo and I thought as deserving of a nomination as the abusive JK Simmons. The two things the Oscars made me want to watch even more than I wanted to before were Selma and Citizenfour. By the way, pretty ballsy moment by Ed Snowden’s girlfriend picking up the Best Documentary Oscar onstage for her boo.
-Eddie Murphy has not aged in twenty years, that’s what no booze or drugs and a lot of money and a healthy lifestyle gets you.
-Lady Gaga killed it, I expect she’ll be doing The Sound of Music on Broadway in a few years.
-Rosamund Pike is gorgeous when she’s not killing dudes.
-Bradley Cooper’s third straight Best Actor nomination! And that’s not even counting my favorite performance of his, as the voice of Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy.
-Meryl and J-Lo in a film adaptation of Broad City? I’m in.
As usual, the Oscar show was so overblown, I started wondering about the director of the Oscars, he’s under major pressure and he can’t even direct these actors! Wondered how they manage all these shots and movement…Check out this clip of what it looked like behind the scenes during my favorite Oscar moment in history and you’ll get an idea.
When I was 17 years old, I moved from India to America.
One of the most exciting things about this move was that I would now have access to attend rock shows. In the late 1990s, not many musicians toured India although I HAD had the pleasure of seeing a who’s who of one-album wonders from Inner Circle to Michael Learns To Rock to Apache Indian.
Upon arriving in New Jersey, what soon became even more exciting than going to concerts was trying to win free tickets to concerts through radio station contests. This was my idea of Heaven. In those halcyon days, I probably went to about ten to fifteen shows that either myself or a friend won by being caller number one hundred four or ninety-nine or whatever the hell the lucky number was. Through a complex, precise and ingenious system of frantically calling up the radio station as many times as possible from as many numbers as possible, we ensured our invitations to concerts near and far to see acts from Guns & Roses to Poison to Skid Row to Neil Young and Motley Crue.
One day, my friend Tom Drew and I were calling off the hook and finally he got through and we won a pair of tickets to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Jones Beach. Yay! So excited! High-fives ensued and I laid out my rock & roll plan. “Look Tom, we’re seeing Petty & the Heartbreakers next weekend. This gives us only 7 days to learn every song, every opening chord, every big riff. We’ve got to get to work. I have 5 Petty albums in my room, I will give you 2 today, get it done, then we’ll exchange albums mid-week et cetera.”
Tom’s face however was bereft of the enthusiasm I carried on mine. He looked like I was assigning him a heavy load of homework during the last class on Friday afternoon. Goddamnit Drew, where is your passion? I wondered. Either way, I had enough fire for both of us. While I listened to more Petty that week than every one of his roadies combined, I also found time to put on a shirt and tie and walk two miles to a liquor store where I proudly and underage-ed-ly purchased a bottle of rum to help us get “in the mood to rock” on the day of the show.
The day of the concert came, and I was PUMPED. I had listened to Freefallin’ a dozen times in 3 hours but in the meanwhile, Tom Drew had disappeared.
I called him repeatedly and after destroying my Swiss-watch of a plan (which demanded we leave my place at noon so we could “soak up the atmosphere in the parking lot for at least 4 hours”), he called me back at about 4 PM. The show began at 8 PM at a venue that would take more than an hour to drive to. He very casually said “Hey, I don’t feel like going.” My initial thought was to rip his soul out of his head and kick it in with my high-top Nikes. But I instead replied “Are you f*cking kidding, dude?” He confirmed he was not joking and that not only was he not going, screwing me completely because I didn’t have a car and now I would have to take about 3 hours of taxis, trains, subways and a bus to get to the venue but for the ultimate measure of the sh*tty man he was, he added that he would “give me a good deal on the tickets”. To this, my ears instantly burned as if they were bleeding profusely while being doused in barrels of after-shave. I said “F*ck you, Drew” and hung up.
I knew he was a worthless waste of skin and blood and guts right there but he confirmed it in Boston six months later when he unbeknownst to me made a deal to get my roommate a sh*t load of mushrooms. I only found out when lying in bed one night and my preppy roommate walked in, turned the light on and with the most frustrated look of sobriety I had ever seen – yelled – “Tom Drew’s Mushrooms are f*cking bullshit! Your friend f*cked me!” This brought a huge smile to my face because firstly, had I been consulted, I would have vouched for growing your own mushrooms in a septic toilet versus counting on Tom Drew and secondly, I was now just one person among two in my room who had been burned by the disease known as TD.
Well, it took almost 15 years but you got yours last night Tommy boy. I saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and sure, they were 15 years older, and sure it wasn’t a beach. And sure it wasn’t free. But it was good, and it was loud and when the sticks hit the drums, it felt like landing an overhand right to your jaw you lying sack of sh*t.
I enjoyed the concert and it delved deep into their catalogue. As expected, I somehow managed to make a direct association between every song’s lyrics and that horrible SOB Tom Drew. When Petty began the seminal classic Refugee and sang “Somewhere, somehow, somebody musta kicked you round some”, I yelled to the horror of everyone in my row “Hell yeah! But no more Petty! I’ll kick his ass now!” When Petty sang I Won’t Back Down and Billy The Kid, I zoned out of the concert for those ten minutes as I vividly imagined me shooting Tom Drew down in a duel of pistols at thirty paces at high noon on the streets of a ghost town with no name. Eat lead, Drew! Songs like American Girl fell flat because even I couldn’t misconstrue their lyrics into my revenge-filled vengeance-soaked violent fantasy.
Walking out of the theater, I thought I saw a familiar face in the crowd shuffling out. I pushed my way past some giddy middle-aged blondes and spun around this lanky brunette dude. I was sort of disappointed that it wasn’t Tom Drew. I wanted my revenge gift-wrapped with a big bow on it. To be thorough, I planted myself outside the theater and scanned every face of the three thousand in the audience as they exited. When the security guards eventually locked the doors, I had to accept the fact that my revenge would have to be a metaphorical one versus a physical and vocal assault on an unsuspecting prey.
In the end, I was delighted by the show. Music has healing powers and with each bass line, piano fill, drum roll, the load on my heroic shoulders was lessened as I slowly convinced myself that living well is the best revenge.
Still, I did come home and do a search for “Tom Drew” on Facebook just so I could send him a triumphantly nasty message or perhaps even a photo of me under the marquee. Sadly, it is such a common name, that I gave up after the first two dozen.
From my epic tolerance for every drug from Milk Chocolate to 70% Dark Chocolate to my wild and debauched nightly benders at the YMCA, Yoga class and Panera Bread, I’m universally regarded as unhinged, untamed and it’s understood that underwear is not in my vocabulary.
WILD. AS. WILD.
So obviously it comes with the territory that I’ve broken my share of chairs. Splintered some wood, ripped some canvas. Ain’t no thing to me. A movie theater in Bombay. A living room in Jakkur. Yards. Get togethers. Dinners in snooty restaurants. A hammock. A bed-frame. On any occasion, without warning, I could begin my descent to a stiff wooden chair soon-to-cave under the pressure of being his majesty’s throne. Executive leather office chairs have choked under the bright lights of my whirling dervish swiveling. So it came as no surprise to my seasoned chair-destroying ears when I plopped down onto my friend’s chair in his backyard recently only to hear a pathetic yokel’s cry: “Dude, you trying to break another chair!?”
I calmly explained that if I wanted to break his chairs, he would be sitting on the floor at that very moment. For when I hear that siren’s cry, in the name of all things sex, drugs, and rock & roll, I am a slave to my muse and that chair is dust the second I feel the thunder, it’s just standing there not knowing it is all.
He pathetically pleaded “That’s how you broke the last one! You can’t just fall into it man, LOWER yourself into the chair. Ease into it.” This civilian’s whining was of course alien to me, me a man proud to have lost his hearing to the hammers of the gods and his feelings to the succubus awaiting him in Pandora’s Box night after night.
I said HELL NO. DUDE MAN BRO, LOWERING YOURSELF INTO A CHAIR IS NOT ROCK & ROLL.
You think Keith Richards eases into his chair? Please. Easing and lowering are beneath our breed. We are the ploppers. The chosen ones. We effortlessly amble up to said chair, situate our ass in the designated air space we choose and then we DROP with the reckless abandon of a skydiver on speedballs. It’s a RUSH, kids. No considerations, no easing, no lowering and no mercy – Just a gut call and pure adrenalin on that two foot drop till your ass hits the chair. And if some chairs break, tough sh*t Sonny. You want to make an omelette, you gotta break some eggs, as the man says.
So then I had to educate the chair-owner on the plight and duty of the chair who stands in the eye of the tornado.
TRUE LIFE: I AM A ROCK STAR’S CHAIR.
Keith Richards – His chair is a born survivor. Rain, wind, snow, lava, doesn’t matter. Keef can plop off a helicopter with a Hatari Hanzo sword unsheathed and this chair welcomes it. The chair itself is a chain smoking, groupie guzzling, drug and booze cocktail imbibing nocturnal animal with creased leather and intimidating upholstery. Remarkably, he’s cozy too. Found in the basement of a palace in Marseilles after a coup.
Mick Jagger– Mick’s chair is on Ebay, it is a leather LA-Z-BOY with his band’s lips insignia prominently displayed on it. It is under the listing “Sir Mick Jagger’s Chair”. Asking price is $495,900. To activate recliner, pull and hold the large brown wooden stick on the side (as seen on Sticky Fingers cover) and this leathery old chair will stun you by gyrating in a herky-jerky manner for the rest of the night. Originally purchased from one Peter Frampton’s 1977 yard sale.
Bono– Bono’s chair is made from an ultra-chic material that is so environmentally friendly that Chris Martin from Coldplay threw a hissyfit because he couldn’t get one. The creation of this chair benefited farmers in the Midwest, kids in Africa and those Chilean miners nobody talks about anymore. This chair sports a Red Cross on the front along with a photo on the back that looks like it was taken from a Benetton ad. Slick and uncomfortable, the ideal chair for a boutique hotel lobby. Ikea will auction off 200 knockoffs for their SIT ON IT, MALARIA 2014 Charity Drive.
Jim Morrison – The best chair in the world for the man who threatens to babble on too long and ultimately expose his member. A dark, weird, disturbed chair with random rhyming couplets carved into it’s armrests with a rusty bloody blade. Probably bought on Craigslist. Greyish brownish grey.
Jimi Hendrix – Extremely flammable. Adorned in Hindu deities. Comfortable if you sit in this one position that nobody seems to have quite figured out yet. Rumored to be an orgasmic sit if found. Rumored to have only been found once, backstage at Monterey Pop. Rumored to be a bullsh*t rumor. Rumored to now be in the home of Nicolas Cage, the one in Aspen.
Do you think these Gods of Rock eased themselves into their chairs? (Nic Cage included) You don’t take over the world by being some hick who says “Excuse me, may I slowly turn and descend my rear end into this sitting tool?” Moreover, these men are all on the record about sitting and smashing:
Mick and Keith famously yelled “Hey you, get off my chair!”
Jim Morrison’s epic ode to destroying chairs with his ass is still sung in bars round the world – “I tried to stand, I tried to hide, break on through to the other side!”
Jimi Hendrix touched on this taboo topic many times in his short life, “Hey Joe, where you going with that chair in your hand? I’m going down to show my old lady, caught her messin’ round with another chair.”
And don’t you dare think that breaking chairs is limited to classic rock. No less a modern day legend than Kanye West has put his own trademark wit to the chair-destroying rite of passage for musical entertainers. He raps on his four times platinum album “Seatyricon” – “Y’aint never seen European shopping sprees with Hova/Salvadore Dali hand-painted Sofa/didn’t even take the bubble wrap off/before we crashed thru it Game Ova”
No less an icon than Paul “Wings” McCartney has stated that the highlight of his career is to this day penning his seminal tribute to the majesty of the chair: “Here, Chair and Everywhere.” Asked to be interviewed for this article, Macca declined but sent this statement through his publicist:
“I’ve always liked sitting in them, to be honest. But breaking them and all that seems a bit silly to me now. I mean, it’s a waste isn’t it? Then you have to clean the mess and get a new chair. I mean, we’ve all done it when we’re young…but you grow up sometime don’t you? Seats are meant to be respected, at least that’s how I raised my kids. When I play “Here, Chair and Everywhere” at my shows – and the audience all gently ease back into their chairs, it’s lovely. Makes me get a wee bit emotional.”
To each his own, apparently. For another perspective, we contacted Axl Rose’s publicist. She responded by saying that Axl was “in the studio furiously working on the remaster for Chinese Democracy which is about to blow the world away” -but he was kind enough to send us a letter which really says it all:
“I f*cking hate sitting. But I love chairs. That’s what “Welcome to the Jungle” is about. Nobody ever got that. Why do you think I’m strapped to an electric chair in the video? I started breaking chairs in Indiana and when I got to LA, there were more chairs than I had ever f*cking seen man. I busted a dozen my first week on the Strip. I had never sat in anything like these before. I even say in Jungle “it’s gonna bring you down!” and to your “na-na-na-na-knees”, I mean how stupid do people have to be to not get the message? Did I have to call the track “Break your chair, motherf*cker” for them to get it? Paradise City was originally written from the perspective of a chair who keeps getting the sh*t kicked out of him but of course David f*cking Geffen that money-hungry m*therf*cking c*cks*ck*er made us change it for MTV.”
Rose included a recent photo of himself holding up his middle 3 fingers with a handwritten note reading “Read between the lines, 1, Axel F-ing Rose.”