Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
It’s hard to tell the shows apart anymore. When we look back and reminisce, they all run together. Has the show been on too long?
When Grant, one of the show’s founders, left in 2014 the shocking and mostly unexplained departure betrayed probable hidden conflicts within the cast.
There have been great guys on the show, but the girls have been exceptional. They never squealed and shivered at spooks. They were confident, brave and smart. So why are they gone?
Jay has attempted to replace the girl-gap with a rotation of his daughters (and one dog). For some reason although these daughters seem confident and smart, it just feels like we’re getting more Jayness and not more girliness.
Actually, I don’t know who left first, Brian or Donna. They both left in 2007. But Donna left without much fanfare. Brian’s departure was a plot point on the show. He was clearly a point of pain and it’s easy to see why his erratic and undependable behavior necessitated his release from the series. However, to his credit, Brain did inject some life into the show every time he failed to correctly coil up an extension cord. He seemed to serve as some kind of personality catalyst for the rest of the cast. Without him, the show deflated a bit. Which brings us to…
The current menagerie of ghost story, ghost hunting, and ghost psychic shows are full to the brim with personality. New shows have goofy, hyper lead investigators (Zak Bagans), quirky angles (a cop and a physic who prescribes chaos magicians) , psychics aiding celebrities, hillbilly ghost hunters. I’m not saying the gimmick is alright. I’m just saying GH has lost what few charismatic players they had. Jay and Grant were a duo with personality. Jay and Steve Gonsalves are not. Jay alone is not. In comparison to other shows, the cast now seems bland. Professional is good. Bland is not.
Ghost Hunters International and Ghost Hunters Academy didn’t last although the academy did give us Adam Berry who was an interesting addition at first. Remember the inn in New England that Jay and Grant purchased? Can this be turned into a spin off?
Some ghost shows rely on personality. Some shows rely on trumped-up scares. It’s a hard line to walk. Ghost Hunters once had a bit of comedy and personality (with some on-the-air dramas). It seemed at some point in the last five years GH was going for more scares and less science. Then they seem to pull back. The show has always seemed to struggle with what kind of show does it want to be. In any case, both science and show credibility have suffered.
That inn in New England reminds me of a question that has been bugging me for years: why doesn’t anyone invest in a clearly haunted house and study that on TV for a few years? Why aren’t any eccentric Richie Rich’s investing in ghost research? They’re investing in alien research. Why not ghosts? After ten years and multiple ghost shows, have we any decent proof to show for ourselves? Something we can take on a TED talk? In fairness, it’s not really possible to judge televised research. The very format is deceptive. But we all pretend here, right? “It’s a TV show” is my husband’s favorite mantra. TV prevents me from ultimately taking anything seriously. So I’m pretending disappointment here with the repetitive evidence we’ve managed to accumulate over the last decade. Because it’s a TV show, this particular viewer is getting bored with “compelling EVPs.”
At the end of day, we’re left with Jay. God love him for hanging in there, but he’s too stern to lead, he’s not causal enough to narrate, and he needs a charismatic co-host to counter-balance his solid-guy Jayness. He once had a role to play: be the hard guy. He’s like your friend’s dad who is too serious and hard-ass so you never go over and play at their house. He wasn’t flexible enough to morph into a welcoming, friendly host. I’m led to believe Jay might have a serious life, so he’s a serious guy. But real life characters and TV characters are too different things. Jay needs Grant’s lightness to offset his Jayness.
Posted by Nerdia at 11:15 AM
Monday, May 26, 2014
Afterward, we went to Mel’s Diner, for the traditional post-prom late night breakfast. We played some more good tunes on the jukebox. I felt so glad to finally have a prom night with the man I love, not just a random date - a man who goes outside his comfort zone and shares my zest for life and sense of humor. Together we find joy in so many things around us and support each other through the down times. After 6 years, he is still the one I want by my side for all my future adventures. I know this much is true.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Jack Black and Kyle Gass planned Festival Supreme to be a "Coachella of Comedy" and if you gauge the comparison based on number of hipsters in ironic tshirts, overcrowding, and long lines, they succeeded. The Santa Monica Pier doesn't really work as well as a setting as the polo field in Indio does. There was a lot of crowding and too much standing required, but overall, I'd say, as at Coachella, the lineup was worth the suffering. It was a quite a collection of titans of comedy.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
The Canyon Club - Agroua Hills, CA
July 26, 2013
Courtney Love at...The Canyon Club? In Agoura Hills? Isn't that the place where, like, Flock of Seagulls and The Knack appear on their nostalgia tours? Well, guess what folks...Live Through This is almost 20 years old...and as Courtney remarked "This is my oldies tour, and I am never doing this again..."
It's an odd venue deep in the Valley. Appropriately for the evening's show, there's an antique store in the same strip mall by the club called A Beautiful Mess. They sell dinner packages for the shows, so a good portion of the crowd was sitting down when she took the stage. Courtney said, "Are you people sitting down? Is this dinner theater? Am I playing fucking dinner theater??? Oh, how the mighty have fallen." Well, she needn't have worried, although she mentioned "dinner theater" a few more times during the show, because most of the crowd was packing the general admission floor area and screaming along with all the old songs. And is she still relevant? Well, I went with two 17-year-olds who are avid fans and pushed their way to the front and had a joyful and emotional time. The songs capture the female experience in a visceral, honest, and often ugly way, and the world hasn't changed that much in 20 years.
Her new band is all dudes, and they are tight. They ripped through a 70-minute set that covered her whole career. It was a treat to hear "Gold Dust Woman". She played a couple songs off America's Sweetheart and Nobody's Daughter, but the bulk of the set was from Live Through This and Celebrity Skin, with a smattering of Pretty on the Inside.
Some people dismiss Celebrity Skin as too poppy and slight, but I like the album a lot and so did this California crowd. When I first moved to LA, I drove up the PCH to Malibu listening to the album and songs like "Malibu" and "Pacific Coast Highway" and I felt like I was finally home. This was now the soundtrack to my life, just as Live Through This had helped me navigate the difficult transition between college and "real life."
While I don't always like Courtney, I always respect what she's gone through and how she has managed to survive, and I dig her music. And she looks quite good at 49. I wasn't close to the stage but didn't notice any obvious creepy plastic surgery. She's still got energy and her barbaric yawp.
"Let me check out the demographic...Nirvana t-shirt? check. Homos? You were there for me at the lowest points. Fucked up girls?" Courtney said. Yes, they were all there in abundance. Who else was there? Nikki Sixx was watching from the side of the stage. Courtney made a reference to her best friend being there and how they were an odd combo, but didn't really say if she was talking about Nikki or someone else. I can picture Courtney and Nikki having some shared experiences to discuss.
Overall, I'd say she seemed much more commanding and in the groove than when I last saw her in 2010. She's obviously worked more with this band and is comfortable with them. She said they will have a new single out before Christmas.
I was pleased to see Live Through This made the recent Entertainment Weekly list of 100 Essential Albums. "Violet" still riles me up, and I felt a solidarity with everyone in the crowd who was singing along, even the dude next to me with the Affliction shirt and Goo Goo Dolls hairstyle with frosted highlights. Courtney came back and delivered "Doll Parts" as an encore, after complaining about how hard it was to breathe life into that old chestnut. Breathe life - and spit fire - she did.
My reviews of Hole in 2010 and 1998.
My Courtney Love choose-your-own-celebrity adventure
Friday, June 21, 2013
21 June 2013
I think People magazine is pulling our leg today with this absolutely ridiculous “confirmation” that Kim and Kanye have decided to name their little darling North West. True, Kaidence didn’t make the cut, although it had been a front runner among the family. At the Jenner/Kardashian kompound in Kalabasas there was much discussion this week about other choices, but nothing was written in stone. The long-rumored Kimye was eventually discarded because I reminded Kris that there was already a semi-celebrity with essentially the same name, Kimya Dawson, who wrote all those boho-chic songs for the Juno soundtrack. And so the deliberations wore on… Surely, some of the names we floated during those fruitful discussions by the infinity pool bear revisiting. This whole “North” thing—I think it’s pretty darn risible. I mean, really, North Donde West? It sounds like a cul de sac in a Flagstaff, AZ retirement development. And where’s the femininity, the verve; the special K? For all of you who could not be there, here are some of the names we discussed:
Kardigan (remember all those nifty prepster sweaters Kanye first wore when he arrived on the scene?)
Kondoleeza (a strong, powerful, educated woman)
Kastanet West (genuinely sounds great and is a nice musical nod to Dad; other options in the same vein: Koronet, Kettledrum, Kalliope, Akkordion, Klezmer)
Kumbaya Mylord West (a nod to Dad’s messianic complex)
Kruller Krumpet (to acknowledge all the pastries that were so key in the baby’s well-documented development. Bruce duly lobbied for Krispy Kreme and there was some support in the air—but Kris, who adores the spelling, reminded her hubby that the trademarking opportunities are already sewn up.)
Kleopatra (Kim is smoky-eyed and gorgeous like Liz Taylor…Cleopatra was Egyptian…which makes her African...like Kanye’s forebears. Knefertiti was also thrown into the mix by Kendall. Much debate ensued about which ruler was hotter.)
Kornukopia (this baby will have many talents and opportunities)
Kulture Klub (because she’s such a wonderful amalgamation of various kultures)
Kiplinger (because Mom’s proudly all about the $$$; also, Kippi is a sweet little nickname)
Kibble Ann (a nice, traditional family name)
Kundalini (Kim thought it was a delicious pasta dish at Drae’s, but I explained what a peaceful, mystical name it really was.)
Knelly (Kourtney’s always been a big fan of Little House on the Prairie which was filmed close by in the Valley.)
Kopakabana (since Mom and Dad aren’t afraid of putting on a show)
Knarly Rae (honors the baby’s Valley Girl roots in Kalabasas)
Kesha Kabbalah (Who doesn’t love a virtuous namesake, á la Madonna or Jesus/Yeezus?)
Kordovan (Bi-racial children usually have gorgeous skin tone, á la
Krabapple Kumquat (sunny Gwynnie paved the way with Apple for her tyke, and Krabapple adds just the right amount of tartness for the daughter of the reigning “king of kontention” in the hip-hop/rap world. As they say, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” And in keeping with the fruit theme, Rob recommended the middle name to honor Kim’s entrepreneurial/artistic spirit with the project that first put her on the map.)
Koupe de Ville (since she'll most likely have a lot of junk in the trunk like her Mom)
Ketamine Kwhorentine [pronounced ˈkē-tə-ˌmēn ˈkwȯr-ən-ˌtēn] (in the tradition of classic, elegant French names like Christine, Evangeline, Clementine, etc.)
Koka Kola (the synergy is just waiting to happen)
Kelly Klarkson (Kylie wouldn’t let this one go…)
and perhaps the group favorite (We’re just waiting for Alex Hailey’s blessing and to see if he’s willing to be the baby’s godfather)…
KUNTE KIMTÉ (since Kanye doesn't seem to have any problem taking famous references in black history and reemploying them in a totally tone deaf way; e.g., on the new album, his appropriation of MLK's "Thank God, Almighty…free at last" to describe a pair of breasts he has "liberated" from a bra in a sordid bathroom f—k.)
KUNTE KIMTÉ—it verily skips along the tongue. I can see why the family went ga-ga over this potential choice. So romantic and erudite! Just like the much-admired couple who spawned this little 21st-century treasure.
North? Bah! In the immortal words of Public Enemy: "Don’t believe the hype!"
Posted by Julie Wiskirchen at 4:59 PM