Posts filed under ‘2st Rock Critic House’

TV Party


I watched SNL for the first time, all the way through, since I don’t know when. I was pleasantly surprised to see Brokeback dreamboat Jake Gyllenhall hosting, opening with a Dreamgirls tribute in drag.

Some things I noticed:

His eyebrows are out-of-control. Assuming they are well-groomed by professional handlers, what do they look like if he misses a few days?

Dude is cut! Those shoulders could hurt someone.

He can almost sing.

He was funny in every sketch. Of course, this also helped that all the sketches were funny by themselves, like this one, which seemed to be based on all videos shown at Woody’s on Wednesday nights and the Tower Records dance section.

We also watched this Hee Haw collection that I scored from the Tower promo pile. I never watched much HH as a child since I grew up in a very Sonny & Cher/Carol Burnett household. I rediscovered it a few years ago through Secret Cinema and found that I really liked the music on the show, like this clip with Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter. Even though her performance was a tad flat, I’d still like to explore more of her stuff. I also noticed that in Hee Haw’s absence, there aren’t as many old people with fucked-up teeth on TV anymore. In 70s variety shows in general, there seems to be a natural camdererie, and what makes HH so interesting is that it seems like many of them weren’t professional actors or comedians. All in all, it reminded me of a rural Laugh-In, except that drugs make the jokes confusing instead of funnier. At least to me.

I also decided last night that Andy the Boyfriend should write a blog about junk food and fast food. He has definite opinions on which cheese steak places give you the most meat, which Philadelphia McDonald’s is the best, and why the world needs Arby’s now. Perhaps I will get him to write some dispatches.

Do you want to hear them? Let me know.

January 14, 2007 at 4:58 pm 1 comment

Happy Birthday Mr Housemate

karen o

Happy Birthday, Anthony Miccio, my domestic soulmate who shares my love of karaoke, piles of CD’s, music videos, and pizza. He kills the bugs and reaches things for me, explains crappy bands on Fuse to me, pre-screens my promos, listens to me talk about dumb shit and even dates cool girls for me to talk to. Best friend dude ever.

As a special gift, I got Karen O to sing him a little song, Marilyn Monroe-style. Cause I’m that connected! “Ant, they don’t love you like I love you, Ant….Ayiyiyiyi…” (followed by three cartwheels and four beer spillings).

October 3, 2006 at 8:48 pm Leave a comment

Return to Pirates


An homage to Rona Jaffe and Cortney Harding

The Two Street Rock Critic House is experiencing extreme nature this weekend: a leaky kitchen ceiling, a sick roach and its dying hangers-on (despite lack of actual food consumed or cooked), and kittens in our backyard.
Last night I went to the first show in ages that wasn’t mine. Mary Timony/Tralala/Human Television/Rifle Nice.

I’m glad to see Rifle Nice getting more love in this town. They’ve been a favorite of mine since they thought to cover both the Action News theme and a Ween song on the Sixth Borough Comp. They really sound like nobody else, other than some Typical Girls band circa 1982. The best songs are the ones with the weird circus keyboards and when Jody plays the trumpet. I think I have a girl crush on Jody. She is really smart and nerdy and funny and badass all at the same time. She introduced one of the songs by saying, “This is about someone who’s afraid to dance because it shows that they are not human.” When I’m sober and drug free, I totally feel like an alien when I try to dance in public. Unless I am playing Mrs Miller. I missed Human Television because I was upstairs in the dressing room smoking and talking to Jody and Alicia and babbling madly, finding out crazy things about very bad people.

Tralala is part of a new trend in girl groups that I like. They were a cross between The Pipettes and Thee Headcoatees. I told Maria that me, her and Carolyn should start a band like this, but I can’t harmonize for shit. I can wear the dresses though. The girls reminded me of people I know: Jenelle, Honey, Camille, and Uma Thurman. Okay, I don’t know Uma Thurman personally. I just think that every tall blond with those perfect Roman noses looks like Uma Thurman.

As for Mary Timony, this is probably the best performance I’ve ever seen, as her live stuff is always inconsistent, and she’s best in small places. The second best time I saw her was at Ladyfest Midwest in Chicago 2001, accompanied by a weird little toy piano. She totally rocked a trio and was totally no bullshit about it. But then again, she can make singing about unicorns seem badass. That’s my word of the day I guess. Also, Mary’s sort of a doppelganger for Maria and years ago, she reminded me of Reyna, which used to cause me a lot of angst because a boy I used to date dumped me for her, and I was thinking that my life was over because I got dumped for a gorgeous Mary Timony lookalike.

Obviously, it wasn’t the end of the world. The world got better for all involved.


Frank Kogan: He cares about teenpop more than I ever will, but I’m forever indebted to him for Why Music Sucks, a fanzine he did over a decade with mere civilians like me and established rock crits and writers like Chuck Eddy, Rob Sheffield, Jane Dark/Josh Clover, Luc Sante, Liz Armstrong/Misty Martinez, Mary Gaitskill, just to name a few. I was honored to be part of such a unique and rare community that is unable to make its way into the internet age. (Sorry ILX). It completely demsytified the process of rock criticism and writing in general and levelled the playing field for everyone involved. And most important, it was non-judgemental. The printed page and the time and thought it took to put the thing out made it asshole free and utterly sincere. I had the most intense friendships I’ll ever have with anyone, which are predictably, a thing of the past. I keep bugging Frank to start a Why Music Sucks blog and keep the assholes out and the good stuff coming. Can someone else bug him besides me?

Cortney Harding: A very belated add. I just realized she was linking to me. Awesome fellow girlgrouper who named her blog after a 50s bacheleorette novel. I’m always honored when young smart girls link here (or any smart people for that matter). I’m slowly adding all the girlgroupers to the blog roll. If I’m missing anyone, let me know.

June 4, 2006 at 3:08 pm 1 comment

My Quarterly Blog Post

Andy the boyfriend and his nephew Raimund

Sorry for my long absence. Apologies to all five of you. Mostly I’ve been too busy, tired, depressed or agitated to post, and my new rule for Bees is that I only rant about my personal life entertainingly. If it’s not funny to anyone, I’m not putting it here. With that said, I’m tempted to take down a bunch of entries from this blog, which are too personal and just poorly written. Some things just don’t belong on the internet and I’ve been very anti-internet lately.
Anyway, I’ll share the good news instead. Andy the Boyfriend is going to be shacking up with me and Ant here at the Two Street Rock Critic House. His love of pizza and bad cable TV and sympathy for the Shamrock Pub will make him the perfect resident here. And rock critics (even underacheiving ones like me and Ant) need civilians to hang with; you can always tell which writers are only talking to other writers. Andy’s also bringing his dog, a Beagle Lab named Chelsea, which will eliminate the need for me to ever sweep the kitchen floor ever again.
Yes, I’m gonna finally clean up the third floor and hang up all my clothes and deal with my office crap so the poor boy has a place to put his stuff. It’s really happening!
Otherwise, my life moves between lazy and busy. The Dumpsta Players did three shows in three months: a best-of, a benefit, and Prom Trash. We raised over $3,000 for our May 6 benefit for The Bryson Institute of The Attic Youth Center for L/G/B/T/Q Youth and SMART, Inc: sisterhood mobilized for Aids/HIV Research & Treatment. It’s nice to know that being a freak can help others in a real way.

For Prom Trash, Cathy and I entered as Punk Rock Siamese Twins. We put a trash bag over ourselves, Cathy wore a red wig that looks like my hair, and we wore Nancy Spungen-style make-up and shouted obscenities and spit up Pabt’s and pistachio pudding at everyone. We came in second to Slavid’s reigning queen, Amanda Playwythe, who showed up with her elderly husband (brilliantly played by her boyfriend), Anna Nicole-style.

Speaking of Nancy Spungen, I finally read And I Don’t Want To Live This Life, her mother’s story about Nancy’s short troubled life and notorious death. I believe that Nancy was “nauseating,” troubled, and brilliant; she’s a human being after all. It was such a heartbreaking read, since she never got the mental health care she needed. I wonder what she would be like today if there were more options available to her. I wish she’d been in a band instead of a groupie, at least that would have been place to direct her fury. Would she be like Courtney Love, alternately falling down and getting back up again into her 40s? I can’t imagine being a member of the Spungen family. After reading the book, I hoped that her sister Suzy went on to be a famous artist. She was the one I identified with the most: loving and hating and revering and reviling someone all at the same time.

Oh and finally, Maria posted Plain Parade’s entire history here. Commentary forthcoming. As always, hugs to anyone who played a show with us, spent their hard-earned dollars on our shows, wrote about us, or told us to keep fightin the good fight — especially during our dark Doc Watson’s daze. It keeps me coming back year after year.

May 22, 2006 at 6:54 pm 2 comments

Movies I Watched With Ant While Snowed In


To tell you the truth, much of it’s a blur of wine, Doritos, and Wawa cold cuts.

Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle: Like Cheech & Chong but hotter and smarter. I don’t know if the Jew neighbors were a good or a bad stereotype, but at least they were the only white characters who were sympathetic to their plight and not assholes, which might be kind of like real life. I would watch more movies with Kumar as the male lead. I think it’s an untapped market.

Me and You and Everyone We Know:
All the adult characters talked in martian poetry which would have been forgiveable if any of them were likeable. I ilked the children the best, especially the youngest boy who coined the phrase “pooping back and forth.” I want an excuse to say that to someone. Plus like, Miranda July might be a rad artist and all, but she still upholds the indie film female ideal: skinny, flatchested, cryptic but non-threatening.

Born To Boogie: I would like to live in Marc Bolan’s curls. My favorite parts were the Monty Python-esque vignettes, like the one of a picnic with nuns eating hamburgers and a vampire and a string quartet and Marc Bolan singing shooby-dooby in his Mad Hatter hat. My favorite part of the concert footage was the audience. All the girls look like Amy DiCamillo of Undergirl and all the boys look like Kurt Heasley from The Lilys. Or maybe I have it backwards.

February 14, 2006 at 9:42 pm 2 comments

Mannequins and Product Queens


All good things must come to an end, so my Verizon-sponsored vacation from the internet is over, just in time for back-to-school! Anthony and I are in the process of setting up the Two Street Rock Critic Nerd Party House. As soon as I get all of my records out of the dining room, we will have a party where you get to ooh and aaah over our kitchen (marveling at the irony that neither of us really cook) and enter into the Trinity Staircase Climbing Contest.

I’ve been keeping an eye out for Stupid and Crazy customer stories, but I think the strangest customer I’ve ever seen is a dude who was on a listening station, gazing intently into the eyes of a mannequin head. Maybe he was studying for beauty school.

And finally, Andy The Boyfriend was outed as a big old product queen in the Philadelphia Inquirer. (There’s a cute picture of him shaving in his “Northern Liberties bathroom” that is sadly not online). If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t know the joys of coconut-scented, glue-like hair products. But I’ll have you know that he’s the manliest man I’ve ever dated. Okay, compared to some of my exes (who I could probably beat up), that’s probably not saying much. But Andy’s the kind of manly man who will come to your house at 11:00 at night, drink a bunch of beers, carry an air conditioner up two flights of windy stairs, install it, put together a desk and two garment racks (the centerpieces in the Sara House of Fashion Floor of the Rock Crit Nerd Party House) and smell like flax seed at the end of the night. Andy Selke, strong enough for a man, yet gentle enough for Aveda.

August 25, 2005 at 9:12 pm 1 comment


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