Friday, February 18, 2011

Television & Media Archive

(click show title for link to video/article)

Lopez Tonight / WTBS (Feb 24, 2011)
What barbershop quarter wouldn't want Chris Jericho?

Attack of the Show / G4 television network (Feb 22, 2011)
An amusing interview with host Kevin Periera...

PIX Morning News / KPIX New York (Feb 17, 2011)
Chris addresses the Velvet Revolver rumors (and hermaphrodite fans)

The Opie & Anthony Show / SiriusXM Satellite Radio (Feb 16, 2011)
A 40-minute audio segment focusing on wrestling and Fozzy

Red Eye / FOX News (Feb 15, 2011)
What Chris did for $25, and what celebrity annoyed him most (Feb 15, 2011)
Chris talks about Arizona, and being an author

The Wendy Williams Show / syndicated (Feb 15, 2011)
Hamming it up with Wendy Williams (not Wendy O Williams)

FOX & Friends / FOX News (Feb 14, 2011)
New York City's subway slasher, Lady Gaga's pod, and Valentine's Day

TWITTER: Chris Jericho

Monday, February 14, 2011

Grammy Award Muse-ings: East Coast bias, Mumford & Sons shine, Cee Lo Green glows, Arcade Fire ignite, Ma-GaGa-donna & more

First of all, the pink elephant in the room - the music industry is anchored in Los Angeles. The Grammy Awards are held in Los Angeles. The notable parties are all in Los Angeles.

Why aren't the Grammy Awards televised live in Los Angeles?

The obvious answer I come up with is that they're hoping most of the industry won't watch them, that way they can't question why the awards show was opened with a stale tribute to a living legend that would have been better-suited for later in the telecast.

No disrespect to Aretha Franklin, but Cee Lo Green should have opened the show.

Or Justin Bieber, but God-forbid they do that and risk all the kids going to bed, then mom and dad turning on anything more entertaining. (For the record, there was nothing else on. My father-in-law called at 11pm EST and said he was watching - not because he particularly cared, but because he was out of options.)

That Cee Lo Green performance was everything that an opening act should be - dynamic, fun, original and relevant. Muppets! How awesome was that? You know what was just as awesome? The song - just further proving the argument I waged on my Facebook page a few weeks ago, that a great song becomes little more than a novelty when it's hanging its marketing shingle on an f-bomb.

The song is already great, and didn't miss a beat being delivered as "Forget You" - calling it "Fuck You" is nothing more than a cheap and completely unnecessary gimmick that panders to the lowest common denominator.

Speaking of turn-offs, I've loved Lady Gaga from day one - so early on, that people laughed at me when I told them she should be huge. That said, she's only one album in and I already fear her career trajectory could be where Marilyn Manson was after Mechanical Animals. That's how accelerated culture is today, and I fear she's already losing sight of the smaller picture as she jumps the Jaws tank in an effort to express herself.

You're only as good as your current hit, and the groundwork is already being laid for her next one, with the Hollywood Reporter reporting today that Gaga's producer RedOne boasts that the next single "is going to shock" - you mean, as opposed to suck?

"Born This Way" doesn't suck, but it's far from great - and a great way to have buried the song's Madonna comparisons would have been to be joined by the material girl onstage last night. Which obviously didn't happen. In a world where there is no such thing as accidental press, the fact that they're already setting up song No. 2 speaks volumes...

The big winner last night was Mumford & Sons (pictured above). They were in a league all their own, playing with an honesty and spirit that was effervescent. They're going to steal the show at Coachella this year - a 60,000 person sing-along will provide the type of magic that sells the festival out in three days despite a lackluster lineup.

Muse were my other favorite from the night - they managed to translate a big rock show (with obvious nods to Pink Floyd and Queensryche) onto the small screen, making it not only believable, but (here's that word again) relevant.

I wish Bob Dylan was remotely relevant. He came across as old as he sounded. Barbra Streisand sounded great, but how many people cared? Part of the problem NARAS are now facing is that they are trying to spread themselves too thin. Aretha tribute. Bieber performance. Yes, it's an overview of where we are, but it really wasn't tied together well at all. A shred of cohesion could do wonders.

John Mayer, Norah Jones and Keith Urban performing Dolly Parton was great - but where was Dolly Parton? I feel like that fell as flat as John Mayer wasting an opportunity to ad lib and stating he'd stick to the teleprompter...

What makes Mayer such a star - aside from his musical talent - is the fact that he is smart enough to manipulate pop culture to fit his personality. Problem is, he's been snakebit since calling Jessica Simpson sexual napalm, and now he comes across as afraid to open his mouth.

Nobody else worries about opening their mouth, why the double standard?

I had to hide from Twitter and Facebook all day yesterday to avoid the barrage of people announcing winners and spoiling the surprise before we on the West Coast had a chance to see the action, at least make it worth my while to watch!

Arcade Fire would have been a nice surprise - if it was a surprise. As for their show, their punk bravado reminds me a lot of Sonic Youth. And the strobe lights ever-present through their performances reminded me of Motley Crue when they reunited on television what seems like eons ago. We listen with our eyes as much as our ears - don't underestimate how important those strobes were...

Did Arcade Fire really deliver the best album of the past year? Does it really matter? The Grammy Awards got what they wanted - indie cred... Despite the disarray that ensued with their botched Arcade Fire/Barbara Streisand/Kris Kristofferson ending.


One final note, to the publicity company that sent out press releases immediately after the live broadcast aired announcing all the winners - really? You get paid in the ballpark of $5,000/month to work your A-list clients, but you can't stay up until the West Coast feed ends to send out a one-line release announcing that said band won a Grammy, and it was their first?

You couldn't even give us a quote from the band? Nothing but a buzzkill, that's all that press release was... NARAS, meanwhile, doesn't even know how to create a buzz - they kept announcing that people won earlier in the night, but they never went so far as to even scroll the winners that weren't televised.

When NARAS doesn't even think their own awards are important enough to announce, how seriously are we supposed to take them?

About as seriously as Cee Lo Green, I guess.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Black Eyed Peas pack serious halftime heat

The only thing I found annoying about the Black Eyed Peas halftime performance during yesterday's Super Bowl, was the outpouring of hyperbole and criticism that followed.

We live in a culture of hatred and entitlement, and I'm finding it harder and harder to disguise my disgust. It used to be you needed a modicum of training, etiquette and professionalism to be a critic. Now all you need is an internet connection.

Spelling, grammar and any hint of education are optional, and typically frowned upon.

Just because you and all of your like-minded friends may agree that you hate the Black Eyed Peas, does not mean that the Black Eyed Peas suck. It just means that you don't like the Black Eyed Peas. I follow a disproportional number of rock fans on Twitter, and I could have predicted their reaction before the halftime show even started. But that was tame compared to the reaction at the party I was at, where I was standing between members of the Guns N Roses camp.

The tough crowd got even tougher when the "Sweet Child O' Mine" cover started and Fergie delivered a little Axl Rose slither as she cozied up alongside Slash, GnR's iconic ex-guitarist.

I'm an Axl Rose loyalist to the core - but, admittedly, even that collaboration didn't bother me that much. The Super Bowl halftime show is arguably the biggest stage there is in music - can you blame the Black Eyed Peas for pulling out all the stops?

Unfortunately, they didn't sound great. But it's the halftime SHOW, not the halftime CONCERT. The spectacle was huge, and it delivered. No, maybe the performers didn't deliver as well as they - and others - may have liked, but if you are watching the Super Bowl with the sole intention of critiquing ads and the halftime show, you're part of today's problem, not part of the solution.

The Super Bowl is a worldwide institution and, in a lot of ways, its prevailing hooplah has come to represent everything that's wrong with America as we spiral through the 21st century as a culture of lemmings that care more about being heard, than about right, fair or even articulate.

I never got the guy's name, but I had a great conversation in the third quarter about how much money was spent on advertising, and where all that advertising money comes from... Us.

We're in a recession, but we're still fueling an economy that continues to cater to excess at a time when we should be dialing our habits down. I don't care how much money Budweiser pays to license a classic Elton John song, their product still tastes more like stale piss to me than it does beer.

Which brings me back to the Black Eyed Peas...

They are a pop music phenomenon, not a live music staple. Their songs are built around club beats and designed for dance floors, not live performances. And if you want to compare them musically to any other act that's performed halftime in recent memory, you're just advertising your own tunnel vision.

Black Eyed Peas are a production team, not a rock band. And they're damn good at what they do. In fact, they are amongst the best. That show last night was visually stunning, even if the vocals fell a little flat. But you know what? At least they were singing (or trying, as the case may be) - I'd rather relish the effort amidst the spectacle, than watch a lip-sync laughathon.

It didn't take a sound engineer to know there were sound problems. All their mics cut out at one point or another, and that's not the band's fault. Who knows what they were actually hearing on stage? Am I making excuses? Yes, I am - but I tuned in to watch the Super Bowl, not play armchair quarterback and pass judgment on the bells and whistles that surrounded the game.

Last night's game was a phenomenal steak dinner. The Black Eyes Peas performance was akin to finding some wilted lettuce in a salad that is highlighted by some superb blue cheese dressing.

If you're tuning into the Super Bowl to get your music fix, I feel sorry for you - there's so much more out there, you just need to open your ears and listen. And if you're one of those people screaming that the Black Eyed Peas suck and are a musical travesty, maybe it's time to look beyond your own short-sightedness.

They don't suck,they're just not your thing. To the masses that are not metal fans, Slipknot suck so hard they should change their name to Hoover. That doesn't make me appreciate them any less. Green Day is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard to me - that doesn't mean that they suck, it just means that they're not my thing.

To each their own... But we live in America, where people are incapable of compromise. It's all or nothing, and our way or the highway.

If you're liberal, all conservatives are evil. Period.

And if you're a rock fan watching the Black Eyed Peas during the Super Bowl, you've judged them before you even stop to consider the very nature of what they do, or how they do it. Yes, their performance wasn't perfect, but they were playing the Super Bowl, not the Grammy Awards.

It was a football game, and they provided a halftime spectacle - and an excellent one at that. To say that Fergie can't sing is just flat-out wrong - she can sing, even if she wasn't in top form Sunday night.

If you would care to discuss how your definition of music is different than a Black Eyed Peas fan's definition of music, that's another story altogether - but, again, we are talking about opinions, not facts.

I just think back to how I felt growing up, being a fan of heavy metal and having people talk down to me because that wasn't what they consider "real" music.

I remember how it felt when people would tell me that Metallica sucked, when in fact they were just scared and intimidated of the band and what they stood for. They said they aren't music, they're noise. Those judgmental people helped shape me into the person I am today - and those memories are what make me want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

As Dan Akroyd said in the cinematic opus Spies Like Us - we mock what we don't understand.

As for the Super Bowl? Don't hate the playas just cuz you don't like the game.

And as for me? I like the Black Eyed Peas, and all the boom boom pow they deliver.