“SOUNDSVILLE!”

Posted in Press Release on August 21, 2006 by G Lopez

Talk about a facinating subject for a one act play. Do I remember those ads in the backs of newspapers? Do they still have them? Is my memory fading? Are there still newspapers? These kinds of thought spring through a man’s head when he reads a press release for a really amazing play that he can’t see because he’s locked up at Gitmo. Fuck I hate it here!

Soundville

NEW “SONG POEM” MUSICAL PREVIEWS IN HOLLYWOOD

“Soundsville!” penetrates Hollywood’s shady demo recording industry of the not-too-distant past, with stories of businesses that operated in the gray-area of mail fraud by soliciting poems from everyday people, via tiny ads in the back of magazines.

Aspiring lyricists were flattered by the companies’ “expert appraisal” and subsequently hooked into recording fees with unfulfilled promises of career momentum.

Few heard the actual songs. However, today’s cognoscenti have rightfully praised the work of the cash-hungry musicians who recorded dozens of these fascinating musical snapshots of days gone by per session.

Soundsville is a place where session men lay tracks to their doom and poets and singers find that their recording fees pale in comparison to the many personal tolls of self-delusion.
George Liberace

The play previews two Saturdays: August 5th and 19th at 10pm at the IO-West, in the Andy Dick Black Box – 6366 Hollywood Blvd. http://www.iowest.com

 

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bin Laden praises minimum wage increase

Posted in News & Commentary on June 8, 2006 by G Lopez

I was thinking: wouldn’t it be funny if Osama bin-Laden worked at Jamba Juice? I mean, can you imagine? You walk into Jamba Juice and there’s Osama bin Laden behind the counter and he’s like, “can I take your order?” Tell me you wouldn’t flip out.
osamajambajuice.jpg

What if he worked at Sketchers?

Little Billy

Posted in News & Commentary, Politics on November 11, 2005 by G Lopez

WASHINGTON D.C. After a brutal season of complicated scandals and poll numbers swimming below sea level, the White House has regrouped, meeting in the back of local pizza place once a week, where they’ve emerged this week with a surprise play for the hearts and minds of it’s constituents and the world audience, a play right out of the TV situation comedy play book.

And as far as surefire surprises go, this one couldn’t have been more adorable. I’m speaking of course about Billy.

Billy is a refreshing new edition to the Bush White House – a seven-year-old blond scamp wise beyond his years, and eager to fill the vacancy left by the younger staff members who got older and less cute.

This irrepressible yet irresistible towhead was chosen out of thousands of kids who auditioned to follow the heels of the president, always at the ready with one of his patented barbs such as, “Wholly Moses!” and “Are you SURE you know what you’re doing?”

Apparently so. The latest Gallop poll has the president’s approval ratings up almost two whole percentage points. And the GOP has responded with something akin to a laugh-track guffaw followed by enthusiastic applause.

“Is he cute?” an unnamed conservative asked himself for my benefit, “Sure he is. He’s like a little blonde moppet. He’s the kid I wish I could have living next door to me.”

“Just when Scott McClellan grows plump and awkward, here comes this Oliver Twist meets Nicholas from ‘Eight Is Enough’,” raved Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), “What’s not to like?”

Tucker Carlson from MSNBC’s “The Situation Room with Tucker Carlson” agrees:

“What I find especially refreshing is the wholesomeness that Little Billy conveys. Like an Eisenhower-era that makes me want to lock myself in my Situation Room I built into my home, don a life-sized bunny costume and listen to old Perry Como recordings with an ice cold stick of margarine betwixt my taint.”

Many Democrats are skeptical however.

“The kid was just born last season,” said Harry Reid (D-Nev), “now, suddenly, he’s walking around saying clever comebacks and one-liners? I don’t buy it.”

DNC Chairman Howard Dean chimed in this week for the opposition, “This has to be the poorest excuse for revitalization since Ted McGinly was nominated for treasurer, or the time Dick Cheney faked a heart attack, ala Fred Sanford, and the world had to tune in next week for a ‘very special episode’.”

Meanwhile many house Democrats are demanding a timetable for when the president will water ski over a pool of man eating sharks with a banner looming overhead that reads “Mission Accomplished.”

Alex P. Keaton: The Dark Side

Posted in News & Commentary on June 9, 2005 by G Lopez

Family Ties

For the majority of Americans, the 1980s was a renaissance; a New Wave that rinsed away the stagnant counter-cultural miasma of the late-1960s through the mid-1970s or thereabouts like an MX missile armed with Scrubbing Bubbles™.

Long gone were the platform shoes, the tie-died sleeping bags and the Peter Frampton hairstyles of the hippy “glam” era. Arriving on the porch were the pastel sweater vests, the starkly upturned collars, and the khaki pants that said, “grab a shave, hippie!” as America’s “moral majority” embraced Ronald Reagan – electing, then re-electing him with his promise of the prosperity that God would trickle down upon the young, faithful and upwardly-mobile.

That faithful clamored for a new hero to represent their new “it’s hip to be square” ethic. From 1982 to 1989, on a little show called “Family Ties,” on a little TV network called NBC, that hero was called Alex P. Keaton.

Intelligent and highly motivated, few would question how a son so bright could be born to Steve and Elyse Keaton, a thoughtful, educated middle-class couple. But few would believe that two flower children from the drug-fueled 60s with vague ties to radical militants in the pot-smoking-black-power-anti-imperialism era would give birth to and introduce into their Utopian world a young individual so conservative, so reactionary and so extreme in his nationalist views, his belief in the free market and his distain for the lower classes formerly championed by the Barney Millers of the previous decade that he would keep a picture of Richard Nixon at his bedside..

This Young Republican fearlessly rejected the romanticized victim-hood of the ‘One Day at a Time’ formula, stood up against the ingrained pathos of ‘Good Times’ and said, “Hey America, I am white, I am conservative and I am not afraid to wear a tie to high-school.” And America lapped it up like overweight poodles for seven long years.

Teenager’s political views often contrast with those of their parents. Call it teenage rebellion, bluster, defiance, hubris, feeling ones oats, call it what you will, but up until the premier episode where Alex’s date wants to take him to a restricted social club, it was the parents who were stodgy GOP supporters and the children who were strident leftists.

The Keatons turned that model upside down every Thursday night; it seemed natural for the times and in-step with the zeitgeist. And for a half-hour a week, American audiences forgot that they themselves were unpopular, badly dressed and afraid of the unknown.

They called it popular entertainment. But was it actually something much darker? Something more sinister and extreme?

Glen Butterman always considered himself a centrist. He’s never had any problems with the views of Alex Keaton or his parents or even the apathy of his sister Mallory. He always found himself rooting for a compromise between these factions by the end of each show, while admiring Alex as a freckle-faced quasi-teen who was sharp-witted and sincere. But when he installed DSL at Tina Yother’s apartment one hazy autumn afternoon before dusk, he unearthed three episodes of Family Ties – believed to be destroyed – that tell a much different story.

These “lost’ episodes shine a glaring spotlight on the more controversial views of Alex P. Keaton and his brown-shirt cohort Skippy. Viewing the episodes over a bottle of White Zinfandel, it’s easy to see why series creator Gary David Goldberg told these episodes to “Sit, Ubu, Sit.” But after reading this exclusive report, you’ll learn that Ubu is no longer a good dog. (Actually, the real Ubu is dead – but he’s being used here as a metaphor for the lost episodes. – ed)

One episode, entitled “Farmingville,” finds hundreds of Mexican day laborers migrating to the Keaton’s quaint Ohio suburb, wanting nothing more that to make an honest dollar to send home to their impoverished families. Unfortunately for them, the sight of young Mexican men crowding the streets around the nearby Home Depot sends young Alex into a blind white rage. Then, after young Jennifer is allegedly “solicited for sex” by a group of the workers, he decides to take action.

He begins contacting anti-immigration organizations from as far off as Texas and Los Angeles to organize a resistance. While addressing a living room full of skinheads, hard hats, and Reform Party delegates, he finds the role as activist leader intoxicating as he’d neatly cuff the sleeves of his Oxford shirt and raise his voice in anger against what he termed the “browning of America” to cheers and chants of the (then) popular song Der Kommisar.

“I’m not a racist,” said Keaton at this rally, “I have equal contempt for anybody who makes less than $50,000 a year.”

In the episode titled “Apples and Oranges” from 1986, Alex tries to buy a birthday cake at his local supermarket only to find a picket line, which he crosses – to the heckles of striking, sunburned cashiers and stock clerks.

During the B-story where Mallory needs money to take mandolin lessons, Alex explains to guest star Wallace Shawn how the negative image he has of his father working for a non-profit organization gave birth to a boiling hatred of immigrants, “welfare leeches” and anyone who expressed support for the downtrodden.

In the final scene Alex enlists Mallory’s boyfriend Nick and his friend Skippy to drive down to the picket line with baseball bats and assault the protesters.

The most disturbing footage, however, was from an episode with no title, no credits and the suspicious absence of Elyse and baby Andrew. The cold opening is from the POV of a security camera as Dr. Barry Van Driesen, a surgeon at a woman’s health clinic where he performed abortions, is gunned down in the parking lot. The unknown assailant then flees in a 1982 Delorean. The B-Story involves Jennifer and her best friend who believes she is pregnant with Satan’s child. Everyone is taken aback as Alex insists on performing an exorcism.

Had these episodes aired, the public would no doubt become far less enamored with Alex. Or maybe not. It’s hard to tell these days.

But what happened to this man who was destined to such greatness? Did he perhaps learn one too many lessons about himself after one too many “very special” Family Ties? Or did the tide turn in his favor to such a degree that he felt his mission was accomplished and he quietly retired from public view. In any case, the impact of Alex P. Keaton on the American psyche cannot be underestimated.

Former television personality Dennis Miller sites Keaton’s ability to cut through the pretension and rhetoric of the cultural elite with a pithy rejoinder as a guiding beacon in his own then-nascent stand-up career. “When I first saw Keaton,” said Miller, “I felt like Kristy McNichol jonesin’ for a smoke at a Dick Butkis ‘Rich Man Poor Man’ reunion. I remember thinking, ‘this guy’s so frank he makes Lee Van Cleef look like Ernest Borgnine.’”

MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson was similarly moved. “You know how gay men ‘find themselves’ while watching an old Barbara Streisand movie and how her brassy self-confidence in say ‘Funny Girl’ inspires some to stand up for who they are? I’m not sure, but I imagine it’s very similar to the time I saw the episode where Alex falls asleep while writing a term paper and dreams it’s 1776 at the signing of the Declaration if Independence.”

It’s nearly impossible for the average person to accept their heroes as they really are, warts and all. Just as it’s nearly impossible to watch the movie Doc Hollywood in it’s entirety. Perhaps the more benign image of A.P.K. should be the one we preserve, for if the masses were to learn that the emperor has new jackboots it would precipitate class warfare on such a scale that the major networks would transform into 24-hour propaganda machines for the military industrial complex. And if that happens, what’ll we do … without us?

Blake asked random strangers to kill wife

Posted in News & Commentary on February 9, 2005 by G Lopez

Robert Blake

LOS ANGELES – After a week of testimony from drug-addled stuntmen and Mafioso-turned-TV-bit-players with nicknames like “Duffy”, “Snuffy” and “Spacetripper” McClarty, the Robert Blake trial revealed more startling allegations from complete strangers with no apparent criminal history whom Blake had solicited to “pop”, “annihilate”, “whack”, “ice” ,”evaporate” and “deep six” Bonnie “Lee” Blakely, his wife and mother of his daughter “Rose”.

Walter “Chubby” Greenpenny, an unemployed pipe fitter of Atwater Village, said Blake answered his Pennysaver ™ ad and said, “I have not much use for a pipe fitter, I would however pay you 10,000 to ‘snuff’ this horrible woman who has ruined my life.”

Jamba Juice Team Leader Hilary “Muff” Winterfrost, claimed that Blake came into her store with Blakely, ordered a Strawberry Nirvana, asked the 21-year old to “assassinate” his wife, pointing to the blond woman and slipped a dollar into the tip jar, winking.

Absolute bloody rubbish

Although Nigel “Wooly” Wiggins has no first hand knowledge of the case or anything else that isn’t the game of cricket, he finds these allegations dubious. “How can these people really exist? I mean, it’s perfectly ridiculous, I must say! I think the allegations are dodgy and I’m not even British!”

Blake’s defense continued to argue that Blake loved the one-time hook-up of Christian Brando and mail-order entrepreneur. “He said he didn’t want to screw it up. And he kept his word. Some other guy is the word-breaker here, not Blake.”

Sunglasses At Night

Barry “The Bishop” Sylvester, who bears a striking resemblance to Doors keyboardist Ray Manzerek but does not play an instrument himself took the stand at the end of the day and described is late night run in with the star of “In Cold Blood”.

“I was leaning against my mint Camaro outside the 7-11 on Yucca Street. It was balmy, hazy Friday night. I had just polished of a six of MGD and I was feeling pretty good. Then this Dodge Viper pulls up and all of the sudden I did not feel so cocky. I mean this car was bad-ass.

“So who leans out the window but Robert Blake. I knew who he was see because I used to work in a video store and I know a lot about actors. I go, ‘hey you’re Robert Blake!’ and he’s like ‘Yeah whatever kid, could you do something to my wife?’

“I can’t remember if he said ‘extinguish’ or ‘ice’. Not ‘ice’ but something like it like ‘freeze’ or ‘chill’; it was something frost-related. Anyway if it was my wife, I’d have done the same thing. I’m not married though. And if I did get married, it wouldn’t be to no porno prostitute.

“That’s why they call me ‘The Bishop’. That and I’m a really big fan of Stephen Bishop, especially his recording of the theme from ‘Tootsie’.”

Genetic Engineering for Dummies

Armchair Harley Davidson enthusiast King “Snake” Greely dismisses any and all slanderous aspersions on Blakely’s character.

“Bonnie was just of her element. What chance did she have growing up poor, white and female in this male dominated, porno-loving blue marble we’re livin’ on? She’s not going to star in her own 70s detective series, is she? There was no pretty cockatiel on her shoulder, was there?

“People like this exist in every city; they’re the ‘lowlifes’, the ‘street scum’, the ‘n’er do wells’. Should we just go town to town and wipe them all out? Would that make you feel more comfortable in your Hollywood hideaways you rich slimy fucks? You people make me sick.”

Lost Dean Martin Lyrics Discovered in Hollywood Thrift Store

Posted in News & Commentary on October 7, 2004 by G Lopez

HOLLYWOOD – Dean Martin (b. Dino Crocetti, 1917) rose to international fame as the swaggering crooner of such hits as “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head”, “That’s Amore” and other song standards he did not write. The Italian-American charmer wasn’t generally known as a songwriter – that is until now.

A steno-pad-filled briefcase found in a Hollywood Goodwill store this week is believed to contain the complete, never performed lyrics written by the late singer/alcoholic who died in 1995.

When Gabe Lackey bought said briefcase for $15 he had no idea what he was in for. “I wasn’t shopping for anything; I was just really depressed, walking around this filthy store, I don’t know why, just looking at all the junk to take my mind off my ex-girlfriend, who’s a lying bitch.”

Deano autograph

Lackey, a 28-year-old production assistant on “The Steve Harvey Show”, showed the steno pads, some dated back to 1951, to his roommate, unemployed stenographer Val Allen.

“I’d call it a stroke of luck that I’m a stenographer,” says Allen, “because I have the ability to look at shorthand and translate it into actual words.”

Lucky indeed, as shorthand, invented by John Robert Gregg in 1888, looks to the common person like the spasmodic chicken-scratch of a functionally retarded schizophrenic.

But to sensitive men with Associates Degrees from vocational college like Allen, that wild scribbling turns into something entirely different – words and phrases.

***

A bottle of scotch, a blowjob and one million bucks

Memories are made of these things

***

And so the two roommates spent the subsequent weekend smoking massive bowls, eating frozen chocolate chip waffles and conjuring up the spirit of the deceased ladies man at the kitchen table of their Los Feliz apartment.

***

Anything you can do I can do drunker

I’ll drink a bottle of Chivas right now

Anything you can sing I can slur better

I can slur all my words and people will laugh

***

Literary experts have yet to monetarily appraise the collection, but Lackey is optimistic he’ll soon be able to quit his day job. “I’m just gonna show up and be like ‘yo Harvey, eat this (raises middle finger). Later bitch!”

***

Everybody loves the money I give them

drivers and whores and doormen and kids

I don’t really have any friends

just a bunch of yes men and a whore or two

and a bottle of aspirin

***

Even if the document does prove to be genuine, some literary experts remain skeptical that what the Cannonball Run alumnus actually created was in fact actual poetry.

Dean Martin

“It sounds,” explains Casper Forster, a UC-Irvine English professor, “like he got really shitfaced, started changing the words to the songs he knew so they referenced booze, fame and sex and then called his secretary in the middle of the night to record his ideas. I could be mistaken; I admit I’m more of a linguist than a aesthetician.”

***

How unlucky can one guy be

when that one guy he’s gotta pee

like a fella once said

mister can I use the head?

***

“Of course it’s poetry,” Lackey sniffs. “It rhymes, doesn’t it? Poetry rhymes. And it doesn’t even have to rhyme. He has plenty of un-rhyming stuff too. He was very versatile.”

***

I just peed the lazy-boy

again

and I don’t care

the TV signed off hours ago

my inside feels like the snowy picture tube static I

see before me

and I can’t feel my left arm

***

Who are they kidding with these Beatle fags?

They have long hair like a broad and they sing like chipmunks

First there was Elvis and now this,

What the fuck?

***

Ed Culver, who teaches a course at the Learning Annex called “Keep A Dream Journal,” sits firmly in the “yes it’s poetry” camp. “What I find remarkable is the way he evokes an allegorical landscape of cold war existential ennui. In Martin’s jaded, cirrhotic worldview, we’re all lying in hell, being roasted by Don Rickles.”

***

You’re nobody if I’ve never heard of you

And if you’ve never been on Johnny, man you don’t exist.

And if you’ve only been on Johnny or Jack

when I was in the john or half in the sack

well maybe I’d talk to your wife but not to you

***

“What this discovery will do,” explained Culver, “is it will force the public to view the drunker half of Martin and Lewis in a whole new light. He’s already associated with the spotlight, but this is more of a small reading light, like if you wanted to read in bed.”

***

I knew a man named Sammy and he had one eye

he’s a funny little guy

He does some kooky things like turn himself into a Jew

Now he’s the chosen few

Mr Sammy Davis

Mr Sammy Davis

Mr Sammy Davis

Dance

***

“A lot of this stuff seems like ad-libs,” said Lackey. “I always thought (Martin) was an improvisational genius, what with his witty repartee in that old Rat Pack footage. But he didn’t wing it. Everything was planned.”

Somewhat more perplexing however is the author’s post modern tendency to shift narrative perspective:

I hate my job

My boss is a letch

he thinks he’s being funny

but he’s a drunk

and I find it disgusting

but still it pays well

“It’s unclear whether his secretary helped him with some of the verses,” said Culver. “But when you read a Dean Martin song lyric, man, you know it could only be the one and only Dean (Martin)”

***

Drivin’ ’round the corner

honkin’ at the girls of junior high

They’re waitin’ for the school bus

I’m on my way to get some Chinese shrimp and noodles and some more vodka, guy.

***

“It’s kind of empowering for men, actually,” Allen muses. “When the translation gets published, it’ll probably outsell that Iron John dude.”

“It’ll outsell the Iron Chef dude,” adds Lackey. “We are getting SO laid!”

Dennis Miller Redefines Sucking

Posted in News & Commentary on July 22, 2004 by G Lopez

BURBANK, CA – On his daily CNBC show ‘Dennis Miller,’ Dennis Miller is changing the way people view sucking.

As thousands of cable subscribers sat frozen in a state of ‘pure existential pity and remorse,’ the 78-year old television personality disassembled the fundamental layers of sucking and put together a brand new method of sucking in a dazzling sucky display.

Superior Board of Intellects (SBI) co-chair Barry K. Lenz, has been studying the downfall of the once amusing comic from the comfort of his futon, offering various books to back up his claims, large books filled with words that he points to in order to emphasize certain phrases.

“When you look up ‘sucking’ in the dictionary,” explained Lenz, “it’s not there. ‘Suck’ is there, but not ‘sucking’ – oh wait, there it is.”

His 9 year-old son and violin prodigy Evan Shipp puts it more bluntly, “I haven’t seen someone suck this hard since Spongebob almost drown and Patrick sucked-up the whole ocean just to save him.”

Barry, who is only allowed to see his son on weekends elaborated, “On Monday, while everyone watching wished they could drink anti-freeze and die instantly, he opened the show with a Jim Jones-like plea to call a 1-800 number and ‘join’ the studio audience.

“Then, after some timely Martha Stewart two-liners which he punctuated by falling over his desk, I knew he had in fact reconstructed our entire perception of what is possible in the realm of sucking.”

Barry’s girlfriend, Tamara Wabash, a Fine Arts major at Bucolic University, expressed her views on the comedian’s performance by showing a succession of black and white stills of the program and accompanying them with catchphrases like, “hey look I’m sucking!” and “Is it hot in here or do I suck?”

Her room mate, Nygyl Vyktym – Cockney lead singer of British punk group Rottyng Entrails concurs, “‘es bloody shit, ‘es a stupid focker’

Herschel Cake, author of “The Complete Guide To Sucking” has already began a complete revision of his popular 575-page text and he’s not alone. Dale Wishcroft, author of “The Idiots Guide To Sucking” and Fran Delaware author of “The COMPLETE Idiot’s Guide to Sucking” both promise to have new editions of their respective tomes out sometime this fall.

When asked how he does it, the former late-night funnyman said, “You call this a topic? I haven’t seen reasoning this unfocused since Al Bundy tried to turn his shoe store into a nightclub. Really, I haven’t seen anyone so divorced from logic since Zsa Zsa thought she could bitch slap her way out of a parking ticket.”

And then he called me “Chachi.” Genius? Trailblazer? Shill? We shall see as the seashell sees. Of course that’s just my opinion. I could be wronger.