Bands on the Run
Casting Special

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Alex Richmond: A | Grade It Now!
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Doin' it well

So how's everyone's Sunday nights treating them? A little sad and empty? Yeah. I saw Madonna last Sunday, so mine was okay. Don't hate! Congratulate! But I'm feeling the loss of BOTR. Sigh! But this will hold you over for a bit. Casting special! Woo!

The show starts out with the usual credit sequence, but with no annoying voice-over! Yay! Then the screen goes black and we learn that, "in April of 2000, VH1 solicited applications from real unsigned bands for a new reality series...hundreds of bands responded." Wow, that many? Not. Then a super-fast montage of boxes, file folders, paperwork, and video tapes whirs by until the captioning says "Stage one: Questionnaire." Then we see a bunch of questionnaires. Ohhh-kaaay.

"Stage two: Video submission." A blur of snippets whooshes by. There's a boy band, a girl band, two dudes singing and backing up another dude on guitar, some percussive action, and a drag queen/Iggy Pop clone. Then, HARLOW! They jam clumsily, then sit in a room with a bunch of candles burning and chat up the camera. They giggle but are articulate. So cute and charming! I love them.

Then, wham, stage three: Interview. HOLE-LOW hang on some couches in the VH1 offices (I presume) and talk some more. Rebecca says Amanda is a "huge influence on [them] -- the shorter the skirt, the higher the heels, the more tits, the better." The music follows that, I guess. Then Amanda says that being in a band "is very sexual, you're fucking the audience, almost." Yeow! That girl just puts it out there, doesn't she? I have to respect that. Then we see a lot of gratuitous footage of a Fluffy video (Amanda's old band) as she explains that Fluffy had lots of groupies, but she didn't get into it for the sex; that was just frosting. Hot fudge, if you will. How badly does this make me want to stop writing and grab my bass? How badly, you ask? Well, it's a thought. Michelle, practice your guitar, then we'll jam. Then, heels, skirts, tits, and -- look out, audience, you're about to be strapped on! Or not. Amanda goes on to say that once she fucked some girl in London who then ran out in the hall and broadcast that she "just did it with someone in Fluffy!" Yeah, I can see how that would get old.

HARLOT say they went through a lot of band names, and it took them a year before finding the right one. Rebecca wanted to use TUNA SANDWICH. Rebecca, Becky, Becks. You mean TUNA TACO, don't you? That's one of my favorite...things for dinner! Yeah, with hot sauce. Anyway. Rebecca says she thought it was a good name, and then the rest go on to characterize her as "the little sister and goofball" of the band. Not a bad role. Rebecca says that if she can buy a house and travel and get to stay friends with the rest of the band, it'd be a dream come true. Aw! So sweet. Chimene is characterized as "the rock star without a contract." But she had one once! With the Penny Dreadfuls. The video plays, and Chimene says she was proud of the music they made, but that they were not friends in the end, and that was a bummer for her. God, these girls have heart! Rayshele, you're up: the tough one. But that face! Don't trust the face, the other girls say. Rayshele is super pretty, but has done time. In juvie, sure, but still. She says in an interview that she last "got in trouble" at the age of 18, and realized that adult prison that was not where she wanted to end up. Juvie, however, was a cakewalk. She'd "brawl," and "steal," work in the kitchen and "bring back food for the kids...they'd worship [her], and [she'd] run the place because of [her] attitude." Part of me is wondering if perhaps Rayshele is romanticizing her nefarious past a wee bit, and also what made her stop getting into "trouble" so quickly. She's making it sound like she turned 18 and just grew out of fucking up -- or that all along she was just being a fuck-up because being in juvie was a way to be worshipped.

Some more video snippets fly by. Yawn. These are from the "not interesting" pile. Some are from the "utterly generic poo" pile. Then, hey! Who are these five fresh-faced boys from Dallas, playing an acoustic set with a silver-throated singer? FLICKERSTICK! After the song ("Coke"), they say they've been together for two years. Rex (a redhead! That explains a lot) says he's the newest addition to the band. After "failing" as a songwriter and at fronting a band of his own, he came to take the guitar out of Brandin's hands, allowing him to be "the rock star up front." Yeah, putting a fist on your hip a la Mick Jagger loses some impact when you're wearing a guitar. Fletcher says he used to be where Rex was, but got "pushed back" on the stage to make room. He moves less, and has "less ego," and was "pissed" when that happened. He laughs when he says it, but you know he means it. I really wonder about Fletcher. I mean, no other bands with brothers in them have as little strife as FLICK does. Fletcher must have a lot of patience. I mean, The Kinks? Oasis? Stray Cats? They fought all the fucking time. But Fletcher and Brandin seem totally tight and cool with each other. Amazing. You have to give Fletcher credit for that. ["I think they're just used to performing together, what with the little sequined outfits from their childhood." -- Sars]

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Bands on the Run

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