The list of famous musicians who've tried acting is long and illustrious -- Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra; more recently, Eminem and Queen Latifah.
The list of actors who've tried singing may be as long, but it isn't nearly as illustrious. It is, however, a hell of a lot funnier. Richard Harris (Albus Dumbledore to us kiddies) had a smash hit in 1968 with the unintentional comic masterpiece "MacArthur Park" (see headline for sample lyrics). Let's not forget Robert Mitchum's 1957 Calpyso Is Like So LP, Leonard Nimoy's recording of "Proud Mary," or more recently, David Hasselhoff's "Wir Zwei Allein Heut Nacht?"
On second thought, let's forget them.
Carrying on the actorly tradition, Jennifer Love Hewitt released a CD last year called BareNaked. The only reason I know of it is because the rutting dog in me can't help but pay attention when an attractive woman's name and "naked" appear close together. Hewitt (or is that Love Hewitt) opened this year's On The Bricks concert series at Centennial Olympic Park last Friday. She played just three songs and left. I guess learning enough songs to play a full set is not one of the things she did last summer.
On The Bricks' big-name acts make its lineup seem like the answer to the question, "Where are they now?" It's not that they're all necessarily bad, it's just that too many of them are about as popular with today's concert-goers as, er, Richard Harris. Case in point: Arrested Development reunited on Friday night for its biggest Atlanta show in a while. Just like they did when I accidentally saw them in 1994, they took me to another place, played me songs of freedom, reminded me that we're everyday people, and repeatedly requested that I raise my hands in the air.
Headliner Shaggy was more fun, more contemporary and less work. I've always liked Shaggy (Orville Richard Burrell to his mom) because, as a romantic, boombastic, fantastic lover myself, I can totally relate to him. Because of technical difficulties, his set was pretty short, but he did manage to squeeze out most of the hits while repeatedly squeezing the microphone into the front of his pants to the oohs and ahs of the young ladies in the audience. I guess he goes on last because no one will touch the mic after him.
Cho bizness: Before last Thursday, I was not a fan of comedienne Margaret Cho. I thought all she did was put a funny Korean accent on standard "Let me tell you about my nutty family" material, and complain about how TV executives thought she needed to lose weight for her short-lived TV show (even though she was essentially playing herself).
I nevertheless had to go see her show at the Chick-fil-A ... I mean, the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center last Thursday. I say "had to" because I was beaten into submission by the Civic Center's fancy light sign that's been blasting Cho's image at anyone driving by for what seems like years.
She was, in fact, damned funny. Her bit on stereotypical Asian movie roles (pissed-off liquor store clerk, tourist with camera, "Welcome to Japan, Meestuh Bond") was hilarious and sad because it's true. Her gift -- which you really don't see on TV -- is how she draws out laughs with her expressions. Lucille Ball is the only person I can think of who does physical joke-telling better. I especially liked when she complained about a holiday resort not being lesbian friendly because the electrical sockets were too high on the wall. The predominantly gay and lesbian audience got the joke -- but just to emphasize the point, she lifted her crotch up to the imaginary wall to demonstrate.
I am like a bird: Speaking of crotches, I visited gay leather bar the Atlanta Eagle after the Cho show. Someone told me that Thursday at the Eagle is Blow Job Night. I'm fascinated by the idea that there might be a designated night for blow jobs the same way other bars have trivia and karaoke. If you go on a Wednesday, I wonder if they say, "Not so fast, fella. This is Dry Hump Night. Come back Thursday."
Officially, Thursday is Underwear Party night. The bar has a "clothes check" desk so that you don't have to drive over wearing only chaps or Underoos. I did not receive, give or witness what I came ... I mean, stopped by to see. According to the friend who came ... I mean, went with me, the action happens in the darkened back room. Every few minutes, we popped our heads in ... I mean, we walked by to see, but all we saw was a man pleasuring himself and three guys watching -- five if you count us.
Karmic redress for the prior item: Last weekend in the Capitol View neighborhood's Perkerson Park, I saw a terrific play about life in the neighborhood called Sweet & Sour Dill. Gabrielle Fulton wrote the play about a high school girl applying for college so she can secure herself a future outside her drug-and-prostitution-ridden (and gentrifying) neighborhood.
The play's beauty was its perfect rendering of 'hood details that mingle humor and sadness. Prostitution is sad, but some of the hookers in Capitol View are fantastic characters. The funniest part to me was the play's white guy, a home improvement-loving gentrifier who works at a non-profit firm with his wife. My neighbors are white gentrifiers who work for a non-profit. They're nearly done remodeling the kitchen and bathroom and hope to finish the bedroom in a few weeks.
That would be very nice.
I've never seen Dreyer. Brown comes to our neighborhood events all the time.
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