Saturday, March 11, 2006

Pop Culture News and Notes

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Monday March 13th in New York City. This year’s list of inductees is a relatively eclectic bunch:

Blondie, the poppy New Wave band fronted by Deborah Harry who had the first rap (well, sorta…) single to top the Billboard pop chart with “Rapture”.

Miles Davis, the jazz legend whose blending of jazz and rock (starting with the monumental Bitches Brew...see above) gave birth to a flood of lesser jazz-rock fusion attempts (yes, we’re looking at you, Return to Forever…)

Black Sabbath, the prototypical (and enormously inventive and influential) Heavy Metal band fronted by absent-minded reality TV show Ozzy Osbourne.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Southern Rock legends that are still soldiering despite the deaths of leader Ronnie Van Zant and two other band members in a plane crash back in 1977.

The Sex Pistols, the raucous punk band that had more attitude than talent (though “God Save the Queen” is still a thrilling rock and roll song all these years later. The ever-pretentious (some might call him cool but I don’t) John Lydon (aka “Johnny Rotten”) and the rest of the surviving members of the band have already said that they won’t be at the ceremony (maybe they’re honked off that The Clash, a superior band, made into the Hall before they did :-)

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Isabelle Dinoire, the French woman who was the recipient of the world’s first face transplant late last year is ready to tell her story on to a major American network…if they’ll meet her quote. Allegedly she wants something in the six figures for an interview and an additional half-million bucks for the rights to broadcast a documentary about the groundbreaking procedure she went through. NBC has already demurred (Matt Lauer had already been waiting in the starting gate) and ABC is denying rumors (propagated it seems by Dinoire’s lawyer) of a deal involving an interview with Diane Sawyer and a trip to Disney World.

Free enterprise is a wonderful thing…and face transplants can’t come cheap…so I don’t begrudge Dinoire taking her shot at the golden ring (and eventually, despite all their high-falutin’ bluster about not paying for news, I won't be surprised when one of the networks ponies up some cash in one way or the other for her story.)

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American Idol has their Top 12 (one might wonder how a couple of them made the cut but America voted and these are the folks who will sing and dance endure Paula Abdul’s pointless treacle, Randy Jackson’s hipster babble, and Simon Cowell’s acid barbs.) Now let the real show…on the big stage with the big band…begin.

For those who bet on such things, Pinnacle Sports (the first sports book to list odds for reality show contestants) has rocker Chris Daughtry (one of my favorites) listed as the early favorite to win with odds of 7-2. Mandisa goes into the finals with odds of 11-2 followed by Katherine McPhee and Ace Young both at 6-1. Kevin Covais (40-1), Bucky Covington (50-1), and Melissa McGhee (60-1) are the longshots at this juncture (but, of course, things can…and probably will…change as the season rolls on.)

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