e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu


learned at the gym

I can't stand VH1 reality shows so I rarely watch the network these days, although I hear that "Behind the Music" is returning, which is great, great news. Curious thing about "Behind the Music" is that the quality and potential entertainment value of a given episode has little to no correlation with the quality of the musician. The music of Styx, for instance, does little for me. The Styx episode of Behind the Music, on the other hand...pure awesomeness. This curiosity is not true for episodes of E! True Hollywood Story. The "All in the Family" and "Three's Company" THS episodes--like the sitcoms they profile--endlessly entertaining. The Bad Girls of Reality TV episode? Unwatchable.

But I digress. So last night I'm on a treadmill (literally, not figuratively). I turn on VH1 and sweat to "100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders." Entertaining? Of course. Informative? Yes, that too. You probably know already that Men Without Hats had record covers with images of lines through guys wearing hats. Thereby taking literal interpretations of their band name to the point of absurdity. But did you also know they put out a comeback record called...wait for it..."No Hats Beyond this Point"? You might think this sustained series of self-referential practices signals a lack of imagination. No way. They stuck to that hatless vision--even during the futile comeback attempt.

I also learned that British celeb-reality tv shows have WAY cooler stars than their American counterparts. Well, I already knew that Johnny Rotten was on some show or another in Britian, so I guess this wasn't a wholly new insight. But last night I learned that Gary Numan--the guy who sang the vaguely Kraftwerk-ian hit "Cars"--was on a British reality show about car racing. Ha! Get it? Know who was on the same season? Brian Johnson of AC/DC. Wow, and we get the dude from Poison? What a rip.
One more tidbit. Thomas Dolby, as in "She Blinded Me With Science," invented the ringtone and the technology that enabled its ascendance. I'm not making this up. Maybe VH1 is though.

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