Posts By Jonathan Durbin


VH1 Exclusive: D*ck Out of the Box

If you can’t wait for Friday’s release of Hot Rod, you’re not the only one. Interweb impresario and current Saturday Night Live funnyman Andy Samberg is right there with you. When VH1 News caught up with Mr. “Lazy Sunday,” he explained why, exactly, he was looking forward to the release of the film: Because it would help him get girls. So it goes, people.


How It Feels To Be Poison’d


As previously noted, on Saturday, July 28, two of the writers of the blog attended the Poison concert at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J. It was, in a phrase, nothing but a good time. Here’s Jonathan Durbin on the live Poison’d experience.

  • “Look what New Jersey dragged in!” shouted Bret Michaels during the opening salvo of Poison’s headlining show in Holmdel, New Jersey. He shouted it to the tune of “Look What the Cat Dragged In.” Which they were playing. Loudly. The band was backed by explosions of green flame and showers of fireworks. Michaels wore True Religion jeans and generally looked like he’d been shopping on Melrose Avenue in L.A. West Coast rock stars are so into showing everybody the stitching on their clothes. What’s up with that?
  • The video projections behind the band included graphics from the band’s new album sleeve, Poison’d (featuring a female mouth with green lipstick, suggestively tonguing the band’s logo). At other times, the video featured abstract computer-generated art that was somehow reminiscent of a trip through a very long ear canal. Also: Flames. Flames were very popular.
  • Three members of Poison wore Poison T-shirts. The other, bassist Bobby Dall, wore a Venture Bros. T-shirt, a promotional item for a show on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
  • Bobby’s affinity for cartoons didn’t stop the blonde behind me from digging her elbows into my back in a whole-hearted attempt to climb over me, past security and onto the stage where she could worship him properly.
  • Bret changed headgear frequently. He started with the bandanna look, graduated to the woven straw cowboy hat and moved from there to a black leather number. Interesting to note: The hat was the element of his style most frequently appropriated by female fans. The guys seemed more into singing along with the songs. Particular favorites were “I Want Action” and “Nothin’ But a Good Time.” He dedicated the latter to New Jersey. Literally. He said, “New Jersey, this is your song!” New Jersey seemed to agree.
  • New Jersey also agreed with “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” During the power-ballad-to-end-all power ballads, audience members held aloft lighters and cell phones, casting the entire arena in an oddly soothing blue-orange light.
  • Backstage, meanwhile, cascades of sparks spewed from the rafters for a waterfall effect. That was one of the pyrotechnic effects that Bret’s manager had warned us about. She had asked us not to wander around backstage because we might burn our faces off. We didn’t burn our faces off, but there were times where it came close.
  • There were other duck-and-cover moments backstage. Mainly they involved keeping fingers in our ears. The explosions were loud. At other times, I saw stage hands running away from guitarist C.C. DeVille, who had a full-length mirror back there to primp his hair. Run and hide, stage hands! C.C.’s loose!
  • Poison played from 9:30 until 11 p.m. They kept the energy unflaggingly high all evening, which was more than Ratt (who opened). Ratt were loud, but not high-energy. Also, Ratt sound like they’re Irish. Who knew?


  • Post-show at Bret’s bus, a line of people maybe 25 deep had gathered to meet the man. There were a smattering of busty ladies, a few kids and some of Bret’s friends (like Tony, Bret’s tattoo artist — a wonderful guy). Only a few people were allowed on at a time. When we got onto the bus, we noted that the soundtrack Bret was using to entertain the crowd included songs by the Black Crowes and the Foo Fighters. It begged the question: What do rock stars listen to, exactly? Roadhouse rock, apparently.
  • Bret himself turned out to be a very generous and kind individual. He’s also Internet savvy. He’d been watching to see how many of his VSPOT clips from Rock of Love were in the top 10. How’s that for dedicated?

Click the shots taken during the show for larger versions:






And, after the jump there’s one more tidbit…

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Oh Yes They Did: Monday’s Reviews Rage

Lindsay Lohan in better days.Although this is cruel and unusual and probably qualifies as an editorial instance of kicking a blind and sleeping three-legged dog with steel-toed boots, the following is a reviews round-up of Lindsay Lohan’s I Know Who Killed Me. Every week at VH1.comwe round up selections from the funniest, most obscene and brutal film criticism out there so that you don’t waste your cash at the theaters and laugh a little at Hollywood’s expense. Usually we do this on Fridays. But since I Know Who Killed Me wasn’t screened for critics–wise choice, as it turns out–we waited until Monday to deliver the news. Very few movies can claim to have been so brutally excoriated by the press, but that’s one area where Ms. Lohan’s latest vehicle succeeds admirably.

I Know Who Killed Me: Dead on arrival. Bomb hasn’t got a leg to stand on.” — The New York Post

“Hopelessly muddled plot about a maimed young woman who may be a delusional escapee from a serial killer’s dungeon (think “Captivity” meets “Kiss the Girls”). Pic might possibly benefit, B.O.-wise, from tabloid coverage of Lohan’s ongoing travails. But, then again, probably not.” — Variety

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Courtney Love Fails to Assure Internets of Her Sanity

Courtney LoveChronically verbose alterna-rocker Courtney Love continues to murder the English language on her MySpace blog. The former Hole singer’s lengthy screeds on her falling out with Drew Barrymore, her lackluster solo record and her love of gay men are buttressed by her claim that she was the world’s first celebrity blogger (“iwas talking to poeple on the net when AOL first started !!!!fST f*ckit i was the first celeb blogger end of story, ical;led it posting however!”) and further explanations for the clownish condition of her lips and lower face (“i OWN THIS, did a trout mouth, with a subtsnce that doesnt fade, so it takes surgery to restore my face to natural, i feel like m,y mouth is too big still so im gonna have to go back and RESTORE it to NATURAL”). If you’re interested in reading a nice precis, Idolator has you covered. If you’re interested in reading her writing in its entirety, we suggest you invest in Advil, block off a few hours and hire a translator.

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Austin Translation: Menomena @ SXSW


Couldn’t make it to South by Southwest? Not to worry — we’ve got reports from the year’s premiere music festival. Menomena’s Brent Knopf fills us in.

What’s the inconvenient truth about South by Southwest?

This is the second time we’ve played the festival. Both times we’ve arrived in Austin there’s been these strange, End Times rainstorms. When we came in two years ago, all of a sudden the clouds unleashed their fury. There was flooding in the streets! We were only here for a couple of hours. This time we get to hang out and enjoy, but sure enough, when we arrived, there was massive flooding.

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Photos: SXSW ’07
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Elton’s Trouble in Paradise

Elton_john_2Church leaders on the island of Trinidad and Tobago are trying to ban Elton John from performing there. Not only did they say that the Rocket Man’s sexual orientation failed to conform to Biblical teaching, they also claimed that the famously gay star’s “visit to the island can open the country to be tempted towards pursuing his lifestyle.” In honor of those carefully measured words, we’d like to announce Archdeacon Philip Isaac as our “Moron of the Week.”

T&T has a notoriously long anti-gay history, but that’s not going to stop Elton from doing his job at the Plymouth Jazz Festival – and to him we doff our caps, say thanks for the Almost Famous soundtrack and the Scissor Sisters, and wish him the best. Just don’t be shocked if you see some T&T taxpayers playing the hell out of the piano, wearing rose-colored glasses, and slagging off Madonna at press conferences – these things rub off. [Via This Is London]

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Heather Mills Cries Wolf, Saves Pigs

Heather_mills_2London police have told Paul McCartney’s estranged wife to please stop calling them so much. Apparently concerned about stalkers and paparazzi, Heather Mills was abusing her 999 privileges (that’s 911 over in Britain). This is just the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of the 39-year-old amputee’s very public divorce with the former Beatle. Most recently, she claimed that McCartney was involved in a “conspiracy” to destroy her. And earlier this month, she broke into a pig farm to highlight the cruel conditions the animals were forced to live in. All the high-profile attention means that the Brits are tired of her increasingly insane shenanigans. So Mills is moving someplace more tolerant toward insane shenanigans: America. That’s right. The earlier tabloid coverage is only a prelude to the main event – her upcoming appearance on Dancing With the Stars. The ABC television program returns on Monday night. You gonna watch? Or have you already seen enough? [Via Reuters]


Austin Translation: Young Love @ SXSW


Couldn’t make it to South By Southwest? Not to worry — we’ve got

reports from the frontlines of the year’s premiere music festival. Young Love’s singer Dan Keyes fills us in.

Talk about the frustration . . .

I don’t have a badge. I don’t have a bracelet. And I’m playing! It’s ridiculous. Last night, when I went to go see my friends play, I couldn’t even get in because I didn’t have a pass. So I was like, "All right, I’m going down to the east side." That’s where all the real parties are going down – in the warehouses and stuff.

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Mr. Wonderland Hits the Road

John_mayer_2Sensitive songwriter, witty comedian, and part-time bluesman John Mayer has announced the opening act for his upcoming tour: likeminded soul Ben Folds. He also announced his opening-opening acts: rocker Rocco DeLuca, indie-folkie Brett Dennen and just-add-a-beach-and-piano pop star James Morrison. The tour starts June 1st in Ridgefield, Washington, and goes for 38 dates – which is probably just long enough for Mayer to come up with some ideas for a new VH1 comedy show, a feature and in-book contest for Esquire, and a whole line of clothing for hipsters. What a guy. Check his tour dates here.

[Via Reuters]

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J.Hud: A Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Jennifer_hudson_1 Dept. of Foregone Conclusions: Aretha Franklin confirmed that Dreamgirls star (and Burger Queen) Jennifer Hudson was being considered for the lead role in a biopic about the soul legend. Franklin told Access Hollywood that she actually sees three different people playing the role, but didn’t reveal any names. Auditions for the stage musical, which will precede the filmed version of the story, begin May 1st, and as yet there’s no word on whether Hudson’s been asked to show up. Odds are she’s too famous for that now — after all, she’s even been awarded Jennifer Hudson Day in Chicago. We bet she’ll be in the film, though. What do you make of her chances?


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