Thursday, February 23, 2006

Project Baby Dee



I was going to entitle this post "Originals," indexing a terrible show that was briefly on the Toronto TV station City-TV. It was hosted by City's CEO, Moses Znaimer, who is like a much more pockmarked but equally be-ponytailed Montreal Jewish version of Karl Lagerfeld. Znaimer's sub-Shatner beatnik delivery meant that the portentous intros to the week's "Original" would take up like 20 minutes of the show, and then finally we would be introduced to an "Original" like Philip Roth or something, and then he and Moses would have a creepy older Jewish guy-off until the credits rolled. In truth, it was a brilliant show.

But not nearly as brilliant as the sublime "Project Jay" on Bravo last night. I am a huge fan of this shit. First of all, Jay is a completely new species of TV star. A true eccentric, but lacking totally in affectation, Jay seems to genuinely struggle with the idiocy of the entertainment world in which he is immersed. Lacking the ego of a jackass like Ashley Parker Angel, and gifted with about 500 more IQ points, Jay is totally believable as a couch-surfing art guy who may be a few weeks away from returning to his parents' house in rural Pennsylvania. Jay reminds me of all the art-school kids I hung out with in freshman year, listening to Ozzy's "Randy Rhoads Tribute" album, drinking 40s of Fin Du Monde and making paintings of Bruce Lee... but without the slide into Prada eyeglass frames, stretch fabric buttondowns, and gym memberships. My hero! Jay is the anti-Jonathan Antin, who, Bravo commericals sadistically remind us, is coming back for a third season of brain poison... which I will compulsively watch and re-watch.


We only saw three-quarters of the show, because we were out last night and the tape fritzed out. Where were we out at, you ask, pausing to question your own grammaticality? At the Baby Dee/Weird Weeds show at the Cactus Cafe, of course! I hadn't seen the Weird Weeds since I stopped being a member over a year ago, and lemme tell you, they are fucking amazing. The best power trio since Triumph. An extra shout out must go to Nick Hennies, who has no doubt benefited from his enrollment in the Long Telegram dojo of open-fist praying mantis style shredding. (He is now a blue belt). This guy is seriously like the best drummer in rock right now.
A quality he demonstrated not only with the WWz, but also doing some of the most heartbreaking press rollz I ever heard while the headliner, Baby Dee, sat at the piano and played one in a series of beguiling, moving, and utterly haunting songs of pain and hope.

I will not detail Baby Dee's personal history here, since I don't know much about it, but I will try to describe the music. Alternating between accordions, concert harp, and piano, Baby Dee sings in a voice somewhere between the tramp on Gavin Bryars's "Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet" and an extremely farklempt Blossom Dearie. The music all sounds like it could have been cribbed from a 19th-century hymnal, and the lyrics are rife with Blakean nature imagery and hints of a life of unspeakable pain. Wowza. A true original

12 comments:

nhennies said...

Dude, those were totally open-stroke rolls, not press rolls. If you're gonna tell lies about me being the best at something then get it right.

Sheesh... some people.

But seriously folks, it was comforting to have you sitting right there in the front laughing at our dumb jokes. Consider it a step towards the black belt that I will, in time, one day call my own.

the sad billionaire said...

My bad. I meant to say "crunch rolls."

femme feral said...

oh my gah -- i love project jay.

what the fuck was up with guadalupe on the project runway reunion show?

ren said...

i think guadalupe may have ingested lsd for the show or something, because that's about how coherent she was. i liked the dress she got booted for, tho. i totally have a crush on daniel v

but i have an even bigger crush on project jay!

femme feral said...

yeah, guadalupe was fried. FRIED!

I actually like santino. daniel v. seems sort of smug and appears to have this sort of faux modesty. But you are not alone. I know many find him crushworthy.

and yeah, project jay all the way.

chris said...

Jay reminds me of my (former) friend Jeremy, which kind of makes me want to smoke weed while I'm watching. I totally loved the show. HK is the devil. I like Jay because he doesn't (seriously) claim to be struggling financially (like A-P-A).

While I'm prone to agree with the hypothesis that Lupe was on something, I'd prefer to believe that she simply to chose incoherence as a tactic, because it was fucking brilliantly illegible what she said.

On the whole I haven't liked this season's cast as much as last season's, except for some of the ones who were booted earlier. Santino's no "dark horse" as was said last night--he may look like a wino but he's a producer's darling (tho he does good impressions, and sometimes I kind of appreciate his inappropriate laughter).

porkmuffin said...

I LOVE JAY. said it before, here i shall say it again. brilliant show. and yeah, Guad was on the crizzack.

porkmuffin said...

and another thing...
i love the weird weeds, totally love them. but they were even better with Sad Billionaire in the band.

femme feral said...

I know what you mean, chris, about gaudalupe being brilliantly incoherent. I wish I got better vibes from her, because I'm sure I would have appreciated it more if so.

Another great weird moment -- when Daniel Franco told Heidi he loved her.

ren said...

that daniel franco moment was extremely scary. it's like he's stalking her, and that's why he keeps coming back. ew.

chris said...

Daniel Franco is such a Depeche Mode fan (of the ilk that used to make scary stalker mix tapes wherein "I'm taking a ride with my best friend" led the track listing).

Julia has taken to doing a great HK impression: "If I didn't have zis bump I'd wear it right now." It sounds a bit more like Bruno, but that definitely fits ("in or concentration camp").

Donny B said...

I loved Project Jay, too! That special was supposed to be 8 episodes, but they condensed it into one. Big mistake. he's much more watchable than almost any other reality star right now.

and FF, I agree about Dan concerning the faux modesty. But I do like most of his clothes.

And did anyone see the PR Fashion Week pics? Kara's "decoy" collection was so unexpected and great. Although all her models wearing funky hats was derivative of Jay's models wearing earphones, it was so much more fun than the other 3 collections. Who knew she had that in her?