Friday, August 18, 2006

Rant-Rave-Whatever: Rockstar is back.

Oh, to quote Tommy Lee, "Hell Yeah". It's back. And I kind of wonder about it, you know. Here is an earlier commentary (not long after the show started) from a secret place online where I sometimes share things like this:

Other things: some of you may remember my obsession with Rockstar:INXS last year. Because I loved that show so much I have been following Rockstar:Supernova, and while I can't stop watching it, I am cming to a few conclusions:

  • Tommy Lee is a dick
  • The talent is not as good generally, but then it doesn't have to be: Supernova aren't going to be as musical as INXS are
  • Supernova as a band are EXTREMELY likely to fail. Tommy Lee generally gives the women competitors comments on their attire rather than their ability ("baby, can I marry you?"); Gilby Clarke (of GnR fame) gave one of the women a hard time for "girnding" him when he was onstage, saying that "women in music use their sexuality too much and it was tired". This is just ONE example of the band not being "pointed in the same direction".
  • Dave Navarro has toned it down a whole shitload to hang with those idiots.
  • Many of the contestants are there to advertise their own music careers, rather than join Supernova
  • I really, really, really want one of the ones who does appear to be there to win (Dilana) not to win. She's got talen oozing out of her, she gives me goosebumps everytime I see her perform, and she's too fucking good to waste her life on a career with Tommy Lee (though she wouldn't take any shit from him).
Anyways, suffice it to say I am not loving Supernova the way I loved INXS, but I can't tear my eyes away.
So, yeah, that was my view about three weeks ago. And then there was this view of the whole thing:

Dave and Tommy moving in Mmm, Tongue me Tommy Sure thing Dave, smile for the camera now Good kiss, great publicity, baby.  Hell yeah

Yes, you have it right, that is Tommy Lee and Dave Navarro engaged in a little very, very public tongue-wrestling. And yes, Dave does look rather as though he is enjoying it. Tommy Lee just looks like he is doing exactly what I would expect -- posing for the camera to improve his own reputation, and garner some "rockstar" style publicity.

Anyways, we are now down to the last seven "rockers", and it would appear that Zayra, who was sent home this week has successfully (and fairly cynically, I would say) managed to sign a record deal already -- I would say to sing in Spanish. Because you see, that is one of the things I see as being a problem this time around -- as mentioned above, many of the people who are in this series are there purely to launch their own careers.

The other thing that happened this week is that we heard the first ever Supernova (well okay, they may still have to buy the name off a punk band) song. Cunning move, on their part, because for the world to buy in to Supernova, the world is going to want to know what Supernova sound like (particularly since Tommy Lee said in the first episode "we are not a metal band"). So, of course, there was the controversy of who would sing for them -- in their gregaroiusness, and to prove that a woman really can front Supernova, they (and the crowd) asked Dilana to sing during their inaugural performance -- foretelling things to come? Highly likely, I think. So yes, provided a woman is prepared to tolerate the presence of half naked dancing girls, she can front Supernova. And to be fair, the music was much better -- and more musical -- than I expected it would be.

So here is what really irks me about this season of Rockstar -- it isn't the mediocre level of talent accepted in some of the rockers, and it isn't even that stupid sexbot-barbie Storm Large -- it's the chauvinism.

  • Gilby had a go at Jill Gioia for grinding him, but when Supernova first performed, they had half-naked dancing girls on stage. There are two messages here -- one is that if a woman wants to front Supernova, she better be prepared to deal with this crap (okay, we knew that anyway, but nothing like making it perfectly clear, eh?). Dilana did deal with it well, actually -- she is such a commanding presence the girls were a mere distraction. The second, and more disturbing message, however, is that it is not okay for a woman rocker to use her own sexuality to sell the message, but that it is quite okay for Tommy Lee to pay for the sexuality of women to sell his message.
  • Dave Navarro, as much as I loved him in the first series, is spending too much time with Tommy Lee. That and his split from Carmen Electra seemto be spurring on some less than pleasant tendencies, including asking the crowd to "give it up for the string section, particularly the blonde, she's doing very well". Ummm, yeah. This is the same man who told MiG Ayesa that his beautiful rendition of 'Baby I Love Your Way' made him think "only about his wife".
  • Gilby Clarke and Jason Newstead, who seem to be voices of reason, actually seemed appreciative of the dancing girls (particularly Jason).
  • Storm Large is playing on her sexuality -- as of the first episode, when she said she will use it for all it is worth, and despite the fact she can't sing for ass; in fact she has done a version of 'Survive' by Gloria Gaynor that Tommy Lee referred to as "sauteed in wrong sauce"; she has not yet seen the bottom three (though Magni, who is excellent, and a real contender for the top spot, has). It would seem the fans are following Tommy's lead -- but god forbid she should use her own sexuality too much, hm? Gilby might have a go at her.
  • Let us not forget that the whole outfit is being run by a man who pleaded no contest to beating his wife, and is a serial adulterer. Do we think he may have just a little problem with respect for women (though animals are another issue)?
It seems to me like they are trying to alienate any thinking female (and no small chunk of the thinking male) fans right from the outset. Unless something gives in a pretty huge way, Supernova are never going to be anything more than a guilty pleasure for me -- I sure won't buy anything related to them, because I can't support that. I know some of you will disagree with me and say that politics shouldn't have anything to do with art, but I am a hopeless idealist, and if I don't buy Eminem because he is a chauvinist little shit, I sure as hell am not going to buy anything that will make this lot any more money than they already have -- unless I think there is something to be gained for the lead singer, and even then I will feel squeamish. Probably I shouldn't even watch the TV show, but I actually cannot tear my eyes away.

So I guess the point is I'm sad. Something that was sweet and good an populated by pleasant, talented, genuine people the first time around has been populated in no small part by sleazeballs and cynical self-promoters the second. And it has rubbed off on Dave, who, while I know he is a bit of a loose unit, I could respect the first time around. But hey, I'm just a fan, and it isn't up to me. I hope Dilana does win, though, because she might just kick Tommy Lee in the balls and thereby mean that Supernova was actually about the music.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I Totally Agree with your conclusions... and totaly agree, with the MAIN fact..
TOMMY LEE IS A WANK TANK and i would rather have my eye balls scratched out then watch more then 2 hours a week i have to, to see how supanova goes.