Stop! Collaborate and listen! That's the only part of "Ice, Ice Baby" we know, but it didn't stop us from repeating it endlessly during the week before erstwhile teen-heartthrob Vanilla Ice's show at the Galaxy Concert Theatre. The show was rap-a-licious in the new, "hard" Vanilla mode. Think Ice T's foray into metal, with lots and lots of fog machines and less, er, street cred. We watched delightedly as four people were taken out in headlocks during the first 15 minutes of the show-that's entertainment! And Vanilla looks great now that he's no longer got that big yellow pat of butter atop his head.
Though there was a giddy sense of retro joy at seeing Vanilla, and though we do love violence (as long as we've got our best friend Greg the Fireman to bat people in the pit away from our delicate self), we'd say that (a) "Ice, Ice Baby" is not such a good song once you've erased all traces of "Under Pressure" from it, as the new version does, and (b) if you tell someone you're going to see Vanilla Ice, you'd better giggle when you say it or be 17 like the doleful, nervous would-be groupies we saw backstage. Did you know groupie hopefuls still wear tube tops? We love learning new things!
Opening for Vanilla were Freakdaddy-a very fun, oddly Santana-ish funk band-and Costa Mesa's rock-star quartet White Trash Disco. White Trash Disco are pimp daddies when it comes to getting groupie hopefuls on the floor to sway provocatively under the nose of guitarist Matt Hanna, he of the jiggling pecs and ultrawide-legged stance, presumably because, er, you know. Oddly, with his bare torso and cowboy hat, he kept reminding us uncannily of the cowboy in the Village People, and you know how unattainable gay men light our fire. Sadly, we hear we're too old for him, especially since we will be celebrating a birthday (a lady never tells her age, not that anyone ever accused us of being a lady) on Thursday, Feb. 25. Send gifts care of OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627.
Serendipitously, on Friday, we saw the short film Busk, which is about a hysterically untalented white French Canadian rapper. (Not that we would ever say our man Vanilla is untalented, merely that he's melanin-deficient.) Short Stuff, a short-film and video festival at the Huntington Beach Art Center, was evenly divided between sly and excellent short films and those that really blew. R.T. "Bob" Pece's "UFOs on Your Doorstep" was one of the highlights, offering an infomercial for a book on "how to tell good aliens from scary, mean ones." But we'll never figure out why Pece, who organized the festival and organizes most other short-film festivals of note in the county, included student works. There was the mean-spirited Papa, in which Philip Scarborough offers up his dead grandfather for our snickers-and don't tell me it's an homage-and J. Kimo Arbas' Canine 84, which was more than 15 minutes of low-grade crap, seven whole minutes of which consisted of a spooky girl who was made up slightly Goth and shrieking something like, "You look better when you're dead" and, "Do what you're told" until her whole face melted together like a nuclear flash and her words looped like a bad techno sample. I think Arbas just needs someone to love.
We were thinking we'd get a little pre-Valentine's Day singles op on Thursday; you'd think we'd know better by now. The Orange County Museum of Art's Contemporaries gathering-a new group for patrons in their 20s and 30s-was shockingly well-attended, with more than 200 young, educated, mostly attractive Newport folks. And wouldn't you know it? People came with their groups, talked to their groups, and stayed safely in their groups. It's a uniquely SoCal phenomenon. In other metropolitan regions, people mingle (although perhaps not anywhere in Germany; there is actually no word in German for "to go from group to group and converse at a party"). They talk; they tell weak jokes. They ask for phone numbers with no intention of ever calling, but at least they ask. Here, well-heeled young women in groups of four stood about in vain. Snappy-suited young men came, bought Coors Lights, and studiously avoided the young women.
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It was all very sad, but it gives us a nice segueway to the booze situation: there was no red wine, and the only beers available were made by Coors, which seemed to be a stunning omission at such a well-planned, beautifully catered party. I am not allowed to drink Coors-and neither are you!-as it is union-busting Nazi beer. But aside from Coors' atrocious politics, I would think for a discriminating young Newport crowd, the museum would serve something a little more upscale-some insufferably self-satisfied microbrew perhaps, instead of what my high school friends amiably called "piss water." (Note to the OCMA: Absolut Vodka loves nothing better than to hand over gallons and gallons of free booze for these young and affluent-did we mention affluent?-parties. Give 'em a jingle!)
The museum made up for it, though, with its entertainment selection. Although The Busstop Hurricanes' very Jim Morrison-y singer, Sammy Tonic, refrained from jumping on any tables (which did lessen the experience a bit), their hot-shit girl guitarist-so sexy librarian with her strawberry-blond 'do and her mild-mannered specs-had every man in the place soaring with love for her. She's the kind of musician who seems like she went to Juilliard-she's good-but was ripping through speedy riffs with her tiny hands like she was Eddie Van Halen, all the while standing as still and aloof as Billy Zoom. When she removed her jacket, my table mate almost wept. "Oh, God. Now she's baring her shoulders," he whimpered, and like icky Bill Clinton, I could feel his pain.
I wasn't feeling any pain of my own on Valentine's Day; it all seems so very manufactured, and you just know that even the people with boyfriends/husbands/girlfriends/wives/freakin' dates didn't have a very good time either. Fancy dinner: that's as creative as he can get to profess his love for you? I hope you threw a big, fat fit. Y'all should be going out to dinner once a week anyway. And in my professional capacity as Arbitress of Everything, I hereby opine that brunch is much more romantic. No, Valentine's Day is nowhere near as bad as being single on your birthday or Christmas, when families gather in pre-fight harmony and lovers fork over the big gifts: stereos, diamonds, cars, leather pants. And as Bourbon Jones' Chris Hanlin said at their always-joyous weekly Blue Cafe gig on Sunday: "If you don't have a Valentine, why just be sad about it one day a year?"
Send Commie Girl some love, sweet love at CommieGirl99@hotmail.com.