March 6, 1989 |
It's not always easy to tell just how far Ben Vaughn has his tongue in his cheek when he plays his bare-bones pop-rock and sings rhymes of the "She won't look my way / My desire won't go away" variety. Probably not very far. This New Jerseyite's somewhat nostalgic grooves and borderline campy lyrics find their simplicity less out of irony--though there's plenty of that--than out of a real sense of pop classicism.
February 13, 1997
No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom," which lost its top spot on the national album sales chart last week after eight weeks at No. 1, is once again the nation's best-selling album, according to SoundScan. The "Gridlock'd" soundtrack, which entered at No. 1 last week, drops to No. 2. The highest album debut this week: the Spice Girls' "Spice" at No. 6. The nation's top-selling single was the Spice Girl's "Wannabe."
August 25, 2000 |
"Psycho Beach Party" has to be twice as funny a play as it is as a movie.It's too much filmed theater to come alive fully on the screen, and it doesn't help that spoofing schlocky movies of the '50s, '60s and even '70s is not exactly virgin territory. What's more, deliberate camp like this film presents a special challenge: It must generate and sustain a high level of energy or it will swiftly fall flat. The latter is too often the case here.
April 19, 1990 |
The rock band Devo features five weirdos from Ohio who have moved to California. Of course, New York and Texas, along with Ohio, are empty states now--everyone from there is here, but that's another essay. How weird are these guys? How weird is there? As weird as eating beans before your dream date with Kim Basinger. Look in the dictionary under "weird," and Devo's picture is there.
May 17, 1999 |
You know you're living in a global village when a martial arts movie from Hong Kong comes laced with gangsta rap and when every other gloomily lit, elliptically cut shot reminds you of a) a mainstream Hollywood action flick, b) an American superhero comic book, c) bad '60s TV or d) an incomprehensible if stunning-to-watch rock video.
August 9, 1990 |
Imagine an All-Goofball rock concert where the fans are wearing clown suits and a laugh track is unnecessary. The musical lineup would have to include The Bonzo Dog Band, Mojo Nixon, Ben Vaughn, The Phermones, The Reverend Billy Wirtz, The B-52s and They Might Be Giants. Area rock fans will get the chance to laugh and/or dance when the latter two bands play the Santa Barbara County Bowl Tuesday evening as a musical alternative to "Roseanne." They Might Be Giants (why couldn't they be Dodgers?