by carl wilson

It's "Quote Insane Press Releases" Day

"All right, fellas, today we'll be practicing our 'straddling.' How you do in this challenge may determine who moves on to the next round!"

Be the next Terence Trent D'Arby!

Bring your own auto-erotic-asphyxiation joke: "INXS, the multi-platinum international Rock band is looking for their next lead singer. Mark Burnett Productions, the creator of Survivor and The Apprentice has created a new reality TV series on CBS that will give singers and songwriters the opportunity to become the next lead singer of INXS. We are looking for Men and Women of all styles that are ages 21 and up."

Shagging Kylie Minogue and Paula Yates is NOT included: "Auditioners will be asked to perform up to 3 songs (INXS songs are NOT required.) They may perform to a CD track (w/ no vocal) or with 1 musical instrument."

Can anybody even remember one INXS song?: "Auditions will be held in: TORONTO, ON. On 2/4/05- Open Call (The Mod Club). On 2/5/05- Industry Referrals/Appointment Only."

History repeats itself, the first time as unpleasantly overproduced bombast, the second time as TV-confessional soul-baring and catfights among male models. "To schedule an audition or for more information, contact: Peter Cohen, Talent Producer, 310-471-3781 x202-Off,,"

Mark Burnett actually said, "Rock stars are colourful personalities and charismatic performers who make great reality TV characters. Add to that a global format, elimination-style competition and the enormous stakes of becoming the lead singer in a successful group, and you have a unique environment for compelling unscripted drama." "Audition cities: Atlanta, GA - 1/20/05; Orlando, FL - 1/22; Charlotte, NC- 1/25; Nashville, TN- 1/27; New York, NY- 1/30; Minneapolis,MN- 2/1; Toronto, ON - 2/4; Chicago, IL- 2/6; Boston, MA- 2/9; Omaha, NE- 2/11; New Orleans,LA- 2/14; Austin, TX- 2/16; Seattle, WA- 2/19; Los Angeles,CA- 2/25; London, England -2/8; Sydney, Australia -TBD."

Mark Burnett forgot to say: "Except, of course, that 'rock star' is now a historical curiosity, an extinct category, an empty set, the equivalent of 'chimney sweep.' "

[Discovered via 20hz.]

The Writ | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, February 01 at 04:50 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (7)



Talk about a morass! Look what I started. Bah, I was a bit tipsy when I wrote that and didn't have the inclination or ability to say what I meant (tipsiness higlighted by the fact that this morning I realized I meant "One Thing" and typed "Original Sin", which came out two years later (cue joke about all INXS songs sounding the same!).

No need to sell me on '82 (better than '83 but inferior to each of '84-'87) - between Musicologist Brother and myself we have 10 of the 20 P & J discs, including the top 3.

I didn't have Much yet, my frame of reference (hey, I was 12) was CHUM radio and bro's Trouser Press mags (remember the flexidisc?! First time I heard "Wolves, Lower") and trying to grapple with why the twain didn't meet between those two entities too often.

See, what I was getting at was I always thought of INXS as a populist, hit singles band (though Welcome to Wherever We Are was a great album lost amidst the gaga over grunge) and as such they were better than most hitmakers. And I used "morass" because 1982 was perhaps the most bizarre year ever for hit radio - rockabilly revival, New Romantics, 70s acts with hits that sounded very different than their past (J Geils, Hall & Oates, Steve Miller). I mean, there is no other year that Heartache Avenue by The Maisonettes could have come out.
If you were to pull a list of the top hits of that year and rank 'em, I think something like "One Thing" would rank in the top and not bottom half, that's all - not trying to oversell the point.

Oh, and those at the Police picnic that year would put Joan Jett firmly in the crap category. She may still have the bruises to prove it.

But yes, on the list of best Oz bands of their era INXS necessarily rank behind (and this isn't in order) The Saints, The Church, The Go-Betweens, Hoodoo Gurus, Paul Kelly & The Coloured Girls/Messengers, Midnight Oil, Crowded House, Weddings, Parties, Anything, etc.

Posted by Chris on February 2, 2005 09:51 PM



Jordan points out that it was Chris that cited the 1982 "morass," not him. Mea culpa.

Posted by zoilus on February 2, 2005 05:09 PM



I wasn't defending the list qua list, just using it as a quick way to indicate that there was more to 1982 than the "morass" you brought up, Jordan. I could also have mentioned Human League, Joan Jett, Soft Cell, etc. And hell, 1982 was also the year of "The Message," "Sexual Healing," "Planet Rock"... !!! Plus a whole lotta crap as usual. Part of which was INXS.

Posted by zoilus on February 2, 2005 04:48 PM



Shoot Out the Lights! oh yes, the good times I've had playing that one over the years. And Nebraska? eek. Glad to see that overrating is immemorial.

But what a smile it brings to see Marshall Crenshaw ahead of both Donald Fagen and Michael Jackson. Cushlomachree!

Posted by Jordan on February 2, 2005 03:51 PM



I was mostly just having a bit o' fun. But boy, if you don't think there was better music available in "the morass of 1982" than INXS or Moon Unit Zappa, Chris... well! Here's the 1982 Pazz & Jop list. And while No. 1 and 2 weren't on the radio, lots of the others were - Nebraska! 1999! Avalon! muthafukkin' Thriller! Joe Jackson, the English Beat, even late Clash...

I was 14, addicted to MuchMusic, and don't remember even casting a second glance in INXS's direction.

1. Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom (Columbia) 1061 (87)
2. Richard & Linda Thompson: Shoot Out the Lights (Hannibal) 946 (79)
3. Bruce Springsteen: Nebraska (Columbia) 869 (67)
4. King Sunny Ad & His African Beats: Juju Music (Mango) 745 (60)
5. Lou Reed: The Blue Mask (RCA Victor) 679 (60)
6. Prince: 1999 (Warner Bros.) 655 (58)
7. The English Beat: Special Beat Service (I.R.S.) 564 (57)
8. Marvin Gaye: Midnight Love (Columbia) 528 (42)
9. Marshall Crenshaw (Warner Bros.) 440 (42)
10. X: Under the Big Black Sun (Elektra) 435 (40)
11. Roxy Music: Avalon (Warner Bros.) 363 (32)
12. Flipper: Album/Generic Flipper (Subterranean) 310 (31)
13. Ornette Coleman: Of Human Feelings (Antilles) 309 (27)
14. Donald Fagen: The Nightfly (Warner Bros.) 291 (29)
15. Michael Jackson: Thriller (Epic) 288 (26)
16. Laurie Anderson: Big Science (Warner Bros.) 286 (32)
17. Joe Jackson: Night & Day (A&M;) 272 (23)
18. The Clash: Combat Rock (Epic) 264 (28)
19. ABC: The Lexicon Of Love (Mercury) 256 (28)
20. Gang Of Four: Songs Of the Free (Warner Bros.) 211

Posted by zoilus on February 2, 2005 03:24 PM



Caryn James on the late MH in "Dogs in Space," from the Times in 1987:

Michael Hutchence, lead singer of the rock group Inxs, plays Sam, pasty-faced and strung-out, as a perfect self-absorbed 60's type: he grabs food from other people's plates, crawls on the floor wrapped in a blanket, pouts, snarls, demands attention and chalks it all up to creativity. Mr. Lowenstein presents this as part of Sam's charm - men indulge him, women adore him and no one says, ''Sam, wash your hair'' - but the portrayal is effective anyway.


Can't seem to Lexis-Nexis the piece where a Times critic -- Karen Schoemer? Ann Powers? -- went record shopping with Hutchence at Tower, where he picked up the entire Sonic Youth discography and went on at length about what a crime it was that they were so unappreciated -- to which the Times reporter responded something like "Teenybopper stars like you stole their oxygen!" Viva la rockisme, even in retrospect, I always say.

Maybe it was only by comparison with bloatathons from artistes like U2, but at the time "This Time" was a hot song.

Posted by Jordan on February 2, 2005 09:45 AM



Certainly overrated, but I recommend the 2 CD Rhino compilation and think you're being a tad unfair. Do you not remember the morass of '82 (Moon Unit Zappa!) and hearing Original Sin and thinking, "well, that's kind of interesting"?

Posted by Chris on February 1, 2005 10:48 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson