Motley Crue, Poison, and The New York Dolls in Holmdel NJ

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Motley Crue “Wild Side” at PNC 2008 footage by The Sexy Armpit

Tonight the concert tour that many of us rock fans dreamed about since we were kids is stopping at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. Motley Crue, Poison, and The New York Dolls will rock the amphitheater tonight in what’s sure to be a kickass show. The parking situation at PNC is terrible but it’s a hell of a night and it’s a great venue for a show once you get inside. The Sexy Armpit will see you there if you are going!

This tour marks Poison’s 25th anniversary tour which they are billing as “Glam-a-Geddon 2011,” and there are rumors that this may be their last tour, at least for a while. They’ve been touring almost non stop since the early 2000’s. Motley Crue is said to have a new CD on the way and aside from Mick’s health issues, they show no signs of slowing down. With their new lineup, The New York Dolls are promoting their most recent album Dancing Backward in High Heels.

Now for some Poison footage Sexy Armpit style with “Talk Dirty To Me” from 2008:

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SIXX A.M “This Is Gonna Hurt” Review

PhotobucketNikki Sixx seems to be more passionate about creating new music with SIXX A.M rather than with Motley Crue. After reading Sixx’s latest book also titled This Is Gonna Hurt, it’s obvious that lead singer James Michael is a conduit for Sixx’s musical ideas. There’s a ton of creative energy between the two of them and SIXX A.M’s accompanying album “This is Gonna Hurt” is like a Lazy Susan waiting for you to spin it around and savor all of it’s treats.

The reason why you can take my opinion about the newest SIXX A.M album seriously is because I was a fan of Motley growing up in the ’80s and I always gave it my best shot to get into all of Nikki’s side projects. Usually they weren’t very memorable. I actually enjoyed Brides of Destruction when they first formed but listening back after all these years, their tunes don’t hold up that well. When SIXX A.M hit with The Heroin Diaries not only was I blown away, but the world of rock music was pretty stoked as well. Here was a truly inspired album with feelings behind the music, all conveyed through a group of extremely talented musicians and a kick ass lead singer.

Truthfully though, a lot of the songs on Heroin Diaries were a little too dark for my taste. The more upbeat “Life is Beautiful” and “Pray For Me” are two outstanding tracks and I had my doubts that they would be able to surpass the success of those singles on their next effort. Man was I wrong! If there’s ever been a list of bands who have released a second album that eclipsed their first, let SIXX AM be in the top 5. This is Gonna Hurt has it all. Every track is a discovery and worth putting on your iPod.

This is Gonna Hurt shows that the band has expanded creatively and musically. It seems they went in a more mainstream direction this time, but the nature of the music is brighter and hopeful. The music that went along with The Heroin Diaries was appropriately darker in tone, but I think that’s what hindered it from being an outstanding album as a whole. This is Gonna Hurt succeeds because it’s one of those albums for me where I don’t need to skip any tracks. So, there’s no Sophomore slump for SIXX A.M. And although I’m already waiting to see what they cook up for us next, I’ll share with you some of the highlights of this killer summer album.

The title track “This is Gonna Hurt” is a straight ahead fast paced head bopping and fist pumping rocker. Then, on “Lies Of The Beautiful People” James Michael’s voice ascends to Myles Kennedy heights. “Live Forever” is epic and radio friendly with a little bit of My Chemical Romance sprinkled in. It also features a Slash level guitar solo by DJ Ashba. “Sure Feels Right” is one of the best tracks on the album and it’s not even a hard rocker. It reminds me of Tommy Lee and Butch Walker’s “Good Times” and it’s just as good of a time. It has a breezy quality that’s perfect for driving around on a sunny day with the windows down. “Smile” is a sweet love ballad that will make Train shit their pants in fear, but it’s still OK for dudes to listen to. The “doo do doos” in “Help Is On The Way” has hints of Marvelous 3 and helps make for another strong, rocking track. “Oh My God” mixes Springsteen caliber storytelling with a vast U2 style musical atmosphere and a guitar solo reminiscent of Richie Sambora’s on Bon Jovi’s “Never Say Goodbye.” You also won’t be disappointed in the infectious and colossal “Goodbye My Friends,” which is what I’m saying to you right now!

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This Is Gonna Hurt – A Dark Ride Through Nikki Sixx’s Mind

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Rock stars are not exempt from aging. Even after 30 years in Motley Crue, Nikki Sixx is still one of the coolest motherf*ckers in rock and roll, but the sad fact is  – he’s getting older! More than his previous books, his latest, This Is Gonna Hurt shows that Nikki isn’t afraid to expose his vulnerabilities. He may have written songs about strippers, doing drugs, drinking whiskey, riding motorcycles, and dying and coming back to life, but not one of his songs exposes what’s going on in Nikki’s mind in the intimate way that This Is Gonna Hurt does.
If you’ve read The Dirt and The Heroin Diaries, you’ve lived vicariously through periods of Nikki Sixx’s life. But, aside from doing a lot of drugs what do you really know about Nikki Sixx? This Is Gonna Hurt, is like a rickety dark ride through his mind. Even though I’m a big fan of Nikki Sixx, this book showed me a side of Nikki I wasn’t aware of.
Nikki’s writing style has always been very personal, but here that style comes full circle. Parts of his previous books were culled from old diary entries whereas this is a more timely account of his thoughts and feelings. Sure he discusses a few old stories, but for the most part he brings you up to speed with his life as it is now. He’s lived through drug problems, a divorce, and challenges within his band.
Throughout the book I appreciated his attempts to spark the creativity of the reader. He doesn’t want to just tell us stories, he yearns to make people look at things differently, appreciate life and art, and stand up for themselves. He continuously reminds us that he’s had a second chance at life and he’s never let that idea escape him. Capturing beauty through writing and photography is one of the ways he’s broadened his scope as an artist. He’s not trying to hold on to the past, he’s been trying to soak up every beautiful piece of life there is and he’s poured it into this book.
For a guy who many thought was just a dumb big haired bassist back in the ’80s, his brilliance is presented here for all to read and look at. For the past several years Nikki has been exploring and taking advantage of various ways of self expression. Nikki writes, tweets, hosts a radio show, and has an extremely awesome side band that he’s passionate about called SIXX A.M who just released their latest album also titled This Is Gonna Hurt. All of this indicates that Nikki Sixx continues to adapt to the times and doesn’t plan on packing it in any time soon.
If his firm grasp on social media doesn’t surprise you, then his view on Hollywood will. Early on, Nikki explains how his outlook on his own stardom has changed drastically since the beginning of his career. He’s sick of showbiz and the fact that the media tries to dictate what’s beautiful. One moment in the book that I especially applauded was when he trashed Keeping Up With The Kardashians and similar shlocky shows. While it’s perhaps not as riveting, This Is Gonna Hurt is definitely more telling than the typical drug addled exploits of The Dirt and The Heroin Diaries.

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The Motley Crue founder, songwriter, and bassist shows off his affinity for bones, (human and otherwise) and his addiction to photography. The visual aspect of This Is Gonna Hurt is more enticing than a regular book that merely offers bland off white pages and black type. This is more of a scrapbook with glossy pages and it’s so much more enjoyable to consume. Breaking in between each chapter are interludes that include photos, song lyrics, and even some inspirational self help tips. Nikki also includes chronicles from his tour around the globe, the creative vibe between SIXX AM, anecdotes on Motley Crue, and even some tidbits on the ill fated Brides of Destruction.
I only had two complaints about the book. First, not to take anything away from Nikki’s photography skills, because he’s damn good at it, but the subject matter in the photos might make you think you were looking at a book on a coffee table at Marilyn Manson’s house. There are plenty of photos of freaks, dead flowers, dunce caps and gravestones that Nikki shot himself. You’ll also see a few self portraits as well as a glimpse into his own studio filled with oddities. The other issue I had is that a few pages have red type on dark backgrounds which is fairly difficult to read if you’re in low light.
Just because Nikki has enjoyed ridiculous levels of fame and money doesn’t mean he can’t experience mental anguish. In the book, he warns that drugs are not a cure all and delves into many issues that he continues to struggle with even after so many years of being sober. You’ll also get to read how he fearlessly discusses the true love he had for Kat Von D and how she totally broke his heart right before he left to go on tour with Motley Crue. What a bitch! This Is Gonna Hurt will make you realize that Nikki Sixx’s life wasn’t all about eyeliner, smack, and shiny stripper poles.

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Scarlet Carson’s “Burn It All” Scorches – Review by Jay Amabile

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Order Scarlet Carson’s “Burn It All” at this link for $10 bucks

Does rock music still exist? Aside from a few newer bands out there, rock music, albeit the good kind, seems to be nearly extinct. Truthfully, the suckyness of new rock music is one of the reasons why I stopped listening to radio almost 6 years ago. Think about how many rock stations folded or changed formats since that time. My main source for new music are blogs, iTunes, Pandora, MySpace, and any other bands space junk that’s floating around the Internet. What’s amazing is that even a routine task such as checking the Starland Ballroom’s concert schedule on their website lead me to discover a surprisingly awesome band, Scarlet Carson, who recently released their 2nd album Burn It All (available here). My curiosity was piqued, but I figured it was probably too good to be true. I gave the album a few in depth listens and in this review I’ll tell you whether Scarlet Carson is another flash in the pan or a force powerful enough to restore my faith in rock music.
While listening to Scarlet Carson’s fearless brand of rock and roll, I couldn’t believe these guys are from New Jersey. Labeling their type of sound as “Dirty Jersey Rock and Roll,” is brave since they are the first ones to step out of the shadow of “The Jersey Sound” i.e (Sinatra, Springsteen, The Rascals, The Jukes, Bon Jovi etc) and play what they want, not just what people think Jersey bands are supposed to sound like. Coming out of Jersey has only helped intensify their mighty ambitions. It’s not like they grew up around the corner from The Viper Room or The Whiskey, so lumping them into the same category as other rock bands is unfair. But, if you need some examples of what other bands Scarlet Carson might share the bill with at a rock festival, it would probably be Saliva, Papa Roach (who they are opening for at Starland on 4/18), and Pop Evil,  They have already played at CrueFest, so one thing is for sure, they are in NO WAY Nickelbacky. Lead singer and lyricist Santino Campanelli has more in common with Californians such as M.Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold and Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach than he does with any famous singer to ever come out of Jersey.
Their second release, Burn it All, is a superior rock album. In the first track, Overture, a transistor radio has lost its signal, similar to my search for good rock music, but soon the faint sounds grow clearer. Intense driving guitar chords and primal drum beats establish the scene. Finally we’ve got ourselves some rock and I’m sure as hell ready for it. The adrenalized title track features a ballistic guitar solo that will literally melt your brain and make your eyes go crossed. The song rises to a huge climatic finale and trails off with a soft reprise of the songs guitar riff. It’s a cool little reinforcement trick because it got stuck in my head and I wanted to hear it again already. But, with my senses elevated I couldn’t wait to hear the rest of the album.
All of a sudden, a car engine ignites and screeches off as the headbanger “Gone Baby Gone” erupted from my speakers. It’s all about getting away from a chick who is total trouble. Like most of the tracks here, this modern rocker features another blazing guitar solo and sounds like it should be in the trailer for the next Fast and the Furious film. And, whether intentional or not, “Cherry’s On Top” has a riff that’s reminiscent of Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator.” The dilemma in this song is that there is some fine looking chick who is so super sexy. Hitting notes like crazy, frontman Santino wants to cover her “in whip cream cherry on top, I’m gonna lick it all off in all the right spots.” This track reflects the libidinous aspect of rock and is definitely not serious, depressing, or emo. Scarlet Carson shows that they are here to party and admire the finer things in life, like ’80s style red lipstick.
Up next is a resounding build up to what could be Scarlet Carson’s signature crowd interaction song. These guys aren’t only talking shit about “Sex Drugs and Rock N Roll,” they are living it. Their lyrics, liner notes, and full throttle commitment to making their rock star dreams a reality, shows there’s a genuine connection to many iconic bands who have lived this tawdry lifestyle before them. The difference? These guys are the first ones from Jersey to do it. Yeah sure we’ve had Bon Jovi and Trixter, but they were less concerned about the rock star lifestyle. Bon Jovi didn’t want to be associated with bands like GNR and Motley Crue because they feared that women and children wouldn’t come to their concerts. It was more socially acceptable to buy a Bon Jovi record or go to a Bon Jovi concert than it was Motley or even KISS. No matter what they tell you, parents feared bands like that because they heard news reports of sex, satanism, nudity, blood and all the other cool shit that is part of their aura. So I commend Scarlet Carson for being themselves from jump street. They better stay true to themselves though. I wouldn’t want to see them sell out and become Justin Bieber’s touring band or some crap like that. Even worse…don’t make a country album. Hey Scarlet – you’ve been warned!
Next, I used my keen deductive skills to determine that a drink pouring sound effect can mean only one thing: a drinking song, even more precisely “The Drinkin’ Song.” Following in the footsteps of distinguished predecessors such as KISS’ “Cold Gin,” AC/DC’s “Have a Drink on Me,” and Guns N Roses’ “Nightrain,””The Drinkin’ Song,” picks up where those anthems left off. Santino’s voice skyrockets into Myles Kennedy octaves here as he shouts, “Let’s get wasted tonight!”. It’s another standout track with layered vocals in the chorus, fist pumping “hey” chants, and a mesmerizing drum breakdown. Scarlet Carson is here to tell you that when you’re literally feeling like a gigantic heap of dung, a few drinks with your crew can help you “forget your worries, forget your problems…” I’m sure fans will be holding their drinks up during this one at the next concert – just don’t spill beer on me.
Whip out your iPhone, swipe your Zippo lighter app on, and bring down the pace a little bit “For Her Sake,” a surefire addition to Monster Ballads 2010. The low key mood doesn’t last that long because these guys aren’t done pummeling you. Get ready for the supercharged, punked out “P.L.A.D” (paid, laid, and die) that chronicles the nights when you wind up out drinking until 6am and waking up with random girls in random motels. Scarlet Carson’s lifestyle is fast paced, indulgent and in the moment, just like their tunes. Listen for the brass section in this track which proves to be a superb feature of its production.
Now we go from rock and roll revelry and drinking binges, into mind probing. What would a Scarlet Carson song sound like if they actually recorded a song inside their own heads? “My Own Head,” stands out from the rest because it’s methodical, reflective, and dark, but maintains harmonic accents. The remarkable production has helped create a very different mood in contrast to the rest of the album. I appreciate that they were brave enough to challenge themselves into creating a track with such a different vibe, and it worked. “My Own Head,” would make for an intriguing music video. If Tim Burton and Rivers Cuomo were hanging out tripping on acid and had a nightmare, this would be a perfect song to accompany it. Zach Braff will direct, I have it all planned out.
Growing up in Jersey, almost every kid dreams of living in California. The west coast seems so much more desirable and warm, and if the Beach Boys and David Lee Roth were telling us the truth, then the girls were wondrous. Don’t forget the ’80s hair band scene, replete with sexy strippers, liquor, and debauchery. What’s not to fantasize about? POOF! Back to reality and the mundane suburban rat race that defines many parts of the Garden State. It’s fitting that I listened to “West Coast Dreamer” when I was sitting in rush hour traffic on 287. This track provides a unique perspective that I haven’t heard thus far. It’s the story of a band from the east coast, dreaming of rock star status on the west coast. It’s almost as if Jersey is a c-ck blocker. It’s not easy trying to exist as a rock star or an aspiring rock star in NJ. For some reason, whether it’s an unwritten law of nature or whatever, NJ just stacks all the cards against you. Whereas you can head out to L.A and catch great rock bands almost every night of the week, all in a 2 mile vicinity. Come to Jersey and you’ll get a few good beer specials but you’ll be bombarded with tons of cover bands who perform rock versions of whatever songs are popular that weekend.
Just a warning, Scarlet Carson’s songs WILL make you instinctually play air guitar, headbang, and jump around like a madman. It might be a good idea not to listen in a place where you might look like a complete idiot. In the midst of your rock-out session, you might be wondering where Scarlet Carson’s monstrous sound comes from? The band is comprised of Santino’s clean scream, Stone’s slash-like guitar solos, Tommy Licore’s surging riffs on rhythm guitar, Mike O Mayhem’s crushing bass work, and Raab who pulverizes the drums.
Above all, the best attribute of Scarlet Carson’s “Burn It All” is its honesty. Santino writes his lyrics about being a loner focused on the bands dreams, and doing some hardcore partying in the meantime. They aren’t creating songs to market to the NFL or MLB like Bon Jovi, and they’re not formulating the next big wedding song, even though it sure would mean more cash, they are simply doing what they want to do. One of the reasons why rock music has been on the road to extinction is because bands don’t have the balls to highjack the reigns of rock. Scarlet Carson does, and they do it in style as they prove on “Burn It All.” In the immortal words of The Marvelous 3, Scarlet Carson has indeed “…brought back the rock.” www.scarletcarson.com

Upcoming shows
4/17/10 at the Stone Pony for The Break Contest
4/18/10 w/Papa Roach at The Starland Ballroom
4/23/10 at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park
4/27/10 w/Saliva at The Highline Ballroom in NYC

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 34: The Situation from MTV’s Jersey Shore

The Situation MTV Jersey Shore

Unfortunately, The Whereabouts just doesn’t have the same ring as The Situation. I’m absolutely furious that Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino has tarnished one of the best words in the English language forever. All the hipsters who actually enjoy watching MTV will now associate the word SITUATION with a former male stripper from Staten Island. In fact, this guy helped make Jersey Shore the pop culture phenomenon that it is, and the m-therfucker is from Staten Island?!?! He’s what true Jersey Shore folks call a Benny! Or as you may remember in a scene from Star Wars: A New Hope “We don’t serve their kind here!”

When I was but a young whippersnapper, the word SITUATION was well respected. It was an esteemed word that didn’t come to mind when sweaty, fist pumping, ‘roided out, guidos were mentioned. The real situation is the puddles going on in their armpits! (That is not Sexy). Can you remember a simpler time not so long ago? Take a moment to think back to a period of your life when the mere mention of the word situation elicited such cool and recognizable song lyrics such as “OK, here’s the SITUATION my parents went away on a weeks vacation…” I’m going to make a safe wager that Will Smith doesn’t even care that whenever I hear one of his legendary rhymes, a Staten Island guido will completely cloud my mind and impair me from enjoying the rest of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s classic “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” Every time I hear the word situation, it feels like I’m having a little heart attack.

I used to chant along wild and passionate with Motley Crue’s frontman Vince Neil, and shout “It’s the saaame ol’, saaame ol’ SITUAAATION!” and now thank goodness I have a medical alert button around my neck or someone would literally have to kickstart my heart. This guy is frigging everywhere! I can’t think of a more appropriate time to say WTF? Have you ever been sitting around quietly reflecting on the events of the day and suddenly began to think to yourself…”What the hell happened to Yaz?” Well, coincidentally, that happens to me quite often and even when I looked them up and found out that they reunited in 2008, it still slips my mind what the hell happened to Yaz. So, in order to recall Yaz’s glory days of British synth pop stardom, I have to crank up the iPod and spin the click wheel to one of their biggest hits, yep, you f-cking guessed it…SITUATION!!! What a word killing bastard! I’m getting a class action lawsuit against this guy for ruining one of my favorite words ever!

To protect my heart from failure, I’ll be refraining from using the word S——-N from now on. Since Mike Sorrentino rose to fame thanks to MTV’s Jersey Shore, it was merely a week until I started seeing “I Love The S——-N” T-shirts.

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Can’t we be a little more creative here people? At the very least I would have expected some illustrated abdominal muscles on the front or “Lift up my shirt to see The S——-N!” Dammit, I should be this assholes PR guy. They could’ve had a shirt that would give the tuxedo t-shirt a run for its money! (This eBay store should be ashamed of themselves for creating the most uninspired S——-N shirt ever.)
Shitty t-shirts aside, one of these days, The Sexy Armpit will inform The S——-N all about how he’s permanently massacred one of the finest words in our vernacular. Hopefully by that time I’ll have ruined the words SEXY and ARMPIT for him!

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the most influential idols in my life, George Carlin:

“…Newspeople like to say ‘police have responded to an emergency situation,’ no they haven’t, they’ve responded to an EMERGENCY, we know it’s a situation…everything is a situation!”

Where to  find these shirts:
Garden State Parkway Inspired Tee designed by Skeezoid on CafePress.com

“I Love the…” at the official Jersey Shore store at Zazzle.com, and yes…they even have t-shirts for your dog.

Mike’s Quote Tee from mdunphy89 found in her Sweet T’s store at Zazzle.com

The Avaricious Elephant & The Splendorous Sonic Drive-In

Lucy Elephant Sonic Drive In
I spent the weekend in Atlantic City and Wildwood or “The Wildwoods” as they’re apparently also known as, and I felt the need to report back to you with an account of my experiences.

She’s an icon and she always has people going inside her. No, I’m not talking about Tera Patrick, it’s Lucy the Elephant! For years, I’ve meant to visit this local oddity, but I suppose visiting an inanimate 65-foot elephant doesn’t take precedence over seeing Motley Crue or watching old episodes of Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (A man needs to have priorities). While heading home on the Garden State Parkway, I thought “Why not stop in Margate and see Lucy the Elephant?” Not the greatest idea of mine, believe it or not.
After taking the Margate exit, I awoke the voice of William Daniels by firing up my Knight Rider GPS, and he informed us that there would be a toll road in our future. Confused, I wondered why there would be ANOTHER toll since we already exited the Parkway? We began to see signs for a toll coming up as we drove through a swampy dock area. After rolling over a short bridge we officially entered Margate City and we were greeted by a toll exchange that only had room for 3 or 4 cars to go through at a time. I couldn’t believe we were getting soaked for ANOTHER toll! Usually on the Garden State Parkway the toll fees range from $0.50 to $1.00, but this toll was $1.50! Forget appalled, I was downrightsupermuthaf-cking PISSED!!!
Once we arrived at Lucy’s chill zone, the sight of her was exactly what I expected. If you’ve seen pictures of Lucy then that’s all you’ll ever really need. A tour of Lucy’s innards is available, but I assure you it’s nothing like Body Wars. Go ahead and have your girl take silly pictures of you standing under Lucy’s bunghole, it’s all fun and games until 2 1/2 minutes later when you realize you’ve exhausted all activities with the wood and tin behemoth. When it’s time to go, make sure you scrounge up as much change from your pockets as you can, because you’ll have to cough up that $1.50 toll when LEAVING Margate also! The balls on these people! The country is in a terrible economic crisis and they’re charging $3.00 to enter and leave a town to see a f-cking elephant?!?! It’s not like we’re going to get to interact with an animatronic Snuffleupagus!
That $3.00 could have gone to much better use at Sonic.
Rio Grande, NJ’s Sonic Drive-In was the absolute best fast food experience I ever had the pleasure of enjoying. You might think that’s an embellishment because my Sonic cherry has been popped so recently, but it’s every bit as good as their commercials make it seem. For years, Sonic has advertised in the Tri-State area via TV commercials, magazine ads, and billboards, but there’s only one or two locations in New Jersey, and they are not around the corner. We noticed a Sonic billboard while driving into Wildwood and vowed to finally eat there on the way home.
At first, we didn’t realize that Sonic was exclusively a drive in. I figured it was just part of the gimmick and that there must be an option to sit inside and eat, but that’s not the case. When I noticed the patio furniture we opted to sit outside since it was sunny and cool. Did I mention that it was only 10:00 AM? This meal had to serve as my breakfast, lunch, and keep me fueled for the entire monotonous drive home. I ordered a cheeseburger, fries, and a Watermelon Creamslush. All were superb and exceeded my expectations in the taste and quality department.
I shouldn’t have, but my curiosity forced me to check out the nutritional information that’s published on the Sonic website. How could they do this to me? I might as well blow up right now like Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. I’d really love to have a Sonic closer to where I live because I’d be there everyday trying a new Creamslush. I know it’s for the better, otherwise they would need a crane to remove me from my bedroom.
If you’re also a Sonic Drive-In virgin, then you might want to take a trip to their Howell, NJ or Hasbrouck Heights, NJ locations to experience it for yourself.

15 Bon Jovi Songs That Won’t Turn You Into a Pussy

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When We Were Beautiful sounds like a coffee table book featuring photographs comparing and contrasting female senior citizens with glamorous photos of them from 50 years earlier. When I first heard that Phil Griffin ‘s Bon Jovi documentary, that recently premiered at the Tribeca film festival, and the upcoming book with the same name (slated for Fall ’09 through Harper Collins), was to be called “When We Were Beautiful,” I seriously almost puked.

In case the folks at Harper Collins read this, here are a few of my top choices for new titles for the book:

1) When We Were Ballsier
2) Back When We Had Some Degree of BALLS!
3) When We Were a Band Who Wouldn’t Ever in a Million Years Think of Releasing a Book With a Name as Ghey as “When We Were Beautiful”
4) This Left Never Felt Right in Any Way Shape or Form, You Know What, As a Matter of Fact, Just Stop Making Turns Altogether!

Combining such a weak book title with albums like Lost Highway, Bon Jovi has certified that the band they were in the ’80s has officially been put to rest. I’m constantly hoping, secretly of course, that Bon Jovi will finally return to their rock roots and unleash an album for guys. Songs like “Wanted Dead or Alive” and “You Give Love a Bad Name” are songs that guys could rock out to because they’re bold and written from a guys point of view.

Age 4 through age 9, I prided myself on being a Bon Jovi fan, along with other rock bands like KISS, Motley, GNR and Poison. It was OK to like Bon Jovi even if you were a guy, in fact, being from Jersey even gave you street cred by association. For the past 15 years or so, that hasn’t been the case, even though Bon Jovi has enjoyed continued success from hit singles to blockbuster tours. Unfortunately, now, all they do is coddle their 40-something female fans dying to jump some Jovi ass. Sometime around 1992, every guy who liked Bon Jovi started to get persecuted for being a fan. Some blame the onslaught of Grunge, but after years of contemplation, I could tell you that Jon Bon Jovi is to blame for the whole problem.

If Jon Bon Jovi was born just a little bit uglier, oh say…more Lemmy looking, we MALE Jovi fans would have our freakin’ Jersey ROCK back. Once JBJ realized that the key to his goldmine was singing songs to wives, fiances, daughters, and girlfriends all around the world, his musical mission became melting hearts and not our faces. Dude’s 47 and women still have coronaries when he hits the stage. Dude does spirit fingers and women go into cardiac arrest. Important tip for guys: don’t do spirit fingers…ever…it won’t work for you. Unless you’ve sold 120 million albums worldwide and have appeared on Oprah, girls will not like it if you do spirit fingers. Dude kisses random women in the audience while their husbands stand beside them, faces glowing with a shit-eating grin. How many guys’ wives can you go up to, grasp their arms, and plant a nice big kiss on without their psycho hubby’s attempting manslaughter on you? Jon Bon Jovi can do that kind of shit.

Picture it: The summer is here. You’re cruising around town in your newly washed car. The light turns red, you have to stop. Your music is blasting, but wait! Oh shit! Your windows are down! You can’t let anyone hear what’s playing on your stereo! Don’t get nervous, you need not worry. Just load this playlist onto your iPod and you’ll be fine. While I can’t guarantee you won’t get made fun of for listening to Bon Jovi, you’ll definitely have less of a chance of being accused of having a vagina by the guy in the monster truck blasting Slayer’s “Angel of Death.” Don’t be afraid to crank up your car stereo because listening to Bon Jovi does not have to be an emasculating experience. – The Sexy Armpit: Helping to Keep the Jovi schmaltz to a minimum.

Click here to check out this playlist on iTunes!

15) King of the Mountain, 7800 Fahrenheit (1985) – This chest pounder will make you feel like you’re on top of the world. “Boss man says, ‘Hey boy, you’ll never be no good’…Tonight’s the night they can’t put you down, no one could.”

14) Hook Me Up, Bounce (2002) – It’s ridiculous that I’m writing a post about Bon Jovi veering too far away from their hard rock roots while critics ravaged Jovi’s half-hearted hard rock comeback album, Bounce. “Hook Me Up” opens with the line “Hello, is there anybody out there?” Not only is this similar to the line that kicks off “We Got It Goin’ On,” from Lost Highway, “Is there anybody out there looking for a party,” but also reminiscent of when Bruce Springsteen begs the question of his listeners “This is Radio Nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?” in the first track of his ’07 album, Magic. The underrated “Hook Me Up,” has a bleak, foreboding quality rarely heard in Jovi songs.

13) Blood on Blood, New Jersey (1988) – By far this is the “Bruciest” Bon Jovi song ever. In the vein of Springsteen and other Jovi songs, “Blood on Blood” tells a story using names and places: “Danny knew this white trash girl, we each threw in a ten, she took us to this cheap motel, and turned us into men.”

12) We Rule the Night, 100,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong (2004) – Thanks to it’s menacing swirl of rising and falling guitar sounds and trancelike drum beats, this reject from ’85 is easily one of the coolest finds on Bon Jovi’s box set of unreleased material, demos, and alternate cuts. The lyrics make the song sound like it could have been on the soundtrack to The Lost Boys or The Warriors: “No one can save you, there’s nothing to say, Deception’s the name of the game” The “Whoa-Oh’s” sound like the precursor to those in “Livin’ On a Prayer.”

11) I Believe, Keep The Faith, (1992) Bon Jovi used to incorporate this song into their concert set lists but has rarely been performed as of late. It’s one of their most hard rocking songs that rises to immense proportions. Lyrically, “You and Me Can Turn a Whisper To a Scream” recalls the title of The Icicle Works’ hit “Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream).”

10) Breakout, Bon Jovi (1984) Back in the day, Bon Jovi wrote songs that were all about being lied to and getting fed up with the deceptive hoebags that they were dating: “Your lies can’t hide what I see, I’m better off on my own.” The band’s mega success and bagging chicks like Diane Lane and Heather Locklear seemed to have squelched their scornful sentiments rather quickly.

9) Social Disease, Slippery When Wet (1986) – “You can’t start a fire without a spark” was ripped straight from Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” and as eloquent as it is, “She could run the bullet train on 38 Double D’s” sure as hell wasn’t. “Social Disease” is a fun and lively romp about love, sex, and maybe even a PSA about STD’s: “You cant hide when infection starts…”

8) If I Was Your Mother, Keep The Faith (1992) – Possibly the oddest, most f’d up Bon Jovi song ever. If you don’t listen closely you might miss the pussified lyrics because they’re smothered by crunching rhythms and blistering guitars. BJ wonders “Tell me what I got to do, To make my life mean more to you, I could get so close it’s true, If I was your mother.” There are various rumors as to what the message to this song really is, but it just seems to me that Jon’s singing about seeking a deeper, more elusive connection with a woman. Or maybe he’s just being a pansy.

7) Hey God, These Days (1995) – An average guy with a family asks God why he’s making life so tough for him. The music kicks into a tornado of desperation while the lyrics describe family problems, and financial troubles: “Hey God – Tell me what the hell is going on, Seems like all the good shit’s gone” The most awesome aspect of this song is that Bon Jovi can still write songs from the perspective of the regular guy and still make them sound relatable, even though the band is worth millions.

6) In and Out of Love, 7800 Fahrenheit (1985) – I like blasting this one, and I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a good sexual euphemism. Like Jane Lynch motioning perversly with her bagel dog in Role Models, “Shes here to make my night complete.”

5) 99 In The Shade, New Jersey (1988) in the category of carefree summer songs this one wipes the floor with Lost Highway’s “Summertime.” Remember when the band was young and had fun getting into some trouble and had trouble getting out of their spandex pants? Lines like “I got a party in my pocket cause you know I just got paid,” indicated that the possibilities were limitless. The perfect song for looking at girls in bikinis on a sunny day at the Jersey Shore. In comparison, “Summertime” is reserved for the folks relaxing in their retirement community.

4) You Give Love a Bad Name, Slippery When Wet (1986) Just as he is in “Breakout,” Jon is all tied up in those metaphorical chains again in this Jovi classic. I heeded their warning back in ’86, girls promise you heaven, then put you through hell.

3) Wanted Dead or Alive, Slippery When Wet (1986) No other band or singer should ever think of covering the ULTIMATE Bon Jovi song, Chris Daughtry, this means YOU!

2) Roulette, Bon Jovi (1984) – The purest example of what Bon Jovi did best. The driving bassline is accentuated with a gambling analogy. Apparently, banging a woman who’s in a relationship is comparable to placing bets on a roulette wheel. I’m placing all my money on the fact that she’s actually a cheating whore. “You just keep on playin’ when all the bets are down”

1) Raise Your Hands, Slippery When Wet (1986) – No, it’s not the old Sure Deodorant commercial, it’s the most kickass Bon Jovi song EVER MADE, just ask Lone Star and Barf. They had to buy new speakers for the space winnebago after cranking this one. If the heroes of Spaceballs can rock out to it, then it’s good enough for you to BLAST in your super silly smart car. Fun fact from New Jersey to Tokyo: As the song fades out, listen closely for the shout out to Jon’s hometown of Sayreville, NJ.

Chicago’s the Last Vegas Steals the Show in Atlantic City!

Chad Cherry of The Last Vegas
Chad Cherry, lead singer of the Last Vegas

On Friday Night March 6th, at the Borgata in Atlantic City NJ, the Last Vegas from Chicago easily upstaged Theory of a Deadman and Hinder. I could’ve left after the Last Vegas, that’s how good their performance was. I felt so revved up and satisfied; it was exactly how one should feel after seeing a kickass rock band live. The headliners, Motley Crue, were still to come! Waiting through the next two bands wasn’t easy. 

Tyler Connolly from Theory of a Deadman
Tyler Connolly, lead singer from Theory of a Deadman

With only a few above average songs, Theory of a Deadman was passable. They seem to play by the book with no shenanigans. I always considered them a much cooler version of Nickleback. No offense to the legions of Nickleback fans, but perhaps you should make the switch? You went from Starbucks to Dunkin’ Donuts, Myspace to Facebook, so how about Nickleback to Theory of a Deadman?

The climate in rock music for the past few years seems to be fueled by ’80s rock, which makes sense. Considering the rock music that was immensely popular when these newer bands moving up the ranks were growing up, they most likely were listening to stuff like Warrant and Slaughter. **Rob Mason has hopefully saved Warrant from Jani Lane’s tarnished rep. I don’t care what you say, “Down Boys” is phenomenal.
When Austin Winkler asked the audience to yell “Up All Night” I was certain that a cover of Slaughter’s “Up All Night” was to follow. I’m sure there’s 50 other songs in existence with the same title, but when I hear it, I think of Slaughter’s. Unfortunately, Hinder’s song “Up All Night,” is completely unrelated to Slaughter’s and not a quarter as good. 
Hinder’s heart is in the right place, but their attempt at capturing the party rock type atmosphere of the ’80s era ultimately fails, for me at least. For fraternities around the country, Hinder’s a huge WIN. To say that I don’t like their music wouldn’t be totally accurate, since they did perform one or two songs that I thoroughly enjoyed. But judging by their lax performance, they seem to show signs that they’ve already been bestowed a “best band award.” These guys scored a hit, had Emanuele Chriqui in their video, and now they’ve feel like they’ve “made it?” Give me a break! You’re still FNG’s as far as I’m concerned. Take some pointers from the Last Vegas and Buckcherry. If I ever have kids, will they reach their 30s and be going to see opening acts who were inspired by bands like Fall Out Boy and Tokio Hotel? Oh that’s so sad. 
And now for an exlusive peek into the contents of my personal letter to Austin Winkler, lead singer of Hinder:

Austin Winkler of Hinder
Dear Mr. Winkler,
You’re clearly seeing the effects of the rock and roll lifestyle. Singing all those mindless songs about drinking, and getting stoned (i.e “Get Stoned”) will take it’s toll. Life imitates art as they say. Unless you’re in the gym constantly “working on your fitness,” then you’re going to get a nice big beer gut. Oh what do you know, you already have one! oops. I couldn’t stop thinking that if Peter Delouise played a washed up, drunken rock star, who sported a bob haircut in a real life biopic on the Lifetime channel, it might be about you. Put the beer down, step away from the Nascar race on your 70 inch LCD, and get your ass to the gym.
You need to work hard to connect with the audience. Humble yourself. Remember, you are opening for MOTLEY CRUE. You are eons away from ever being as big as the legendary Motley Crue. Be mindful that many of the people in the audience have no idea who you are. Plenty of fans of ’80s rock swore off listening to new music when grunge rolled around. It’s your job to win them back! Stop writing generic, ’80s style music. Show us why you’re not just a bunch of guys who “thought it would be cool to be in a band.”
Lucky for us, there’s bands out there like the Last Vegas who really “get it.” They grabbed my attention forcefully and didn’t let go their entire set. The Last Vegas was rocking our buts off way before they won the Guitar Center On Stage contest. After seeing them live it’s obvious why they’ve captured the opening spot on Crue Fest this year. The band plays energized, dirty, old school rock and roll. They’ve got some ACDC thump, and a little GNR swagger. 

Adam Arling of the Last Vegas
Guitarist Adam Arling of the Last Vegas
Frontman Chad Cherry is the real deal. He exudes rock and roll and never for a moment looks like a wannabe as he struts and jumps all over the stage. Cherry’s strong voice is the center of attention. There were moments when his voice recalled Tom Kiefer’s of Cinderella. 
check them out at TheLastVegas.com

Nikki Sixx
Bassist Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue

Motley seemed to be having sound problems during their performance. Nikki and Vince kept looking over to the sound guys and giving the “UP” signs. It was basically the same set as their show at PNC Bank Arts Center in the summer. You can watch 2 videos I shot from that show on The Sexy Armpit Youtube page. Motley added “Jailhouse Rock” and “White Trash Circus” into their set. 

Conspicuous by it’s absence was Tommy’s Titty Cam. Instead, he handed out his bottle of Jaeger, and told everyone to take a sip and pass it back. Nice of you to share Tommy, but who the hell wants to drink out of a bottle that 10 people have already taken swigs from? That’s nasty. I don’t even drink the wine in church! The bottle got confiscated by security anyway, probably so the guard could bring the bottle home and sell it on ebay…douchebag. At that point Tommy went into how thankful he was for some stuff, and how we should all be thankful and blah blah, and then stepped back over to his kit. Where did Motley go? 
There’s always a bunch of young kids in the audience at recent Crue shows. Damn Guitar Hero and Rock Band for making raunchy rock and roll a family affair. Did the people at the Borgata warn the band ahead of time that they couldn’t do the Titty cam? Most likely, but that was the least of my worries. I was more amused by Vince Neil who thinks that Crue song lyrics are interchangeable and should be sang anywhere from 1-5 seconds later than they are supposed to be. Ahh, it was still Crue, and it still rocked, so the rest doesn’t really matter now does it?

Nikki Sixx Loves Barack Obama
Nikki Sixx was “Baracking out”
One band, Endeverafter, would’ve been perfect for this show. They’re definitely one of my favorite rock bands so check them out if you’ve never heard of them! Endeverafter.com

Review of ROCK OF AGES: It’s RAD!

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Could it be possible? Does history really repeat itself? I never thought it could happen, but after the rollicking good time I had at ROCK OF AGES on Sunday October 26th at The New World Stages in New York City, I really think it does.

When I was a little kid, tearing through issues of Metal Edge and plastering my walls with posters of GNR, Skid Row, and Poison; I dreamed of the sinful aura of debauchery, sleaze, and mayhem that the L.A sunset strip rock scene evoked. Meanwhile, my sister, in her teens at that time, sang along to all the songs that old worn out VHS tape of Grease cranked out incessantly.

Even as a kid I knew better than to believe life actually resembled how it was depicted in Grease. Anyone who’s gone to high school knows, that compared to the film Grease, high school could be a nightmarish, bleak, and horrible place. To my surprise, I graduated high school without engaging in one group hand jive, without ever having been stranded at the drive in, and my old 4-cylinder ‘87 Chrysler LeBaron didn’t, by any means, drive like “Greased lightning.” Life’s never as “peachy keen” as it is in the movies or on stage for that matter. I never thought for a second that the explicit, raunchy rock scene that was my obsession would ever be “Grease-ified.” Grease was originally a stage musical and just as it pulled from late ‘50s high school nostalgia, Rock of Ages embodies the excess and broken dreams on the ‘80s Sunset Strip. I was petrified that the attempt of glamorizing my beloved hairband era would be catastrophic. Would the play condescend and poke fun at the age of lipstick, plastic, and paint? Could Grease’s cigarettes, cheerleaders, and black leather biker jackets be interchangeable with the ‘80s themes of drug abuse, aquanet, spandex? I would soon find out!

After I took my seat, I immediately basked in the authentic set design by Beowulf Boritt, who also worked on The Toxic Avenger Musical. The stage was created to look like the interior of the fictitious Bourbon Room, which is reminiscent of the Whiskey or the Rainbow in L.A. The walls of the theater were plastered with concert posters while billboards hung from high above. A Jack Daniels advertisement asks “I did what with my sister?” and another one points out, in case you haven’t heard, Arsenal’s new CD “I Want Your Cans” is in stores now.

Pink lights drenched the inside of the Bourbon room. Rock memorabilia adorned the walls. There was a Pink flying V, collages of rock stars, and framed pinups of Motley Crue, Guns and Roses, and Poison among others. The main focal point of the Bourbon Room was it’s small stage where a lot of bands began their rock dreams. (Stone Pony anyone?) Onstage there was a dingy bathroom that served as the butt of a few jokes, and center stage featured a revolving room that provided background for various scenes. Oh yeah, I know you’ll like this part…there was a stripper poll on each end of the stage. I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is YES! Did they get used? What kind of a question is that? A good question actually, because now’s a good time for me to mention that when I’m reincarnated in my next life, I’ve signed a definitive, definitely happening, contractually binding, legal document that professionally and law abidingly states that I will come back as one of the two brass stripper polls on the Rock of Ages stage. Triple Stamped. For the honor of Grayskull. And that’s the bottom line cause I just said so!

Right about now a message over the P.A system states there should be NO flash photography unless you’re willing to show your boobs! YEAH BABY! I won’t spoil too much for you, since the Rock of Ages marketing team utilized the “less is more” idea and it worked. All online and print ads tout the play’s great tunes. It seemed as if name dropping the bands was enough since the house was PACKED! The vague propaganda turned out to make the play an unexpected blast.

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At the crux of the play there’s a love story between Drew (Constantine Maroulis) and Sherrie (Kelli Barrett). It’s the typical story of a couple of ‘80s L.A dream chasers who fall for each other. Boy works at a bar and hopes to make it big as a rock star. When boy gets noticed by a talent manager, he suggests that boy change his whole look and go on a “mall tour.” Girl dreams of being an actress but plans fizzle out and works as a waitress, then climbs ranks to become a stripper. Even though the story is simple and reminiscent of others you may have heard before, I dig the message of the play. Even if you don’t get exactly what you want on your quest, it doesn’t mean your dreams are necessarily broken, you may just find that you have better dreams.

When we’re off cloud 9 with the two lovebirds, the city government is attempting to clean up the Sunset Strip and make it more family friendly. One of the establishments that would be effected is the Bourbon Room, so it’s manager Dennis, (the skilled Adam Dannheisser) does his best to stop this insanity. Like the good natured hippie he is, he doesn’t want his bar to close or his staff to be out of jobs. Dennis comes up with the idea to call in a favor from Stacee Jaxx, a Steel Pantheresque lead singer of a wildly popular band called Arsenal. (CD just dropped) I laughed deliriously at Will Swenson’s flashy performance which reminds us of how pompous, arrogant, and egotistical many of the great ’80s hair band frontmen were. Other superior performances include the refreshing Kelli Barrett as Sherrie, the over the top hysterical Mitchell Jarvis as Lonny the narrator, and Wesley Taylor as the gay German (ok so he’s not gay just German.)

The ensemble cast featured some hot dancers who weren’t afraid to show some butt cheeks and rock skimpy lingerie. Don’t be a prude, that’s how it was in the ‘80s! The ‘80s hair band era was instrumental in providing me with a template of the ideal woman. White leather jacket, short skirt, crimped hair, high heel boots, and stockings, don’t you remember? Duh. Rock of Ages featured an immensely talented actress, dancer, and singer Angel Reed. I definitely had a crush on her like a little kid watching Dial MTV during the hair band days and seeing that girl with the white leather jacket on. Or maybe it was Club MTV, it escapes me. Either way, she was hot, and she has her own exotic dance DVD that all you women should pick up and let her teach you how to dance for your man. While you’re at it check out all of Angel’s other projects like her music and modeling gallery! You really need to experience Rock of Ages just to watch some of Angel’s moves with the aforementioned poll that I will become in my next life. Yay! I never thought I’d say it, but I can’t wait to die!

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Jay and Angel Reed

I didn’t go into the play with too many expectations since I managed to avoid reading reviews of the show. Although I could imagine what’s being said, since for the past several years it seems like shitting on ‘80s bands is the trendy thing to do. But now is the time that the up and coming bands are citing bands like Guns, Motley, and Poison as major influences. (rightfully so!) It’s time that this era got some credit! If it becomes known for anything, Rock of Ages, pays tribute to the ‘80s rock era in a monumental way. The classic songs that help the play rumble on become even more transcendent. (u shut up now)

Bo Bice sucks and Constantine should’ve been runner up on Idol in ’05. Some of the notes he hit in Rock of Ages almost exploded the Bourbon Room, which would’ve sucked cause he was trying to help save it! His mastery of this style of rock truly wins the audience’s approval as his character Drew shows off his rock chops.

In Rock of Ages some of the songs you hear are taken right from the hair band era, while others are simply pop rock, but all of them work into the show’s plot. Songs from the following artists are featured in the play: Asia, Bon Jovi, David Lee Roth, Poison, Extreme, Mr. Big, Night Ranger, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, Warrant, Whitesnake, Foreigner, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Steve Perry, Pat Benatar, Quarterflash, and even Survivor!

Even though the music gives the show its gusto, it’s actually responsible for my only complaint. The musical is made up of storm trooping assembly of songs that only a late night CD box set infomercial with Bret Michaels could envy. The massive list of songs are finely weaved into the plot like the hairs on Bret Michaels head. Some of my favorite rock classics are featured in the show, so what’s the problem here, Jay? Some of the songs seem to be overused. I heard enough of Warrant’s “Heaven” when I sang along with it daily back in ’89. (By the way people get with the program! Jani Lane is OUT of Warrant again! That news didn’t interrupt your local affiliates broadcast of the last presidential debate? That’s weird because on my TV Riki Rachtman broke in just before McCain said “Joe the Plumber” for the 68th time and broke the news) Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock,” and a few others seemed to be utilized several times at points when an original riff would feel more natural. Rock of Ages might benefit from sprinkling in a few original tunes in between the massively popular ones. How about an original Arsenel song? Arsenal, for those who don’t know, are the ‘80s rock band that is asked (blackmailed) to play at the Bourbon room to save the bar. (CD in stores now)

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I’m a sucker for a T-Shirt, especially those emblazoned with a logo for a fictitious band. If the band happened to be from Jersey then I might just spontaneously combust. Whenever I go to a show or concert I look for that specific T-shirt that jumps out at me literally, and seduces me with a one liner like: “I wanna be on you…” After the show I strolled by the schwag station and almost yelped like a fat girl who can’t keep a secret and got a hand over her mouth. I then blacked out for a moment and came to. In my hands was a sparkling, magical, authentic ARSENAL concert T-shirt. Of course, the logo rips off Anthrax and Metallica but c’mon, what do you expect from a fictitious band! It was brought to my attention that if I looked at the back of the shirt, all the stops listed for their Cocked and Loaded tour are in New Jersey towns!

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How RAD is that? And I don’t mean that in the Rock Against Drugs type of way. (That line I just ripped off was courtesy of Drew, Constantine’s character) Is Arsenal supposed to be from New Jersey? Perhaps that’s why Stacee Jaxx, while adorned in white spandex, unleashes a perverted, priceless rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive”? I’ll take it!

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After you check out Rock of Ages, you’ll be thanking me. You too will come to appreciate the many facets of “Rusty Trombonering,” Warrant’s “Heaven,” and the atmospheric appeal of the Fogmaster 5000. Your arms will be super strong after holding up that keychain flashlight in place of a lighter during ballads. Oh, and you’ll also be thanking me because you scored points with your girlfriend. Theater tickets are a better gift idea than the run of the mill stuff, so buy her a pair of tickets for the holidays! For you ladies out there, your boyfriend will be elated that he can bring beers and adult beverages into the theater. That satisfies the alcohol lovers and those yearning for a true ‘80s sunset strip vibe.

Writer Chris D’Arienzo, Director Kristin Hanggi, and Choreogrpaher Kelly Devine are responsible for making Rock of Ages a play that feels like the kind of movie you watch a million times and remember all the dialouge. Keep in mind that you can only own a DVD for several generations, Rock of Ages the musical is off-Broadway NOW, so don’t miss out! Oh and some advice from Lonny the narrator: before you head to the show, if you’d like to make your experience more authentic you may want to set yourself up with an eight ball of crystal meth and get a sixer of Diet Shasta. Dude, it’s amazing.

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Jay and Adam Dannheisser “Dennis”
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Jay and Mitchell Jarvis

The Sexy Armpit is Brought To You By The Number 11

What’s your favorite number? Do you even have a favorite number? Is it completely lame to have a favorite number? Does this topic even garner enough attention to require a full post devoted to it? I’m sure it will once I tell you that the number 11 has been exiled. I know what your thinking right now. “C’mon Jay, are you that fresh out of ideas that you couldn’t come up with your usual geeky or perverse material?” The survey says: We’ll have plenty of time for the usual stuff, but for now keep in mind how much we revered numbers back in our Sesame Street days:

I bet the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the number “11” is the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01. Not only was the date 9/11 but one of the hijacked planes was American Airlines flight 11. On the anniversary of 9/11 it’s certainly not a proper time to be discussing vulgar tirades in movies, why I want to bang Janine Melnitz, and other useless crap that makes me such a geek. I’d like to get serious for a moment and recognize the number 11 for all its positive accomplishments. The number 11 has held much significance in my life and with that kind of service I hate to see it being cast out as a tragic, unlucky number. As you’ll read in this article 11 is not all bad, and it sure as hell isn’t the loneliest number.

You’ll hear a lot of people say their lucky number is 7. Not only do 7 and 11 share the moniker of a famous convenience store but they also have other similarities. Even though the attack on Pearl Harbor happened on 12/7/41, you don’t see people treating the number 7 like Dr. Richard Kimble, do you? It’s number prejudice! 11/11 is veterans day and it symbolized the end of WW1. So next time you roll up to get a Big Gulp or a Slurpee, take a moment to contemplate the long and storied relationship of numbers 7 and 11.

The world of rock music also has several ties to the number 11. Perhaps the most well known is Spinal Tap who can turn their amps “up to 11” even though others only go to 10. Since then, “Turn it up to 11” has become a rock cliché. My birthday falls on 3/11 and an easy way to get people to remember it is to think of the band 311. They got their name from an indecent exposure ticket issued by the Omaha Police Department which had the code 3.11 on it. Motley Crue founder and rock icon Nikki Sixx heads up Eleven Seven Music, (another instance of the classic 7-11 pairing) a record label that features Crue, Buckcherry, and Marion Raven. On their album Move Along, The All American Rejects feature a song titled 11:11. At some point I’m sure you’ve heard someone (usually a girl) say “it’s 11:11 make a wish.” Then you went on to wish for one night alone with Angelina Jolie instead of the sloppy mess who told you to make the wish.

Recently, after I told my boss that there are all these coincidences regarding my favorite number he immediately thought of 9/11. “You need to change that number” he warned me. I’m not known to be superstitious or reject honest, innocent numerals so I will continue praising the awesome number 11. Through the years of having anniversaries on the date and the number 11 etched on my basketball and track jerseys how can I abandon it now? You expect me to wrap the number in bloody towels and throw it in the trash? No way! I’m hoping it will help me out since I’m off to Las Vegas in a couple of days and 11 is no stranger to sin city. In Blackjack, the ace can be counted as 1 or 11, whichever benefits the player. Also, the 1960 heist film Oceans 11 featuring the Rat Pack and it’s 2001 remake are both considered to be 2 of the best Vegas films of all time. Will 11 be my lucky number in Vegas?

Wikipedia has an exhaustive entry on the meaning of the number 11 and its references in pop culture. Here are a few that are included in that entry and some others as well:

– There’s eleven players per team on the field during an NFL football game. The New York Giants are the only team to retire a #11 jersey.

– The first manned spacecraft to land on the moon was Apollo 11

– The average adult male heart weighs 11 ounces

– The eleventh hour is known as a time of urgency

Ben Hur, Titanic, and Lord of the Rings have each won 11 Academy Awards.

– Mash and Cheers both ran for 11 seasons

**During an “11” Google search I found a page that is just asinine. The site is called “Joy Greetings” but features a picture of the twin towers ablaze. It lists all the numeral coincidences surrounding 9/11. This struck me as ridiculous since there’s no “joy” to be had when thinking of that day and how it relates to being a “greeting” is beyond me. Somewhere the person that runs that site is raking in a ton of money from traffic revenue.