Fish in a Barrel | June 2006

Back in the glory days, if Oprah had somehow offended the delicate sensibilities of N.W.A., they simply would have written a rap about gangbanging her—problem solved. That we have to be the ones to propose this obvious solution makes us very, very sad.

More Bad News for Parents, People With Ears | Hasbro and Interscope Records are working together to create a line of dolls modeled after surgically enhanced gang o’ sluts the Pussycat Dolls, along with a new single from the group, just in time for the holidays. The target demographic? Ten- to 14-year-old girls. Attempting to sidestep the whole “holy shit, that’s inappropriate” factor, Hasbro executives have cleverly taken to referring to the group as “PCD,” hoping to distract parents from the fact that the full name is intended to remind people of vaginas (or, to be more delicate, ladyparts). The company is also careful to point out that the dolls are based on PCD the singing group, not the cabaret dancers, which is such a relief because idols who merely sing about fucking people’s boyfriends are so much more appropriate for preteen girls than ones who simulate fucking each other on stage. See the subtle distinction? Priced at $14.99 and with an extra outfit included (OMG!!!), we think these things are a steal. Grab one for the innocent creature in your family and watch how long it takes for Ken and G.I. Joe to show up with a PCVD.

Can We Trust This Man? | Scott Storch, best known for producing album-filler for some of top 40’s most strikingly semi-talented (including Brandy, Jason Mraz, various American Idol rejects, Ja Rule) and for wearing the fanciest bracelets, has defended Paris Hilton’s long-delayed album, saying, “It will surprise a lot of people because there’s a real artistry coming from Paris…I sometimes go for challenges, although people look at me strangely like, ‘Why are you doing that?’ [Ed.note—Oh honey, the strange looks may be outfit-related.] However, with a risk sometimes comes a huge reward. It’s about having the vision to be able to turn a challenge into something, and then you win the Heisman.” Or, you know, a sloppy end-of-production hummer. That’s nice, too.

No Softball for Tunstall | Impatient fans who purchased the European import of KT Tunstall’s Eye to the Telescope might notice that the cover photo for the U.S. release is a little more Alanis, a little less Janis. It’s been switched from a full-body shot of Tunstall wearing rainbow suspenders to a glam black and white head shot. We assumed this was because rainbow suspenders remind Americans of the horror that is Robin Williams, but later heard that record executives deemed the photo a too obvious shout-out to Tunstall’s lesbian following and potentially alienating to the straights. (Before finalizing their decision, execs performed the foolproof “Homosayswhat?” test on Tunstall fans, to which they replied, “What?” Rookie mistake, ladies.) Really, though, we’re not sure what these people are thinking—lesbians are an even more powerful music lobby than emo kids. Are they unaware of Melissa “This Next Song Is Also About Cancer” Etheridge or Voices on the Verge fans? Those bitches don’t leave a show without a band T-shirt, signed CD, and blood alcohol level thrice the legal limit. Everyone wins! If Death Cab recruited one of the Indigo Girls to play bass, they’d be selling out stadiums, touring in a solid gold hovercraft, and hunting hobos for sport. (Incidentally, if anyone has actually heard a KT Tunstall song, please contact us. We suspect she may be a figment of VH1’s imagination, à la Jem in 2004, and we’re eager to blow the whistle.)

Killers’ Frontman Unveils New Look, New Album, Same Overall Barfiness | The Killers’ wee frontman Brandon Flowers has emerged with the bold claim that the album they’re currently recording is “one of the best albums in the last 20 years.” He credits his unbridled optimism to a recent artistic “rebirth” due to his discovery of that little-known underground artist, Bruce Springsteen: “He’s a gift, and I didn’t know. There was something in his music that touched what I was going through, the process of falling back in love with my America.” (We can see how the Boss’s vast catalog may have eluded you until now, Brandon, what with your tiny little head shoved up your own ass and all.) Flowers is rocking a new look to match his new sunny demeanor, replacing last year’s junior-sized pink blazers, brooches, and eyeliner with the more Springsteeny beard, “hippy” beads, and velvet trench. (Please, someone send this man a Sly Stone album, posthaste—we’d like to see how he reinterprets the look.) Drape yourself in whatever outerwear and jewels you choose, buddy. We’ll believe this “awesome album” business when hype-resistant NME deems it cover-worthy, thank you. Oh, they already did? Never mind.

Oprah No Longer Welcome in the Candy Shop | In a recent interview, 50 Cent complained that Oprah doesn’t feature enough hip-hop artists on her show, saying, “I think she caters to older white women.” Um, no shit, Sherlock. We also hear she has some unresolved food issues and occasionally dons a wig. Any other keen insights, Fiddy? “Oprah’s audience is my audience’s parents, so I could care less about Oprah or her show.” Wethinks you protest too much…perhaps this is an attempt to earn back street cred after appearing at a certain private party late last year? (We’ll never forget the moment we first heard “Go shorty, it’s your bat mitzvah/We gonna party like it’s your bat mitzvah.” Instant classic.) Ludacris also griped that during his visit to Oprah’s show to promote that preachy piece of retarded stinkypoo Crash, “She edited out a lot of my comments while keeping her own in…She gave me a hard time as a rapper, when I came on there as an actor.” If ever there was a testament to the demise of hardcore hip-hop, it’s hearing some of today’s “edgier” artists grumble about being bullied by daytime television’s answer to L. Ron Hubbard. Back in the glory days, if Oprah had somehow offended the delicate sensibilities of N.W.A., they simply would have written a rap about gangbanging her—problem solved. That we have to be the ones to propose this obvious solution makes us very, very sad.

| The above are the opinions of Fish in a Barrel, and not necessarily those of the editors of PLAYBACK:stl. Just the funny ones. And the ones who offer accolades to Amanda De Cadenet for getting knocked up by both a Stroke (no easy feat, as the Strokes strike us as disciplined condom users, all) and the coolest/skinniest member of Duran Duran. No, not at the same time.

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