With a new movie musical coming out every other day, I wonder why nobody’s thought of turning rom-com favorite My Best Friend’s Wedding into the next Broadway sensation. Think about it. The soundtrack is comprised almost entirely of Burt Bacharach/Hal David songs, so you’ve got your music theme right there. And it’s a cheesy, wedding-related chick flick, which will attract the Mamma Mia crowds when that show inevitably ends its run.
Let me know what you think of this idea, and/or if you want to give me money for it.
Dear Liz and Laura,
Knowing that Liz and Laura are veritable connoisseurs of the $1 modern marvel of the Totino’s Party Pizza, I was wondering if they had any suggestions for spicing up the delicacy. I’ve been experimenting with a dash of garlic powder and a capful of olive oil and have had mixed results. Help me break into the after-market novelty frozen pizza seasoning business!
Chuck E. Confounded
Your question immediately brings to mind an observation Liz once made concerning another cheap bachelor pad favorite, ramen noodles. She noted, “The second you add anything at all to these noodles, they are no longer serving their intended function. I’ve seen people add everything from butter to Korean soybean paste to the stuff in order to create a more tantalizing meal, but to this I say “Stop, you fool.” For when these additions occur, one is no longer consuming a ten cent college meal. If you have the time, and cooking and flavor knowledge to create such a thing, then for the love of God go to the store and purchase real pasta and real ingredients.” By attempting to add authentic Italian ingredients like olive oil and garlic, you are trying to turn this pizza into something it isn’t…real pizza.
Be that as it may, Totino’s costs a whopping ten and sometimes twenty times the amount of a mere package of ramen, so if cheapness alone were a concern for your dinnertime options, you would probably go with something else. But you, sir, are as you say, a connoisseur of the inimitable flavor sensation that is Totino’s, as is Laura, and you know that this pizza offers a special zing that sets it apart from the others. That being the case, you must work with the flavors of the fake cheese, questionable meat-type lumps, and sauce substitute that barely crosses the ketchup line. Like any good fast food product or convenience store triangle sandwich, you must overcome the blandness with something equally artificial, but still flavorful. We propose the following suggestions (which granted, we haven’t tried): canned spray cheese, Bac-O Bits, ranch dressing, savory chunks o’ Spam, I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter spray, packets of taco sauce, crumbled Funyuns, and our personal favorite, Tapatío sauce. It’s the ketchup of Mexico.
And so my friend, we commend your newly expanded mealtime possibilities, and the frugality you’ve so unabashedly displayed.
Liz and Laura
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Having had the pleasure of seeing St. Vincent during CMJ, it was no difficult decision to attend her show at the Bowery Ballroom last night. First off, openers Foreign Born won themselves some new fans with their brisk set of somewhat folky songs that also pack plenty of room for outright rocking. The lead singer’s boozy wail sets an important tone for the band’s sound, throaty and relaxed at times while at others reaching climactic highs and even tiptoeing into the range of angelic on some numbers. The guy on electric guitar stood out as well with his enthused, shoulder-dipping solo picking that pushes the group into the jammin’ rock band category. The vocal input that each member contributed to the mix made for a nice camaraderie that added depth, and lovely sounding harmonies that really brought it all home. All this managed to come across well despite the fact that somehow, there are times when the group sounds remarkably like freakin’ U2 – see “Don’t Take Back Your Time.” It’s odd indeed how this sensation comes creeping in when you least expect it, even though not one of the members was wearing a cowboy hat or funny glasses.
And then for the main attraction. Annie Clark, the woman behind the St. Vincent moniker, is known to carry with her quite the elaborate live set-up with her numerous effects pedals and multiple microphones, all to contribute to the recreation in person of her layered album Marry Me. Thusly, she could be seen crouching thoughtfully on stage before she began her set, carefully arranging the equipment while donning a furry hunting cap. This was interesting to observe, because soon after she ducked backstage, only to emerge as St. Vincent in a pretty party dress and strapped to her shiny red guitar. This all seemed terribly appropriate, for the transformation that Clark takes on stage is certainly something to behold – she’s visibly shaken by her music as she jitters back and forth, throws her head around as if the victim of some strange dementia, and knocks her knees like a nervous child, all in the name of rock. Seeing her perform is at once thrilling due to the discovery that she’s a killer guitar player — scratching out her parts like a seasoned pro — and at the same time her enthusiasm and apparent connection to the music is just plain awe inspiring. Those hoping to take in the fine Marry Me would certainly not be disappointed when attending one of her shows, but I imagine they might not have expected to be in the presences of a modern fuckin’ rock star. Her adorable, doll-like appearance, fantastic playing skills, and that connection to the music that’s grabbed her like an infection all come together to offer a wonderfully complete concert going experience.
Bonus, her earth-shattering cover of “Dig A Pony,” a remarkable thing that she augmented this evening with an anecdote about confusing taxidermy in Minnesota.